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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes Update: Weinstein Co. Closing in on The Artist

Cannes Update: Weinstein Co. Closing in on The Artist
On the acquisition front, Harvey Weinstein is on the case. In advance of Cannes, he's trying to persuade producers and sellers to show him movies in advance so he can get ahead of his competitors. IFC was in Paris taking advance meetings. Cannes screenings start Wednesday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 7:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

News from Cannes: Firth & Blunt for Untitled Dark Comedy, Little Birds, Sleight of Hand, The Bleeder

News from Cannes: Firth & Blunt for Untitled Dark Comedy, Little Birds, Sleight of Hand, The Bleeder
Amidst the long-awaited festival premieres, starting with Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris Wednesday night, many projects, new and old, are selling in the Cannes market, which is humming with activity:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 11, 2011 7:33 AM
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New Distributor Open Road Films Gets Action-Thriller Killer Elite, Starring De Niro, Statham, Owen

News from Cannes: newly formed distribution house Open Road Films has landed its first feature: Killer Elite, directed by Gary McKendry and starring Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert DeNiro. Open Road will handle US distribution (in theaters this fall) on this Omnilab Media project (produced through their Australian extension, Ambience Entertainment).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 11, 2011 5:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes: Weinstein Co. Acquires Peter Ho-Sun Chan's Film Noir Dragon (Wu Xia), Trailer (UPDATE)

Marking the first major North American buy of the Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Co., long a supporter of Asian cinema, has acquired Peter Ho-Sun Chan's film noir actioner Dragon (Wu Xia) which debuts in Cannes on May 14. TWC has acquired non-Asian and French-speaking world rights, as well as the first option to remake rights, from WE Distribution. The film stars martial arts choreographer and star Donnie Yen (Chan's Bodyguards and Assassins), Takeshi Kaneshiro (House of Flying Daggers) and Tang Wei (Lust, Caution). TWC describes the martial arts film as "an action-packed tale of crime, family and redemption." TWC plans to open it stateside in 2011.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sophia Loren Interviewed by Billy Crystal at Academy Tribute: "I Am Never Content."

Sophia Loren Interviewed by Billy Crystal at Academy Tribute: "I Am Never Content."
On May 4, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences hosted a gala tribute to Sophia Loren, who will be 77 this September. The revelation in the film clips was not her beauty, range, bravura dramatic acting in such films as Vittorio De Sica's Two Women (the first Oscar win for a non-English speaking role) or iconic American roles, dancing in gold lame with Cary Grant in Houseboat (1958) or making Gregory Peck's jaw drop in Arabesque (1966)--both men were clearly besotted--but her comic sexy romps with Marcello Mastroianni in movies like De Sica's 1964 Marriage Italian Style, for which she was also nominated. Her strip scene with Mastroianni sent temperatures soaring in the theatre. They made 12 films together.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 2:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes: Paramount Screens Super 8 and Puss In Boots Footage, Kung Fu Panda 2

Cannes: Paramount Screens Super 8 and Puss In Boots Footage, Kung Fu Panda 2
Paramount's marketing co-chief Megan Colligan has been mulling taking advantage of the world press in attendance at Cannes for a sneak peak at J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg's Super 8. Now the studio has invited press to see 40 minutes of footage on Thursday, UPDATE: but it turns out that it's the same 20 minutes they showed to key press in New York and at the CinemaCon exhibitor convention in Las Vegas. Get your facts together people.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 10, 2011 10:31 AM
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Joe Pichirallo Named Chair of Undergrad Film & TV at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts

Joe Pichirallo, film producer and veteran studio executive, has been appointed as the chair of the Undergraduate Film & Television program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (TSOA) Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. He will be replacing Lamar Sanders this fall. TSOA Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell says Pichirallo's "extensive entertainment industry experience coupled with his many years of teaching young filmmakers is the perfect combination to lead the department into the future." Details on Pichirallo's varied career -- from HBO and Fox Searchlight to UCLA and The Washington Post -- are below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 10, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Trailer Watch: Miranda July's The Future, In Theaters July 29

Check out the trailer for writer-director Miranda July's The Future, in which she also stars along with Hamish Linklater. Here's our Sundance interview. Roadside will release the film July 29.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 10, 2011 7:45 AM
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Director Watch: Aronofsky Considers Human Nature with Clooney, Still "Playing Out" His Options

Darren Aronofsky said goodbye to Wolverine two months ago,. Now he's eyeing Human Nature with George Clooney. The script, written by Jeff Welch, is fifteen years old, and follows a cryogenically frozen man who wakes up to discover that humans are now pets to another species. While it seems there's a new sci-fi-future tale every five minutes, we're guessing this one has something unique if it got Aronofsky's attention.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 10, 2011 5:29 AM
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Cannes Market: Buyers vs. Sellers; Schamus Talks Focus Buys; Wachowskis Hit Croisette

Cannes Market: Buyers vs. Sellers; Schamus Talks Focus Buys; Wachowskis Hit Croisette
It's a new Cannes. On the eve of the fest opening Wednesday, Focus Features, which has been on a buying spree of late, acquired domestic distribution rights to rookie director Lorene Scafaria's "pre-apocalyptic" comedic romance Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Indian Paintbrush and Mandate Pictures are partnering on financing the Anonymous Content film, which Lionsgate is selling overseas. It starts production in Los Angeles this May. Scafaria (Mandate's Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist) wrote the original screenplay about two people who fall in love at the worst possible time. "I want to shake it up a bit," says Schamus, who is known for being risk-averse. "That doesn't mean go crazy. It means behaving less predictably on the business side. We're able to work with filmmakers and let them do crazy stuff."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 10, 2011 2:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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