VENICE: ‘Dark Horse,’ ‘Chicken With Plums,’ ‘Sal’

Posted by · 4:53 am · September 5th, 2011

(Review of “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” landing later this morning. Hang tight.) Todd Solondz has forged a loyal friendship with the Venice Film Festival across the second half of his career: all three of his last features have premiered here. Their mutual devotion somewhat surprises me, given that both Solondz screenings I’ve now attended on […]

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VENICE: Follow the Lido — a festival preview

Posted by · 9:14 am · August 30th, 2011

“Why Venice and not Toronto?” a colleague asked when I mentioned I was heading to the Lido for the world’s oldest film festival for the third straight year. Given the North American bent of this site, it was a fair question, but also one I found easy to answer — and not just for the […]

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Venice competition includes Polanski, Cronenberg, Alfredson

Posted by · 5:07 am · July 28th, 2011

These days, so much media speculation precedes the announcement of any major festival lineup that the eventual unveiling comes almost as an anti-climax — or at least it would do if the long-expected films weren’t so appetizing in the first place. As was the case with the Toronto lineup on Tuesday, the just-revealed programme for […]

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‘Life During Wartime’ trailer and poster

Posted by · 2:07 am · March 31st, 2010

Todd Solondz’s loose, recast sequel to “Happiness” was, for me, one of the pleasant surprises of last autumn’s festival circuit — more focused and astringently funny than his last two features, it’s also about as humane a work as the now middle-aged enfant terrible is capable of conceiving. Fans of all actors in the formidable […]

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9/16 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:00 am · September 16th, 2009

• Keanu Reeves on Patrick Swayze: “He was a beautiful person, an artist.” [People] • Peter Bart salutes John Calley for landing an honorary Oscar but highlights the producer’s roller coaster career. [BF Deal Memo] • Peter Knegt talks to the beautiful Anna Kendrick about butterflies going into the “Up in the Air” shoot. [indieWIRE]

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‘Lebanon’ wins Venice’s Golden Lion

Posted by · 1:01 pm · September 12th, 2009

Guy will comment further on these winners later, but for now, just the facts: INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION JURY Golden Lion: “Lebanon” (Samuel Maoz) Silver Lion (Best Director): “Women Without Men” (Shirin Neshat) Grand Jury Prize: “Soul Kitchen” (Fatih Akin) Best Actor: Colin Firth, “A Single Man” Best Actress: Ksenia Rappoport, “The Double Hour” Marcello Mastroianni Prize […]

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9/11 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:41 am · September 11th, 2009

• If you’re dismissing the Oscar potential of “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” Gregory Ellwood says, “Not so fast.” [Awards Campaign] • Meryl Streep on why Hollywood’s men don’t trust women. [The Times] • Betsy Sharkey sits down with “Precious” director Lee Daniels. [The Envelope]

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Press conference revelation of the day

Posted by · 9:13 am · September 5th, 2009

Brace yourselves, folks … here’s something you never saw coming. In this afternoon’s press conference for her new film “I Am Love” (reviewed here), Tilda Swinton stated that one of the films that most inspires her is Nicolas Roeg’s “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” I mean, who saw that one coming?

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VENICE: ‘The Road,’ ‘Life During Wartime,’ ‘Great Directors’

Posted by · 7:27 am · September 3rd, 2009

Sorry to duck out there for the whole morning — a combination of wireless misbehavior and delayed screenings has played havoc with my planned writing time. As a festival, Venice has multiple charms, but smooth organization is not among them. This morning’s glitch-bedeviled  screening of Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime” is a case in point: […]

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The five Venice titles I’m most curious to see

Posted by · 7:20 pm · September 1st, 2009

At the crack of dawn, I board a flight to Italy — so this time tomorrow, if all goes well, I’ll be writing to you from the water-riven city of Venice after having attended a festival screening of John Hillcoat’s “The Road.” It’s both my first visit to the city and my first taste of […]

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Venice lineup includes ‘The Road,’ ‘Capitalism: A Love Story’

Posted by · 8:01 am · July 30th, 2009

(UPDATE: For whatever reason, my initial source failed to mention that George A. Romero’s latest zombie opus, “Survival of the Dead,” is also in competition.) In years past, the Venice Film Festival has unveiled several titles that went on to figure significantly in the awards season ahead — “Brokeback Mountain,”The Queen,” “Far From Heaven” and […]

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John Updike (1932-2009)

Posted by · 6:05 am · January 28th, 2009

This may be a film site, but I cannot let the passing of John Updike go without comment. While he contributed little directly to the artform — and the two feature-length attempts at bringing his work to the screen were, to say the least, regrettable — but it’s impossible to underestimate his level of influence […]

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What the… ?

Posted by · 4:51 am · November 12th, 2008

Insane pre-production news for the day: Charlotte Rampling and Paris Hilton are to appear in the same film. I could make some crack about moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, but… oh wait, I already did. If that tidbit isn’t enough to blow your mind, let me put it in context — they have […]

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