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Cannes Wish List, Oscar Crossover

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Cannes and Oscar couldn’t be more polar opposite from each other. To make a sweeping statement about the difference, I’d say that the Oscar race isn’t about the movies: it’s about the industry that votes on the movies. Their choices illuminate who they are, how they’ve evolved, what they care about. Cannes has no such handicap. It is a true celebration of cinema from all over the world without concern…

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New Trailer for The Giver

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Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Katie Holmes in the latest of the YA craze in cinema:

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The State of the Race: Where the Oscars Go when Television Starts to Lead

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The times, they are changing.  When True Detective aired, the buzz caught on slowly.  Folks were watching it but they weren’t really REALLY watching it. Around the time of episode 4 that started to change. Suddenly, the obsession ballooned to consume a global audience. How people watched, how they accessed it, varied. The incentive was there to seek it out by whatever means necessary.  By the end of the series,…

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Most Anticipated of 2014, or What We Talk About when we Talk About Oscar Predictions

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The blood is just about dried on this year’s Oscar race but throughout the web are predictions for next year’s race. Yes, already. Here’s the thing. It ain’t rocket science. Early Oscar predictions aren’t some kind of magic formula – so people who brag about those are just fooling themselves. The truth is, the Oscar race is an industry that supports another industry – the film industry.  There is a…

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Independent Spirit Awards Preview and Predictions

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Tomorrow, on a rainy midday afternoon, the Independent Spirit Awards will host their own version of the year’s best.  In year’s past, the Spirit Awards have been sort of the anti-Oscars in a way, the alternative to what is the moneyed world of the popularity contest that takes place on Sunday.  This will be an interesting year because it will put the Spirit Awards possibly in line with the Oscars…

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Critics Divided on Which Film Should win the Best Picture Oscar Sunday

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Erik Kohn on what the potential loss for 12 Years a Slave might be: Whether or not the Oscars exist to acknowledge first-rate cinema or first-rate campaigns, this one deserves to go all the way. If it doesn’t win, the Academy has collectively — if not consciously — rejected an unparalleled opportunity to recognize the strongest achievement in motion pictures released last year. Should “12 Years a Slave” lose, the…

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The State of the Race: All Over But the Shouting

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“I remember those cheers, They still ring in my ears, And for years they remain in my thoughts. ‘Cause one night I took off my robe, And what’d I do? I forgot to wear shorts. I recall every fall, every hook, every jab, The worst way a guy can get rid of his flab, As you know, my life wasn’t drab. Though I’d rather hear you cheer When I delve…

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The Case for Martin Scorsese

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It’s difficult for many of us to be unbiased when it comes to Martin Scorsese. Very likely he could direct a remake of When Harry Met Sally and I’d think it was the greatest thing since Taxi Driver. But even given all of that bias, and all the ways I love The Wolf of Wall Street (my favorite film of the year) it’s still hard to put into words why…

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Final Lap – The Academy Awards, Race, and the Split Vote

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You’ll be happy that — barring the expected catastrophe that might occur next Sunday — this is very likely my last piece on Race and the Academy, until 50 years from now when the next film written, directed and starring black people is up for Best Picture. By then, I hope to be living off the grid on an island somewhere harvesting pineapples. Either way, you might not have noticed…

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The Unbearable Stillness of Being a Slave

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(SPOILERS) Another generation had its unbearable lightness. In 12 Years a Slave, we repeatedly bear witness to an unbearable stillness. A few times, it’s a tableau of a group of slaves seen from the waist up, ostensibly awaiting instructions. Another few times, it’s a close shot on the thoughtful visage of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Once, it’s him calling for help as the camera pans up to a sedate U.S….