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Thompson on Hollywood

London Film Festival: Sandra Hebron Steps Down, Looks Back

As Sandra Hebron’s reign as Artistic Director at the London Film Festival draws to a close, Matt Mueller asked her cast an eye over her final program and look back over her time steering Europe’s largest public film festival.After nine years holding the London Film Festival (LFF) reins (she stepped up from deputy in 2003), well-regarded Sandra Hebron decided that this year’s festival – its 55th edition – would be her last. The decision was partly foisted upon her as she opted not to apply when the British Film Institute declared their intention to merge her post with that of the artistic director of BFI Southbank (the old National Film Theatre). It’s not that Hebron didn’t fancy the added workload, more that it just seemed the right time to make a clean break. “I’ve been here a long time and I’m genuinely interested to see what somebody else does with the festival,” she says. “I’m a big believer in cultural renewal.”
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 10, 2011 2:00 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Real Steel Clobbers Ides of March; Dolphin Tale, Moneyball and 50/50 Show Legs

DreamWorks delivered another hit to distributor Disney as Real Steel dominated its weekend box office rivals. George Clooney's political drama The Ides of March, in fewer theaters, got off to a solid start. Meanwhile, holdovers Dolphin Tale, Moneyball and 50/50 all showed good legs. Kinsey Lowe reports.Real Steel hammered to the top of the weekend fight card with an estimated $27.3 million and boosted Hugh Jackman with a rare hit outside the X-Men and Wolverine franchises. The movie performed more strongly than had been expected going into the weekend thanks to a 27% Saturday bump from Friday's gross.
  • By Kinsey Lowe
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  • October 9, 2011 4:55 AM
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Steve Jobs: The Story of His Adoption, Search for His Biological Parents, Sister Mona Simpson

Steve Jobs: The Story of His Adoption, Search for His Biological Parents, Sister Mona Simpson
The person who invited me, back in my Premiere days, to have lunch with Steve Jobs, was press agent Harry Clein, who was doing some PR work for Pixar. He recounts what it was like to work for the demanding executive.Steve Jobs hired my firm to work with Pixar right after Toy Story became a big hit. Disney was taking all the credit for its success and he wanted people to know that Pixar had not just been the technical end of Toy Story but also the creative source.
  • By Harry Clein
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  • October 9, 2011 4:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Previews, Cronenberg's Menage A Trois, Scorsese's George Harrison Doc, Marilyn Trailer

Weekend Preview: Ides of March, Real Steel, The Way, Dirty Girl, War Doc Hell and Back Again
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 8, 2011 1:36 AM
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Trailer Watch: African Basketball Doc Elevate Echoes Hoop Dreams

Here's the trailer for Anne Buford's Elevate to be released by Variance Films October 21 (NY) and November 4 (LA and expansion). The documentary follows West African teenagers with the height and dreams to play with the big boys in the NBA--but first they have to get a scholarship to study, live and play in the US. With footage spanning four years and two continents, the film echoes Steve James' more in-depth Hoop Dreams. Here's more. The full synopsis is below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 8, 2011 1:33 AM
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Strike Back Renewed for 2012 – Episode 8 is Classic Adventure Story

Strike Back Renewed for 2012 – Episode 8 is Classic Adventure Story
David Chute is happy to report that Strike Back has been re-upped.Cinemax action hit Strike Back will be back to strike again in 2012, powered by strong ratings and a growing cadre of passionate fans – including many who held mock funerals when 24 was canceled.
  • By David Chute
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  • October 8, 2011 1:31 AM
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  • 8 Comments
More: TV, Reviews, HBO

London Boulevard and Melancholia Hit VOD Before Theaters

Two indie films with strong casts are available right now on VOD before they hit movie theaters on November 11. Magnolia is releasing controversy-magnet Lars von Trier's Melancholia, starring Cannes best actress winner Kirsten Dunst, on OnDemand, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Playstation and Zune.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2011 9:34 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Remembering Steve Jobs, VES Summit and Bill of Rights, Geeking out with John Gaeta

Remembering Steve Jobs, VES Summit and Bill of Rights, Geeking out with John Gaeta
In this week's Immersed in Movies column, Bill Desowitz remembers meeting Steve Jobs, recaps the Visual Effects Society Summit and geeks out with John Gaeta at the Palo Alto International Film Festival. The passing of Steve Jobs on Wednesday underscores, more than anything else, the crucial importance of technological innovation, creative freedom, and entrepreneurial spirit. Jobs was the leading visionary of our time, and we need those attributes now more than ever.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 7, 2011 8:15 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Depp Developing Live Action Dr. Seuss, Thin Man Remake Finds New Scribe in Billy Ray

It was only a matter of time. Dr. Seuss will be brought to live-action life, and as long as Johnny Depp is accepting the stupid money, he'll likely be in the title role. The project is in development at Illumination Entertainment and Depp's Infinium Nihil, with Depp producing (and possibly starring), and Keith Bunin pegged to write the script.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 7, 2011 7:38 AM
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Sundance Institute Announces Recipients of Indian Paintbrush Fellowship; New Frontier Story Lab

The Sundance Institute is partnering with Indian Paintbrush on a new fellowship program that offers grants to filmmakers supported by the Institute’s Feature Film Program. The first recipients of the fellowships--including Natural Selection and a project co-written by Lena Dunham--are listed below. In addition to the grants, one filmmaker will be given a Producer's Award and $10,000, as well as have their film premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The winner will be named at the fest's Producers Lunch.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 7, 2011 7:27 AM
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