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Thompson on Hollywood

Tribeca Film Institute Names Non-Fiction Recipients of New Media Fund: Interrupters, Tillman Story

The Tribeca Film Institute announces the first-ever grant recipients of the new Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund. Six projects have each been awarded between $50-$100,000, and will participate in a three-day workshop run by Crossover Labs, to help their projects find their audiences. Recipients include The Interrupters' web campaign and The Tillman Story Interactive Edition.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 6:08 AM
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Spielberg and Jackson Talk Tintin, Trailer on Real Steel, Opens in Europe First, Plays Rome Festival

Spielberg and Jackson Talk Tintin, Trailer on Real Steel, Opens in Europe First, Plays Rome Festival
The trailer for Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson's 3-D The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn (Paramount, December 21, 2011) will go out on Friday, attached to Disney/DreamWorks' Real Steel. The performance capture film will play The Rome International Film Festival with Jamie Bell on hand on October 27; Sony will open The Adventures of Tintin in many European countries, where Herge's comic books are better known than they are stateside, on October 26 (Italy is October 28). The film will screen in the Official Selection (out of competition) and in the Alice section of the festival.  “I discovered The Adventures of Tintin in 1981, after the presentation of the film The Raiders of the Lost Ark," says Spielberg. "One of the reviews seemed to believe that my Indiana Jones character had been inspired by Hergé. When I later went out and bought the illustrator's books and read them, I was completely taken by them and immediately thought Tintin's adventures would make great films."
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:57 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Trailer Watch: Second War Horse Trailer is More Oscar Bait, "Be Brave, Be Brave, Be Brave"

Of the first trailer, we said that Steven Spielberg's PG-13 film version of the heart-tugging Word War I drama War Horse "looks like an Academy-friendly no-brainer." We called it a "four-hankie."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:33 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Joe Wright's Anna Karenina Begins Shooting for Working Title: Knightley Leads Strong Cast

Joe Wright has begun shooting his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's beloved classic, Anna Karenina. Shooting in the UK and Russia with a script adapted by Tom Stoppard, the film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson. Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing alongside Paul Webster (they successfully collaborated on Wright's Pride & Prejudice and Atonement). Wright is also bringing back his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, costume designer Jacqueline Durran and production designer Sarah Greenwood. One thing is for sure: The film is going to look amazing. Jane Eyre editor Melanie Ann Oliver is also joining Wright's team.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:26 AM
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Johnny Depp Will Take The Stupid Money, Thanks--And Will Promo Rum Diary at Columbia, LACMA

Johnny Depp will take the money, thank you very much. “Basically, if they’re going to pay me the stupid money right now, I’m going to take it,” he tells Vanity Fair in their November issue. He's more flattered by compliments from Keith Richards on his singing in Sweeney Todd, and enjoys the "stimulation to the brain," but his paychecks (his Pirates franchise tally is in the $350 million range) are "for the kids" at this point. "It's ridiculous, yeah, yeah. But ultimately is it for me? No."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 4, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Powers Netflix's Top Ten Most-Rented List

Oscar Powers Netflix's Top Ten Most-Rented List
Netflix's ten most-rented list of all time (list below) reminds us of the long-tail Power of Oscar. And it should remind Netflix, as it splits its DVD and streaming business and alienates many of its customers who are used to relying on its deep long-tail arcania, that their solid customer base is smart adults, not the great unwashed, something they seem to be in danger of forgetting as they focus on TV and mainstream acquisitions and let smaller movies go.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2011 11:09 AM
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When Bad Perfume Ads Happen to Good Actors: Melanie Laurent the Latest (Well Paid) Victim

Melanie Laurent is the latest (well-paid) victim of perfume advertising. It's amazing how powerful (translation: $$$) the mere suggestion of celebrity sexuality or nudity can be. But we don't care how sparkly they these commercials may be; they are all wasted opportunities, and A-list directors often share the blame. The only one with an ounce of creativity is Jean-Jacques Annaud's Dior ad, in which Charlize Theron's unbridled confidence holds our interest (along with cameos by late Hollywood icons). Granted, it's hard to represent a scent with visuals, but surely they can try harder to stand out? See how many of these you can stomach:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2011 11:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness Gets Oscar Qualifying Run in December

Sony Pictures Classics is giving Agnieszka Holland's Polish holocaust drama In Darkness, which played well at both Telluride and Toronto, an Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles from December 9-15. The Polish Oscar submission should be a strong contender for the foreign film Oscar. Holland has been nominated twice, for Europa, Europa and Angry Harvest. She also co-wrote mentor Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue and directed 1993's The Secret Garden as well as some of the best shows on cable: HBO's The Wire and Treme (for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing) and two episodes of The Killing.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2011 9:49 AM
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Werner Herzog Talks 'Into the Abyss,' Looks "deep into the heart of ourselves" (video)

Herzog Talks Into the Abyss, Opens DOC NYC, Looks "deep into the heart of ourselves"
One reason that Werner Herzog's docs are so compelling and entertaining is that his powerful personality is all over them, commenting, narrating, querying. Herzog's docs, as lauded as they are, are often overlooked by the Oscar documentary branch, which nominated while Encounters at the End of the World but did not recognize Grizzly Man, Into the Abyss and Cave of Forgotten Dreams (which was not screened in 3-D). (Michael Moore cites these oversights in his successful quest for changing the Academy rules.) "It's not easy to figure out how the system works," says Herzog. "It doesn't give me sleepless nights. This one is more what they think the documentary is supposed to be. It's so straightforward. No radioactive albino crocodiles. No commentary."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 3, 2011 8:18 AM
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Cronenberg's Menage A Trois, Kendrick's Wet Dream, Woody Allen Talks Unsatisfying Situation of Life

- David Cronenberg talks about his inspiration for A Dangerous Method and his upcoming Cosmopolis (in post-production) and potential future projects with ThePlaylist. He admits that he has always wanted to make a film about the birth of psychoanalysis, but didn't see a way in until Christopher Hampton's play: "Suddenly there is a structure. And this was my first introduction to Sabina and she is part of what I call an ‘intellectual menage a trois,’ and that structure was terrific—the span of it, the relationship between Freud and Jung that went over six or seven years.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2011 8:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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