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Film Festival News and Reviews: Sundance, Cannes and more

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    Critics Notebook: Exploring Heaven & Hell At the Toronto Festival

    Much has been inked about Ang Lee’s breathtaking "Brokeback Mountain" and Bennett Miller’s insightful "Capote" (the latter movie’s strength emerging from its fine performances rather than great directorial skill). Like many highly anticipated films, both front-ended Toronto, but they did more. Their protagonists set the tone for a recurring theme that ran throughout many of the fest’s most provocative offerings. They reside in some hell- or heaven-like place, sometimes both at the same time. Their position is more often than not of their own making. In "Brokeback Mountain," Heath Ledger’s macho, emotionally chall...

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    South Asian Films at Toronto

    Several South-Asian-centered films are trying to gain wider exposure at Toronto, including Shonali Bose's "Amu," about the massacre of Sikhs after the 1984 assassination of Indira Gandhi; Paul Mayeda Berges' "Mistress of Spices," based on Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's bestselling novel, and Buddhadev...

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    Shoreline Entertainment To Take "Brooklyn Lobster" for Worldwide Sales

    Shoreline Entertainment has acquired writer/director Kevin Jordan's "Brooklyn Lobster" for worldwide sales. Presented by Martin Scorsese, "Brooklyn Lobster" had its world premiere September 9th as an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars Danny Aiello and Jane...

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    Fest Dispatch: Young Americans in Toronto; from Canada to India, New York to Los Angeles

    Those living in the United States often forget that “America” encompasses a much wider swath of territory than the 50 states. There’s Canada, of course. And even in certain parts of India the residents call themselves “American.” For powerful evidence, see Ashim Ahluwalla’s “John & Jane,” one of the most fascinating discoveries at this year’s festival. An observational documentary about 1-800-call workers in Bombay, “John and Jane” exposes the insidious reach of the so-called American Dream, as experienced by six phone agents who peddle odd products and services to callers ...

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    Amidst Buzz and Rumors, Paramount Continues To Assert It Owns "Thank You For Smoking"

    The day after both Fox Searchlight and Paramount Classics announced separate deals for Jason Reitman's debut feature film "Thank You For Smoking" here at the Toronto International Film Festival, industry insiders were voraciously buzzing about the unprecedented situation. Despite a growing speculati...

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    Buscemi, Tucci and Blaban to Remake Van Gogh Trilogy as Homage to Murdered Director

    Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci and Bob Balaban have signed on to direct a remake of a trilogy by murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh, a descendant of the painter, was killed because of "Submission," a short film he made with liberal Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee who fled an arranged marriage. The film portrayed violence against women in Islamic societies and was shown on Dutch television. Van Gogh's last film "06/05: The Sixth of May" will have its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday, Sept 15 as will "All Souls," a compilation of sixteen vignettes from seventeen Dutch directors base...

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    Filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald and the "AIDS THING"

    Filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald is keeping a diary that is being published in CTV.ca about his experience at the Toronto International Film Festival with his feature, "3 Needles." He laments how a bout of the flu causes some concerns that his illness is far more severe due to his two past films featuring ...

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    HDNet Unveils Slate of 7 More Digital Features, Soderbergh Project About Spalding Grey On Tap

    HDNet Films, here at the Toronto International Film Festival with three new digital features, has announced plans to make seven new more high definition movies, including a unique project by Steven Soderbergh about Spalding Gray. At an early morning breakfast event today, HDNet's Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente unveiled the complete new slate and Soderbergh explained that his new project would explore a never-performed monologue by Gray. Amy Hobby is producing the film with Gray's widow Kathie Russo, along with Joshua Blum. Chatting with indieWIRE Monday morning, Soderbergh likened the film to "Tarnation," explaining that he will work on the pr...

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    Fest Dispatch: Toronto Comes Out, with Gays, Terrorists and Historical Injustice

    Only four days into the Toronto International Film Festival and losers and winners have already been declared, trends have been spotted, and the perennial complaining about the pre-screening official trailers has reached a fever pitch. This year's "turn off your cell phone" spot, directed by student...

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    Who's the hottest hottie?

    In Toronto's National Post, J. Kelly Nestruck offers the play-by-play on the battle to be crowned "Hottest Hottie" at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. The face-off begins with hott brother and sister Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal in a round one battle... Other contestands inc...

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