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Festivity

The Robert Redford Seal of Approval

ShutterstockRobertRedford2014Ha ha, we can imagine how surreal this must have been.

As the 2015 Sundance Film Festival approaches, there’s a bold graphic design look in the offing from NYC’s Mother Design. Per a recent It’s Nice That blog post, the cross-country collaboration has led to some notable mountain-man moments:

“It’s been funny seeing ‘Robert Redford to sign off’ on our work plans in recent months,” Mark Aver, Mother Design New York design director says, revealing the new identity for the 2015 edition of the Sundance Film Festival…

The designs are based around the idea of the eclipse, echoing the parent brand in the perhaps unavoidable reference to the sun, though the idea of the burning circle device will be exclusively used next year. “The eclipse is built from a sun and moon, which immediately brought the Institute logo into the core of the solution,” Aver explains. “We also liked that the eclipse is a visual metaphor for the convergence of filmmakers and audience that happens at Sundance.”

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Copy Editing: Intro

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New York Film Festival Adds Edward Snowden Doc

It’s never happened before. But to understand why the New York Film Festival has for the first time in its 52-year history added a movie to its main slate after that main slate was officially announced, one need turn only to the reaction of the event’s chief executive.

EdwardSnowdenNYFF

From Scott Feinberg‘s Hollywood Reporter item:

New York Film Festival director Kent Jones said in a statement, “Seeing CITIZENFOUR for the first time is an experience I’ll never forget. The film operates on multiple levels at the same time: a character study (of Edward Snowden)… A real-life suspense story… And a chilling exposé. When the lights came up, everyone in the room was alternately stunned, excited and deeply troubled. A brave documentary, but also a powerful work from a master storyteller.”

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Who You Gonna Call for ‘Bill Murray Day’?

Why, Bill Murray of course. However, the headline for Scott Roxborough‘s Hollywood Reporter item about today’s dedicated celebration at the Toronto International Film Festival – published a scant 24 hours before – suggests the actor’s participation was anything but a sure thing:

THRBillMurrayHeadline

Part of the reason for this is contact logistics:

“It’s going to be fun,” Ivan Reitman told THR, noting how rare an opportunity it will be to interact with Murray, who doesn’t have an agent, manager or publicist and still utilizes a mythical 800-number for voicemail. “He decided to lead this very independent, eclectic, remarkable existence. He deserves to do whatever he wants.”

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Ron Howard Talks About the Voices in His Head

This is probably not exactly what the Tribeca Film Festival intended. But they have just set the bar extremely high for next year’s short-film entrants.

Over the course of four and a half minutes, a delightfully playful Ron Howard shares with visiting director Matthew Akers a few filmmaking secrets, after welcoming Akers and crew to his Millenium Hilton New York hotel room. The “Got milk?” portion is pretty good; but this confession is even better:

“You have to listen to yourself. I have four Ron Howard’s, speaking to me at all times. And I know I have hit upon something good when they’re all in chorus… Harmonics!”

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Guardian Critic Slams Cannes Film Festival Opener

Grace of MonacoA few lucky New York journalists are in the south of France today for the start of the Cannes Film Festival. Although if you go by Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw‘s assessment of the opening night gala, not so lucky if they have to sit through Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman.

From Bradshaw’s one-star review of the forthcoming Weinstein Company drama:

It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk. The cringe-factor is ionospherically high. A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic…

The resulting film about this fantastically boring crisis is like a 104-minute Chanel ad, only without the subtlety and depth. Princess Grace herself is played by Nicole Kidman, wafting around the Palace with dewy-eyed features and slightly parted lips which make her look like a grown-up Bambi after a couple of cocktails, suddenly remembering mother’s violent death in the forest.

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A Questionable Robert De Niro-Tribeca Headline

In bold, headline form, the word “admits” usually infers that someone has: A) Previously denied something, or; B) Been prone to dodging the topic altogether. In the case of today’s Ramin Setoodeh Variety Q&A with Tribeca Film Festival head honchos Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, there is no such prior context.

DeNiroVarietyHeadline

Are you click-baitin’ to me? De Niro told the reporter that he is “trying to see them [the movies] now” and that it is difficult for him to find the time. Especially, one assumes, in a young year that included the demands of finalizing a deal to sell 50% of the festival’s parent to MSG.

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GonzoFest, Hall of Fame: The Legacy of Hunter S. Thompson Lives On

ShutterstockHunterSThompsonStencilThe second paragraph of Louisville Courier-Journal reporter Joseph Gerth‘s item about the upcoming induction of the father of gonzo into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame contains a notable strand of relativity:

Thompson, who committed suicide in 2005, will be inducted April 29, along with six more traditional journalists including Mark Hebert, who reported for WHAS-TV before going to work in public relations at the University of Louisville, and Lee Mueller, the longtime Eastern Kentucky reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

More traditional… Less inebriated… State it any way you want, this is still fearsome, welcome news.

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Sacha Baron Cohen Body Double Set for LAFF World Premiere

A year after Karl Jacob’s off-camera doubling for Sacha Baron Cohen as Aladeen hit theaters in The Dictator, the Minnesota-minted artist is gearing up for a sold-out Friday world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival of his co-directorial debut Pollywogs.

The drama is set in Minnesota and derives its title partly from the idea that its two lead adult characters (Jacob, Kate Lyn Sheil) are emotionally stunted. Ahead of Friday night’s big debut, Jacob spoke with Twin Cities Daily Planet movie blogger Jim Brunzell III about the many references in the film to his (and Bob Dylan‘s) childhood hometown of Hibbing, MN, as well as the challenges the movie’s title may present overseas:

“Apparently in the UK it [Pollywogs] means something different. One of the co-producers is British, and she said, “We may want to consider changing the title if it goes to Britain.” I think it could be some type of slang word.”

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Robert Redford Silent Drama Makes Big Splash at Cannes

Robert Redford is 76; the Cannes Film Festival, 66. Over the course of these two cinematic lifetimes, the manner in which information flows out of a major film festival has dramatically changed. The once gentle print and TV ripple has been replaced by a social media and Web tidal wave.

Just hours after the debut on the French Riviera of Redford’s stranded-at-sea wordless drama All is Lost, Sundance hometown critic Sean P. Means is already suggesting that the film’s October 25 Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate release date is “one of the most anticipated moments of the Oscar season.” Echoing these sentiments are Roger Friedman and Sasha Stone. From Stone’s TheWrap review:

Redford is so good in this movie that if he didn’t already have such a long history of films behind him, this would launch his career late in life. Despite his 50-year history as an actor, he has been nominated for Best Actor just once, in 1974 for The Sting. Here’s hoping he sees a second, in 2014, at the age of 77.

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This Los Angeles is Just Steps from the Cannes Croisette

Here’s a new twist on the age-old SoCal commute. Big Time PR owner Sylvia Desrochers has traveled some 7,000 miles, by way of New York stopover for a wedding, to wind up in the south of France sharing this picture via Facebook:

“The address is 21 rue Pasteur, near the Carlton Hotel,” Desrochers tells FishbowlLA. “I have no idea why the building is called Los Angeles, but the one next door is called Santa Monica!”

“The rental agent couldn’t really enlighten me on the reasoning. The building is a typical Cannes apartment building: older, probably pre-war, with the original elevator with the gate and everything. So not very LA in the sense of history. But I do always feel like the weather here is similar to LA, especially Santa Monica or Venice. It’s warm when the sun is out but can turn chilly very easily – especially when it’s foggy or rainy, like this [Wednesday] evening.”

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