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Independents

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    Penn Premieres Into the Wild

    Three men stood in the back of the Directors Guild theater beaming proudly at actor-filmmaker Sean Penn: producer Art Linson, Paramount Vantage head John Lesher and River Road financeer Bill Pohlad. Without them, the movie might not have gotten made.

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    Cannes Moments, Diving Bell and Butterfly, Parties

    I was sure I wasn't going to make the 7:30 PM Palais screening of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I had about an hour to walk all the way from the Sofitel on the point to the Variety office behind the Grand to get my ticket and rush to my apartment behind the Carlton, put on my black tie duds and makeup and hustle down the crowded Croisette on high heels to the Lumiere. But I really wanted to see this film and wasn't going to give up. Luckily I had an orchestra ticket, which gives you more breathing room and lets you walk up the red steps. I scooted behind Sharon Stone as she posed for photogs and found my place and tried to cool off as we...

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    Coens Movie and Sicko Debut; Waiting for Jessica Simpson

    Last night's unveiling of No Country for Old Men lived up to all my expectations and more. It's one of the Coen brothers' most assured films, on a par with their Oscar-winning Fargo or Miller's Crossing, with a touch of the southwestern twang of Raising Arizona. The movie, which stars veterans Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem at their best and break-out hunk Josh Brolin, belongs with the Coens' bleaker films, but adds their trademark comic tone to Cormac McCarthy's tragic book. It's a faithful adaptation, a lean and spare cinematic rendering of McCarthy's western of inexorably doomed characters. The movie also touches the zeitgeist as it exp...

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    Grindhouse Disappoints

    Grindhouse did not, as they say, open. It came in fourth with a $11 million gross on 2624 screens with a running time of three hours and 12 minutes.

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    Grindhouse Premieres in L.A.

    After all the Comic-Con build-up and rumors about length, rating and rushing to the finish line, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino delivered their salacious, leering, gross, disgusting, violent B-movie splatterfest in the nick of time to screen it Monday night at L.A.'s downtown movie palace Th...

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