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On the Scene || ||

'Dirty Wars' Exposes America's Expanding Covert Warfare Strategy (And Our Lazy Media Culture)

'Dirty Wars' Exposes America's Expanding Covert Warfare Strategy (And Our Lazy Media Culture)

If, like me, you file blog posts from a climate-controlled office in a well-governed, comfort-obsessed city, then the kind of war-zone reporting that Nation correspondent Jeremy Scahill does is hard to fathom and more than a little terrifying. So it was fascinating to hear Scahill tell the audience at a private screening room what unsettles him: the rapid-fire prattling that takes place on the 24-hour cable networks. more »

Talkback || ||

The Tarantino Tarantella: Harvey Weinstein Changes Tune On Movie Violence

The Tarantino Tarantella: Harvey Weinstein Changes Tune On Movie Violence

What a difference an Oscar-nominated picture can make. Last July, in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado movie-theater shootings, Harvey Weinstein generated headlines, and some snickering in the film industry, when, in an interview with the Huffington Post,  he called for a filmmaker summit on movie violence. But now that he's got  Quentin Tarantino's bloody, gunplay riddled Django Unchained movie vying for a Best Picture Oscar, his perspective has changed.  In a recent interview with Deadline, Weinstein, who's never been content to ride in the back seat,  said he has to be "a follower, not a leader" on the issue. more »

Politics || ||

Spielberg’s 'Lincoln,' Obama, And The 2012 Presidential Election: 'Everybody Claims Lincoln As Their Own'

Spielberg’s 'Lincoln,' Obama, And The 2012 Presidential Election: 'Everybody Claims Lincoln As Their Own'

It's easy to draw parallels to President Obama in Steven Spielberg’s historical Oscar hopeful Lincoln, a portrait of the 16th American President who stood tall, orated well, united a divided nation across color and party lines, and was re-elected to office for a second term. But Spielberg insists he had no specific political agenda in mind when the long-gestating Lincoln came to fruition.
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Politics || ||

WATCH: From Ike To Obama, 60 Years Of Presidential Campaign Ads - The Election Supercut

WATCH: From Ike To Obama, 60 Years Of Presidential Campaign Ads - The Election Supercut

Election Day is upon us; go out and vote! Now! Then, to celebrate that crackle of nation-changing excitement hanging in the air, see how Presidents from Ike to Obama (and some of history's lesser-successful White House hopefuls) seized the hearts and minds of the American people as seen in this riveting, superbly-edited campaign ad supercut.
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Director's Cut || ||

WATCH: Post-Debate Lincoln TV Spot Reminiscent Of Obama's 'I'm The President' DNC Speech

WATCH: Post-Debate Lincoln TV Spot Reminiscent Of Obama's 'I'm The President' DNC Speech

If President Obama didn't exactly dominate Mitt Romney during their debate on Wednesday night, he got a nice subliminal boost courtesy of Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis. Following the political wrestling match, Disney ran an extended TV spot for Lincoln that finally justified all of  the early Oscar talk the film has generated and  and not-so-subtly implied the 16th and 44th Presidents of the United States are kindred spirits. more »

Politics || ||

Clint Eastwood Says He'd 'Say Something Else' If He Could Have RNC Re-Do

Clint Eastwood Says He'd 'Say Something Else' If He Could Have RNC Re-Do

Making his first press appearance since that headline-grabbing Republican National Convention speech, Clint Eastwood laughed off his rambling, off-the-cuff missive to an invisible Obama. “It didn’t get the response I wanted,” joked the 82 year-old actor and filmmaker at a press conference for his upcoming baseball flick Trouble With The Curve, “because I was hoping they’d nominate me.”
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Real Life || ||

Innocence Of Muslims: Anti-Muslim Film Sparks Outrage, Fatal Attack In Libya

Innocence Of Muslims: Anti-Muslim Film Sparks Outrage, Fatal Attack In Libya

A trailer for a little-known anti-Muslim film that went viral on YouTube sparked outrage and violent attacks overnight at the U.S. Embassy in Libya that left over a dozen wounded and four Americans dead, including U.S. ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens. In a press conference today President Obama condemned the acts and promised justice to those responsible, said to be Muslim protesters angry over insults against the Prophet Muhammad made in a film called Innocence of Muslims.
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Politics || ||

Clint Eastwood Explains RNC Chair Speech, Or: The Case Against Winging It On Live TV

Clint Eastwood Explains RNC Chair Speech, Or: The Case Against Winging It On Live TV

Days after his empty chair speech made Clint Eastwood a polarizing symbol of the Republican National Convention, hometown paper The Carmel Pine Cone scored an exclusive follow-up with the 82 year-old former Mayor. His explanation? He made it up on the fly moments before taking the stage. You don't say! "They vet most of the people, but I told them, 'You can’t do that with me, because I don’t know what I’m going to say'... There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down. When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I’ll just put the stool out there and I’ll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn’t keep all of the promises he made to everybody." [Carmel Pine Cone via USA Today]

Politics || ||

WATCH: Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson, And Eva Longoria Lend Hollywood Power To Obama Campaign

WATCH: Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson, And Eva Longoria Lend Hollywood Power To Obama Campaign

Oscar-winner George Clooney lent his voice to President Obama's campaign for a video introduction Thursday night to close out the Democratic National Convention, but it was a trio of leading ladies — Kerry Washington, Scarlett Johansson, and Eva Longoria — who gave the DNC a rousing jolt of star power in Charlotte, NC.
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Review || ||

REVIEW: Right-Wing Attack Doc 2016: Obama's America Stumbles, Obsesses Over The Wrong Issues

REVIEW: Right-Wing Attack Doc 2016: Obama's America Stumbles, Obsesses Over The Wrong Issues

With the out-of-nowhere success of 2016: Obama’s America, the nation could finally have a conservative counterpart to Michael Moore. I say the nation rather than the Republicans, because a balanced box office is good for us all, at least as a reminder of our right to oppose the current government and make a profit in doing so. Similar to Moore’s release of Fahrenheit 9/11 during the summer of 2004, author-turned-filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza offers a one-sided, first-person documentary that challenges the incumbent President during his campaign for re-election. Unlike his liberal predecessor, however, D’Souza, who co-directs with writer/producer John Sullivan (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed), doesn’t have much to fall back on in the way of entertainment value and so only delivers a transient attraction for the anti-Obama crowd.
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Interviews || ||

WATCH: Chris Rock On Why He Talks To An Obama Cut-out in 2 Days in New York: Rick James Wasn't Available

WATCH: Chris Rock On Why He Talks To An Obama Cut-out in 2 Days in New York: Rick James Wasn't Available

Barack Obama occupies the same pantheon as late "Superfreak" singer Rick James, according to Chris Rock.

In the Julie Delpy-directed 2 Days in New York, Rock plays a Village Voice writer and radio-show host who occasionally carries on one-sided conversations with a life-size cut-out of the president, and at the Cinema Society and MCM-hosted screening of the film in New York on Wednesday, the comic told Movieline pal Grace Randolph why the cardboard Commander in Chief got the nod. more »

Politics || ||

President Obama: Anne Hathaway Was The Best Part Of The Dark Knight Rises

President Obama: Anne Hathaway Was The Best Part Of The Dark Knight Rises

Yesterday at a $35,800-per-ticket fundraiser at the Westport, Connecticut home of Harvey Weinstein, President Obama big upped fellow dinner guest/event co-host Anne Hathaway while pretty much nailing his critique of The Dark Knight Rises: "She's spectacular," POTUS enthused. "I got a chance to see Batman, and she was the best thing in it. That's just my personal opinion." Ours too, Mr. President. Ours, too.
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Adventures in Twitter || ||

'Live Long and Prosper': President Obama and Lt. Uhura Flash Vulcan Sign in Oval Office

President Obama Vulcan salute 

Via @RealNichelle

Here's a photo worth a thousand words, or at least four: Meeting with President Obama in February in the Oval Office, Star Trek alum Nichelle Nichols flashed the iconic Vulcan salute alongside the Commander in Chief for the best White House photo op since Elvis and Nixon shook hands in 1970. Live long and prosper!
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Festival Coverage || ||

Red Hook Summer Collaborator James McBride: Hollywood Forces Black Artists to Be 'Cultural Maids'

Days after the polarizing Red Hook Summer hit Sundance, co-writer/co-producer James McBride unleashed a passionate missive comparing the black artists' experience to cultural servitude: "You get to drive the well-meaning boss to and fro, you love that boss, your lives are stitched together, but only when the boss decides your story intersects with his or her life is your story valid. Because you’re a kind of cultural maid. You serve up the music, the life, the pain, the spirituality. You clean house. Take the kids to school. You serve the eggs and pour the coffee. And for your efforts the white folks thank you. They pay you a little. They ask about your kids. Then they jump into the swimming pool and you go home to your life on the outside, whatever it is. And if lucky you get to be the wise old black sage that drops pearls of wisdom, the wise old poet or bluesman who says ‘I been buked and scorned,’ and you heal the white folks, when in fact you can’t heal anybody." [40Acres.com]

Interviews || ||

John Cho on A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Meeting the World's Leaders, and Talking Basketball with the President

John Cho on A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Meeting the World's Leaders, and Talking Basketball with the President

The sweetest feel-good flick of the holiday season may well be the one about two ex-BFFs, who'd once gone in search of White Castle sliders and tangled with Homeland Security, who reunite on Christmas Eve to hunt down the perfect fir, crossing paths with drug-sniffing babies, Ukrainian gangsters, and a sweater-clad Danny Trejo along the way. Stoner heroes Harold and Kumar have come a long way since 2004 -- and so has co-star John Cho, who sat down with Movieline recently to talk H&K, career moves, and his encounters with the likes of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Obama.

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