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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Lixin Fan Pays Tribute to China's Migrant Workers in "Last Train Home"

    Each year the largest migration of people in human history happens over New Year’s in China, when city workers leave en masse for their hometowns in the countryside, often traveling days by train. For the first half of this remarkable documentary, you’ll wonder how the filmmaker even shot it. But as...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | "Down Terrace" Director Hopes to Shock Audiences

    Mike Leigh meets "The Sopranos" in this extraordinary family crime drama, shot in eight days largely in one location. Fresh out of jail, Bill (Robert Hill) is obsessed with finding out who snitched on him. His son, Karl (Robin Hill), also just released, is similarly concerned but has other things on his mind—namely, what to do about his pregnant girlfriend. Bill, eager to ferret out the informer, lays out a series of traps and ruses for his associates—that is, when he’s not singing old Fairport Convention songs while accompanying himself on guitar. Director Ben Wheatley (BBC’s "The Wrong Door") makes a powerful feature-film debut, creating an...

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    Chuck Norris Kicks Down the Door of NC's First ActionFest

    ActionFest, the first film festival devoted exclusively to action films, has announced 25 films that will be featured in its inaugural edition. The films announced include 3 world premieres, 3 North American premieres, 2 U.S. premieres, 9 regional premieres, special retrospectives and rare theatrica...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Robin Hessman On Her Deeply Personal "My Perestroika"

    The history of the 20th century was bookended by the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in between came the era-defining Cold War. But for Russians who grew up during this history and now live beyond it, what does it mean to be Russian today? Robin Hessman’s thoughtful an...

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    Singing the Praises (and a few laments) at New Directors/New Films

    Here are the stars of this year's New Directors/New Films, an invaluable festival of mostly first or second features (the criteria have become rather elastic). I like the general edginess of the most inspired choices, even prefer these kinds of films, which are sometimes unpolished, but these gifted...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Producer Jeremiah Newton Aids in Uncovering "Candy Darling"

    Born James Slattery in Massapequa, Long Island, in 1944, Candy Darling transformed herself into a stunning blonde actress who in the mid-Sixties became an active player in New York’s “downtown” scene. In her passionate act of self-creation, Candy Darling mesmerized. A party fixture, she appeared in ...

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    ND/NF Shorts: Longer Is Better

    Short films should be short, especially when they play in front of features, right? The 2010 edition of New Directors/New Films breaks that cardinal rule by programming eleven shorts, the majority of which clock in at 20 minutes and over. This rule breaking pays off in spades as every single one o...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | "The Red Chapel" Director Mads Brugger: "I am the evil white clown..."

    Denmark launches an all-out attack on North Korea in this has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed documentary that ventures into territory somewhere between Michael Moore and Borat. Bankrolled by Lars von Trier’s Zentropa production company, the aptly named Mads Brügger travels to Pyongyang on a feigned missi...

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    New Directors/New Films '10 | Director Dima El-Horr On Keeping it Real for "Every Day is a Holiday"

    A stunning first scene immediately establishes the highly charged atmosphere in Dima El-Horr’s carefully controlled first feature, filled with absurd moments and symbolic gestures. Three women (Hiam Abbass, Manal Khader, Raïa Haïdar) with very different motives board a bus on the Lebanese Day of Liberation to visit their husbands in jail. When the bus is stopped short by a stray bullet, the women are left to find their own way in the hot sun through mountains full of mines, amid sounds of muffled explosions, throngs of refugees, and rumors of massacres. Their perilous journey becomes an internal one towards liberation, as individual life and ...

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    "Extra Man," "Saturday Night" Lead Sarasota Lineup

    The 12th Annual Sarasota Film Festival's lineup has been announced, with 100 features and 68 shorts over ten days, April 9-18th. The festival takes place throughout downtown Sarasota, Florida, with the Hollywood 20 Cinemas serving as the event hub. In addition to the films, audiences will enjoy the festival's first-ever staged reading of director Steve Buscemi and writer Oren Moverman's work in progress "QUEER" as part of the The Lab; a tribute to filmmaker John Landis ("Animal House"); the "In Conversation With..." series; the "Outreach and Educations Programs; Cinema Diaspora: International Perspectives on Jewish Identity and Through Women...

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