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  • The Playlist
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    Ben Stiller Heads To HBO To Produce, Direct & Star In Jonathan Safran Foer-Penned Comedy Pilot 'All Talk'

    We're reaching something of a watershed moment when it comes to the divide between TV and film. While the likes of "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" have seen the small screen gain more and more prestige over the last decade, and names like Martin Scorsese and Michael Mann have lent their names to projects, the big directors tend to helm the pilot, take an executive producer credit and move on, while the shows tend to be lead either by rising, relatively unknown stars (see Michael Pitt, Jon Hamm, Aaron Paul) or veteran character actors eager for a more substantial role (see James Gandolfini, Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage). Dustin Hoffman is probably the biggest name to head to TV to date, as the star of Mann's HBO show "Luck" which starts on Sunday, but while he's enormously respected, he's hardly an A-lister anymore -- he's not led a bona-fide hit himself since 1995's "Outbreak."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Nominations Led by 'Hugo' with Eleven and 'The Artist' with Ten, Major Surprises UPDATED

    Well it's a neck-and-neck race for the Oscar as Martin Scorsese's 3-D "Hugo" led the field with eleven nominations to ten for silent black-and-white film"The Artist" Tuesday morning.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Sundance 2012 Review - "Red Hook Summer" (An Attempt To Make Sense Of Spike Lee's Trip To Wonderland)

    I agonized over this for awhile, and actually almost decided not to even write anything about the film; but I eventually reached a compromise.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    New Trailer for The Lady

    Film will open in the US on April 11 and will roll out to other major cities on April 13.

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  • The Playlist
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    Shocks Abound As Oscar Noms Are Announced; 'Hugo' Leads With Eleven, 'Tree Of Life' Gets Picture & Director Nods

    It's Oscar nomination morning! You know, like Christmas morning, if you spent most of the rest of Christmas Day bitching that you didn't like your presents. And if your presents were chosen by a group of elderly sound mixers. And if an entire industry developed around guessing what you were going to get.

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  • Hope for Film
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    "Like Crazy" Co-writing On A Project Without A Script

    It’s hard to describe to someone what your role was as co-writer, on a movie they read in the New York Times, “Was Filmed Without a Script.” There’s no succinct answer. I couldn’t Tweet a properly inclusive explanation. Well, I tried. This was after I received a Tweet that seemed to accuse me and by association, my co-writer (the film’s very talented director, Drake Doremus) of self-aggrandizing – for awarding ourselves writing credit on a reportedly script-less film. I remember feeling dismissed. Frustrated. Worse yet, I began seriously doubting my abilities when I read the offending Tweet: “Is it true the dialogue was all improvised on Like Crazy? That's the word on the street...”

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  • SydneysBuzz
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    Danish Docs At Sundance

    The Danish Broadcasting Corporation has FIVE docs here in Sundance. Although documentary filmmakers are finding the European TV stations' funds are diminishing and are increasingly looking to foundations and corporations for financing, in Denmark, funding for Danish docs is up to 50%. Their docs are meeting with artistic and popular success which is matched by political support, both in production and in distribution. Production funding from the Danish Film Institute is approximately 6.2 million Euros. Primetime public TV share of docs has gone up from 2% to 25% over the last years. 98% of the public has access to the films via local libraries, streaming service filmstriben.dk, and school children and their teachers can watch the films in the classroom via a school subscription. Don't we only wish we could boast a fraction of this?

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: Controversial & Upsetting 'Compliance' Is Still Affecting & Real

    If there’s a thin line between presenting unpleasant material to an audience and openly antagonizing them with it, there are going to be a lot of people accusing “Compliance” of the latter, when really what it’s doing is the former. Craig Zobel, the promising writer-director who made “Great World of Sound” in 2007, returns to the big screening with his deeply unsettling second feature, the fictional account of a real incident in which a caller impersonating a police officer contacted a fast food restaurant manager and enlisted her in enacting a sexual assault under the pretense of a criminal investigation. After immediately provoking intense feelings both positive and negative among audience members at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, “Compliance” seems destined to become a lightning rod for controversy, but its success is so great in depicting the damage that can be done through complicity and inaction that the movie’s takeaway message may eventually be confused with the technique used in order to create it.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sundance Review: 'Black Rock' A Back-To-The-Wilds Slasher With Brains & Bonding Along With The Blood

    There is, ultimately, something to be said for the pleasures of a simple, sleek and well-shot run-or-kill-or-die thriller where our heroes, trapped in the middle of nowhere and confronted by hostile locals, strike back to survive. And that, at heart, is what "Black Rock," the second directorial effort from Katie Aselton is, no more, no less. If you're hoping for a transcendent reinvention of the form, keep moving. If you're looking for a film like Aselton's erotic, neurotic and superbly acted "The Freebie," pass along. If you're looking for a well-executed example of a sub-genre, not as good as "Deliverance," but far better than a host of similarly-constructed films with bigger budgets and smaller IQs, you'll probably appreciate what "Black Rock" offers with its Y-chromosome inflected plot and script.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Didya Hear About Spike's Profanity Laden Rant At Sundance?

    Oh that Spike! Can't live with him, can't live without him (Or is it can't live with him, can't shoot him?)

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