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Thompson on Hollywood

Banksy Plays Monopoly with Occupy London

The Occupy London movement has a new centerpiece at St. Paul's Cathedral, courtesy of (we think) Banksy. This serves as the street artist's stamp of approval for the cause (which is planned to last for six months, costing the closed cathedral £16,000 per day in lost tourism revenue).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Politics

Schnack Talks Cinema Eye Honors, Which Announces Nominees Wednesday in London

Schnack Talks Cinema Eye Honors, Which Announces Nominees Wednesday in London
The annual Cinema Eye Honors nominees will be announced on Wednesday in London at a big fall party given by Sheffield Doc/Fest. The doc awards, founded in 2008, have become influential in the all-important culling process for the Indie Spirits and Oscars. I chatted on Gmail from London with Cinema Eye co-founder, doc filmmaker and blogger AJ Schnack (Kurt Cobain About a Son). Our conversation is below, along with Cinema Eye's eligibility criteria and juror list. UPDATE: The nominees are here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2011 12:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cinema Eye Nominees Include Lauded Docs Senna, The Interrupters, The Arbor, Dragonslayer

The 2012 Cinema Eye Honors nominations, announced Wednesday in London, were dominated by Tristan Patterson's skateboard doc Dragonslayer, Danfung Dennis’ Afghan embed adventure Hell and Back Again, Patricio Guzman's Nostalgia for the Light, dramatic car racing doc Senna, Clio Bernard's audacious The Arbor, the third installment of the Indonesian family trilogy Position Among the Stars, and Steve James' The Interrupters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2011 11:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

CASTING WATCH: Who Should Play Grace Kelly in Upcoming Grace of Monaco?

CASTING WATCH: Who Should Play Grace Kelly in Upcoming Grace of Monaco?
Grace of Monaco, a spec script by Arash Amel, has been acquired by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam (through his new Stone Angel production and financing banner). Given the competitive level of interest in the script, the film about Grace Kelly, who was both Hollywood and actual royalty--will likely be gearing up sooner than later. The script looks at a six-month period of Kelly's life during 1962 when, as THR puts it, "the city-state got into a heated dispute with France, which grew tired of the petite principality being a tax haven. Kelly, still relatively new in her role as princess, maneuvered behind the scenes to save Monaco from a coup. Insiders have compared the script to King's Speech in scope and tone."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2011 8:20 AM
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  • 64 Comments

SXSW 2012 Announces First Round of Panels; Drive Composer Cliff Martinez, Tambor's Acting Workshop

SXSW 2012 Announces First Round of Panels; Drive Composer Cliff Martinez, Tambor's Acting Workshop
The South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival announces the first of its 2012 panels. The festival, in its 19th year, will be held March 9-17, 2012, in Austin, Texas. Among other highlights of SXSW including Jeffrey Tambor's returning Acting Workshop, the fest will feature the requisite DIY filmmaking, VOD, web cinema and scoring panels, plus a Conversation with Drive composer and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez, whose other credits include many Steven Soderbergh films (sex, lies and videotape, Kafka, The Limey, Traffic, Solaris and Contagion).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

London Film Fest Reviews of New Brit Flicks: Hunky Dory, The Awakening, Wild Bill Are Winners

London critic Matt Mueller finds three winners among the smattering of new Brit films unspooling at the London Film Fest. This year’s London Film Festival has played host to more than a dozen new British features, several of them world premieres. Many fall under the banner of the grim and uncompromising but instantly forgettable social-statement tracts that too many British filmmakers seem in thrall to, as if making your feature an unpleasant ordeal is the ultimate arbiter of artistic success. This year’s entries include Sket, a tiresomely misogynistic urban gang drama, and Junkhearts, the bitter tale of an ex-British soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress (Eddie Marsan) who takes a homeless girl (Candese Reid) into his flat with punishing consequences. Far more effective despite its disturbing subject matter was Dreams Of A Life, Carol Morley’s fascinating drama-documentary about a young woman whose dead body lay undiscovered in her London flat for three years. It’s a heartbreaking work that poses profound questions about modern life.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 26, 2011 6:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Shame Embraces NC-17 Rating; Will Oscar Voters Punish Fassbender?

Shame Embraces NC-17 Rating; Will Oscar Voters Punish Fassbender?
There is no shame in earning an NC-17 rating. Filmmaker Steve McQueen, when he made his deal for MPAA-signatory Fox Searchlight to release Shame (December 2), made it clear that he embraced the rating, which the ratings board officially gave the film this week. This is no surprise. Besides, Searchlight distributed 2004's NC-17 The Dreamers, whose director Bernardo Bertolucci praised Searchlight for being willing to release the film with the rating: "It's a victory. And not just for me -- it's a victory for freedom of expression." The erotic relationship drama starring Eva Green earned a respectable if modest $2.5 million stateside.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2011 5:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Glenn Close to Receive Palm Springs' Career Achievement Award

On the road to a would-be Oscar nomination, Glenn Close will accept her Career Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 7. Fest chairman Harold Matzner says Close "has the gift of mesmerizing an audience whenever she performs," and says of her performance in the upcoming Albert Nobbs (here's our interview and details): "She revives a previous stage role and brings it to gritty life in yet another bravura performance.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Jeff Bridges Wears Same Shirt in Three Films Spanning Nine Years; Buy One Yourself

Why? More like Why Not? He's Jeff Bridges, so he can wear the same shirt in three different films if he wants to. In fact, you can too. Here's the shirt; get yourself one. In fact, if you want an easy way to be Jeff Bridges for Halloween, may we suggest this shirt paired with a White Russian? Cheers.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2011 5:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

At Tokyo Film Fest, Japan's 3/11 Earthquake/Tsunami is Front and Center

At the Tokyo International Film Festival, now under way, the impact on Japan of the 3/11 Great East Japan Earthquake is front and center. Liza Foreman reports from Tokyo.In the documentary Fukushima Hula Girls, director Masaki Kobayashi gives an unusual perspective on the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan in March 2011. The film follows a displaced troupe of hula dancers who worked for a popular Hawaiian resort that was shut down in the wake of the nearby Fukushima nuclear plant explosion. Going some way to fill in the gaps on how the disaster impacted local lives, the documentary is one of a number of films playing at this week’s Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF, October 22-30) to focus on the tragedy. Tetsuaki Matsue’s feature Tokyo Drifter shows the city at its most vulnerable, immediately following the earthquake, when a young musician wanders the empty streets.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • October 26, 2011 4:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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