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I’ve always found the process of interviewing filmmakers on press tours to be a bit strange. It usually happens at some big fancy hotel, in one of the suites, on an entire floor taken over by a press junket for the film release. You often enter a room as the last journalist is finishing up his interview or saying goodbye. The filmmaker sits, ready for another set of questions. A publicist waits in the corner, and gives you the wrap it up signal just as its getting good. Has it really been 15 minutes already? You say goodbye and leave as another journalist walks by and says hello. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t give up doing what I do for anything else in the world — it’s just a very odd process.

I was lucky enough to interview Jason Reitman on September 5th at the Telluride Film Festival, just hours after his film Up in the Air had it’s sneak preview premiere. It was one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve conducted, partly because I demanded that it take place “up in the air” in a Gondola over the mountains of Telluride, far away from the normal press junket atmosphere. That was there before there was a pie chart. Oh yeah, for those of you not paying attention, Reitman has been demystifying the filmmaking process though daily updates on Twitter. During his publicity tour, he began taking note of all the questions that journalists would ask him, and kept track of the most popular ones. How many times has Jason been asked what its like to work with George Clooney? There is a big slice of pie, created on an iphone app, for that.

Along the way, Reitman has been documenting his experiences promoting the film. He took photos of everyone who interviewed him, snapped pictures of some of the food and drinks, and recorded videos in each and every city. When the film was released, he asked fans on Twitter to send him photos of their ticket stubs. And for what purpose? Well, Jason is a filmmaker… so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he took all of the photos, videos, twitpics and edited them together into a short film titled “Lost In The Air: The Jason Reitman Press Tour Simulator”. It’s interesting to see a national press tour from the point of view of the filmmaker. I love the shots where the people, journalists, so many people I know or recognize, change in rapid cuts, but the background remains almost static. And yes, if you look quickly, you’ll notice me near the beginning of the interviewee montage. I asked Jason if we could premiere the video on /Film. Watch the video now, embedded after the jump.
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Up in the Air

Okay, first of all, let me warn you: If you haven’t yet seen Jason Reitman‘s Up in the Air:

1. Why haven’t you? It’s in theaters everywhere… go now!
2. You might not want to read the following story as it contains some spoilers for the film. (the headline is not a spoiler, trust me)

While¬†George Clooney‘s character Ryan Bingham is not dying of terminal cancer in the actual theatrical cut of the film, might one have been written and even filmed? After the jump we get to the bottom of the mystery. Is it true? Was it written? Was it filmed? We talked to Jason Reitman to get the answers.

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/Filmcast Ep. 82 – Sherlock Holmes & Up in the Air

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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss the pleasures of A Perfect Getaway, praise the beauty of A Single Man, and do a double review of Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us in two weeks on Monday January 11th at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Daybreakers.

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Quentin Tarantino’s Top 8 Movies of 2009

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The Hollywood Reporter had a chance to ask Quentin Tarantino about his favorite films of 2009, and the filmmaker responded with the following eight movies…

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AFI’s Top 10 Movies and TV Series of 2009

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The American Film Institute have announced the official selections for the 2009 AFI Awards, nominations which include the “10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures and TV Programs of the Year”. You can find out the top tv in both tv and movies after the jump, included in the official press release.

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Jason Reitman

Last night, Jason Reitman, director of Juno and Up in the Air, joined us for a special live Q&A with /Film readers. Those who tuned in live know that it was an epic night of director-fan interaction. In this special episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley chatted with Jason about a wide range of topics. For the first 1 hour and 48 minutes of this discussion, it’s all about /Film reader questions and the /Filmcast chat room. Jason talks about how/why he chose to get into filmmaking, why he turned down directing Dude Where’s My Car, how he chooses music for his films, why he wasn’t really an asshole in front of Tom Ford, his favorite directors of all time, and his affection for NPR’s Terry Gross. After that, David has a spoiler-filled chat with Jason about the ending of Up in the Air, and some of the film’s broader themes.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Let us know what you think of the show!

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Up in the Air

In Jason Reitman‘s new dramedy Up in the Air, George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a man who travels around the country trying to get to ten million frequent flyer miles, a number only reached by six other people, which would grant him uber elite black card ConciergeKey frequent flier status on American Airlines.

But thats a movie… a real-life Ryan Bingham-type found a way to cheat his way to American Airlines lifetime platinum-elite status, which grants him, among other things, early availability of upgrades for the rest of his life. Much in the way that Adam Sandler’s character in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Punch Drunk Love cheated the system by buying millions of packages of pudding, a man Mr. Pickles (his anonymous online nickname) was able to achieve this by legally purchasing $800,000 in coins from the U.S. Mint, which offers free shipping on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value.

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The first big award every year that is often interpreted as a bellwether of Oscar gold is the National Board of Review‘s award for Best Film. The board named its entire award slate today, and Jason Reitman‘s Up in the Air took Best Film. That’s not a lock for the film as a guaranteed Best Picture contender, but it’s a pretty good indication that we’ll see Reitman’s film in the final list of ten next year. Granted, that was already more or less a lock, so read what you will into this award. The full list of NBR awards is after the jump. Read More »

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