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Festivals

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    BERLINALE '08 NOTEBOOK | Drink, Sex and Gynecology: "Julia," "Transsiberian," "Leo," "Black Ice" and

    Ah, the sour taste of disappointment. Watching Erick Zonca's Berlinale competition entry "Julia" -- his first feature since his superb 1998 debut, "The Dream Life of Angels" -- the question became less, 'Where has he been?,' than 'What the hell HAPPENED to him?' Playing a tottery lush in a successio...

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    BERLIN '08 DISPATCH | Optimism v. Skepticism, Independents v. Hollywood at EFM Talks About the Futur

    At the Berlin International FIlm Festival, which kicked off on Thursday night here in the German capital, bold-faced names including Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tilda Swinton, Goldie Hawn and The Rolling Stones have been in the spotlight in Potsdamer Platz, while over at the nearby Martin Gropius Bau, thousands of buyers and sellers from around the world are making deals for finished films and pre-bought projects during the concurrent European Film Market. But, just under the radar leading industry insiders have been gathering daily over the weekend to discuss and debate the future of digital cinema, online distribution, and new technolo...

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    EFM NEWS | Scorsese Set With Marley Film

    Announced at the European Film Market this morning in Berlin -- the day after the world premiere of "Shine A Light" -- is the news that Martin Scorsese will make an authorized documentary about musician Bob Marley. Produced by Tuff Gong Pictures and Steve Bing's Shangri-La Entertainment, the film is...

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    BERLINALE '08 DISPATCH | Digging out the cool: Berlin Fest Opens with Scorsese's "Shine a Light"

    Ask an inhabitant of Berlin today what's cool, and they might struggle to reply, so various are the options. Watching Ricardo Villalobos play a four-hour set at Watergate, perhaps. Catching the new Neo Rauch show at the Berlin Guggenheim. Or just sitting on the terrace at Spindler & Klatt, watching ...

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    BERLINALE '08 | Bier, Bonnaire Exit Berlin Jury

    At the Berlin International Film Festival, jurors Susanne Bier and Sandrine Bonnaire dropped out on the first day of the event. Bier said, in a statement, that she had to stay in the U.S. due to "unforeseen circumstances related to her next film." Meanwhile, Bonnaire resigned from the jury because s...

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    SXSW '08 | South by Southwest Sets Slate for 15th Film Fest

    Some 113 feature films are set to screen at the 15th South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival in Austin, TX. Running, March 7 - 15, 2008, the event's showcases are the documentary and narrative feature competitions (see complete lists below). Also on tap are high-profile, anticipated films in the Spotlight Premieres section, including Nanette Burstein's "American Teen," Jay & Mark Duplass' "Baghead," Aaron Rose & Joshua Leonard's "Beautiful Losers," Clark Gregg's "Choke," Nicholas Stoller's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Michael Almereyda's "New Orleans Mon Amour," Joe Swanberg & Greta Gerwig's "Nights and Weekends," Martin Scorses...

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    IFC Gets "Ballast" Ahead of Berlinale

    IFC Films today announced the acquisition of Lance Hammer's 2008 Sundance Film Festival dramatic competition debut, "Ballast." The company has acquired North American rights to the movie, which is set to screen in competition at the upcoming Berlinale. The deal was negotiated by VP of acquisitions Arianna Bocco and William Morris Independent's Cassian Elwes. Asked what prompted the idea for this film, in an interview with indieWIRE, director Hammer said recently, "The Mississippi Delta in winter is a cold and austere flatscape - almost lunar. Vast cotton acreages are fallow and devoid of human activity. The flatness is interrupted only by occ...

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    PARK CITY '08 REVIEW | Broken Mountain: Matthew Stanton's "North Starr"

    A laundry list of missteps including sloppy editing, poor supporting performances and lethargic storytelling qualifies Matthew Stanton's directing debut "North Starr" as a gigantic bust. The fact that "North Star' tackles worthy themes involving racism and the need for tolerance makes its flaws all ...

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    PARK CITY '08 REVIEW | Chit-Chat Love: Geoff Haney's "The Last Word."

    They banter constantly, the cerebral, soft-spoken Evan (Wes Bentley) and his high-energy, somewhat needy girlfriend Charlotte (Winona Ryder). Quiet or subtlety has no place in their relationship or in writer/director Geoff Haley's oddball romantic comedy "The Last Word." But constant chatter is not the same as fully developed storytelling. "Last Word," Haley's debut feature after his 2002 short film "The Parlor," claims a clever idea but never develops into fully drawn storytelling. Evan Merck (Bentley) lives a solitary existence as the writer of other people's suicide notes. His reclusive existence in a drab downtown Los Angeles apartment c...

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    PARK CITY '08 REVIEW | Crazy/Beautiful: Anthony Haney-Jardine's "Anywhere, USA"

    High Art crashes into "The Dukes of Hazzard" in writer/director Anthony Haney-Jardine's "Anywhere, USA," the most unusual of the dramatic competition films at this year's Sundance Film Festival. On one level, "Anywhere" is experimental hokum, a parade of Southern stereotypes and trailer park jokes. ...

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