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Thompson on Hollywood

SFIFF 54: Wrapping Up the Fest, Days 13-15: The Arbor, Bromberg, Let The Wind Carry Me, Winners, Etc

Meredith Brody wraps up SFIFF 54 and the many films of days thirteen, fourteen and fifteen:After the San Francisco International Film Festival’s second weekend, I feel like the toboggan is slowing down before it crosses the finish line. Day Thirteen, for example: joining Creative Director Miguel Pendas’ SF Film Noir locations tour, which he puts on (along with a tour devoted exclusively to locations for Vertigo) for guests and press, is irresistible to me, but effectively knocks out most of the day. Miguel totes ten companions around SF’s hills and valleys in a van (with an indefatigable driver who manages to pull over where there’s no place to pull over). We see sites for The Maltese Falcon, Sudden Fear, The Sniper, The Lady from Shanghai,Dark Passage, The House on Telegraph Hill, The Midnight Story (the only one I’ve never seen), The Line-Up, and more.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • May 7, 2011 1:18 AM
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Spielberg's Lincoln Cast Grows: Day-Lewis, Field, Jones, Gordon-Levitt, Holbrook, Spader, Hawkes +

The following actors are in negotiations to join Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, in which Daniel Day-Lewis will play President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field will play Mary Todd Lincoln: Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Bruce McGill, Joseph Cross, David Costabile, Byron Jennings, Dakin Matthews, Boris McGiver, Gloria Reuben, Jeremy Strong, and David Warshofsky. Details on Jones and Gordon-Levitt's roles are below. UPDATE: Lee Pace will play Fernando Wood, the NYC mayor who "supported the Confederate cause and even suggested that the city secede from the Union, if only to keep up their valuable cotton trade," says ThePlaylist. They've got more on Pace.
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2011 8:37 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Festivals, Box Office, Cannes, Pixar, Jolie, Tarantino, Oprah, Thor, Bin Laden

- Will Thor Be Latest Jewel in Marvel Crown? Marvel Talks Recipe for Success.
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2011 8:29 AM
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Digital Platform Bookish Launches, Backed by Hachette, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, AOL

Books continue to go digital as a group of book companies--Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster, Inc.-- put their combined might behind new digital platform Bookish.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2011 5:19 AM
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Thor Will Molest Your Eye Sockets, Plus: Something Borrowed, The Beaver, Last Night, Passion Play

Thor Will Molest Your Eye Sockets, Plus: Something Borrowed, The Beaver, Last Night, Passion Play
Finally, as summer is nigh, moviegoers are faced with a wide range of prospects this weekend. Jodie Foster's The Beaver delivers a solid family drama with a standout performance from Mel Gibson--even if it's duller than his tabloid life. Something Borrowed tries to be more than your average rom-com--and fails. Marvel's Thor is well inside the comfort zone for folks who grew up on the comic books; its strong cast and huge budget deliver, especially the magnificent Chris Hemsworth, whose "gigantic man-boobs and superhero six-pack molested our eye sockets in all of their 3D glory," reports MCN's Heather Havrilesky.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • May 6, 2011 4:19 AM
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Will Thor Be Latest Jewel in Marvel Crown? Marvel Talks Recipe for Success

Will Thor Be Latest Jewel in Marvel Crown? Marvel Talks Recipe for Success
Marvel Entertainment is a model for a company that has cannily looked out for its own interests as it seeks to exploit and protect its rich endowment of comic characters and stories. With Shakespearean actor-director Kenneth Branagh's epic adventure Thor hitting theaters May 6, Anthony D'Alessandro parses the Marvel performance thus far. Like the hammer-wielding god Thor, Marvel Entertainment has smashed the film industry’s bias against superhero projects ever since rolling out the 2000 feature adaptation of Spider-Man ($822 million worldwide B.O.), ushering in the golden age of comic-book cinema. To date, the Marvel feature adaptations, both licensed and inhouse productions, have racked up $7.4 billion at the global box office. The media company will continue to raise that figure with the 22nd Marvel superhero adaptation this weekend, Thor, which is on tap to rake in $55-$70 million at 3,955 theaters (the average domestic bow for a Marvel title is $65 million) after collecting $125 million abroad.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • May 6, 2011 3:45 AM
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SFIFF 54: Day Twelve: Tilva Rosh, Hands Up, Ulysses and the Tindersticks do Claire Denis

On day 12 of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody reports back on her French triple bill (Hands Up is the stand out), Tilva Rosh, Ulysses, and finishes the day off right with English rock/jazz band Tindersticks playing excerpts from their film scores for Claire Denis movies.Amazingly, after getting stuck into CNN-land for two hours of repetitive Osama Bin Laden-chat last night, I still manage to watch the two DVDS of Festival movies that I brought home: I’m Glad My Mother is Alive, by the father-son duo of prolific Claude Miller and his son, neophyte Nathan Miller (giving nepotism a good name). Again something of a message picture (since I’d started the day with Roman Goupil’s Hands Up), about mayhem that ensues when an angry young adoptee finds his biological mother and insinuates himself into her new family (the title means one thing for the first two-thirds of the movie and then tips off its ending, alas).
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • May 5, 2011 8:48 AM
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Shoe Drops as Mark Gill's Film Department Closes, Victim of Recession, Bad Movies

Shoe Drops as Mark Gill's Film Department Closes, Victim of Recession, Bad Movies
2007 looked like a good time to launch a large-scale film production company. But just as Film Department chairman Mark Gill and vice-chairman Neil Sacker raised considerable funding, the indie market hit the skids with the recession. With more than one bonafide hit beyond $40-million Gerard Butler vehicle Law-Abiding Citizen (Overture domestic, $133 million worldwide) to balance a slate of uncommercial movies--from $16.8 million The Rebound to $16 million cancer romance A Little Bit of Heaven, neither of which saw stateside release --the company might have survived. But finally all the money they made went to their investors, and by the time they faced the music and tried to refinance, it was too late. (Deadline ran early with Gill and Sacker's press release packed with financial details.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 5, 2011 8:28 AM
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Trailer Watch: Sundance Hit Martha Marcy May Marlene

Check out the trailer below for Sundance hit thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene, from writer-director Sean Durkin and starring Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy. Fox Searchlight is releasing the film July 10.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 5, 2011 8:15 AM
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Teen Lesbian Romance Jack and Diane Goes to Magnolia, Stars Juno Temple and Riley Keough

Distribution rights to Bradley Rust Gray's Jack and Diane -- currently in post -- have gone to Magnolia Pictures. The film stars Juno Temple (Atonement, Cracks), Riley Keough (The Runaways), Kylie Minogue and Cara Seymour, and features animation from the Brothers Quay and creature effects by Cremaster 2 and 4's Gabe Bartalos. Gray made his mark as a director with 2009's micro-budget fest-circuit hit The Exploding Girl, which starred Zoe Kazan and earned largely positive reviews.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 5, 2011 7:14 AM
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