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Kevin Lally
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One of the great strengths of the ever-evolving Tribeca Film Festival is its commitment to documentaries. Once again, the festival is showcasing a generous number of nonfiction features covering a wide array of subjects, from politicians like Ann Richards and Barney Frank, to musicians like James Brown, Clark Terry, Nas,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2014 at Screener
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Thanks to the studio previews at CinemaCon, the box-office prospects for 2014 are looking rosier than they did a few days ago. Every major studio has several surefire blockbusters in the pipeline, and one of the most promising lineups was revealed by Jim Gianopulos, CEO and chairman at 20th Century... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Screener
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One of the biggest attractions of CinemaCon for motion picture exhibitors is the chance to ogle stars off the big screen. Well, Warner Bros. delivered ample star wattage at its Thursday afternoon "Big Picture" presentation of upcoming product at the Caesars Palace Colosseum. Making the trip to Las Vegas were... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Screener
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For this viewer, the brightest news of Disney's morning preview presentation at CinemaCon was a clear signal that Pixar is back in brilliant form after the disappointments of Cars 2, Monsters University and even the Oscar-winning Brave. Executive VP of theatrical distribution Dave Hollis showed a sequence from Inside Out,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Screener
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Nikki Rocco, the veteran president of distribution at Universal Pictures, told movie exhibitors exactly what they wanted to hear at CinemaCon in Las Vegas during this morning's preview presentation. "Hits don't just come at summer and Christmas," she proclaimed. "A year has 52 weekends." For years, John Fithian of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Screener
The non-International Day programming at CinemaCon 2014 in Las Vegas began with a fun, loose event that instantly energized this annual gathering of the National Association of Theatre Owners. Matt Atchity, editor-in-chief of the highly influential movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, and senior editor Grae Drake hosted a session... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Screener
"Digital Cinema: Reaching the End Game" was the title of the address by IHS Technology film and cinema director David Hancock during the opening International Day session at CinemaCon in Las Vegas—and end is certainly the operative word. The statistical expert reported that 87% of the world's movie screens have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Screener
FJI correspondent Jon Frosch is at the Berlin Film Festival, reporting on the annual event for France 24. Here's his latest dispatch on a pair of dark, sexy American indies and the disappointing new film from Rachid Bouchareb. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2014 at Screener
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Film Journal International had the privilege of attending a very special Rooftop Films/Piper-Heidsieck-sponsored screening last night at NYC’s Paley Center of Life Itself, the absorbing, poignant documentary about the life of Roger Ebert that premiered to acclaim at Sundance. Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) arrived just in time from a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at Screener
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My 2013 list of films that were actually worth my time is much longer than any year’s in recent memory. The general consensus is that ’13 was an outstanding year in movies, to the degree that the Motion Picture Academy will have no trouble filling their expanded Best Picture category... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at Screener
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“Toy Story presents a remarkable feature breakthrough: characters so three-dimensional-looking you feel like you could grab them off the screen, but existing wholly within the confines of a computer-generated world.” That was me in 1995, marveling at the wonders of Pixar’s feature debut in my review for Film Journal International.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2013 at Screener
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Among the most surprising discoveries at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival were documentary portraits of two very different but equally fascinating and complicated individuals: Vivian Maier and John Wojtowicz. The former has only just recently become known among devotees of photography; the latter name you may recognize as the inspiration... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2013 at Screener
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Twelve years ago today, like everywhere else in North America, all business stopped at the Toronto Film Festival as the world watched the terrifying attacks on the World Trade Center. Here in Toronto this morning, thinking of that day, it seemed appropriate to be watching a film that’s an unabashed... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2013 at Screener
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Toronto is such a movie-mad city that an 8:30 a.m. screening can attract a packed house. That was the case this morning at the press and industry screening of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, but of course much of the intense interest stemmed from its electric pre-Toronto showings in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2013 at Screener
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The buzz out of Venice was sensational, and I finally caught up with Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity at this afternoon's screening in Toronto (alas, minus the presence of Cuaron or stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, who attended last night). And yes, the advance word is justified—Gravity takes its place with... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2013 at Screener
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"Why are you so lazy?" Meek's Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt jokingly asked filmmaker Spike Jonze after a dazzling montage of his music-video and feature-film work opened a Q&A session at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Sunday afternoon at the Toronto Film Festival. Reichardt, who sheepishly confessed to being capable of doing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2013 at Screener
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FJI critic Jon Frosch continues his coverage of the Venice Film Festival, this time reporting on a Judi Dench tearjerker, James Franco-mania, a new-generation Coppola, and a drama about the JFK assassination. Read his report for France 24 here. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2013 at Screener
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Adam Driver, co-star of HBO's "Girls," is the main reason to see John Curran's Tracks, according to FJI critic Jon Frosch, who is reporting from the Venice Film Festival for France 24. Driver has a supporting role as a National Geographic photographer in this tale of a woman (Mia Wasikowska)... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2013 at Screener
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A major animation studio in Greenwich, Connecticut? Who knew? Well, at least some aficionados are well aware that Blue Sky Studios, creators of the Ice Age franchise, is the East Coast's phenomenally successful answer to those California stalwarts Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks Animation. On Tuesday, this writer enjoyed the opportunity... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2013 at Screener
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Ariel Kay previews the weekend box office for FJI. This weekend marks the seventh year in a row that Warner Bros. has opted to release a big-budget tentpole in mid-July. All the others (a mix of Harry Potter and Christopher Nolan films) were huge hits, and the company is hoping... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2013 at Screener
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The celebrity guests at the 2013 Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF) may not be instantly recognizable names, but they're an interesting and eclectic bunch. Along with the many young, aspiring, refreshingly friendly filmmakers here from the Caribbean and Latin America, the fest has welcomed talents ranging from Cuban-Venezuelan actress and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2013 at Screener
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Some documentaries move and inspire us with stories of courage in distant lands (Call Me Kuchu, Pray the Devil Back to Hell); others hit closer to home when they tackle subjects like climate change (An Inconvenient Truth) or gun control (Bowling for Columbine). In the latter category, and one of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2013 at Screener
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For the second year in a row, this editor has been invited to the Aruba International Film Festival (AIFF), which is marking its fourth edition. On Tuesday, the fest got off to a promising start with two very well-attended opening-night screenings, one of which sold out two auditoriums at the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2013 at Screener
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J. Sperling Reich offers an up-close look at the Cannes jury's awarding of the Palme d'Or to a groundbreaking drama. After 12 days that served to highlight the major aesthetic, narrative and commercial differences between modern American and European movies, Blue Is the Warmest Color, an entry from the latter,... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2013 at Screener
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FJI correspondent J. Sperling Reich reports on two memorable press conferences at the 2013 Cannes Film Fest. Over the years, the Cannes Film Festival has played host to some of the most memorable filmmaker press conferences on record. There was the time Vincent Gallo arrived to speak with the international... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2013 at Screener