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6 items from 2016

Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: ‘The Force Awakens,’ Spike Lee, ‘Alien,’ Pixar, and More

11 February 2016 11:28 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Force Awakens fever is still gripping the film industry two months after the release of the seventh Star Wars entry, and the world of cinema-centric books is just as Snoke-obsessed. But there’s plenty more worth snagging, including in-depth analyses of Pixar and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, a lavish study of musicals, and a graphic stunner called Filmish.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo (Dk Publishing)

Dk’s Star Wars visual dictionaries are, quite simply, must-owns. (Even the three prequel editions are fascinating.) And the Force Awakens Visual Dictionary might be the best yet. Author Pablo Hidalgo goes deep, providing everything you wanted to know about Jakku (but were afraid to ask), offering insight on briefly seen characters like Max Von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka, and breaking down exactly why the “crossguard blades” of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber are a necessity. Plus, the film stills »

- Christopher Schobert

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The Greatest Kidnapping Comedies of All-Time

4 February 2016 11:39 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

When asked about their inclination for kidnapping comedies, Joel Coen recently told Variety, “I’m not sure why. They are all very different. We should probably give that a rest.” He and Ethan Coen are responsible for three of the finest kidnapping comedies ever made, and are perhaps adding a fourth to their résumé this weekend.

The addition of comedy into a crime story is hardly a new prospect, but the kidnapping comedy is a wonderfully specific little nook in this often darkly funny cinematic world. The Coens practically own this genre — if you can call it a genre –having covered and re-covered it in such uniquely different ways.

Their fourth kidnapping comedy (although I doubt they would refer to any of these films as such), Hail, Caesar!, follows a Hollywood studio fixer (Josh Brolin) whose work life begins to unravel after the kidnapping of one of his biggest stars, »

- Tony Hinds

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Retro Sundance: 1988's "Brave Little Toaster"

22 January 2016 5:00 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Team Experience is looking back on past Sundance winners since we aren't attending this year. Here's Tim on an animated indie honored early on...

The Sundance Film Festival isn't necessarily what you think of as a hotbed of animation: even a simple animated feature takes a large budget and hundreds of hours to produce, and these are resources that indie movies are particularly noted for lacking. So when The Brave Little Toaster screened at Sundance in 1988, it was quite the aberration. Such an aberration, in fact, that it would be 13 years before another animated feature would show up at the festival. It was well-received, however: the film received a special citation from the jury at the festival's awards ceremony, and director Jerry Rees has maintained in later years that he was told that it was only a concern that awarding a cartoon would dilute the festival's prestige kept it from »

- Tim Brayton

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Disney/Pixar's The Good Dinosaur coming to Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD February 23

22 January 2016 12:46 PM, PST | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

The Good Dinosaur rules the earth on February 23!

Disney/Pixar's smash hit The Good Dinosaur is coming home on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on February 23, with extensive bonus features, including the Academy Award© nominated theatrical short “Sanjay’s Super Team,” Making-of Featurettes, and deleted scenes.

The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely, and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? In this epic journey into the world of dinosaurs, an apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

The cast includes Raymond Ochoa as Arlo, Jeffrey Wright as Arlo’s wise Poppa, Frances McDormand as Arlo’s strong Momma, Marcus Scribner as Arlo’s brother Buck, Jack Bright as Spot, »

- (Victor Medina)

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Oscars 2016: nominees' reactions

14 January 2016 7:25 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

A call from the president of Colombia; not waking the kids; and sharing the news with a shop assistant - how Thursday morning’s good news played out.Oscars 2016‘The Revenant’ leads Oscar race with 12 nomsFull list of nominations

The Revenant’ leads Oscar race with 12 nominationsScott, Spielberg, Sorkin shut out

Best Picture nominees at a glance

Comment: Oscar nominations reward ambition

Galleries: Best Picture; Actors

Titles listed in alphabetical order

45 Years

Charlotte Rampling (Lead actress): “I am deeply moved and thrilled by this nomination. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing 45 Years. Having the wonderful experience of working with the great Tom Courtenay and Andrew Haigh was a truly rewarding experience and I am simply delighted to have everyone’s hard work and true collaboration honoured by our friends and peers in the Academy.”


Asif Kapadia (Documentary): “The Academy Award nomination for best documentary is an incredible honour, thank you to »

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Hollywood Publicists to Honor Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg

12 January 2016 8:32 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hollywood publicists have selected Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg as motion picture showman of the year.

The award will be presented at the 53rd Annual International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 26.

Ortenberg has headed Open Road since its inception in 2011. Its journalism drama “Spotlight” has grossed $29 million and won the best film of the year awards from the American Film Institute, the Gotham Awards and the National Board of Review.

Other Open Road films have included “The Grey,” “End of Watch,” Nightcrawler,” “Chef” and “The Nut Job.” It will also release “Fifty Shades of Black,” “Triple 9,” “Mother.’s Day,” “Snowden,” “Sleepless Night,” “Bleed for This” and “Blazing Samurai.”

.”Tom is the perfect example of the executive who understands that the very best motion pictures need equally creative publicity and marketing to achieve the success they deserve,” said Henri Bollinger, Awards Committee chairman. »

- Dave McNary

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