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9 items from 2009

Levinson Slams Nyt Critic 'For Her Blatant Inaccuracies'

10 November 2009 6:16 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

By Wrap Staff

New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley is coming under attack from filmmaker Barry Levinson, who took the highly unusual -- though not unheard of -- step of criticizing the critic.

Stanley, whose high correction rate has attracted the critical eye of media watchdogs as diverse as Gawker and Columbia Journalism Review, is now being slammed for misrepresenting Levinson's "Poliwood." A documentary that explores the connections between celebrities and Washington, "Poliwood" premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and last week made its TV debut on Showti »

- Josh Dickey

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Criticism Is One Thing, Inaccuracy Another

10 November 2009 5:48 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

By Barry Levinson

As I write this, I realize I am about to do something that, for the most part, is never done. I am going to criticize a critic.

Filmmakers are never supposed to respond to a critic about their work. It’s an unspoken rule of engagement. But in this case, I feel compelled.

I am going to criticize Alessandra Stanley, the TV critic for the New York Times. I am not going to criticize her on the basis of what she may not like about my recent film essay “Poliwood,” but I am going to take her to task for her blatant inaccuracies. For her inability to view the piece f »

- Lisa Horowitz

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What's On: The Land of Poliwood

2 November 2009 4:00 PM, PST | Movieline | See recent Movieline news »

On the eve of Edward Norton's By the People: The Election of Barack Obama's HBO premiere, Showtime rolls out Barry Levinson's Poliwood, a documentary examining the positive and negative effects that celebrities have on politics. The program revisits last year's Democratic and Republican national conventions to explore the public's take on movie stars' political outspokenness. The 90-minute film includes conversations with Ellen Burstyn, Susan Sarandon, Sting, Elvis Costello, Annette Bening, Tim Daly (who also produced the documentary) and many others. »

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Aff Review: Poliwood

1 November 2009 12:02 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

It's not uncommon to hear people discussing -- or complaining about -- the ways in which Hollywood celebrities are involved in politics, whether they're airing their opinions during a concert or speaking in public on behalf of a politician. Barry Levinson (Diner, Good Morning Vietnam) thought this was an interesting enough topic to address in his documentary Poliwood, which focuses on the 2008 national Democratic and Republican conventions. Unfortunately, the documentary shows us little that we haven't already seen, and tends to preach to the converted.

Poliwood is subtitled "a Barry Levinson film essay," which signals us that this will be a more personal style of documentary. Levinson opens the movie with shots from his 1990 feature film Avalon and uses this footage to discuss the ways American lives have changed because of television. His focus is on the Creative Coalition, a non-partisan organization of celebrities that focuses on issues such as arts education. »

- Jette Kernion

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Denver Film Festival announces full lineup

26 October 2009 11:34 AM, PDT | | See recent QuietEarth news »

The only big film festival in my own backyard is back and it runs from November 12th through the 22nd. While it caters more to heavy run fest material and arthouse film, they do have some of the more interesting films playing this year:

Ryan Ward's excellent Son of the Sunshine which is one of my favorite films of the year. (review)

The weird, lengthy comedy The Revenant (review)

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

and much more. Program after the break!

In Competition

Children of Invention

Two first-generation Chinese kids in suburban Boston find themselves on their own after their desperate mother is unwittingly involved in a pyramid scheme and arrested. Older brother Raymond takes a page from her marketing seminars to start creating a life for himself and his sister - casting a strange, pint-sized reflection on the American Dream.

Footprints »

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Documentaries are in at Austin film fest

26 August 2009 5:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The Austin Film Festival and Conference, which runs Oct. 22-29, released a sampling of its feature lineup Wednesday.

The 16th annual screenwriter-focused fest will screen several documentaries, including Peter Hanson's "Tales From the Script," Barry Levinson's "PoliWood" and Robert Townsend's "Why We Laugh."

World premieres will include Gary Lundgren's "Calvin Marshall," Todd Berger's "The Scenesters" and Mark Potts and Cole Selix's "Simmons on Vinyl."

The centerpiece film will be Oren Moverman and Alessandro Camon's "The Messenger."

Also screening are Robert Byington's "Harmony and Me," Peter Bratt's "La Mission" and Gregori Viens and Henry Phillips' "Punching the Clown."

This year's fest will honor Steven Zaillian with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award and Ron Howard with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award.

The rest of the program -- including competition titles, shorts and the opening- and closing-night films -- will be announced mid-September. »

- By Jay A. Fernandez

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Barry Levinson's Next Satire Target: Celeb Activists

2 May 2009 7:37 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

By Eric Kohn

Barry Levinson knows the beast that is mass media.


The director explored the impact of television on family life with his 1990 drama "Avalon," and he revealed the ways politicians use the news to manipulate the public in his clever satire "Wag the Dog." Now he's turned the camera on himself and his peers with a film essay entitled "Poliwood" about celebrity activism.


In the movie, Levinson focuses on the activities of the Creative Coalition in building awareness for political causes while dealing with the backlash from »

- Lew Harris

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Tribeca Talks: Poliwood

2 May 2009 6:05 AM, PDT | | See recent Tribeca Film news »

Barry Levinson ©Getty Images, photo credit: Neilson Barnard Last night at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Barry Levinson premiered his new 'film essay,' Poliwood, to an engaged and appreciative audience. In the film, the Academy Award-winning director (Rain Man) explores the ever-blurrying divides at the intersection of Hollywood, media, and politics. In following a path from last summer's conventions through Obama's jubilant inauguration as the 44th president, the film poses many questions for celebrities who want to get involved, the central one being, 'How do you survive the media circus and not end up the clown?' The Creative Coalition is an ostensibly non-partisan group of artists from the entertainment industry who are committed to »

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Tribeca festival sets panels, special events

30 March 2009 5:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival's panel series and special events will include conversations with directors Spike Lee, Barry Levinson, Steven Soderbergh, Kirby Dick and Alex Gibney.

The fest, which runs April 22-May 3 in New York, will showcase "Tribeca Talks Special Events" around the films "Poliwood" and "Passing Strange."

Levinson will be on hand to discuss his new film "Poliwood" following its premiere. Joining him to discuss the movie about politics and Hollywood will be the film's actors Josh Lucas, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tim Daly, Lynn Whitfield, Tony Goldwyn, Robert Davi and Matthew Modine. NBC News political analyst and writer Lawrence O'Donnell will moderate.

Lee will present "Passing Strange," his filmed version of the 2008 Tony-winning Broadway musical. Joining him for a panel discussion will be the show's creator, Stew, and its co-composer, Heidi Rodewald.

The "Behind the Screens" series will examine serveral films: Cathy Henkel's documentary "The Burning Season"; Barry Ptolmy's »

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2013 | 2011 | 2009

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