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Interviews || ||

Beasts of the Southern Wild Director Benh Zeitlin on His Dazzling Festival Winner

Beasts of the Southern Wild

From the time it detonated public consciousness at Sundance last January, Benh Zeitlin’s dazzling magic realist feature debut Beasts of the Southern Wild has occasioned its own peculiar brand awe and wonder. After winning the grand jury prize and an award for best cinematography in Park City, the movie continues to conquer the world. Last month at Cannes, it captured the prestigious Camera d’Or for best first feature.
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Interviews || ||

Interview: Kirby Dick Unleashes an Incredible Invisible War

Interview: Kirby Dick Unleashes an Incredible Invisible War

The Invisible War by director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering is simply shocking. In this doc, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January and screened at the recent Provincetown International Film Festival (where it also picked up an audience prize) the filmmaking duo expose a long-brewing scandal in the U.S. military. Sexual assault against both women and men has run rampant throughout the various branches of the military and even up the chain of command. It is, in fact, the chain of command that has, in part, allowed rape and other sexual assault to remain virtually hidden despite its ubiquity. The Invisible War blows the cover off this decades-old (or older) crisis with an emotional and devastating look at the victims of sexual assault and how it can be fixed.
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The 2-Minute Verdict || ||

Beasts of the Southern Wild Trailer: See What The Sundance Fuss Was About

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Benh Zeitlin's magical realist fable Beasts of the Southern Wild blazed a buzzy trail through Sundance '12, but the rest of the world has had to wait months to see with their own eyes what all that fuss was about. So without further ado, watch the film's fantastic first trailer, starring newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis in a tale of a six-year-old named Hushpuppy who becomes a hero when a storm approaches her bayou home.
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Newswire || ||

Biz Break: Bernie Opens Big, Cannes Masters, Tribeca's Cuban Defectors Speak

Bernie
Local fave Richard Linklater debuted his black comedy, based on the true story of a charismatic Texas undertaker who killed his elderly companion, last year at the Los Angeles Film Festival to modest critical support. But with an April limited release looming, the Jack Black-Shirley Maclaine starrer is in dire need of a profile raiser. Can the hometown crowd help make Bernie a must-see?

Read more of Movieline's SXSW 2012.

Welcome back to Movieline's new industry feature Biz Break. Monday morning's newsy highlights include a big-time opening for Jack Black's Bernie, the film talent leading Cannes' 2012 Master Classes, the end of Sundance's first London foray, the latest word on the Cuban actors who ditched their Tribeca premiere for U.S. asylum, and more...
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Deals || ||

As Predicted, Sony Classics Gets Smashed

As Predicted, Sony Classics Gets Smashed

I wouldn't brag were it not Monday morning and it's the only thing keeping me from walking in front of a bus, so: The final piece of Movieline's Sundance 2012 Bidding-War puzzle has fallen into place, with director James Ponsoldt's boozehound relationship drama Smashed going to the estimable Sony Pictures Classics. Five-for-five! High five?
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Newswire || ||

Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner Beasts of the Southern Wild Will Debut This June

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Film lovers, take note: Benh Zeitlin's highly lauded Sundance '12 favorite Beasts of the Southern Wild is heading to theaters. Fox Searchlight, which acquired first time feature director Zeitlin's pic out of the fest, will release the film in limited release on June 29; hit the jump for a full synopsis and peek at the festival award winner.
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Festival Coverage || ||

Common on Sundance Pic LUV, Drake Beef, and Acting Pursuits: I Want to Be ‘One of the Great Actors’

Sundance 2012: Common (Photo: Getty Images)

He’s certainly no stranger to the world of entertainment, but Grammy-winning musician Common only recently began channeling his energies into acting. (His first film: Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces). And yet, relative newbie status be damned! The hip-hop veteran, currently seen on AMC's Hell on Wheels, sat down last week with Movieline to discuss his Sundance pic LUV, a Baltimore-set family/gangster tale from director Sheldon Candis, and his goals for future greatness: “God willing, I’ll become one of the great actors of our day.”
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Festival Coverage || ||

Pundit Poll: Critics Name the Best Film of Sundance 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Sundance 2012)

As the 2012 Sundance Film Festival drew to a close with a flurry of sales, Movieline posed THE question to a panel of critics and bloggers: What was the best film of this year’s festival? While many of Sundance’s high profile offerings came and went with a whimper, a few notable titles rose to the top of Movieline’s poll; fest darling and Grand Jury Prize winner Beasts of the Southern Wild earned wild praise among our pundits, for example, but so too did some of this year’s more controversial entries. Hit the jump to see which top films the critics picked.
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Deals || ||

A Comprehensive Guide to the Sundance 2012 Pick-Ups Headed to a Theater Near You

Sundance 2012 Deals - Safety Not Guaranteed, Arbitrage, Compliance

Park City did indeed turn out to be a robust marketplace this year, with buyers snapping up over two dozen features and docs out of Sundance 2012. Ranging from genre pleasers to indie charmers to potential future Oscar picks and beyond – and veering from critical fest duds to overwhelming crowd favorites – the class of Sundance ’12 is an intriguingly mixed-but-mostly-promising bag of films that will be dotting the cinematic landscape in the year or so to come. Here’s an updated comprehensive look at what sold and which films you should be looking forward to.
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Quick Take || ||

Behold the Film Festival of the Future

Screw moustaches. I give you... Assdance: "Call for entries soon! (THE FILM FESTIVAL IN WHICH ONLY FILMS REJECTED BY SUNDANCE CAN FINALLY BE SCREENED!) All films submitted will be viewed and chosen by a legendary Board of Directors while high on ambien, drunk, and/or stoned (or most likely all at once). Films chosen as Official Selections will simply be the ones which the Board of Directors felt were enjoyable while wasted! That’s it. Call for entries TBA!" [ASS Studios]

Festival Coverage || ||

SUNDANCE: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Surrogate, House I Live In Take Fest Honors

Sundance 2012 Awards - The Surrogate

Critic faves Beasts of the Southern Wild and The House I Live In took top Grand Jury Prize honors tonight at the Sundance Film Festival, where the John Hawkes Oscar hopeful The Surrogate and Kirby Dick's The Invisible War nabbed this year's audience awards. Also earning Sundance 2012 kudos were the music doc Searching for Sugar Man, Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me, and the Aubrey Plaza starrer Safety Not Guaranteed.
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Festival Coverage || ||

Parker Posey: It's Hard Out Here For An 'Indie Queen'

Parker Posey (photo: Getty Images)

"I'm trying to work in studio movies, but they won't hire me. I get feedback from my agent saying, 'She's too much of an indie queen.' And then on the other side, my name doesn't get the financing to do a movie over $1 million. And I'm called 'the indie queen.' So it's really a challenging path because I know so much about the indie side of the business. Because I grew up in it. It's like I'm back in junior high here at Sundance. There's John Cooper and Trevor Groth and we all grew up together, you know? But it's different times. And this stuff gets projected onto me. People are like, 'You're here every year, you do so many indie movies.' And I'm like, 'No, I did Broken English five years ago.'" [indieWIRE]

Deals || ||

SUNDANCE: Liberal Arts, Robot and Frank, V/H/S and The Pact Sell

SUNDANCE: Liberal Arts, Robot and Frank, V/H/S and The Pact Sell

It may be a relatively quiet Sundance year – even Pixar’s Lee Unkrich, in town for the festival, Tweeted his dismay at the “mixed bag” of movies – but films are selling. Granted, they’re mostly the ones with name actors and mostly okay-to-decent reviews (with a few exceptions), but buyers continue to be getting busy in the snow. The latest batch of pick-ups (Olsens and robots and scares, oh my!) after the jump.
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Festival Coverage || ||

Ice-T, Director, Talks Sundance Hip-Hop Doc Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Sundance 2012 - Ice-T's Something fro Nothing: The Art of Rap (photo: Getty Images)

It says something about how far Ice-T has come since his gangsta rap days that his directorial debut, the hip-hop documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, premiered at Sundance to a house packed with hip-hop heads and white older moviegoers who likely know Ice better from Law & Order: SVU than “New Jack Hustler.” And it says something about the film itself, which explores the historical landscape of hip-hop in intimate detail with over 40 of Ice-T’s fellow rappers, that even the L&O-watching grandmas in the audience were bopping their heads the whole way through.
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Festival Coverage || ||

Will Forte on Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie: It Doesn’t Get Much Nuttier

Will Forte on Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie: It Doesn’t Get Much Nuttier

Movieline caught up with Will Forte this week in Park City, where he was at Sundance to support Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s absurdist midnight offering Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. In the film, Forte plays the uptight, moustachioed owner of a sword store in a mall that bumbling filmmakers Tim and Eric have taken over following the epic failure of their brush with Hollywood. Forte compared the more restricted sensibilities of his gig on Saturday Night Live to working within the madcap, surrealist stylings of the cult duo.
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