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Thompson on Hollywood

Telluride: Clooney Caught in Ides of March Fest Tug of War

Telluride: Clooney Caught in Ides of March Fest Tug of War
The Venice Film Festival opened with The Ides of March, and Toronto has it booked too. Telluride wanted--and George Clooney wanted--the film to play Telluride as well as part of its Clooney Tribute. So he included a clip from late in the movie--a "spoiler" he told me at the annual patron's brunch--thinking folks would have seen the film. But no, it was not possible to book it in Telluride after all. Sony wouldn't show it to the fest, in deference to Toronto. So Clooney's got The Descendants here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2011 7:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Venice: David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method Review and Press Conference

David Gritten reviews David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method from the Venice Film Festival. It's a rave. David Cronenberg brought his Freud-Jung movie A Dangerous Method to Venice today, and received an enthusiastic reception from a packed press screening. Stars Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley joined him on the press conference, along with his long-time collaborator, producer Jeremy Thomas and co-stars Vincent Cassel and Sarah Gadon.
  • By David Gritten
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  • September 2, 2011 6:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Review: Clever and Eerie Low-Budget British Shocker, Kill List

From London, critic Matt Mueller reviews Kill List:On the night before its UK release, I popped along to a screening of low-budget British shocker Kill List, followed by a Q&A session with director/co-screenwriter Ben Wheatley and the film’s lead actors, Neil Maskell (Atonement), MyAnna Buring (The Descent) and Michael Smiley. Skitting through genres with nonchalant ease, from observational marital drama to violent hitman thriller to grubby pagan horror, Kill List built up a fair head of steam following appearances at SXSW and London’s recent horror-themed Frightfest, and it’s fair to say the hype is fulfilled. The small crowd of industry folk I watched it with were literally speechless as the credits rolled, still in a state of shock when Wheatley et al gingerly stepped out of the dark to answer a few questions.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 2, 2011 5:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments

In the No, Run-Up to Telluride: The Show from Swinton and Clooney to Veloso and Waters

We have several folks covering festivals this year--David Gritten and The Playlist are in Venice while Meredith Brody and I are in Telluride--along with Eugene Hernandez, who's covering for indieWIRE. Here's Meredith's first missive:Part of the appeal and the mystique of the Telluride Film Festival, aka the Show, is that you’re buying a pig in a poke. Since the Festival doesn’t release any of its program, whether new titles, tributes, or revivals, in advance, you have to trust in its distinguished reputation -- as Roger Ebert has memorably written, “[It’s] like Cannes died and went to heaven…” -- and take a leap into the void.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 2, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Don Cheadle is a Vicious Captain Planet

Don Cheadle takes on the challenging role of Captain Planet, aggressively saving the world from evil humans and tiny dogs. Watch as he makes everyone around him go green or leaf (his pun, not mine). Along with Oscar-nominee Cheadle, this Funny or Die clip features Gillian Jacobs, Brenda Song, Efren Ramirez, William Moseley, and James Davis:Don Cheadle is Captain Planet from Don Cheadle
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 2, 2011 3:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Happy Happy is Norway's Official Entry for Best Foreign Language Film

The Norwegian Oscar Committee has submitted Anne Switsky's feature directorial debut, Happy, Happy, to Best Foreign-Language Feature Film, after it took the top prize at Sundance. Happy, Happy's victory at Sundance marked the first time that a Norwegian film won fest's World Cinema Grand Jury Prize.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 2, 2011 3:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Another Trip to the Moon with Méliès: Behind the Digital Restoration of VFX Landmark

While waiting for Hugo (Nov. 23), Martin Scorsese's 3-D valentine to Georges Méliès, TOH columnist Bill Desowitz writes a fascinating account of how digital advances made possible the painstaking restoration of the first movie blockbuster from the father of special effects, A Trip to the Moon (1902). The new version of the landmark 14-minute short, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, will screen at Telluride this weekend and at the Academy's Goldwyn Theater on Tuesday. What a way to mark the 150th anniversary of Méliès's birth.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 2, 2011 3:35 AM
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Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride, Carnage, Ides of March, W.E., Contagion, The Artist

In Contention's Kris Tapley is here in Telluride with me, while Guy Lodge is in Venice. We all got on Skype for this week's Oscar Talk, which delves into early reaction to Venice titles from George Clooney (The Ides of March), Madonna (W.E) and Roman Polanski Carnage and a movie Kris and I saw in L.A., Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, as well as Cannes title The Artist, which is showing in Telluride. Friday Kris and I should get a crack at The Descendants, Martin Scorsese's George Harrison doc and Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Indie Feature Littlerock Is a Love Affair Gone Sour

You could say that I had an on-again, off-again relationship with Littlerock (trailer below). Impressive yet exasperating, Mike Ott’s film about two Japanese tourists stranded in a California hamlet seduces, cheats, and comes halfway back to reconciliation, which is just another way of saying love hurts. And love it I did, at least at first. The camerawork is sensual and assured, whether capturing the low glimmer of fairy lights at a backyard kegger or a field of crispy, amber grass at dusk. While it’s just a slip of a film, more impression than narrative, the impression smacks of nostalgia — it’s a sweet reminder of afternoons drinking beer from brown bags and throwing rocks in abandoned lots.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 2, 2011 1:48 AM
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Lone Ranger: Inflated Budget Drama Pits Risk-Averse Disney Against Verbinski Loyalist Depp UPDATE

UPDATE 9/29: The Lone Ranger is set to ride again, with budget issues being worked out between the studio and director Gore Verbinski and his loyal star, Johnny Depp. Deadline has the good news details (though an official announcement is yet to be made).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 1, 2011 11:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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