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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Looking Back: Sylvain Chomet's "The Illusionist"

    The threat of obsolescence pervades every aspect of The Illusionist, Sylvain Chomet’s follow up to The Triplets of Belleville. A defiantly 2-D, hand-drawn cartoon in a 3-D CG world, The Illusionist tells the story of an over-the-hill magician who, at the end of the 1950s, finds himself increasingly irrelevant to audiences, a dying breed of performer who cannot compete with the upheaval the rock-and-roll sixties are about to usher in. Chomet makes the point early, as the title character waits in the wings of a London theater, eager to take the stage while Billy and the Britoons, a swishy young rock group, performs encore upon encore for their adoring fans. The theater empties of all but a few spectators before the protagonist, know only as the Illusionist, begins his act. He’s an antique, a throwback to a vaudevillian era that’s already ended. And next to the limp-wristed, foppish Billy and the dandies who back him, the Illusionist represents an antiquated old-school masculinity that also comes off as a little old-fashioned: he’s not manly, exactly, but he is quietly dignified, proud, fatherly, and, in a way, chivalrous—perhaps to a fault.

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  • Spout
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    Video: "Star Wars - Attack of the Models"

    I needed a good laugh when I woke up this morning, but unfortunately this wasn't it. Seems to be making others chuckle, though, so I'll pass it on. Plus, I normally like these guys' videos. Maybe they're just better at inserting themselves into "Harry Potter" than "Star Wars."

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  • The Playlist
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    H.R. Giger Reteaming With Ridley Scott For ‘Alien’ Prequel? Film To Shoot On RED Epic 3D Cameras

    Some more news from Ridley Scott's developing but not yet greenlit "Alien" prequel. A lot of casting rumors and other bits of production info have been flying around of late, with most of it turning out to be untrue, but Scott Free appears to be continuing to put pieces for the eventual film in place as it awaits an official thumbs up from 20th Century Fox to move forward.

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  • Week of Wonders
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    Gift Idea: The Immersive Movie Theater Experience

    Gift Idea: The Immersive Movie Theater Experience

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Exit Through The Gift Shop's Banksy Named Torontoist 2010 Hero; Talks Art, Film To Change The World

    Exit Through The Gift Shop's semi-subject and director Banksy has been named one of the Torontoist's 2010 Heros (they've got Villains, too). In May, the mysterious street artist created seven pieces throughout the city (by now most are gone, the inevitable fate of street art). But, as Torontoist's Nick Mount writes, "the main virtue of Banksy's North American tour is simply that it got some of us out of our homes and into what's left of our public spaces on a collective scavenger hunt, searching for Banksy and often finding each other." Torontoist says of the seven gifts to their city, "That Toronto fucked them up was too bad, but what mattered most is that they were ours to find in the first place."

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  • The Lost Boys
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    My 20 Best Films of 2010

    It's finally comes down to the time to make a top ten list of the best films of 2010. In fact, my list has already been up on indieWIRE for a few days. But instead of reiterating it here, I've decided to blog against character and remove the numbers and let not just 10 but 20 films speak - alphabetically - for what was my year in cinematic spectatorship.

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  • The Playlist
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    Dan Brown To Rewrite Adaptation Of His Own Book 'The Lost Symbol'

    Presumably The Original Draft Wasn't Idiotic Enough Never underestimate the appetites of the general public for badly written, dull mystery movies: despite the disappointing US gross of Sony's "Angels & Demons," the film made close to half a billion dollars worldwide, continuing the success that the studio had with the first film based on author Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series, "The Da Vinci Code," back in 2006. With Brown's third novel featuring the character, "The Lost Symbol," becoming the fastest-selling adult novel of all time on its release last year, Sony swiftly moved ahead on an adaptation of that too.

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  • Caryn James
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    Best New DVD: Agnes Jaoui’s Sly, Comic “Let It Rain”

    The world is full of sophisticated French films that are easy to enjoy and easy to forget; they all blend together. Agnes’ Jaoui’s (Look at Me, The Taste of Others) stand out for characters who look more like real people than Parisian models, and for her smooth combination of warmth and acerbic wit with a dash of cynicism. In Let It Rain, Jaoui herself pays Agathe, a feminist writer who reluctantly agrees to run for local office and less reluctantly agrees to have a documentary made about her, not knowing that the filmmaker, Michel (Jaoui’s co-writer, Jean-Pierre Bacri), is having an affair with Agathe’s married sister.

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  • The Playlist
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    Academy Disqualifies Scores For 'Black Swan,' 'True Grit' and Others From Oscar Consideration

    The trouble with the Academy awards, and indeed in putting too much stock in them, is that you're relying on the decisions being made by a relatively small, aging group of people. In many ways, things are improving -- Academy membership is getting younger, and it's starting to show: we can't imagine "The Hurt Locker" winning Best Picture even a decade ago. But in some categories, and some branches, there's still a frustrating conservatism at work; the Foreign Language branch, for instance, have a long history of picking safe choices over other, more worthy films.

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  • The Playlist
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    Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison, Banned From Filmmaking For 20 Years

    Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi ("The Circle," "Offside," "The White Balloon") has been sentenced to six years in prison in addition to a year twenty year ban from making any films, writing any scripts, travelling abroad and conducting interviews. The news was confirmed to the Iranian press by his lawyer Farideh Gheyrat who plans to appeal the decision.

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