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Thompson on Hollywood

Venice Hit By Torrential Storm

Venice Hit By Torrential Storm
The forecast was for rain today in Venice, and sure enough a powerful wind and rain storm hit the Lido, knocking down tents and vendor stands and flooding stores on the main beach drag.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 6:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Festivals

Affleck Talks The Town with Co-Star Blake Lively

- Ben Affleck interviews his The Town co-star Blake Lively for Interview Magazine. Lively, who plays Affleck's ex-girlfriend, a 29-year old drug-dealing single mother, jokes her way through the interview. They are clearly comfortable with each other--they shot a sex scene together on her first day of shooting.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 3, 2010 4:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Casting News: Patton in M:I Reboot, De Niro Loves Bellucci, Hamm and Westfeldt Make Indie

- J.J. Abrams' reboot of the Mission: Impossible franchise is coming together at Paramount, even if it still lacks a firm title. Returning Tom Cruise will be accompanied by Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, both of whom wowed in their low-budget Oscar-winning films last year, Precious and The Hurt Locker, respectively.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 3, 2010 3:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Italian Producers Gori vs. Nunnari: Judge Rules $14 Million in Lost Profits to Gori

- An L.A. Superior Court Judge has ruled (tentatively) in favor of Italian film mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori (pictured, right) and against producer Gianni Nunnari (pictured, left) (The Departed, Shutter Island, 300, From Dusk Till Dawn).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 3, 2010 2:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Venice Early Review: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere Views Empty Movie Star

Venice Early Review: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere Views Empty Movie Star
Write what you know. And Sofia Coppola knows Hollywood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 1:02 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Venice Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama

Venice Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama
While Julian Schnabel's Miral packs an emotional punch, he tells the wrong story. I was in tears during both of the film's bookend sections, which focus on real-life Hind Husseini (the great Hiam Abbass), a wealthy Palestinian woman who in 1948 takes it upon herself to feed, clothe, educate and house thousands of orphans left abandoned and destitute by the ongoing wars and strife in Jerusalem. Her sense of obligation and personal sacrifice moved me. She and American Willem Dafoe share feelings, but can never get together; as she tells him: "I have 2000 daughters." While Husseini remains a character in the drama, the screenplay, adapted by Palestinian/Italian broadcaster Rula Jebreal from her semi-autobiographical novel, focuses on Miral (Indian actress Freida Pinto), a young girl born in 1973 whose widower father (Alexander Sidding) brings her to the orphanage to live during the week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 11:06 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?
The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Telluride 2010 Lineup Announced; Firth, Cardinale, Weir To Be Honored

In its 37th year, the Telluride Film Festival announces their 2010 lineup one day before the fun begins, including special tributes to this year's Silver Medallion recipients Colin Firth, Italian/Tunisian actress Claudia Cardinale (8 ½) and director Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society) in recognition of their contribution to the world of cinema. EDITOR'S UPDATE: Weir will unveil his new film, The Way Back, which just landed distributor Newmarket, and is not playing any of the other fall fests, so this is a real coup for Telluride. Darren Aronofsky is also winging from Venice to Colorado to show Black Swan, and Searchlight is also expected to bring Danny Boyle's 127 Hours; he had good luck debuting Slumdog Millionaire there.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 2, 2010 5:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Director Clooney Casts Political Drama, Affleck "All In" with The Town, TV vs. Cinema

- Occasional director George Clooney announced his intentions to adapt the play Farragut North some time ago. And now this February his movie is set to shoot with a powerful cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and possibly Chris Pine, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei (should they accept Clooney's offers). At some point, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio were each attached to play leading roles in the film but schedules didn't work out. Former Democratic politico Beau Willimon, after working on Howard Dean's '04 campaign, wrote the original story and first script draft about behind-the-scenes dirty campaign tricks for a Democratic candidate who will barely be seen on screen. The main characters include a young campaign whiz kid (Pine already won praise for playing the role onstage at the Geffen [pictured]), a veteran boss (Hoffman), a rival campaign manager (Giamatti), a teen staffer (Wood?) and journalist (Tomei?). Though the specifics of funding and distribution are as yet unconfirmed, Vulture says, "finding funding with this cast shouldn't require kissing a lot of babies."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 2, 2010 3:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete

As a Venice newbie, I got off the speed train from Rome, exited the station to a canal and grabbed a 40-minute ferry to the island the Lido. It's an adjustment. Basically a subway is a ferry here, a taxi is a motor boat or gondola, and houses have water in their basements with a garage for their boat (below). Trucks are boats too; Venice is under constant construction, like New Orleans. The Lido is a lovely resort (a bit like Fire Island or Catalina); I figured out that I needed to rent a bike to get around (I get a silly kick out of passing slow riders on the left). The casino location of the film festival (this is the 67th) is a maze of corridors, high-ceilinged halls, wide stairways and long lines for multiple screenings.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2010 1:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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