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<p>&quot;Not Fade Away&quot;</p>

"Not Fade Away"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

NYFF entry 'Not Fade Away' from 'Sopranos' creator David Chase gets a poster

The Centerpiece selection premieres Saturday night

Things are clicking right along for the New York Film Festival The "Life of Pi" bow certainly was an event, and with added press screenings on the west coast, the film has very clearly set itself up as a formidable awards season contender.

"Flight" is all ready to close out the fest on October 14, and with it, surely, plenty of opinions as to whether Denzel Washington is a player this year. And in the middle, all of the great programming, restorations and events that have gone into making NYFF a big hit in its 50th anniversary.

One of those big events is a "secret work in progress" screening on Monday night that I'll unfortunately have to miss (as I'll be out of town). "Hugo" got the slot last year and it's anyone's guess what it is this time around. I've been told no on "Les Misérables," "Zero Dark Thirty," "Hitchcock," "Django Unchained" and "Promised Land," but it's possible those working on said film aren't even aware. My money is on "Lincoln," which screens for students in New York just two days later.

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<p>&quot;The Dark&nbsp;Knight&quot;&nbsp;picked up seven nominations in the crafts categories in 2008 (and one win). Will &quot;The&nbsp;Dark&nbsp;Knight Rises&quot; hit a similar tally?</p>

"The Dark Knight" picked up seven nominations in the crafts categories in 2008 (and one win). Will "The Dark Knight Rises" hit a similar tally?

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tech Support: Kicking off 2012's crafts coverage

From 'The Avengers' to 'Zero Dark Thirty,' which films will spark below the line?

Welcome back. Today marks the beginning of the seventh year of Tech Support here at In Contention. If I may compliment Kris, this blog has come a long way in seven years. And if I may toot my own horn for a moment, the “Tech Support” columns have become one of the regular staples of this outlet and I’d like to think that our analysis of the categories that award below-the-line achievements, as well as our interviews with many of the artists in contention in such categories, has resulted in a number of other outlets beefing up their coverage in that arena.

Over the next 10 weeks, each of the “technical” category races will be analyzed: Best Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. We'll move between visual and audio categories to keep things fresh along the way.

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<p>Kevin Spacey's new Netflix series &quot;House of Cards&quot;&nbsp;will debut on February 1 &mdash; all at once.</p>

Kevin Spacey's new Netflix series "House of Cards" will debut on February 1 — all at once.

Credit: AP

Netflix's 'House of Cards' to debut all episodes at once in February

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright drama is highest-profile streaming series to date

Netflix is trying to present an alternative to the TV production model, and now it's working on an alternative to the TV scheduling model, as well.

Netflix today announced that "House of Cards," its new political drama series produced by David Fincher, adapted from the U.K. series of the same name, and starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as the House Majority Whip and his wife, will debut on February 1, 2013 — and that all 13 episodes of the first season will be available to watch at the same time.

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<p>A scene from &quot;The Imposter,&quot; one of the films voters will be considering for the Best Documentary Oscar.&nbsp;</p>

A scene from "The Imposter," one of the films voters will be considering for the Best Documentary Oscar. 

Credit: Indomina Releasing

Roundup: Are the Academy's new doc rules really democratic?

Also: A kinky year at the movies, and Ramsay to send 'Moby Dick' into space

Earlier this year, the Academy's alteration of the eligibility criteria for Best Documentary contenders -- limiting it to bi-coastal theatrical releases from the calendar year -- was generally hailed as a positive move that would de-ghettoise the category. But as branch voters are now being plied with around 100 Academy screeners, some are wondering if the changes are either workable or fair, particularly now that the discs arrive "with a letter suggesting specific films to focus on." That seems hugely ill-advised to me, and several Academy members too -- while most voters may not have time to see all the eligible films, instructing their viewing in this way surely defeats the very point of the new voting system. Dave Itzkoff looks into the issue. (Meanwhile, I'll be belatedly compiling a Contenders page for the category over the weekend.) [New York Times]

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The Replacements reunite for new EP of cover songs

The Replacements reunite for new EP of cover songs

Sale will benefit ailing former guitarist Slim Dunlap

The Replacements have reunited to record a new EP of cover songs that will come out later this year.

Only 250 copies of the 10-inch vinyl EP will be pressed, and all will be auctioned online, according to Rolling Stone. Sales of the EPs will go to assist Slim Dunlap, who served as the band’s guitarist from 1987-1991. He had a stroke in February.

Singer Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson cut the tracks in a Minneapolis studio in late September to cut the tracks. Drummer Chris Mars did not take part: Peter Anderson plays drums on the EP, while Kevin Bowe played guitar. 

Among the tracks the foursome recorded were Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway,” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the Broadway musical “Gypsy.” (?!?!)

Remarkably, after breaking up 20 years ago and being subject to reunion rumors every so often that have been consistently shot down, this time Westerberg says the studio time may actually lead to a more collaboration. “It’s possible,”  Westerberg told Rolling Stone. “After  playing with Tommy last week, I was thinking, ‘All right, let’s crank it up and knock out a record like this.’ I’m closer to it now than I was two years ago, let’s say that.”

Given how quickly they knocked out these songs, which also include a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “I’m Not Sayin’” and Dunlap’s “Busted Up,” they could record a new album in a day.  “Tommy and I strapped on guitars, not a word was said, and ‘bang’,” says Westerberg. “We still rock like murder.”

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<p>Considering what a psycho he plays in 'Seven Psychopaths,' Woody Harrelson was in a preposterously good mood when we sat down to discuss the movie.</p>

Considering what a psycho he plays in 'Seven Psychopaths,' Woody Harrelson was in a preposterously good mood when we sat down to discuss the movie.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Woody Harrelson discusses playing crazy in 'Seven Psychopaths'

A quick chat with an actor who can play both charming and deadly with ease

"Seven Psychopaths" is one of those films that you can't fully sum up just by describing the plot or the characters, because it seems like it's playing a lot of games with the viewer at all times.

Taken just on the surface, as a plot-driven comedy, it's fun.  In my review of the film from the Toronto Film Festival, where it played as part of the Midnight Madness section, I talked about how it also serves as an "Adaptation"-style deconstruction of the creative process.  That's a hard thing to sell to an audience, though, and it's basically just the gravy.  If the film didn't work as a character comedy first, it wouldn't work at all, and thanks to both the sharp writing and the dizzyingly funny performances, it absolutely works on that level.

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<p>'Lawrence Of Arabia' will be taking noooooooooo prisoners for one night only, and you can see it in a theater near you.</p>

'Lawrence Of Arabia' will be taking noooooooooo prisoners for one night only, and you can see it in a theater near you.

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Lawrence Of Arabia' debuts its new restoration in a one-night theatrical event

Get a sneak peek at the transfer for the new Blu-ray release

My favorite film of all time is playing theaters Thursday night, and if you've never seen it, or if you've never seen it theatrically, now's your chance.

I know that many people view "Lawrence Of Arabia" as something that sounds like it's going to be homework.  I try to go see the film every time it plays LA in 70MM, and last time I went, I was joined by a friend who had never seen it.  He confessed that he was worried about the homework issue and that the film's length intimidated him.  "Tell you what," I said, "if you still think this is homework by the time the intermission rolls around, you should feel free to leave."  When we reached the intermission, he looked over at me, wide-eyed, and I could tell he wasn't going anywhere.

"Lawrence" is as theatrical a film experience as I can imagine, huge and epic, with scenes that I find almost impossible to imagine anyone actually staging and shooting.  It is a tremendous film both as entertainment and art, and with the Blu-ray arriving in stores on November 13, Sony decided to show off the new restoration, an update on the amazing work done by Robert Harris and his team in 1989, something you need a theatre screen to fully appreciate.

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Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'This Isn't a We Game'

Would Team Russell come together to reverse its slide?
Pre-credit sequence. Team Russell returns to camp after another Tribal Council. Castaways describe the experience as "fun" and "interesting." Angie's not happy with Roxy throwing her under the bus, but she thinks that everybody remaining in their tribe trusts her and knows that nothing is happening with her and Malcolm. Well, that would be everybody other than Russell, who worries about Angie and Malcolm as a couple and is determined to sway Denise to his way of thinking.
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<p>&quot;Here comes the judge. Here comes the judge.&quot;</p>

"Here comes the judge. Here comes the judge."

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

As Obama and Romney debate, Disney releases a new 'Lincoln' TV spot

The drama gets a healthy jolt with a new trailer

Did you catch the debate tonight? Most seem to agree: no matter your politics, Jim Lehrer loses. Okay, maybe that's harsh. And you heard Romney, Lehrer has a pink slip coming anyway.

In any case, much has been made of Steven Spielberg's desire to keep "Lincoln" out of the election cycle so as to not be seen as attempting to impact the proceedings. Hence the AFI Fest premiere and a November release AFTER the election. Regardless, Disney isn't above using the occasion to drum up interest in the movie, and so a new two-minute TV spot aired tonight with the debate.

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<p>Looking at this image, it's obvious that 'Looper' is a quiet romantic drama about Bruce Willis living an uneventful life with his wife in China, and absolutely nothing goes wrong to ruin that. Ahem.</p>

Looking at this image, it's obvious that 'Looper' is a quiet romantic drama about Bruce Willis living an uneventful life with his wife in China, and absolutely nothing goes wrong to ruin that. Ahem.

Credit: Tri-Star Pictures

A phone call from Bruce Willis covers 'Looper,' '12 Monkeys,' and even 'Death Becomes Her'

An unexpected pleasure turns out to be one of highlights of the week

I get the feeling no one wrangles Bruce Willis.

Most of the time when a publicist wants to organize an interview, everything is rigorously scheduled.  I've had several phone interviews this week, and in every case, there has been a flurry of e-mails and phone calls ahead of time to pin things down, including in almost every case a pre-call call just to make sure I'm really where I'm supposed to be and the conversation is really going to happen.

I got an e-mail from Sony asking if I'd be interested in talking to Bruce Willis about "Looper," and the answer to any query about whether or not you want to talk to Bruce Willis is, of course, "yes."  I sent back my affirmation and then waited for a follow-up.

A full day and a half later, my phone rang, and I answered, right in the middle of trying to talk my kids into putting on pants.  It was post-school, and they have recently decided on an all-underwear policy when they're relaxing after school, something I'm trying to discourage.  In the middle of a debate that largely consisted of me saying things like, "I don't know why! You just need pants!", I picked up the phone, distracted and not expecting anyone in particular.

"Hi.  Is this Drew?"


"Hi, Drew.  This is Bruce Willis."

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Winona Ryder

 Winona Ryder

Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'Frankenweenie''s Winona Ryder talks about a comeback

'The Iceman' star says of Hollywood, 'if you have three years, you're lucky'
It seemed as if Winona Ryder, a two-time Oscar nominee (1993's "The Age of Innocence" and 1994's "Little Women") had turned her back on Hollywood -- that is, until a star turn in 2010's "Black Swan." This year her old partner in crime, Tim Burton (who cast her in "Beetlejuice") has lured her back to the big screen yet again for the animated "Frankenweenie." It's not hard to figure out how Burton did it -- as Ryder herself admitted, she owes him one. 
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<p>The &quot;X Factor&quot; judges welcome contestants to Boot Camp</p>

The "X Factor" judges welcome contestants to Boot Camp

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Wednesday - Boot Camp #1

We're done with auditions... On to the madness of boot camp

Farewell, "X Factor" auditions. We had some fun with you, but it's finally time to move on to something else. Anything else.

It's time for Boot Camp, which would be a lot like Hollywood Week on "American Idol," except that it's in Miami and, therefore, is completely different.

Wednesday's (October 3) episode is only an hour because of the debate, so let's get down to the business of singing!

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