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The Informant

Five signature Steven Soderbergh scenes (photo)

Five signature Steven Soderbergh scenes

Tomorrow, if your germaphobia can handle it, you can go check out the latest movie from director Steven Soderbergh, the disease/disaster thriller “Contagion.” It’s definitely his latest; it may also be one of his last, since rumors about his potential retirement have been swirling since last December (this week, he started calling it “a sabbatical”). […]

Snubs, Stalin and stagnation amidst early Oscar reactions. (photo)

Snubs, Stalin and stagnation amidst early Oscar reactions.

Last night, per tradition, there was a fake leaked list of Oscar nominations (“It’s Complicated”!). This morning was the real thing, none of which struck me as particularly surprising, but what do I know? I’m no Oscar pundit! Okay, there were some small surprises. In the now doubled Best Picture field, the Coen brothers “A […]

“I learned fried chicken at the school of hard knocks.” (photo)

“I learned fried chicken at the school of hard knocks.”

Slate‘s annual “Movie Club” meeting of critical minds is off and running, with some of our still-employed stalwarts — Slate‘s own Dana Stevens, the Boston Globe‘s Wesley Morris, Salon‘s Stephanie Zacharek, freelancer Dan Kois and Roger Ebert — united in order to hash out…well, “Precious,” again. But in that process, Morris contributes the first genuinely […]

Marvin Hamlisch’s “The Informant!”, the film score of the year. (photo)

Marvin Hamlisch’s “The Informant!”, the film score of the year.

Because few people pay close attention to film composers, they can pretty much say whatever the hell they think on the rare occasions someone thinks to interview them. As a result, “Where The Wild Things Are” composer Carter Burwell provides as much concrete information on the film’s studio-meeting turmoil as anyone on record yet in […]

The Naughts: The Actor of the ’00s (photo)

The Naughts: The Actor of the ’00s

Quietly and unexpectedly, Matt Damon has become the premier Hollywood actor of the past decade. He’s lent his minutely constructed, surprisingly athletic performances to the films of directors Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Paul Greengrass, Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood, a roster that’s not coincidentally produced some of the most vital and successful films of […]

Moody Toons (photo)

Moody Toons

The French omnibus horror film “Fear(s) in the Dark” comes off a bit as a cataract of gimmicks — fully animated, using comic artists with distinctive styles, no color allowed (well, a little red to pepper up the black and white palette) and focused on phobias and anxieties. Omnibus films, with which we are suddenly […]

Buying in and selling out. (photo)

Buying in and selling out.

The Toronto International Film Festival ends tomorrow, but most journalists have already skipped ahead to extrapolating trends. There’s much loose talk about potential Oscar front-runners — “Up In The Air” apparently has a lock — and much free-floating despair about the tough climate for making, purchasing and marketing indie films. But at least one person […]

Failure to Connect (photo)

Failure to Connect

As the stars walked the red carpet for the Toronto premiere of “Jennifer’s Body,” there were fans screaming “Megan!” and “Adam!” and one, just off to the side, holding up a picture of screenwriter Diablo Cody affixed to a piece of cardboard and illuminated like a medieval manuscript. Even during this conclave of international cineastes, […]

Blowing the Whistle on Whistleblower Movies (photo)

Blowing the Whistle on Whistleblower Movies

The covert meetings in hallways and parking garages, the warning threats, the for-the-role weight gain, the righteous speechifying — Steven Soderbergh mocks all of these standbys of the whistleblower movie in his new comedy “The Informant!” Inspired, on this week’s IFC News podcast we take a closer look at some of those clich├ęs and the […]

Ugly People and Dangerous Men (photo)

Ugly People and Dangerous Men

With the Venice Film Festival having just concluded and Toronto now underway, the award season’s wheels begin to roll with big name players, both indie and arthouse, making a showing, with Steven Soderbergh and Jennifer Aniston keeping things light at the multiplex. Download this in audio form (MP3: 20:11 minutes, 18.5 MB) Subscribe to the […]