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Thompson on Hollywood

Venice: Joaquin Phoenix is Not Here

Venice: Joaquin Phoenix is Not Here
Rookie director Casey Affleck is playing out his hand on the bizarre Joaquin Phoenix documentary I'm Still Here, which debuted in Venice Monday to rousing applause, and is still inspiring huge debate. What the hell is Phoenix doing? Committing career suicide? Creating an indelibly accurate portrait of a miserable depressed self-medicating and deluded actor? Doing an Andy Kaufman-type performance piece, egged on by Affleck?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 6:53 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Modern Crime Families, Networks TV's New Challenges, Mad Men's Peggy Olson

- The LA Times thinks the family that slays together stays together. Pop culture's healthy appetite for criminals (nothing new) has been fed with low-key gems Animal Kingdom and Winter's Bone, and while they are no Godfather trilogies in scale, they deliver the same family-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-law drama that we love. And those of use who have had a void in our lives since The Sopranos ended will find hope in HBO's upcoming Boardwalk Empire. We are easily charmed by anyone that breaks the law, it's fun to be vicariously bad through our favorite TV characters (Dexter, anyone?), and there's something about the blood-bound clans that really get our attention - always has been. But our affection for (or identification with) contemporary crime families signals an evolution, suggests the LAT:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 6, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Euro-thriller The American Trounces Mexi-Western Machete

George Clooney's Euro-thriller The American may not be a mainstream studio entertainment, but it's a sign of his stardom that the movie still opened at Number One over the Labor Day weekend, trouncing holdover Takers, which was ahead of Robert Rodriguez's Machete through Sunday. Upbeat word-of-mouth pulled the Mexican western ahead by Monday. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:Focus Features’ George Clooney somber thriller The American took out its Labor Day weekend competition, grabbing the top four-day box office spot with $16.4 million at 2,823 theaters.  The opening comes as a boon for Clooney, who tends to topline platformed Oscar-potential R-rated fare such as Michael Clayton and Up in the Air.  Outside the actor’s ensemble features, i.e. the Ocean’s Eleven movies, The American stands as one of Clooney’s more notable solo bows.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • September 6, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride Film Festival

Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride Film Festival
Anne Thompson is in Venice and Kris Tapley is in Telluride, but that doesn't stop the two from getting into this year's award hopefuls. Topics discussed include Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Tyler Perry's prospects, and Venetian rainstorms. Stay tuned for next week's Oscar Talk.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • September 5, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride: 127 Hours So Intense, Medics Attend to Overcome Moviegoers at Two Screenings

Telluride: 127 Hours So Intense, Medics Attend to Overcome Moviegoers at Two Screenings
TOH Telluride correspondent Meredith Brody reports seeing on Saturday night "somebody being taken out on a gurney from the Galaxy" showing of 127 Hours and later that night at a second screening of the Danny Boyle film, "ambulances with multicolored flashing lights pulling into the Palm."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 5, 2010 4:11 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Telluride Review: The King's Speech Heads for Oscars

Telluride Review: The King's Speech Heads for Oscars
Critic Tim Appelo reports from Telluride that The King's Speech is a serious Oscar contender. Buck Henry likened the Telluride Film Festival to Valhalla, the place where cinema’s great warriors go for eternal glory – say, tonight’s tribute honoree Claudia Cardinale. But Valhalla is Old Norse for “Hall of the Slain,” and Telluride is more like the Hall of the Newborns, a ward for indie gods getting their first worship. Is there a springier springboard to the Oscars than the Telluride Film Festival?
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 5, 2010 2:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Caravan 2010 – The Lead-Up to the 37th Annual Telluride Film Festival

Caravan 2010 – The Lead-Up to the 37th Annual Telluride Film Festival
Our roving festival correspondent Meredith Brody reports from Telluride this year. Here's her first missive: about getting there.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 4, 2010 12:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere
While the Venice Fest is on its fourth day, Telluride got under way Friday night with screenings of Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, Errol Morris's latest doc Tabloid and Peter Weir's prisoner-of-war drama The Way Back, which fewer people instantly reviewed. @EugeneNovikov tweeted: "THE WAY BACK (B) I was rapt for the first half- Weir at his hypnotic best - then becomes a bit repetitive and mechanical (if still powerful)." UPDATE: Here's the NYT's A.O. Scott.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 8:30 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Venice Hit By Torrential Storm

Venice Hit By Torrential Storm
The forecast was for rain today in Venice, and sure enough a powerful wind and rain storm hit the Lido, knocking down tents and vendor stands and flooding stores on the main beach drag.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 6:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: festivals

Affleck Talks The Town with Co-Star Blake Lively

- Ben Affleck interviews his The Town co-star Blake Lively for Interview Magazine. Lively, who plays Affleck's ex-girlfriend, a 29-year old drug-dealing single mother, jokes her way through the interview. They are clearly comfortable with each other--they shot a sex scene together on her first day of shooting.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 3, 2010 4:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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