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Thompson on Hollywood

Phase 4 Acquires James Westby's Rid of Me, Starring Katie O'Grady

Berry Meyerowitz's Phase 4 Films has acquired all North American rights to James Westby’s black comedy Rid of Me, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival this spring. Phase 4 will partner with Submarine on a fall theatrical release. Writer-editor-director Westby (Film Geek, The Auteur) also produced the film with star Katie O’Grady's Alcove Productions. The film won the Founder’s Prize for Best US Fiction Film at the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2011 6:58 AM
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TV Watch: Chris Noth and Neve Campbell in BBC's Titanic, Girl-Band Show to ABC

The BBC is producing a 12-episode series about the ship that launched DiCaprio and Winslet’s stardom. Titanic: Blood & Steel will cover the construction of the boat amidst the political unrest in England at the time. Neve Campbell is set to star as a reporter covering the ship’s first voyage and Chris Noth will star as financial magnate J. P. Morgan, who New York Magazine describes as the Mr. Big of his time. The show doesn’t have US distribution yet.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 31, 2011 6:05 AM
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Short Film: 100 Years of East London Fashion in 100 Seconds

It's a delightful minute and forty-one seconds. Even though England's Westfield Shopping Center produced the clip (posted below) to sell clothes, the video spot is really an exquisite short that provides a rapid education on fashion in film. Starting in 1911, the clip moves through the next century of fashion trends and flirtatious dance moves. Gems include 1940s flowy pants, punk leather, silly denim vests on the 1990s and every hat before 1970. What's your favorite year? Via The Hairpin.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 31, 2011 5:46 AM
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Geena Davis, Callie Khouri and Mimi Polk Gitlin Talk Thelma & Louise at 20

Geena Davis, Callie Khouri and Mimi Polk Gitlin Talk Thelma & Louise at 20
The Academy celebrated the 20th anniversary of Thelma & Louise August 25th by screening a splendid new print of the iconic Ridley Scott movie that turned the traditional buddy movie on its head. I moderated a Q & A with Geena Davis, Callie Khouri and producer Mimi Polk Gitlin afterwards; highlights can be found here. Mainly, they admitted that things have not changed a whole lot for women in Hollywood. (Trailer is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2011 5:29 AM
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Unsettling The Patron Saints Looks at Life in Nursing Home

The Patron Saints provides an unsettling glimpse inside the disquieting and often disturbing life at a nursing home (trailer posted below). In this documentary, which will debut at the Toronto Film Festival, filmmakers Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky use a storytelling approach to provide a cinematic narrative to this often-ignored subject.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 31, 2011 5:15 AM
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Media Watch: Ralph Lauren Takes Over New York Times App, CNN Buys iPad Aggregator Zite

Ralph Lauren has purchased solo sponsorship of New York Times iPad app for the month of September to celebrate his Fashion Week runway show September 15. Polo will provide free access to five sections (Fashion & Style, Travel, Home & Garden, T Magazine, and Sports) in order to run ads, including live video of the runway show. According to AdWeek, this is the first time that a single marketer has bought out the app, which usually holds space for six advertisers, or a buyer has been able to suspend the pay meter. This is part of a long history of Ralph Lauren making splashy advertisements with the NYT.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 31, 2011 3:36 AM
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Sam Mendes Will Shoot New James Bond Film in India

The Indian government has approved director Sam Mendes to film the latest James Bond feature in locations including Delhi, Goa and close to Ahmedabad, reports THR. The scene in Delhi, India's capital, is rumored to take place among the crowded bazaar Daryaganj and the famed flea market Sarojini Nagar. The Times of India reported that these areas were approved, excepting some railways because of concerns about security, but the Bond production team is talking with the Railway Ministry, because clearly Bond needs an action sequence on the rails.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 31, 2011 3:32 AM
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Trades Ramp Up Awards Season, THR Adds Oscar Blogger Feinberg

As the award season looms, the trades who live and die on Oscar ads (and indieWIRE is no exception) are lining up their big guns. Nikki Finke's Deadline has lost ad sales juggernaut Lynne Segall, who is now throwing her muscle behind Janice Min's The Hollywood Reporter, which is heading into its second Oscar season with a renewed sense of purpose, as the weekly print edition has not yet yielded the levels of non-endemic advertising that they had hoped for. Thus THR is adding Oscar-blogger Scott Feinberg to their online ranks in time for the Oscar season. Segall worked with Feinberg ("The Feinberg Files") at LATimes.com's The Envelope.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2011 3:11 AM
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Venice Film Festival, Day One: George Clooney's Ides of March is a Winner, Review and Fest Preview

Venice Film Festival, Day One: George Clooney's Ides of March is a Winner, Review and Fest Preview
The Venice Biennale got off to a strong start with The Ides of March, reports London-based TOH correspondent David Gritten:How perfect a choice was George Clooney’s The Ides of March to open the Venice Film Festival today? Let us count the ways. Firstly, this political thriller fits Venice like a silk glove. It’s smart, sophisticated and politically astute, written with a shrewd intelligence and featuring stars (Clooney himself, Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei) who offer Hollywood glamour while engaging in work that’s more than a cut above routine Hollywood product. The Ides of March also offers two terrific supporting performances from Grade-A character actors (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giammatti), doing the kind of work that makes European critics and audiences sit up and take notice.
  • By David Gritten
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  • August 31, 2011 2:54 AM
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Dogtooth Director Returns with Bizarre Teaser for Alps: Birth of a Classic Movie Line

Greek film Dogtooth was on many Best Films of 2010 lists and received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film (Susanne Bier's Danish In A Better World won). Director Yorgos Lanthimos promised that his next film would be darker, funnier and more extreme. Imagine that.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 30, 2011 12:09 PM
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