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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Video: Inception ASC-winner Pfister Talks Working with Nolan in 35 mm, Tech Panel Q & A

Oscar Video: Inception ASC-winner Pfister Talks Working with Nolan in 35 mm, Tech Panel Q & A
In a surprise win, American director of photography Wally Pfister, who has been working with Chris Nolan for twelve years, ever since Memento, collected his first American Society of Cinematographers' award for Inception Sunday. He beat out Oscar favorite Roger Deakins, who collected the BAFTA for True Grit on Sunday. Check out my flip cam interview with Pfister (below), who talks about working with Nolan; Pfister has received Oscar nominations for Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and now, Inception, one of eight noms for the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2011 9:19 AM
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Development Watch: Kidman & Wiesz Marry for Hallström's Danish Girl, Cotillard for Knight Rises

- UPDATE 5/17: Weisz and Hallström are out.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 14, 2011 8:59 AM
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  • 3 Comments

The Amazing Spider-Man: Official New Title and Andrew Garfield in Full Spider-Man Suit

Not to raise expectations, but that previously untitled Spider-Man reboot that is currently shooting with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone has landed an uninspired official name based on one of the franchise's long running comic books: The Amazing Spider-Man -- not to be confused with any other less amazing Spider-Man movie that has come before. The film, directed by Marc Webb from a script by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent will be released entirely in 3-D on July 3, 2012.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 14, 2011 8:22 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance & Berlin Dealbook: Higher Ground, Magic Trip, Madonna's Love Epic, Take Shelter

Sundance & Berlin Dealbook: Higher Ground, Magic Trip, Madonna's Love Epic, Take Shelter
Higher Ground - Actress Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, which premiered at Sundance, has gone to Sony Pictures Classics for North American, Australian and New Zealand distribution. Farmiga co-stars with Winter's Bone Oscar nominee John Hawkes, Donna Murphy and Joshua Leonard. The film is based on Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost, in which a woman tries to find her own voice within a close-knit spiritual community. Briggs co-wrote the screenplay with Tim Metcalfe. SPC calls the film “one of these rare independent films—perfectly crafted, honest and inspiring. Vera Farmiga not only delivers a great performance but her debut as a filmmaker is one of the most auspicious in years."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 14, 2011 6:04 AM
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FilmDistrict's Berney Talks 2011 Slate, Del Toro Pick-Up Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Miramax has been shopping its Disney holdovers to outside distributors. Focus acquired John Madden's Israeli thriller The Debt, starring Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds and Sam Worthington. And FilmDistrict, capitalizing on distrib exec Bob Berney's long relationship with Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), has acquired U.S. rights to his production, the horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Footage played well at July's Comic Con; Del Toro had been worried about how the movie would be handled by Disney and then, new owner Miramax. He is worried no longer. “Miramax has done an inspired job finding the right home for our film that took 15 years to get made," said Del Toro. "Partnering with Bob Berney is always an exciting privilege." (The filmmaker talked to me in Toronto about producing the film, below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2011 4:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

BAFTAs Go to King's Speech, Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, Alice, Dragon Tattoo UPDATED

BAFTAs Go to King's Speech, Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, Alice, Dragon Tattoo UPDATED
The BAFTA Awards are under way at the Royal Opera House in London. Safe to say The King's Speech is winning many awards but is not sweeping; Inception and Alice in Wonderland are grabbing many of the technical categories. I predict that the Oscars will follow this trend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 13, 2011 7:48 AM
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Box Office Surges on Sandler vs. Bieber Weekend Duel

Just Go With It's established comedy stars Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston dueled teen music phenom Justin Bieber's 3-D concert doc Never Say Never at the surging weekend box office, which had been in the doldrums compared to last year's Avatar-fueled winter frame. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 13, 2011 5:15 AM
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Rupert Murdoch Pere Knew King's Speech Therapist Lionel Logue

Rupert Murdoch Pere Knew King's Speech Therapist Lionel Logue
In his weekend column, Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern reveals a fascinating connection between WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch and Oscar front-runner The King's Speech: With "The King's Speech" gaining the Oscar traction it deserves—the latest boost being an expression of approval from Queen Elizabeth—I can't resist going public with a story that I've relished telling to friends, and to the people who made the movie. Several weeks before it opened, I had a conversation with Rupert Murdoch, who popped a question familiar to movie critics: What should he see?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2011 7:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Academy Awards, Oscar Watch, SXSW, Sundance, Berlinale, Cold Weather

Weekly Wrap: Academy Awards, Oscar Watch, SXSW, Sundance, Berlinale, Cold Weather
INTERVIEWS
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 10:10 AM
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Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland

Oscar Watch: Tim Burton and VFX Master Ken Ralston Talk Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland presented a high degree of difficulty for veteran VFX master Ken Ralston and director Tim Burton, who tends to prefer live action FX to digital ones. He clearly wrestled with the huge volume of CG effects—the film used far more green screen than he’s ever dealt with. “It starts freaking you out after a while,” he said at Comic-Con, admitting that Alice in Wonderland was “the most difficult” movie he’s ever done. Burton insisted on avoiding motion-capture as much as possible (the effects team did mo-cap some actors, for reference). Burton wound up favoring “pure animation and using actors in mysterious ways,” he said.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 9:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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