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Thompson on Hollywood

In the No, Run-Up to Telluride: The Show from Swinton and Clooney to Veloso and Waters

In the No, Run-Up to Telluride: The Show from Swinton and Clooney to Veloso and Waters
We have several folks covering festivals this year--David Gritten and The Playlist are in Venice while Meredith Brody and I are in Telluride--along with Eugene Hernandez, who's covering for indieWIRE. Here's Meredith's first missive:Part of the appeal and the mystique of the Telluride Film Festival, aka the Show, is that you’re buying a pig in a poke. Since the Festival doesn’t release any of its program, whether new titles, tributes, or revivals, in advance, you have to trust in its distinguished reputation -- as Roger Ebert has memorably written, “[It’s] like Cannes died and went to heaven…” -- and take a leap into the void.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 2, 2011 3:44 AM
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Don Cheadle is a Vicious Captain Planet

Don Cheadle takes on the challenging role of Captain Planet, aggressively saving the world from evil humans and tiny dogs. Watch as he makes everyone around him go green or leaf (his pun, not mine). Along with Oscar-nominee Cheadle, this Funny or Die clip features Gillian Jacobs, Brenda Song, Efren Ramirez, William Moseley, and James Davis:Don Cheadle is Captain Planet from Don Cheadle
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 2, 2011 3:40 AM
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Oscar Watch: Happy Happy is Norway's Official Entry for Best Foreign Language Film

The Norwegian Oscar Committee has submitted Anne Switsky's feature directorial debut, Happy, Happy, to Best Foreign-Language Feature Film, after it took the top prize at Sundance. Happy, Happy's victory at Sundance marked the first time that a Norwegian film won fest's World Cinema Grand Jury Prize.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 2, 2011 3:39 AM
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Another Trip to the Moon with Méliès: Behind the Digital Restoration of VFX Landmark

Another Trip to the Moon with Méliès: Behind the Digital Restoration of  VFX Landmark
While waiting for Hugo (Nov. 23), Martin Scorsese's 3-D valentine to Georges Méliès, TOH columnist Bill Desowitz writes a fascinating account of how digital advances made possible the painstaking restoration of the first movie blockbuster from the father of special effects, A Trip to the Moon (1902). The new version of the landmark 14-minute short, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, will screen at Telluride this weekend and at the Academy's Goldwyn Theater on Tuesday. What a way to mark the 150th anniversary of Méliès's birth.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 2, 2011 3:35 AM
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Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride, Carnage, Ides of March, W.E., Contagion, The Artist

Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride, Carnage, Ides of March, W.E., Contagion, The Artist
In Contention's Kris Tapley is here in Telluride with me, while Guy Lodge is in Venice. We all got on Skype for this week's Oscar Talk, which delves into early reaction to Venice titles from George Clooney (The Ides of March), Madonna (W.E) and Roman Polanski Carnage and a movie Kris and I saw in L.A., Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, as well as Cannes title The Artist, which is showing in Telluride. Friday Kris and I should get a crack at The Descendants, Martin Scorsese's George Harrison doc and Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2011 3:00 AM
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Indie Feature Littlerock Is a Love Affair Gone Sour

Indie Feature Littlerock Is a Love Affair Gone Sour
You could say that I had an on-again, off-again relationship with Littlerock (trailer below). Impressive yet exasperating, Mike Ott’s film about two Japanese tourists stranded in a California hamlet seduces, cheats, and comes halfway back to reconciliation, which is just another way of saying love hurts. And love it I did, at least at first. The camerawork is sensual and assured, whether capturing the low glimmer of fairy lights at a backyard kegger or a field of crispy, amber grass at dusk. While it’s just a slip of a film, more impression than narrative, the impression smacks of nostalgia — it’s a sweet reminder of afternoons drinking beer from brown bags and throwing rocks in abandoned lots.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 2, 2011 1:48 AM
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Lone Ranger: Inflated Budget Drama Pits Risk-Averse Disney Against Verbinski Loyalist Depp UPDATE

UPDATE 9/29: The Lone Ranger is set to ride again, with budget issues being worked out between the studio and director Gore Verbinski and his loyal star, Johnny Depp. Deadline has the good news details (though an official announcement is yet to be made).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 1, 2011 11:06 AM
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Weekend Preview: The Debt, Detective Dee, Gainsbourg, Resurrect Dead, Love Crime & More

Weekend Preview: The Debt, Detective Dee, Gainsbourg, Resurrect Dead, Love Crime & More
You probably wish you were at either the Venice or Telluride Film Festival this weekend, but if you're staying local there are several indie releases worth checking out (we'll share the goods on the festivals). Among this weekend's options are Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (indieWIRE's Pick of the Week), The Debt, getting its long-awaited theatrical run after playing Toronto 2010, and Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, which Variety says is "both evocative and faithful in its depiction of the famed French singer's lascivious life."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 1, 2011 10:40 AM
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Telluride 2011: Lineup Includes Descendants, Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Method and The Artist

Telluride 2011: Lineup Includes Descendants, Albert Nobbs, Dangerous Method and The Artist
The annual LA to Montrose charter flight was packed with the usual suspects Thursday (plus first-timers Tilda Swinton and Penelope Ann Miller), who opened up their copies of The Telluride Watch, one per seat, and eagerly checked out the line-up.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2011 10:38 AM
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Venice Reviews of Carnage Have Jodie Foster Coming Out On Top of Polanski's Actors Showcase

Reviews have landed for Roman Polanski's Carnage, playing at the Venice Film Festival. Here's our report on Day Two (including W.E. and Carnage reviews). Polanski's film is an adaptation of Yasmena Reza's popular French play, God of Carnage, which most recently played at Los Angeles' Ahmanson theater with Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden. That's a stellar cast to top. The difference here is that Polanski's equally impressive cast of Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly shot the play on film (though it's not necessarily very cinematic), and were stuck in an apartment in Paris made to look like New York instead of on a stage. Read the buzz and trailer below. SPC will release the film December 16.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 1, 2011 5:46 AM
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