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1-20 of 21 items from 2007   « Prev | Next »


Top 10: Most Overlooked Indie Films of 2007

27 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- They came out in theaters, made very little money or didn't make a mark at all: they are a slew of independent projects that could have found a different fate. Our Top 10 of overlooked, underrated, under appreciated U.S Independent Films of 2007 is a list of deserving films that didn’t get the attention it deserved. Call it bad marketing, call it bad timing, or simply not being able to connect with the larger audience the following top ten is a list of films to reconsider or to consider before they erase themselves from our collective movie-going psyche.  10. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Thinkfilm)Perhaps I’m a little too quick to judge the returns and strategy for this picture, but I can’t help but feel that it hasn’t reached out enough into the stratosphere of the movie going populous. Since coming into the market with »

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Top 10: Best Posters of the 2007

24 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- It's that time of year here (we wish our faithful readers happy holidays) at Ioncinema.com where we put up various Top 10 & Top 20 lists commemorating and celebrating the past 12 months/52 weeks of movie-watching, movie-reviewing and movie-reporting. To start things off: we have our Top 10 list for our favorite poster one sheets (click here and here for 2006’s Top Ten).  Once again our preference goes to original marketing eye candy, posters with narratives, and illustrations with a wow-factor and basically anything that caught our attention span for more than a minute. Come back tomorrow for our Top 5 posters of 2007! 10. The Savages Distributor: Fox Searchlight Comments: My personal preference of graphic novel art means that this one became my tenth overall pick – for those who have seen the film you might be able to read what I read into it: two siblings caring for their ailing father by supporting one another »

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'Savages,' 'Wild,' 'Blood' make AFI top 10

17 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Lending its imprimatur to the tradition of the year-end 10-best list on Sunday, the American Film Institute announced its eighth annual list of the 10 most outstanding motion pictures and TV programs of 2007.

The films earning the AFI's seal of approval are Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Into the Wild, Juno, Knocked Up, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Ratatouille, The Savages and There Will Be Blood.

The awards are reserved for narrative features with significant creative and/or production elements from the United States, although the films need not be presented in English as was the case with the French-language Diving Bell.

The designated TV programs are Dexter, Everybody Hates Chris, Friday Night Lights, Longford, Mad Men, Pushing Daisies, The Sopranos, Tell Me You Love Me, 30 Rock and Ugly Betty. Dexter and Friday Night Lights also earned a spot on the AFI's 2006 list.

The awards, which will be officially presented at a luncheon on Jan. 11 at The Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, recognize the entire creative ensemble behind each film or TV show.

For the second consecutive year, Hewlett-Packard, which sponsors the awards, has created 20 scholarships, one for each honoree, to the AFI Conservatory. »

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New York Film Critics Online: Diving Bell and There Will Be Blood tied for Best Film

10 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- West coast favorite There Will Be Blood became an east coast winner in  the New York Film Critics Online awards. The Gotham-based group of 24 web-based reviewers and three print critics choose Paul Thomas Anderson's film for Best Picture tied with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It appears that Zodiac is getting zero love in year-end attention even among the online critics, but Sarah Polley's early entry is getting plenty of attention which boosts well for long-term profits for the Lionsgate drama. Here is the complete list of winners: Best Picture Best Picture: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (tie) There Will Be Blood      Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood  Best Actress: Julie Christie for Away From Her  Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men    Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There  Best Breakthrough Performance: Ellen Page for »

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'No Country for Old Men' Tops With Critics' Awards

10 December 2007 | IMDb News

As the awards season begins, no less than four critics' groups announced their awards over the past two days, with the highest-profile group, the New York Film Critics Circle, giving its top honor to emerging favorite No Country for Old Men. Quickly turning into the movie to beat this season, the Coen brothers movie also won the Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem) awards from the Gotham critics. Top acting honors went to Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood) and Julie Christie (Away From Her), with the supporting actress award going to Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone), who is appearing on as many winners' lists as the Coen brothers. Other winners included The Lives of Others (Foreign Language Film), Persepolis (Animated Film), and No End in Sight (Documentary).

In Los Angeles on Sunday, there was blood -- and lots of it -- as Paul Thomas Anderson's historical epic There Will Be Blood swept the awards, taking Best Picture, Director, and Lead Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) honors. Marion Cotillard of La Vie En Rose was named Best Actress, Vlad Ivanov of the Romanian abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was the surprise supporting actor winner, and -- yes -- Amy Ryan was named best supporting actress for Gone Baby Gone as well as Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days also won the foreign language film award, and Tamara Jenkins's The Savages received best screenplay honors. No End in Sight was the documentary winner, with Ratatouille and Persepolis sharing the animated feature award.

Also handing out awards on Sunday was the Boston Society of Film Critics, which jumped on the No Country for Old Men bandwagon, naming it their best picture and Javier Bardem as the supporting actor winner. While Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) was the lead actress winner, the group threw a couple curveballs with awards to lead actor Frank Langella for the acclaimed but little-seen drama Starting Out in the Evening, and to director Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (which also won cinematography and foreign language film honors). Once again, Amy Ryan won the supporting actress award for Gone Baby Gone. Other winners included Ratatouille (screenplay) and Crazy Love (documentary).

And sharing in the fun was the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, which along with Boston and New York named No Country for Old Men as their Best Picture, and giving the Coen brothers directing honors and Javier Bardem the supporting actor award; to exacerbate the sense of deja vu, Amy Ryan was again the supporting actress winner for Gone Baby Gone. A bevy of usual suspects rounded out the DC awards, with George Clooney (Michael Clayton) and Julie Christie (Away From Her) nabbing lead acting awards, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly taking the foreign language film honor. Other winners included Michael Moore's Sicko (documentary), Ratatouille (animated film), Charlie Wilson's War (adapted screenplay) and Juno (original screenplay and breakthrough performance for Ellen Page).

Following up these critical honors will be the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations this Thursday morning; the Academy Award nominations will be unveiled next month on Tuesday, January 22. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff

»

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IPA spins Satellite noms

30 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Amid the rush to announce year-end film and TV nominees, the Los Angeles-based International Press Academy has nominated The Lookout, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Away From Her, Eastern Promises, No Country for Old Men and 3:10 to Yuma as best motion picture drama for the group's 12th annual Satellite Awards.

Because the IPA had a voting deadline of Nov. 20, a number of prominent films, which have just begun screening for the media this week, did not figure in its choices. For best comedy or musical, the group nominated Hairspray, Juno, Shoot 'Em Up, Lars and the Real Girl, Knocked Up and Margot at the Wedding.

In all, the IPA offered nominations in 34 film and TV categories, six DVD categories and four game categories.

It announced several special achievement awards, which included Mad Men, best TV ensemble; Before the Devil, best film ensemble; and Julian Schnabel, director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, auteur award.

Winners will be announced Dec. 16 at awards ceremonies at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City. »

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Penn Rules at Gotham Awards

29 November 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Sean Penn and Michael Moore picked up the big prizes at Tuesday's 17th annual Gotham Awards in New York. Penn's Into The Wild won best feature and Moore's Sicko - an expose of U.S. healthcare - was awarded best documentary at a ceremony at Brooklyn's Steiner Studios. The ceremony - which celebrates low-budget and art house films - is held annually by non-profit organization the Independent Feature Project. Elsewhere, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead - starring Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Talk To Me, starring Don Cheadle, were joint winners in the Best Ensemble Cast category. Juno actress Ellen Page won the Best Newcomer award; Great World Of Sound director Craig Zobel won Breakthrough Director. Guests at the star-studded bash included Martin Scorsese, Javier Bardem and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. »

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17th Gotham Award winners: a 'Wild' night indeed

28 November 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- It was a night of multiple winners instead of winners with multiple wins at the 17th annual Gotham awards - where the Ifp recognize the best in independent filmmaking through 6 simple award categories. With only Todd Haynes' Dylan project as a possible threat, it was perhaps an easy win for Sean Penn's Into the Wild. And thought Craig Zobel got shut out in two categories, the director was rewarded with the Breakthrough director award. Michael Moore's popularity has not diminished as he picked up documentary film award of the year (evidently for Sicko) and Reitman's Juno continued its rise in popularity with Ellen Page picking up breakthrough actor award over Emile Hirsch's perf in Into the Wild. Voters were dead-locked in the ensemble category: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was perhaps the favored of the category and people didn't forget Focus Features' summer »

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L.A. critics to fete Lumet

23 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association will honor director Sidney Lumet with its annual Career Achievement Award. The 83-year-old helmer recieved the organization's first two directing awards for Dog Day Afternoon in 1975 and Network in 1976. Lumet's 50-plus year career is currently experiencing a renaissance with his upcoming ThinkFilm release Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. The honor will be presented at the group's Jan. 12 awards ceremony at the InterContinental Los Angeles in Century City. »

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Star wattage waning at Rome fest

23 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

ROME -- Last-minute cancellations left the European premiere of Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead minus most of its star power Monday, even as the festival geared up for the arrival of Robert Redford and Tom Cruise.

The festival had previously announced the participation of Lumet but on Monday said he would be unable to attend because of illness. None of the film's stars -- Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke and Marisa Tomei -- made the trip, leaving producer Brian Linse to represent the film alone.

There has been a smattering of other no-shows over the festival's first days: Art house star Daniel Auteuil left the job of promoting Le Deuxieme Souffle (The Second Wind) to Monica Bellucci on the festival's opening night, and Meryl Streep stayed home, leaving Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon to walk down the red carpet ahead of the Sunday premiere of Rendition.

But there have been plenty of big names over the festival's first four days -- Sophia Loren, Francis Ford Coppola and Cate Blanchett attracted plenty of attention -- and the festival's star power should return to its normal wattage Tuesday, with the arrival of Redford and Cruise for the highly anticipated world premiere of Lions for Lambs.

The Redford-helmed film, which features Cruise as a power-hungry senator, will be the most visible feature Tuesday, though it was already creating a buzz Monday before the limited press screening that took place late in the evening. »

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17th Gotham Awards noms: Great World of Sound nabs 3

22 October 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- The 17th Gotham Awards nominations have been announced - and the emphasis goes to back to smaller-budget indie fair with Craig Zobel's Great World of Sound picking up a trio of noms (best director, breakthrough actor and best film) and going up against perhaps a larger scale film in Sean Penn's Into the Wild which picked up noms for feature and actor (Emile Hirsch). Margot at the Wedding have got two reasons for showing up next month and also picking up a pair of noms is a film that claimed international attention with a presence at last year's Cannes - Day Night Day Night received a best director and breakthrough acting.   While winners will be announced on November 27th, the Gotham Awards have chosen to honor six industry folk -: actor Javier Bardem, critic Roger Ebert, production designer Mark Friedberg, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, director Mira Nair and Jonathan Sehring, »

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First deal is 'Sexiest' at Hamptons

18 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- In the first pickup from the Hamptons International Film Festival slate, ThinkFilm has nabbed North American rights to Thursday's world premiere My Sexiest Year.

Writer-director Howard Himelstein's autobiographical coming-of-age story follows Jack Stein (Frankie Muniz), a 17-year-old aspiring writer who lives with his mother (Frances Fisher) in Brooklyn. When her health declines, she sends him to live with his horse-racing handicapper father (Harvey Keitel) in Miami.

Jack soon becomes distracted by new friendships with a rich druggie (Dan Levy) and his sister (Haylie Duff) and the famous model (Amber Valletta) Jack falls for. Ryan Cabrera plays Jack's high school nemesis. Christopher McDonald and Karolina Kurkova also star.

The pickup reunites ThinkFilm with producers Michael Cerenzie and Paul Parmar, part of the team behind its upcoming Sidney Lumet thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Himelstein directed Power of Attorney and scripted Myriad Pictures' upcoming Oscar Wilde adaptation A Woman of No Importance.

Cerenzie and Christine Forsyth-Peters' of CP Prods. will produce Russell Mulcahy's Zen and the Art of Slaying Vampires.

ThinkFilm U.S. »

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Tiff 2007 Day 7: Indie Heavyweights

13 September 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Out of today’s list of 5 features screened, four of them will eventually be shown on screens having already secured domestic distribution, – the solo pic that won’t be seeing the screen was heavy on naked bodies and the such. Here’s some quick, brief comments on the 5. Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You're Dead uses flashback and fractured timelines to demonstrate how a botched robbery went astray. Some nice dramatic perfs from Hoffman and Hawke and for those who care, Marisa Tomei does not disappoint.Man From Plains is a documentary film shaped to some degree of Radiohead’s Meeting People is Easy – it details x-prez Jimmy Carter’s press and book tour. He is a modest man with a good head on his shoulders. The current president could learn a lot from this golden aged senior.  It is not the narrative that is the strength of this particular film, »

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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

7 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Toronto International Film Festival

NEW YORK -- After a long series of artistic missteps, Sidney Lumet, 83, makes a smashing return to form with this bleak crime thriller that shows off the veteran director's many strengths. Pungently atmospheric, brilliantly textured and featuring superb performances from every performer in parts big and small, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead might not quite rank with such classics as Dog Day Afternoon and countless other films by Lumet, but it does make thrillingly clear that he's still at the top of his game.

Kelly Masterson's expert screenplay relates a relatively simple story of a small-scale robbery gone horribly wrong in complex fashion. With its constant time shifts and depictions of the same events from varying perspectives, it recalls the director's own earlier caper flick The Anderson Tapes, though this is a far more melodramatic and elemental tale.

A highly graphic but less than joyful sex scene at the beginning sets the harsh tone for the story, which involves the botched plan by siblings Andy Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Hank (Ethan Hawke) to rob their own parents' suburban jewelry store.

Both men are leading lives of not so quiet desperation, with each in serious financial straits. Andy has been systematically siphoning off money from the real estate company at which he works, while his divorced younger brother can't even make the child-support payments to his increasingly hostile ex-wife (Amy Ryan). Meanwhile, Hank has been having a longtime affair with his brother's beautiful wife (Marisa Tomei), even while Andy dreams of saving his passionless marriage by running off with her to Rio.

Andy's plan seems easy enough. Hank will rob the store on a quiet Saturday morning, when the only one there will be a single employee. But he makes the mistake of recruiting his petty criminal friend Bobby (Brian F. O'Byrne) to do the actual deed, and things go horribly awry, with Bobby and the brothers' Mother Rosemary Harris) winding up dead.

The men's frantic efforts to cover up their complicity in the crime, and those of their grieving father (Albert Finney) to find the rest of those involved, form the heart of the relentlessly downbeat tale, which only gets darker as it goes along.

As much character study as crime thriller, the film features indelible characterizations by the lead actors as the brothers whose flaws reach biblical proportions, with Hoffman's girth and Hawke's slightly dissipated handsomeness working perfectly for their roles. Finney is equally superb as their emotionally inaccessible father, especially in the haunting climactic scenes. But thanks to Lumet's expert handling of his actors, everyone shines, even in the smallest roles, with particularly memorable cameos by Michael Shannon as Bobby's vengeful brother-in-law and Leonard Cimino as a crooked diamond dealer.

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD

ThinkFilm

Linsefilm, Michael Cerenzie Prods., Unity Prods.

Credits:

Director: Sidney Lumet

Screenwriter: Kelly Masterson

Producers: Michael Cerenzie, Brian Linse, Paul Parmar, William S. Gilmore

Executive producers: Bella Avery, Jane Barclay, David Bergstein, Janette Jensen Hoffman, Eli Klein, Hannah Leader, Jeffry Melnick, Sam Zaharis

Director of photography: Ron Fortunato

Production designer: Christopher Nowak

Music: Carter Burwell

Co-producers: Austin Chick, Jeff G. Waxman

Costume designer: Tina Nigro

Editor: Tom Swartwout

Cast:

Andy: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Hank: Ethan Hawke

Charles: Albert Finney

Gina: Marisa Tomei

Nanette: Rosemary Harris

Chris: Aleksa Palladino

Dex: Michael Shannon

Martha: Amy Ryan

Bobby: Brian F. O'Byrne

Running time -- 123 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

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U.S. fare speaks to Toronto in fest lineup

23 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Related story: Three at fest headed to IFC

Related story: Christie's digital gets screen billing

TORONTO -- The Toronto International Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled its most American-friendly lineup in years, capped off with new titles from Renny Harlin, Paul Schrader and Robin Swicord.

Toronto boasts no official competition. But the Hollywood contingent booked for the twice-nightly gala screenings at Roy Thomson Hall looks set to turn the high-profile venue into an industry shindig.

Among the six new gala titles are Harlin's "Cleaner", a Sony Pictures Entertainment thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson as a cop-turned-crime scene cleaner; the Richard Attenborough-directed love story "Closing the Ring", starring Shirley MacLaine, Mischa Barton and Neve Campbell; and Schrader's "The Walker", a ThinkFilm release starring Woody Harrelson and Lauren Bacall that comes to Toronto by way of Berlin, Cannes and Sydney.

Also joining the Roy Thomson Hall party are two Sony Pictures Classics releases: Kenneth Branagh's Michael Caine-Jude Law starrer "Sleuth", which first bowed in Venice, and Swicord's "The Jane Austen Book Club", starring Jimmy Smits, Amy Brenneman and Maria Bello. Also booked for a gala is French director Alain Corneau's "Le Deuxieme Souffle", starring Daniel Auteuil and Monica Bellucci.

Those titles join such earlier Roy Thomson Hall entries as Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe", Woody Allen's "Cassandra's Dream", Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton", Gavin Hood's "Rendition", Terry George's "Reservation Road" and Aristomenis Tsirbas' "Terra".

Toronto, which in recent years has stepped up efforts to make its festival more Hollywood friendly, also has included 28 U.S.-produced films in its 50-strong Special Presentations sidebar.

The latest Special Presentations titles include the Michael Moore documentary "Captain Mike Across America", Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," Melisa Wallack and Bernie Goldmann's "Bill", Gillian Armstrong's "Death Defying Acts" and Jason Reitman's "Juno", the follow-up to "Thank You for Smoking", which was a Toronto festival breakout hit two years ago.

Also joining today are the latest works from Jonathan Demme, Alison Eastwood, Brian De Palma, Thomas McCarthy and Anand Tucker.

Toronto will unspool 352 films between Sept. 6 and 15 -- 261 features and 91 shorts. The lineup includes 101 world premieres and 108 North American premieres, many of which will bow in Venice before jumping the pond to Toronto. In addition, 71 of the films are directorial debuts.

The festival lineup promises a strong French contingent, including a dozen titles arriving in Toronto with U.S. distribution deals in hand.

High-profile French titles looking for U.S. distribution include Amos Gitai's "Disengagement", Claude Chabrol's "La Fille Coupee En Deux", which will bow in Venice, and Eric Rohmer's "Les Amours D'Astreet et De Celadon," another North American premiere by way of Venice.

John Kochman, executive director of Unifrance USA, said the strong French presence in Toronto is due primarily to festival co-directors Piers Handling and Noah Cowan remaining "unreconstructed Francophiles" eager to program French titles in their event.

Other new titles announced Wednesday include Wayne Wang's "The Princess of Nebraska" and "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," both portraits of Chinese immigrants in the U.S. Wang will bring the two indie titles films to the festival's Masters program.

Toronto added eight more documentaries to its Real to Reel section, including films by Paul Crowder and Murray Lerner, Olga Konskaya and Andrea Nekrasov, Julian Schnabel, Ran Tal, Philippe Kholy and Grant Gee.

In addition, the previously announced "Body of War", co-directed by Ellen Spiro and talk show legend Phil Donahue, will see its premiere accompanied by a live performance by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, who wrote original songs for the Iraq documentary.

The festival has its usual complement of films about war and political protest that, according to festival co-director Noah Cowan, reflect a "seriousness of purpose and a real sense of drive to tell political stories."

"In many ways, the body of films recalls the American independent movie of the 1970s," he added.

American auteur films including Alan Ball's "Nothing Is Private", a drama about sexual politics and bigotry set against the backdrop of the 1991 Gulf War, De Palma's war drama "Redacted" and Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" reflect anti-war "provocation," Cowan said.

Toronto's lineup also includes a surprising number of crime-themed dramas, including Alexi Tan's "Blood Brothers", a drama about three friends taking on a life of big-city crime; Comeau's fugitive drama "Le Deuxieme Souffle"; Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," a thriller about a botched robbery; Brad Furman's "The Take", about the aftermath of an armored car heist; and Ira Sachs' "Married Life", a drama about a husband who kills his wife to spare her the shame of divorce.

Cowan said that the crime-themed movies this year recall the '70s-era vigilante movies that coincided with Vietnam.

"When the U.S. is faced with wars that are frustrating in their inability to be totally understood, that comes out in their films," Toronto's top programr said.

"Just as the 1970s, there's films that reflect paranoia about government and police corruption and which come from a frustration and rage about what's happening in the world," he added.

Other Toronto highlights announced Wednesday include talks by President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, an update on Bill Maher and Larry Charles' anti-religion documentary and a briefing on the ongoing crisis in Darfur courtesy of International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Don Cheadle.

Toronto is set to open Sept. 6 with Jeremy Podeswa's "Fugitive Pieces" and close 10 days later with another Canadian film, Paolo Barzman's "Emotional Arithmetic".

A complete list of titles screening at Toronto follows:

Galas:

"Across the Universe", Julie Taymor, U.S.

"L'Age Des Tenebres", Denys Arcand, Canada

"Blood Brothers", Alexi Tan, Taiwan/China/Hong Kong

"Caramel", Nadine Labaki, Lebanon/France

"Cassandra's Dream", Woody Allen, Britain

"Cleaner", Renny Harlin, U.S. »

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New York Film Festival sked ends at 'Persepolis'

16 August 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- Sony Pictures Classics' animated coming-of-age film Persepolis will close the 45th annual New York Film Festival, which announced Wednesday an eclectic lineup featuring new works from Sidney Lumet, Gus Van Sant and, in his NYFF debut, Brian De Palma.

"There really was an unusually high number of high-quality American films," said Film Society of Lincoln Center program director Richard Pena, who celebrates his 20th year heading the NYFF selection committee. "I've often wondered why directors didn't make a more creative use of genre, and this year they have. It's also been an incredibly strong year for directors who've delivered the best films they've done in a while."

Pena singled out Lumet's ThinkFilm thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and De Palma's Redacted, an Iraq War drama from Magnolia Pictures. He said the latter film "will really be a bombshell. People will be upset and offended by (its depiction of) how some U.S. soldiers are treated and what some U.S. soldiers have done."

The committee chose Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis -- a French adaptation of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novels about growing up in Iran -- because the Festival de Cannes winner is "a truly expressive work of art," Pena said. "You feel the writer is baring her soul."

IFC Films has four projects in the lineup, all from its VOD/theatrical simultaneous releasing program IFC First Take. They include two more Cannes winners -- Van Sant's adaptation of Blake Nelson's novel, Paranoid Park, about a skateboarding teen involved in a murder, and Cristian Mungiu's Romanian abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Two of its other entries also screened at Cannes: Hou Hsiao-hsien's French family drama The Flight of the Red Balloon and Catherine Breillat's adaptation of Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly's The Last Mistress.

Film geeks will relish the North American premiere of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner: The Definitive Cut, a 25th anniversary edition of the sci-fi classic with some further tweaks made to the 1992 director's cut. »

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Deauville lines up heavweight tributes

31 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

PARIS -- The 33rd annual Deauville Festival of American Cinema will pay tribute to Michael Douglas, Sigourney Weaver and Sidney Lumet, whose latest movie, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, will have its world premiere at the event, organizers said Monday.

The festival's only other world premiere will be Ben Affleck's Gone, Baby, Gone, the tale of two private dicks on the trail of a missing 4-year-old starring Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris.

A selection of Douglas' films will be aired as part of his tribute, including his latest picture King of California.

More than 120 movies will unspool during the 10-day festival, which takes place Aug. 31-Sept. 9 in the Normandy beach resort.

About half of these will make up a new section titled "American Nights", which will see 240 hours of movies screened around the clock in a 100-seater theater for the duration of the festival. Genres covered will include Westerns, film noir, horror and comedy.

Among new Hollywood fare showcased at Deauville will be Matt Damon starrer The Bourne Ultimatum and Western drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which stars Brad Pitt, both movies that will transfer in from Venice. »

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'Devil' has day at ThinkFilm

13 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- In the first acquisition from its new sister company Capitol Films, ThinkFilm has picked up all North American rights to Sidney Lumet's crime thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney and Marisa Tomei.

Hoffman, an Oscar-winner for Capote, will play a drug addict who hatches a plan with his brother (Hawke) to rob a jewelry store owned by their parents (Finney, Rosemary Harris). As the web of betrayal extends to the wife of Hoffman's character (Tomei) and an accomplice, things begin to go terribly wrong.

The 83-year-old Lumet describes the film, which jumps back and forth in time, as a Rubik's Cube of unfolding plot twists and emotional relationships between the characters. Several indie distributors were circling the $10 million-plus feature, in part because of its Oscar winners (Lumet, Hoffman, Tomei) and nominees (Finney, Hawke, Harris), but the director said he felt most comfortable with ThinkFilm because of U.S. »

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O'Byrne joins Showtime's 'Brotherhood'

25 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Tony winner Brian F. O'Byrne has joined the cast of Showtime's drama Brotherhood as a regular.

O'Byrne joins the series -- which follows the lives of two brothers (Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke) in the Irish-American neighborhood of Providence, R.I., known as the Hill -- in its upcoming second season, which is set to debut in the fall with 10 hourlong episodes.

The actor will play Colin Carr, a cousin of the brothers who comes from Ireland to Providence and gets involved in Michael's (Isaacs) criminal world. He is described as a handsome Irishman who speaks with a brogue and uses his charms to get his way but, when all else fails, resorts to merciless and guiltless violence.

Brotherhood, which is shot in Providence, also stars Annabeth Gish, Ethan Embry, Kevin Chapman, Fiona Erickson and Fionnula Flanagan. It recently won a George Foster Peabody Award in the entertainment series category.

O'Byrne won a Tony for featured actor in a play for his role in Frozen and was nominated for a Tony for lead actor in a play for Doubt. His film roles include Million Dollar Baby, The New World and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

»

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Hoffman & Streep cast a shadow of a 'Doubt'

20 April 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Two already busy actors won't be taking much time off during the holidays - Variety reports that Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman are looking to sign on the dotted line for this Miramax project via producer Scott Rudin. Written by Shanley, Doubt is based on the Off Broadway's Manhattan Theater Club play. Set in 1964, "Doubt" centers on a nun who confronts a priest after suspecting him abusing a black student. He denies the charges, and much of the play's quick-fire dialogue tackles themes of religion, morality and authority. The black student never appears in the play, which features just four characters. But Shanley, who has finished a draft of the screenplay, plans to cast thesps in that role as well as those of other students. A fair amount of location shooting is planned for Gotham, so the pic has the feel of a neighborhood and not simply a school, »

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