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Thompson on Hollywood

First Look: YouTube Short Film Competition Aims for Venice Film Fest

YouTube is the place for randomly generated hilarity: falling cats, Rebecca Black ballads, and singing toddlers. But YouTube wants to change this perception. By launching a short film competition, YouTube is making an effort to find new talent, as opposed to accidental meme-generators.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 19, 2012 6:30 PM
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Weekend Preview: 'Haywire,' 'Extremely Loud,' 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' & More

Michael Fassbender is in theaters again, this time with Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire." He may have a smaller part in this film compared to "Shame," "Jane Eyre," "A Dangerous Method" or "X-Men," but the best scene in the movie is still his.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2012 5:01 PM
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HBO Debuts Cameron Crowe's Elton John and Leon Russell Doc 'The Union' on February 2

Cameron Crowe's "The Union," which premiered at Tribeca 2011, will have its television debut exclusively on HBO February 2. The film follows the recent musical collaboration of Leon Russell and Elton John. Crowe began shooting in 2009, following John's writing and recording of his collaborative album with Russell, the man who was his idol early in his career. Their collaboration was prompted when John was listening to Russell's Greatest Hits album while on safari. He was distraught that the musician had fallen into obscurity and made it his mission to collaborate with him. T-Bone Burnett produced the film.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2012 4:54 PM
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Tech Watch: Indie On-Demand Movie Site Fandor Adds iPad App

Fandor, the indie on-demand movie site, has launched an iPad application. Fandor, which targets movie fans, is "invaluable in finding great films no matter where you are," Roger Ebert writes.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 19, 2012 4:38 PM
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Octavia Spencer: From the Golden Globes to Sundance's 'Smashed'

On Oscar night last year, L.A. resident Octavia Spencer was plopped on her living room couch, running the pool at her Oscar party, $5 a shot. Running the gauntlet of awards events, from her breakthrough award at Palm Springs and supporting actress win at the Critics Choice Movie Awards, she's trying to keep her head on straight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2012 4:15 PM
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Trailer Watch: Cinelan's Focus Forward Doc Initiative

Last October we announced GE and Cinelan's documentary initiative, Focus Forward. Check out this video featuring the directors of the thirty upcoming 3-minute films, including "Super Size Me"'s Morgan Spurlock, "Wasteland"'s Lucy Walter, "Shut Up & Sing"'s Barbara Kopple, "Paradise Lost"'s Joe Berlinger and many more.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2012 3:09 PM
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Casting Watch: Heist Comedy 'Black Marks' Has Russell, Dillon, Baruchel, Stamp & More

Jonathan Sobol's "The Black Marks" has filled out its cast. Joining Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Jay Baruchel are Terence Stamp, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kathryn Winnick and Kenneth Welsh. The Toronto-based production, which starts shooting next month, is being produced by Darius Films' Nicholas Tabarrok and Jeff Sackman; Alliance Films' Noah Segal is exec producing. Check out the synopsis and character details below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2012 2:28 PM
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Sundance Trailer: 'Finding North' Shows Hunger Crisis in America

Sundance premieres "Finding North" on January 22. Participant media's documentary on hunger features the likes of Jeff Bridges and Tom Colicchio to push the message that child hunger is an American crisis, with one in four of our children struggling to eat...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2012 1:35 PM
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A Brilliantly Silly Short Video Remix: 'Hello'

To brighten your day, Nic Cage, Elvis, Liam Neeson, Kim Novak and Woody Allen have collaborated in perfect harmony in this short video remix. Well... not exactly, but Dutch artist Matthijs Vlot spliced together dozens of movie clips--combining phrases to ultimately create the lyrics of a 1980s hit. It's iconic, ironic, and endlessly watchable.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 19, 2012 1:19 PM
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Watch 'Chasing Ice' Exclusive Clip: Orlowski Talks Time Lapse Doc UPDATE

As the weather goes kablooey around us, Oscilloscope Labs is finally releasing Sundance doc "Chasing Ice" (November 9), the debut documentary by 27-year old filmmaker Jeff Orlowski about James Balog, a National Geographic photographer who has traveled across the world to capture incredible time lapse photography of receding glaciers. Balog began his journey as a climate change skeptic, but now devotes his life to photographing and lecturing about the effect climate change is having on the Earth's ice.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • January 19, 2012 12:43 PM
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