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Thompson on Hollywood

RIP Polly Platt, Production Designer and Producer, Driving Force for Directors

I first met producer/production designer Polly Platt on the set of Terms of Endearment, which went on to earn five Oscars including best picture. Truth is, the movie might not have turned out as well without her. It was TV executive producer/writer James L. Brooks' debut as a film director, and featured his strong screenplay based on the Larry McMurtry novel. But Brooks sought steering and advice from Platt, who earned an Oscar nomination for Terms of Endearment for art direction/set decoration, and continued to supportively work for Brooks at Gracie Films, and on subsequent Brooks projects including Broadcast News and I'll Do Anything.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 9:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Obit

Sony Picture Classics Acquires Kasdan's Darling Companion, Starring Keaton, Kline

Sony Picture Classics has preemptively acquired the domestic rights to Darling Companion from Minneapolis-based Werc Werk Works (Howl, Life During Wartime).
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • July 27, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Deutchman Takes Over as Chair of Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program

Ira Deutchman, ever since his early days as an indie film distributor, always gave good quote. He went on to do many things, including co-founding Emerging Pictures, but for 24 years he was a popular professor of professional practice at Columbia University's School of the Arts. That's one of the reasons he was so smart about things--he always had an overview. Now Dean Carol Becker is appointing Deutchman as the new chair of Columbia’s Film Program. Deutchman will succeed Jamal Joseph, who has stepped down as chair after five years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 8:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Academy Hosts New 20th Anniversary Print of Thelma and Louise and Q & A

The Academy will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Thelma & Louise by screening a new print of the iconic Ridley Scott movie that turned the traditional buddy movie on its head. Screenwriter Callie Khouri won an Oscar for this story of two Southern women (Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis) who escape their domestic traps and begin a whirl-wind crime spree. Released in 1991, the film was an immediate critical, commercial, and cultural success (the trailer is posted below). Scott was nominated for a best director Oscar for, among other things, an ensemble of great performances, including breakout Brad Pitt.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 27, 2011 8:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Fox Aims for Social Network-Style Success for ESPN Expose

Twentieth Century Fox is securing the rights to the story of ESPN’s founding, along the lines of the transformation of non-fiction The Accidental Billionaires into The Social Network, reports Deadline. They should be so lucky!
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 27, 2011 7:55 AM
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Cowboys & Aliens Early Review Roundup: Favreau, Writers Talk Genre Clash

Cowboys & Aliens Early Review Roundup: Favreau, Writers Talk Genre Clash
In the days leading up to the Cowboys & Aliens world premiere July 23 at Comic-Con in San Diego, director Jon Favreau was anxious. He was telling anyone who would listen just how brave this mash-up of the sci-fi and western genres really is. In his Thursday Q & A with Guillermo Del Toro in Hall H, Favreau said, "Everyone agrees it's either going to be terrible or awesome... This movie was not the safe move. I was in a position to do something different. As movie budgets get higher they all become the same. If you take risks, when it pays off it's wonderful. If you can take failure it's ok." Favreau also refused to make the movie in 3-D, thankfully.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Battleship Trailer Released by Universal

Universal has released the long-awaited trailer for Battleship (posted below), based on the Hasbro classic naval-combat game of tiny plastic pieces and deceit. The trailer already seems a little muddled, when a space-ship flings out of the water like a football field-sized metal piranha and begins to slings pegs--yes, pegs--into the side of a boat captained by Liam Neeson. However, with a reported $200 million poured into the film from Universal, the special effects shouldn't be anything but spectacular.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 27, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Franco Back to General Hospital, Howard Won’t Direct Final Dan Brown Movie, Ferguson's Secret Show

Ron Howard won't complete the Dan Brown trilogy, reports Deadline. Howard directed and produced the first two film versions of Dan Brown’s bestsellers, 2006's The Da Vinci Code and sequel Angels & Demons in 2009, which both starred Tom Hanks as symbologist/sleuth Robert Langdon. Since 2001's A Beautiful Mind, which hit the sweet spot by winning four Oscars including best picture, these films have been Howard’s most popular--if not critically hailed.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 27, 2011 4:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Media Watch: Fox Sets Up Sub Paywall, Time's High Digital IQ, Facebook vs. Nirvana, Google+

On Tuesday, Fox announced that it will stop free next-day streaming of its TV shows on Fox.com and Hulu.com, unless viewers subscribe to the services. Cable and satellite users will need to submit a user name and password; the shows will be available for free viewing eight days after their initial release date.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 27, 2011 4:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Mad Men Era Commercials from the 60s

Missing Mad Men? Check out these commercials from the 60s: favorites: Noxzema -- "take it off, take it all off," and 007 After Shave--"License to Kill...Women."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2011 2:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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