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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    NYFF: The Strange Case of Angelica

    Manoel de Oliveira has unofficially reached what we could call the yarn-spinning era of his dotage. Don’t let the anecdotal nature of the now 102-year-old Portuguese auteur’s most recent films fool you, however. His rigor and precision—and canny sense of how to lull and then delightfully frustrate an audience—remain intact. A mite longer than his previous two films released in the U.S., Belle toujours and Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl, yet still enchantingly nugget-like, The Strange Case of Angelica takes as its central concerns nothing less than the spiritual nature of being but still manages to be pithy and casual. He always makes big existential questions seem like simple riffs; the longer, all-encompassing work they’re part and parcel of would of course be his entire, astonishingly long oeuvre. Strange Case, with its musings on death and the transcendent nature of art, would seem like the perfect elegy for this most elder statesman of cinema—if not for the fact that every other film since his 2001 portrait of an aging actor I’m Going Home, could also be called just that.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Box Office: The Social Network Clicks to Top

    The most buzzed-about launch of the fall season, The Social Network met (but did not exceed) expectations with a $23-million start, while hard-R vampire thriller Let Me In proved to be a classic tweener: too bloody violent for upscale smart-house crowds and too European for mainstream gore-hounds. Anthony D'Alessandro explains:Sony’s PG-13 Facebook origin myth The Social Network effortlessly clicked its way to the top box office spot with $23 million – a number which was in line with studio estimates, but fell short of crashing any ticket booth’s computer with a fall record.  Two R-rated thrillers, Overture’s vampire remake Let Me In and Paramount’s Renee Zellweger-Bradley Cooper vehicle Case 39, each cannibalized their target femme demo, tying with $5.3 million apiece.

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Autumn Sonata

    In 1976, two years before his 60th birthday, Ingmar Bergman was rehearsing a play at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm when two plainclothes policemen arrested and booked him for income-tax fraud. Although the charges were false and eventually dropped, this terribly humiliating experience caused the internationally acclaimed Swedish filmmaker to suffer a nervous breakdown and a deep depression. He vowed never to work again in his native country, and began a self-imposed exile during which he made two films (before finally relenting and returning to Sweden): The Serpent’s Egg, an English-language picture shot in Munich, and the British-Norwegian co-production, shot in Norway, AUTUMN SONATA (available on DVD).

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    'Freak' Availability

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Movie Crazy All Over Again

    Dooley Wilson as Sam, the movies’ most famous piano player (who couldn’t really play) in Casablanca.

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    More: Journal
  • Spout
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    10 More Films That Define This Generation?

    Every other review and movie site has made some sort of reference to "The Social Network" being a film that defines this generation. Some are arguing against the claim, but it's still an idea that's out there on people's minds. Having finally seen the Facebook-origins tale, I'm more in agreement that it is very representative and reflective of at least the zeitgeist of the group known as the Generation Y (aka the Millennials, Generation Next, the Net Generation, and the Echo Boomers). It's hard to say why without insulting an entire population of Americans born over a fifteen year period, so let's just say it gets that group of people who grew up with the Internet, social media and a dwindling concern for and interest in privacy.

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    Five New Albums Worth Your Dime

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Video: John Turturro Talks Naples Music Doc Passione

    Italian-American actor-director John Turturro is beloved by the Italians—Venice Fest audiences treat him like a huge star. In fact, ill-fated Romance and Cigarettes, which was caught in the backdraft at the end of United Artists, was such a hit in Italy that financeers stepped up to hire Turturro to direct a doc about the music of Naples. Passione is not unlike Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: it’s a “musical adventure” showcasing the music, old and new, of Naples, via a mix of old footage and new performances by the city’s top artists. The film was exhilarating, and more than one moviegoer walked out of the theater humming. I also admired Turturro's Mac and Illuminata, even though American moviegoers have yet to click with his movies.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Movie Marketing as Social Network: Official Site vs. Facebook Page

    Ad Age marketing whiz Chris Thilk is disappointed by the official websites for most films. He often asks, "That's it?" after not finding relevant info: bios, multiple trailers, image galleries, etc. Social networking sites (say, Facebook) feature "like" buttons that take advantage of fans as pro-bono marketers. Thilk thinks that it's possible to use such tools to build publicity and attention for a film from its own dedicated site.

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  • Spout
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    Why Michael Caine is Wrong About the Ending of "Inception"

    Just when you thought nobody was talking about "Inception" anymore, one of its stars has come out and uttered another theory. And just in case you didn't figure it out from the headline, if you haven't yet seen the year's biggest movie you just don't like movies you might not want to read this post. Because there are obvious SPOILERS about its ending.

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