Newsbites: Nativity! Poledouris! Others!

Just a few more bites before I dash out the door.

1. Variety reports that The Nativity Story will premiere at the Vatican November 26, “and the Pope has been invited.”

2. Reuters reports that composer Basil Poledouris died of cancer yesterday at the age of 61. I used to listen to his soundtracks for Robocop (1987) and The Hunt for Red October (1990) all the time; maybe I should dig them out again. And maybe I should finally get around to watching my wife’s copy of Conan the Barbarian (1982), which my friend Randy tells me has a great Poledouris score.

3. Jeffrey Wells talks to the director of, and reviews, the excellent German film The Lives of Others. I caught this Cold War thriller at the Vancouver film festival a few weeks ago and loved it; it gets a regular North American theatrical release in February.

4. Maclean’s magazine asks if the profusion of standing ovations in recent years — even for film-festival volunteers — reflects “a broader depreciation of praise in society.”

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