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Thompson on Hollywood

PS22 Chorus Sings Its Way To The Oscars

Staten Island's Public School 22 chorus is performing on the 83rd Academy Awards. Co-producer Bruce Cohen and co-host Anne Hathaway surprised the children and their families with the news at their annual Winter program (watch them reacting below, plus the chorus's "Just Dance" and "Run This Town" videos). This is not the first 15-minutes of fame for the chorus. Directed by Gregg Breinberg, the chorus has enjoyed YouTube fame and appeared on Good Morning America and VH1 Divas as well as performing at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and at the White House's National Tree Lighting.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 17, 2010 8:16 AM
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Sundance Watch: Vachon, Koffler and Iwashina's Killer Digital and Digital Artists Launch Series

Killer Films goes digital with a new partnership among producers Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler of Killer Films (Boys Don’t Cry, Far From Heaven) and their former CAA agent, Kevin Iwashina. The trio are jumping into the promising but as yet not remunerative digital content and distribution arena that poses a challenge for independents: How best to use social media to reach a large untapped indie fanbase? Finding an economic model for digital distribution is the indie Holy Grail. Killer Digital will start by producing short and long form video.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 6:38 AM
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Production Watch: Wilde and Bana, Clooney and Bullock, Miller and Huston

- Olivia Wilde and Eric Bana are in talks to star as outlawed siblings who cross paths with a troubled ex-boxer (Charlie Hunnam) in Kin, slated to shoot in Canada next March. The script comes from Zach Dean (his first feature) and Stefan Ruzowitzky (Anatomy, Anatomy 2, The Counterfeiters) is directing. Wilde, heating up with a stand-out performance in TRON: Legacy, has five titles lined up for 2011; Cowboys & Aliens, comedies Butter and The Change-Up, Now (a sci-fi thriller with Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy) and Civil War pic Cleburne (rumored). Bana is rumored to star in Sheldon Turner's By Virtue Fall, plays opposite Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan in Joe Wright's Hanna (releasing in April), has The Emperor's Children in development with director-writer Noah Baumbach (which co-stars Keira Knightley, Michelle Williams and Richard Gere), and is attached to Armored and Factor X (though neither appear to be going anywhere any time soon).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 17, 2010 5:31 AM
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Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG

Does Blue Valentine or Another Year or Biutiful still have a shot? Will Winter's Bone or The Town make it onto the Oscar Ten? In Contention's @KrisTapley and @GuyLodge and I read the Oscar tea leaves in the wake of the critics votes, Golden Globes, and SAG nominations. We explain why critics' fave The Social Network isn't necessarily a shoo-in for best picture. And why the SAG Awards count more than the Golden Globes in the Oscar race, and why the HFPA didn't nominate How Do You Know? as a comedy. The guys like Tron: Legacy and Daft Punk a lot more than I do, that's for sure.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 5:00 AM
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Trailer Watch: The Tree of Life

For those of you who missed the trailer in theaters (in front of Black Swan) and on Apple Trailers, here is Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life trailer in all its glory. (And here is our gallery of ten stills.) I can safely predict that given Fox Searchlight's May 27 release date and the eagerness with which Thierry Fremaux pursued the movie last year, The Tree of Life will be in Cannes. And another likely Cannes entrant will be Sony's Restless, directed by fest fave Gus Van Sant, which will likely wind up at Sony Pictures Classics.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 11:02 AM
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  • 3 Comments

SXSW Opens with World Premiere of Duncan Jones' Source Code, Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

The SXSW Film Festival will open on March 11 with the world premiere of Duncan Jones' ticking bomb thriller Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. The Summit release (April 1, 2011) is Jones' much-awaited follow-up to Moon. The SXSW fest and conference runs through March 19 in Austin, Texas.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 8:22 AM
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New Miramax: What Do We Know? Lang and Weinsteins Partner on Sequels

What do we know about the new Miramax, which has finally closed its $660 million deal to separate from previous owner Disney?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 7:27 AM
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Gender Watch: Geena Davis and PTC on Sexualization of Women and Girls On Screen

- Blue Valentine had to fight to get a fair R rating from the MPAA because the films shows female oral sex - female pleasure - while mainstream film and television continues to promote women and girls as objects of and targets for male desire without any examples of how to articulate or assert themselves against cultural stereotypes. The attention given to Blue Valentine's rating signifies our culture's imbalance in male vs. female sexual perspective and power. We are so used to seeing women as objects of desire, that when they are recipients of pleasure we don't know how to deal. It's not enough to show girls or women rolling their eyes in annoyance or acceptance of "the way things are" - we need to see them changing the paradigm. Below, two forces trying to do just that:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 16, 2010 6:29 AM
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Pink Panther Director Blake Edwards Dies at 88, Video Clips

I grew up on the films of Blake Edwards, who has died at age 88. He is yet another example of a director whose kind we will not see again. Just as wife Julie Andrews was schooled in vaudeville, he possessed a range of skills that few can match today. Most impressively, he knew how to get a laugh from slapstick: the well-timed pratfall, the double take. No one else could have delivered the zany laughs in the best of the long-lived Pink Panther series, A Shot in the Dark. Edwards worked with the brilliant Peter Sellers to create the unforgettable klutz Inspector Clouseau, complete with clotted French accent and killer assistant, Cato, who could pounce on him at any moment, and with composer Henry Mancini, who scored almost all of Edwards’ films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 5:46 AM
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Paul Greengrass Talks Bourne, Green Zone, Short Movie Day 8

Brit actor David Morrissey interviews director Paul Greengrass (Bourne films and Green Zone) in this short movie for Dunhill’s Day 8:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 5:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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