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Thompson on Hollywood

Trailer Watch: HBO Doc Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour

Pop sensation Lady Gaga -- No. 12 on the Time 100 poll -- talks fame in this excerpt from upcoming HBO documentary (Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden, May 7), in which she shows her human side. Of her fans, she says: "I just want to be a queen for them and sometimes I don't feel like one":
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 25, 2011 5:51 AM
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Trailer Watch: Life In A Day Releases July 24, Will Tug Your Heartstrings

Check out the new trailer for Life In A Day, which premiered at Sundance in January (and simultaneously on YouTube). The documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald, produced by Ridley Scott and shot by people all over the world on July 24, 2010, is not to be missed. National Georgraphic is releasing the film, fittingly, on July 24. Here is Anne Thompson's review:
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2011 5:14 AM
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Nicholls Fellowships in Screenwriting: Deadline is May 2

Nicholls Fellowships in Screenwriting: Deadline is May 2
The 26th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition is accepting entries until May 2. So get writing if you haven't earned more than $5,000 from the sale or option of a screen or teleplay, or haven't received another fellowship or prize of more than $5,000.
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2011 5:12 AM
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Todd Phillips Compares The Hangover Parts I & II To The Godfather. Seriously.

Todd Phillips is confident that The Hangover Part II can live up to its predecessor. So much so that he has the nerve to compare his man-boy films to The Godfather. The writer-director tells MTV: "I think there are very few sequels that have been made that live up to or exceed their first film. The Godfather is the first one…We had always planned on calling it The Hangover 2 and when we finished the script, I changed the cover page and wrote The Hangover Part II, because I think the film lives up to or exceeds the first one. It was very much a nod to The Godfather."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 25, 2011 4:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments

SFIFF Is First US Festival to Join Festival Scope, Online Viewing Platform for Industry Pros

SFIFF Is First US Festival to Join Festival Scope, Online Viewing Platform for Industry Pros
The San Francisco International Film Festival is the first U.S. festival to join Festival Scope, the new Internet platform that enables festival selections to be screened to industry professionals worldwide. Other festivals already involved are Cannes' Directors' Fortnight and Semaine de la Critique, the Berlinale, Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinéma and festivals in Rotterdam, Locarno, Melbourne, Guadalajara, Valdivia and Cartagena.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2011 4:27 AM
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Celebs Sell: 2010 Ten Bestseller Magazine Covers Led by Sandra Bullock, Dr. Oz and Angelina Jolie

News flash: Celebrities sell magazines. AdWeek reports the ten best-selling magazine covers last year: 1. Sandra Bullock (7.4 million copies, People)2. Dr. Oz (7m, Women's World)3. Angelina Jolie (5m, Vanity Fair)4. Bachelor Jake (3.6m, Us)5. Royal Wedding (3.2m, Life & Style)6. Lady Gaga (2.8m, Cosmopolitan)7. Teen Mom (2.75, OK)8. The Kardashians (2.7m, In Touch)9. Jennifer Aniston (2.6m, Bazaar)10. The Twilight Series, including Taylor Lautner and Kellan Lutz (2.4m, Men's Health).
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2011 4:20 AM
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SFIFF: Christine Vachon State of Cinema Keynote: How Can Filmmakers Reach Audiences?

The veteran Killer Films producer and Shooting to Kill author Christine Vachon (Boys Don't Cry, Far from Heaven, Mildred Pierce) gave the San Francisco International Film Festival's keynote speech on April 24. Here it is:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2011 3:58 AM
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SFIFF 54 Day Three: The Colors of the Mountain, Year Without a Summer, Le Quattro Volte

SFIFF 54 Day Three: The Colors of the Mountain, Year Without a Summer, Le Quattro Volte
Meredith Brody continues her SFIFF diary, day three:I rush along Fillmore to slip into a 1 p.m. screening of The Colors of the Mountain, too late today to do anything but grab three samosas for $5, so greasy that they turn their paper sack transparent before I reach the theater. Three is more than I need or want, but I’ll be able to turn to someone later today and say “Would you like a samosa?,” a treat unavailable at the movies since the lamentable closure last year of the delightful Bollywood palace the Naz 8 across the bay in Fremont.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 25, 2011 1:38 AM
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Elvis Mitchell Ankles Movieline: Why?

Elvis Mitchell is such a fascinating, complicated character that he deserves a mini-series. I am not kidding. I could have predicted--would have placed bets--that he wouldn't last as film critic at Movieline, that it was a bad match--mainly because Mitchell is not internet savvy. To succeed online, you have to be able to interact with your readers on Twitter and Facebook, market yourself, have an instinct for building traffic for your stories. Mention Twitter to Mitchell and his eyes go blank. Why did he go there as co-chief film critic with ex-Salon scribe Stephanie Zacharek? For the money. Well, the trouble with making a hefty salary is that when you do not deliver, you make a convenient line-item deletion. And Movieline is in cost-cutting mode of late: they pared back the masthead and cut off all freelancers a few weeks ago, including Alonso Duralde.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2011 7:13 AM
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  • 28 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Rio Rolls Over New Openers Madea's Big Happy Family, Water for Elephants

Weekend Box Office: Rio Rolls Over New Openers Madea's Big Happy Family, Water for Elephants
Niche fans for Tyler Perry and Rob Pattinson turned out for Madea's Big Happy Family and Water for Elephants, respectively, but family toon Rio continued to rock the box office. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Family films shined brightly at the Easter weekend box office as kids kept Fox’s Blue Sky Studio kid pic Rio in the top spot with $26.8 million while grandmoms and moms shelled out $25.75 million to see Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family. Fox execs were also crowing about solid returns for its $40-million Reese-Witherspoon-Robert Pattinson depression-era romance Water for Elephants, which beat its $15 million estimate with $17.5 million. Thanks to the bunny holiday, Hop jumped 17% in its fourth frame and secured a timely figure of $100.5 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 24, 2011 5:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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