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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    REVIEW | Blossoming "Furniture": Lena Dunham Entertaining Self-Portrait

    On a purely creative level, a movie generally should be absorbed without foreknowledge of its back story, but Lena Dunham's "Tiny Furniture" is defined by it. Dunham's lightly entertaining self-portrait, in which the director plays a version of herself wandering around New York City in post-graduate...

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    SXSW '10 | Rebecca Richman Cohen Justifies Her Law School Tuition with "War Don Don"

    Rebecca Richman Cohen went from law school to behind the camera after finding the story that she needed to tell. "In the heart of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, United Nations soldiers guard a heavily fortified building known as the 'special court.' Inside, Issa Sesay awaits his trial. Prosecutors say Sesay is a war criminal, guilty of crimes against humanity. His defenders say he is a reluctant fighter who played a crucial role in bringing peace. "War Don Don" tells the story of a sensational trial with unprecedented access to prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims and, from behind bars, Issa Sesay himself. In Krio, war don don m...

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    "Passenger Pigeons" Director Martha Stephens: "I put every piece of myself into it"

    Set among the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky, Martha Stephens' "Passenger Pigeons" is a story about dealing with loss and an ambiguous future in the dark hills of Appalachia. The film quietly interweaves four separate story lines over the course of a weekend as the town copes with the death of a loc...

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    Acting 101: Ten Tips From Jeffrey Tambor's SXSW Workshop

    "You should be president," someone in the audience said at the end of Jeffrey Tambor's acting workshop in Austin, Texas yesterday. "I have never felt so inspired... And I don't even work in the film industry."

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    SXSWdaily | "Cold Weather," "Saturday Night," and "Red White & Blue" Bring Weekend Buzz

    The sunny weather and clear skies persist here in Austin, where audiences are reveling in epic genres, small indies, auteur favorites, and more in the fest's seventeenth year. Three days into SXSW and our own Anne Thompson has called it: "First Hit is Cold Weather" reads the headline. LA Times' Mark Olsen sees big things for the film and bigger things for Katz. "Where his previous features, 'Quiet City' (2007) and 'Dance Party, USA' (2006), were diffuse romances, making Katz seem something of a lo-fi sensualist and new American independent variation on art-house stalwarts Michelangelo Antonioni or Wong Kar-wai, 'Cold Weather' has just eno...

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    REVIEW | Franco Manages Compelling Portrait In "Saturday Night"

    "Saturday Night," James Franco's fascinating verite portrait of a week in the life of the cast and crew of "Saturday Night Live," pulls back many curtains at once. Given exclusive access to the frenzy of pitch sessions, rehearsals and the final broadcast that fuels each show, Franco captures the man...

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    SXSW '10: Snapshots From A Weekend for New Movies in Austin

    Michel Gondry's "The Thorn in the Heart," Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather" and Chris D’Arienzo’s “Barry Munday” were among the higher profile screenings Saturday night in Austin at the SXSW Film Festival. Despite a warm sunny day with virtually every restaurant or party space offering beer and outside se...

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    REVIEW | Taming the Man-Child: "Barry Munday"

    The story of an aging man-child has been told and retold so many times that it has evolved into a kind of narrative ritual. Witness the phenomena of Seth Rogen and his ilk, a brand exclusively defined for their dopey charm in the face of adult responsibilities, or the series of stubborn lackadaisical men throughout Mike Judge's oeuvre: The character type often works because he remains likable in spite of his archetypical trainwreck routine. Chris D'Arienzo's "Barry Munday" runs this playful stereotype into the ground with its titular crude ladies' man (Patrick Wilson), whose rough wake-up call arrives when he loses both testicles and looks be...

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    REVIEW | Not Elementary: Genre and Realism Collide in Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather"

    Some directors experiment with various moods before discovering their sweet spots, but Aaron Katz pulls of the impressive trick of experimenting within the boundaries of his sweet spot. In his first two movies, "Dance Party, USA" and "Quiet City," Katz displayed a unique ability to mix visual lyrici...

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    Meet The SXSW Filmmakers

    The following is a series of interviews with directors whose films are screening at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival. All descriptions of the films are provided by SXSW. The festival takes place March 12-21.

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