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Thompson on Hollywood

Movies Go to the Opera

Opera buff alert! You don't have to spend a small fortune anymore to see live opera. These days, the Metropolitan Opera is delivering its shows live in HD in digital cinemas around the country. This way, instead of sitting in the rafters with binoculars, you can relish in close-up the visual and aural wealth of the hefty sets, costumes, singers and orchestras.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2009 1:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lee Revamps Ride with the Devil

In the stellar career of Ang Lee, one movie stands out like a sore thumb, not only as one of his few boxoffice clunkers, but as a film which he edited for a studio. "Of the 11 films I worked on with Ang, it's the only one that was not his cut," says Lee's longtime writer-collaborator James Schamus, who will appear with Lee onstage at the Walter Reade after the work-in-progress director's cut of Ride with the Devil screens August 10 during the Film Society at Lincoln Center's complete Lee retrospective.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2009 11:31 AM
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  • 3 Comments

John Hughes Dead of Heart Attack at Age 59

John Hughes died of a heart attack Thursday while visiting family in Manhattan. He was 59.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2009 8:50 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Berney and Pohlad Announce Apparition, Malick's Tree of Life

Berney and Pohlad Announce Apparition, Malick's Tree of Life
Finally, ex-Picturehouse chief Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad of River Road Entertainment have announced their new company, Apparition, on the eve of taking Jane Campion's Cannes entry Bright Star to Telluride (my spies predict) and Toronto for a September 18 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2009 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Disney/ABC Replaces Lyons and Mankiewicz with Adult Critics Scott and Phillips

Disney/ABC Replaces Lyons and Mankiewicz with Adult Critics Scott and Phillips
Yes! Sometimes the grown-ups win.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 11:45 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Letter to the Studios: How Not to Market Adult Dramas

Here's the first of a series of pieces (which do not necessarily reflect my POV) by guest bloggers on various aspects of the entertainment industry. Now based in Nampa, Idaho, Mike Kaplan is a veteran filmmaker (Never Apologize) and marketer who has managed campaigns for Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey) and Robert Altman (Short Cuts) among others. More recently, please note, Kaplan helped to introduce Clive Owen to American audiences with the sleeper hit Croupier and You'll Sleep When I'm Dead. Here's his argument for how the studios are killing adult dramas--through misguided marketing. Kaplan came up in a film industry that made producing and marketing films for grown-ups its first priority. That is no longer the case.
  • By Mike Kaplan
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  • August 5, 2009 9:34 AM
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  • 15 Comments

August Brings Dog Days, Celebs on Vacation

The dog days of August are upon us. Will any of the month’s upcoming movies kick ass, like The Fugitive or Pineapple Express? Or are they studio also-rans? It can go either way, writes the NYT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 8:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer

Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer
A while back, DreamWorks showed me some footage from Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones ; I was knocked out by what I saw. The film looked strong, different, unusual. The images popped. Saoirse Ronin (Atonement) plays the 14-year-old girl who is murdered in 1973 and watches her family from "the inbetween."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 4:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cameron's Blue Avatar, Swinton Hauls Movies, Moore Traverses Fest, Ebert's Best Movies

James Cameron’s new poster for Avatar is an extreme close-up of a blue Nav'i alien from the Planet Pandora. It’s an arresting image that makes you stop and pay attention. Cameron wants you to know he’s taking you somewhere you’ve never been before. Jeff Wells hates this poster. There’s plenty of time between now and December 18 for the Fox marketers to figure out their message. I suspect that one reason they’re showing the 15 minutes in IMAX theaters on August 21 is that they know showing the film is their best approach.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 3:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Must-Own Film Books

We all have lists of must-own film books. Mine goes like this:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 2:18 AM
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  • 27 Comments

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