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<p>&quot;Mondays at Racine&quot; is one of the shortlisted docs.</p>

"Mondays at Racine" is one of the shortlisted docs.

Credit: Cynthia Wade Productions

Academy shortlists eight titles for Best Documentary Short

The list was narrowed down from 31 eligible entries

Can we already be at this point? It may be in one of the least-heralded categories, but the Oscar shortlisting process has officially begun: this morning, the Academy announced a shortlist of eight semi-finalists for the Best Documentary Short award, drawn from 31 eligible entries. That'll be it for this particular race, of course, until the five nominees are revealed with all the rest on January 10 -- while a feature doc shortlist will be announced later this month.. So, here's its brief moment with the spotlight to itself.

The shortlisted titles include: "Mondays at Racine," a look at a Long Island hair salon that caters to cancer patients; "The Education of Mohammad Hussein," about an American Muslim community's struggle with an anti-Islamic priest; "Inocente," a study of a teenaged artist who has been homeless for six years; "Kings Point," about a Florida retirement community; "Open Heart," about Rwandan children undergoing high-risk surgery in Sudan; "Paraiso," about immigrant Mexican window-washers in Chicago; and "The Perfect Fit," a silent portrait of five women colliding in a vintage clothing store. 

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<p>Rolling Stones</p>

Rolling Stones

Listen: Rolling Stones release 'Doom and Gloom'

Check out the band's first new track in more than seven years

The Rolling Stones may have been gathering moss the last few years as they lay dormant, but they’re back with one of their strongest tunes in decades.

“Gloom and Doom,” which premiered on BBC Radio 2 this morning, features classic, snarling  guitar licks from Keith Richards and an inspired, upfront vocal from Mick Jagger. They're still showing the young kids how it's done.

[More after the jump...]

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Rihanna reveals album title and cover art for 'Unapologetic'

Rihanna reveals album title and cover art for 'Unapologetic'

When can you buy her seventh studio album?

Rihanna will release her seventh studio album, “Unapologetic,” on Nov. 19.

As fans know, Rihanna has become as reliable as a Swiss watch: this will mark the fourth year in a row that she has dropped a new album in mid-November. How’s this for consistency?  “Rated R” came out Nov. 20, 2009, “Loud,” Nov. 12, 2010, and “Talk That Talk” on Nov. 18, 2011.

She must be doing something right:  “Diamonds,” the first single from “Unapologetic,”  tops this week’s R&B chart. 

The album cover shows a naked Rihanna (flashing that brand new tattoo across her chest) with words such as "faith," "Love" and "victory" written in white over her face and torso. 

Will this be the album that finally gives Rihanna her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart? Her previous best is No. 2 with 2007’s “Girl Gone Bad.” 


Photobucket


Are you excited for the new Rihanna album?

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Tech Support: 'Life of Pi,' 'Lincoln' and 'The Master' lead the race for Best Cinematography

Tech Support: 'Life of Pi,' 'Lincoln' and 'The Master' lead the race for Best Cinematography

A stacked race, from westerns to war, bayous to Bond

Every year I say it again: our cinematographers are the heart of filmmaking. It is, after all, the use of the camera to capture a director’s vision that, more than anything else, separates cinema from every other art form. Innovation in camerawork has immeasurably improved the quality of our films. Capturing stories visually is the essence of filmmaking.

The talented individuals who serve as directors of photography are awarded by the Academy in the category of Best Cinematography, one of the few crafts categories to be cited by all major critics’ awards, and probably having a reasonable degree of public acknowledgment. The category definitely tends to award “pretty” films that draw attention to themselves by having especially striking imagery. Black-and-white films also do disproportionately well when they are in contention. The branch tends to have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with digital photography, which is becoming increasingly prominent in blockbusters and action films. Frequently these films are snubbed but when nominated, they often win.

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<p>Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz in &quot;Django Unchained.&quot;</p>

Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: Is 'Django' riding to Rome?

Also: Gandolfini in 'Zero Dark Thirty,' and revisiting the best of the 90s

Attention, "Django Unchained" pre-fans! Please note that we're leading off today's roundup with the film -- all brownie points will be graciously received. Anyway, it's looking likelier that a rumor I first heard at the Venice Film Festival a month ago may come to pass: Tarantino's latest could have its world premiere at the rapidly growing Rome Film Festival. Fest director Marco Mueller, who was dumped by Venice last year, certainly sounded confident when he announced the screening of two surprise films in the Italian capital next month: "You will see Tarantino soon, here. You will see him here soon for a big surprise... This is something we will announce in detail in a few days' time, and you will see that Django will be stepping on the stage of the Auditorium." If true, that's a massive coup for a festival that never used to get much attention. Watch out, Venice. [Reuters]

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<p>&quot;The Walking Dead&quot;&nbsp;is back in action on Sunday night.</p>

"The Walking Dead" is back in action on Sunday night.

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' starts strong in season 3

But can the zombie drama break its pattern of mid-season struggles?
Through two seasons, AMC's "The Walking Dead" has been a show that's great at beginnings, quite good at endings, and really problematic when you get to the middle. With many returning shows, it would be reassuring to hear that the start of the new season (it debuts Sunday night at 9) is strong; with "The Walking Dead," it doesn't tell you anything you don't already know.
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<p>Ben Affleck talks to HitFix about &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

Ben Affleck talks to HitFix about "Argo."

Q&A: Ben Affleck on going back to 1980, Jimmy Carter and the real people behind 'Argo'

An in depth video interview with the - yep - acclaimed filmmaker

BEVERLY HILLS - Ben Affleck is battling bronchitis. In fact, when he appears to introduce his acclaimed new film "Argo" at its official LA premiere a few days later, his cough and haggard voice will be even more pronounced.  This day though, it's slight enough to just seem like a simple cold.  Considering the love his new thriller has received since its sneak premiere at the Telluride Film Festival a month before, the momentary illness may be the toughest fight Affleck has to face at the box office or during "Argo's" expected awards season run.

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<p>Denise and Malcolm of &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot;</p>

Denise and Malcolm of "Survivor: Philippines"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' - 'Create a Little Chaos'

Would a different tribe finally get to sit down with Jeff at Tribal Council?
Pre-credit sequence. The steadily dwindling Team Russell returns to camp, Angie-free. Why bother? It's cold. It's raining. And there's no Angie to cuddle with for warmth. Malcolm certainly looks miserable. His eyes are dull and sunken. He misses Angie, even if he won't say it. They have no fire. They have no Angie. And nobody's saying a word. This is "Survivor" being arty, isn't it? We're gonna play out the opening sequence without dialogue? That'd be fun. Bah. Finally, they break the silence. Malcolm wants to know what else the fates can pile on. "Everyone's scared and everyone's a little bit nervous, but one win is all it's gonna take to turn the mood around," Malcolm says. "With three, there's always one that's out," Denise says. But Malcolm is sure they can launch the greatest comeback. "Line it up. Let's go. And we'll let the chips fall where they may," Malcolm announces.
 
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<p>Connie Britton in &quot;Nashville.&quot;</p>

Connie Britton in "Nashville."

Credit: ABC

'Nashville' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new ABC drama?

I posted my review of ABC's "Nashville" on Monday now it's your turn. What did everybody else think of it? If you're a country music fan, did you find the original songs good (and/or plausible as hits)? Did you think the odds were too stacked in Mrs. Coach's favor? Are you looking forward to Cy Tolliver vs. Bunny Colvin, or does the political angle feel like a distraction from the main story? And will you watch again? 

Have at it.

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<p>Jesse Spencer in &quot;Chicago Fire.&quot;</p>

Jesse Spencer in "Chicago Fire."

Credit: NBC

'Chicago Fire' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new NBC drama?

I posted my review of NBC's "Chicago Firethis afternoon. Now it's your turn. For those of you who watched, what did you think? Was the beefcake and cheesecake on display interesting enough? Did you find the characters compelling? Were the fires cool? How do you feel about Jesse Spencer playing American after eight years as Dr. Chase? And will you watch again? 

Have at it.

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<p>Leonardo Di Caprio gets to indulge his sleazy side as Calvin Candie in 'Django Unchained'</p>

Leonardo Di Caprio gets to indulge his sleazy side as Calvin Candie in 'Django Unchained'

Credit: The Weinstein Co.

New 'Django Unchained' trailer features fast funny word play and more DiCaprio

Yep... that's a Quentin Tarantino movie all right

It looks like The Weinstein Company and Columbia are on track for that Christmas Day opening for "Django Unchained" after all.

I would not have been shocked to learn that they were moving it until 2013.  After all, production ran much longer than expected, and Tarantino was constantly tweaking and adjusting the script during production.  I'm sure that's a good thing, and everything I've heard from people on the film is that it's coming together really well.  But sometimes it takes longer to get a film right than is originally planned, and this looked like one of those cases.

In addition, this is the first time Tarantino has made a film without his editor, Sally Menke, and she was a pretty important part of his process.  Fred Raskin, who is cutting the film, served under Menke on a few films, and he's been an assistant editor on a number of films like "Boogie Nights" and "Insomnia" and "Punch-Drunk Love."  He's also been sole editor on the last three "Fast and Furious" movies as well as Justin Lin's "Annapolis," and my guess is Tarantino wanted some sense of continuity, and Raskin was around during the "Kill Bill" films, so there's already a certain level of comfort.

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<p>The &quot;Arrow&quot;&nbsp;producers know what the CW audience wants to see from leading man Stephen Amell.</p>

The "Arrow" producers know what the CW audience wants to see from leading man Stephen Amell.

Credit: CW

'Arrow' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new CW drama?

I posted my review of the CW's "Arrowyesterday. Now it's your turn. Whether or not you're a fan of the Green Arrow comics, what did you think of the show? Did Stephen Amell seem suitably superheroic for you? Does anyone want to try his workout regimen? Was the character too Batman-esque, or is that the best way to approach the character in live-action? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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