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Thompson on Hollywood

Video from the Archives: A Christmas Card from Terry Gilliam

This hilarious 1968 Monty Python-era Christmas Video by Terry Gilliam for the TV series "Do Not Adjust Your Set" holds up; it's roaming the web this season thanks to various postings. Gilliam comments on his Facebook page:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 24, 2011 5:01 PM
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John Knoll Talks 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' and Brad Bird

For John Knoll, it didn't matter that "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol" only required 700 VFX shots, and most of them invisible. It was the opportunity to work with director Brad Bird, whom he's known for years, on his first live-action film away from animation stardom at Pixar.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 23, 2011 6:35 PM
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Video: Max von Sydow Talks the Silence of The Renter

I first encountered Max von Sydow on the big screen playing chess with Death in Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" at The New Yorker in Manhattan when I was a teenager. He's surprised that I've seen it. "You watched black and white films?" he asks, admitting that this is his first flipcam interview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2011 1:39 AM
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Academy Names 97 Original Scores for Oscar Contention; Newman Lands Four Eligible Scores to Desplat's Three

Ninety-seven original scores are eligible to compete for the Oscar. Now the music branch will vote for the films that will make the top five to be announced nominations morning on January 24. The Academy deems eligible scores that are substantially original. Thomas Newman edged out Alexandre Desplat with four eligible films to three, while as expected, John Williams has two films, Spielberg's "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin." Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross are likely to to earn a nomination for David Fincher's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 8:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Ridley Scott's 'Prometheus' Seeks Origin Myth

Check out the new trailer for the unofficial Ridley Scott prequel "Prometheus"( June 8, 2012). The tagline: "They went looking for our beginning. What they found could be our end."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 6:38 PM
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First Look: Ari Folman's 'Bashir' Follow-Up 'The Congress,' Starring Robin Wright, Due in 2013

Ari Folman has given Israeli film blog Cinemascope an update on his "Waltz With Bashir" follow-up, "The Congress," his liberal reworking of the 1971 Stanislaw Lem sci-fi novel, "The Futurological Congress." In the animated film Robin Wright plays herself as an aging actress who has sold Hollywood digital rights to her younger likeness. (Trailer below.) The film mixes present-day live action with an animated future, and take the character forward 20 years. Folman wanted to cast an actress who was willing to play herself in the role; he considered Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Jason Leigh and others. Folman is doing most of the work on this Israeli/Polish/French coproduction from his Jaffa studio, where he made "Bashir." Writes Folman:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 2:55 PM
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Anglophile Alert: Brit DVD Retailer Acorn Media Streams Shakespeare, Rereleases Tinker Tailor

Acorn Media, well known for its DVDs of classic British television programs, has carved out a new presence for itself as the first streaming service that specializes in British television.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • December 22, 2011 1:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment
More: DVDs

Wenders Gets Out of His Own Way with Stunning 3-D Tribute To Pina Bausch

A hand caresses dirt, sheer curtains billow in your face in 3-D. From the first frames of "Pina," you know you are in the hands of a master. With this documentary Wim Wenders deploys his arsenal of skills learned over 40 years of filmmaking, freed from the constraints of the narrative fiction film. He knows how to use spatial relationships, understands what the dramatic impact of the camera placement will be during Pina Bausch's visceral "Sacre du Printemps," which sends chills up your spine--as do shots of dancers falling hard into each other's arms, inches from the ground. (See the trailer below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 1:14 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Aardman's The Pirates! Band of Misfits Wishes You Happy Holidays; Trailer

Holiday ecards are clogging my inbox. While it's hardly the first time a Hollywood studio has jumped on Christmas to flog their product, Sony went for broke this year, sending boxes full of gift wrapping, T-shirts and Santa hats to hype Oscar hopeful "Arthur Christmas."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2011 12:20 PM
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Fincher's Serial Killer Trilogy: Girl with Dragon Tattoo Builds on Se7en and Zodiac's Lone Rangers

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" opens this week, marking David Fincher's third obsessive film about an intense hunt for a serial killer. What are Fincher's cinematic fixations when dealing with the pathology of murder?
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 22, 2011 10:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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