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Thompson on Hollywood

Washington to Star in Zemeckis's Flight for Paramount

Denzel Washington will topline director Robert Zemeckis's return to live action filmmaking, Flight, for Paramount and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald under Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke's ImageMovers banner. It's the first pairing for the star and the director. The movie is set to begin shooting this October in Atlanta, GA.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2011 10:28 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Venice and Telluride Reviews, Pre-Toronto Buys, Lifetime Achievement Awards

INTERVIEWS:
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 10:04 AM
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LACMA Honors Eastwood, Pledges Commitment to Film

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will honor filmmaker/star Clint Eastwood and artist John Baldessari at their inaugural Art + Film Gala on November 5 as part of their stated initiative to make film a central part of the museum's curatorial program. (Really? Film Independent hired critic Elvis Mitchell to program LACMA's film series, and so far has not announced a fall program.) LACMA Trustee Eva Chow and Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars in Eastwood's upcoming biopic J. Edgar, will co-chair the event.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 9:59 AM
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Paramount Produces Jason Reitman's Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin

Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush will co-produce Jason Reitman's next, Labor Day, co-starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Writer-director Reitman was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for Best Adapted Screenplay for 2010's Up in the Air.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 9:51 AM
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Toronto Fest: Flowers of War, Acquisitions Log Jam on Opening Weekend

The opening weekend of Toronto is always a logjam of acquisition titles and this one is worse than usual, distribs complain. Saturday night is especially impossible, if key execs want to be positioned to make bids on Sarah Polley (pregnant!) title Take This Waltz, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm's Friends with Kids, Oren Moverman's follow-up to The Messenger, Rampart starring Woody Harrelson, Australian cancer drama Burning Man, ensemble comedy The Oranges or Salmon Fishing in Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor. These are among the most anticipated fest pick-ups.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2011 9:09 AM
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Oscar Talk Post-Telluride, Pre-Toronto: Descendants, Shame, Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs

Oscar Talk Post-Telluride, Pre-Toronto: Descendants, Shame, Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I hit a timing snag on Oscar Talk this week, with him three hours behind in Los Angeles and me traveling to the Toronto Fest. We grabbed a shortish Oscar Talk nonetheless, and a cantankerous one, as we disagree on everything, it seems, except the exciting prospect of Eddie Murphy as Oscar host. We can promise you a longer one next week, when we will have seen even more films. We are both bullish on Alexander Payne's The Descendants, argue over Glenn Close's Albert Nobbs, Steve McQueen's Shame and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2011 6:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Telluride Final Catch-up: The Story of Film, Diana Vreeland, Shame, Le Havre

Meredith Brody catches up on her last day in Telluride before heading to Toronto. I had a great last movie day in Telluride, seeing a documentary, two new features, and an hour of Mark Cousins’ 15-hour The Story of Film: An Odyssey, interspersed with two actual meals. But looking back at the jam-packed schedule, I could have assembled several equally exciting programs. I had arranged to meet my friend Hilton Als at 9:15 a.m. for the new documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, before he was to flee the mountain at noon, which meant missing competing screenings of the Israeli film Footnote, the Iranian A Separation, and a 1972 Russian favorite of Tom Luddy’s, Happy-Go-Lucky, by (and starring) Vasili Shuksin, a Russian actor-director whose work I’ve never seen.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 9, 2011 6:39 AM
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3-D Fit for The Lion King: Retrofitting a Classic, Filmmakers Look Back

3-D Fit for The Lion King: Retrofitting a Classic, Filmmakers Look Back
The Lion King has been converted to 3-D. Bill Desowitz talks to the folks who did it, and the original filmmakers, who look back on what it took to make the groundbreaking animated juggernaut in the first place. There's been plenty of revisionist outrage about George Lucas digitally tweaking Star Wars for the "Complete Saga" Blu-ray set, which streets Sept. 16. Let's at least wait and see how it looks before passing final judgment. But, in the meantime, there's also some anger about converting Disney's The Lion King to 3-D, which gets a two-week theatrical run beginning the same day. After all, this is the reigning hand-drawn box office champ at $328.5 million and fourth overall on the all-time list of animated features, so people are very protective of their childhood memories.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 9, 2011 6:02 AM
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Tech Watch: Is Twitter a Media Company or a Social Network? Google Buys Zagat

While the social network that prides itself on instant updates was always guarded about updating its numbers, Twitter now claims 100 million active users--tweeting, following, and reading content on the network. Tech Crunch (whose own AOL future post-Michael Arrington is in some turmoil) reported that Twitter is looking to increase the presence of "promoted tweets."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 5:32 AM
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Fake Trailers, Real Movies: Ben Stiller's Comedic Experiment

At a time when trailers might be giving away too much (the teaser for the The Artist doesn't leave much to the imagination) a new comedic experiment might invert the relationship between trailers and their features.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 2:44 AM
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