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Thompson on Hollywood

Trailer Watch: Shame, the UK Version, Latest Searchlight Oscar Contender

Trailer Watch: Shame, the UK Version, Latest Searchlight Oscar Contender
Fox Searchlight bravely took on the release of Telluride and Toronto Fest sex-addict shocker Shame (December 2), which reunites Brit director Steve McQueen with his Hunger star Michael Fassbender. Hunger was not an easy shoot, nor was Shame, and McQueen may well have directed Fassbender to his first Oscar nomination. And that's in a film likely to be rated NC-17. With Fassbender's overall heat--with four well-reviewed films to his credit this year, from X-Men: First Class and Jane Eyre to the upcoming A Dangerous Method directed by David Cronenberg--contributing momentum for award season consideration, it will be up to Searchlight to present the film just right for Academy voters, many of whom may find the elegant art film's full-frontal content too provocative. Remember, Searchlight turned intense performances by Mickey Rourke and Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's gritty dramas The Wrestler and Black Swan into Academy contenders--and Portman won. Co-star Carey Mulligan is less likely to register with the actors' branch.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2011 6:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Monster Director Patty Jenkins to Helm Thor 2 For Marvel; Where Has She Been?

Patty Jenkins, who wrote and directed Charlize Theron in her powerhouse Oscar-winning performance in Monster (pictured in the 2004 Richard Avedon photo), will be the first woman to direct a superhero movie: Thor 2.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 5 Comments

TV Projects In The Works: Kids Are All Right, Underground Gambling, Diamond Trading, Nuclear Bomb

Movies and moviemakers are heading in increasing numbers to the small screen. Here's a smattering of recently announced in-the-works TV projects, from HBO's The Kids Are All Right spin-off to a diamond-trading drama at AMC. Some look more promising than others, and many will never see the light of day.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2011 5:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Pervert's Guide to Cinema's Fiennes and Zizek Reteam for Pervert's Guide to Ideology

Sophie Fiennes has wrapped shooting The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, her new feature documentary collaboration with philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who has been called both “the closest thing philosophy has to a superstar” and “the undisputed spritz master of cinema studies.” The pair worked together on The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006), which Variety called "a virtuoso marriage of image and thought."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2011 5:08 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Exclusive: Tran Anh Hung's Norwegian Wood Lands U.S. Release

UK's Soda Pictures and Red Flag Releasing will team on the U.S. Release of 60s Tokyo drama Norwegian Wood, which was well-received at the 2010 Venice Film Festival and in the UK, Ireland and Japan. The film is adapted by Tran Anh Hung (winner of the Golden Lion for Cyclo and Oscar-nominated for The Scent of the Green Papaya) from Haruki Murakami's 1987 nostalgic bestseller about college sexuality. Rising Japanese star Kenichi Matsuyama (Detroit Metal City) and Oscar-nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) co-star with newcomer Kiko Mizuhara. Nonesuch Records (Warner Music) will release the soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2011 4:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's War Horse, My Week with Marilyn's Michelle Williams, Scorsese's Hugo

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's War Horse, My Week with Marilyn's Michelle Williams, Scorsese's Hugo
In this week's Oscar Talk Kris Tapley and I debate Simon Curtis's My Week with Marilyn, which I saw at the New York Film Festival and the Weinsteins have moved to Thanksgiving. "You see a lot working behind those eyes," says Tapley. We agree Williams will make the top five for best actress.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2011 4:12 AM
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  • 6 Comments

First Look: Director Sarah Smith Talks Aardman's Arthur Christmas: Exclusive Photos

Brit animated powerhouse Aardman (Wallace & Gromit) takes another stab at CG with Sony-backed Arthur Christmas. Here's a first look: At a time when Christmas movies are box office poison and Santa's been done to death, leave it to Aardman to re-animate the holiday spirit and freshening up old Saint Nick with Arthur Christmas (November 23). It's a far cry from Flushed Away, their first frustrating attempt at CG, in which DreamWorks pushed too hard for a domestic blockbuster instead of letting Aardman be Aardman. Based on the first 30 minutes, the new partnership with Sony Pictures Animation seems a better fit, as the Bristol, England-based creators of Wallace & Gromit have figured out a better way of handling CG without compromising their famed British wit and fractured sensibility. In other words, Aardman was given the freedom to craft and design the movie in their inimitable way, while SPA and Sony Imageworks supplied the CG artistry and rendering power to bring the hyper real world to life and populate it with Aardman's wacky characters.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 14, 2011 3:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Harper's Bazaar Celebrates Iconic Scorsese Movie Scenes, New Casts: Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Gangs

Harper's Bazaar celebrates Martin Scorsese by recasting and photographing some of his most memorable scenes, and talking with his collaborators. Here's a taste.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2011 12:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

London Fest Opening Night: 360 is “Love Actually… without the laughs," Saatchi Fete Ends Early

Matt Mueller reports from the opening night of the London Film Festival, which ended too early for his taste:
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 13, 2011 10:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Shortlists Eight Doc Shorts

The Academy documentary branch has selected eight documentary shorts from 35 eligible entries, of which three to five will earn Oscar nominations on January 24. At this year's Ashland Film Festival, the best of ten doc shorts went to The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, whose co-director Gail Dolgin died last October after a decade-long bout with cancer. In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution, a timely doc about the Arab Spring, was screened at the NYFF (pictured, here's indieWIRE review).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 10:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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