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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES | Herzog, Docs and Truth at AFI Fest

    It should surprise no one that Werner Herzog's new film about Antartica, "Encounters at the End of the World," is the antithesis of the most successful documentary releases in recent years, "March of the Penguins" and "An Inconvenient Truth." Talking about filmmaking and his latest project during an AFI Fest conversation earlier this week in Los Angeles, Herzog noted that he didn't want to make a film on "fluffy penguins" and he wasn't trying to make a movie overtly about the climate crisis, later adding that however effective the film, "An Inconvient Truth" is actually a slideshow. His remarks effectively challenged the large audience to rec...

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    AFI FEST '07 CRITICS NOTEBOOK | Sifting Through a Lack of Notable Debuts, One Doc Shines

    Botched opportunities, bad acting and misguided directorial decisions seem to be recurring themes among the premieres at this year's AFI Fest. Though boasting quite an impressive array of great cinema out of the North American festivals from the last six months, the AFI programmers seem to be strugg...

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES | Culture, Commerce and L.A. Stories at AFI Fest & AFM

    As a student at UCLA in the late 1970s, filmmaker Alex Cox ("Repo Man," "Sid & Nancy") would head out to Santa Monica with college friends, trying to crack the business veneer of the annual American Film Market, chatting up attendees and hoping to score a coveted party invite. Anything to find some money for early film projects. "Nothing has changed," he laughed on Saturday, addressing a group of AFI Fest filmmakers who had traveled over to the Market from Hollywood for the afternoon, "This is the life of the independent filmmaker." Cox, like many of the emerging filmmakers gathered at the Loews Beach Hotel, is at the festival with a new low-...

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES | Strike Talk Stirs AFI Fest, AFM; WGA Sets Walkout for Monday

    A U.S. film business facing a downbeat DVD market, concerns about the distribution of entertainment via new media outlets, and criticism that there are simply too many movies being made, is dangerously close to a walkout by the 12,000 unionized writers who create most of the mainstream films and tel...

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    DISPATCH FROM LOS ANGELES | L.A.'s The Place: A Tale of Two Festivals as AFI Fest Kicks Off

    Chatting with a non-industry friend recently in Southern California, it became clear that Los Angeles movie fans who aren't frequent observers of the film industry sometimes find it hard to distinguish between LA's two major annual film festivals -- the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival and Film Independent's similarly named Los Angeles Film Festival. The friend was surprised at the impending arrival of AFI Fest (opening tonight in Hollywood): "Didn't that event happen a few months ago?" Not exactly. In a city where locals often refer to La Brea as a dividing line between the dense but distinctive halves of L.A. on its east and west...

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    BBC: Deneuve to be lauded at festival

    French actress Catherine Deneuve will be honoured for her career at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival next month. The 63-year-old star will be the subject of a tribute along with US actress Laura Linney. BBC reports.

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    NYFF '07 Critics Notebook 2 | Sisters Doing it For Themselves at New York Fest; and a Little Boy on

    "Let's hear it for the girl...Let's give the girl a hand..." These could be signature lyrics (with apologies to Denise Williams) for a number of pics in the second half of the NYFF. Many are about women; four (all foreign) are directed by females. Odd, given that most of the films in the first batch...

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    E: Toronto Makes Promises, If Not Buzz

    When the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival began, big buzz surrounded films looking at Serious Topics like war and corruption, but when the 10-day festival closed on Saturday it was old-fashioned thrillers and feel-good movies that caught the attention of moviegoers and buyers. Barry Brown r...

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    TORONTO '07 | Catching Up: indieWIRE at the Toronto International Film Festival

    The 2007 Toronto International Film Festival came to a close on Saturday night in Canada and indieWIRE is wrapping up its coverage early this week. Our reports from Toronto include a mix of news, buzz, reviews, interviews, iPOP photos and feature articles. We invite you to check out indieWIRE's cove...

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    TORONTO '07 | Cronenberg and Maddin Win Top TIFF Prizes; Mexican Films Also Honored

    Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" won the People's Choice Award today (Saturday) at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. Marking the end of an event that screened some 349 films over 10 days this year, Toronto festival co-directors Piers Handling and Noah Cowan prese...

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