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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    How to Make a Ten Best List

    'Tis the season when ten best lists start rolling in. I smile when I get my first Christmas card, always from John Waters (Highland, Maryland), whose Ten Best is in Art Forum, natch, and below. Kris Tapley and I delivered ours in this week's Oscar Talk podcast; I'll publish mine and the TOH crew's lists on Monday. Herewith are some early lists, below; Sight & Sound had 101 critics weigh in, and Mubi is collecting lists as well, including the Cahiers du Cinema.

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  • Eric Kohn
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    Parsing Tablet's Top 100 Jewish Movies.

    Today, Tablet magazine published a list of the "100 Greatest Jewish Films," the kind of divisive round-up that will obviously invite scrutiny for its rankings and omissions. So the magazine has the chutzpah to avoid the obvious, giving its number one slot to…"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestial"? Followed by…"Sunset Boulevard"? Wow. Where to begin? Nowhere, really. The list is a terrific read, and definitely includes some viable contenders, especially when you consider the entire idea of Jewishness as an expansive concept. I certainly did when I programmed a weekend film series for Heeb magazine a few years back. It was easy enough to justify "My Mexican Shivah," but "My Mother's Garden" only qualified because its subject, a woman suffering from hoarding disorder, could easily merit description as a nebbish. She wasn't a certifiable member of the tribe. Still, putting "E.T." at the top of the list pushes any kind of boundaries one might impose on a Jewish film list. I love the movie for all the obvious reasons--its magical synthesis of childhood awe, sci-fi creepiness, and suburban iconography. But I'm not totally sold on Jody Rosen's valiant attempt to explain the movie's treatment of "Jewish exilic longing" or that the "unguarded enchantment" of the climax is a particularly Jewish conceit.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Brian Helgeland Has Found His Jackie Robinson For Biopic Titled "42"

    Chadwick Boseman

    Announced a few months ago, Brian Helgeland and Legendary Pictures are developing a new film based on history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson, in collaboration with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson.

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    More: casting
  • ReelPolitik
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    Is "The Artist" Yet Another Political Allegory for Our Dire Economic Times?

    In the year that "income inequality" became a household name, is the much beloved new French film (which I find utterly mediocre) "The Artist" just one more movie about our global economic troubles? I'm not sure I entirely buy the argument, but New Yorker critic Richard Brody puts forward an interesting proposition: "The Artist," he writes, "is a movie of the moment because it’s about unemployment, specifically, about an employee who loses his job due to a technological change for which he’s unequipped."

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  • The Playlist
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    Andrew Garfield Is Climbing Up The Walls In New Poster For 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

    Batman isn't the only hero in tights coming next summer. Spider-Man is starting over, putting Sam Raimi's trilogy in the rearview and trusting the franchise to the hands of "(500) Days Of Summer" director Marc Webb. And while its not as sexy as a six minute prologue at your local IMAX, it is a brand new poster, which is something.

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  • Press Play
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    VIDEO ESSAY: CHAOS CINEMA, PART 3; Matthias Stork addresses his critics

    Editor’s Note: Press Play is proud to debut part three in Matthias Stork’s Chaos Cinema, the latest installment in an ongoing consideration of a phenomenon that Stork defined in two video essays that ran on this site in August, 2011. His first two chapters touched off a firestorm of debate that’s still going on. Just last weekend, New York Times contributor Alex Pappadeas cited the piece in a year-end “Riffs” column. Citing bizarre images in "the trailer for 2016, a possibly nonexistent sci-fi movie from Ghana," Pappadeas argued that the major problem with the style is that it does not go far enough. "The standard knock on Chaos Cinema filmmakers is that they’re constructing narratives entirely from rupture and collision," he writes. "But if movies are going to go there, they should really go there. Let’s stop asking directors who clearly have no affinity for story or character to pretend otherwise. Instead, let’s let the alien kick the baby, and see how far the baby will fly." That’s what Stork is doing here by addressing his critics directly using the form that has served him well in the past, the video essay. The full text of the piece’s narration is printed below. For context, we’ve also reproduced Parts 1 and 2 of Chaos Cinema as well. The comments section is open. You may fire when ready.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    50 Cent's Indie Sports Drama "All Things Fall Apart" Heading To Blu-ray/DVD next February (No Theatrical?)

    I guess this isn't going to get a theatrical release after all.

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    More: On Blu-Ray
  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch Video: Common is Inspired By Mos Def's Acting Talent

    Watch Video: Common is Inspired By Mos Def's Acting Talent

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  • The Playlist
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    Cameron Crowe Clarifies “Kids-Casted” Project; Says It’s Actually A Preston Sturges-Influenced Comedy & He Wants To Work With Thomas Haden Church Again

    After “Elizabethtown” received a lukewarm reception from critics and audiences when it was released in 2005, it took writer-director Cameron Crowe almost six years to put together another project. But Crowe had less trouble conceiving a follow-up to his forthcoming film, “We Bought a Zoo,” even if reports thus far about it have been less than accurate. “I read [stories about the film] and thought, ‘that’s good misinformation,’ ” Crowe said Friday in an interview with The Playlist. “But it is misinformation.”

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch Trailer for "RasTa: A Soul's Journey" A Doc About The World of Rastafari

    Directed by Stuart Samuels, the feature length documentary RasTa: A Soul's Journey follows Donisha Prendergast, the lovely 25-year old granddaughter of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and his wife Rita Marley, as she meets men and women in different parts of the world who have adopted a Rastafari lifestyle. In the documentary, Predregast explores how the movement evolved in those places and ultimately hopes to find her purpose in life as she honors her grandparents' legacy.

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