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Charles Durning obituary

28 December 2012 7:35 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Prolific American actor who was Oscar nominated for roles in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and To Be Or Not to Be

The American actor Charles Durning, who has died aged 89, first grabbed audience attention as the crooked Lieutenant Snyder in The Sting (1973). He makes an explosive appearance, tearing down an alley after the slick grifter played by Robert Redford, and repeatedly lurches out of the shadows throughout the rest of the film. Durning had only a handful of scenes, and over the next 40 years would seldom be granted more screen time in 200-odd film and TV roles. Nevertheless, his jowly face, with its boxer's nose and sly eyes, grew increasingly familiar, and his name in the opening titles usually promised good things ahead. His heavyset frame meant he was often cast as tough guys, but he later assumed more jovial roles, portraying Father Christmas several times.

His first »

- Chris Wiegand

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'The Graduate' Cast: Where Are They Now?

27 December 2012 9:34 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Forty-five years later, it's hard to appreciate what a revolutionary film "The Graduate" was. Not just for its depiction of driftless youth and the sexual revolution, but that it starred a regular guy like Dustin Hoffman. As NY Times critic A.O. Scott said in 2009, casting Hoffman "helped redefine what kind of person could become a movie star." However, the movie could have been very different: Originally, the role of college graduate Ben Braddock was going to go to Robert Redford (Hoffman's future "All the President's Men" co-star), and Candice Bergen (who'd star in Nichols' 1971 film "Carnal Knowledge") was going to play Elaine. And what about Doris Day as Mrs. Robinson and Marlon Brando as Mr. Robinson? We can't begin to picture that. Scott argues that the film "never felt dated," although Roger Ebert wrote in 1997 that its "time has passed." Either way, it's been a major influence on countless movies, »

- Sharon Knolle

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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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Film News: Popular Character Actor Charles Durning Dies at 89

26 December 2012 8:07 PM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

New York – In a movie world of cops, mugs, southern governors, priests and Irish pals who had your back, there was none better than Charles Durning, a man that defined character in the term “character actor.” Durning died December 24th in New York City. He was 89 years old.

He had significant roles in classic films like “The Sting,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Tootsie” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” plus made a mulitude of guest appearances in TV series, mini-series and dramas. But what is less known about Durning is his heroic service in World War II, for which he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6th, 1944.

Early Role: Charles Durning as Sgt. Eugene Moretti with Al Pacino in ‘Dog Day Afternoon

Photo credit: Warner Home Video

Charles Durning was born in Highland Falls, New York, into a large Irish family. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Kennedy Center Honors: Led Zeppelin and David Letterman get their due

26 December 2012 1:00 PM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

They're legendary talents from different disciplines. and they're all ending the year with the same, very important date.

Musicians, a singular ballerina, an iconic actor, and an after-hours television fixture are in the presidential box for the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Taped at the start of the month in Washington, D.C., the ever-classy ceremony will have its yearly CBS telecast Wednesday, Dec. 26.

As she has since 2003, Caroline Kennedy presides over the event. Performers ranging from Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin to Bonnie Raitt, Kid Rock, Foo Fighters and Heart turn out to salute the honorees.

And just why are they the honorees this year? Here's our take on the reasons each is being presented with the medal generally considered the highest entertainment award America has to give.

Led Zeppelin: Any music fan old enough to remember will tell you Led Zeppelin was »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Charles Durning, king of character actors, dies in NYC

25 December 2012 8:42 AM, PST | EW - Inside Movies | See recent EW.com - Inside Movies news »

Charles Durning grew up in poverty, lost five of his nine siblings to disease, barely lived through D-Day and was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge.

His hard life and wartime trauma provided the basis for a prolific 50-year career as a consummate Oscar-nominated character actor, playing everyone from a Nazi colonel to the pope to Dustin Hoffman’s would-be suitor in Tootsie.

Durning, who died Monday at age 89 in New York, got his start as an usher at a burlesque theater in Buffalo, N.Y. When one of the comedians showed up too drunk to go on, »

- Associated Press

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Actor Charles Durning Dead at 89

25 December 2012 8:02 AM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

“King of the Character Actors” indeed. I couldn’t even find a movie poster with his image on it for this article, yet he was a very popular, dependable supporting actor for many years and everyone knew who he was. He scored back-to-back Oscar noms for Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (1983) and To Be Or Not To Be (1984). He appeared in quality films such as The Sting, Tootsie, Dog Day Afternoon and many more. Looking at his credits, it appears he never worked for a quick paycheck (there’s not a single horror film in his filmography), but made careful decisions about what he was associated with. He was a WWII hero, among the first wave of U.S. soldiers to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion and the only member of his Army unit to survive. He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and survived a massacre of prisoners yet, »

- Movie Geeks

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The Company You Keep: Poster & 15 New Images!

22 December 2012 11:34 AM, PST | Filmofilia | See recent Filmofilia news »

Some reviews say that The Company You Keep is worth our full attention, some say it sucks, but who cares – we’re here to share the first poster for the whole thing and to add 15 more photos to our little gallery. Make sure you check out director (and star) Robert Redford and his leading cast (which looks great), and don’t forget to let us know what you think about this political action thriller so far!

So, as we previously reported, Redford directed the whole thing from a script written by Lem Dobbs which is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Neil Gordon. It centers on a former member of the activist/terrorist organization the Weather Underground who becomes a fugitive when his true identity is exposed by an aggressive young reporter.

As you probably know, Robert Redford plays the above mentioned former Weather Underground militant, while »

- Jeanne Standal

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'Kennedy Center Honors' producers take us inside the year's best awards show

21 December 2012 6:00 AM, PST | EW - Inside TV | See recent EW.com - Inside TV news »

Year after year, The Kennedy Center Honors remains the most entertaining awards show on the air — a reverent ceremony with unmatched warmth and appreciation radiating between the stage, the audience, and the box of eclectic honorees, which this year includes David LettermanDustin Hoffman, blues great Buddy Guy, prima ballerina Natalia Makarova, and Led Zeppelin. We spoke to producers George Stevens, Jr., who co-created the Honors 35 years ago, and Michael Stevens, who’s won four consecutive Emmys with his father for the variety special, to find out how they do it. The 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, taped earlier this month, »

- Mandi Bierly

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12 great movie journalists

21 December 2012 12:53 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Odd List Mark Williams Jan 2, 2013

From superheroes in disguise to vain news anchors, Mark celebrates 12 particularly fine movie journalists...

With the news that Clark Kent has quit his job at the Daily Planet because of its preference for soft entertainment stories, the world of fictional journalism was rocked to its foundations. After all, he's been there since the Superman comics began in the 1940s, despite the lack of career progress. But, it seems the Man of Steel's civilian day-job has lost its appeal, and now he's going into business on his own.

Journalism is a topic that raises its head in films regularly across the genres, and it has provided some fine, and not so fine, examples of the hardy reporter, always on the lookout for the next scoop. Oftentimes, there is the route of the truth or the route of the fast buck, with the majority of those »

- ryanlambie

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Showtime sets The Vatican pilot with Ridley Scott directing pilot!

20 December 2012 10:18 PM, PST | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Showtime has ordered an hour-long pilot of The Vatican drama scripted by Paul Attanasio which Ridley Scott is set to direct. Variety reports that the show offers a look behind-the-scenes of the Catholic church. Sony Television produces the pilot which starts production some time in 2013. Scott Zucker and David Zucker are serving as executive producers alongside Attanasio. Attanasio's written several TV and film offerings with film credits including: - 1994's Robert Redford-directed Quiz Show starring Ralph Fiennes and John Turturro - Barry Levinson's Disclosure thriller with Michael Douglas, Demi Moore and Donald Sutherland »

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Showtime sets The Vatican pilot with Ridley Scott directing pilot!

20 December 2012 10:18 PM, PST | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Showtime has ordered an hour-long pilot of The Vatican drama scripted by Paul Attanasio which Ridley Scott is set to direct. Variety reports that the show offers a look behind-the-scenes of the Catholic church. Sony Television produces the pilot which starts production some time in 2013. Scott Zucker and David Zucker are serving as executive producers alongside Attanasio. Attanasio's written several TV and film offerings with film credits including: - 1994's Robert Redford-directed Quiz Show starring Ralph Fiennes and John Turturro - Barry Levinson's Disclosure thriller with Michael Douglas, Demi Moore and Donald Sutherland »

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"The Great Gatsby" Trailer: Catch Him if You Can

20 December 2012 12:08 PM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

I was dubious at the sight of The Great Gatsby's new character posters the other day, and now my head-scratching is beginning to hurt. Here's the new trailer for Baz Luhrmann's candy-colored extravaganza.

Let's reflect on the casting first. Does everyone seem just a little too right for these roles? Tobey Maguire is again the precocious naif, a direct reboot of his Spider-Man role. Carey Mulligan is again the beautiful mess, which is what she played in Shame. And Leonardo DiCaprio is giving off so much Howard Hughes-meets-the-guy-from-Catch Me if You Can realness that I'm basically disappointed. These are classic literary characters, and in the hands of Luhrmann's actors, they're turned into easy stock roles, and ones they've played before.

But let's focus on DiCaprio, who is certainly giving the most, er, notable performance here. After J. Edgar, did he decide his greatest acting tick was Aspergian awkwardness? »

- virtel

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‘The Great Gatsby’, Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of the classic novel, gets a new trailer

19 December 2012 7:03 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has been widely acclaimed as one of the quintessential classic novels of American literature. As such, there have been numerous movie adaptations, the latest of which came in 1974, with a cast that featured Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Director Baz Luhrmann, however, chose to tackle a new adaptation of the novel as his next project, reuniting with his Moulin Rouge! co-writer Craig Pearce to take on screenwriting duties. The cast this time around has Leonardo DiCaprio taking on the role of Jay Gatsby, supported by Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, and Gemma Ward. A new trailer for the movie has now been released, and can be seen below.

(Source: /Film) »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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New Breathtaking Trailers & Posters For The Great Gatsby Arrive

19 December 2012 6:54 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

From the uniquely imaginative mind of writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann come the brand new trailers for The Great Gatsby. The filmmaker created his own distinctive visual interpretation of the classic story, bringing the period to life in a way that has never been seen before, in a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. While I love the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow 1974 version, I’m eager to see what Luhrmann does with the latest big screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald.s novel.

The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks.  Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, »

- Michelle McCue

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Glee Star Jonathan Groff Lands Lead In Disney's Frozen

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

Actor and singer Jonathan Groff has taken on Broadway, originating the role of Melchior Gabor in the controversial rock musical Spring Awakening. He's landed movie roles in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock and Robert Redford's The Conspirator. But he's best known as the debonair and duplicitous Jesse St. James, who broke Rachel Berry's heart on Glee. Now the Broadway star-turned TV star will have the exciting opportunity to become a Disney character, having signed on to voice Kristoff in the House of Mouse's upcoming musical adventure Frozen. Last week we got a first look at concept art from the film, which will be helmed by Wreck-it Ralph writer Jennifer Lee and Surf's Up director Chris Buck. At the time Disney wasn't ready to reveal who would play Kristoff, the film's male lead opposite Kristen Bell's heroine, though Groff was rumored. Now, he officially joins a voice cast studded »

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Two New Gatsby Character Posters

18 December 2012 11:45 PM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Update: Warner Bros. have added Tobey Maguire's Nick Carraway, looking tres dapper in a three-piece tweed, and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker to the gallery of striking character banners. Carraway will be our entry point into the hyper-affluent world of Jay Gatsby's West Egg. Hang him upside down and, presto, he's 1920s Spider-Man.New character banners for The Great Gatsby have come to light online and offer a closer look at two of the movie's key characters. When not living their regular lives, Joel Edgerton's Tom Buchanan and his mistress, Isla Fisher's Myrtle Wilson, flit between New York parties and surreptitious liaisons. Click on the images below for a closer look. {New Great Gatsby Character Posters}After bringing his unique visual touch to Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, Baz Lurhmann's next literary extravaganza promises even greater challenges. After all, it's not an easy story to adapt. Despite the presence of Robert Redford, »

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‘The Great Gatsby’ Unveils Isla Fisher In First Character Poster & New Image

17 December 2012 10:36 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel The Great Gatsby, gets another big-screen take following classic adaptations starring Alan Ladd (1949) and Robert Redford (1974). This time, Baz Luhrmann directs the focus of the life of Nick Carraway, a Midwesterner now living on Long Island and fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. All before becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy, when drawn into Gatsby’s circle of friends.

The film was expected this Christmas before being moved to later next year with an epic all-star cast including Carey MulliganLeonardo DiCaprioTobey MaguireJoel EdgertonIsla FisherJason ClarkeCallan McAuliffeGemma Ward and Adelaide Clemens. Check out the first character poster (expect more to follow) of stunning Fisher’s Myrtle Wilson, as well as a new image of Mulligan and DiCaprio’s Daisy Buchanan and Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby is expected to hit cinemas »

- Craig Hunter

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Quiz Show takes the prize for historical accuracy

14 December 2012 3:14 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A modern-day take on the famous rigging of 50s game show Twenty-One scores big on historical accuracy

Director: Robert Redford

Entertainment grade: A

History grade: B

In 1958, there was a national scandal when the American television quiz show Twenty-One was revealed to have been rigged.

People

The star of NBC's hit game show Twenty-One is Herbert Stempel (John Turturro). His general knowledge is fantastic, and he appeals to the producers as an archetypal underdog. In this context, that means he's Jewish, working-class, and kind of dorky. His winning streak on the show has made him famous. Not everyone gets him, though. "That Stempel is giving me a headache," grumbles Martin Scorsese. You do not want to give Martin Scorsese a headache. Admittedly, the great director is not playing himself: he's supposed to be a pharmaceutical executive who sponsors Twenty-One. The producers tell Stempel to give the wrong answer to an »

- Alex von Tunzelmann

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Sundance 2013 Films Will Screen Across Country: 'The East,' 'Aint' Them Bodies Saints'

10 December 2012 2:07 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The Sundance Institute has selected titles from its 2013 edition tol screen in indie theaters across the Us on January 31 as part of the Sundance Film Festival USA initiative. Locals in Anna Arbo, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Francisco and Tuscon will get to take part in the festival remotely, with directors of the films in attendance for Q & As. Fest founder Robert Redford states the initiative “celebrates the theaters and audiences that are an integral part of supporting and encouraging the work of independent filmmakers. By extending the Festival to these 10 cities, we will create a larger shared experience and dialogue around the issues of our time, as explored in these films.” The films and their locations (along with links to ticketing info) below: Ann Arbor, Mi – The Michigan Theatre The East / U.S.A. (Director: Zal Batmanglij, Screenwriters: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling) — An operative for. »

- Sophia Savage

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