[Brave christens the 3,400 seat Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak) for pass holders tonight as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival. It screens again tomorrow night downtown for general audiences and it opens in theaters across the country on Friday.] Even after the relative disappointment of Cars 2, Pixar has been cruising along at (read…)

Yesterday at the Los Angeles Film Festival was the most film-centric day many film lovers, myself included, have experienced thus far. The top floor of Regal LA Live was alive with the electric energy of impassioned cineastes darting from one theater to another to see up to five movies in a row. First up for (read…)

Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry in "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

[Lighting up the festival circuit since its debut at Sundance in January, Benh Zeitlin’s Beats of the Southern Wild played before an appreciative Los Angeles Film Festival audience Friday night. It opens theatrically on June 27th.] An invigorating, homespun American fairytale, Beasts of the Southern Wild is about perseverance in the face of calamity rooted (read…)

Vampira and Me

LAFF Saturday Highlight: Vampira and Me Yesterday was full of films and festivities at the Los Angeles Film Festival site at Regal LA Live 14. Yet the day took on a slightly different air than the previous two. Without any Gala/red carpet events, or preview screenings of studio offerings, festival-goers relished in the experience of (read…)


David Fenster’s Pincus making its World Premiere tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival Although the Los Angeles Film Festival was in full-swing last night, I have to say that I experienced a fairly quiet Friday night at LA Live. Although the entire Regal LA Live 14 was abuzz with excitement, I decided to forgo (read…)

“I like being in Los Angeles for a couple of days. Would not like to move here… but two, three days out of the year is perfect for me” – Woody Allen on Los Angeles at last night’s LA Film Festival screening of To Rome With Love Actually that sums up a lot of people’s (read…)

Chris Pine, Elizabth Banks and Michael Hall D'Addario in "People Like Us"

Chris Pine, Elizabth Banks and Michael Hall D’Addario [People Like Us makes its World Premiere tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It opens in theaters on June 29th] People Like Us is the surprisingly moving story of two wayward strangers who are drawn together by a shared secret. Finding each other, it turns out, (read…)

Chris Pine, Michael Hall D'Addario and Elizabeth Banks in "People Like Us"

Tonight at LAFF: Chris Pine, Michael Hall D’Addario and Elizabeth Banks are  People Like Us The Los Angeles Film Festival got off to a roaring start last night with the Opening Night screening of Woody Allen’s latest film To Rome with Love. I more or less agree with Craig’s thoughts on the film, which he (read…)

Alec Baldwin in Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love" (2012)

[This review also appears at Awards Daily] The stars came out tonight to launch the 18th Annual Los Angeles Film Festival and even Woody Allen, whose character Alvy Singer once famously asked of L.A. “Who would want to live in a place where the only cultural advantage is that you can turn right on a (read…)

If you’ve seen Lena Dunham’s terrific Girls on HBO or her film Tiny Furniture, you’ll instantly recognize Alex Karpovsky who plays perhaps the least likable of all the characters in both. Based on the trailer for his new film Red Flag which makes its World Premiere tomorrow night at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Karpovsky (read…)

Penelope Cruz in Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love"

Penelope Cruz (left) in Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, the LA Film Festival opening night film It’s almost summer which must mean that the Los Angeles Film Festival is upon us once again. That’s right, LAFF kicks off its 18th year on Thursday, June 14th at LA Live with the North American Premiere of (read…)

This is Ours

This is Ours, the self-assured second feature from writing/producing/directing team Kris and Lindy Boustedt, made its world premiere last night at Dances with Films in Hollywood. It’s a beautifully shot and emotionally charged foray into the world of a once-happy couple whose lives and relationship verge on disintegration.

Jack Ma in Porter Erison's "Crocodile in the Yangtze"

“Alibaba is not just a job. It’s a dream. It’s a great cause.” founder Jack Ma (left) in Porter Erisman’s Crocodile in the Yangtze With its theme of “Dare. Dream. Do.” the 15th Annual Dances With Films kicked off in Hollywood on Thursday night with another slate of independent features, documentaries, shorts and music (read…)


Film Independent gets a little high profile Pixar magic for its annual film festival and Hollywood’s newly rechristened 3,400 seat Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak, home of the Oscars) asserts itself going forward as the place to hold your big Hollywood movie premieres. Brave joins Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, Steve Carell and Keira (read…)

To Rome with Love

via Press Release: LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2012) – Today the Los Angeles Film Festival (June 14 – 24), in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner L.A. LIVE, announced the North American Premiere of Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love as the opening night film for the 2012 Festival. (read…)

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the 3rd Annual TCM Classic Film Festival and the slate just keeps getting more exciting. The bulk of the extensive four-day lineup has already been announced (details at the official site), but a new opening night screening has been added of Cole Porter’s High Society with Grace (read…)

Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy in COL•COA Closing Night Film The Intouchables Billed as the largest festival in Hollywood dedicated to foreign cinema, City of Lights, City of Angels (COL•COA) has been bringing the best of French cinema from Paris to Los Angeles for the last decade and a half. This will be the first (read…)


Press release: For the second consecutive year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will celebrate the legacy of The Walt Disney Studios. Turner Classic Movies (TCM), in collaboration with D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, will present a 75th anniversary screening of Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Disney’s first hand-drawn feature-length animated (read…)

This is the juice in the Sundance orange. The sizzle on the steak. These are the high-profile, buzzy films that get most of the press at the festival and draw the crowds to Park City. Highlights this year include the latest from Spike Lee and Stephen Frears. PREMIERES 2 Days in New York/ France (Director: (read…)

Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration of War The first title that jumps out at me is Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration of War. It’s France’s submission for the foreign language Oscar and I had a chance just the other day to chat with Donzelli and her co-writer/co-star Jeremie Elkaim. Also of note: Gareth Evans’ actioner The Raid which tore (read…)

It seems like Sundance 2011 just wrapped up 5 minutes ago, but the 2012 edition is nearly upon us (January 19-29). Here are the competition entries in the US and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary categories. Some notable names: Michael Cera and Amanda Seyfried in The End of Love; Paul Dano, Jon Heder and Jena (read…)

A lively roundtable interview with the legendary German director whose latest film Into the Abyss takes a close, uncomfortable look inside of a Texas murder case, the victims, the perpetrators and the families of both.

Kirsten Dunst talks about working with Lars von Trier, losing the Golden Globe as a little kid, doing nudity and more in a roundtable interview for Melancholia.

After a super-quick introduction where Soderbergh quipped for everyone to turn on their cell phones and to hit record now if they planned to pirate the film, Haywire itself unfolded before a full house at Grauman’s Chinese in Hollywood. My thoughts are below while the rest of the audience, sated on several days of serious arthouse fare, seemed to enjoy the break with a film that had no pretensions about changing the world or even cinema. They laughed and applauded in the right places and took the film for what it was: a fun showcase for mixed martial artist Gina Carano in her debut film.

The Playlist tipped this one as a rumor a few days ago and now it’s official. The press release follows. Check out my review of Haywire here and my account of the evening here. Press Release: STEVEN SODERBERGH’S HAYWIRE TO DEBUT AS “SECRET SCREENING” AT AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi Free Tickets Available at (read…)

I sat down for a few minutes with Sophia at Hollywood’s historic Roosevelt Hotel on the eve of Green’s AFI Fest debut (it’s playing tonight and tomorrow, check out the film’s AFI page) to talk about her experiences making the film which won an award at SXSW, received a Gotham nomination for Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You and landed Sophia a spot in Filmmaker Magazine’s 2011 list of 25 indie filmmakers to watch.

The 25th year of AFI Fest kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar starring Leonardo DiCaprio running nightly thereafter until the 10th. To guarantee admission, of course you can buy a festival pass, but like the last couple of years, tickets are available for every film individually for free. You can get details and screening schedules at the AFI Fest website. While I was only able to see 6 of the films in advance myself, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the major festivals throughout the year and have a pretty strong list of stuff I want to see.

an Premiere as Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin will have its North Americthe Closing Night Gala of AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi

The esteemed Spanish auteur will present Eyes Without a Face (1960), Le Cercle Rouge (1970), Nightmare Alley (1947) and The Killers (1946) at AFI Fest

also US premieres of Chantal Akerman’s Almayer’s Folly, Kim Ki-duk’s Arirang Hong Sang-Soo’s The Day He Arrives, and Alexander Sokurov’s Faust.

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