Normally, I like to pick a theme for Film Blog Group Hug. Let's face it, that theme is usually related to Austin, Texas, where I live. But I enjoy variety in my reading as much as anyone else, so this week I found all kinds of interesting and notable blog entries that -- believe it or not -- had nothing to do with Austin. Or Texas. Or the South. This week's Film Blog Group Hug entries range from thoughts on distribution and exhibition, to marketing examples, to film festival coverage, and finally to miscellaneous fun and games.
  • Over at the Onion A.V. Club, Scott Tobias explains why recent decisions about exhibiting Death of a President and Deliver Us from Evil make him feel he's being treated like a child: "These gatekeepers have basically decided that adults need to be shielded from ideas that they deem inappropriate. They've created a special rating and it's called GFY (Go F**k Yourself)." Here in Texas, I'm wondering whether we'll get any chance at all to see Death of a President. [via ScreenGrab]
  • Speaking of Death of a President, Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere notes the links between the chains refusing to show the film and the Republican Party. I'm a little skeptical -- I think the motives are likely more commercial. But I'd love to see an in-depth article on theater-chain corporations and their political donations and affiliations; if such an article exists and you know about it, please share the link. [via Movie Marketing Madness]
  • And speaking of Deliver Us from Evil, Kate from Market My Monkey shows us a very cool (and probably very pricey) promo piece for the film. I love cool promo items for films -- one of my favorite parts of film festivals is seeing all the innovative ways in which indie filmmakers with no money can promote their films.
  • Peter Nellhaus,one of our top commentors, has been covering the Italian Film Festival in Miami Beach this week, and giving us a peek into contemporary Italian cinema. The first day sounded uninspiring, although he liked My Best Enemy. The second day, he started longing for Fellini. Fortunately, he caught La Destinazione on Monday and the festival redeemed itself.
  • At The House Next Door, Wagstaff has posted an extensive, fascinating look at The Old Dark House, the 1932 James Whale film: "For a brisk 72 minutes, the film entertains handsomely and never varies its perfect tone of witty suspense or its atmosphere of wry, comic horror."
  • The next round of Filmbrain's Screen Capture Quiz just started over at Like Anna Karina's Sweater. I'm terrible at these myself, so I get disproportionately excited when I manage to actually guess one or two per round. Naturally, I have no idea what movie this week's screenshot is from.
  • Okay, one slightly Austin-related link: Do I really want you to find out how to get in the Butt-Numb-A-Thon and therefore reduce my own chances? Because I am dying to go to the December ubergeek film marathon this year, after waiting around in the standby line last year to no avail. All right, here's the scoop from Ain't It Cool News. The standby line may be less trouble than the application (although I'll probably do both -- curse that inner film geek).