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Here are a few of the articles in my Instapaper this week.

At Bad Lit, Mike Everleth has his usual excellent selection of Underground Film Links, including this link to “Foreign Cinema: Whither San Francisco’s Experimental Film Legacy,” by Kimberly Chun at the Bold Italic. She visits Canyon Cinema and and various local filmmakers, looking for scene described in the Pacific Film Archive’s first book, Radical Light.

Chuck Tryon watches (and likes) The Fighter with his Massachusetts-born fiance and notes the reference to the documentary High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell:

A look back at the documentary shows that Melissa Leo has perfectly captured the coiffed-up pretensions of Micky and Dicky’s mother, her ability to deny the fact Dicky is addicted, even while attempting to control the lives of her sons. And Christian Bale’s gaunt features reflect the emptied out face of Dicky during the era when he was addicted. For the most part, The Fighter avoids directly depicting the original documentary, instead re-enacting some of the scenes involving Dicky, but it’s fascinating to see the intertextual relationship between both films, to see how The Fighter revisits that earlier material. This documentary subtext is reinforced through a storytelling device in the film, in which the filmmakers are ostensibly interviewing Micky and Dicky about their experiences.

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At The Kind of Face You Hate, an appreciation of Aaron Katz’s Cold Weather, ending with this comparison: “Tobias Wolff once said that a short story should begin after the beginning and end before the ending. So ends Cold Weather, and the film lingers as a result.

At the Atlantic, Ella Chau on a cyber-war scenario between the U.S. and China. Jonathan Zittrain responds.

Neil Gaiman doesn’t mind piracy.

Scalpers scooped up MSG tix for LCD Soundsystem’s final show and James Murphy is pissed.

The long read of the week: Lawrence Wright’s 26,000-word piece on Crash director Paul Haggis and the Church of Scientology in the New Yorker.

Lions Gate is launching a micro-budget (under $2 million) division. But they’ll spend a “less than the industry average” $20 million on marketing.

At the New Yorker’s Front Row, Richard Brody, in Berlin, thinks Joe Swanberg might be the new Ingmar Bergman.

An interesting conversation at the New York Times’ Runway Blog with artist Philip-Lorca Di Corcia. An excerpt:

I think there will always be a place for fashion photographers, if they’re even called that. I don’t think corporate minds have the capability of creating autonomous desire for a product that has no connection to practicality. I’m not sure it’s necessarily the photographer who has that ability, but I’m sure it’s not going to be the subdivision of a corporate world. And good photographers are always looking at things.

But I think everything looks digital now. Two-thirds of my career happened before there was digital. I don’t like it for other reasons. I don’t like the way it renders spaces. It’s a technical thing, but I am a little bit off the perfection that comes with it. These new cameras make images that are so sharp, so crisp. I think hyper-realism can only exist in contrast to a kind of realism that is fairly flawed. When everything is hyper there is no hyper. To me that’s not interesting at all.

Megan Ellison may be funding two movies by Paul Thomas Anderson: an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice, and The Master, the director’s “thinly veiled” take on Scientology.

Mike Tully wraps Sundance at Hammer to Nail.

At Truly Free Film, Ted Hope optimistically prepares for the indie investment deluge.

At Movie City News, David Poland on “When AMC Met Indie,” which he says “could be the best news for indie in years.” What is it? It’s AMC’s partnering with Regal to buy for theatrical release independent films. From the L.A. Times:

People familiar with the plan said the joint venture will not compete with the studios by acquiring big-budget event films. Instead, the new company will seek out independently financed movies that may not otherwise make it into theaters, such as low-budget dramas, comedies and horror pictures.

Independent or specialty films have been largely eschewed by the studios in recent years but are experiencing a resurgence thanks to such broad-appeal movies as Oscar contenders “Black Swan” and “The King’s Speech.”

The venture’s movies will have automatic access to theaters owned by AMC and Regal, which together control 31% of the nation’s nearly 40,000 screens, but will also be offered to other cinemas. AMC and Regal also will aim to release movies on DVD, television and the Internet, which would also provide new sources of revenue that theater companies sorely need.

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