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Category: butter

'The Artist,' 'Shame' among AFI Fest highlights

October 18, 2011 | 11:00 am

The Artist is set to be a gala screening at AFI Fest
Angeleno movie lovers who weren't able to shell out the big bucks to fly to the Cannes or Toronto film festivals will get the chance to see some of the season's most buzzed-about movies at the upcoming AFI Fest.

A slew of films popular on this year's festival circuit will screen at the upcoming event, held Nov. 3-10 in Hollywood. Among the festival's centerpiece galas are the "The Artist," the silent black-and-white film which became a sensation at Cannes, and "Shame," the drama starring Michael Fassbender as a sex addict that was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Other red-carpet events include Roman Polanski's "Carnage," Luc Besson's "The Lady" and the Marilyn Monroe drama "My Week With Marilyn." Pedro Almodóvar, who is the festival's guest artistic director this year, will also screen his 1987 film "Law of Desire" starring Antonio Banderas.

AFI Fest will offer special screenings of a number of other well-regarded movies that have made the festival rounds. They include Lynne Ramsey's dark drama "We Need to Talk About Kevin," Lars von Trier's "Melancholia," Mexico's foreign-language Oscar submission "Miss Bala" and the Dardenne brothers' "The Kid With A Bike," which all premiered at Cannes. Also screening are Oren Moverman's "Rampart," the Duplass brothers' "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" and Jim Field Smith's "Butter," which all played in Toronto in September.

A limited number of free tickets to most of the screenings will become available beginning Oct. 27. But if you want to guarantee a seat at the most in-demand films, you can buy a special pass at AFI.com/AFIFEST.


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-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Jean Dujardin, left, and Bérénice Bejo star in "The Artist." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

Toronto 2011: Moonlyn the sexy butter carver to the rescue

September 15, 2011 |  7:12 pm

Butter party
On Tuesday evening, the Weinstein Co. was set to throw a pre-premiere cocktail party at the Toronto International Film Festival for its new comedy “Butter,” starring Jennifer Garner as an uptight, competitive Iowa housewife who sees her family’s legendary butter-sculpting skills as the ticket to a political career. But three hours before the event, something was obviously missing: a butter carver.

That’s when Moonlyn, a buxom 25-year-old Toronto musician who claimed to go by one name, said she got a call from her agent, who normally books her for modeling gigs.

You know how to do airbrush tattoos, he said, so maybe you can do this butter job? he inquired. Oh, and can you dress like a “sexy milkmaid”?

As luck would have it, Moonlyn had carved butter before: In high school, at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, held each November in Toronto. With that, the deal was sealed.

By 7 p.m., Moonlyn, in blond, Heidi-esque plaits, a black micro-mini and a cropped peasant blouse that covered more of her shoulders than her breasts, was at work at the party at the Burroughs Building on Queen Street, molding dozens of 1-pound unsalted butter bricks into a 2-foot high tower that she would then carve into a form vaguely resembling a bottle of Vitamin water (a corporate sponsor of the soiree).

Soon Garner appeared at the event, and upon seeing the emerging oleaginous objet d’art, exclaimed: “I want to get in there!” Learning about food sculpting from a pro in preparation for her role, she explained, was very tactile and very fun. Not that she really learned how to carve; it was more about holding the tools properly and such.

“The guy told me, ‘Don’t quit your day job,’ ” Garner said.


Toronto 2011: Who's the inspiration for Olivia Wilde's stripper?

Toronto 2011: Harvey Weinstein carves 'Butter' into political statement

Toronto 2011: Sarah Palin gets a Bronx cheer in new documentary

-- Julie Makinen in Toronto

Photo: Moonlyn, butter carver for hire, explains her art to the author of this post. Credit: Chris Libby.

Toronto 2011: Who's the inspiration for Olivia Wilde's stripper?

September 15, 2011 |  3:13 pm

Olivia wilde is in butter Filmgoers who caught Jim Field Smith's political satire "Butter" at the Toronto International Film Festival have been making a sport of guessing just who some of the characters in the Midwestern fable are supposed to represent.

Is Jennifer Garner's smug butter-carving competitor Laura Pickler a stand-in for Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann? (Harvey Weinstein, who is releasing the film, certainly seems to be inclined toward the latter.) Is the 11-year-old African American girl competing against her in Iowa supposed to be a 2008-era Barack Obama?

Movie fans, though, may find some real-world familiarity in another character -- namely, Olivia Wilde's Brooke, a brash stripper who attempts to beat Laura at her own game. As you watch the film, she seems, it may slowly occur to you, an awful lot like Diablo Cody. (The Weinstein Co. isn't releasing any official photos yet of Wilde in the role, but some fan sites have posted some.)

Cody is of course the voluble and self-mythologizing screenwriter behind movies like "Juno" and "Jennifer's Body." The similarities between her and Wilde's character are subtle but unmistakable.

Diablo codyLike Brooke, Cody was once a stripper and is covered in upper-body tattoos. Like Brooke,  Oscar winner Cody has a certain swagger and also sought to reinvent herself in another discipline that doesn't involve pole dancing, in the hope of landing a big prize.

Oh, and Cody's real first-name? Brooke.

Screenwriter Jason Micaleff acknowledges he had the "Juno" writer in mind--sort of.

 "Slightly inspired by Diablo (who is thrilled and excited to see it, I hear)," he replied in an email when we put the question to him.

Micallef said that, perhaps unlike some of the more barbed portrayals of U.S. politicians, he intended the Brooke character as homage. "I was intrigued by the idea of a wickedly smart stripper," he said. ("Butter" is slated for general release next year, but if you can't wait that long, it will get a brief one-week run in theaters at the end of October.)


Micallef also wrote that the character carried a larger meaning too. "Brooke thematically represents anarchy, which is why, in a time when everyone hates the government, audiences love her so much."

He then offered that the character had her own Twitter address (@BrookeTokyoRose)--an act of self-branding that might befit, well, Diablo Cody.


Toronto 2011: Harvey Weinstein carves 'Butter' into political statement

'Evil Dead' remake: Diablo Cody polishing script for first-time director

Toronto 2011: Sarah Palin gets a Bronx cheer in new documentary

--Steven Zeitchik in Toronto

Photos: (Top) Olivia Wilde poses for a portrait to promote the film "Butter" at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday. Credit: Associated Press/Carlo Allegri

(Bottom) Diablo Cody at the Academy Awards in 2008. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times


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