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Thompson on Hollywood

Maverick Distributor Marty Zeidman Changed Face of Indie Cinema

Maverick Distributor Marty Zeidman Changed Face of Indie Cinema
Inside the independent film community, Marty Zeidman was known as an innovator who changed the way independent movies were released. The distributor who worked at Miramax, Polygram, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fine Line, Lionsgate, Paramount Classics and Columbia Pictures died at age 63 in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, from complications due to pancreatitis. He also worked in exhibition for many years as head buyer at Landmark Theatres, and most recently, owned indie distributor Slow Hand Releasing (Innocent Voices, Kids in America and U2: the Concert Movie).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2011 11:50 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Seattle International Film Festival Closing Weekend: Shocking Sex and Violence in Flying Fish

Seattle International Film Festival Closing Weekend: Shocking Sex and Violence in Flying Fish
The Seattle International Film Festival is finally drawing to a close this weekend, and our peripatetic fest chronicler Meredith Brody is back there.Let’s see: I’ve been a few places since I was in Seattle for the Film Festival’s opening weekend, a little more than two weeks ago. Whether I was seeing Glee in Concert in San Jose, or watching my goddaughter graduate from Brown, or trudging all over New York in sweltering heat from museum to theater, somewhere in the back of my head I was aware that back in cool, grey Seattle, movie after movie was unspooling at more than a dozen different venues, in what they’re pleased to call the “largest film festival in the country.” I’m pleased to be returning for its closing weekend, even though it means finding myself back at Oakland Airport about eight hours after I land there from the steamy East Coast.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • June 11, 2011 7:36 AM
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Morgan Freeman Is Bromanced by Eastwood, Poitier, McConaughey at 39th AFI Life Achievement Awards

The really good AFI tributes are the ones where there's warmth in the room for the tributee. Morgan Freeman, winner of the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award, is in that category.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2011 1:24 AM
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Remembering Richard Leacock, Clips, Louise Brooks Interview

L.M. Kit Carson remembers documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock, who died March 23 at age 89. (Video interview and film clips below).Ricky Leacock means a lot of good to a lot of film-people. Many showed up starting at 9:30 AM June 5 at Lincoln Center’s nearby Walter Reade Theater at the unique Leacock Memorial. People filled the place – and stood up in a loose order – to break their memories back to how Leacock changed them.
  • By L.M. Kit Carson
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  • June 10, 2011 12:00 PM
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Host Lisa Kudrow Promos 15th Annual Webby Awards

Lisa Kudrow is hosting the 15th Annual Webby Awards June 13 (which will be broadcast live on Facebook). Check out the promo videos (parts 1 and 2 of 3) below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 10, 2011 11:46 AM
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Emmy Watch: Shameless Cast Talks Candid Approach to Drunkenness and Sex

Executive producer John Wells and cast members of Showtime’s Shameless convened recently for an Emmy season event in which the show’s frankness with regard to nudity and alcoholism were much-discussed. But there’s more than that to this adventurous new series, as Amy Dawes has discovered.“These are people who would be easy to look down on, except that they don’t look down on themselves,” said Wells at a panel following an L.A. Times-sponsored screening of Shameless last week. “They go out into the world and are shameless about who they are. In a similar way, we know no bounds about what we’ll do to get you to laugh or cry when you watch this show.”
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • June 10, 2011 9:22 AM
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Sundance, Redford and Fukunaga Tribute Satter on the 30th Anniversary of Institute Labs

The Sundance Institute mounted an A-list fundraiser in the dark woods at Franklin Canyon last week, complete with music by Fitz and the Tantrums. Sundance founder Robert Redford gave his trademark speech--which he delivers charmingly--about how he saw the need to counteract the prevailing studio trends with a support system for indies, starting with mentor workshops that eventually lead to a place to showcase the work--the Sundance Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2011 9:07 AM
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Academy Presents 30th Anniversary Digital Screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark June 17 (UPDATE)

It's hard to believe that I sat in a screening room at Paramount's New York headquarters 30 years ago to watch Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Needless to say, it blew my head off. I made my first trip to the west coast to interview producer George Lucas at his Lucasfilm headquarters in Marin, California, for Film Comment Magazine (the archives don't go back that far, alas). The Lawrence Kasdan/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg original turned into a blockbuster and spawned a franchise. The concept of remaking a 40s adventure serial was novel; so was producing an action-packed period romantic comedy (with 6,000 live reptiles). And Harrison Ford nailed Indiana Jones, needless to say.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2011 8:31 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Super 8, X-Men, Django, Nipple Rings, Man Beards, Angelina Jolie, Hangover and Wangover

BOX OFFICE
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2011 8:15 AM
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Weekend Preview: Can the Fab Super 8 Beat Holdovers X-Men & The Hangover?

First, check out J.J. Abrams' Spielberg homage, Super 8: you'll have fun discussing it afterwards.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 10, 2011 6:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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