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Thompson on Hollywood

Telluride Day Two: From Nick James and German Silent Expressionism to Goodbye First Love and Clooney

Meredith Brody continues her Telluride diary.The problem with writing about your day’s worth of movies and serendipitous festival sightings and conversations is that distance lends charms; yesterday I may have felt slightly cranky exiting Bela Tarr’s shaggy post-apocalyptical shaggy-horse-story The Turin Horse and running into people laughing and crying after seeing hot-off-the-presses The Descendants, or slightly jealous of the blissed-out audiences levitating down the hill from seeing Wim Wenders’ Pina, in the beloved Galaxy theater that is specially kitted out this year with a state-of-the-art sound system as well as 3-D with top-of-the-line glasses (one friend complains that they’re so heavy they wear a groove in her nose). I’ve wanted to see Pina since it premiered at the Berlinale in February and several people told me it was their favorite movie of the festival.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 4, 2011 5:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: The Help and The Debt Throw Sharks, Apollo 18 Out of Orbit

Adults are saving the Labor Day Weekend box office, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Similar to last year's Labor Day box office when The American ruled, adults flocked to the holiday cinema once again with DreamWorks/Disney's The Help taking No. 1 with $14.2 million over three days and Focus Features' critically acclaimed The Debt paying off in second with $9.7 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 4, 2011 4:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Box Office

Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 9, The Gathering, Recap and Review: RTD Channels Ken Russell?

Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 9, The Gathering, Recap and Review: RTD Channels Ken Russell?
David Chute wishes he was in Shanghai.The plan was to spell out what I meant by that title, but on second thought it might be more fun to make a contest out of it. Readers who figure out the reference and its relevance to the next-to-the-last episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day will receive absolutely nothing for their pains except bragging tights. But when fans gather, isn't that what it's all about?
  • By David Chute
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  • September 4, 2011 2:48 AM
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  • 12 Comments
More: TV, Reviews

Oscar Watch: Glenn Close Talks Gender Bender Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs is a 30-year labor of love for Glenn Close, who won an Obie for Simone Benmussa’s 1982 stage play based on a story by George Moore about a straight woman who passes as a male butler in a Dublin hotel in order to survive. Ever since, Close has been trying to turn the story into a movie, and finally pushed it through with actors’ favorite Rodrigo Garcia (Mother & Child) at the helm, thanks to some Fort Worth investors who were impressed that Close had some of her own skin in the $8 million venture. The film shot in chilly Dublin in 32 days. "The story seemed so psychologically modern," says Close, who is radiantly happy as writer-producer-star of the finished movie. "There's a comedic element. I think of Albert Nobbs as a clown, comic and tragic at the same time. it's about people surviving poverty, what people will do to survive."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2011 12:44 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Venice Reviews 2011: Soderbergh's Contagion is Alarmingly Believable Global Disaster Movie

Venice Reviews 2011: Soderbergh's Contagion is Alarmingly Believable Global Disaster Movie
Love him or hate him, Steven Soderbergh is back. Always willing to take chances and experiment, whether it meant getting kicked off Sony's Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball or shooting the $60 million Che in two parts in Spanish, or The Good German in old-fashioned black-and-white, Soderbergh makes the movies he wants to see, the audience be damned.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2011 11:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants

Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants
Fox Searchlight's first trailer for The Descendants made Alexander Payne's return to the screen, after winning best original screenplay (with Jim Taylor) for 2004's Sideways, look like a well-meaning family drama. It's far more than that. "Alexander should make more movies," said George Clooney at the Telluride patron's brunch Friday. Of course he should, but this is the one he was able to get made, and it's well worth the wait. Clooney wasn't right for Sideways, but wanted to work with Payne, who gave him the script two years ago in Toronto. They were shooting in Hawaii by March. At the Q & A after the rousingly received first public showing at Telluride, Clooney admitted that he "worried about my ability to be such a schlub." While Payne deflected Clooney's compliments--"you write and you direct really well"-- he did admit: "I cast well."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Telluride Day One: Brunch, The Artist, Pierre Etaix, Trip to the Moon, Becoming Bert Stern

At the Telluride FIlm Fest, I'm tracking more mainstream titles that folks may actually see in theaters, while Meredith Brody is the lucky one who tracks the rarer events here.At the Press Office I run into assorted Festival attendees and guests; director/film buff Allan Arkush downloads an app called NeoReader that can scan a Nabokovian figure complete with butterfly net placed around the Festival to learn updates such as TBA slots and whether there are seats available or not in a screening. We run into Nick James, editor of the British Sight and Sound, who's here to receive a Special Medallion for a “hero of cinema – an organization or individual – that preserves, honors, and presents great movies.” He’s still vibrating from a first-ever trip through the desert to Telluride that included Monument Valley. Whereupon Allan shows him the shot of himself in Monument Valley that is the screensaver on his iPhone.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 3, 2011 9:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

No New Strike Back Episode Friday -- Mini-Marathon for Labor Day

No New Strike Back Episode Friday -- Mini-Marathon for Labor Day
Don't take anything for granted, warns David Chute, as you wait an extra week for the resolution of the latest Strike Back cliffhanger.No new episode tonight of TV's new best action series. Instead, Cinemax is running a mini-marathon of the first three episodes of Strike Back, beginning at 10 p.m. Those already watching will have to continue gnawing their fingernails until Friday, September 9. Only then will they find out if Damien Scott has been blown to bits by the bomb strapped to his chest in a barn somewhere in South Africa by ex-IRA-turned-freelance terrorist Daniel Connolly.
  • By David Chute
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  • September 3, 2011 7:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Reviews, TV, HBO

Venice Reviews: Soderbergh's Contagion, Alps, Chicken with Plums, That Summer

Brit correspondent David Gritten reports from Venice: Traditionally, weekends are the busiest time in Venice, but today has felt quieter -- perhaps because of the lack of high profile competition films on offer.
  • By David Gritten
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  • September 3, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Post-42West, Cynthia Swartz Launches Own Praisery

As expected, it has not taken long for 30-year Oscar campaigner and indie strategist Cynthia Swartz to set up her own PR shop after disentangling her founding partnership since 2004 at 42West. Strategy PR/Consulting is open for business in New York and soon, Los Angeles as well. Swartz will not only do Oscar pushes but unit publicity, corporate representation, national PR campaigns complete with digital marketing, and film festival repping of acquisition titles. Swartz is importing her key NY-based 42West lieutenants as VPs: fest and awards maven Michael Kupferberg and film PR strategist Elena Zilberman. Strategy is also adding NY staffers Chanelle James (director of national publicity) and Katelyn Bogacki (manager).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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