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Thompson on Hollywood

Janet Jackson Will Play Cannes AmFAR Cinema Against AIDS Fundraiser

For those of you wondering what Harvey Weinstein had up his sleeve for the annual AmFAR Cinema Against Aids fundraiser held on the last Thursday of Cannes, Roger Friedman has the scoop:Janet Jackson has been signed up as the entertainment, which should make the event hotter than ever. Now the big question is whether or not Sharon Stone will be back after a year off from conducting the famed live auction. There are those who love Sharon’s style and some who don’t. But AmFAR suffers a little without Stone’s presence.(Last year, the AmFAR people were very upset when I reported that Sharon wasn’t coming. She had a film to shoot in Eastern Europe.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 4, 2011 7:43 AM
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Actress Watch: Rachel Weisz's Slate Might Include Oz, Roberts & Clinton Talk, Kidman's Next Biopic?

- Nicole Kidman loves her biopics. She's flirting with the lead in Our Wild Life, about Kenyan wildlife conservationist Dame Daphne Sheldrick (now 76, pictured), known for her work with the war-torn country's endangered elephants. As The Wrap reports, Hollywood doesn't make movies like this anymore. Gone are the good old days of Out of Africa (1985) and Born Free (1966), not to mention 1988's Gorillas in the Mist, the Dian Fossey biopic starring Sigourney Weaver. No official involvement from Kidman yet, but Phillip Noyce (Salt) is currently attached to direct.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 4, 2011 7:38 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Tree of Life: Glorious New Clip, Salt in the Wound for Those Not Going to Cannes Premiere

The Tree of Life: Glorious New Clip, Salt in the Wound for Those Not Going to Cannes Premiere
For those of you not seeing Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life premiere May 16 at the Cannes Film Festival, here is more salt to rub in the wound. EW has an exclusive clip. They say the footage "has a dreamy, remembered quality to it thanks to fluid camera movements, soft light, and jump cuts. It’s beautiful, no doubt. But what does it mean?" We say just enjoy it, and don't ask questions. Check it out here. The Tree of Life has a limited US release May 27.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 4, 2011 5:58 AM
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Academy Hosts Celebration of Cuban Film and Exhibition of Original Cuban Poster Art

The Academy will host a beautiful (and free) exhibition of original Cuban movie posters - 125 hand-silkscreened - from May 13 - August 28 in their Grand Lobby Gallery. Titled "Cuban Film Posters: From Havana to the World,” the exhibition will include posters from A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, The Bicycle Thief, Z, Strawberry and Chocolate and Fallen Gods. The works were created by artists in the Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematograficos (ICAIC), which was formed after the 1959 revolution, and donated to the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 4, 2011 5:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Focus Features Seals Two-Picture Pact with LAIKA

Oregon's animated producer LAIKA is forging ahead --without Coraline creator Henry Selick, who is now in the Disney/Pixar fold--with two more 3-D stop-motion films to be released by Focus Features.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 4, 2011 5:44 AM
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Hero Complex Screening Series Goes IMAX: Fanboy Festival Opens with Dick Tracy and Warren Beatty

The LAT is deploying its popular fanboy Hero Complex blog to partner with advertisers and push the LAT brand toward a younger audience. Geoff Boucher's three-year-old blog draws huge traffic (1 million page views a month) by catering to genre film buffs, offering early access to solid film news and exclusive features that are well-written and reported.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 4, 2011 4:42 AM
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Venice Fest 2011 To Give Pacino Glory to the Filmmaker Award, Premiere Wilde Salome with Chastain

Al Pacino will accept the Venice International Film Festival's Glory to the Filmmaker 2011 Award, which was created with Jaeger-Le Coultre to honor an artist's original mark on contemporary cinema. Recent recipients include Abbas Kiarostami (2008) and Sylvester Stallone (2009). Fest director Marco Mueller calls Pacino an "an amazing director, whose experience is precious and original, and enriches the world of contemporary film.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 4, 2011 4:02 AM
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group Buys Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes

Marking another major studio move into the digital entertainment space, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has acquired movie discovery and recommendation site Flixster, which owns film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Warners insists--repeatedly, given that a studio is owning a review site-- that the company will continue to operate independently, and will serve as a "consumer-facing platform for Warner Bros. initiatives to drive digital content ownership."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 4, 2011 2:20 AM
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SFIFF 54 Day Eleven: Film Fest Instructor's Guidebook, Hands Up, Something Ventured, Bin Laden

On day eleven of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody talks Hands Up (a "kind of a Bizarro-world Disney film"), Citizen Kane, Something Ventured and its billionaires, and The Salesmen (which she tries tricking herself into liking by thinking of Jeanne Dielman). At the end of her day, Osama bin Laden news trumps everything:Somewhere in the Film Festival Introducer’s Guidebook there must be a rule (more like a law!) that if it’s a nice day outside the introducer must thank the audience for ignoring the manifold pleasures awaiting them outside and instead huddling together in a dark auditorium.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • May 4, 2011 2:04 AM
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NYT's Dargis & Scott Debate Violent Screen Femmes: Fueled by Rage or Fear of Female Power?

In the NYT's must-read article "Gosh, Sweetie, That’s a Big Gun" (published with this fab summer preview cover illo), Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott have a timely discussion about the recent surge of violent girls and women on the big screen. Excerpts are below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 3, 2011 8:45 AM
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