THE LISTS: Top 10 directorial debuts of the decade

Posted by · 8:51 am · June 23rd, 2009

To me, “great cinema” means something I haven’t seen before or something I have seen before presented in a new way. With 110 years of motion pictures behind us, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet those standards, especially since filmmakers find it a lot easier to give in to preconceived notions of story structure, character […]

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‘Frozen River’ continues its run at Gothams

Posted by · 1:43 am · December 3rd, 2008

“Frozen River” is really turning into one of the surprise packages of this admittedly young awards season. Just yesterday it had a superb showing in yesterday’s Independent Spirit nominations, where it beat the more hotly fancied likes of “The Visitor” to a Best Picture nomination, only two days after landing an unexpected nod in the […]

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‘Ballast,’ ‘River,’ ‘Rachel’ lead the Indie Spirit nods

Posted by · 11:26 am · December 2nd, 2008

I’m late to the table on today’s Independent Spirit Award nominations because I’ve been toiling away on the latest Oscar column (which should be up shortly).  Obviously, Sony Pictures Classics dominated the scene but I’m glad to see that this year’s crop is more “independent” than in years past. One nomination that stuck out to […]

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Still nobody knows anything

Posted by · 6:23 pm · November 7th, 2008

At least, that’s the message I get from Pete Hammond’s latest column, in which he somewhat half-heartedly claims that the Best Picture frontrunners at this stage are “WALL-E,” “The Dark Knight” and “Changeling.” In that order, apparently — with “Slumdog Millionaire” creeping up behind. I realize Hammond has access to more Academy members than I […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Button’ rises, ‘Torino’ surfaces, ‘Doubt’ swoops

Posted by · 6:30 am · October 25th, 2008

Apologies for the slightly delayed wrap. Much to discuss this week — here are the highlights: • With some formerly hot prospects now off the radar, this week’s Off the Carpet column surveys the landscape, and concludes that things look good for “Benjamin Button.” • “The Soloist” withdrew as the AFI fest opener; their loss […]

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‘Ballast’ tops list of Gotham Indie award nominees

Posted by · 8:00 am · October 20th, 2008

The Gotham Independent Film Award nominees have been announced (note the change in moniker this year), and Lance Hammer’s Mississippi drama “Ballast” leads the pack with four nominations.  Six films received two nominations apiece, including Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York,” Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” and Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” One film that might […]

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