Last week saw the dramatic end to the story of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., aka the West Memphis Three. The trio were the subject of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky‘s documentary Paradise Lost in 1996. That film told of how the three young men had been tried and convicted for the murders of three 8-year old boys in 1993, despite a lack of any physical evidence. (The three were convicted in part because of supposed Satanist leanings and interests in metal and the occult.) The fact that the three are free is wonderful, but that freedom was obtained not through exoneration, but by pleading guilty to the murders and being released with time served for the 18 years each has spent in prison. It’s hardly justice.

Berlinger and Sinofsky were almost finished with their third documentary about the case, and are talking about how the end of the case will be reflected in their film. And Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan has announced his plan to make a dramatic feature based on the case. Finally, Peter Jackson, who along with Fran Walsh, Eddie Vedder, Johhny Depp and others contributed to the WM3′s defense fund, has responded to the end of the case. Read More »

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For the past few years the Bell Lightbox has been under construction just on the north edge of downtown Toronto. The center is meant to be the new headquarters of the Toronto International Film Festival, and it finally opens this year, on September 12.

In addition to the annual festival, which opens September 9, the center will open with a free exhibit called Essential Cinema, which will be complemented by a collection of new short films. Among the directors involved are festival favorites Atom Egoyan and Guy Maddin. Read More »

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The latest, definitely NSFW trailer for Atom Egoyan‘s Chloe comes from France where they’re reputedly a lot happier about nudity and ‘sensuality’ than in the US. You can see for yourself after the break. It will probably leave you with the impression that the French are quite happy about women kissing each other too. I wonder if they’ll be happy with this remake of one of their local hits, Nathalie… which starred Emanuelle Beart, Gerard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant in the Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore roles respectively.

I’m a longtime fan of Egoyan’s, since Family Viewing knocked me upside the head half a lifetime ago. He’s an ace with tense and unnerving thrillers about fraught relationship tangles, so I expect to find that he absolutely nailed this one to the post.

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