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Thompson on Hollywood

Best Scenes of 2010: Salon Names The Social Network, Let Me In, Shutter Island, Winter's Bone

- Getting more specific than the average "Best of" list, Salon posts video of their picks of 2010's best scenes (Let Me In, The Social Network, and Shutter Island are below). Also on their list are Toy Story 3, Dogtooth, The Ghost Writer, Somewhere, Winter's Bone, Solitary Man, and Ne Change Rien.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 3, 2011 6:07 AM
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Toy Story 3 Tops Quentin Tarantino's Best of 2010

Quentin Tarantino has posted his favorite movies of 2010, all twenty of them. Unlike many critics, Tarantino has no problem with citing movies that are popular hits. And he's seen his share of obscurities as well. Tarantino is an Academy member, though not a typical one. His taste is catholic, ranging from specialty and foreign films to raunchy comedies, animated family fare and big-budget actioners. His most surprising choices are two critical and box office studio failures that are as well-directed as they were commercially misguided: James Mangold's Knight and Day and Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 11:44 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Guillermo del Toro's 1991 Alka Seltzer Commercial

Guillermo del Toro started out working in Mexican television, with a specialty in makeup effects. He puts his skills to good use in this 1991 Alka Seltzer commercial, and stars himself as a werewolf.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 7:54 AM
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Holiday Wrap: Weak Box Office, True Grit Takes on Little Fockers, Black Swan, King's Speech Score

The box office continued tepid during what should have been a robust holiday period with North American families on vacation; it was down 26 percent from last year. For the year, the 2010 3-D-pumped domestic box office totaled $10.5 billion, down 0.3 percent from 2009's Avatar-inflated record of $10.6 billion. But the attendance stat provides a sobering reality check: attendance was down a whopping 5 percent: 1.34 billion against 1.41 billion in 2009. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Popular Videos of 2010: How Tos, Cats, Keanu Reeves, Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson

What makes us click on a video? Well, according to Business Insider's list of the top 50 most viral posts of 2010, we couldn't get enough of:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 1, 2011 2:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video

Blizzard Video Goes Viral

Thanks to the promo efforts of critic/tweeter Roger Ebert, Jamie Stuart's Idiot with a Tripod New York blizzard short has gone viral; Ebert deemed the film worthy of an Oscar. Inspired by Dziga Vertov's must-see 1929 silent classic Man with a Movie Camera (below), Stuart captured Astoria, Queens during the December blizzard of 2010. TODAYshow.com's Dara Brown interviewed the filmmaker.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 8:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video

Trailer Watch: Unstable Elements Focuses on Beleaguered Belarus Free Theater Group

Madeleine Sackler (director of the 2010 Oscar short-listed documentary The Lottery) recently shot footage of the Belarus Free Theater group in the hopes of making a feature documentary highlighting the human rights infractions that are happening in Belarus. Last July, Sackler and cinematographer Daniel Carter interviewed Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kolyada, the husband and wife team that leads the group, among others.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 8:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I weigh the impact of year-end releases on the Oscar race. Will Another Year's Lesley Manville squeak into best actress contention, is Nicole Kidman hurt by the weak performance of Rabbit Hole? And what about frontrunner Natalie Portman's new pregnancy? What would it take to push Biutiful's Javier Bardem or I Am Love's Tilda Swinton into the race?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 5:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sofia Coppola Needs to Escape the Safety Zone

Sofia Coppola Needs to Escape the Safety Zone
The Safety Zone is a dangerous place to be for filmmakers. When it comes to making movies, danger and risk is a good thing. And while I'm not saying that directors should pander to the widest possible audience, I do think that playing to an audience of one, yourself, is a must-to-avoid. Too many filmmakers seem to believe that staying in control is their best course. To a degree, it's wise not to cede control to the wrong people. But input and collaboration bring vital nourishment.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2010 8:26 AM
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  • 34 Comments

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews
New distributor FilmDistrict is launching its 2011 slate April 1 with horror-flick Insidious (trailer below), a seven-figure Toronto Fest Midnight Madness pick-up from Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group that many expected to be a Sony genre label Screen Gems release. Sure, Sony is making nice to new distribution partner--and ex-Sony exec--Peter Schlessel. UPDATE: But, it turns out, SWAG doesn't acquire films for Clint Culpepper's Screen Gems; District 9 and 88 Minutes went through Sony's Tri-Star. SWAG knew in Toronto that FilmDistrict was eager to release Insidious.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2010 5:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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