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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes Adds Fortnight, Shorts, Critics Week Lineups, More Films Directed by Women

Cannes Adds Fortnight, Shorts, Critics Week Lineups, More Films Directed by Women
The Director's Fortnight sidebar sometimes offers a more varied and fresh line-up--and often more American indies-- than the mainbar selections, although this year more up-and-coming filmmakers made it into the competition than usual.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2011 3:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Rowling and Kloves' 12-Year Harry Potter Collaboration; Deathly Hallows Photo Gallery

In the April/May issue of the Writers Guild's Written By Magazine, J.K. Rowling and screenwriter Steve Kloves talk about their 12-year email collaboration as he adapted six of the seven Harry Potter books that yielded Hollywood's biggest blockbuster literary franchise. Rowling fell for Kloves during their first meeting on the Warners lot (even if she figured out that the studio executive dominating the conversation had never read the book), when the writer told her that Hermione was his favorite character. He had fallen for the first book before it became a global phenomenon. Now there's a Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida--for which Kloves wrote 16 pages of text for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2011 12:50 PM
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Tina Fey Bossypants Excerpts: The Mother's Prayer for Its Daughter

In case you live under a rock, 30 Rock creator-star Tina Fey's new book, Bossypants, is getting good reviews like this one in the LAT:But any concern that Fey, like so many before her, has been ruined by fame is quickly dispelled by "Bossypants," a book that reminds you why Fey has succeeded where so many have failed — because she is precise, professional and hilarious. At first, "Bossypants" appears to be just more of the same — there's Fey on the cover looking fabulous but not owning it (her airbrushed face is framed by two large and hairy male arms) and the back is filled with fake and self-deprecating quotes regarding her appearance and talent. Pay them no mind; inside lies a collection of autobiographical essays that should (but of course won't) prove once and for all that pretty is nowhere near as important as funny, and funny doesn't work without that rare balance of truth and heart.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2011 12:14 PM
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  • 1 Comment

A Curation of Nicolas Cage Debacles, Difficulties & Dinosaur Skulls

A Curation of Nicolas Cage Debacles, Difficulties & Dinosaur Skulls
The trouble with a movie star who runs afoul of the law in the age of chasing celebrity hot topics to build traffic, is that when you mess up, the media piles on you, big time. Nic Cage's run-in with the New Orleans cops this weekend is a case in point. We round up some of the more responsible coverage:
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 8:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Student Academy Awards 2011 Add Foreign Student Category; 575 Films Compete

Five hundred and seventy-five films will compete for the 2011 Student Academy Awards, in its 38th year. The winning films, selected from the pool of films from 136 US colleges and universities as well as 32 countries, will be presented and screened on June 11 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Since 1972, the Academy has encouraged student filmmakers with this competition, which gives medals as well as cash grants to winners in each of its five categories: Animation, Narrative, Documentary, Alternative, and new this year - the Foreign Student Film category.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 8:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Pulitzer Prizes Go To Jennifer Egan, Bruce Norris, Eric Foner, Ron Chernow, Kay Ryan

The Pulitzer Prizes for 2011 were announced today (below). They will be awarded at a luncheon on May 23 at Columbia’s Low Library. More than 2,500 entries are submitted each year to the Pulitzer Prize competition for prizes in 21 categories, awarded by 102 jurors who make three recommendations in each category.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2011 7:38 AM
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Graig Gillespie To Direct Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Portman's Handsomecharlie Films Producing

Craig Gillespie (Lars and The Real Girl) will direct the Lionsgate adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Natalie Portman's Handsomecharlie Films and Darko Entertainment are producing. The adaptation is based on Seth Graham-Smith's 2009 zombified expansion novel of the Jane Austen classic, a NYT Bestseller and Oprah's "Summer Reading List" mention. He also wrote the screenplay.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 6:56 AM
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IndiePix Goes Unlimited with Indie Film Streaming

IndiePix invites you to subscribe starting on April 19 to its new online indie VOD streaming site, IndiePix Unlimited. 200 indie titles will be available at first, growing fast. The LA Times is a presenting sponsor; affiliate sponsors include Filmmaker Magazine and thirteen indie film sites and blogs.The site will feature premieres for recent Venice, Cannes, Tribeca, and Sundance award winning films and filmmakers - titles that are not available on any other streaming subscription site. It will open for consumer signups and film choices on April 19, 2011 at 9am EDT.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2011 6:40 AM
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Tribeca 2011: Juries Include Russell, Wiest, Dano, Cera, Lebowitz, Wilson, Egoyan

Tribeca's Jury Members are announced for the 2011 Film Festival. The 38 filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, journalists and media peers include David O. Russell, David Gordon Green, Dianne Wiest, Souleymane Cissé, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Rainn Wilson, Anna Kendrick, Michael Cera, Denis Leary, Atom Egoyan and Fran Lebowitz. They are divided into six competition categories (as listed below), and will announce their chosen winners (who will receive a combined $175K in cash and prizes) at the TFF Awards ceremony on April 28 (streaming live on TribecaFilm.com). Fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal says the jury members bring a "fresh and well-rounded perspective." The complete list of jury members is below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 6:14 AM
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Cannes Preview: Von Trier's Romantic Melancholia, Pitt & Penn, Miss Bala & Habemus Papam

- Melancholia is the name of Lars von Trier's Cannes-bound film, which features a huge planet that dooms Earth. Von Trier tells Empire that he "liked the idea of being 'swallowed' by Melancholia. I thought that was quite nice. And then I read today that that's actually one of the virtues of romanticism – willingly being purified by dying. In fact, the film contains maybe more of the original idea of romanticism. I'm just saying that a lot of films today, their interpretation of romanticism is... quite boring, I think.” As to how the director--who is legendary for abusing actors from Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) and Bjork (Dancer in the Dark) to Nicole Kidman (Dogville)--treated star Kirsten Dunst [pictured], he adds: “I think that Kirsten got off FAR too easy. FAR too easy. She was not dragged through any masturbation. She had a very smooth ride, I would say. But she did an extremely good job.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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