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Thompson on Hollywood

Elizabeth Taylor: Obits, Video Clips, Photo Galleries, Memories

The Web lit up like a Christmas tree this morning with the sad but not unexpected news of Elizabeth Taylor's death of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles at age 79. Fifty-three years ago--almost to the day--Taylor escaped dying in a plane crash. The petite actress had been in failing health for many years. Taylor was fragile even back in 1993 when she attended Cannes to run the amfAR auction at the height of her AIDS activism. I'll never forget walking up the red carpet stairs of the Palais behind Sylvester Stallone as he advanced to meet Taylor, waiting for him at the top, wearing white and holding her beloved little white dog in her arms. As had always been the case throughout her 70-year career spanning 50 films, the media went wild around Taylor, who was so beautiful that folks tended not to remember what an accomplished actress she really was.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 23, 2011 5:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

South Park's Stone and Parker Talk Buzzed Broadway Musical Book of Mormon

Creating a Broadway musical is hard. But it's what Trey Parker has wanted to do since he was a kid attending classic Rogers & Hammerstein shows at Colorado's Evergreen Playhouse. In high school, he played the lead in all the musicals, and majored in music at the University of Colorado. Not so his student partner in crime, Matt Stone, who Parker roped into making Cannibal: The Musical.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 23, 2011 5:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Tribeca 2011: Special Events, Tribeca Talks Panel Series Announced

Tribeca 2011: Special Events, Tribeca Talks Panel Series Announced
Along with the film program, the Tribeca Film Festival's lineup of special events and Tribeca Talks panel series will run from April 20 – May 1, 2011. To celebrate the festival’s tenth year, Tribeca Talks is mounting a Directors series featuring Martin Scorsese interviewing Souleymane Cisse, Brian Williams talking to Robert De Niro, and Alec Baldwin querying Doug Liman. Five new documentaries will screen alongside panels: the world premiere of L.A. Noire, an interactive crime thriller, will accompany a panel looking at the crossover between the film and gaming industries. The fest will showcase a special 10th anniversary screening of A Beautiful Mind [pictured] with a discussion with director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 23, 2011 4:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Japan Aftershocks May Stall Cameron's Avatar Deep-Sea Dive

In the wake of Japan's 9.0 earthquake, underwater maven James Cameron may have to wait a while before he executes his planned 6.5 mile submersible dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench off the coast of Japan for the Avatar sequel, reports Slate (via Coming Attractions). Aftershocks are the issue.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Directors Go to the Opera

For those who missed Sky Opera Shorts, celebrating six years of Sky Arts' collaboration with the English National Opera, here are three videos whose directors used a popular aria from the 2008/2009 season. The films were aired on Sky Arts in February 2009 in the documentary Opera Shorts: Behind The Scenes, complete with interviews with the directors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 10:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Tom McCarthy and Jeffrey Tambor Talk Win Win and How to Wrestle Comedy Out of Drama

Tom McCarthy and Jeffrey Tambor Talk Win Win and How to Wrestle Comedy Out of Drama
Win Win is rare for several reasons: it's an original script backed by a studio, it concerns everyday people in everyday life, and it's a dead-serious relationship drama of the sort that most people refuse to make anymore. It's also an R-rated movie (for realistic locker room language) that parents can take their kids to see that critics rate at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 8:11 AM
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In Development: Akira Remake, Fincher for Jolie's Cleopatra, Agatha Christie and The Fighter 2

- Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures is eyeing several actors for a reworked script of Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s six-volume graphic novel Akira, reports Deadline. Harry Potter franchise screenwriter Steve Kloves (also writer-director of The Fabulous Baker Boys) is working on the rewrite and Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) is signed on to direct in August. In contention for role #1 ("Tetsuo") are Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy; for role #2 ("Kaneda"), there's Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. Our picks would be McAvoy and Fassbender, who will likely pass on this retelling.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 22, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Trailer Watch: Morgan Spurlock's Greatest Movie Ever Sold

After Morgan Spurlock's fast-food expose Super Size Me turned into an Oscar-nominated Sundance doc hit (and SnagFilms' best ever performer), he followed with Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? His latest, product-placement investigation The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, was bought by Sony before it played well at both Sundance and SXSW. I'll catch up with it and Spurlock at the Ashland Film Festival on April 8 before Sony Pictures Classics releases it April 22. Check out the trailer below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 4:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Peter Jackson is Back in Middle Earth as The Hobbit Starts Production

Am I crazy, or doesn't writer-director-producer Peter Jackson look happy again? In the years since he completed The Lord of the Rings trilogy (which grossed a total $3 billion worldwide; extended DVD due June 28), he shot the gargantuan budget King Kong (which would have been hugely successful if it had cost less) and the smaller-scale The Lovely Bones, which cost more than the literary delicacy should have. He produced protege Neill Blomkamp's District 9 as well as collaborating closely with director Steven Spielberg on the Tintin trilogy; the first is due this December.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2011 11:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Valerie Plame Wilson Writes Female Centered Suspense Novels with Female Action Star Potential

Seeking a female action hero? A new one may come from an unlikely source: memoirist and ex-spy Valerie Plame Wilson, whose CIA debacle was brought to the screen by Doug Liman in last year's Fair Game, which starred Naomi Watts as the glamorous, fierce yet tender operative (opposite Sean Penn as husband Joe Wilson).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 21, 2011 8:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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