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Thompson on Hollywood

No Budget Film School August 20-21: Bellflower Case Study with Glodell & Grashaw

No Budget Film School began in 2005 to give filmmakers the know-how that was lacking from other traditional schools and workshops, and to teach them how to make films with only the resources they currently have available--embracing their limitations to focus on the most important elements, rather than getting discouraged. Founder Mark Stolaroff informs the NBFS from his own no-budget experience, working at Next Wave Films (which supported the likes of Christopher Nolan), viewing thousands of micro-budget films and relationships with working directors.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 11, 2011 5:50 AM
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Talking Must-See Formula 1 Race Car Doc Senna: Visceral "Three Act Drama"

Talking Must-See Formula 1 Race Car Doc Senna: Visceral "Three Act Drama"
Sundance doc audience-award-winner Senna has been wowing fest crowds and European moviegoers in advance of its August 12 opening (via indie PDA). And motors are gunning on Peter Morgan's Formula 1 race car movie Rush, because low-budget indie doc Senna shows that the sky's the limit on what you could do with a fiction film and a big budget. With new technology, lightweight digital cameras put you inside the action and the visceral danger that this kind of racing is all about. It's inherently dramatic. Thus Ron Howard is chasing Rush, about three-time Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda, who crashed in 1976 but weeks later returned to the track, covered with burns, to compete.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2011 5:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: The Help, 30 Minutes or Less, Must-See is Formula 1 Doc Senna

Weekend Preview: The Help, 30 Minutes or Less, Must-See is Formula 1 Doc Senna
Girl of summer Emma Stone leads a strong cast in The Help, destined to please mainstream crowds but not necessarily critics and the Academy. Meanwhile, Jesse Eisenberg returns to the big screen for the first time since his Oscar-nominated role in 2010's The Social Network with what is meant to be lighter comedy fare--30 Minutes or Less--but the film is now mired in controversy. Working Title's racing doc Senna is a must-see, while The Last Circus is a "one-of-a-kind experience that will confound, befuddle and amaze," and Littlerock is a "little gem." Glee: The 3D Concert Movie and Final Destination 5 should pull younger audiences. Details, trailers and reviews for these films and more are below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 11, 2011 4:50 AM
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Ryan Gosling Is Cooler Than You, And Too Cool To Answer Esquire's Questions‬

"I have no shame whatsoever in admitting that I, like, totally want to be Ryan Gosling," tweeted Lost writer Damon Lindeloff recently. He is not alone. Even the mighty Esquire Magazine seems intimidated by an actor who is too cool for the room.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 11, 2011 4:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Texas Killing Fields Debuts at Venice, Lands Stateside Release Date

Texas Killing Fields Debuts at Venice, Lands Stateside Release Date
Finally! Anchor Bay has picked a release date for Venice competition title Texas Killing Fields, starring Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain and Chloe Grace Moretz, on October 7 (Italian trailer below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2011 3:42 AM
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Oscar Watch: Hanks and Horn in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Oscar Watch: Hanks and Horn in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Hitfix posts the first image from Oscar perennial Stephen Daldry’s film adaptation of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, showing a sweet moment between Manhattan father and son Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn, who later searches for messages from his father following the September 11th disaster. Recent Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock plays Horn's mother.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • August 10, 2011 12:32 PM
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The Help: Mainstream Crowd-Pleaser, Not Oscar Contender

The Help: Mainstream Crowd-Pleaser, Not Oscar Contender
At the Academy premiere of The Help Tuesday night, DreamWorks' Stacey Snider, Participant's Jeff Skoll and Ricky Strauss, and Disney's Rich Ross presided over an industry unveiling that yielded plenty of tears and applause. The crowd was packed with Colleen Camp's Academy list, from producers Norman Lear, Laura Bickford and Larry Gordon to rising actor Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom). The movie is a mainstream crowd pleaser. Summit's Patrick Wachsberger is right to compare it to Driving Miss Daisy, in more ways than one, suggesting that it will perform similarly well overseas. And Ross was smart to demur when trade reporters asked him about the studio's Oscar strategy. It's wise to wait and see how it does.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2011 12:06 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Sin City 2 Funded, Bruce Willis Is Newest GI Joe, Keanu Reeves Directs

Keanu Reeves will direct, write and star in Man of Tai Chi, a Mandarin and English language film. He is now is in talks with Village Roadshow Pictures and China Film Group, reports The Wrap. The martial arts film will be Reeves’ directorial debut and will also star Tiger Chen, who was part of the martial arts team on The Matrix.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 10, 2011 9:00 AM
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Jennifer Grey Tweets Her Reaction To #DirtyDancingRemake

The original petite and sassy “Baby” from the 1987 Dirty Dancing, who held her own against Patrick Swayze’s sultry hulk, tweeted yesterday about the upcoming Dirty Dancing remake: “I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake.”
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 10, 2011 8:17 AM
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Paul Rudd: Your Least Helpful Marketing Intern

Paul Rudd pitches his most innovative and creative marketing ideas to Harvey Weinstein to promote his film Our Idiot Brother, or as he would like to call it, Paul Rudd Presents Our Idiot Brother: The Hangover, Borat, My Big Fat Greek Porno.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 10, 2011 5:51 AM
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