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Rosamund Pike Dives into 'The Deep Blue Good-by' with Christian Bale

10 hours ago

Oscar-nominated "Gone Girl" star Rosamund Pike is in talks to headline Fox's "The Deep Blue Good-by" opposite Christian Bale. Directed by James Mangold ("3:10 to Yuma," "Walk the Line," "The Wolverine"), this is based on John D. MacDonald's 1964 novel, the first in a series of 21 books that follow "savage consultant" Travis McGee (Bale), a bachelor who recovers other people's property for money and gets mixed up with women and criminals along the way. (Variety reports here.) The script is penned by cult crime writer Dennis Lehane ("Gone Baby Gone," "Shutter Island"), with Scott Frank chiseling away at a recent draft. No details yet on who exactly Pike will play, but she will be the female lead here. Pike will shoot "The Deep Blue Good-by" before heading into the plane crash survival drama "The Mountain Between Us" (also co-penned by Scott Frank) opposite Charlie Hunnam. She also has a »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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New 'Spectre' Vlog Hints at What's Ahead for Bond

10 hours ago

Director Sam Mendes chimes in on why he came back for a "Skyfall" sequel in a new vlog, explaining that "Spectre" is the second part of a story that continues to link James Bond's childhood to his profession. It's personal, which is always a priority for Daniel Craig, but now Bond possesses a certain wisdom to deal with danger beyond his talent as an assassin. Good thing, too, since he encounters Blofeld and his eponymous terrorist organization for the first time. In fact, Mendes says it's significant that Bond is now more seasoned than his new MI6 colleagues: M (Ralph Fiennes), Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw). Reading between the lines, though, we can infer that there's a personal connection with Christoph Waltz's Franz Oberhauser, since Hans Oberhauser was Bond’s ski instructor and father figure in Ian Fleming’s "Octopussy" short story.  Meanwhile, Empire has a first »


- Bill Desowitz

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2015 Outfest Fusion Lineup Boasts Restored 'Paris Is Burning,' TV's 'Empire' and More

11 hours ago

Celebrating its 12th year, Outfest Fusion is the only multicultural Lgbt film festival of its kind, running March 13-14 at the venerable Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Indie-pioneering writer, director and producer Rose Troche ("Go Fish," "The Safety of Objects" and Showtime's "The L Word") will receive the 2015 Fusion Achievement Award, presented by stars of "The L Word," prior to the short films gala on Saturday, March 14. On Friday the 13th, an upcoming episode of "Empire" will screen alongside a Q&A with the smash hit Fox series' producers. The event shares the evening, courtesy of Sundance, with the Los Angeles premiere of the new digitally restored print Jennie Livingston's seminal 1990 Lgbt doc "Paris Is Burning" centered on New York City drag ball culture. This year’s Outfest Fusion line-up also boasts the world premiere of "Ascendance: Angels Of Change" about the Trans youth group at the »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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13 Ways to Keep Smart Movie Fans Happy

12 hours ago

I gave the (long) speech below to a room full of specialty exhibitors, distributors and festival programmers at the Art House Convergence, which was held in January in Midway, Utah right before the Sundance Film Festival. Thanks for those kind words, and for having me here, even if I’m Not in the art house business. I’m in the smart blog business, though. And I come from an art house family. So we’re both coming from the same place: we’re trying to figure out how to reach and grow a smart audience —which is getting harder to do all the time. And we all want to share the movies we love. My film education started back in the early 60s on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, when my busy single father used movies as a babysitter, dropping my younger brother and me in the well-patrolled children’s sections of the Riverside, »

- Anne Thompson

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Richard Linklater Lines Up Yet Another New Project

12 hours ago

It's hard to keep track of the ream of projects the Oscar-snubbed Linklater is courting on a given day. For one, he's executive-producing a TV sitcom restart of his 2003 "School of Rock" slated for Nickelodeon later this year. Also, the Independent Spirit Winner — a no-show at the ceremony, where Ethan Hawke accepted the prize — is wrapping "That's What I'm Talking About," a sort of "Dazed and Confused" sequel about the lives of baseball players on and off the field. And he's thinking seriously about a "Boyhood" sequel, albeit not one that would take place across 12 years. The Hollywood Reporter now says that Linklater is circling "Where'd You Go Bernadette" for Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures. Based on Maria Semple's 2012 bestseller that unfolds via epistolary missives — emails, letters, legal documents, psychiatric visits and more — the book follows the story of an agoraphobic architect who mysteriously disappears before a »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Fox's 'Empire' Plays Like Gangbusters in 7th Week

12 hours ago

The hip hop drama starring big turned small screen actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, and created by indie filmmaker Lee Daniels with Danny Strong, added nearly one million viewers Wednesday to reach the 14-million mark. Its meteoric rise is because of the increasing uptick in the key 18-49 demo, where it bested even ABC's long-running "Modern Family." According to Variety, the Fox series "has now grown seven consecutive weeks in total viewership since its Jan. 7 premiere: 9.90 million (Jan. 7), 10.32 million (Jan. 14), 11.07 million (Jan. 21), 11.35 million (Jan. 28), 11.47 million (Feb. 4), 11.96 million (Feb. 18), 13.02 million (Feb. 18) and now a preliminary 13.8 million." Last week, it was just behind "The Walking Dead" as the week's top broadcast series, trampling over CBS' wildly popular Emmy fave "The Big Bang Theory." The series also made the cover of Entertainment Weekly today. Check out the story here. Read »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Listen: 'The Hunting Ground' Puts a Human Face on Campus Rape (Podcast)

16 hours ago

Thursday night, Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, hosted a screening for White House staff, students and Senators Gillibrand and McCaskill, and U.S. Representative Maloney of Dick and Ziering's latest documentary, "The Hunting Ground." The duo worked together on 2012 Oscar nominee "The Invisible War," with Ziering conducting many of the harrowing interviews under Dick's direction. Dick has made a name for himself by writing and directing documentaries that challenge powerful institutions, from the Catholic Church (Oscar-nominated "Twist of Faith") to the MPAA Ratings Board ("This Film Is Not Yet Rated"). Most filmmakers hope that their movies will be seen, talked about, make money, earn awards, and maybe have some influence on the culture at large. With "The Invisible War," Dick and Ziering set their sights on reforming the U.S. Military. »


- Anne Thompson

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Another Producer Joins the Growing Sony Family

25 February 2015 2:27 PM, PST

Things are looking up at Sony. Two producers with great taste, ex-Sony chief Amy Pascal and ex-Warners boss Jeff Robinov, will make big-budget movies for their respective labels, while ex-Fox head Tom Rothman, who also knows a good movie when he sees one, will run the movie studio. For the moment, Sony's in-house production label Columbia is being run by Doug Belgrad, with ex-Sony lot producer Michael De Luca working with Hannah Minghella as co-presidents of production. Expect both Pascal and De Luca to work with powerful New York producer and literary tastemonger Scott Rudin, who will no longer be working on "Cleopatra" with Angelina Jolie, but is pursuing a reboot of the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" franchise without free-spending David Fincher. Rumors are running rampant about casting, but I hear a deal is imminent. Rooney Mara was tight with Fincher, but she must have a contract. Now De »


- Anne Thompson

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Remembering Documentary Director Bruce Sinofsky (Video)

25 February 2015 12:38 PM, PST

According to Sinofsky's wife Florence, the director, age 58, died from complications of diabetes. A Boston native and graduate of Tisch, Sinofsky and co-director Joe Berling were Oscar-nominated in 2012 for "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," the third installment in a series of sprawling crime docs that examined the child murders committed by the West Memphis Three. The first film, 1996's "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills," won Sinofsky an Emmy, which he shared with his tight-knit crew-members Sheila Nevins (executive producer), Berlinger (producer/director) and Jonathan Moss (coordinating producer). The film also won them a Peabody Award. “Without trivializing the killings they came to investigate, the filmmakers carefully study the tattered social fabric that is the backdrop for an unthinkable crime,” wrote Nyt's Janet Maslin back in 1996. "In this sad, lurid and darkly transfixing story, they locate all the elements of true-crime reporting »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Roman Polanski Questioned for 9 Hours in Polish Court

25 February 2015 11:47 AM, PST

Roman Polanski attended a court hearing in Poland on Wednesday, where a Us request for extradition regarding the decades-long charge of having sex with a 13-year-old girl was weighed by Krakow judge Dariusz Mazur. The hearing, though closed to the public due to the case's sensitive nature, lasted nine hours and according to Nyt, Polanski left court "exhausted." "It was quite painful. I had to talk about things I'd rather forget," said Polanski of the proceedings. This is Polanski's latest bid to toss out the sexual abuse conviction that has haunted him since 1977, a year before he fled to exile in Europe. The judge said the court would not make a ruling Wednesday. Another hearing is scheduled for April. If the judge rules in favor of the Us' extradition request, the verdict could be overruled by the justice minister. But if the request is denied, the ruling is final. The »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch a Beautiful Tribute Reel to Gena Rowlands

25 February 2015 10:51 AM, PST

Before inimitable blonde bombshell Gena Rowlands became one half of an indie "it" couple alongside actor/director John Cassevetes, she had her start on television and in the films "High Cost of Living" and "Lonely Are the Brave." She starred in Cassavetes' early (and seemingly for-hire effort) "A Child Is Waiting" before busting out of the screen in his excruciatingly intense black-and-white chamber drama "Faces" (1968). In 1975, she was Oscar-nominated for the role that defines her career as a lovable but severely mentally unwound housewife in "A Woman Under the Influence." Back in January, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded the cinema nonpareil its Career Achievement Award. In spirit, Lafca member Chuck Wilson and filmmaker Matt Amato put together this career-spanning reel (below), with sound-bytes from Rowlands herself overlapping the actress' most alluring screen moments. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Martin Scorsese's 39 Foreign Films to See Before You Die

25 February 2015 10:11 AM, PST

An oldie, but a goodie. Open Culture resurfaced this list (below) sent from director Martin Scorsese to a budding young filmmaker. Let's appraise it. Italian directors are well-represented but this list needs some Bertolucci ("The Conformist," for one, though his early "Before the Revolution" makes the cut) and Pasolini ("Salo" or "Teorema" for weaker stomachs). What about Antonioni's "L'eclisse"? The last ten minutes or so, when neither Alain Delon or Monica Vitti show up for their appointed date at a water fountain, are a formally radical must-have for aspiring directors. And no Fellini? Bergman? Come on Marty. There's a real dearth of women on here. Where's Chantal Akerman, director of the mind-blowing "Jeanne Dielman"? Or Agnes Varda, whose "Cleo From 5 to 7" and others have inspired innumerable present-day indie filmmakers. Scorsese seems to be limiting himself to two films per director -- though Godard (why »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch: Kate Winslet Swoons for Matthias Schoenaerts in 'A Little Chaos' Trailer

25 February 2015 9:50 AM, PST

Focus Features snapped up North American rights to actor-turned-director Alan Rickman's "A Little Chaos" at Tiff. This romantic drama stars Winslet as a steely landscape designer who breaks sexual and class barriers when she's chosen to build one of King Louis Xiv's gardens at the new Versailles. Sabine also finds herself entangled romantically with renowned landscape architect Andre Le Notre (Matthias Schoenaerts). Costarring Jennifer Ehle and Stanley Tucci, "Chaos" suffered middling reviews at Toronto but still looks intriguingly whimsical, and Winslet is always watchable. Financed by Lionsgate UK and penned by Alison Deegan, Jeremy Brock and Rickman, the period romance will have its stateside premiere on March 27, 2015.  What this does reveal is that the new Focus under Peter Schlessel wants to stay in the business of releasing this sort of higher brow material.  »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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What's Next For This Year's Oscar Winners

24 February 2015 1:45 PM, PST

Julianne Moore The "Still Alice" winner, hot off her awards season clean sweep for playing a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer's, has wrapped Peter Sollett's ("Raising Victor Vargas") bio-drama "Freeheld." She plays real-life, trailblazing New Jersey copy Laurel Hester who, before dying in 2006, fought for pension benefits for domestic partners. Best Actor nominee Steve Carell costars. On November 20, she will reprise her "Hunger Games" role as sangfroid District 13 President Alma Coin in "Mockingjay - Part 2." Heading into pre-production is novelist and filmmaker Rebecca Miller's ("The Private Lives of Pippa Lee") Manhattan romantic comedy of manners "Maggie's Plan" opposite Greta Gerwig and Clive Owen, and Best Supporting Actor nominee Ethan Hawke. Eddie Redmayne The chuffed Best Actor winner for "The Theory of Everything" can currently be seen in the Wachowski-directed sci-fi bomb »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Austin Film Society Brings 'Boyhood' Back Home

24 February 2015 1:31 PM, PST

The Austin Film Society's 15th Annual Texas Film Awards will honor a group of Texas filmmakers who've put their home state on the cinematic map. The gala will celebrate "Boyhood," an Oscar nominee for Best Picture that won Patricia Arquette a Supporting Actress statuette, with the Variety Creative Impact in Cinema Award presented by Variety's Steve Gaydos. This award will mark the film’s return to its hometown of Texas, where it was shot and edited over the course of 12 years by Houston-born Richard Linklater. He founded the Austin Film Society in 1985 with longtime collaborator and "Boyhood" co-cinematographer Lee Daniel. Last year, the indie-friendly Austin Film Society joined Sundance's expanding Artist Services program built to benefit filmmakers seeking exclusive options for digital distribution, marketing and financing for their projects. On Thursday, March 12th at Austin Studios, Texas Film Awards will also go to these five Texans: Oscar »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Oscar Winner Julianne Moore on What She Learned Making ‘Still Alice’

24 February 2015 11:49 AM, PST

The actress was long-tipped as this year’s Best Actress Oscar frontrunner, having already been recognized by several critics’ groups in their end-of-year prize-giving (Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC and the National Board of Review), to go along with a Golden Globe win, Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations and, now, sure enough, an Oscar. In a relatively weak year for viable contenders, Moore’s stiffest competition came from fellow nominees Reese Witherspoon for “Wild,” Felicity Jones for “The Theory Of Everything” and Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl." (The actress’s own, flashier Cannes-winning turn in David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” was nominated for a comedy Golden Globe.) But that didn't take anything away from her beautifully subtle and heartbreaking work in “Still Alice,” directed by partners (both personal and professional) Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. In her quest to depict Alice’s at first hardly noticeable but increasingly rapid decline. »


- Matt Mueller

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Oscar Winner Laura Poitras Takes Us Behind the Scenes on 'Citizenfour,' Now on HBO

24 February 2015 10:57 AM, PST

During the opening minutes of "Citizenfour," it hits you that filmmaker Laura Poitras was actually filming Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden from their first meeting. She shows us first hand what happened and takes us deep into his mind in her new documentary "Citizenfour," a New York Film Festival world premiere and Oscar winner for Best Documentary. It premiered on HBO February 23, the day after the Oscars. Poitras documents the eight days she spent in a Hong Kong hotel room with Snowden and Guardian journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill as Snowden prepares to drop the bomb on the world. While it should not have been a shock that last year's winner of the International Documentary Association's Courage Under Fire Award was preparing a film on Snowden, the cone of secrecy surrounding the project meant that the announcement that the film was finished, breaking at the Nyff and hitting theaters October »


- Anne Thompson

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Watch: Meet the World's Fastest Stenographers in SXSW Doc 'For the Record' (Exclusive)

24 February 2015 10:33 AM, PST

Court reporting teacher turned documentary filmmaker Marc Greenberg's SXSW premiere "For the Record" follows a group of stenographers as they strive to attain the Guinness title of World's Fastest Court Reporter. Here's the official synopsis: "Mark Kislingbury is considered the 'rock star' of the steno world, the current record holder at 360 words per minute. His challengers include Dee Boenau, a driven captioner from Florida, and Stan Sakai, an Edm-loving Cart provider who shatters the traditional idea of what a court reporter is. As we track their paths to the Guinness attempt, we explores the 'steno culture,' as experienced by stenographers, through such events as 9/11, the Nuremberg trials and other high-profile courtroom moments, while reviewing the history of these 'keepers of the record.'" A Biggen Idea production, the documentary premieres Saturday, March 14 in Austin. Here's an exclusive clip. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Sony Replaces Amy Pascal with Ex-Fox Exec Tom Rothman

24 February 2015 10:19 AM, PST

Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton has wasted no time in picking a high-powered replacement for departing Amy Pascal. Ex-Fox executive Tom Rothman is now the next Chairman of Spe’s Motion Picture Group. After Rothman left Fox Filmed Entertainment, where he ran the movie studio for over a decade (2000-2012) with current chairman Jim Gianopulos, Pascal brought him to Sony as Chairman of TriStar Productions in late 2013; where he has already assembled an impressive slate. Bob Zemeckis's feature on Philippe Petit, "The Walk," starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is heading for awards season release. Rothman will now be charged with managing some heavy hitter talent: not only Pascal, (who he worked with in the late 80s at Columbia), who will be producing Paul Feig's women-targeted "Ghostbusters" reboot and the latest "Spider-Man" in league with Marvel, but ex-Warner Bros. »


- Anne Thompson

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What Dakota Johnson Can Learn From 6 Actresses Defined by Sexy Roles

24 February 2015 10:12 AM, PST

With “Fifty Shades of Grey” still dominating the box office -- albeit with a much softer grip -- and details about the inevitable sequels still up in the air, there are two things we know for certain following the record-breaking opening of the film based on the erotic literary sensation. Home Depot is likely to experience an uptick in sales of rope, cable ties and masking tape. And the world is now Dakota Johnson’s aphrodisiacal oyster. If anyone has benefited from the success of the big-screen version of the steamy best seller besides author E.L. James, who seems determined to not let her S&M baby out of her control as the trilogy continues its cinematic journey, it is the 25-year-old daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. (She attended the Oscars Sunday with her mother.) The movie might have taken a flogging from critics, as reflected by its 24% Rotten Tomatoes score. »


- Susan Wloszczyna

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