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Thompson on Hollywood

Herzog Talks Death Penalty Doc Into the Abyss, Myth of Indie Filmmaking, and Getting Shot At

Herzog Talks Death Penalty Doc Into the Abyss, Myth of Indie Filmmaking, and Getting Shot At
The 7th Annual Film Independent Forum (presented by indieWIRE) kicked off at the DGA Friday night with a screening of Drake Doremus' Like Crazy and a Saturday morning keynote Q&A with filmmaker Werner Herzog, covered by Sophia Savage:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2011 9:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Morelia Festival Three: Woman Without a Soul, Santa, The Last Cristeros, the President's Wife

Morelia Festival Three: Woman Without a Soul, Santa, The Last Cristeros, the President's Wife
Meredith Brody continues her enviable Mexican sojourn at the Morelia International Film Festival: The choice is easy for me for the first film today, even though there are ten competing screenings (however, three are at another Cinépolis multiplex, Las Americas, that I’ve been warned off by Festival vets because it’s far from the Festival center and requires a taxi ride). Still, there’s an eclectic and tempting array that includes The Guard, in the International section, an Irish film by John Michael McDonough starring Brendan Gleeson, unseen by me although released in the US in mid-summer; a program featuring three films by Yolanda Cruz, a young Mexican filmmaker and graduate of UCLA who works on border films; Michael Nyman’s Nyman with a Movie Camera, a shot-by-shot reconstruction of Dziga Vertov’s Man With A Movie Camera using footage Nyman has shot over two decades; and The Runway, another Irish film, by Ian Power, fortuitously starring Demian Bichir, who was a Mexican day laborer in last night’s A Better Life, but herein incarnating a South American pilot who crash-lands in remote Ireland. (Always nice to see an actor in two different parts, so close together.)
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • October 22, 2011 7:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Gordon-Levitt Talks To Tarantino About Django Unchained; Premium Rush Moves to August 2012

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in talks to join Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (check out the already awesome cast). His schedule is tight but having Premium Rush moved from a January to August 2012 release should help, as Tarantino intends to start shooting Django in New Orleans in January, when Gordon-Levitt would have been busy doing Rush press. With this film, plus Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln coming up, Gordon-Levitt shouldn't be too discouraged if he doesn't manage to build the momentum necessary for a 50/50 Oscar nomination. He's just getting started.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2011 6:02 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Fall/Holiday Preview: Four Films to Get Animated About, Especially Tintin

Fall/Holiday Preview: Four Films to Get Animated About, Especially Tintin
Bill Desowitz considers the Fall/Holiday seasons animated features, The Adventures of Tintin, Puss in Boots, Arthur Christmas and Happy Feet Two. Which have the right stuff to join Rango as an Oscar contender?It's obviously been a terrific week for Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, given the mostly positive reviews coming out of Europe timed to the October 26 international release. And judging by the stunning new trailer and the footage I've already seen, the experiment seems to have paid off well for Spielberg and producing partner Peter Jackson. In fact, Tintin could very well turn out to be the performance capture game-changer for animation that we've been expecting, feeding off the momentum from Weta's innovative work on Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 21, 2011 5:44 AM
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Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's Young Adult Reviewed from Minnesota: Juno's Wicked Step Sister

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's Young Adult Reviewed from Minnesota: Juno's Wicked Step Sister
Slowly, Jason Reitman is emerging from his cocoon after his bout with extreme overexposure on Up in the Air, which ultimately did not yield an Oscar win. He's staging table reads at LACMA with pal Elvis Mitchell; he's back on Twitter, and now Young Adult (trailer here and below), his latest collaboration with Juno writer Diablo Cody, starring Charlize Theron, has debuted in Edina, Minnesota. Here is the first review. On Wednesday the Landmark Edina Cinema was the site of the first U.S. audience screening of "Young Adult," the new film from the "Juno" team of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody. The much-anticipated new collaboration shares some stylistic notes with their earlier effort -- a pop-saturated soundtrack, a woman-child stuck between adolescence and adulthood, a droll appreciation of daily life in suburbia. It's also a step in a new direction, both for the creative team and for movies, a mature and humane comedy centered on a misanthropic female antihero.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 21, 2011 5:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment

IN THE WORKS: A-Listers Lining Up Projects: Damon, Krasinski, Mulligan, Zeta-Jones, Cooper

- Matt Damon will be known as director soon, with both Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses (at Warner Bros.) and a newly announced drama which he co-wrote with John Krasinski, who developed the idea with writer Dave Eggers (this project is also at Warner Bros.). Krasinski and Damon will also star in the film, and while plot details are few we know Damon will play a salesman whose life changes when he arrives in a small town.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

AFI FEST Adds World, Breakthrough, Midnight and Shorts

Free tickets for November's 25th AFI Fest are available on October 27. If you are willing to spend, passes are on sale, and AFI members and alumnae get early access to tickets. The FEST runs from November 3 through 10 in Hollywood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 21, 2011 5:19 AM
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Trailer Watch: Angelina Jolie's In The Land of Blood and Honey

Here's a first look at Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, Graham King-produced In The Land of Blood and Honey, to be released by FilmDistrict December 23. A love story set during the Bosnian War (which caused concern early in the shoot), its plot remains unclear. Love, war, explosions, conflicting feelings: the trailer doesn't offer enough to gauge whether this emotional, European-looking film will be a win for Jolie. The actress-turned-director, who does not appear in the picture, shot her actors in both English and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian: “I wanted to make it as accessible as possible for people.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's Tintin, Gothams, NY vs. LA Critics Votes, Animation and Foreign Debates

In Contention's British correspondent Guy Lodge reports on his viewing of The Adventures of Tintin during this week's Oscar Talk with Kris Tapley. "The action sequences are more fluid," Lodge says, than anything else in Steven Spielberg's work. A downhill chase through the streets of Morocco is "jaw dropping...it's such a ride." We debate how the Academy's animation branch will regard this motion capture adventure. Is Spielberg an interloper in their ranks? Will the mainstream Academy take the movie, which has been compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark, seriously? (Here's TOH's London review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 21, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Christian Bale's Flowers of War Is Not Delicate Film, Looks Gorgeous, Horrifying

TOH! caught twenty minutes of gorgeous, horrifying footage of Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (formerly Heros of Nanking) at Toronto, along with every distributor in town. It's China's most expensive movie to date, and will open there and across Asia on December 16, and is rumored to be near a deal for US distribution. The film stars Christian Bale, with what looks like a strong performance, as a mortician in wartorn 1937 Nanking who steps up to protect a group of schoolgirls and prostitutes taking shelter at the Winchester Cathedral. Adapted by Liu Heng from the novel by Geling Yan, it is inspired by true events during the Rape of Nanking. Here's more from Toronto. The film is China's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 20, 2011 8:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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