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Thompson on Hollywood

EFA Nominates Pina, Positioning Among the Stars and ¡Vivan Las Antipodas! for Documentary Award

The European Film Academy has nominated three films for the Documentary Prix Arte award, which will be given at their December 3 event in Berlin after the EFA's 2,500 members vote for the winner.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2011 7:42 AM
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Hamptons Film Festival: Matthew Broderick and Alec Baldwin Chat John Hughes, Misfires, Brando

Old acting pals Matthew Broderick and Alec Baldwin took to the stage at the Hamptons Film Festival to catch up. Check out indieWIRE's video of the conversation below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2011 7:40 AM
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Academy Presents Mary Blair Animation Panel: Mary's World of Color

I'm going to the latest Academy Celebration of Animation, Mary Blair’s World of Color: A Centennial Tribute, on October 20. Mary Blair died in 1978 and created the concept art for such Disney greats as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella, as well as the character designs for Disneyland's "It's a Small World."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2011 7:32 AM
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AFI FEST Books Polanski's Carnage as Gala Centerpiece, Adds Screenings

Following the lead of Venice and the New York Film Festival, this November's AFI FEST has booked Roman Polanski's four-hander comedy Carnage (December 16) as its gala centerpiece at Mann's Chinese on November 5th. Adapted by Polanski and Yasmina Reza from her hit play God of Carnage, the movie stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly. Here's a round-up of reviews and look at the film's award prospects.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2011 6:10 AM
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The Walking Dead 2.1 – Darkness Visible

David Chute leaves Atlantic City behind to re-locate in Atlanta and follow the post-zombie-apocalypse refugees on the road to Fort Bening.It isn’t the most original show on television. In fact, the post-apocalyptic survival epic The Walking Dead could be written off, if you were so inclined, as a mash up of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and its sequels and Stephen King’s The Stand, as a plague of flesh-eating zombies gnaws the human race down to a bloody stump, to a close-knit band of hardy survivors. (Romero is the Bram Stoker of the flesh-eating-zombie sub-genre.) Feature films from The Day of The Triffids to Children of Men and I Am Legend, and the current TV shows Falling Skies and Terra Nova, and many others, are all built on much the same template: world-ending horror as a catalyst for interpersonal conflict and bonding and eventually, in the more optimistic variations, for an upsurge of world-re-building resourcefulness.
  • By David Chute
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  • October 18, 2011 6:06 AM
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Alexander Payne Talks The Descendants, Clooney, Next Black and White Film, New Trailer

Alexander Payne Talks The Descendants, Clooney, Next Black and White Film, New Trailer
Of all the fall movies, the one that hit me in the solar plexus, made me laugh and cry, and struck me as a likely Oscar contender in multiple categories, was heartfelt low-budget comedy The Descendants (November 18), Alexander Payne’s return to the screen, after winning best original screenplay (with Jim Taylor) for 2004’s Sideways. “Alexander should make more movies,” George Clooney told me at Telluride. Of course he should, but this is the one Payne was able to get made. And it was worth the wait. (Here's my Telluride review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2011 4:23 AM
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Composer Rolfe Kent Joins Production Team behind Coens' Gambit, Starring Firth & Diaz

Gambit, from the Coen brothers' screenplay update of the original 1966 film (with Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine), is currently in post-production in London. The star-packed film-- Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Sir Tom Courtenay, Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman-- directed by Michael Hoffman now boasts composer Rolfe Kent (Up in the Air, Sideways).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2011 2:52 AM
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Obit: Pioneer Sue Mengers Was Hollywood's Most Powerful Woman Agent

The minute I learned that legendary ICM agent Sue Mengers had died, I contacted Elaine Dutka, who had memorably profiled the uber-agent for the LA Times. Here's Dutka's obit. Sue Mengers, the first female agent to penetrate the Hollywood boy's club, died Saturday at her Beverly Hills home. Flamboyant, charming, witty, and abrasive, she was the most powerful woman on the agency scene in the 1970's and 1980s--arguably the most famous agent of her time.
  • By Elaine Dutka
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  • October 17, 2011 7:22 AM
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Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz Goes to Magnolia for Summer 2012 Distribution; Williams & Rogen Star

Sarah Polley's sophomore feature, Take This Waltz, has gone to Magnolia Pictures for U.S. distribution, planned for Summer 2012. Starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, the film received mostly strong reviews at its Toronto premiere, as did Polley's 2006 Away from Her. Here is Meredith Brody's review from TIFF:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 17, 2011 6:56 AM
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In The Tree of Life, Malick's Experimentation Gets Under the Skin

With the debate about its Oscar chances heating up and the film now available on DVD and Blu-ray, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column this week revisits Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life marks director Terrence Malick’s fifth feature in the 38 years since his debut, Badlands. It’s an output that might seem thin at first glance: Woody Allen, in the same period, directed 40 (!) films, some of which (Annie Hall, Husbands and Wives) deserve to be saddled with the word “classic.” But Mailck’s genius — and, watching The Tree of Life again, I think that’s a fair word to use — can’t be seen in traditional terms. Owing more to the 1920s “cinépoems” of Man Ray, Fernand Léger, and Joris Ivens than to Hollywood narrative films, The Tree of Life, whatever failings it may have, reconfirms just how beautiful and emotionally compelling experimental filmmaking can be.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 17, 2011 6:46 AM
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