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Girl Rising: Topping Charts by Breaking Molds

Apr 10, 2013 It’s a rare documentary that breaks into box office charts. Most linger longer in the moral conscience than graduate out of the festival circuit onto big screens. Even rarer is the cause documentary that achieves popular success as well as critical acclaim. One notable exception was March of the Penguins. Magnificent cinematography, heart-warming stories of faithful parents, gut-wrenching odds of survival — and the attention it drew to the impact of climate change — rocketed Penguins to the top of the movie charts. Another rare exception is 10×10’s recently released Girl Rising, a feature film that tells the stories of nine resilient girls in nine developing countries who overcome insurmountable economic and cultural odds — simply to get an education.

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Regal Cinemas Picks Up ‘Girl Rising’ Following Big Online Demand

Apr 4, 2013 Regal Cinemas has picked up Girl Rising, an indie directed by Richard E. Robbins that until now had only been available via on-demand theatrical distribution at crowdsourcing site Gathr. Narrated by Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Chloë Grace Moretz, Liam Neeson, Frieda Pinto, Meryl Streep and Kerry Washington, the social-issues documentary details stories of girls from around the globe who are fighting against their circumstances. Regal has set a week-long engagement starting April 19 in more than 150 theaters across the country. At Gathr, the film generated more than 17,000 screening requests with 65,000 tickets reserved.

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Color Motion Pictures – The Earliest Days: 1922

Mar 4 Recently I saw a piece of film at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film that mesmerized me. It was a test of Kodachrome color motion picture film from 1922. To provide context, the first full length color feature film did not appear until 13-years later (Becky Sharp). Watching this little film clip was like time travel for me! I thought that it would be interesting to share during Oscar® week. In order to share we had to scan the original piece of film to create the version you will see below. That is where Kyle Alvut came in.

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A few words about…™ Cabaret — in Blu-ray

Jan 19, 2013 Even at its earliest stages, the Academy Award-winning Cabaret (1972) was a most unlikely film to get made, or at least get well-made. A production of Allied Artists, which turned out to be the little engine that could, Bob Fosse’s Cabaret shines, four decades later, as a brilliant gem in the cinema firmament. Almost unique in modern annals, Cabaret also shares a major problem with a few other Academy Award winners.  While some may have problems with elements due to fade or damage, unless one goes back to the earliest days of the awards, one does not run into many missing original negatives. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other that shares the honor – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), which apparently was lost in transit. In the case of Cabaret, it seems that the OCN went missing before it ever reached Warner Bros. along with other Lorimar product. Luckily, it appears that a lab (presumably Technicolor) produced a top quality interpositive, which makes Cabaret shine on Blu-ray.

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CNN Announces Creation of CNN Films

Oct 8, 2012 First CNN Film, Richard E. Robbins’s “Girl Rising,” to air Spring 2013 on CNN, CNN International alongside Theatrical Release   Projects from Acclaimed Filmmakers Alex Gibney and Andrew Rossi CNN, the worldwide leader in news, today announced the creation of CNN Films to secure feature-length documentaries for air on CNN and CNN International, alongside theatrical distribution.  The move is part of a wider strategy to acquire original non-fiction content to complement CNN’s award-winning news programs; it was announced by CNN Worldwide Managing Editor Mark Whitaker. “Girl Rising,” the first documentary acquired by CNN Films, will air in spring 2013.  The film, which inspired a global action campaign to promote girls’ education called 10×10, tells the extraordinary stories of several girls from around the globe, fighting to overcome impossible odds to realize their dreams.

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Hot Trailer: ‘John Dies At The End’

Oct 30, 2012 Here’s a trailer for the sci-fi/horror film JOHN DIES AT THE END, which was directed, produced and written by cult legend Don Coscarelli. Paul Giamatti stars (and is exec producer) as a shadowy figure investigating a street drug known as Soy Sauce, which promises an out-of-body experience with each hit, causing users to drift across time and dimensions with sometimes unwanted side effects. Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing picked up the film in August and will release it via its Ultra VOD program in December.

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An In-Depth Look at DIAL M FOR MURDER

Oct 2013 One of the greatest 3-D motion pictures of all time has just been released on Blu-ray. Before our review, here’s the background story on this classic Golden Age 3-D production. Click on the images to expand. Arch Oboler’s independently produced BWANA DEVIL had its world premiere in Hollywood on November 26, 1952 and set the box-office on fire. Following the phenomenal success of the first 3-D feature film in color, every studio in Hollywood made plans to jump on the 3-D bandwagon. Warner Bros. was first out of the gate to license the Natural Vision camera system used on BWANA DEVIL and announced production of their first 3-D film on December 27, 1952. When production rolled on THE WAX WORKS on January 12, 1953, just about every studio had a 3-D project in development. The popular myth is that DIAL M was not originally announced for 3-D and the process was forced on a reluctant director at the eleventh hour. That is not true. The first announcement hit the trades on April 5, 1953, four months before the first day of filming. With the headline “Hitchcock to film WB’s ‘M’ in 3-D,” Jack Warner expressed his confidence in the future of 3-D movies. The opening of HOUSE OF WAX on April 10 at New York’s Paramount Theater was a sensation. Warner Bros. truly captured lightning in a bottle. The film was an unprecedented success and to this day, […]

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In High-Def Shift, Are Studios Blurring The Picture?

July 11, 2012 Warner Studios in Burbank, Calif., is a piece of American film history — remnants of sets from classics dot the lot: Casablanca, The Music Man, Tea for Two. Then there’s the vault where film history lives.   For preservation purposes, the room is kept at a cool 38 degrees. Movable shelves stacked with thousands of steel film cases line the walls of the archive with movies and TV shows that go back as far as 1916. Many are major pieces of American film history — for example, the original camera negative of Rebel Without a Cause.

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Envelope: Critic’s Pick with Kenneth Turan – WB Archive Collection

June 20, 2012 Envelope: Critic’s Pick with Kenneth Turan – WB Archive Collection Kenneth Turan’s DVD pick of the week: Warner Brothers Archive Collection

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MOD Movies for Intrepid Cineastes

May 28, 2012   With unlimited video streaming to television sets and computers still more a wish than a wish fulfilled, and with the major studios reducing their back-catalog releases on DVD because of declining sales, movie lovers may find themselves frustrated as they seek fresh stimulation. Yet there is a medium to sate such hunger. Though it doesn’t receive much attention, its rewards are ample and increasing. This boon to cineastes is known in the industry as MOD (an abbreviation for “manufactured-on-demand”), and it comes in disc form, just like standard DVDs and Blu-rays. But MOD discs can be purchased only online—from Amazon and more specialized websites—and they are not available for rent through services like Netflix.  

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