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Sundance 2013: Sales Talks Swirl Around 'Concussion,' 'Don Jon's Addiction,' 'Fruitvale'

20 January 2013 3:46 PM, PST

Bidding has begun to heat up at Sundance after a sleepy first few days, as buzzed about movies like "Concussion," "Don Jon's Addiction" and "Fruitvale" near sale. Most of the early deals have been for documentaries. Sundance Selects took Nick Ryan's "The Summit," about mountain climbers on K2, and Richard Rowley's "Dirty Wars," which follows a journalist searching for dirt on America's covert wars. Showtime bought a two-part documentary about The Eagles and The Weinstein Company's multi-platform label RADiUS nabbed "Twenty Feet From Stardom," about some of rock's greatest back-up singers. Interest in »


- Lucas Shaw

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How Michael Bay, 'Step Brothers,' Inspired Sundance Darling 'Toy's House'

20 January 2013 3:07 PM, PST

When you can't accept being a teenager, run away from home. With his mom in the grave and an overbearing dad, that's how Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) copes in "Toy's House," a dark comedy that left its audience gasping for air at Sundance on Saturday night – and it wasn't because of the altitude. Joe, his friend Patrick and outsider Biaggio build a home in the woods, the construction of which director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (left) breezes through. Their carpentry skills are beside the point. It's their desire to escape, to be teenage »


- Lucas Shaw

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'Amour' Wins 3 Top Honors at London Critics Circle Film Awards

20 January 2013 1:23 PM, PST

Michael Haneke's "Amour" claimed the top prize at  the annual London Critics' Circle Film Awards on Sunday. The unflinching look at old age earned the top screenwriting honor for Haneke and the film's female star, Emmanuelle Riva, took top actress honors. Also read: Will the Oscar Audience Sing 'Happy Birthday' to Emmanuelle Riva? "Amour" won the Palme D'Or in Cannes in May last year, and picked up a Golden Globe award last week. It has been nominated for five Oscars, including best picture and foreign language film. Ang Lee was named best director for »


- Todd Cunningham

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Sundance 2013: Documentary 'Dirty Wars' Goes to Sundance Selects

20 January 2013 12:30 PM, PST

Sundance Selects has acquired North American rights to Richard Rowley's "Dirty Wars," the company announced Sunday. "Dirty Wars" premiered in the U.S. documentary competition section at the Sundance Film Festival. Rowley's film follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill on an unexpected journey as he chases down the truth behind America's covert wars. The film, with a screenplay by Jeremy Scahill and David Riker, was produced by Anthony Arnove, Brenda Coughlin, and Scahill. "Our entire team was blown away by 'Dirty Wars,' Richard Rowley's tough-minded, gripping film that plays out like a detective story," said »


- Todd Cunningham

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The Eagles Talk and Dave Grohl Rocks as Sundance Gets Musical

20 January 2013 10:51 AM, PST

Is Sundance searching for "Searching for Sugar Man?" It may be unfair to describe the festival's 2013 programming philosophy as an attempt to find another music-related documentary with the breakout potential of that Oscar-nominated doc, which debuted in Park City one year ago. But this year's lineup contains a number of rock-oriented docs, and the precedent set by "Sugar Man" certainly hangs over screenings. Morgan Neville's "Twenty Feet From Stardom," one of the opening-night films (as "Sugar Man" was), is by all reports an invigorating tribute to some of rock 'n' roll's »


- Steve Pond

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'Django Unchained' Breaks Out With $48M Overseas Box Office Debut

20 January 2013 10:40 AM, PST

Any concerns about how well Quentin Tarantino's slave saga "Django Unchained" would play overseas appear to have been put to rest. "Django" debuted at the international box office over the weekend and rung up an impressive $48 million from 54 markets. The international opening for "Django" is 30 percent bigger than the aggregated opening weekends of director Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" ($37 million) in the same 54 markets in 2009. Germany led the way with $9.6 million, followed by France ($7.3 million), Russia ($5.4 million) and the U.K. ($4.8 million). Also read: »


- Todd Cunningham

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'Inevitable Defeat' Inspires With Powerhouse Kid Performances at Sundance (Video)

20 January 2013 9:58 AM, PST

One of the most powerful films to play at Sundance doesn't premiere until mid-week, but has many talking about a pair of heart-rending performances by a couple of kids in "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete." The movie tells the story of Mister, an adolescent in the projects, left on his own to care for an even younger neighbor named Pete. Both of the boys' mothers are strung out on drugs and given to prostitution. Ducking child services, they leave the boys to fend for themselves during a steaming hot, »

- Sharon Waxman

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MPAA Sounds Piracy Alert for Kim Dotcom's New File-Sharing Site

20 January 2013 9:33 AM, PST

Kim Dotcom, the founder and ringleader of online locker service Megaupload, unveiled a new file-sharing site on Saturday, Mega.co.nz, and the Motion Picture Association of America already has issued an alert. "We are still reviewing how this new project will operate, but we do know that Kim Dotcom has built his career and his fortune on stealing creative works," the MPAA said in a statement. "We'll reserve final judgment until we have a chance to take a closer look, but given Kim Dotcom's history of damaging the consumer experience by pushing stolen, »

- Ira Teinowitz

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'Mama' Screams Past Oscar Contenders, Openers For $33M Box Office Win

20 January 2013 9:19 AM, PST

The horror movie "Mama" roared past Oscar contenders and other openers featuring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Arnold Schwarzenegger and is on its way to winning the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday box office weekend with $33 million. The Guillermo del Toro-produced supernatural thriller is the second horror film to win the weekend box office this month, with "Texas Chainsaw 3D' the top moneymaker two weeks ago. Universal's supernatural thriller, starring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, far exceeded the $22 million analysts had projected for the four days. So how to explain »


- Todd Cunningham

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Sex, Murder and Daniel Radcliffe in 'Kill Your Darlings' at Sundance

19 January 2013 9:33 PM, PST

"Kill Your Darlings," the little-known story of murder and literary giants Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and their friend Lucien Carr, premiered to a packed theater at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday -- and not just because Daniel Radcliffe (as Ginsberg) has a very explicit sex scene with Dane DeHaan (as Carr). But that scene -- nude, passionate and extremely graphic -- is undoubtedly something that will be much talked about as a daring new frontier for the actor formerly known as Harry Potter. (Update on that very point: I've been »


- Sharon Waxman

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Sundance 2013: Showtime Acquires 'History of The Eagles' Doc

19 January 2013 9:23 PM, PST

Showtime has acquired the Alex Gibney documentary "History of the Eagles," and will air the documentary about the legendary rock group on Feb. 15 and 16, the network announced Saturday at Sundance. The film, produced by Gibney and directed by Alison Ellwood ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room"), "History of the Eagles" will debut its first two hours on Feb. 15 at 8 p.m., and its third and final hour Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. Part One of the documentary makes its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday. The »


- Tim Kenneally

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Beltway Sniper Film 'Blue Caprice' at Sundance: 'Killers Aren't Born, They're Made'

19 January 2013 5:35 PM, PST

As President Obama and Congress begin to debate gun control in Washington, one movie at Sundance -- "Blue Caprice" -- has already weighed in on the tragedy of mass shootings: killers aren't born, they're made. Alexandre Moors' film tells the story of the Beltway snipers, two unknown criminals who killed innocent civilians at random in the Washington D.C. area in 2002. Rather than focus on the senseless killings, scribe R.F.I. Porto and Moors convey how the two assassins came to commit those crimes, how an embittered John Allen Muhammad (Isaiah Washington) »


- Lucas Shaw

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Sundance 2013: Alfred Molina, Michael Gambon Join Ira Sachs' 'Love Is Strange'

19 January 2013 3:59 PM, PST

Alfred Molina and Michael Gambon have joined the cast of Ira Sachs' upcoming film "Life Is Strange," Parts & Labor said Friday at Sundance. In the film, which begins production in New York City this summer, Gambon and Molina play a gay couple who wed after 28 years, and find their lives turned upside-down when one of them loses his job as  a choir director at a Catholic high school. Unable to pay their rent, the two move in separately with a nephew's family and a pair of gay cops. "Forty Shades »


- Tim Kenneally

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Sundance Reviews: 'God Loves Uganda' Inspires Anger; 'Two Mothers' Prompts Giggles

19 January 2013 10:07 AM, PST

So when the Sundance Film Festival books a film whose plotline is described as, "This gripping tale of love, lust, and the power of friendship charts the unconventional and passionate affairs of two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other's sons," you figure that the results would have to be smarter and more complicated than the porn-y premise on the surface, right? Wrong! "Two Mothers" may be based on a novel by Doris Lessing and adapted to the screen by director Anne Fontaine ("Coco Before Chanel") and prestige hack »


- Alonso Duralde

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'Mama' Scaring Up $30M Holiday Box Office Weekend

19 January 2013 9:17 AM, PST

The Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie "Mama" is running away with the holiday weekend box-office race after debuting with a strong $10 million Friday. Universal's supernatural thriller, starring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, is on track for a $30 million haul over the four-day Martin Luther King  Jr. weekend, way above the $22 million analysts had projected. It also gives Chastain the weekend's top two films. Sony's "Zero Dark Thirty," for which she earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination, was running second after ringing up $4.5 million Friday, which should give »


- Todd Cunningham

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Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller Get Sundance Buzz for Teen Spirit in 'The Spectacular Now'

19 January 2013 8:59 AM, PST

As day two of Sundance passed, plenty of films have picked up good buzz, but nothing has hit with the force that "Beasts of the Southern Wild" did on the second day last year. Instead, festival-goers were left talking about the pleasures of the narrative films like the mountain-climbing adventure "The Summit" and documentaries like "After Tiller" and "The World According to Dick Cheney." "Austenland," a comedy from Jerusha Hess (making her directorial debut after writing "Napoleon Dynamite"), certainly proved to be a crowd-pleaser at the Eccles Theatre in the early afternoon, »


- Steve Pond

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Fox News Reporter Ordered to Appear at James Holmes Hearing (Report)

18 January 2013 6:27 PM, PST

A Fox News reporter was ordered on Friday to appear at a hearing in the case against alleged Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes, the Denver Post reported. Judge William Sylvester signed off on a subpoena of New York-based Fox News reporter Jana Winter, compelling her to appear at a Feb. 4 hearing, at which Holmes' attorneys are expected to question her about her sources and aske her to turn over her notes from a story she wrote for FoxNews.com, the Post said. In July, Winter was reporting from Aurora, Colo. on »


- Alexander C. Kaufman

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Cinema Audio Society Announces Technical Achievement Nominations

18 January 2013 6:05 PM, PST

The Cinema Audio Society announced the nominees for the 9th Annual Cas Technical Achievement Awards for Production and Post-Production, on Friday. In the production category, the non-profit organization that honor's the art of sound mixing in film and television named Lectrosonics' Wm Watertight Transmitter, PureBlend Software's Movieslate® 3.8, Quantum5X's TapShoeMic, Sound Devices' 664 Field Production Mixer with Recorder and Zaxcom's ERX2TCD Ifb Receiver as nominees. Also read: Cinema Audio Society Likes the Sound of 'Skyfall,' 'Les Miz,' 'The Hobbit' In post-production Ams Neve's Dfc Gemini with Superstem™Mixing, Barco's Auro 11.1, Dolby's Atmos, iZotope's Insight, and Waves' Wlm-Waves Loudness »

- Greg Gilman

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Journal News Web Site Removes N.Y. Gun Owner Map

18 January 2013 5:02 PM, PST

The Journal News took down the map of gun owners in two New York counties, which it published shortly after last month's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. that left 20 first graders dead.  Janet Hasson, the publisher of the West Nyack, N.Y. publication, said the paper was not caving in to the withering criticism it received from gun rights and privacy advocates, some of whom sent death threats to the paper. The paper eventually hired armed guards to protect its newsroom. Rather, Hasson said the News removed the interactive database to comply »

- Alexander C. Kaufman

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Inauguration Day: Who's Going, Who's Not

18 January 2013 4:46 PM, PST

Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Sony CEO Michael Lynton won't be on hand to watch Barack Obama's second swearing in. Neither will Spike Lee, Dustin Hoffman, Denzel Washington, Ben Affleck or Samuel L. Jackson. Those notable names in entertainment were among the 1.8 million people who swarmed the National Mall in 2009 to watch the first African-American president take the oath of office. But with that history already made, turnout at the second inauguration is expected to be much lighter. Even though high-profile supporters including Beyoncé, will.i.am and Harvey Weinstein are »


- Greg Gilman

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