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Festivals

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    AFI Shapes Up: A Single Man Is Fest Closer

    The 23rd AFI Film Festival, which this year takes place from October 30 through November 7--is closing the fest with the Toronto hit A Single Man, starring Colin Firth, who will likely land an Oscar nod for his performance as a grieving man whose lover dies in a car crash. The full AFI story is her...

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    Jews on Film: A Serious Man and An Education; Polanski, Sellers

    Jews are popping up all over. The Coens based A Serious Man, which is an affectionate yet scabrous portrait of Jewish suburban family life, on their 60s Minnesota upbringing. An Education's Nick Hornby relied on Lynn Barber's two-year old memoir and faithfully included the sleazy seducer played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is Jewish. Suffice it to say, he's a money-grubbing entrepreneur with less-than-impeccable values. Even Tim Blake Nelson includes the Jewish mafia in his midwestern comedy, Leaves of Grass, which recently played Toronto. And we must not leave out Quentin Tarantino's controversial contribution to Jewish cinema, the anti-Nazi Worl...

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    Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station

    Sony Pictures Classics has added Telluride Film Festival hit The Last Station to its burgeoning 2009 slate of possible Oscar contenders. (Here's my Telluride feature on the movie.) The studio specialty subsidiary, which acquired North And Latin American rights, will push for Helen Mirren, Christophe...

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    Life During Wartime: Werc Werk Works Jumps Into Indie Fray

    As Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime meets a mixed response at Venice, Telluride, Toronto and the NYFF (see IndieWIRE's critics poll), the two women who raised the funding for the $5-million movie are sitting on tenterhooks hoping to score a distribution deal that has not materialized.

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    Indie Fallout: Should Studio Specialty Units Change Focus?

    Ever since the Indie Summit last week, something has been nagging at me.

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    Zombieland Builds Buzz: Five Clips

    Austin's Fantastic Fest is under way. The movie to fly out of there with the greatest buzz (besides Toy Story 3, which debuted a trailer) is Zombieland. Will this R-rated zombie parody starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson break the horror comedy curse?

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    2 or 3 Things I Learned at NYFF Opening Night

    During my 20s in Manhattan, I looked forward to the New York Film Festival every September, when there was a nip in the air; it brought the start of the fall season. Here's what I learned at the 47th NYFF opening night:

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    Fall Fest Update, Clooney, Burton, Von Trier, Weinsteins

    Festival News:The AFI Festival has selected as its opener Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl book. The fest takes place October 30 - November 7, 2009 in Hollywood. The movie is yet another George Clooney vehicle coming out this fall (along with Up in the Air and The Men Who St...

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    Toronto Update, Awards, Auteurs, Moore, Coens, Beatles

    Toronto WatchHot off their fab launch of A Serious Man at Toronto, the Coens swear they have no interest in returning to The Big Lebowski, even if audiences do. A Serious Man won the updated IndieWIRE critics poll for 34 new Toronto films that did not play Sundance or Cannes. Magnolia has picked u...

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    Toronto Deals: Art of the Steal, Lebanon, Get Low

    The smaller Toronto deals are starting to flow. In addition to IFC's pick-up of Valhalla Rising and Sony Worldwide Acquisition Group's genre-film buy Defendor, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S. rights to Samuel Maoz's Venice Golden Lion winner Lebanon, which is expected to be Israel's submission for the Oscars. The movie is based on Maoz's experience as a tank driver. (SPC acquired Israel's Waltz with Bashir last year.) And Sundance Selects, IFC-owner Rainbow Media's other theatrical and VOD label, acquired North American rights to Don Argott’s art-world documentary The Art of the Steal, set for 2010 theatrical release. Both films ar...

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