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Doc U: Yes, But Is It Art?

11 April 2012 4:56 PM, PDT | International Documentary Association | See recent International Documentary Association news »

With the growing popularity of documentary film, many have admirably seized on the power of non-fiction storytelling to affect change around social and political issues. But in all the discussion about content and impact, have we forgotten to explore documentary as cinema, as art? In a lively conversation about how they mobilize aesthetic choices to generate meaning, filmmakers discuss stylistic strategies, creative inspirations, story structure, and the tension between form and content.

On Wednesday, April 18 join Caroline Libresco, Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, as she moderates a discussion »

- IDA Editorial Staff

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Spanish & English Posters For 'Django Unchained' Arrive; Walton Goggins Joins Cast, Says Movie Is "Radical"

11 April 2012 4:22 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

We have to admit, we toyed around with alternate headlines, and nearly went with: "Poster For 'Django' Is 'Unchained'!" But at any rate, here we are, and let the drooling begin as the Spanish poster for Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" has been unveiled with a pretty big and not too surprising nod to the classic western one sheets of yore, all with a little contemporary minimalist modern design sauce thrown in the mix.

The one sheet comes courtesy (and randomly) from Sony Spain's Twitter account (and good heads up by ScreenCrush). Anyway, you already known the story so we won't recount it here, but instead, we'll provide you with a bit of a casting update. Did you know "Justified" star Walton Goggins was in this? We didn't either and we either missed the announcement, or he was quietly added, like a handful of folks in the last few weeks. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Ciarán Hinds, Julia Stiles & Riz Ahmed Join Untitled Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall-Led Suspense Thriller

11 April 2012 4:00 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Production begins next week in the U.K. on Focus Features and Working Title's latest collaboration: an untitled suspense thriller that stars Eric BanaRebecca Hall and Jim Broadbent. And there's plenty of reason to pay attention, apart from the boutique studios with discerning film taste and these three stars.

Directed by John Crowley ("Is Anybody There"), the filmmaker was arguably the first person to give Andrew Garfield a lead role in 2008's underappreciated drama "Boy A" (before then all he had done was British TV) so that's still a feather in his cap years later, especially considering how far Garfield has come. Featuring an original screenplay by Steven Knight (Academy Award nominee for "Dirty Pretty Things," "Eastern Promises"), a rich crop of talent has just been added to the cast, including Ciarán Hinds ("Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," "The Debt"), Julia Stiles ("Dexter," the "Bourne" franchise), Riz Ahmed ("Four Lions »

- Edward Davis

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Alden Ehrenreich Takes Over Lead Role In 'Beautiful Creatures'

11 April 2012 2:53 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Alden Ehrenreich...franchise star? That looks like it could be the case. The indie darling and Coppola fave (appearing in Sofia's "Somewhere" and Francis' "Tetro" and "Twixt") isn't a stranger to franchise movies, having tested last fall for Warner Bros. stuck-in-development-hell "Akira," but now he's making a move that will put him in front of his biggest audience yet.

Alcon Entertainment announced today that Ehrenreich was taking over the co-lead role in "Beautiful Creatures" from Jack O'Connell, who had to exit the film over scheduling conflicts. An adaptation of the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl -- the first in a series, naturally -- which is being written and directed by Richard Lagravanese ("P.S. I Love You") the picture will see Ehrenreich starring opposite Alice Englert as leads Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes, two teens in the deep south who are drawn together by a strange connection and supernatural secrets. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Mix: Toronto Goes Tokyo In 'Pacific Rim' Footage; Donald Glover Set For 'Spider-Man' Cameo (Sort Of) & More

11 April 2012 2:25 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

So, Guillermo Del Toro's big secret blockbuster "Pacific Rim" is now shooting in the chameleonic Toronto, but instead of standing in for New York City or Chicago as it usually does, the streets have been completely redone as Tokyo. CBC News has a report which shows off some flashes of sets and behind the scenes action, and yes, they do call it "Still Seas" which we presume is the working title being tossed around town so fanboys don't storm with the city with dodgy cell phone cameras. Watch below.

Oh, so remember all minor and kind of really annoying campaign to make Donald Glover the new Spiderman? Well, it looks like it paid off in a weird way as he'll be featured somehow in "The Amazing Spider-Man." "There's some stuff in Spider-Man's bedroom that's reflective of his musical or television taste," Glover teased about his possible apperance. "I'm not allowed to talk about it. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Moonrise Kingdom' Soundtrack Features Françoise Hardy, Hank Williams & The Partial Return of Mark Mothersbaugh

11 April 2012 1:59 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Here's a great tease, but we'll take it nonetheless. Partial details of Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" have arrived, plus the soundtrack art and a release date.

Due on May 22, just three days before the film hits theaters on May 25, while no definitive tracklist has arrived just yet, according to Abcko Records (who released the soundtrack to "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox") the "Moonrise Kingdom" soundtrack will feature the music of French chanteuse Françoise Hardy (her song "Le Temps De L’amour" is featured in the original trailer, so you were likely expecting this one), legendary country troubadour Hank Williams, and music performed by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, plus classical composer Benjamin Britten, whose majestic choral opera "Noye's Fluddes," evidently "ignites the film's young lovers." You can hear Britten's "Cuckoo" choral (also featured in the original trailer) below.

An additional plus for longtime Wes Anderson »

- Edward Davis

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Warner Bros. Puts Mel Gibson's Jewish Epic On Hold, Say Script Is The Reason

11 April 2012 1:37 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

"Hey, let's give Mel Gibson a bunch of money to make a period based, swords-and-sandals epic about a pivotal moment in Jewish history!"....that's not a sentence you'll be hearing at Warner Bros. now or probably anytime soon, as the studio has put the brewing epic movie on hold. Can't say we're shocked.

First announced last fall, the film was penned by Joe Eszterhas ("Basic Instinct," "Jade") and would have told the story of Maccabee, who led a Jewish revolt against the Greek-Syrian armies that conquered Judea in the second century B.C. "[It's] from the last two books of the Old Testament, which is like; just read it some time. Maccabee 1 and 2. Just read it, it's like a Western," Gibson enthused just a couple of months ago. "It's an amazing story. It's heroic beyond belief. The entire might of the Seleucid Empire, which was Persia, their whole objective at the »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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First Look At Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper In Susanne Bier's Depression-Era Drama 'Serena'

11 April 2012 1:02 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It seems that Jennifer Lawrence can't get out of the woods. She made her name with a breakthrough performance in the Southern Gothic tinged "Winter's Bone," and is currently hunting children to the tune of major box office dollars in "The Hunger Games." And before she heads back to Panem, she's gonna get one non-blockbuster effort in the can.

Lensing has started on the Depression-era drama "Serena" with Susanne Bier at the helm, and a first look at Lawrence and her co-star Bradley Cooper has emerged. This is what they look like in old-timey clothes, and yeah, they look pretty damn good. Based on the novel by Ron Rash, the story centers on a man named George Pemberton (Cooper) and his new bride, Serena (Lawrence), as they set out to depression-era North Carolina to create a timber empire. Their successful, ruthless reign in the mountains becomes complicated when Serena discovers her inability to bear children, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: 'L!fe Happens' One Tiresome Subplot At A Time, None Of Them Worthwhile

11 April 2012 12:55 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

In a recent New York Times profile by Margy Rochlin, Krysten Ritter, ex-model and co-writer/star of “L!fe Happens,” talks about the film as her labor of love. She flinches when mixed reviews are mentioned, claiming the film “shouldn’t be reviewed” and “All that anybody should say about this film is ‘Good for you, girls, go get ‘em.’ -- and that it’s adorable.”

The very first scene in Kat Coiro’s romantic comedy features Ritter and Kate Bosworth as best friends Kim and Deena, simultaneously bursting from their respective bedrooms in their underwear, asking each other if they have a condom. With both underequipped, they raid the house until Deena finds a sole prophylactic, forcing Kim to engage her lover sans protection. The next scene, one year later, again features Kim and Deena, who share a gorgeous two-floor house in sunny Los Angeles, as they cruise in »

- Gabe Toro

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New Looks At Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes & Naomie Harris In Bond Film 'Skyfall'

11 April 2012 12:42 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Listen, we know the new Daniel Craig-led Bond series is grittier, more realistic and sober than the past incarnations, but if these new images from "Skyfall" are any indication, this is the most morose the world's most famous secret agent has ever been. Would it kill him to smirk?

Anyway, with the trailer not yet slated to unspool (in theaters anyway) until "Men In Black III" arrives next month (now there's an odd pairing), a batch of new photos have hit the interwebs that have been collected by the folks at Collider. We get our first look at Ralph Fiennes, who is playing some kind of villain in the film, along with various shots of Daniel Craig looking ponderous or aggrieved or using some serious firepower, while the lovely Naomie Harris kicks things off by indicating she won't just be eye candy.

Anyway, take a look at them below. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Take A Peek At The Strange-Looking Cars In Michel Gondry's 'Mood Indigo'

11 April 2012 12:17 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Michel Gondry's "Mood Indigo" certainly isn't lacking in eccentricity. The film, which is now rolling in front of cameras, is based on Boris Vian's 1947 novel, "L'Ecume des jours," and tells the tale of Colin (Romain Duris), the wealthy inventor of an olfactory musical instrument, the pianocktail. He marries Chloe (Audrey Tautou), but unfortunately, she falls ill during their honeymoon thanks to a water lily that enters her lung, and the only way to treat the ailment is to surround her with fresh flowers -- and the expense soon drains his funds. Like we said, it's not the kind of logline you read every day. But of course, Gondry is kicking things up a notch.

Belgian site PureFM (thanks Jerome!) have found some snaps from the set that show off some rather....unique vehicles. They are essentially cars that are made up of two back ends it seems, and »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Film Movement Takes 'Hilter's Children' for North American Theatrical & VOD Release

11 April 2012 11:55 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Film Movement has taken North American rights to Israeli documentary, "Hitler's Children" from director Chanoch Ze'evi. The doc, which will be released in New York this fall followed by a national roll-out and VOD release, looks at the descendants of top Nazi officials and the struggle in their lives to move beyond the horrors of their past. While Hitler himself did not have children, many of his associates did -- including Adolf Eichmann, Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler and Hans Frank. The synopsis are trailer are below. Film Movement's Rebeca Conget calls the film, "important, and powerful, and emotional on so many levels. It makes you question the idea of inherited guilt and responsibility, and the power of history on the individual’s psyche. We are hoping it will be seen by millions of people in North America, and open up dialog and discussion on the effects of the Holocaust »

- Sophia Savage

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New Pics Of Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Jason Schwartzman, The Kids & More In 'Moonrise Kingdom'

11 April 2012 11:41 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

We've deconstructed the trailer, explored the influences on the film as revealed yesterday by Wes Anderson and generally been a bit impatient for his latest, "Moonrise Kingdom," but this batch of new images should hold us over quite well.

While the recent vintage photo was nice, this is a much heartier look at the film, serving up new pics of Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and Jason Schwartzman along with the two leads, newcomers Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. As you know, the film is set in 1960s New England and focuses on two kids who fall in love and run away together, turning the adults in their lives upside down. And while Anderson has pointed to some rather obscure '70s films as touchstones, the shot of the motorcyle in the tree feels lifted right out of a Jean Luc-Godard film. But overall, these give off the sensibility »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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New Look At Catwoman Reveals Why 'The Dark Knight Rises' Is Rated PG-13 For Sensuality

11 April 2012 10:57 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

As we're sure you've heard around the interwebs in the past few days, "The Dark Knight Rises" finally received its official PG-13 rating. That's hardly a surprise. What some nerds tuned into (and were turned on by) was the MPAA's caution that the film contained "intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language." Sensuality!? Bat-boner! And well, maybe now we know why.

ComingSoon has stumbled upon some random promo art of Anne Hathaway in her full Catwoman get up and uh....yeah, let's just say that suit highlights her attributes considerably. Given the generally super-conversative nature of the MPAA, we can only imagine male members passed out during the screening while women held hankerchiefs up to their foreheads in shock and shuffled out of the room. We're also guessing those heels are military grade, otherwise that is the worse thing to be wearing if you're trying to slink around cat-like, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Pablo LARRAÍN: “Post Mortem”

11 April 2012 10:44 AM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero) was born in 1976, three years after the coup d’état that toppled democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende and ushered in the long, brutal regime of General Augusto Pinochet, whose chokehold on the South American nation lasted until 1990. Although Larraín is currently shooting the second season of Prófugos, an action-drama series for HBO Latin America about cocaine cartels — “it’s like playing a with a big toy,” he avers — the Pinochet era has continued to fascinate him. The chaotic, thunderous birth moments of this dark and deeply corrupt period in Chile’s late-modern history provide the setting for the writer-director’s latest feature, Post Mortem, a comically dour love story–cum–allegory of political madness that debuted at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. Mario Cornejo (Alfredo Castro) is a laconic mortician’s assistant whose mannered obsession with aging cabaret dancer Nancy Puelma (Antonia Zegers, in »

- Damon Smith

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'The Babymakers' Goes to Millennium for Multi-Platform July Release

11 April 2012 10:43 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Millennium Entertainment takes all Us rights for a multi-platform release of Jay Chandrasekhar's "The Babymakers," which had its debut at SXSW. The comedy stars Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider as a couple who can't get pregnant; afraid he may be "shooting blanks," Schneider's Tommy Macklin gets his friends to help him rob the sperm bank where he has some baby making goods in storage (full synopsis below). Chandrasekhar, says "I couldn't be happier that the film found a home at Millennium.  I'm not a follower of the prophecies, but I'm 99% sure that there's something in there about making babies and the Millennium.  So, look out." The film will hit VOD July 3, followed by a platform release July 27. Aisha Tyler, Kevin Heffernan, Wood Harris, Constance Zimmer, M.C. Gainey and Nat Faxon co-star. Jason Blum (Blumhouse), Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Automatik) and Chandrasekhar (Duck Attack) produced, with »

- Sophia Savage

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'Anchorman 2' Could Be In Theaters As Early As Christmas 2013; We Nearly Got 'Step Brothers 2' Instead

11 April 2012 10:36 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

If you're still not stoked about another "Anchorman" movie, this quote from director Adam McKay should fix that: "The funny thing is we re-watched it for the first time in four or five years the other day. I had seen pieces of it on TV. But Will and I actually sat and watched the whole movie. When it was over with, we were like, 'We’ve gotten a lot better than that! [laughs]' "

Ready to up their game and make their first sequel, McKay and Will Ferrell seem to be raising the stakes, but as fans already know, this project was dead in the water back in 2010. But as McKay explains to THR, it took persistence, fuelled by the enthusiasm of fans, to finally work things out with Paramount and get the ball rolling. But alas, "Anchorman 2" seems to be coming at the cost of the long rumored "Step Brothers »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Danny Glover, Barry Levinson, Bob Balaban & More Join Stephen Frears’ 'Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight'

11 April 2012 10:18 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

The Stephen Frears-directed “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” has had no shortage of casting updates since things got underway back in February, with future “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” star Benjamin Walker joining the fold as Kevin Kennedy, a Supreme Court clerk who supported Ali and even wrote briefs that would help to maintain the boxer's status as a conscientious objector of the war, all in this tale of Ali’s trial following his arrest for anti-Vietnam sentiments and behaviour when drafted to serve in the war.

Well now Deadline has the word on a new onslaught of impressive performers, with Danny Glover, Barry Levinson, Pablo Schreiber, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban and Kathleen Chalfant jumping in the ring with the self-proclaimed world’s greatest. You’ll remember that Ali will be presented in archival footage of the case, with Glover playing the legendary Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the »

- Benjamin Wright

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Nea to Cut Substantial Funds to PBS Arts Programming

11 April 2012 10:17 AM, PDT | International Documentary Association | See recent International Documentary Association news »

The National Endowment for the Arts, one of the nation's largest source of monetary assistance to the arts, announced on Monday plans to slash substantial funding for PBS programs, including Independent Lens and Pov. These cuts, which take effect April 25, would take away over $1 million in production assistance from not just the aforementioned shows, but also to American Masters, Art21, and Great Performances.

This is not the first hit Independent Lens and Pov have suffered this year. Just one month ago, we learned that Independent Lens suffered a »

- krelth

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Review: 'Monsieur Lazhar' A Meek & Restrained Crowd Pleaser

11 April 2012 10:03 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

When "A Separation" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film last month, I was thrilled -- Asghar Farhadi's splendid domestic drama is one of the best things I've seen in the past few years. But it also came as a genuine surprise, because I was convinced the Canadian film "Monsieur Lazhar" was going to win. Gentle and understated, Philippe Falardeau's film is a classy crowd-pleaser, the kind of mild effort that makes people shake their heads imagining what awfulness would be done to it in an American remake. It is also nothing to write home about, though it features a strong turn from Mohamed Saïd Fellag, who plays the title character, and some very good child performances.

"Monsieur Lazhar" is adapted from a play by Évelyne de la Chenelière about an Algerian immigrant, Bachir Lazhar, who's hurriedly hired at an elementary school to take the place of Martine, »

- Alison Willmore

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