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Thompson on Hollywood

New Yorker Goes Friendly on Finke

I met with New Yorker writer Tad Friend when he came out to L.A. last July. We talked at Caffe Latte, ostensibly about the Hollywood blogosphere, but it quickly became clear that Nikki Finke was the irresistible subject at hand. No question, she's compelling. Always.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2009 7:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Media

Weekend Movie Guide: A Serious Man is Must-See

Weekend Movie Guide: A Serious Man is Must-See
Cinephile Must-SeesA Serious Man Tomatometer 86% Metascore 74This dark Jewish comedy was the best movie I saw in Toronto; top-notch Coens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2009 4:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Barrymore's Whip It Delivers

Barrymore's Whip It Delivers
Reelz Channel host Leonard Maltin reviews Drew Barrymore's Whip It this week.
  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • October 2, 2009 10:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Who is Zoe Keating and Why Should Indie Filmmakers Care?

Who is Zoe Keating and Why Should Indie Filmmakers Care?
New York-based digital consultant Chris Dorr and I had a lively phone conversation Thursday about how independent filmmakers should exploit the internet. He got off the phone and wrote this essay.
  • By Chris Dorr
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  • October 2, 2009 9:50 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode 4: A Single Man, A Serious Man, Bright Star, Get Low, The Last Station

In Oscar Talk, Episode 4, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I continue our discussion of all things Oscar. We cover the foreign language submissions (62 so far), the PGA and Oscar ten best films, the long-term forecast on Bright Star, Sony Pictures Classics’ Oscar hopefuls The Last Station and Get Low, and The Weinstein Co's Toronto buy A Single Man. We also veer off topic with discussions of New York Film Festival opener Wild Grass, Zombieland and Paranormal Activity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2009 9:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Miramax Restructures, Reduces Film Output

With the departure of Disney studio chief Dick Cook, things were not looking up for Miramax Films, yet another studio specialty division trying to survive some weak boxoffice. (Current release The Boys Are Back, starring Clive Owen, is not taking off.) Disney is dealing with the issue for the moment by restructuring Miramax, consolidating marketing and distribution with the parent studio, and reducing the number of films that Miramax releases every year. (That's the exact opposite of my solution for what they should do.) Miramax will reduce its output to just three movies a year (including acquisitions), and cut its staff of 75 by some 50 positions, winding up with about 25. (At its peak under the Weinsteins in 2004, when the firm released some 30 films a year, the staff was at 500.) The company had already shrunk considerably since Battsek took over in September 2005, and now releases from six to eight films. UPDATE:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2009 8:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station
Sony Pictures Classics has added Telluride Film Festival hit The Last Station to its burgeoning 2009 slate of possible Oscar contenders. (Here's my Telluride feature on the movie.) The studio specialty subsidiary, which acquired North And Latin American rights, will push for Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy for Oscar nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2009 2:51 AM
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  • 9 Comments

MGM Catches Reprieve from Lenders

MGM has been under serious duress as it attempts to stay in business, while keeping up with even the interest owed on its staggering $3.7-billion debt. While the following statement indicates that the company will be relieved of three interest payments, there are miles to go before MGM comes out in the clear. The struggling studio has avoided being forced into bankruptcy by its creditors, which would have decreased the value of the company, which still owns a 4,000-title movie library as well as the Bond and Pink Panther franchises.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 1, 2009 11:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Life During Wartime: Werc Werk Works Jumps Into Indie Fray

Life During Wartime: Werc Werk Works Jumps Into Indie Fray
As Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime meets a mixed response at Venice, Telluride, Toronto and the NYFF (see IndieWIRE's critics poll), the two women who raised the funding for the $5-million movie are sitting on tenterhooks hoping to score a distribution deal that has not materialized.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 1, 2009 6:54 AM
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  • 1 Comment

NBC/Universal on Roof, Downey Likely Harvey Star, Movie Sound Cliches

It looks like GE is in serious talks with Comcast to buy NBC Universal, reports Sharon Waxman. As Vivendi looks to sell its 20 % stake in the company, which has suffered a tough year, Comacast may step into the breach. UPDATE: Here's the LAT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2009 12:17 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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