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Thompson on Hollywood

Writers Guild Noms Bring Surprises

Writers Guild Noms Bring Surprises
The Writers Guild Award nominations are in. Remember, as far as future Oscar noms are concerned, the list of ineligible WGA films this year was long: Inglourious Basterds, Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Me and Orson Welles, A Single Man and An Education among them.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2010 7:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Finke Poaches Variety Scoop-King Fleming

Finke Poaches Variety Scoop-King Fleming
As Variety hides behind a pay wall in a misguided attempt to salvage its outdated print model, Jay Penske-owned Deadline/Hollywood has poached Variety's biggest breaking news hound, Mike Fleming, to run the new Deadline/New York.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2010 4:31 AM
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  • 7 Comments
More: News, Media

Sundance Juries Include Banks, Posey, Spurlock, Vachon, Schwarzbaum

Sundance has announced the members for its five juries for 2010. The ten-day fest fest gets under way January 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2010 3:53 AM
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  • 0 Comments

SpeedCine 2.0 Expands Global Reach

On Monday, SpeedCine founder and CEO Reid Rosefelt goes international with a new language filter, design and features. Stand-up comedy and concert films are now visible on the site, along with a button for new releases.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2010 2:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Palm Springs: Directors Talk Ajami, Samson & Delilah, I Killed My Mother, The Misfortunates

While some Academy foreign language committee members have complained of the plethora of downbeat World War II/holocaust/war movies in this year's selection (as though member countries think this is what Academy voters tend to go for), the films cherry-picked from the Palm Springs Fest's program of 41 (out of 67) Oscar submissions for this year's annual filmmakers' panel were four contemporary Cannes entries. Ably moderated by Variety's Peter Debruge, the panel focused (in photo, from left) on Australia's Samson & Delilah (Warwick Thornton), Israel's Ophir-winner Ajami (Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani), Belgium's The Misfortunates (Felix Van Groeningen) and Canada's French-language I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2010 2:14 AM
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Palm Springs Weekend: Dogtooth, City of Life and Death

Palm Springs Weekend: Dogtooth, City of Life and Death
Nora and I drove out to the Palm Springs International Film Festival Saturday, already well under way (it winds up on the 18th). Fest director Darryl Macdonald and lead programmers Helen du Toit and Carl Spence not only play the pre-Oscar awards-tributes-red-carpet game with such films as Precious, An Education and The Last Station, but also assemble a large selection of foreign Oscar submissions (not all are deemed worthy). A Fipresci jury will choose the best film and performances of the 41. Altogether the fest brings in about 1000 assorted folk to the robust--and growing-local fest, with help from distribs as well as various foreign consulates. We registered along with the filmmakers from Ajami, a tough Palestinian/Israeli drama that is Israel's entry.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 10, 2010 8:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: Winnowing Down the Art Directors Guild Nominees

The Art Directors Guild production design award nominees are all over the place: contemporary, period, and fantasy, 15 in the feature film category. So the trick is to figure out which movies get an Oscar boost from being nominated here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 9, 2010 6:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

What's Next for Avatar Sequels?

It's not news that Fox, Lightstorm and James Cameron expect to push through an Avatar sequel or two. They want to capitalize on all the time and money that went into creating the Weta "rigs" for the CG characters. Now they're up and running, ready to go.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2010 7:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Seventeen: PGA, DGA, Scripters and Top Ten

Kris Tapley and I track the Oscar impact of the recent PGA, DGA and USC Scripter noms. Of the top four, what's ahead? Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air or Inglourious Basterds? Is Christoph Waltz a lock to win best supporting actor? We also weigh the chances of Up, The Messenger, District 9, A Serious Man and Star Trek to make it into the best picture top ten. And we get into recent eligibility issues on Bright Star, District 9 and An Education with the Scripters, the Academy and the WGA.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2010 6:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Ferguson Riffs on Late Night Shifts

When my 20-year-old is home, she TiVos Oprah and Conan. (She refuses to watch Leno, Letterman or, God forbid, Charlie Rose.) In passing The Tonight Show mantle to O'Brien, NBC was trying to grow a younger viewer base, which takes time. By moving Leno to 10 PM, the network gambled that it could solve all its problems without losing talent or viewers, and lost. (Here's Kim Masters and the LAT.) While NBC's scrambling --which could return Leno to 11:30 and risks losing O'Brien altogether-- seems messy at best, it did feed this inspired Craig Ferguson monologue:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2010 5:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video, TV

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