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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Ninotchka

    In 1939, MGM released an effervescent, lightly satirical romantic comedy called NINOTCHKA (available on DVD) which ranks well among the enduring delights of American cinema, yet virtually all its makers were heavily accented Europeans: a Swedish superstar, Greta Garbo; a Polish-German director-producer, Ernst Lubitsch; two Viennese scenarists, Billy Wilder and Walter Reisch; a Hungarian story-writer, Melchoir Lengyel; a German composer, Werner Heymann; Prussian, Hungarian and German supporting actors, Felix Bressart, Bela Lugosi, and Sig Ruman. While the picture is about Russian aristocrats and communists (seduced by the Western world) in Paris, it was shot entirely in Culver City, California, and the closest anyone got to Russia was co-star Melvyn Douglas’s father, a Russian-born concert pianist. Among the other above-the-line talent, only Irish-descended supporting actress Ina Claire, and witty, sophisticated co-screenwriter Charles Brackett were born in the U.S.A.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Rabbit Hole' Cast & Filmmakers Talk Navigating The Difficult Emotional Landscape Of The Film

    Aaron Eckhart Attended Grief Counseling Sessions In Character For 'Rabbit Hole'; Nicole Kidman So Moved, Pained By The Film, She'll Never Watch It AgainJohn Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole” tears away at the damaging scabs that form when people lose loved ones. Appropriately, it has been a somber press tour for Mitchell, screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire and stars Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Sandra Oh. We recently caught up with them to talk about the difficult emotional landscape of the film. In “Rabbit Hole,” Kidman and Eckhart play a married couple still trying to understand how to cope with the loss of their son, taken by a car accident eight months before the start of the movie.

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  • The Playlist
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    Exclusive: Alejandro González Iñárritu Talks the Spirituality, Collaborative Nature of 'Biutiful'

    Director Talks His First Collabo With Javier Bardem & Working With His Friend Guillermo del ToroAlejandro González Iñárritu is a challenging filmmaker. This much we already know. With films like "21 Grams" and "Babel," he took major stars and put them in morally complicated quagmires that involved personal choice and global oppression, which made for some very uncomfortable viewing. But nothing he has done is quite as confrontational as "Biutiful," a wonderfully executed, spiritually rich meditation on life and death, told through the point of view of Javier Bardem's streetwise hustler (who himself is dying). It's a performance that won him a Best Actor award at Cannes and, once the film is eventually released (it got bumped to January today but will still receive NY/LA qualifying runs for the Oscars), it will break a whole slew of hearts.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Production Watch: Bale in Nanjing Heroes, Dark Knight Rises; Stone & Garfield In Spiderman(s)

    - China's premiere director Zhang Yimou (Hero, the Beijing Olympic Games) has named Christian Bale to star in Nanjing Heroes. The $90 million period epic tells the story of the Nanjing Massacre, when Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese in the capital city (1937). Bale will play an American priest who assists citizens in escaping impending death. Zhang also announced the hiring of special effects house Dark Side FX (The Dark Knight). The film will mix English and Mandarin (40/60), he said. No Chinese film or director has ever taken home an Academy Award in a major category. (Zhang himself had back-to-back Oscar nominations for Ju Dou in 1990 and Raise the Red Lantern in 1991.) "It's the overall strategy for Chinese cinema to approach the world and broaden its influence," Zhang told THR. The casting of Bale was not a box office ploy, but rather "a coincidence because the script happened to have an English-speaking part in the lead." Shooting Nanjing Heroes will begin shooting January 10. Bale will be due on The Dark Knight Rises set May 2011.

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  • The Playlist
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    22 Classic Westerns We Love

    True Grit

    There are two genres that every filmmaker wants to tackle: the musical and the western. Having flirted with the latter a number of times, the Coen Brothers, undoubtedly one of the foremost filmmaking teams of their generation, have finally delivered their first full-flung oater with "True Grit," a second adaptation of the Charles Portis novel made famous for winning John Wayne his only Oscar the first time around.

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  • The Playlist
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    Updated: 'Biutiful' Gets A Wide Release Date of January 28, 2011

    It's a bit of good news/bad news for arthouse fans today. While The Weinstein Company have pushed up the release date for "Blue Valentine" to December 29th, another highly anticipated movie is being shoved back a full month. Updated: Roadside Attraction has clarified that the film's wide release has been set at January 28. Its NY/LA December 29th limited release date will not change.

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  • The Playlist
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    Captain Obvious News: Emma Stone Reveals She's Signed On For More Than One 'Spider-Man'

    Geeks are spazzing a little bit this morning following Emma Stone's appearance last night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Sitting across from the big-chinned, un-funny man, Stone, who plays Gwen Stacy in the upcoming 3D "Spider-Man" reboot, talked about her recent natural blonde locks she's donning for the film and then surprised no one by saying, “There’s a few Spidermen, so I may have to keep it for a couple of years."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Palm Springs Int'l Film Fest Opens with Deneuve and Depardieu's Potiche, Closes with First Grader

    The new year's festival offerings kick off in Palm Springs on January 6. The international festival runs through January 16 and includes 193 films (59 premieres) from some 68 countries. The Premieres, Galas and Special Presentations, announced today, are listed below. This year's selection of films have "a notable emphasis on personal vision, rather than films that utilize genre conventions or stereotyped characters," says festival director Darryl Macdonald.

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    film review—TRUE GRIT

    The Coen Brothers want to have their cake and eat it, too. They apparently intend some of their adaptation of True Grit to play believably, and some of it to reflect the ironic distance for which they’re so well known. That’s a tough two-step to pull off, and they almost get away with it.

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  • Enzian Theater
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    Enzian Programming Director Recognized by Variety.com and Florida Film Critics Circle

    Enzian Programming Director Recognized by Variety.com and Florida Film Critics Circle

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