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Dog days dog Venice opener

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As Alan Rickman’s icy Emma Thompson starrer “The Winter Guest” and Paul Schrader’s wintry Nick Nolte drama “Affliction” unspooled Thursday night on the Lido, a steamy Venetian heat contributed to a languid mood for industryites as the Venice Intl. Film Festival moved into its second day.

Sony takes Taiwan TV stake

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As part of its strategic expansion abroad, Sony Pictures Entertainment has taken a 25% stake in Super TV, one of Taiwan’s leading cable programmers.

George Newi

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George H. Newi, former president of the ABC Television Network, died July 22 of a heart attack while on vacation in Norway. Newi, who resided in Bonita Spring, Fla., was 62.

Reruns sap Big Four

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The increase in midseason repeats is accelerating steady ratings erosion by the major broadcast networks, according to a new study from BJK&E Media Group, which documents the repeats’ impact.

MTV skeds Brooks for first cybercast concert

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In a small symbol of things to come, MTV Online — the Internet arm of the music video giant — will deliver its first-ever computer-borne “cybercast” concert, a 30-minute performance by Capitol Records recording artist Meredith Brooks that will precede next month’s 1997 MTV Video Music Awards program.

Abbott in bigscreen ‘Trance’

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Bruce Abbott, a TV thesp making the jump to features, will go into a “Trance,” an indie production from Apex Films.

Review: ‘U Turn’

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Exceedingly raw, imaginative, daring and energized, this rare straight genre exercise by Oliver Stone is loaded with twisted motives, brazen amorality, double dealing, incestuous relationships, subversive intent and hilariously surreal asides.

Review: ‘Affliction’

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A piercing portrait of a middle-age, small-town man becoming unhinged, “Affliction” represents an unusually felicitous match-up of director and material. More emotionally direct and less artistically precious than this year’s other adaptation of a Russell Banks novel, Atom Egoyan’s “The Sweet Hereafter.”