Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we see a daughter helping her deceased father realize a goal, hang with some Palestinians bent on violence, visit a far off land to fall in love, get weird with Chloë Sevigny, and figure out why we love music so much. 
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The Broken Circle Breakdown

It’ll be a while yet before we find out which English-language films are up for the Oscars, but the Best Foreign Language Film category has already been narrowed down to nine contenders.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Scientists has just revealed its shortlist of nine foreign films which will be competing for five slots when the nominations are announced on January 16. Among the semifinalists are Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster, the Mads Mikkelsen-starring The Hunt, and Belgium’s bluegrass romance The Broken Circle Breakdown (pictured above). Read the rest after the jump.

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sympathy-for-mister-vengeance

Hany Abu-Assad, whose 2006 film Paradise Now was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, and who just won the Jury Prize at Cannes this year for his new effort, Omar, will be the latest to attempt a remake of Park Chan-Wook‘s first “vengeance” film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.

The remake rights have been in the hands of a few companies over the past decade. Earlier this year a partnership between Silver Reel, Lotus Entertainment, di Bonaventura Pictures and CJ Entertainment set a new effort in motion, and it seems like the Brian Tucker (Broken City) script, commissioned by Warner Bros. in 2010, may still be in play. With a director on board, the next steps include casting, and actually getting the money together to make it happen. Read More »

Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Star in ‘The Courier’

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Briefly: Hany Abu-Assad, whose very good film Paradise Now was released in 2005, finally has a new feature gearing up to shoot. The Courier is an action film scripted by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, about “a courier who has taken on improbable missions and never missed a drop.”

Deadline says that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is committing to the title role. The site expands on the plot, saying that Morgan’s character is “hired to deliver a briefcase to a notorious underworld figure that can’t be found. The courier finds himself pursued by corrupt cops, double-crossing feds and rival crime bosses.”

The film will shoot in September in New Orleans. The plot sounds standard enough, but I like Morgan’s work and am really curious to see what Hany Abu-Assad does with the material, so we’ll stay on top of developments surrounding this one.

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