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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Living for the City: Andrew Chan on "Jungle Fever"

    At the height of its popularity, soul music earned its reputation for plumbing emotional depths and encouraging social awareness. But in movies, more often than not, the genre is dismayingly used in unimaginative and superficial ways. Michael Mann’s Ali is a good example: each time the film becomes stiff and tight-fisted just as it’s supposed to be hitting an emotional high point, Mann insists on plugging in predictable selections from the Sixties R&B songbook. A lovers’ spat is scored to Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way”; the death of Malcolm X is announced by the surging orchestration of “A Change Is Gonna Come.” The choice of music feels at once incidental and obligatory, and though together these two songs constitute only a few minutes in a two-and-a-half-hour biopic, it’s painful to listen to such deep reservoirs of feeling and artistry being used as short cuts for what the dramatically lit, coffee-table-book images lack. In Ali, Mann treats black pop in the same thoughtless way Lawrence Kasdan did in The Big Chill—as a string of oldies-but-goodies that reproduce our stereotypes of a particular historical moment.

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    More: new issue
  • Eric Kohn
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    Brief Thoughts on "Inception."

    Brief Thoughts on "Inception."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    TOH Poll: Pick Successor to CNN's Larry King

    The problem with trying to fill Larry King's slot on CNN, once you look at it, is how few people have the necessary skills. King was so successful because he combined the probing curiosity of a journalist with the safety of a talk-show host. And he could handily interview a wide range of newsworthy folk--from politics, business, the tabloids, the real world and celebrities--without getting into too much hot water. King was known for soft-lobbing questions--not unlike James Lipton--but he was still capable of grilling someone and getting strong reactions and quotes out of them.

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  • Jared Moshé's Blog
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    Thank You Psychic Octopus

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: Eat Pray Love and Salt Star Roberts and Jolie

    Two leading ladies, two very different films. One puts Angelina Jolie through an identity crisis in Salt's neo-cold war atmosphere, the other stars Julia Roberts in a big-budget adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love. Jolie and Roberts are two of the highest-earning, name-brand A-listers in the business. See the trailers below for these summer movies. Eat Pray Love could prove welcome summer programming for adults, especially women, while Jolie could inject an element of the unexpected in Salt, which was originally set to star Tom Cruise.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Five and a Half Minutes With Lisa Cholodenko

    After six months of hyping it up to everyone I know, Lisa Cholodenko's "The Kids Are All Right" finally arrives in theaters today and it kind of goes without saying that I suggest you check it out. And to celebrate the release, here's a few audio snippets from an interview I did with the lovely, charming Cholodenko in Park City earlier this year (just quickly note: It's a 20 minute interview edited down to 5 1/2, but it flows together as if it all happened concurrently which is occasionally confusing).

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    More: Clips
  • iW NOW
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    WSJ: "The Social Network" Can't Advertise on Facebook

    WSJ: "The Social Network" Can't Advertise on Facebook

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Media Watch: Online Journalism Is Heading Straight to Hell

    Media Watch: Online Journalism Is Heading Straight to Hell

    Some online journalists make calls, check facts, report, and look at movies before we review them. Are we dinosaurs?

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Play Time: Rivette's "Around a Small Mountain" ("36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup")

    Reviewing Gang of Four for Cahiers du cinéma in 1989, the late philosopher Gilles Deleuze wrote that Jacques Rivette’s project is “a cinema that opposes its theatricality to that of theater, its reality to that of the world, which has become unreal.” That’s as succinct a formulation of the great director’s body of work as we are likely to get, and one that applies just as well to his latest drama, a whimsical eulogy of sorts to the New Wave icon’s treasured theme of life-as-performance. Modestly scaled and terse by Rivettian standards at 84 minutes, 36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup is a playfully oblique, often melancholy study in love, mortality, and the mysteries of grief. Yet compressed within the bantam framework of the film—which concerns people inhabiting a world all their own, a family of clowns and aerialists—is a banquet of ideas about cinema and life, the truth of art and the sorrows of imagination. Click here to read the rest of Damon Smith's review of 36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Mad Men Seduction Video

    Here's a distraction on a busy work day. Jump in. Why is rampant sexism so...sexy? My only complaint: why wasn't there more of the show's ultra-womanizer, Don Draper?

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    More: Video, TV, Mad Men