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Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) returns this December with screenwriter David Magee’s adaptation of the Yann Martel bestseller Life of Pi. Here’s the first trailer:

“Just get to it,” Nora Ephron might say.

Obituaries and year-end tributes will illuminate Ephron’s groundbreaking career as a writer and film director. They will toast her wit that shined and carved like a scalpel. The irreverent will quote her infamous line about her second husband Carl Bernstein:  “The man was capable of having sex with a Venetian blind.” Her peers and loved ones will share tales of her oft-noted generous spirit and culinary panache.

Not too long ago, the wonderful Ronlyn Domingue, TNB contributor and novelist, suggested I create just this sort of list after she’d enjoyed seeing Cosmo the Jack Russell terrier in Beginners, and what better time to assemble ten cinematic canine greats than the week of The Artist’s DVD release, the film that featured that other recent Oscar-season darling, Uggie. Like Cosmo and Uggie, all of the dogs on this list aren’t the main characters in their respective films but bona fide scene-stealers (just in case you’re wondering why Lassie didn’t make the cut). Now brace yourselves for a huge dose of cute:

Summer at the cinema is very nearly here, which means I’ve been thinking about robots.  This one, for instance:

I have known you for more than a decade as a writer of sensitive fiction mostly centered around your Indian roots.  But you are also a journalist who has many in-depth articles on nature and religion under your belt.  Now you have taken on the role of filmmaker. Specifically as writer and Associate Producer.  How did this new project come about?

A good friend of mine in the US, Ribbel Josha Dhason, happened to read one of my stories online and got in touch with me. “How about making this into a movie?” he said, ever so deceptively casual. Equally casual I replied, “Why not? How do you want to go about it?”

First step, turn it into a script, he said. Could I do it?

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of film and television.

Kat Dennings:


 

Please explain what just happened.

I laughed with my roommate as we staged an ant holocaust. Then he put one on a butter knife and held it over the stove until the ant jumped off onto the range and I stopped laughing. I have a line.

What I imagine you’re thinking right now is, “Sure. This kind of thing happens to all of us. We’ve all made a porno, we’ve all watched it with our mothers, and we’ve all practically forgotten about it, because of how completely common and universal an experience it is.”

Right? That’s what you’re thinking? You guys?

Well, if that is not what you’re thinking, then I guess this one is for you–the minuscule fraction of the population that has yet to experience the joy of watching (on a giant screen, with your mom) your peers get naked and pretend to make sex.

Please explain what just happened.

I sat down to answer some questions I’ve been putting off for too long.

 

What is your earliest memory?

Not sure. Hard to tell if they’re dreams or memories. I think I remember a big back yard and a Dalmatian who lived next door.

Please explain what just happened.

It just leapt through the roof. I swear it did. It was frozen in a block of ice for thousands of years, supposedly dead…then one drill into the block to get a tissue sample and…boom! The thing sprang back to life and escaped. What are we going to do now?

 

What is your earliest memory?

5:20am. We have a toddler with sleep issues.

Video games are better than movies because you can smash a head against a wall instead of passively watching a head get smashed.

I’ve been running through all three Gods of War. The opening sequence and level was insanely epic. Cut through a swathe of undead, ride a titan to the top of Mount Olympus, rip Greek god Poseidon out of a giant water horse crab’s heart, then twist his neck, causing an atomic explosion that raises the ocean.

Epic.

The visual style of the above sequence is similar to Zack Snyder’s 300. Slow motion violence set on Greek battlefields. I love both. I love both film and video games. Recently, however, video games have mounted a serious assault on my free time, leaving DVDs and BluRays in the dust collecting around my TV stand.

I first noticed how involving and cinematic games have become playing the Metal Gear series. By Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, cut-scenes were the reward for difficult game play. Thirty minute sequences weren’t uncommon, and I relished every minute of them. Top tier games are becoming a hybrid of inventive gameplay and high-end animation – animation that, cut together, forms a film I’d watch even without the interaction.

But I get to interact with it! When Snake, Kratos or Kirby slices the throat of an enemy, I’m the one that chose the exact moment to strike. I’m not going to bother getting into the violence-is-ruining-our-kids debate. Boys are going to enjoy violent books, movies, games and inter-cranial virtual reality holovids forever. What’s exciting is that we’re creating newer, more immersive ways to be entertained, and the previous technologies are informing the new.

Movies got awesome based on their creators’ love of books. Video games are clearly influenced by movies. David Jaffe, creator of God of War, admitted as much in the special features of the game, speaking about the skeletal goons they ripped from claymation Sinbad and Evil Dead films.

It’s nice to know that in the year 3153, when kids are shooting aliens, their entertainment will be linked through inspiration and influence to the games I’m playing now, the books read of old and the cave paintings our ancient ancestors drew of Space Invaders.

Like everywhere else, Oslo has had movie posters up for weeks announcing “Alt Ender” for Harry Potter. One of the strangest things about traveling as an American citizen is that—as far as billboards and media are concerned—you could be in some strange town a few miles down the road rather than a strange country. As it got closer to the release date, the signs multiplied (almost magically one might say).

In case the tiara hasn’t conveyed it, I’m not exactly the sporty type.In fact, the extent of my non-sportiness was the subject of my story that appeared in Stymie Journal of Sports and Literature and ESPN the Magazine for sporty types who needed a good laugh.Let me quote a close friend upon learning of its inclusion in ESPN in particular:“…. What?”Indeed. My name in its pages was so miraculous, I framed the cover featuring Roger Federer.He plays tennis. (According to Wikipedia.)

You haven’t arrived until you’ve let Andrew McCarthy rack up debt on your Blockbuster card.

So I told myself and people back home at the time, which was long enough ago to relive safely, but not long enough to feel casual about seeing it as a “time.” It was half a year after I’d crossed the country for Los Angeles, the receptacle of my crowded visions of movies as products of an innocent, worldwide imagination.In the case of the employer to whom I’d first hitched my collegiately-decaled wagon I’d settled for tv movies.I’d awarded myself an early E for effort, and for entertainment.

Among household names then were “Blockbuster”, “videocassette” and “the end-of-millennium.”“Andrew McCarthy” was well ahead of them on slowly fading away.He was set to star in a 10 o’ clock network original playing a single father fighting for custody of his adopted child after his wife’s sudden death.I calculated he now owed me thirty dollars.The production company had rented the movies of the woman playing McCarthy’s wife, for his own research purposes.I’d been sent on the task of obtaining the videos and had used petty cash, but my own card still got strapped with the late fees.

This past Christmas I found myself with some time to kill between the morning festivities and the evening hijinks, so I decided to treat myself to a matinee showing of Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky’s newest film. I thought it was a safe choice, as the film had been in general release for a couple of weeks, and theaters were full of new, fluffy holiday fare like Little Fockers and the Jack Black vehicle Gulliver’s Travels (or period pieces like True Grit and The King’s Speech for those without kids). It seemed unlikely there’d be much turnout for a psychosexual drama set in a professional ballet company.