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Confession: going into "The Bling Ring," opening film for this year’s Un Certain Regard, I was hopeful that I’d find the Sofia Coppola of "Marie Antoinette" rather than the Sofia Coppola of "Somewhere" parked behind the camera. Surely, a true-life Hollywood tale as fundamentally ludicrous as fame-and-celebrity-obsessed hipster teens targeting freebie-laden homes of the rich and famous cried out for the leering (but not sneering) pop-art approach Coppola brought to her portrait of the pampered French queen, rather than the deadpan, going-round-in-circles approach she applied to her tale of an alienated movie star. The fact that it is indeed the latter is disappointing, although judging from recent interviews it appears Coppola’s thorny "Marie Antoinette" experience (some boos at Cannes, etc) left her depleted, so she’s all about small and simple now. But any director who counts "The Queen Of Versailles" as one of their recent favorites »
- Matt Mueller
Certainly documentaries have inspired TV series before (recently MTV made"Catfish" a television hit). But, with Lauren Greenfield's critically acclaimed "The Queen of Versailles" slated to make its television debut next Monday on Bravo, its director Lauren Greenfield isn't interested in expanding the doc to a series. "No, for me, I spent three years on it. That was really the film," Greenfield tells TheWrap at NBCU's summer press day in Pasadena on Monday. "Jackie may consider that at a later point, but I'm working on other things now." So, why choose to debut »
- Jethro Nededog
The summer movie season isn't exactly best known for independent film. With billions of dollars set to be spent on a vast amount of sequels and remakes ("The Hangover Part III," "Fast & Furious 6,""The Smurfs 2," "Kick Ass 2," "Grown Ups 2," "300: Rise of an Empire," etc, etc, etc.), one has to wonder: How much space is left for the little guys? But, while summer as a season will never equal the indie film hotbed that is the fall, in recent years there have actually been quite a few smaller scale breakouts during the studio's favorite months. Last year, for example, summer brought eventual best picture Oscar nominee "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and best documentary Oscar winner "Searching For Sugar Man," not to mention "Moonrise Kingdom," "Take This Waltz," "The Queen of Versailles," "Your Sister's Sister" and "The Loneliest Planet." That said, summer can be a particularly risky time to release an independent film, »
Renewed interest in 'lost' sci-fi movie Lord of Light, the best worst films, and an update on the Florida Versailles
Argo for that
Hoping to continue its good awards form at the Baftas tonight is Argo. Ben Affleck's film is also back in cinemas, mopping up anyone who may have missed it first time around. Also increasingly hopeful with every new victory is Barry Ira Geller, the original author of the sci-fi screenplay within the film of Argo. Affleck's film is, of course, based on the true story of the CIA posing as a film crew, and Geller's 1979 screenplay, which the CIA subsequently acquired, was originally supposed to be made into a movie called "Lord of Light", based on a 1967 novel by Roger Zelazny. To date the film remains unmade. Ownership appears a bit of a mess, as the CIA bought the script to use as cover for its hostage rescue, »
- Jason Solomons
11th Annual Tsr Movie Awards
Click here to vote
Nominations for Best Documentary Film of 2012
The Invisible War
5 Broken Cameras
This is just one of the categories in the 11th Annual Tsr Movie Awards. Categories range from the typical (Best Overall Cast, Best Actor, Best Film) to the atypical (Best Ending, Best Quote, Funniest).
If you have seen two movies or 200, it doesn’t matter. You only vote for the films you have seen.
Click here to vote Click Here and “like” The Scorecard Review on Facebook. That way you’ll make sure to get all of the updates and results of the 11th Annual Tsr Movie Awards. »
- Jeff Bayer
After tasting Golden Globe, PGA and SAG Award success, Ben Affleck's acclaimed CIA thriller Argo has now sealed its status as the front-runner for Best Picture at this month's Oscars, with the Director's Guild of America honouring Affleck with the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Films at the 65th annual DGA Awards, which took place last night at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
Typically, the winner of the DGA Award goes on to collect the Oscar for Best Director, but with Affleck losing out on an Academy Award nomination to Michael Haneke (Amour), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln) and David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), the two awards will differ for only the seventh time in history, and the first since 2002 when Roman Polanski won the Oscar for The Pianist after Rob Marshall had »
Some people can win for losing.
Ben Affleck claimed the Directors Guild of America Award for Argo on Saturday in Hollywood’s latest thumb-in-the-eye to the small group of filmmakers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who failed to nominate him for an Oscar.
“I worked really, really hard to become the best director I could be, by putting in as hours as I can, and banging my head against a wall, berating myself, lying to myself about whether it’s going to work,” Affleck told the crowd, never mentioning the snub. “Basically, I got to a »
- Anthony Breznican
The couple who built their own Palace of Versailles: a mesmerising tale of hubris
• Queen of Versailles on iPlayer
• Great British Menu on iPlayer
History isn't the Siegels' strongest suit. Bearing in mind that two of the best-known occupants of the Palace of Versailles ended up on the guillotine, I'd have thought that anyone might see it was tempting to fate to build a 30 bathroomed (no one seemed to know exactly how many other rooms it was due to have) replica just for themselves. Even in Florida. And having seen his own father lose most of his money in Las Vegas when he was a kid, I'd also have thought David would be aware, in that particular city, that the bank always wins. Hubris can be expensive.
- John Crace
Every year the Sundance Film Festival launches some of the most important indie films and documentaries into the cinematic world. Last year unveiled future Oscar nominees "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "The Sessions" and "Searching for Sugarman" among others (plus indie crowd-pleasers like "Safety Not Guaranteed" and "The Queen of Versailles").
Here are 10 highlights from Sundance 2013:
What it is: A naturalistic teen drama starring the amazing Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley (who shared a special jury prize for their performances) as a high school couple coping with personal issues. Ideal for fans of TV's "Friday Night Lights," the James Ponsoldt-directed film also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Bob Odenkirk, Brie Larson and Kyle Chandler (in a very anti-Coach Taylor role).
Where you can see it: Acquired by up-and-coming distributor A24, which plans a summer theatrical release.
What it is: An »
This week on The Collision, we talk about the 2013 Sundance Film Festival with Film School Rejects Associate Editor and MSN Movies critic and contributor Kate Erbland. We give our overall appraisal of this year's festival, our favorite and least favorite films, and how we think these movies will perform when they're released into theaters. As always, we close out the show with our recommendations. Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode ("Gangster Movies and Gangster Squad"), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @DrClawMD (Dave Trumbore). Hit the jump to check out the trailers for this week’s recommendations. Kate's Recommendation: Sound of My Voice Adam's Recommendation: The Queen of Versailles Matt's »
- Matt Goldberg
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Running Time: 100 minutes
The Queen Of Versailles is a revealing documentary by Lauren Greenfield that follows billionaire couple David and Jackie Siegel, just as they have started building a mansion inspired by the Palace of Versailles near Paris. The house will end up being the biggest single-family dwelling in America in Orlando, Florida and every night it’ll overlook the fireworks of Walt Disney World as they close for the day.
But here’s the twist, over the two years since the documentary started filming, the Siegel empire that’s fuelled by real estate, re-mortgaging, timeshares and – in essence – cheap money begins to falter due to the Us economic crisis that impacted on lives worldwide. The Queen Of Versailles isn’t unreasonably dramatic, »
- Dan Bullock
★★★★☆ Most people would probably manage to just about survive the ignominy of living in a 26,000 square foot home with seventeen (count 'em) bathrooms. The fact that the infamous Siegel family were "busting out of the seams" in theirs was part of the reason that photographer and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield will have decided to focus upon them so closely and brilliantly. The resulting film, The Queen of Versailles (2012), is a wickedly funny look at the obscenity of extreme wealth that morphs, through the coincidental arrival of the economic recession, into something ever more engrossing.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
It’s Monday, so we all know what that means! Yes, it’s time for another rundown of DVDs and Blu-ray’s hitting stores online and offline this week. It’s a very light week this week, so let us breakdown the new releases and highlight what you should – and shouldn’t – be buying from today, January 28th 2013.
Pick Of The Week
In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits. ParaNorman review
And the rest…
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, »
Sam Wollaston on last night's TV
Prepare to swerve Dickinson's Real Deal for the week; yes, this absorbing daytime drama is that good. In these five stand-alone stories from Jimmy McGovern's stable, it's the everyday situations that hook you in. Matthew Kelly and Barbara Flynn are compelling and believable as a couple whose priorities gently switch from selling their house to helping a grieving mother, when their front garden becomes a shrine after a man is killed on the road outside. More goodies follow every day this week with Robert Glenister and Johnny Vegas among those on directing duties. Hannah Verdier
Great British Menu
After a regal start cooking for the Queen, it seems to have become increasingly difficult for Great British Menu to »
- Hannah Verdier, John Robinson, David Stubbs, Martin Skegg, Julia Raeside
• Sarah Dempster's TV Od: Storyville's documentary has a surprising side effect - it makes you sympathise with the once obscenely rich protagonists
"I have ostrich feather Gucci pants and $5m of Chinese marble," trills Jackie Siegel, perched pinkly on a golden throne. "And what do you call the eggs from Russia? Fabergé? Yeah, I got the giant ones." Jackie – a vision in flammable cerise buffoonwear – is the subject of Storyville: The Queen Of Versailles (Monday, 10pm, BBC4), an award-winning look at what happens when the Florida housewife and her self-made billionaire husband David attempt to build "the biggest and best house in America!" It makes for astonishing viewing.
While Jackie, 43, titivates her fleet of irritable lapdogs, David, 74, lumbers around like an elderly labrador in beige utility shorts, barking about third parties and negative equity into his mobile headset, one ear forever scanning the distance for the elusive squawk of an incremental loan agreement. »
- Sarah Dempster
David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts and one of the subjects of Lauren Greenfield’s acclaimed documentary, The Queen Of Versailles, just got a little more ruined. Last January, the billionaire sued both Greenfield and the organization that runs the Sundance Film Festival for defamation, after coming to the conclusion that the movie detailing his disastrous fall from immense wealth hurt the reputation of his company. Today The Hollywood Reporter reports that a U.S. District Court judge has deemed Siegel’s claim baseless. Siegel was banking on the fact that the release signed by his son, Richard Siegel »
The Queen Of Versailles + Q&A, London
Few recent documentaries have summed up the craziness of our times as well as Lauren Greenfield's The Queen Of Versailles. It focused on the wealthy Siegel family and their matriarch Jackie, whose attempts to build one of the largest private homes in America were stalled by the sub-prime meltdown. The film-makers and the Siegels apparently fell out, too. But what happened next? This one-off screening is the chance to find out, with both Greenfield and Jackie Siegel attending the Q&A.
Ritzy Picturehouse, SW2, Wed
Nick Abrahams, London
He recently received an award for his gorgeous Sigur Rós short film (in which Aidan Gillen, pictured, is guided by a talking snail), but Abrahams has been experimenting visually for the coolest bands for decades, including Huggy Bear, Stereolab, Leftfield, »
- Steve Rose
When filmmaker Lauren Greenfield set out to make her documentary The Queen of Versailles, her goal was to capture the incredibly luxurious lifestyle of David and Jaqueline Siegel, who were preparing to build the largest single family private home in America, modeled after the French palace of Versailles. But then the housing crisis hit, and Mr. Siegel, whose fortune had been built on his expansive time-share operation, was hit hard. In light of economic crisis, the Siegel family was forced to radically change their lifestyle and sell their $75 million American palace, which was still under construction. For her part, Greenfield found herself capturing every moment, from Jaqueline's attempts to buy her kids Christmas gifts at Wal-Mart, to the couple's mounting marital tension, and the growing business concerns of David and his company, Westgate Resorts. Watching the film, you clearly see David struggling to keep his company afloat, and personally I »
Sundance opener documentary about a migrant worker found dead in the Arizona desert is a touching, if slightly moralistic, tale
This time last year Sundance kicked off with two very popular documentaries, Searching for Sugar Man and The Queen of Versailles – both, in their way, unlikely redemption stories for recessionary times. The first of the 2013 batch, however, began the festival in a less crowd-pleasing fashion. Though well-intentioned, well-crafted and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful in its cityscapes, Marc Silver's Who Is Dayani Cristal? seems like a step backwards towards the more didactic, moralistic docs of old, leaving little for viewers to deduce or feel for themselves.
In structure, the film does break with the old-school talking-heads model, using reconstruction and fictional flourishes in the style of Bart Layton's The Imposter (or, more pertinently, Carol Morley's Dreams of a Life), to investigate the life of a migrant worker found dead in the Arizona desert. »
- Damon Wise
Ben Affleck's "Argo" continues its ascendance to Oscar glory. Adding to its treasure-trove of trophies was the big win at the Dorian Awards given by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (Galeca).
In the acting categories, Daniel Day-Lewis won Film Performance of the Year -- Actor for "Lincoln" and Anne Hathaway was given the Female Performance of the Year award for her memorable performance as Fantine in Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables."
The complete list of Dorian Award winners is below. A celebratory toast will be held Sunday, February 17 in Los Angeles.
For more information, please visit: galeca.com and https://www.facebook.com/galecadorianawards
Here are the winners (in bold); for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:
Film Of The Year
*** Argo (Warner Bros.)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Fox Searchlight)
Keep the Lights On (Music Box)
Les Miserables (Universal)
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