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The 2008 RopeofSilicon Movie Awards

30 December 2008 1:11 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Okay, so here we are. This article will basically amount to my capstone piece for the end of 2008 as I will now hand out what amounts to the first ever RopeofSilicon Awards. My hope for future RopeofSilicon Awards is that I can figure out some kind of nominating and voting system so you, the users, can award each of these categories by nominating films throughout the year, running mini For Your Consideration campaigns in the comment section and so forth. Unfortunately, such an endeavor is outside of my capacity at the moment so you will have to deal with my opinion on each category for now, but as always I want to hear your opinion on who you would award in the comments below. After all, my opinion is just the start of things in order to get you thinking and talking, it certainly isn't the end-all/be-all of opinions. »

- Brad Brevet

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Did 'Twilight' Put a Stake in the 'Near Dark' Remake?

15 December 2008 2:02 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

Ok, I'll admit it: I couldn't be happier that that the long-planned remake of the vamp classic Near Dark will not be happening any time soon. Producer Brad Fuller recently spoke with Empire magazine about the just-announced Twilight sequel, when Fuller brought up the remake, telling Empire, "Near Dark is probably not going to happen, I think that Twilight was the same type of thing we were going for although Near Dark was a much darker, sexier, rated R version of that." And if you have seen the original Near Dark, you know that "darker" is a nice way of putting it (anyone remember that scene in the bar? I'd like to see The Cullens top that).

Originally released in 1987, Dark was written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and centered on a small town boy (played by Adrian Pasdar) who is roped into a vampire gang when »

- Jessica Barnes

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Spirit Award Noms Announced

7 December 2008 1:28 PM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

"Ballast," "Frozen River" and "Rachel Getting Married" led the nominees for Film Independent's 24th Annual Spirit Awards, with a three-way tie of six nominations each. All three are in the running for best feature, best director, best first screenplay and best female lead for actresses Tarra Riggs, Melissa Leo and Anne Hathaway.

"Milk" scored four nominations, including male lead for Sean Penn, supporting actor for James Franco, cinematography and best first screenplay for Dustin Lance Black.

Cannes winner "The Class" was nominated in the foreign film category along with "Gomorra," "Hunger," "The Secret of the Grain" and "Silent Light."

The runners for the John Cassavetes Award, honoring films budgeted under $500,000, are "In Search of a Midnight Kiss," "Prince of Broadway," "The Signal," "Take Out," and "Turn the River."

The Robert Altman Award, which is presented to a film's director, casting director and ensemble cast, will go to "Synecdoche, New York. »

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The 2009 Spirit Award Nominations

2 December 2008 12:33 PM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The Film Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced this morning by Jason Bateman and Sandra Oh and there is a three-way tie at the top of the pack as Ballast, Frozen River and Rachel Getting Married each received six nominations each. All three films will compete in the Best Feature, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay categories. Also competing for feature will be Wendy and Lucy and The Wrestler which received two and three nominations respectively. Milk scored four nominations. What does any of this mean in terms of Oscar? Well, one thing you will notice come this Thursday when I present my latest predictions will be that I have corrected my accidental snub of Melissa Leo in Frozen River as she should have been on the list already in the Best Actress category and she will most likely find herself in the top five. I think this confirms »

- Brad Brevet

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2009 Spirit Award Nominations

2 December 2008 9:09 AM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

By Stephen Saito

Jason Bateman and Sandra Oh braved the early call time this morning in Los Angeles to announce this year's nominees for the Spirit Awards. The awards will take place on February 21st, and will be broadcast live and uncut on IFC at 5pm Et/2pm PT. Here are the nominees:

Best Feature

"Ballast"

Producers: Lance Hammer, Nina Parikh

"Frozen River"

Producers: Chip Hourihan, Heather Rae

"Rachel Getting Married"

Producers: Neda Armian, Jonathan Demme, Marc Platt

"Wendy and Lucy"

Producers: Larry Fessenden, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani

"The Wrestler"

Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin

Best Director

Ramin Bahrani, "Chop Shop"

Jonathan Demme, "Rachel Getting Married"

Lance Hammer, "Ballast"

Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"

Thomas McCarthy, "The Visitor"

Best First Feature

"Afterschool"

Director: Antonio Campos

Producers: Sean Durkin, Josh Mond

"Medicine for Melancholy"

Director: Barry Jenkins

Producer: Justin Barber

"Sangre de Mi Sangre"

Director: Christopher Zalla

Producers: Per Melita, Benjamin Odell

"Sleep Dealer"

Director: Alex Rivera

Producer: Anthony Bregman

"Synechdoce, New York"

Director: Charlie Kaufman

Producers: Anthony Bregman, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Sidney Kimmel

John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)

"In Search of a Midnight Kiss"

Writer/Director: Alex Holdridge

Producers: Seth Caplan and Scoot McNairy

"Prince of Broadway"

Director: Sean Baker

Writers: Sean Baker, Darren Dean

Producer: Darren Dean

"The Signal"

Writer/Directors: David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry

Producers: Jacob Gentry and Alexander Motiagh

"Take Out"

Writer/Directors/Producers: Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou

"Turn the River"

Writer/Director: Chris Eigeman

Producer: Ami Armstrong

Best First Screenplay

Dustin Lance Black, "Milk"

Lance Hammer, "Ballast"

Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"

Jonathan Levine, "The Wackness"

Jenny Lumet, "Rachel Getting Married"

Best Screenplay

Woody Allen, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, "Sugar"

Charlie Kaufman, "Synecdoche, New York"

Howard A. Rodman, "Savage Grace"

Christopher Zalla, "Sangre de Mi Sangre"

Best Female Lead

Summer Bishil, "Towelhead"

Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"

Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"

Tarra Riggs, "Ballast"

Michelle Williams, "Wendy and Lucy"

Best Male Lead

Javier Bardem, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"

Sean Penn, "Milk"

Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"

Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Best Supporting Female

Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Rosemarie DeWitt, "Rachel Getting Married"

Rosie Perez, "The Take"

Misty Upham, "Frozen River"

Debra Winger, "Rachel Getting Married"

Best Supporting Male

James Franco, "Milk"

Anthony Mackie, "The Hurt Locker"

Charlie McDermott, "Frozen River"

JimMyron Ross, "Ballast"

Haaz Sleiman, "The Visitor"

Best Cinematography

Maryse Alberti, "The Wrestler"

Lol Crowley, "Ballast"

James Laxton, "Medicine for Melancholy"

Harris Savides, "Milk"

Michael Simmonds, "Chop Shop"

Best Documentary

"The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)"

Director: Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath

"Encounters at the End of the World"

Director: Werner Herzog

"Man on Wire"

Director: James Marsh

"The Order of Myths"

Director: Margaret Brown

"Up the Yangtze"

Director: Yung Chang

Best Foreign Film

"The Class" (France)

Director: Laurent Cantet

"Gomorrah" (Italy)

Director: Matteo Garrone

"Hunger" (UK/Ireland)

Director: Steve McQueen

"Secret of the Grain" (France)

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

"Silent Light" (Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany)

Director: Carlos Reygadas

Robert Altman Award (Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast)

"Synecdoche, New York"

Director: Charlie Kaufman

Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Hope Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Tom Noonan, Dianne Wiest, Michelle Williams

Someone to Watch Award

Barry Jenkins, "Medicine for Melancholy"

Nina Paley, "Sita Sings the Blues"

Lynn Shelton, "My Effortless Brilliance"

Truer Than Fiction Award

Margaret Brown, "The Order of Myths"

Sacha Gervasi, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil"

Darius Marder, "Loot"

Producers Award

Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy, "Treeless Mountain" and "I'll Come Running"

Jason Orans, "Goodbye Solo" and "Year of the Fish"

Heather Rae, "Frozen River" and "Ibid"

»

- Stephen Saito

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Three-way tie at top of Spirit Award noms

2 December 2008 6:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With six nominations each, "Ballast," a drama about survival in the Mississippi Delta, "Frozen River," a portrait of two single moms on the Canadian border, and "Rachel Getting Married," the account of a dysfunctional family wedding, led the nominees for Film Independent's Spirit Awards, announced Tuesday morning.

All three films were nominated for best feature along "Wendy and Lucy" and "The Wrestler."

Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York," a twisty, M.C. Escher-like film, was singled out as the winner of the group's Robert Altman Award, give to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast. Kaufman will share the award with casting director Jeanne McCarthy and his actors Hope Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Catherine Keener, Samantha Morton, Tom Noonan, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, and Michelle Williams when the Spirit Awards are handed out Feb. 21.

"Synecdoche" also figure in the best first feature lineup, along with Antonio Campos' "Afterschool, »

- By Gregg Kilday

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Who Should Direct the 'Twilight' Sequel - 'New Moon'?

26 November 2008 11:01 PM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Director Catherine Hardwicke, star Kristen Stewart and author Stephenie Meyer

Photo: Summit Entertainment Whether you love or hate Twilight it is impossible to ignore the fact it is a phenomenon, and a female phenomenon at that. For so long genre films have satisfied fanboys and their lust to see men dressed as spiders, bats, flaming skulls and giant green men, but we now have our first bonafide fangirl film. Sure, there have been the Hannah Montana's and High School Musical king of films, but those always skewed younger. Twilight captured an audience Sex and the City couldn't even fulfill. Back at the end of May Sex and the City opened to $57 million and the headlines ran rampant insisting women could spur a film on to box-office success; the film ended up making $152 million. Less than two months later came Mamma Mia! and its opening weekend of $27 million. It was »

- Brad Brevet

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'Twilight' important for Summit

19 November 2008 4:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Much of the conversation about potential Summit Entertainment breakout "Twilight" has centered on the future of the franchise.

But it also is the future of Summit that depends in some ways on "Twilight."

Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger's company had a start in 2008 that, while in line with that of many first-year companies, didn't always outperform at the boxoffice. Midrange productions like "Never Back Down" ($25 million domestic) and acquisitions like "Penelope" ($10 million domestic) did decently, while "Sex Drive," the R-rated comedy with a sizable marketing budget, significantly underperformed, taking in $8 million in U.S. ticket sales.

The overall Summit model, which does have advantages such as a lucrative international sales business, also has limits; it lacks, for example, a pay-tv deal to supplement theatrical revenue.

That ups the boxoffice pressure on "Twilight," a production that's believed to have cost in the $40 million-$50 million range (Summit officially pegs it at »

- By Steven Zeitchik

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On the Verge

23 October 2008 1:59 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Noah Emmerich makes a terrific sidekick. He has played Jim Carrey's devious cohort (The Truman Show), Jim Caviezel's understanding best friend (Frequency), and Kurt Russell's kindhearted assistant (Miracle). But in Pride and Glory, opening next week, Emmerich is nobody's buddy. In the film's tight-knit family of New York City cops — with the patriarch played by Oscar winner Jon Voight, his son-in-law by Colin Farrell, and his youngest son by Edward Norton — Emmerich is Francis Jr., the eldest son, caught in a web of police corruption. It's a plum role, and even Emmerich couldn't believe it when writer-director Gavin O'Connor offered it to him, despite his having appeared in both of the filmmaker's previous movies, Tumbleweeds and Miracle. "I read the script and was like, 'Oh my God, this is a starring role,'" Emmerich recalls. "I asked him, 'Are you sure you want me for this?' »

- Jenelle Riley

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Bigelow's "Hurt Locker" to open Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival

20 October 2008 2:56 PM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Christian Camargo will open the 23rd annual Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival which runs from November 6th until November 16th. Writer Mark Boal will join Bigelow at the fest hosted by Gaston Pauls ("Nine Queens") and Julieta Diaz ("The Signal"). We were left impressed with the film at this year's Toronto International Film Festival and highly recommend this one. »

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Bigelow's "Hurt Locker" to open Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival

20 October 2008 2:56 PM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Christian Camargo will open the 23rd annual Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival which runs from November 6th until November 16th. Writer Mark Boal will join Bigelow at the fest hosted by Gaston Pauls ("Nine Queens") and Julieta Diaz ("The Signal"). We were left impressed with the film at this year's Toronto International Film Festival and highly recommend this one. »

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Bigelow's "Hurt Locker" to open Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival

20 October 2008 2:56 PM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Christian Camargo  will open the 23rd annual Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival which runs from November 6th until November 16th. Writer Mark Boal will join Bigelow at the fest hosted by Gaston Pauls ("Nine Queens") and Julieta Diaz ("The Signal"). We were left impressed with the film at this year's Toronto International Film Festival and highly recommend this one.Our review: (4/5) Pulse-pounding action makes ‘Hurt Locker’ the Iraq War movie we’ve been cravingPerhaps, when it comes to films regarding the Iraq War and its surrounding politics, soldier dramas like “In the Valley of Elah” and “Stop-Loss” are not what immediately connect to us moviegoers. The case made by veteran filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and “Elah” screenwriter Mark Boal in their astounding war movie “The Hurt Locker” is that action, »

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Bigelow's "Hurt Locker" to open Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival

20 October 2008 2:56 PM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse and Christian Camargo will open the 23rd annual Mar del Plata Intl. Film Festival which runs from November 6th until November 16th. Writer Mark Boal will join Bigelow at the fest hosted by Gaston Pauls ("Nine Queens") and Julieta Diaz ("The Signal"). We were left impressed with the film at this year's Toronto International Film Festival and highly recommend this one. »

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A Market Marker Moved

19 October 2008 9:36 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

When ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘The Hurt Locker’ which were fully financed and packaged through CAA were sold by CAA in Toronto for comparatively high prices (‘The Wrestler’ went for $4,000,000), the sales were for the U.S. only which in itself is extraordinary. There was little note taken of this but it may represent a sizeable shift in market tactics. Traditionally majors acquire North American rights and most U.S. distributors try to acquire North American rather than just U.S. rights. Canada represents 10% of the North American market. And some Canadian distributors are willing to pay higher prices to gain greater revenues rather than taking commissions from the U.S. distributors for work the Canadian distributor is doing. Therefore the prices paid for U.S. alone is quite high and the price Canada will pay will also be higher. It may be precedent setting that Fox Searchlight and Summit, both very important companies took only U.S. It may presage a change in distribution models toward one that favors Canada. Canada has long wanted to be independent of the U.S. and it would offer higher advances for Canada than a U.S. based company who insists on including Canada in its deal which leaves the Canadian distributor less of revenue shares from theatrical, video and TV deals. It will be worth watching this at AFM to see if it becomes a trend. »

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Downey Jr. in 'Sherlock', Kingsley in 'Persia' and Gallons of Posters

11 October 2008 4:44 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

(clockwise from top left) Ben Kingsley in Prince of Persia, Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes, Max Payne poster, Che poster, Tdtess poster, Hulk, Frost/Nixon poster, Bedtime Stories poster Posters!!!! A new German poster for The Day the Earth Stood Still is online. As well as one and two new posters for Che, a French one for Max Payne, an international one for Frost/Nixon and finally another for The Hurt Locker. Did I forget the one for Bedtime Stories? Ooops! The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw wrote a review of The Incredible Hulk in what I will call "Hulk Speak". Not bad... Set Pics!!!! Defamer has a pic of Ben Kingsley on the set of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time while Just Jared has our first look at Robert Downey Jr. in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes. Guillermo del Toro talked to MTV about how The Hobbit »

- Brad Brevet

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The Hurt Locker

10 October 2008 5:58 AM, PDT | JoBlo.com | See recent JoBlo news »

Today we have this dynamite poster for the upcoming movie The Hurt Locker. In the movie Jeremy Renner plays a bomb specialist who is part of an army bomb squad in Iraq who must come together in a city where everyone is a potential enemy and every object could be a deadly bomb. Buzz on the film has been pretty great, even though I'm pretty sure that most of that synopsis could have been cut and pasted from The Kingdom and this movie doesn't have Jason Bateman. Still, really sweet poster: »

- James Thoo

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Great Poster for Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker

9 October 2008 3:07 PM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

There is one movie I kept missing up in Toronto called The Hurt Locker, an Iraq War movie about an elite Army bomb squad. So why should you care about yet another Iraq movie? Well this one is supposedly one of the best movies set in that part of the world. Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has got his hands on some sort of brand new poster for the film and I agree with him - it looks great. It's a simple visual marketing gimmick but it works. And maybe this kind of marketing will actually help this gain some buzz, because right now it has absolutely none, despite being one of the most praised movies in Toronto. "The Hurt Locker is like having your heart operated on by a construction worker wielding a power pneumatic nail-driver. And the high-voltage stuff, which happens often, is, no joke, on the level »

- Alex Billington

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New Poster for The Hurt Locker Conveys Some Urgency

9 October 2008 2:42 PM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

As Jeff Wells points out in the blog post introducing the poster to the right, it is hard to say whether or not this is an approved one-sheet for Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, but it certainly gets its point across. Wells is among a group of »

- Neil Miller

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American Film Market announces '08 lineup

2 October 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

"The Lonely Maiden," starring Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken; "The Killing Room," starring Timothy Hutton; and "Powder Blue," starring Forest Whitaker, will all screen for the first time at the 29th American Film Market, running Nov. 5-12 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel and Le Merigot Beach Hotel in Santa Monica.

The market will present 513 films, including 102 world premieres and 375 market premieres.

In addition to Freeman and Walken, the Yari Film Group's "Maiden" stars William H. Macy; "Killing Room," from ContentFilm International, stars Chloe Sevigny, Nick Cannon and Peter Stormare along with Hutton; Qed International's "Powder Blue" boasts a cast that includes Whitaker, Jessica Biel, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Liotta and Patrick Swayze.

Other pictures set for world premieres include "Baby on Board," with Lara Flynn Boyle, John Corbett, Heather Graham and Jerry O'Connell (Entertainment 7); "Evil Angel," starring Ving Rhames (Arrow Entertainment); "High Life," with Timothy Olyphant (Shoreline Entertainment); "La Linea, »

- By Gregg Kilday

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A Look at "The Hurt Locker" - Toronto International Film Festival Review.

25 September 2008 7:43 AM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Pulse-pounding action makes ‘Hurt Locker’ the Iraq War movie we’ve been craving Perhaps, when it comes to films regarding the Iraq War and its surrounding politics, soldier dramas like “In the Valley of Elah” and “Stop-Loss” are not what immediately connect to us moviegoers. The case made by veteran filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and “Elah” screenwriter Mark Boal in their astounding war movie “The Hurt Locker” is that action, dusty, noisy, sweat-inducing battle action tells the story of Iraq War soldiers and their daily challenges in ways drama can never touch. James (Jeremy Renner) is the new sergeant of a U.S. bomb disposal unit in Iraq who leads his young platoon past countless risks and numerous obstacles. With James at the center of its action whirlwind, “Hurt Locker” becomes a days-in-the-life adventure, following these soldiers as they face their tasks. Of course, what they do and the constant threats »

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