AFI FEST: ‘Hunger,’ ‘Che’

Posted by · 7:48 pm · November 2nd, 2008

Four days and three screenings into the 2008 AFI Fest, I’m one-for-two and looking to add to the “win” column as much as possible in the next week.  It hit me this afternoon, though, that no two films could be better suited to an introductory update from the festival, two exercises in subverting the conventions […]

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I have to say it

Posted by · 1:11 pm · November 2nd, 2008

Some folks have really had the wool pulled over their eyes as it pertains to “Che” this year.  That’s a shitty thing to say, I know, but it’s weird when you sense the spell of a maverick filmmaker cast so precisely over viewers just asking to be spellbound.  Suddenly subversion for its own sake and […]

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11/2 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 12:17 pm · November 2nd, 2008

• After a third go, Jeffrey Wells is still in the tank for “Che,” claiming that you have to do some homework on the subject before coming into the film. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Steven Zeitchik writes up the Oscar season from the most played-out perspective in the book: biopics. [The Hollywood Reporter] • Chrissey Iley […]

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Awaiting ‘Che’ at the Chinese

Posted by · 5:50 pm · November 1st, 2008

I lucked out with a couple of prime, mid-theater seats here at Grauman’s Chinese for tonight’s heavily anticipated screening of “Che.” Suffice it to say I won’t be posting for another five hours at best. I’ll try to hammer out something on the screening and after party either later tonight or in the A.M. For […]

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11/1 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 11:32 am · November 1st, 2008

• Mark Olsen goes deep with Soderbergh on “Che.” [The Envelope] • Tom O’Neil chats it up with “Happy-Go-Lucky” star Sally Hawkins. [Gold Derby] • Jeffrey Wells susses through conflicting running time numbers for “Australia,” which, by the way, 25 days out from release, where the hell is this movie? [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Anne Thompson […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Milk’ unveiled, London winds down, Halloween horror

Posted by · 8:00 pm · October 31st, 2008

It’s been a quieter seven days after the upheaval we’ve seen in the race lately, but here’s how things went down: • “Milk” and “Frost/Nixon” finally unspooled for the LA crowd… • … and boy, some people don’t take kindly to criticism of either flick. • Meanwhile, “Doubt” kicked off the AFI Fest… • … […]

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‘Doubt’ lands at AFI

Posted by · 12:33 am · October 31st, 2008

Miramax honcho Daniel Battsek and actresses Meryl Streep and Amy Adams joined director John Patrick Shanley tonight in introducing the world premiere of “Doubt” as the AFI Fest’s opening gala presentation.  The film, adapted from Shanley’s stage play, has quickly become the lead Oscar pony for a studio that dominated the awards circuit last season. […]

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LONDON: A note on ‘Che’

Posted by · 6:44 pm · October 29th, 2008

Since its contentious debut at Cannes in May, Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” has attained a  reputation in certain quarters as some kind of intimidating four-hour monolith, even a grand folly. The 252-minute running time is invariably the first detail given about the film, a figure that seems to awe and repel people in equal measure. So […]

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The year’s evolving Oscar race reveals the weakest season in recent memory

Posted by · 9:12 am · October 19th, 2008

With rumors that “The Road” may be bumped to 2009, (not Harvey Weinstein’s choice of release year) and “The Soloist” already moving on, along with the rumblings that “Frost/ Nixon” does indeed lack that edge I wrote about not so long ago, one can feel the Oscar race shifting day to day. Even “Changeling,” once […]

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10/10 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:04 am · October 10th, 2008

• Peter Knegt talks to “Ashes of Time Redux” director Wong Kair-Wai. [indieWIRE] • Steven Zeitchick — who started a lot of the Rudin/Weinstein mess by printing gossip — writes up the “Rudin walks away” story with no mention of Patrick Goldstein’s breaking the news. [The Hollywood Reporter] • Goldstein, meanwhile, gets some quality time […]

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10/3 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:28 am · October 3rd, 2008

• A clip from “Changeling.” [Oscar Watch] • And another. [The Envelope] • Or, if you prefer, the first five minutes of “Blindness.” [Yahoo! Movies] • David Poland breaks the news that “Che” will get its U.S. debut at AFI Fest here in Los Angeles — at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. [The Hot Blog] • […]

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Page to Screen has officially closed

Posted by · 10:55 am · October 2nd, 2008

Sorry for the column to go out with a whimper like that, but the more things piled on, the less time I had to read William Monahan’s “Body of Lies” and offer up the final column.  I’m seeing the film on Monday, so by now it’s a bit moot, so I just wanted to note […]

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9/30 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:40 am · September 30th, 2008

• Mark Olsen reports on the first U.S. screening of German foreign film Oscar entry “The Baader-Meinhof Complex.” [The Big Picture] • Jeffrey Wells passes along a note from an exhibitor acquaintance who thinks “Milk” is a home run, but “Frost/Nixon” is a bit stale. [Hollywood Elsewhere] • Then he picks the five likely Best […]

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OFF THE CARPET: When the movies play second fiddle

Posted by · 2:19 pm · September 29th, 2008

Short column this time around because there are just a few specific things on my mind. It’s been a relatively slow couple of weeks in the wake of the Toronto International Film Festival.  At least on the surface.’ Behind the scenes, studios are circling their wagons, securing Oscar ad buys, prepping their fall product and […]

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9/19 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 5:13 am · September 19th, 2008

• Peter Sciretta wraps up the Toronto Fest, live from Fantastic Fest.  It’s that time of the year… [/Film] • Oscar winner Diablo Cody responds to the haters: “I like my fake name.  It’s engraved on an Oscar.  Yours isn’t.” [MySpace] • Mark Olsen apparently reported over a week ago that Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt […]

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Best Actor race looking tight as always — expect surprises

Posted by · 11:37 am · September 17th, 2008

The Best Actor category tends to be one of the more crowded categories come Oscar time, and 2008 looks to be no exception. To be sure, there are a handful of frontrunners as usual, but hovering behind them are another group, more than eight who could easily sneak in and nab a nomination. Last year […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Che” by Peter Buchman

Posted by · 6:52 am · September 16th, 2008

“To the people of Santa Clara, this is Commandant Che Guevara. The enemy would have us live in fear. But it is they who should be afraid. Because the power of the people is irresistible. Blockade the streets. Open your homes to rebel soldiers. And if you have a gun, pick it up. If there was ever a time to fight for your liberty, […]

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‘Che’ and ‘Hurt Locker’ find distributors in Toronto

Posted by · 11:23 am · September 10th, 2008

It looks like IFC Films, not Magnolia Pictures (as originally expected), has picked up the much-discussed “Che” at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Here’s Anne Thompson on why.  Meanwhile, Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq film “The Hurt Locker,” which is stunning critics all over the place, was scooped up by Summit Entertainment. How interesting is it that […]

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