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Thompson on Hollywood

Woody Allen Talks Breaking Out with Cannes Hit Midnight in Paris: "Hey, Did You See Gertrude Stein?"

Woody Allen Talks Breaking Out with Cannes Hit Midnight in Paris: "Hey, Did You See Gertrude Stein?"
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's best movie since Deconstructing Harry in 1997.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Cannes 2011: Fourplay: Tampa Debuts in Directors’ Fortnight

Debuting in this year's Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) is Kyle Henry's 17-minute short Fourplay: Tampa, which is the second of four Fourplay shorts set in different cities in Henry's omnibus film. Tampa premieres on May 20 at 11:30 am. Produced by Jason Wehling, the film's executive producers are REM frontman Michael Stipe and Jim McKay. Fourplay: San Francisco played at OutFest; in March, Henry sent Tampa to Cannes and then when it was accepted. he had to finish it in time. He hopes to assemble the four shorts into an anthology feature and sell it to a distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:15 AM
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The Dallas Buyers Club Joins the Cannes Selling Fray

The big foreign sales companies hawking their wares to Croisette buyers are operating on the assumption that the movies they are selling will get made. Well, some will, some won't. Distributors all over the world are deluged in the weeks before Cannes with scripts--now it's a flood. They have to cut through the sales rhetoric and decipher the template and possible casting--most names are "attached" until something better comes along--for what could be a commercial movie, or not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"
While there will always be the odd dissenter, there's no question that Woody Allen's latest Midnight in Paris played well to audiences and press alike in Cannes. This is Woody Light, a sweet funny nostalgic romantic confection that proves a lively counterpoint to the dark and moody fare that tends to dominate the Cannes selection. (Australian newcomer Julia Leigh's brainy and formal Sleeping Beauty, starring Sucker Punch's Emily Browning as a lost soul who sells time with her sleeping body, would be one example. It proved divisive with critics and will be a marketing challenge.) And Owen Wilson and Allen turned out to be a perfect match, ably supported by Rachel McAdams as the ugly American you love to hate, Michael Sheen as a pompous blowhard, plus Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody as various denizens of the Paris Allen loves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 10:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes Update: Weinstein Co. Closing in on The Artist

Cannes Update: Weinstein Co. Closing in on The Artist
On the acquisition front, Harvey Weinstein is on the case. In advance of Cannes, he's trying to persuade producers and sellers to show him movies in advance so he can get ahead of his competitors. IFC was in Paris taking advance meetings. Cannes screenings start Wednesday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 7:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

News from Cannes: Firth & Blunt for Untitled Dark Comedy, Little Birds, Sleight of Hand, The Bleeder

Amidst the long-awaited festival premieres, starting with Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris Wednesday night, many projects, new and old, are selling in the Cannes market, which is humming with activity:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 11, 2011 7:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

New Distributor Open Road Films Gets Action-Thriller Killer Elite, Starring De Niro, Statham, Owen

News from Cannes: newly formed distribution house Open Road Films has landed its first feature: Killer Elite, directed by Gary McKendry and starring Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert DeNiro. Open Road will handle US distribution (in theaters this fall) on this Omnilab Media project (produced through their Australian extension, Ambience Entertainment).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 11, 2011 5:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes: Weinstein Co. Acquires Peter Ho-Sun Chan's Film Noir Dragon (Wu Xia), Trailer (UPDATE)

Marking the first major North American buy of the Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Co., long a supporter of Asian cinema, has acquired Peter Ho-Sun Chan's film noir actioner Dragon (Wu Xia) which debuts in Cannes on May 14. TWC has acquired non-Asian and French-speaking world rights, as well as the first option to remake rights, from WE Distribution. The film stars martial arts choreographer and star Donnie Yen (Chan's Bodyguards and Assassins), Takeshi Kaneshiro (House of Flying Daggers) and Tang Wei (Lust, Caution). TWC describes the martial arts film as "an action-packed tale of crime, family and redemption." TWC plans to open it stateside in 2011.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sophia Loren Interviewed by Billy Crystal at Academy Tribute: "I Am Never Content."

Sophia Loren Interviewed by Billy Crystal at Academy Tribute: "I Am Never Content."
On May 4, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences hosted a gala tribute to Sophia Loren, who will be 77 this September. The revelation in the film clips was not her beauty, range, bravura dramatic acting in such films as Vittorio De Sica's Two Women (the first Oscar win for a non-English speaking role) or iconic American roles, dancing in gold lame with Cary Grant in Houseboat (1958) or making Gregory Peck's jaw drop in Arabesque (1966)--both men were clearly besotted--but her comic sexy romps with Marcello Mastroianni in movies like De Sica's 1964 Marriage Italian Style, for which she was also nominated. Her strip scene with Mastroianni sent temperatures soaring in the theatre. They made 12 films together.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 2:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes: Paramount Screens Super 8 and Puss In Boots Footage, Kung Fu Panda 2

Paramount's marketing co-chief Megan Colligan has been mulling taking advantage of the world press in attendance at Cannes for a sneak peak at J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg's Super 8. Now the studio has invited press to see 40 minutes of footage on Thursday, UPDATE: but it turns out that it's the same 20 minutes they showed to key press in New York and at the CinemaCon exhibitor convention in Las Vegas. Get your facts together people.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 10, 2011 10:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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