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Thompson on Hollywood

Movie City News Gets a Face Lift

David Poland has given MovieCityNews a badly-needed facelift. I keep MCN as my homepage because I rely on the constantly refreshing curated links-- picked and posted because MCN thinks they will interest me. It's the most useful thing on the site. But there is plenty of original content on MCN, from Poland and others, which until now came and went and got buried. Now there's more rhyme and reason to searching for things and keeping up with the newest posts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2010 6:31 AM
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Cusack as Poe, Cameron Decries "Bottom of the Barrel" 3-D, SNL Newbies

- John Cusack will be channeling Edgar Allen Poe in director James McTeigue's iteration of The Raven, not rivals Jeremy Renner or Ewan McGregor. Based on a fictional script from Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston, The Raven follows Poe's final five days, when a serial killer uses Poe's stories as inspiration for his killing spree. Last year, McTeigue said the movie would be a cross between the incantatory 1845 poem ("The Raven") and Se7en.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 30, 2010 6:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments

John Woo Wants to Make IMAX Debut with Flying Tigers Epic

John Woo Wants to Make IMAX Debut with Flying Tigers Epic
At lunch in Rome yesterday, Variety's Justin Chang and I were decrying how much John Woo's masterful two-part historic epic Red Cliff, which was a huge hit in Asia, was largely overlooked by stateside press and audiences. (My favorite film last year, I included it in my top ten of the decade as well.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2010 4:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Rome Day One: Vaticano, Castel St. Angelo, Piazza Navona, Campo Dei Fiori

Rome Day One: Vaticano, Castel St. Angelo, Piazza Navona, Campo Dei Fiori
After a long travel day, I was up bright and early to grab a caffe latte and walk briskly along the ancient Tiber River--my apartment is one block from Ponte Sisto in the old center city--to huge bright St. Peter's Square and the Vatican. The scale of St. Peter's Basilica is so stunning that more than one visitor gasps at the entrance. Michelangelo's Pieta is on your immediate right, and I particularly loved the statue of St. Peter with his right foot worn from centuries of caresses. I stayed for Latin Mass, very cool, reminding me of the weekly sung Episcopal mass from my youth at St. Hilda's. I got the gist of the homily, even in Italian (don't lust for career, success, winning and material possessions; being humble before God and loving friends and family is more important. Aren't they all like that?).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 29, 2010 9:08 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Last Exorcism Over Takers in Summer Photo Finish

Two pictures vied for the top slot on the last slow dog-days-of-summer weekend. At press time it looked like Lionsgate's The Last Exorcism was beating out Sony/Screen Gems' Takers. Meanwhile holdovers The Expendables and Eat Pray Love hung onto slices of the top-five b.o. pie, reports Anthony D'Alessandro.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • August 29, 2010 4:28 AM
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Lee Daniels and Sean Baker Talk Prince Of Broadway: An Honest Indie Gem

Lee Daniels and Sean Baker talk to Sophia Savage about Baker's drama Prince of Broadway, which after lingering on the fest circuit, is finally hitting limited theaters September 3. Safe to say, Savage fell for this movie. So did Daniels.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 28, 2010 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk Returns: Fall Fest Preview

Oscar Talk Returns: Fall Fest Preview
Kris Tapley and I are back on the case as the awards season launches Sept. 1 in Venice. I'll be filing from there. Next podcast: Friday week, when I will be reporting from Venice and Kris will be in Telluride.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2010 9:30 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Exquisite Corpse: 8 MM Film Experiment

It's surreal.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2010 1:26 AM
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  • 25 Comments

Somewhere Flies Over the Rainbow to Venice

Somewhere Flies Over the Rainbow to Venice
This weekend you will not be getting any Emmy coverage from me, as I'm off to Italy, first for a Roman holiday, then to Venice via speed train to cover the festival. There I expect to see Somewhere--as well as talk to director Sofia Coppola. Focus has released a new clip, below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2010 8:23 AM
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  • 3 Comments

SnagLearning Expands Classroom Boundaries

SnagFilms announces SnagLearning, a platform of 125 documentary films that will serve as engaging education tools for students in nearly every middle and high school classroom. CEO Rick Allen calls it a "natural extension" of SnagFilms, which launched two years ago; "teachers have championed our slate of films, which students can stream for free as a means of supplementing their learning. As classrooms stretch their boundaries, SnagLearning will be there – at home or in school – to serve our ever growing community of teachers, students and parents.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 26, 2010 7:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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