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AFI Fest Announces Centerpiece Galas And Special Screenings

Pete Hammond

With just a little more than two weeks to go before its opening-night world premiere gala of Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar on November 3, the American Film Institute has just announced the long list of Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings for its 25th edition — AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi. Unlike the Eastwood coup, the lineup doesn’t include any other world or North American premieres and instead is made up of films recently seen in Toronto, Venice, Telluride or New York or combinations of all of the above festivals.

The AFI Fest, which runs November 3-10, is becoming known as the festival of galas, with at least one big red-carpet event every night of the week. Slated as Centerpiece Galas this session are Luc Besson’s The Lady (November 4), which played the Mill Valley Film Festival last week in a version now several minutes shorter than its well-received Toronto Film Festival premiere; Roman Polanski’s Carnage (November 5); My Week With Marilyn (November 6); The Artist (November 8); and Steve McQueen’s controversial Shame (November 9). Also on November 7, the fest will present an evening with Pedro Almodovar, this year’s Guest Artistic Director, who will be presenting his 25-year-old classic Law of Desire and participating in a special onstage conversation. All will be presented at the Chinese theater in Hollywood. Read More »

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Roman Polanski Attending Zurich Film Festival

By | Thursday September 15, 2011 @ 3:09am PDT
Mike Fleming

Roman Polanski, who was placed under house arrest by Switzerland when he came to attend the Zurich Film Festival in 2009, is returning to the festival this year to accept a lifetime achievement award. According to an announcement, Polanski will not be doing interviews during the festival but will be going. Festival organizers also will not speak about the legal case. Last time, Polanski never made it to the festival, arrested at the airport and taken into provisional custody. Swiss authorities eventually freed him and declined an extradition request from the United States, where Polanski skipped out on a conviction for engaging in a sex act with an underage girl in 1978. Polanski’s latest film, Carnage, was accepted as the opening-night film of the New York Film Festival. He most certainly is not expected to attend that gathering. Here’s the announcement: Read More »

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London Film Festival Sets Program As George Clooney Global Tour Continues

Mike Fleming

The 55th BFI London Film Festival has set its slate for the 16-day festival that runs Oct. 12-27. It’s composed mostly of the high-profile films that will have made their debuts at the Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals. The festival previously announced Fernando Meirelles’ 360 as its opener, and other highlights include George Clooney’s The Ides of March as well as The Descendants, the Alexander Payne film that stars Clooney. Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna, Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, Madona’s W.E., Steve McQueen’s Shame, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Michel Hazanavicius’ celebrated silent film The Artist are all on the docket for the Gala Premiere section.

The Film on the Square program includes the Roman Polanski-directed Carnage, Gus Van Sant’s Restless, the Paolo Sorrentino-directed Sean Penn-starrer This Must Be the Place, Oren Moverman’s Rampart, Dee Rees’ Pariah and Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene.

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Hot Trailer: Roman Polanski’s ‘Carnage’

Mike Fleming

The Roman Polanski-directed Carnage is up with a new trailer. The drama, an adaptation of the hit Broadway play God of Carnage, stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. The film opens the New York Film Festival and, obviously, Polanski won’t be there to take the bows.

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Roman Polanski’s ‘Carnage’ To Open New York Film Festival

Roman Polanski’s Carnage will make its North American premiere Sept. 30 as the opening-night film of the 49th New York Film Festival, the event that kicked off The Social Network‘s big awards-season run last year. The film, starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly, is an adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Broadway smash God of Carnage, which won the Tony in 2009 at best play — making its New York return a kind of fitting homecoming. The plot revolves around the events of an evening when two Brooklyn couples are brought together after their children are involved in a playground fight. Said Ben Said produced the film; Sony Pictures Classics is releasing it. Of course, it’s a safe bet that the festival, which runs Sept. 30-Oct. 16, won’t have the director of its kickoff film walking the red carpet, as Polanski remains a fugitive in the U.S. after fleeing sentencing following a 1977 conviction for unlawful sex with a minor.

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