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Sony Pictures Classics Buys ‘Foxtrot,’ Israel’s Ophir Winner and Oscar Entry

2 hours ago

Sony Pictures Classics released Samuel Maoz’s last film “Lebanon” and hung out with the Israeli filmmaker at the recent Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals, where Venice Grand Jury Prize-winner “Foxtrot,” a moving and humorous exploration of grief and loss, was a rousing success. So it’s no surprise that Sony Pictures Classics has just acquired North American rights to the winner of eight Ophir awards, including Best Picture and Director.

Read More:‘Foxtrot’ Is a Brilliant Portrait of Israeli Frustrations — Telluride Review

Any film that wins the Ophir is the automatic Israeli entry for the Oscars. With it, Spc adds yet another arrow to its quiver of this year’s foreign-language arsenal, which already includes Chile’s “A Fantastic Woman” (Sebastian Leilo) and likely Russian entry “Loveless” (Andrey Zvyagintsev).

In our review of the film, Eric Kohn wrote that its a “brilliant followup” to Maoz’s previous offering, »


- Anne Thompson

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‘Tomb Raider’ First Trailer: Alicia Vikander is Lara Croft and She’s Ready to Be An Action Star

3 hours ago

Update (9/19/17): The trailer has been temporarily pulled from Instagram and will be back up at 9:50pm Et. 

Lara Croft just keeps attracting Best Supporting Actress Oscar winners. Not soon after winning for “Girl, Interrupted,” Angelina Jolie signed on to play the globe-trotting hero in the first film adaptation of the popular video game series. Now it’s Alicia Vikander’s turn. The actress has appeared in big budget fare like “Jason Bourne” since winning the Oscar for “The Danish Girl,” but playing Lara Croft will be her first major headliner performance.

Tomb Raider” is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug (“The Wave”) and is the first Lara Croft big screen adventure since “The Cradle of Life” in 2003. Vikander plays a 21-year-old Croft, who is a bike courier in London investigating her father’s disappearance from seven years ago. Her search takes her to his last know location: a »


- Zack Sharf

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Rithy Panh 101: How the ‘First They Killed My Father’ Producer Put Cambodian Cinema on the Map

4 hours ago

[Editors Note: This article is presented in partnership with Netflix’s original film “First They Killed My Father” – now streaming on Netflix and in select theaters.]

“First They Killed My Father” producer Rithy Panh is arguably the most influential Cambodian director in history. A survivor of the Khmer Rouge who escaped to Thailand in 1979, Panh found his footing as a filmmaker while living in Paris before returning to his native country 10 years later. Over the past 27 years, his work has largely taken a biographical focus, as he confronts the trauma of his family’s struggles from a number of cinematic perspectives. Viewed in full, his filmography tells the modern story of the Cambodian people, from their struggles to survive against an oppressive regime to the reverberations of those experiences in modern times. 

Panh has always taken a personal approach to his filmmaking. His first widely acclaimed project, 1994’s “Rice of People,” blends professional and amateur performers in the spare tale of an impoverished family attempting to make ends meet in a world still reeling from the horrors of the past. »


- Indiewire Staff

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‘Battle of the Sexes’: Why Emma Stone’s Performance as Billie Jean King Deserves a Much Better Movie

4 hours ago

For her first post-Oscar role, newly minted Academy Award winner Emma Stone doesn’t disappoint, bringing sensitivity and nuance to her part as Billie Jean King in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ fact-based “Battle of the Sexes.” It’s just too bad that the film — a broad drama that gets a major status boost from the full force of Stone’s performance — isn’t a better fit for the work she’s turning in.

“Battles of the Sexes” essentially stuffs a long-necessary King biopic, one that follows the most personally formative experiences of the tennis champ’s life, into a crowd-pleasing story about the infamous sporting event from which it takes its title. It’s a character-driven drama crammed inside a sports film, and while that sort of engineering has often led to some revelatory offerings (think “Ali” or “The Fighter,” “Rudy” or “The Babe,” and scores more), “Battle” does not join their ranks. »


- Kate Erbland

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David Lynch Explains David Bowie’s Return to ‘Twin Peaks,’ Wishes He Could Work With Him Again

4 hours ago

Twin Peaks: The Return” may be over, but David Lynch isn’t done talking to the press just yet. In a new interview with Pitchfork, the filmmaker gets more candid than usual while talking about his process, and he gets downright sentimental while remembering David Bowie and what it took to bring him back as Phillip Jeffries in the new batch of episodes. “Twin Peaks” executive producer Sabrina Sutherland revealed on Reddit earlier this month that Bowie gave Lynch his approval, but now the director is explaining Bowie’s appearance in his own words.

Read More:‘Twin Peaks’ Ending Explained: How to Make Sense of David Lynch’s Baffling Finale

“I never even talked to him, but I talked to his lawyer, and they weren’t telling me why he said he couldn’t do it. But then, of course, later on we knew,” Lynch said. “We got permission to use the old footage, »


- Zack Sharf

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Harry Dean Stanton Remembered By the Director of His Last Film: ‘An Acting Legend Who Insisted He Didn’t Act’

5 hours ago

The following was written by John Carroll Lynch, whose directorial debut “Lucky” stars Harry Dean Stanton in his last film performance. 

Harry Dean Stanton was an acting legend who insisted he didn’t act. It was his touchstone. It was horse shit. I’ll give you examples.

We did a reading of “Lucky.”  We wanted to hear the piece out loud and give our investors a chance to hear it. Harry came. One of the agreements made for his participation, of course, was that he could smoke onstage. Apologies to the fire marshall.

As we began, Harry’s voice was weak, his reading slow. Hell, the print in his script was so big, he had to turn the page every half sentence. I was more than worried that this was going to scare off our investors.

Then we got to the scene in the alley. The person reading screen directions described the alleys’ red lights. »


- John Carroll Lynch

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David Lowery Directed This ‘Poltergeist’-Inspired Short Film When He Was 7 Years Old — Watch

5 hours ago

The fall movie season introduces a ton of acclaimed titles and potential Oscar contenders that it’s hard sometimes to remember all the other great movies that were released prior to awards season. “A Ghost Story” is one of those movies. David Lowery’s spiritual meditation was released in July by A24 and earned some of the best reviews of the year for any indie film. The movie officially comes to iTunes Movies today, and the distributor celebrated by debuting a film from Lowery’s past on Twitter.

Read More:‘A Ghost Story’ Review: Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Star in David Lowery’s Best Movie

Apparently, Lowery directed “Poltergeist”-inspired short film below when he was only seven years old. Clearly the filmmaker isn’t messing around when he says all he’s ever wanted to do is make movies. Even at seven years old, Lowery knew how to »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Rick and Morty’: 10 Reasons Why ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers’ is a Great Place to Start for New Viewers

5 hours ago

First, a disclaimer: If you’re looking for a place to start with “Rick and Morty,” the greatest place will always be the pilot. From the jokes about Rick’s inherent distrust of bureaucracy to the immortal closing monologue, it’s the truest litmus test of whether even the most skeptical of first-time viewers are liable to get hooked.

With only a few episodes left in Season 3, however, people on the Internet who keep seeing these two interdimensional explorers pop up in memes (and an increasing number of think pieces) might now be curious about the show. And Sunday night’s episode “Morty’s Mind Blowers” isn’t a bad place to pick up either.

It’s certainly not the best episode of the season. (That honor goes to “The Ricklantis Mixup,” an episode most decidedly not best for beginners.) But as an encapsulation of the show’s episode-to-episode strengths, »


- Steve Greene

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‘Saturday Night Live’ Will Once Again Air Live This Year On The West Coast

5 hours ago

Live across the country, it’s “Saturday Night”! After NBC experimented last year with finally airing “Saturday Night Live” live across the country — meaning it aired in primetime in the Pacific time zone — the Peacock appears to be making the move permanent.

Like last spring’s final four episodes, “Saturday Night Live” will air at 8:30 p.m. Pt, live with its 11:30 p.m. Et telecast, and then be rebroadcast again later that night at 11:30 p.m. Pt. The news also allows the show to air at 9:30pm in the Mountain time zone. The 43rd season of “SNL” will premiere on September 30 with host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-z.

The announcement comes after “Saturday Night Live’s” huge Emmy haul on Sunday night. Between the Primetime Emmys and the Creative Arts Emmys, “SNL” picked up eight wins this year, more than any other program.

Read More: »


- Michael Schneider

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Jen Kirkman Defends Louis C.K. Against Sexual Assault Rumors: ‘Sometimes There’s Nothing There’

5 hours ago

In 2015, comedian Jen Kirkman told a story on her podcast about an unnamed successful comedian whom she called a “known perv,” widely assumed to be Louis C.K. “This guy didn’t rape me, but he made a certain difficult decision to go on tour with him really hard,” she said. “Because I knew if I did, I’d be getting more of the same weird treatment I’d been getting from him.” She has since deleted the podcast, but her quotes can be found here.

The rumors remained largely under the radar until recently, when comedian Tig Notaro called on C.K. to “handle” the allegations against him. Notaro addresses sexual assault on the second season of her show, “One Mississippi,” and insisted C.K. had “never been involved” with the show, despite being listed as an executive producer.

Read More:Tig Notaro Says Everything She Needs to Say About »


- Jude Dry

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‘Gotham’ Season 4 Extended Trailer Goes Full ‘Dark Knight’ — Watch

5 hours ago

Get ready to catch the Bat-light this Thursday, as “Gotham” returns for its Season 4, subtitled “A Dark Knight.” Judging by the new extended trailer that Fox released on Monday, it looks like it is going to be a very wild ride.

The “dark band” trailer (approved for “Gotham citizens ready for a Dark Knight”) reminds us of last season’s craziness by featuring some of the most important moments, but it leads into even more craziness as more and more villains join the ranks to disturb the already-damaged stability of Gotham City.

Related:  ‘L.A. Confidential’ Series in the Works at CBS From ‘Gotham’ Writer

The most notable villain to be introduced this season is Scarecrow, whose interaction with Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is spotlighted more in this trailer than the one released during Comic-Con in July.

As more villains pop up in the streets of the fearsome metropolis, there »


- Alberto Achar

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Critics Pick the Best Documentary TV Series Ever, From ‘The Jinx’ to ’30 for 30’ – IndieWire Survey

6 hours ago

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: What’s the best documentary series you’ve seen on TV? Opening this up to past series, current ones, and those that you may have seen screeners for that are coming up soon.

Liz Shannon Miller (@lizlet), IndieWire

While we debate whether or not it technically counts as a TV show (certainly that Oscar it won would suggest otherwise), “O.J.: Made in America” was without question a seminal work, and one which owed a lot to its episodic structure while proving to be an addictive binge. Documentaries aren’t exactly my favorite genre, but “Made in America” was as gripping as any scripted series — and we have definitive proof of this, »


- Hanh Nguyen

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Black Phillip Memorabilia is Selling Deliciously on Etsy, Proving ‘The Witch’ Has Reached Full Cult Status

6 hours ago

He’s no Babadook, but Black Phillip has achieved his own kind of cult status: The needlepoint kind. The devilish black goat from Robert Eggers’ masterful horror “The Witch” became instantly iconic for for his gravelly tone, posh British accent, and stirring invitation that young Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) learn what it’s like to “live deliciously.” For his seductive efforts, he has been rewarded with a devoted — and very creative — fanbase that has immortalized him with various memorabilia on Etsy. Distributor A24 first noticed the trend, remarking that they had clearly missed a merchandising opportunity.

Read More:‘The Witch’ Breakouts Robert Eggers and Anya Taylor-Joy Reuniting for ‘Nosferatu’ Remake

Just in time for Halloween, here are some of A24’s top finds:

This grotesquely realistic human-sized mask has sadly been sold, so we can all only hope to have the second scariest Halloween costume this year. But from the insane »


- Jude Dry

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‘Transparent’ Review: Season 4 Tries to Do Too Much in the Series’ First Notable Misstep

7 hours ago

Much has been made about what category — and therefore what genre — “Transparent” fits into; a counterproductive twist, considering the series’ purpose is about being yourself and fighting to protect what makes you you, no matter what. To decry or detract from the series because it’s not funny enough to be a comedy or not long enough to be a drama seems especially silly after watching Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) and her striver family seek acceptance for being beautifully, wonderfully weird; for standing out; for not fitting into boxes.

And yet, Season 4 has a genre problem. It’s not that Jill Soloway’s new episodes dip too far into drama. Individually, a lot of the more emotionally intense stories carry great resonance. Many haven’t been told before — like the central engine of Season 4, a family trip to Israel — or they at least haven’t been depicted in such an »


- Ben Travers

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Memo to Distributors: Buy These 2017 Tiff Movies

7 hours ago

The Toronto International Film Festival may be known more as a platform for fall season movies than a market, but there are plenty of strong films in each year’s lineup looking for U.S. distribution. While films ranging from the Margot Robbie vehicle “I, Tonya” to Louis C.K.’s “I Love You, Daddy” landed sturdy deals during Tiff, many other highlights remain homeless. Here’s a look at a few of them, presented in the hopes that distributors will take note.

Bodied

If Eminem got a PhD in English without sacrificing his hip-hop talent, he might have turned out something like Adam (Calum Worthy), the scrawny white hero of Joseph Kahn’s “Bodied.” Kahn’s long-awaited follow-up to his snarky teen slasher comedy “Detention” is a hyper-stylized rap satire that plays out like Scott Pilgrim stumbling into “8 Mile” and stealing the spotlight. Set in an assaultive world of underground »


- Eric Kohn, David Ehrlich and Anne Thompson

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‘Assholes’ Trailer: Nothing Can Prepare You for One of the Grossest Films in Movie History

7 hours ago

For anyone complaining that Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” takes things too far, just wait until “Assholes” hits theaters next month. Peter Vack’s directorial debut is the very definition of gross-out comedy; in fact, it takes the word “gross-out” to unthinkably disgusting new extremes. The film premiered at SXSW earlier this year, where it won the inaugural Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award.

Read More:‘Assholes’ Review: Peter Vack’s Directorial Debut Is One of the Most Disgusting Movies Ever Made

The official synopsis reads: “Adah and Aaron are recovering addicts who are struggling to stay sober. After meeting in their psychoanalyst’s waiting room, they fall in love, relapse on poppers, and become the biggest assholes in New York City.”

In his D review, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich writes, “This is the kind of movie that you wish you could un-see, the kind of movie that you have to watch in »


- Zack Sharf

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’30 Rock’: The 25 Episodes You Need to Watch Before Tina Fey’s Iconic Comedy Leaves Netflix

8 hours ago

Picking favorites when it comes to “30 Rock” is an awful proposition because the whole series, barring a handful of exceptions, remains an extremely watchable and fascinating comedic journey. But with the show leaving Netflix at the beginning of October (and thus becoming completely unstreamable), we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to choose favorites.

Twenty-five episodes equates to less than 10 hours, so you should be able to make the time before September 30. And the adventures of Liz Lemon, Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney, Jack Donaghy, and beyond are worth it.

“Tracy Does Conan

Season 1, Episode 7

The first season of “30 Rock” was a bit rocky, but “Tracy Does Conan” does a few important things: It introduces Dr. Leo Spaceman (Chris Parnell), casts Conan O’Brien as himself, and features Aubrey Plaza as an NBC page (a job she actually held in real life). More importantly, it features a breathless sense of anarchy, »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Neo Yokio’ Review: This Futuristic Netflix Story is The Greatest Robot Butler Anime of 2017

8 hours ago

In the broad scope of anime history, it would be inaccurate (and maybe even a little unfair) to call “Neo Yokio” an unprecedented series. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a batch of six TV episodes with quite the same subject matter overlap as the latest Netflix animated effort. Starring the voice talents of Jaden Smith and executive produced by Ezra Koenig, “Neo Yokio” is a hyperspecific blend of neo-futurist metropolises, prep school drama, and high-society intrigue, all with a dash of field hockey and weekend jaunts to the Hamptons. The result is a bespoke anime that’s confounding at times, but always in search of new layers to its insulated universe.

Wisely, “Neo Yokio” doesn’t spend more than a narrated intro explaining the origins of its title city, an alternate futurist New York of sorts. Instead it revels in a slew of off-kilter details in the life »


- Steve Greene

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Barry Jenkins On His James Baldwin Adaptation and Life After ‘Moonlight’

8 hours ago

When Barry Jenkins went abroad three years ago, he came back with two scripts. One of them was “Moonlight.” The other was a James Baldwin adaptation that will serve as his next project following his dramatic Oscar win earlier this year.

The reason Jenkins and producer Adele Romanski focused on “Moonlight” was simply a matter of not having the rights from author James Baldwin’s estate for “If Beale Street Could Talk” – which they obtained last winter, when Jenkin’s status sky-rocketed with the success of “Moonlight.” Romanski and Jenkins are currently in New York, halfway through pre-production on “Beale Street,” which will start shooting in a few weeks. They took a break over the weekend to participate in a conversation together at Ifp Week, where Jenkins elaborated on his interest in the new project as well as his expanding profile.

Jenkins talked about discovering Baldwin when a college professor »


- Chris O'Falt

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Cinema Eye Honors Announces Annual List of Documentary Short Semi-Finalists, Including ‘Project X’ and ‘Little Potato’

8 hours ago

That crispness you feel in the air? It’s award season, dawning seemingly earlier every year. To kick off this round of accolades and honors, the Cinema Eye Honors — the​ ​largest​ ​annual​ ​celebration​ ​and​ ​recognition​ ​of the​ ​nonfiction​ ​film​ ​artform​ ​and​ ​the​ ​creators​ ​of​ ​those​ ​films — has announced its “shorts list” of ten​ ​short​ ​documentaries​ ​that serve as ​semi-finalists​ ​for​ ​Nonfiction Short​ ​Filmmaking​ ​Award​ ​at​ ​the​ ​11th​ ​Annual​ ​Cinema​ ​Eye​ ​Honors. The list includes an exciting selection of new talents, as only one of the listed filmmakers (Laura Poitras) is a previous Cinema Eye nominee and winner, indicating a fresh crop of new documentary talents to watch.

From​ ​this​ list ​of​ ​ten​ ​semi-finalists,​ ​five​ ​or​ ​more​ ​films​ ​will​ ​be​ ​named​ ​as​ ​nominees​ ​for the award. Those ​nominees, ​plus the contenders for ​nearly​ ​a​ ​dozen​ ​feature​ ​film categories​, ​will​ ​be​ ​announced​ ​on​ ​Thursday,​ ​November​ ​3,​ ​in​ ​San​ ​Francisco​ ​during​ ​Sffilm​ ​Doc​ ​Stories. »


- Kate Erbland

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