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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

    Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

    The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.

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  • Spout
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    "Going the Distance": Career Fantasy and Relationship Nightmare

    Like a lot of movies this year and a growing amount in general over the past decade, "Going the Distance" is highly informed by the Internet age. You could argue that this is only a matter of what life is like today. Certainly the movies would want and need to reflect the everyday commonalities of computer and smart phone usage in the real world. Nowadays it's strange to see a character write a letter or have an answering machine. But not every current movie can be looked at as a commentary on the technological and social consequences of the Internet age and how they have changed situations and lifestyles from how they used to be. Nanette Burstein's rom-com, a departure from her usual documentary medium (she directed "American Teen" and co-directed Oscar-nominee "On the Ropes" and "The Kid Stays in the Picture"), is as surprisingly topical as it is surprisingly crude (and its comedy is very blue).

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Simple Syrup: Zhang Yimou's "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop"

    A perfect storm of misguided homage and curdled auteurist tics, Zhang Yimou’s A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop manages the headache-inducing feat of both amplifying the Coen Brothers’ worst directorial tendencies and mixing them with the Chinese director at his most bombastically hollow. That the film is an adaptation Blood Simple, one of the Coen’s leanest and least mannered films, makes these accomplishments all the more dubious. Just how did we get from the free-floating anxiety and methodically unspooled twists of the 1984 neonoir to the clattering sideshow of Zhang’s remake, populated by screeching lovers and buck-toothed sidekicks clowning and floundering under an ostentatiously wide-angled sky? (And after that, perhaps someone can then explain how a filmmaker who was once as engaged and thoughtful as Zhang ended up helming this nonsense in the first place.) Read Matt Connolly's review of Zhang Yimou's new film.

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  • Spout
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    Video: 'Shrek Fish' Doesn't Look Much Like Shrek

    Is there still no DVD release date set for "Shrek Forever After"? Not that I'm interested in seeing it, but now would be a great time to capitalize on all the talk of the franchise since the discovery of an ugly fish that people have labeled 'the Shrek fish.' I don't quite see the resemblance myself (this other fish at least got the ears right), but I do recommend DreamWorks Animation gets its hands on this creature and makes it the new studio mascot. It could use a new logo anyway after six years of separation from DreamWorks Pictures. Or, maybe we can finally see that kid fishing from the moon actually catch something. And that something can be the 'Shrek fish.'

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride 2010 Lineup Announced; Firth, Cardinale, Weir To Be Honored

    In its 37th year, the Telluride Film Festival announces their 2010 lineup one day before the fun begins, including special tributes to this year's Silver Medallion recipients Colin Firth, Italian/Tunisian actress Claudia Cardinale (8 ½) and director Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society) in recognition of their contribution to the world of cinema. EDITOR'S UPDATE: Weir will unveil his new film, The Way Back, which just landed distributor Newmarket, and is not playing any of the other fall fests, so this is a real coup for Telluride. Darren Aronofsky is also winging from Venice to Colorado to show Black Swan, and Searchlight is also expected to bring Danny Boyle's 127 Hours; he had good luck debuting Slumdog Millionaire there.

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  • Jared Moshé's Blog
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    SILVER TONGUES in indieWIRE

    Make sure to check out the piece on Silver Tongues in indieWIRE today. We're the featured film in the weekly In the Works column. There will be more news on the film coming soon so be sure to follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

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  • Eric Kohn
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    "13 Ghosts" and a Prince.

    "13 Ghosts" and a Prince.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    NOW Magazine Reviews "Never Let Me Go," "The Town," "Funny Story," More...

    Toronto's NOW Magazine put its TIFF preview on the stands last night, which included dozens of reviews of films that from what I can tell have not yet received any official critical responses... from Mark Romanek's "Never Let Me Go" to Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's "It's Kind of a Funny Story" (both of which were very well received). The reviews aren't on NOW's website (I assume there's an online embargo), but here's a few highlights of some of the more high-profile film reviews included. Torontonians can read the full reviews care of every other street corner in the city.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    It Only Happens Once a Lifetime

    Or never, in some folks unlucky cases. Or twice, if you were, say, born yesterday and live to be over 100 years and 1 day old. But by then no one will even realize the pop cultural significance of this day. Because today is:

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  • Leonard Maltin
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    Time...Marches On!

    Most people who watch the opening segment of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, a faux newsreel called “News on the March,” don’t realize that it is a very precise parody of The March of Time, the innovative documentary short-subject series that played in theaters, while an equally popular radio show of the same name blanketed the airwaves. Both were narrated, in stentorian fashion, by Westbrook van Voorhis, who was imitated almost as often as the public figures whose voices were replicated on the radio series by such versatile actors as Jeanette Nolan, John McIntire, Elliot Reid and, yes, Orson Welles.

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