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Venice Film Festival

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    Venice Film Festival: Spike Lee Rocks the Biennale with 'BAD25'

    Venice is buzzing this year with superb documentaries from high-profile film figures. Jonathan Demme’s “Enzo Avitabile Music Life” was a spirited portrait of the Neopolitan singer-songwriter who may not be widely known but whose zeal, talent and exhilarating performances with other figures in his fi...

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    Venice Review: Spike Lee's 'Bad 25' A Comprehensive & Warm Look At The Making Of Michael Jackson's Album

    A couple of years ago, before he set up his low-budget comeback film “Red Hook Summer," Spike Lee was planning another NYC-set project, “Brooklyn Loves MJ,” with the story taking place on the night of the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson in June 2009. Said to star Samuel L. Jackson, Julianne M...

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    Venice Trailer: 'The Iceman' Stars Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, and Many Gunshots

    "The Iceman" stars Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road," "Boardwalk Empire") as a notorious hit man - responsible for the death of 100 men associated with different crime rings around New York. While his career provides the action, his split from his family life provides the ...

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    Venice Review: Ramin Bahrani's 'At Any Price' A Patchy But Powerful Melodrama With A Fantastic Performance By Dennis Quaid

    The first three feature films by Ramin Bahrani – 2005’s “Man Push Cart,” 2007’s “Chop Shop” and 2008’s “Goodbye Solo” -- were extremely well-regarded by festival and art-house crowds (Roger Ebert called Bahrani “the director of t...

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    Venice Review: Jonathan Demme's 'Enzo Avitabile, Music Life' Blends Great Musical Performances & Shallow Documentary

    Over the centuries, Italy has contributed countless things to international culture. It was of course, the center of the Roman empire, the birthplace of the Renaissance and Da Vinci, and gave the world Vivaldi, Verdi, Dante, Calvino, Fellini and Antonioni. But at least in the 20th and 21st century, ...

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    Venice Review: ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ - Muscularly Charismatic, But Exasperating

    Before its unveiling, some found “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” a peculiar choice as Venice opener by new artistic director Alberto Barbera, even taking into account Mira Nair’s history here (the Indian-born, New York-based filmmaker won the Golden Lion with “Monsoon Wedding” in 2001)...

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    Venice Review: Michael Shannon Vehicle 'The Iceman' Is A Tired Take On The Mob Flick

    Are we living in a post-gangster movie age? From the early talkies to the Oscar-winning success of “The Departed,” the genre has been ever-popular and responsible for seminal films from “White Heat” and “The Godfather” to “Goodfellas” and “Pulp Fiction.” But one struggles to think of a standout film...

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    Venice Review: 'Tai Chi 0' An Uneven, But Playful & Enjoyable Piece Of Kung Fu Pop Art

    Just as the nation as a whole sneaks up on surpassing the United States of America as the world’s foremost superpower (if it hasn’t already), China has become more and more important to the movie world in the last few years. Grosses for the relatively few American movies released there are huge (“Th...

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    Venice Review: Sarah Polley Examines Her Own Family In Lovely, Fascinating 'Stories We Tell'

    Sarah Polley has a secret. It’s a secret that, remarkably, she kept under wraps to all but friends and family until the film screened at the Venice Film Festival this morning. It’s a secret that’s seemingly informed her two directorial efforts to date, “Away From Her” and “Take This Waltz,” and is t...

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    Venice Review: Mira Nair's 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' A Heavy-Handed Look At A Post 9/11 World

    Opening films at festivals are always worth approaching with a little caution. Normally given out-of-competition slots, it’s often a signal that the films have been selected to bring some starry names, and the attention that goes with them to the red carpet, or to make some kind of mission statement...

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