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Thompson on Hollywood

Back to the Future: The Adventures of Andre and Wally B

Back in 1984--two years after Tron, Lucasfilm backed what we can consider to be the first Pixar short, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B, written and directed by Alvy Ray Smith, animated by John Lasseter, with sound by Ben Burtt and help from the big Cray computer. Delightful. Steve Jobs bought this unit of Lucasfilm and turned it into Pixar two years later.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2011 1:52 AM
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Scorsese and Luhrmann Go 3-D with Hugo Cabret, The Great Gatsby

Haven't the studios figured out yet that discerning audiences consider 3-D to be a negative? Warner Bros. got it when they returned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 to 2-D. Why downgrade a Tiffany property?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2011 12:52 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: Editors Award Dramatic Feature to The Social Network, Doc to Exit Through the Gift Shop

Oscar Watch: Editors Award Dramatic Feature to The Social Network, Doc to Exit Through the Gift Shop
At Saturday's ACE editing awards---where The Social Network won best dramatic feature, Exit Through the Gift Shop won best documentary, and Toy Story 3 won best animated feature, forecasting likely Oscar wins--I was moved by Steven Spielberg's warm tribute to ACE career award-winner Michael Kahn, age 75. (Video of show, tribute reel, interview with Kahn and full list of TV and film winners are below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 20, 2011 6:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five
Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are quite strong.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 11:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Video: Susanne Bier Talks In a Better World

After her foray into Hollywood filmmaking with DreamWorks' Things We Lost in the Fire, which boasted impeccable performances from Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro but was too dark to yield much box office, Denmark's star director Susanne Bier returned home to build yet another organic, thoughtful movie with her long-time collaborator, Anders Thomas Jensen. Bier, who had the first of her two children a year after she graduated from film school, feels supported in Denmark. She and Jensen go off to a retreat where she paces and acts out scenes, and he writes them up. "We are both obsessed with moral issues," she says. "We usually have one or two characters we are passionate about. How would we react in each case? Are we morally sound?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 2:09 AM
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Weekend Preview: Unknown, I Am Number Four, Big Mommas, Last Lions, Putty Hill

It's no surprise that indie offerings Putty Hill and the doc The Last Lions score the best reviews of the motley crew of movies that opened for the holiday weekend. Unknown, Liam Neeson's follow-up to sleeper hit Taken is next.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 1:18 AM
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NYT Critics Want to Interact--from a Safe Distance

NYT Critics Want to Interact--from a Safe Distance
It's all very well for newspapers to try and interact with their readers online. What strikes me about the NYTimes' effort to engage movie fans with film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis is how they are choosing to respond to their readers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2011 9:22 AM
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  • 14 Comments

Weekly Wrap: EFM, Festivals, Awards, Counting Down to Oscar, Superheroes, Director Families

AWARDS
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 18, 2011 9:01 AM
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The Real James Franco Goes on Facebook and Twitter, Asks Apatow for Oscarcast Advice

As we've said before, James Franco is everywhere. Well, now he's on Twitter and Facebook, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2011 8:07 AM
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Development Watch: Kunis/Franco in Oz, DiCaprio/Scorsese's Wolf, Firth's Fair Lady (UPDATED)

- UPDATE 5/18: Michelle Williams will play Glinda, The Good Witch in Oz, The Great and Powerful.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 18, 2011 7:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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