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Thompson on Hollywood

How to Make a Ten Best List

'Tis the season when ten best lists start rolling in. I smile when I get my first Christmas card, always from John Waters (Highland, Maryland), whose Ten Best is in Art Forum, natch, and below. Kris Tapley and I delivered ours in this week's Oscar Talk podcast; I'll publish mine and the TOH crew's lists on Monday. Herewith are some early lists, below; Sight & Sound had 101 critics weigh in, and Mubi is collecting lists as well, including the Cahiers du Cinema.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2011 7:23 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Muppets Movie Makes Comeback, Happy Feet 2 Stumbles

When Coca Cola owned Columbia Pictures during the 80s, the beverage giant did research into how to reduce risk in producing and releasing motion pictures. The answer: sequels. Truth is, making movies is more challenging than figuring out how to market products on supermarket shelves. Films involve creative alchemy, huge expense and risk, and can die on their opening weekend. So Hollywood figured out the sequels answer a long time ago, from the days of Andy Hardy, Ma and Pa Kettle and Rin Tin Tin movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2011 4:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments

AFM Opts for the Beach: Annual Film Market Stays Put in Santa Monica

When news broke during the American Film Market in November that the organization was negotiating to move downtown in two years, the decision was met by war cries. A petition went around, as attendees remembered the loss of MIFED and nightly treks to the Milan eatery, Bagutta, for dinner. They didn't want the AFM to meet the same fate as the late lamented annual film industry trade show, which met its final death knell when the AFM moved its dates from February to November. All of a sudden, the Italian gathering was gone. No more.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • December 9, 2011 2:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
More: AFM

Oscar Talk: 2011 Ten Best Lists

Take Shelter Wins Cannes Critics Week Grand Prix: Shannon Perf "Stuff Bad Dreams Are Made Of "
For this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I checked our lists and made the tough decisions on what to include as our ten best for 2011. We agreed on one film only: Jeff Nichols' "Take Shelter," starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Will it land any Oscar nominations? This week, perhaps refreshingly, that's not our primary focus.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2011 11:59 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Bob Richardson Goes Blue for Hugo in 3-D

The 3-D journey on "Hugo" for Oscar-winning cinematographer Bob Richardson ("The Aviator, " "JFK"), once he got over the growing pains and realized that the digital technology wouldn't hinder his craft, was to confidently embrace it.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 9, 2011 11:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Nolan Talks Pulse Pounding Dark Knight Rises Prologue, Bane, Hathaway, Gordon-Levitt, IMAX

A scant three weeks after filming wrapped on "The  Dark Knight Rises,"  Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan kicked off the marketing campaign for the July 2012 release by unveiling  seven minutes of footage in the IMAX giant-screen format at an event held Thursday night  in Los Angeles. Introduced by Nolan as the “prologue” that begins the movie, it began with Gothan police commisioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) at a dais saying, “I knew Harvey Dent, I was his friend,” confirming that the D.A. character portrayed by Aaron Eckhart is dead.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • December 9, 2011 11:01 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Zimmer, Williams to Music Supervise 84th Academy Awards

Oscar-winning composer Has Zimmer and songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams will be the music consultants for next year's 84th Academy Awards. It will be the first time working on the awards show for both musicians.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 8, 2011 10:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Update: Extremely Loud Screens Under Embargo, War Horse Q & A, Albert Brooks, Gurus Vote

Oscar Watch: Hanks and Horn in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The week is packed as befits the season, with too many things to cover. I missed Wednesday's invitation-only LACMA screening of "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" for Academy voters and critics, which was under strict Scott Rudin embargo. Even the Q & A with Stephen Daldry, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Eric Roth and Max Von Sydow was off-record, which seems extreme--don't they want people to know about their movie? 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2011 4:29 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Video: Listen to French Electro-Duo Air's Score for Melies' "A Trip to the Moon"

Cannes 2011: Méliès's Fully Restored A Trip To The Moon in Color To Screen Fest's Opening Night
Check out the clip below from the digital restoration of hand-tinted 1902 film "Trip to the Moon," complete with French electronic duo Air’s contemporary film score, which debuted at Cannes and played Telluride. The new soundtrack gives a playful, energizing burst of vigor to the vibrant print. The pioneering short also plays a key role in Martin Scorsese's nostalgic loveletter to filmmaker Georges Melies, "Hugo."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • December 8, 2011 2:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments

CASTING WATCH: Ramirez for Star Trek, Hopkins & Mirren for Making of Psycho, Lovelace Goes Blonder

J.J. Abrams is eyeing Edgar Ramirez to play the villain in the upcoming "Star Trek" sequel. Benicio del Toro was attached, but that's fallen through. The "Carlos" star now has a chance to make a grand franchise entrance into the mainstream.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 8, 2011 2:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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