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    Sundance Video: Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor Talk Margin Call

    Margin Call is one of several low-budget ($3.5 million), accessibly commercial smart films for adults debuting at Sundance that got made with a major cast willing to work for nothing against the promise of worthy material and a decent back end.

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    A Tale of Two Speeches, President Obama vs. King George VI

    King George VI vs. President Barack Obama. The Huffington Post pegs both men's speeches against one and other and considers how they fared:"President Obama is facing a very hostile House of Representatives, and a country that is torn on the efficacy of his presidency, though they all knew he could speak. Firth (as King George) faced a unified nation, but a country torn on the efficacy of his speech. Oh, and a swarming enemy that was invading his little island. Both oversaw what could be considered empires at their crossroads. Here's a basic scorecard between the two."Here is the scorecard, King George VI's speech, a clip from the film (which ...

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    Video: Brit Marling Talks Another Earth, Sound of My Voice

    It is astonishing how quickly now a talent can soar from zero to 60 with the debut of a micro-budget film at a festival. At Sundance, I interviewed writer-actress-producer Brit Marling as Another Earth screened for Fox Searchlight (video below). Her rising star is the main reason that as soon as Sea...

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    Sundance Video: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta Talk Comedy on Cedar Rapids

    Fox Searchlight brought two new movies to Sundance, and both played like gangbusters: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta's midwestern comedy Cedar Rapids (February 11), which I've seen--it's hilarious-- and Tom McCarthy's Win Win, starring Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti as a high school wrestling coach (...

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    Studios, Celebs Make Videos for It Gets Better Project: See Sony, Pixar, DeGeneres

    With Chaz Bono's new doc Becoming Chaz (which was acquired by Oprah Winfrey's OWN network)debuting at Sundance, along with David Weissman's historic doc We Were Here, awareness of gender issues is front and center at Sundance--if not everywhere else.

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    Sundance Watch: Weinstein Co. Aggressively Acquires My Idiot Brother in Seller's Market

    Buying at Sundance is a game of grabbing one title at a time: each distrib circles the hit titles, grabs one, and retires from the fray. (Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia IFC tend to have bigger appetites.) What buyers don't want in a heated bidding situation is to overpay for a weak title or wind up needing product and going home with nothing. Weinstein Co. did not land Margin Call (which went to Lionsgate/Roadside) or Like Crazy (which went to Paramount) or Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon, or Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which both went to Sony pre-fest. Sony saw the Spurlock doc before anyone had seen the complete...

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    Sundance Panel: Martha Marcy May Marlene

    One of the best-reviewed films at Sundance is Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring one of several Sundance "it girls," Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman who is drawn into an isolated cult led by John Hawkes. Check out the press conference moderated by exec producer Ted Hope.

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    IMDb Founder Col Needham Talks Sundance

    IMDb founder Col Needham is a big film buff, and he takes his Sundance picks seriously. I caught him with the Flip Cam at the Eccles Saturday night:

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    Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out

    The Sundance Fest's biggest sale so far is Like Crazy, the follow-up film from Drake Doremus, who showed Douchebag here last year. That movie was a minor improv road comedy of the Mumblecore variety. (Speaking of which, SXSW grad Joe Swanberg's first Sundance entry, Uncle Kent, has earned dismissive...

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    Sundance Watch: Hope and Vachon Do Hulu

    Two of the cannier producers with taste who have been supplying films at Sundance for decades are Ted Hope (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Killer Films' Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce). This year Hope not only executive produced director Sean Durkin's impossibly-titled cult film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which played well here (amid buyer interest) and broke out the festival's "it-girl" Elizabeth Olsen--sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, who also stars in a solo one-shot tour-de-force Silent House--but is conducting with Vachon a series of interview shows produced by Digital Artists that are being streamed on Hulu.com. Check ou...

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