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'At 12, I swore I'd have my own film in the cinema'

29 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In 2011 that film was Oscar winner The King's Speech. Now he is Oscar-tipped again for Les Misérables. Here the 'tough guy' director, who made his first film while still at school, talks about the epic he sees as a timeless 'anthem for the dispossessed'

It was almost two years ago that I first met Tom Hooper. He was with Colin Firth, and their film, The King's Speech – which Hooper directed and in which Firth starred – was weeks away from winning its Oscars. It was a heady occasion. An excitable Hooper did most of the talking (Firth detests interviews) and the film – about the struggle George VI had with his speech impediment when he came to the throne in 1936 – became the unlikely winner that delighted everyone who saw it: an impossible act to follow.

And yet, today, Hooper is attempting to trump it on an epic scale. He has taken on »

- Kate Kellaway

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Why Can't My New Year's Eve Be Like the Movies?

28 December 2012 9:00 AM, PST | NextMovie | See recent NextMovie news »

Ah, New Year's Eve — a magical evening filled with champagne, kisses at the stroke of midnight and, of course, a fresh start to the year ahead. Too bad in real life it's so much more often filled with overpriced dinners, obnoxious drunks and broken resolutions. (Yes, we often do manage to break our resolutions before even crawling into bed.) In other words, New Year's Eve almost always blows … yet somehow in the movies it's so damn perfect.

In honor of Hollywood's optimistic vision for the year's most stressful night, here's a compilation of the nine greatest moments caught on celluloid as the clock strikes 12. It may not be as good as the real thing … because it's even better. Happy New Year, indeed.

1. 'Sleepless in Seattle' (1993)

This romantic comedy actually (gasp!) gets it right. After some ill-fated back-and-forth, Sam (Tom Hanks) and Annie (Meg Ryan) finally unite — in large »

- Elizabeth Durand

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The 2013 Sundance Film Festival Films in U.S. and World Competitions, Next

27 December 2012 6:30 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute said, “Every great film starts with an idea, and it is a testament to artists that they continually find new ideas, new stories, new points of view and new ways of sharing them, year after year. We look forward to hearing from these artists not just through their words and images onscreen but also through the larger dialogue they create with audiences at our Festival and beyond.”

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films, both documentary and narrative, selected for our 2013 Festival have a particular immediacy and fearlessness to them showing us that independent film is as vibrant, creative and relevant as ever. Filmmakers are telling raw, powerful stories that are sure to create new energy in audiences and communities across the globe in the months to come.”

For the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, 113 feature-length films were selected, representing 32 countries and 51 first-time filmmakers, including 27 in competition. These films were selected from 12,146 submissions (429 more than for 2012), including 4,044 feature-length films and 8,102 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,070 were from the U.S. and 1,974 were international. 98 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.

In addition, the Festival presents feature-length films in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier, Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections. Those announcements, as well as selections for the Short Film section, are forthcoming.

On Day One, January 17, 2013, the Festival will screen one narrative film and one documentary from both the U.S. and World Cinema competitions, as well as one shorts program.

A selection of films from the 2013 Festival will also be presented at the second Sundance London film and music festival, April 25-28 at The O2.

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Each year at this time we look forward with great anticipation and excitement to the discovery of new voices at the Sundance Film Festival. The Festival continues to reflect the spirit of innovation and creativity in independent cinema, not only in the stories themselves but also in how the films are produced and making their way to audiences.”

U.S. Dramatic Competition

The world premieres of 16 American narrative feature films.

Afternoon Delight/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jill Soloway) —  In this sexy, dark comedy, a lost L.A. housewife puts her idyllic hipster life in jeopardy when she tries to rescue a stripper by taking her in as a live-in nanny. Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch.

Ain't Them Bodies Saints / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Lowery) — The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine.

Austenland/ U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jerusha Hess, Screenwriters: Jerusha Hess, Shannon Hale) — Thirtysomething, single Jane is obsessed with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. On a trip to an English resort, her fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman become more real than she ever imagined.Cast: Keri Russell, Jj Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, James Callis.

C.O.G./ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kyle Patrick Alvarez) — In the first ever film adaptation of David Sedaris' work, a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path. Cast: Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Corey Stoll, Dean Stockwell, Casey Wilson, Troian Bellisario.

Concussion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Stacie Passon) — After a blow to the head, Abby decides she can't do it anymore. Her life just can't be only about the house, the kids and the wife. She needs more: she needs to be Eleanor.Cast: Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney, Laila Robins.

Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francesca Gregorini) — Emanuel, a troubled girl, becomes preoccupied with her mysterious, new neighbor, who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to babysit her newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper. Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, Alfred Molina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson, Aneurin Barnard.

Fruitvale/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Coogler) — The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008. Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray.

In a World.../ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lake Bell) — An underachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she sets out to change the voice of a generation. Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed.

Kill Your Darlings/ U.S.A. (Director: John Krokidas, Screenwriters: Austin Bunn, John Krokidas) — An untold story of murder that brought together a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that led to the birth of an entire generation – their Beat revolution. Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHann, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen.

The Lifeguard / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Liz W. Garcia) — A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Amy Madigan, David Lambert.

May in the Summer/ U.S.A., Qatar, Jordan (Director and screenwriter: Cherien Dabis) — A bride-to-be is forced to reevaluate her life when she reunites with her family in Jordan and finds herself confronted with the aftermath of her parents’ divorce. Cast: Cherien Dabis, Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, Alexander Siddig. Day One Film

Mother of George / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriter: Darci Picoult) — A story about a woman willing to do anything and risk everything for her marriage.Cast: Isaach De Bankolé, Danai Gurira, Anthony Okungbowa, Yaya Alafia, Bukky Ajayi.

The Spectacular Now/ U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber) — Sutter is a high school senior who lives for the moment; Aimee is the introvert he attempts to "save." As their relationship deepens, the lines between right and wrong, friendship and love, and "saving" and corrupting become inextricably blurred. Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler.

Touchy Feely/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lynn Shelton) — A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his “healing touch.”Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy, Ellen Page, Josh Pais.

Toy's House/ U.S.A. (Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Screenwriter: Chris Galletta) — Three unhappy teenage boys flee to the wilderness where they build a makeshift house and live off the land as masters of their own destiny. Or at least that’s the plan. Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie.

Upstream Color/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shane Carruth) — A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins.

U.S. Documentary Competition

The world premieres of 16 American documentary films.

99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film/ U.S.A. (Directors: Audrey Ewell, Aaron Aites, Lucian Read, Nina Kristic) — The Occupy movement erupted in September 2011, propelling economic inequality into the spotlight. In an unprecedented collaboration, filmmakers across America tell its story, digging into big picture issues as organizers, analysts, participants and critics reveal how it happened and why.

After Tiller/ U.S.A. (Directors: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson) — Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, only four doctors in the country provide late-term abortions. With unprecedented access, After Tiller goes inside the lives of these physicians working at the center of the storm.

American Promise / U.S.A. (Directors: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson) — This intimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of two African-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons.

Blackfish/ U.S.A. (Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite) — Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top killer whale trainer.Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.

Blood Brother/ U.S.A. (Director: Steve Hoover) — Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he would face, or the love he would find.

Citizen Koch/ U.S.A. (Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin) — Wisconsin – birthplace of the Republican Party, government unions, “cheeseheads” and Paul Ryan – becomes a test market in the campaign to buy Democracy, and ground zero in the battle for the future of the Gop.

Cutie and the Boxer/ U.S.A. (Director: Zachary Heinzerling) — This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her role as her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity of her own.

Dirty Wars/ U.S.A. (Director: Richard Rowley) — Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill chases down the truth behind America’s covert wars.

Gideon's Army / U.S.A. (Director: Dawn Porter) — Gideon’s Army follows three young, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for the people society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.

God Loves Uganda/ U.S.A. (Director: Roger Ross Williams) — A powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to infuse African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting “sexual immorality” and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow biblical law.

The Good Life/ U.S.A. (Directors: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine) — Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns fight to save their only son from Progeria, a rare and fatal disease for which there is no treatment or cure. In less than a decade, their work has led to significant advances.

Inequality for All/ U.S.A. (Director: Jacob Kornbluth) — In this timely and entertaining documentary, noted economic-policy expert Robert Reich distills the topic of widening income inequality, and addresses the question of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy and our democracy.

Manhunt/ U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Greg Barker) — This espionage tale goes inside the CIA’s long conflict against Al Qaeda, as revealed by the remarkable women and men whose secret war against Osama bin Laden started nearly a decade before most of us even knew his name.

Narco Cultura / U.S.A. (Director: Shaul Schwarz) — An examination of Mexican drug cartels’ influence in pop culture on both sides of the border as experienced by an La narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico’s Drug War.

Twenty Feet From Stardom/ U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Neville) — Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight.  Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead – until now. Day One Film

Valentine Road / U.S.A. (Director: Marta Cunningham) — In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy from point of impact, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as its startling aftermath.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

Circles/ Serbia, Germany, France, Croatia, Slovenia (Director: Srdan Golubovic, Screenwriters: Srdjan Koljevic, Melina Pota Koljevic) — Five people are affected by a tragic heroic act. Twenty years later, all of them will confront the past through their own crises. Will they overcome guilt, frustration and their urge for revenge? Will they do the right thing, at all costs? Cast: Aleksandar Bercek, Leon Lucev, Nebojsa Glogovac, Hristina Popovic, Nikola Rakocevic, Vuk Kostic. World Premiere

Crystal Fairy / Chile (Director and screenwriter: Sebastián Silva) — Jamie invites a stranger to join a road trip to Chile. The woman’s free and esoteric nature clashes with Jamie’s acidic, self-absorbed personality as they head into the desert for a Mescaline-fueled psychedelic trip. Cast: Michael Cera, Gabby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, Agustín Silva. World Premiere. Day One Film

The Future/ Chile, Germany, Italy, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Alicia Scherson) — When their parents die, Bianca starts to smoke and Tomas is still a virgin. The orphans explore the dangerous streets of adulthood until Bianca finds Maciste, a retired Mr. Universe, and enters his dark mansion in search of a future. Cast: Manuela Martelli, Rutger Hauer, Luigi Ciardo, Nicolas Vaporidis, Alessandro Giallocosta. World Premiere

Houston/ Germany (Director and screenwriter: Bastian Günther) — Clemens Trunschka is a corporate headhunter and an alcoholic. Drinking increasingly isolates him from his life and leads him away from reality. While searching for a CEO candidate in Houston, his addiction submerges him into his own darkness. Cast: Ulrich Tukur, Garret Dillahunt, Wolfram Koch, Jenny Schily, Jason Douglas, Jens Münchow. World Premiere

Jiseul / South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Muel O) — In 1948, as the Korean government ordered the Communists’ eviction to Jeju Island, the military invaded a calm and peaceful village. Townsfolk took sanctuary in a cave and debated moving to a higher mountain. Cast: Min-chul Sung, Jung-won Yang, Young-soon Oh, Soon-dong Park, Suk-bum Moon, Kyung-sub Jang. International Premiere

Lasting / Poland, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Jacek Borcuch) — An emotional love story about two Polish students who fall in love with each other while working summer jobs in Spain. An unexpected nightmare interrupts their carefree time in the heavenly landscape and throws their lives into chaos. Cast: Jakub Gierszal, Magdalena Berus, Angela Molina. World Premiere

Metro Manila / United Kingdom, Philippines (Director: Sean Ellis, Screenwriters: Sean Ellis, Frank E. Flowers) — Seeking a better life, Oscar and his family move from the poverty-stricken rice fields to the big city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival. Cast: Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla, Althea Vega. World Premiere

Shopping / New Zealand (Directors: Mark Albiston, Louis Sutherland, Screenwriters: Louis Sutherland, Mark Albiston) — New Zealand, 1981: Seduced by a charismatic career criminal, teenager Willie must choose where his loyalty lies – with a family of shoplifters or his own blood. Cast: Kevin Paulo, Julian Dennison, Jacek Koman, Alistair Browning. World Premiere

Soldate Jeannette/ Austria (Director: Daniel Hoesl) — Fanni has had enough of money and leaves to buy a tent. Anna has had enough of pigs and leaves a needle in the hay. Cars crash and money burns to shape their mutual journey toward a rising liberty. Cast: Johanna Orsini-Rosenberg, Christina Reichsthaler, Josef Kleindienst, Aurelia Burckhardt, Julia Schranz, Ines Rössl. World Premiere

There Will Come a Day/ Italy, France (Director: Giorgio Diritti, Screenwriters: Giorgio Diritti, Fredo Valla, Tania Pedroni) — Painful issues push Augusta, a young Italian woman, to doubt the certainties on which she has built her existence. On a small boat in the immensity of the Amazon rain forest, she faces the adventure of searching for herself. Cast: Jasmine Trinca, Anne Alvaro, Pia Engleberth. World Premiere

Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)/ Afghanistan (Director and screenwriter: Barmak Akram) — A young man in Kabul seduces a girl. When she tells him she’s pregnant, he questions having taken her virginity. Then her father arrives, and a timeless, archaic violence erupts – possibly leading to a crime, and even a sacrifice. Cast: Wajma Bahar, Mustafa Abdulsatar, Haji Gul, Breshna Bahar. World Premiere

What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love/ Indonesia (Director and screenwriter: Mouly Surya) — Mouly Surya’s film explores the odds of love and deception among the blind, the deaf and the unlucky sighted people at a high school for the visually impaired. Cast: Nicholas Saputra, Ayushita Nugraha, Karina Salim, Anggun Priambodo, Lupita Jennifer. World Premiere

World Cinema Documentary Competition

Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary filmmakers working today.

Fallen City / China (Director: Qi Zhao) — Fallen City spans four years to reveal how three families who survived the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to embark on a journey searching for hope, purpose, identity, and to rebuild their lives in a new China torn between tradition and modernity. North American Premiere

Fire in the Blood/ India (Director: Dylan Mohan Gray) — In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Western governments and pharmaceutical companies blocked low-cost antiretroviral drugs from reaching AIDS-stricken Africa, causing 10 million or more unnecessary deaths. An improbable group of people decided to fight back. North American Premiere

Google and the World Brain/ Spain, United Kingdom (Director: Ben Lewis) — In the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet, Google has been scanning the world's books for 10 years. They said the intention was to build a giant digital library, but that involved scanning millions of copyrighted works. World Premiere

The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear/ Georgia, Germany (Director: Tinatin Gurchiani) — A film director casting a 15-23-year-old protagonist visits villages and cities to meet people who answer her call. She follows those who prove to be interesting enough through various dramatic and funny situations. North American Premiere

The Moo Man/ United Kingdom (Directors: Andy Heathcote, Heike Bachelier) — A year in the life of heroic farmer Steve, scene stealing Ida (queen of the herd), and a supporting cast of 55 cows. When Ida falls ill, Steve’s optimism is challenged and their whole way of life is at stake. World Premiere

Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer / Russian Federation, United Kingdom (Directors: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin) — Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial: the three young artists or the society they live in? World Premiere

A River Changes Course/ Cambodia, U.S.A. (Director: Kalyanee Mam) — Three young Cambodians struggle to overcome the crushing effects of deforestation, overfishing, and overwhelming debt in this devastatingly beautiful story of a country reeling from the tragedies of war and rushing to keep pace with a rapidly expanding world. World Premiere

Salma/ United Kingdom, India (Director: Kim Longinotto) — When Salma, a young girl in South India, reached puberty, her parents locked her away. Millions of girls all over the world share the same fate. Twenty-five years later, Salma has fought her way back to the outside world. World Premiere

The Square (El Midan) / Egypt, U.S.A. (Director: Jehane Noujaim) — What does it mean to risk your life for your ideals? How far will five revolutionaries go in defending their beliefs in the fight for their nation? World Premiere

The Stuart Hall Project/ United Kingdom (Director: John Akomfrah) — Antinuclear campaigner, New Left activist and founding father of Cultural Studies, this documentary interweaves 70 years of Stuart Hall’s film, radio and television appearances, and material from his private archive to document a memorable life and construct a portrait of Britain’s foremost radical intellectual. World Premiere

The Summit / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Nick Ryan) — Twenty-four climbers converged at the last stop before summiting the most dangerous mountain on Earth. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had been killed or simply vanished. Had one, Ger McDonnell, stuck to the climbers' code, he might still be alive.International Premiere

Who is Dayani Cristal?/ United Kingdom (Director: Marc Silver) — An anonymous body in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of a real-life human drama. The search for its identity leads us across a continent to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of a mysterious tattoo. World Premiere. Day One Film

Next <=>

Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling. Digital technology paired with unfettered creativity proves the films selected in this section will inform a “greater” next wave in American cinema.

Blue Caprice/ U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Moors, Screenwriters: R.F.I Porto, Alexandre Moors) — An abandoned boy is lured to America and drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure in this film inspired by the real life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks. Cast: Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Joey Lauren Adams, Tim Blake Nelson, Cassandra Freeman, Leo Fitzpatrick.

Computer Chess /U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) — An existential comedy about the brilliant men who taught machines to play chess – back when the machines seemed clumsy and we seemed smart. Cast: Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins.

Escape from Tomorrow/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Randy Moore) — A postmodern, surreal voyage into the bowels of "family" entertainment; an epic battle begins when an unemployed, middle-aged father loses his sanity during a close encounter with two teenage girls on holiday. Cast: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Annet Mahendru, Danielle Safady, Alison Lees-Taylor.

I Used to Be Darker/ U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Porterfield, Screenwriters: Amy Belk, Matthew Porterfield) — A runaway seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore, only to find their marriage ending and her cousin in crisis. In the days that follow, the family struggles to let go while searching for things to sustain them. Cast: Deragh Campbell, Hannah Gross, Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, Geoff Grace, Nick Petr.

It Felt Like Love / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) — On the outskirts of Brooklyn, a 14-year-old girl’s sexual quest takes a dangerous turn when she pursues an older guy and tests the boundaries between obsession and love.Cast: Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni, Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nick Rosen, Case Prime.

Milkshake/ U.S.A. (Director: David Andalman, Screenwriters: David Andalman, Mariko Munro) — In mid-1990's America, we follow the tragic sex life of Jolie Jolson, a wannabe thug (and great-great-grandson of legendary vaudevillian Al Jolson) in suburban DC as he strives to become something he can never be – black. Cast: Tyler Ross, Shareeka Epps, Georgia Ford, Eshan Bay, Leo Fitzpatrick, Danny Burstein.

Newlyweeds/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shaka King) — A Brooklyn repo man and his globetrotting girlfriend forge an unlikely romance. But what should be a match made in stoner heaven turns into a love triangle gone awry in this dark coming-of-age comedy about dependency. Cast: Amari Cheatom, Trae Harris, Tone Tank, Colman Domingo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Adrian Martinez.

Pit Stop/ U.S.A. (Director: Yen Tan, Screenwriters: Yen Tan, David Lowery) — Two working-class gay men in a small Texas town and a love that isn't quite out of reach. Cast: Bill Heck, Marcus DeAnda, Amy Seimetz, John Merriman, Alfredo Maduro, Corby Sullivan.

A Teacher/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Hannah Fidell) — A popular young teacher in a wealthy suburban Texas high school has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end. Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger, Jonny Mars, Julie Phillips, Chris Dubeck.

This is Martin Bonner/ U.S.A.(Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the problems he left behind. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette, Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet, Demetrius Grosse.

The Sundance Film Festival®

A program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®, the Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, Trouble the Water, and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative, has showcased the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julien, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival® sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Hp, Acura, Sundance Channel and Chase Sapphire PreferredSM; Leadership Sponsors – Directv, Entertainment Weekly, Focus Forward, a partnership between Ge and Cinelan, Southwest Airlines, Sprint and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – Adobe, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., CÎRoc Ultra Premium Vodka, FilterForGood®, a partnership between Brita® and Nalgene®, Hilton HHonors and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Intel Corporation, L'Oréal Paris, Recycled Paper Greetings, Stella Artois® and Time Warner Inc. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations will defray costs associated with the 10-day Festival and the nonprofit Sundance Institute's year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists. www.sundance.org/festival

Sundance Institute

Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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- Sydney Levine

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10 Reasons Les Miserables Misses The Mark

21 December 2012 1:18 PM, PST | cinemablend.com | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Pretty much every year, there.s a movie in the Best Picture discussion that -- because of your personal taste . you single out and question whether it actually belongs. In past years, the vocal majority has expressed opposition to Oscar nominees like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Blind Side, The Reader and Crash. The last one went on to win the Best Picture trophy. And so it goes this year with Tom Hooper.s Les Miserables, a film that was deemed Oscar worty long before anyone had seen a single frame, for various reasons. Hooper is coming off of The King.s Speech, which won multiple Oscars including Picture, Director and Actor (for Colin Firth). He.s assembled a glittering ensemble of respected Hollywood stars, and is adapting a beloved Broadway musical. I don.t care for the film. I.m surprised it remains in the Oscar discussion, even »

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West of Memphis: a tale of wronged men

21 December 2012 12:30 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

West of Memphis, a powerful new Peter Jackson documentary, charts the ongoing fight for justice for three men wrongly convicted as child killers

After his release from prison, Damien Echols found the simplest things hardest. "For 18 years I hadn't walked without chains," he says, "so when I came out I would trip over my feet. It took time just to stop falling over the kerb." He is calling from New York, but still speaks with the accent of the American south – the place where until last year he spent his whole life, half of it jailed as a child killer.

The facts are a tangle of names and dates. On 6 May 1993, the naked, mutilated bodies of three eight-year-old boys – Stevie Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers – were found in a water-filled ditch in the Bible belt town of West Memphis, Arkansas. By the following March, three local teenagers had been convicted of the crimes – Echols, »

- Danny Leigh

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Sundance 2013: Do Not Disturb the Official Stoker One-Sheet

20 December 2012 1:34 PM, PST | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

Premiering at next year's Sundance Film Festival (running January 17-27, 2013, in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah) is Fox Searchlight’s Stoker, and we have the one-sheet for you to dig on!

Wentworth Miller (who also penned the tale as Ted Foulke), Mia Wasikowska, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till, Dermot Mulroney, Phyllis Somerville, and Alden Ehrenreich star in the film directed by Park Chan-wook.

Stoker is the first in a planned trilogy. Park Chan-wook is the Korean master of genre cinema, having directed Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Lady Vengeance, along with Thirst and Jsa.

Look for the flick in theatres on March 1st, 2013.

Synopsis

After India’s (Wasikowska) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Goode), whom she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, »

- Uncle Creepy

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Helen Mirren to get Hollywood Walk of Fame star

19 December 2012 8:01 AM, PST | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

Dame Helen Mirren will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Oscar winning British actress - best known for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 film 'The Queen' - will unveil the honour in a ceremony to be held on January 3. Her star will be the 2,488th added to the walkway, next to fellow British actor Colin Firth's. Both lie across the road from English theme bar the Pig 'n' Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard. Ana Martinez, producer of the Walk Of Fame, said: 'What a way to start the New Year on the Walk of Fame with one of the most acclaimed actresses known around the world. 'We are thrilled to honour Helen »

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Do Critics Group Awards Actually Help An Oscar Contender, Or Is It All Smoke And Mirrors?

18 December 2012 11:13 PM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Joey Magidson

Film Contributor

***

Between November and February of every Oscar season, rarely a day goes by that some sort of precursor award isn’t announced. It can all be pretty maddening, especially for those of us tasked with trying to predict the Academy Awards.

This is the time of year when you pretty much only have to throw a rock in order to hit a critics group announcing their year-end awards. Some years the critics all rally around one film, while other years have the love spread around much more. The thing is, though: Does it actually matter at all in terms of the Oscar race?

To be honest, not all critics groups are created equally. There’s some value to smaller groups like the Boston Society of Film Critics, but the ones that have any true sway are the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle. »

- Joey Magidson

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Helen Mirren gets Walk of Fame honour

18 December 2012 10:33 PM, PST | RealBollywood.com | See recent RealBollywood news »

Los Angeles, Dec 19: Veteran actress Helen Mirren is the latest film icon to be honoured with a star at the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The 67-year-old will unveil her star, the 2,488th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Jan 3, reports femalefirst.co.uk.

"What a way to start the New Year on the Walk of Fame with one of the most acclaimed actresses known around the world. We are thrilled to honour Helen and welcome her to our Walk of Fame family," said Ana Martinez, producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

"The Queen" actress' pavement plaque will be placed right next to "The King's Speech" star Colin Firth's, right. »

- Amith Ostwal

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Dame Helen Mirren to receive 'Walk of Fame' honor

18 December 2012 9:52 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Dame Helen Mirren will be honored with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the New Year, it has been announced. The Hitchcock actress will receive the honor during a ceremony at the famous landmark on Thursday, January 3. Mirren's accolade will be the 2,588th star unveiled on the Walk of Fame, which had its beginnings in the 1950s. Her star will reportedly be placed next to The King's Speech actor Colin Firth's, in front of a British-themed bar called (more) »

- By Zeba Blay

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Screenwriter Ol Parker Talks Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the Surprising Success of the Film, the Viability of Older Audiences, Updates on the Sequel and More

18 December 2012 9:04 AM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

One of the biggest surprise hits of this year was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, about seven cash-strapped seniors who decide to retire to a resort in far-off India, where they find friendship and romance in the most unexpected ways.  In fact, the film did so well at the box office, that there have been recent talks about developing a possible sequel and expanding the cast to include Helen Mirren and Colin Firth.  From director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) and screenwriter Ol Parker, the film stars Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel. With awards season in full swing – and the film having recently picked up nominations for Supporting Actress (Smith) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast at the SAG Awards, and Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical and Best Actress (Dench) at the Golden Globes – screenwriter Ol Parker spoke to Collider for »

- Christina Radish

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'The Killing' Star Mireille Enos & Scott Speedman Join Atom Egoyan's 'Queen Of The Night' With Ryan Reynolds

14 December 2012 3:08 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

These days, if you're not making studio tentpoles, financing is hard to come by. So it's no surprise that Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, who hasn't made a feature since 2009's softcore drama "Chloe," is striking while the iron is hot. He's already wrapped on "Devil's Knot," his West Memphis Three drama starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Dane DeHaan and more. And not only is next movie, "Queen of the Night," gearing up fast, but an actress is keen to work with him again. "The Killing" star Mireille Enos, who features in "Devil's Knot," is back for 'Night' along with Scott Speedman (who also had a role in Egoyan's "Adoration"). The picture will be led by the previously announced Ryan Reynolds, who plays a father whose daughter was abducted. Eight years after the girl was taken, a series of disturbing clues convince the father that the now 17-year-old remains alive, and he is. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Rooney, Freida, and Kristin Party With Colin Firth in Dubai

14 December 2012 2:10 PM, PST | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

The Dubai International Film Festival held this year's Oxfam charity gala tonight with major Hollywood names like Rooney Mara, Freida Pinto, Kristin Davis, Colin Firth, and his lovely wife, Livia, all stepping out in their finest formal attire. Rooney stuck with her signature slicked-back locks and opted for a sheer and shimmery look from Calvin Klein. Freida chose a vintage red gown from Valentino, while Kristin kicked up her heels in vintage Dior. The celebration is a reunion of sorts for Colin and Rooney, two of last year's award season favorites. Rooney earned her first-ever nomination for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Colin took home the Academy Award for best actor for his role in The King's Speech. He'll likely return to the Oscars this year as it's traditional for the previous winners to take part in the show. We're less than a month away from the kickoff of award season, »

- Katie Henry

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First Look Image: Keri Russell in Austenland

14 December 2012 9:00 AM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Austenland was amongst the first films announced in the line-up for Sundance next month, joining a very impressive roster of films, which is a good indication of how good this ought to be.

Jerusha Hess makes her feature debut behind the camera, and is returning to the festival following the brilliant success of Napoleon Dynamite back in 2004, which she co-wrote.

Keri Russell takes the lead in this romantic comedy, and with just over a month before it arrives on the festival circuit, EW have debuted the first image from the film.

“Thirtysomething, single Jane is obsessed with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice. On a trip to an English resort, her fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman become more real than she ever imagined.”

Russell stars alongside an excellent cast, headed up by Jj Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jane Seymour, Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, James Callis, »

- Kenji Lloyd

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Les Misérables: 10 Reasons It’s Awesome

11 December 2012 8:14 PM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

If you haven’t read our review of Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables yet, the cut of it is that Hooper has delivered a lavish, exhaustively comprehensive take on the world’s most famous musical, and one that is liable to pick up considerable awards momentum in the coming months. We expect it will receive Academy Award nominations for Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Song, Production Design, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. That would mean a whopping 13 nominations, and while it might lose a few of these in the more crowded fields, it’s best considered a major threat as we move forward in awards season.

Outside of all that rigmarole, the film is going to be a huge treat to the show’s fans above all else when it opens in the UK on January 11th next year, likely »

- Shaun Munro

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‘Salt 2′ Gets a New Writer

10 December 2012 8:35 PM, PST | ScreenRant.com | See recent Screen Rant news »

Although Angelina Jolie’s 2010 spy thriller Salt did good business at the box office, progress on Salt 2 has been slow going. Last summer, Kurt Wimmer (who wrote the original film) was hired to write the screenplay, but Jolie was reportedly unhappy with his draft.

Since then, we haven’t had many updates on the project, which would see Jolie reprise her role as the butt-kicking spy Evelyn Salt. However, it looks like Columbia may again be moving forward on the film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has hired Becky Johnston to write a new draft of the screenplay. Johnston’s previous credits include The Prince of Tides and Seven Years in Tibet. Johnston has also recently worked on the comedy-drama Arthur Newman, starring Emily Blunt and Colin Firth.

Although Johnston’s writing credits ...

Click to continue reading ‘Salt 2′ Gets a New Writer

»

- Rob Frappier

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Great Expectations star Jeremy Irvine reveals 'acting masterclass' with Colin Firth in The Railway Man - but says he doesn't want fame

10 December 2012 3:05 PM, PST | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

Jeremy Irvine is having the year of his life. No sooner had he made his film debut as the lead in Steven Spielberg's War Horse in January than he found himself being asked by director Mike Newell to play Pip in his adaptation of the Dickens classic Great Expectations, now on release in cinemas.

And then he was in demand yet again when Colin Firth wanted Irvine to play his younger self in upcoming war drama The Railway Man.

In The Railway Man - due out in 2013 (no UK release date has yet been announced) - Irvine plays the young Eric Lomax, a British army officer sent to a Japanese prison camp during World War Two and forced to work on the infamous Death Railway from Thailand to Burma. Firth portrays the older Lomax.

"I met Colin Firth and had dinner with him and he was the one that actually got me the role, »

- David Bentley

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“Chronicle” Star Dane DeHaan Is Harry Osborn In “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″

6 December 2012 12:26 PM, PST | FamousMonsters of Filmland | See recent Famous Monsters of Filmland news »

After much speculation and of the many candidates, Dane DeHaan has been chosen as the heir apparent to James Franco as the next Harry Osborn in the sequel to The Amazing Spider-man. Director Marc Webb made the announcement on his Twitter.

DeHaan burst onto the scene with his turn in Chronicle, the superhero found footage film from Josh Trank, and has had roles in In Treatment, True Blood, Lincoln, and Lawless. Now he has his chance at stardom, as it’s clear that Marc Webb and company went with the “dark and edgy” side of Harry, and not the dreamy athletic route that had also been rumored. Here’s the press release:

Dane DeHaan will join the cast of the next installment of The Amazing Spider-Man™ along side Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Shailene Woodley as Columbia Pictures prepares to begin production on the next chapter of the blockbuster franchise, »

- Andy Greene

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Is It Time To Remake The Party?

6 December 2012 2:04 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

The recent remake of the 1960s caper Gambit, starring Colin Firth, Alan Rickman and Cameron Diaz, has drawn comparisons to the work to Blake Edwards, whose Pink Panther films continue to bring joy to millions. While Gambit’s reviews have been decidedly lukewarm it has performed fairly handsomely at the box office, meaning that it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood’s ruthless remake machine turns on Edwards’ back catalogue.

The question is: which of Edwards’ films could perhaps prove worthwhile as a remake? Obviously the Pink Panther series is out of the picture, at least for now, with the two Steve Martin films failing to set the world alight. And while there are many talented young actresses out there who could step into Audrey Hepburn’s shoes, a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is unlikely considering the Oscar success of the original. At the very least, »

- Daniel Mumby

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International Stoker Poster Has Some Red On It

4 December 2012 5:55 PM, PST | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

Premiering at next year's Sundance Film Festival (running January 17-27, 2013, in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah) is Fox Searchlight’s Stoker, and we have another bit of eye candy for you to dig on!

Wentworth Miller (who also penned the tale as Ted Foulke), Mia Wasikowska, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver, Lucas Till, Dermot Mulroney, Phyllis Somerville, and Alden Ehrenreich star.

Stoker is the first in a planned trilogy. Park Chan-wook is the Korean master of genre cinema, having directed Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengenace and Lady Vengeance, along with Thirst and Jsa.

Look for the flick in theatres on March 1st, 2013.

Synopsis

After India’s (Wasikowska) father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie (Goode), whom she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Kidman). Soon after his arrival, she comes to suspect this mysterious, »

- Uncle Creepy

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