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Thompson on Hollywood

Spring Fest Mania: Brit Week Meets American Idol, TCM Classics, LAT Fest of Books

A pile-up of events are crowding this week in LA. Brit Week kicked off Tuesday with the annual champagne party at the British consul general's mansion in Hancock Park. BAFTA producer Nigel Lythgoe's six American Idol kids roamed the lawn followed by cameras, soaking up attention. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introed Royal cousin Lord Freddy Windsor, who raised a toast to the Royal couple, and eschewed the fish and chips.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 29, 2011 6:48 AM
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SFIFF 54 Day Seven: A Useful Life, Oliver Stone Tribute, The Last Buffalo Hunt, Attenberg

Meredith Brody's diary entry for SDIFF day seven: The film-going day begins with inserting a DVD into the player, which I guess means staying rather than going. It’s A Useful Life, a film directed by a former employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya, Federico Veiroj, about a longtime employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya in Montevideo (which occasions a notation in the opening credits that the movie does not reflect the actual Cinemateca Uruguaya in any way shape or form). Said rather sad-sackish employee (played by an Uruguayan film critic with the young/old face of an obsessive) has spent a quarter-century doing all that’s necessary in showing films to the public – programming, introducing, talking on the radio, even repairing a seat in the theater.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 29, 2011 6:43 AM
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Weekend Preview: Fast Five Pumps Testosterone, Prom Tween Fantasy, 13 Assassins, Cave 3-D, The Arbor

It's a weekend of extremes, with the Fast Five testosterone-fest, a Prom tween fantasy, not one but 13 Assassins and a Hoodwinked Too! that no one asked for. Several indie gems are mixed in with some less-inspiring releases: we recommend Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3-D and Clio Bernard's documentary on playwright Andrea Dunbar, The Arbor, a film that turns the term 'documentary' on its head but "once you settle in, [Bernard's technique] proves enormously effective," writes ThePlaylist. "Barnard is able to expertly weave the narrative, dropping hints of the darkness early on while never quite giving the game away."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 29, 2011 5:59 AM
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Gregory Peck Gets a Stamp

It was hard to believe it was 11 am on a Thursday morning – there was Sidney Poitier, James Darrin, Nancy Olson Livingston, Felicia Farr Lemon, Sally Kellerman, Jimmy Smitts, Marsha Hunt, Tony Danza and that was just the audience. They and 1,200 others packed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences theater on Wilshire in Beverly Hills to honor former Academy President and Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck as his Hollywood Legends Forever Stamp was unveiled.
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • April 29, 2011 5:23 AM
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Royal Wedding Video & Pictures

Stop the presses! Prince William and Kate Middleton are married. In case you aren't already maxed out, a sampling of video and pictures is below. HuffPo reports that the media was wall-to-wall. The rest of the world may now return to 2011.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 29, 2011 3:18 AM
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More: Celebs, TV, Media

Summer Preview: Must-Sees on Big Screen, Skippable, Must-to-Avoid

Summer Preview: Must-Sees on Big Screen, Skippable, Must-to-Avoid
The summer is upon us, with a plethora of viewing choices, many of them utterly avoidable. I lay out the summer movie landscape.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2011 9:46 AM
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Emmy Watch: Which New Scripted Series Will Make It to Emmy Contention? A Rough Ranking

Emmy Watch: Which New Scripted Series Will Make It to Emmy Contention? A Rough Ranking
Emmy Watch columnist Amy Dawes takes a hard look at the new shows that debuted this year, and ranks their chances of landing Emmy Nominations right off the bat.Nothing is more exciting – at least to an Emmy watcher - than when a brand new series not only entertains our socks off and reinvigorates the medium, but sweeps the awards its first time out.  And despite a perception that members of the TV Academy are lazy and vote for the same ol’ same ol’, this has happened a fair amount in recent years. 
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • April 28, 2011 8:28 AM
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Amazon Studios Offers Free and Licensed Library of 2,000 Songs

Amazon Studios -- which invites filmmakers and screenwriters to submit their works for discovery -- announces the release of 2000 free and licensed movie-production music tracks for any registered and signed-in member on their site. Amazon Studios says they added the feature: "in order to enhance the overall viewing experience of the movies they upload to the site. Amazon Studios also recognizes that it’s hard for filmmakers to get valid licenses to soundtrack music for their test movies. Sound and music are important parts of how test movies garner more engaged feedback from movie fans than just scripts alone. Every month, Amazon Studios offers a $100,000 award to the best test movie."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 7:54 AM
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Hollywood Foreign Press Association Picks Date for Golden Globes 69: January 15, 2012

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has chosen the date for the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, to be held Sunday, January 15, 2012. Full schedule and timetable are below:
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2011 7:49 AM
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Seattle International Film Festival 37: Galas, Tributes and Presentations

The 37th Seattle International Film Festival has finalized its galas, tributes and special presentations for its 25-day festival, running May 19 - June 12, among the lengthiest fest programme in the world. SIFF will screen films hailing from 74 countries; 257 features and 184 shorts, 96 of which are premieres.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 28, 2011 7:42 AM
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