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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Video: Doc Resurrect Dead Explores Toynbee Tiles, Wins Prize, Kickstarter Raises $13,000

One of the surprise word-of-mouth hits at Sundance comes from an unexpected source: first-time filmmaker Jon Foy, of Philadelphia, who landed in the Sundance competition with Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Veteran doc filmmaker Doug Block (Home Page, The Kids Grow Up), who runs the doc community site The D-Word, got a call from the rookie Philadelphia filmmaker and film school dropout, seeking advice. He had been toiling away for more than five years on a doc about the Toynbee Tiles, which crop up embedded in roads around the country, from the North East spreading all the way to South America, inspiring many theories about their origin. UPDATE: The doc won the best directing documentary prize Saturday at Sundance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2011 1:39 AM
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Sundance Video: Robert Redford at Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey

Sundance Video: Robert Redford at  Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey
Sundance Festival and Channel founder Robert Redford opened up the Fest with his customary press conference, where he talked about new Sundance initiatives and Slamdance. As a big supporter of the doc Buck, about the original inspiration for his film The Horse Whisperer, it was no surprise when the film sold to Sundance Selects. Redford opened the fest with the debut screening of Sing Your Song, a doc about his old friend, Harry Belafonte, 82.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 8:32 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Sundance DealBook & Interviews, Oscar Nomination Reactions, Projects in Production

SUNDANCE DEALBOOK
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:57 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Kenner, Weiss Talk HBO Doc "When Strangers Click"

HBO doc When Strangers Click premieres Valentine's Day. Below, director Oscar nominee Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and producer Marc Weiss answer some questions about why they made this film about finding love and human connection online, as well as their process: What was the most surprising thing you learned during the making of When Stranger Click?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future
The best film that I saw at Sundance was triple threat Miranda July's The Future, an accessibly entertaining wild ride of a sci-fi relationship movie, in which she casts herself as the bad guy and you know that she is likely to leave her lunky boyfriend, played by Hamish Linklater--one of the talent discoveries of the festival (who is not, thankfully, an it-girl). A New Yorker writer, video artist and performer, July's voice comes through loud and clear. After winning kudos for 2005 Sundance entry Me You and Everyone We Know (which first broke out John Hawkes, this year's Winter's Bone Oscar-nominee), she went on to complete a book of short stories and a performance piece which she then used as the starting point for The Future. Breaking up with boyfriend Miguel Arteta also contributed to this narrative.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 7:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Doc/Fiction Hybrid The Arbor Wins Guardian First Film Award

Clio Barnard's film The Arbor has won The Guardian's First Film Award. The film is a about English playwright Andrea Dunbar, best known for Rita, Sue and Bob Too, an autobiographical sexual-adventures drama about teenage girls living in the slums of Bradford, England. The play was turned into a film by Alan Clarke in 1986 and caused un uproar with residents of the Buttershaw council housing estate, where Dunbar lived.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 6:29 AM
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Oscar Watch: True Grit vs. Social Network, Bening vs. Portman

Oscar Watch: True Grit vs. Social Network, Bening vs. Portman
How quickly momentum shifts in the Oscar race after nominations reveal the lay of the land. Every single one of the Gurus 'O Gold who was voting for The Social Network to win best picture switched to The King's Speech. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Director Watch: Thomson Considers David O. Russell; 12 Things Learned When A Clintwood Film Knocks

Check out David Thomson's state-of-a-director commentary. Below, we've highlighted nine points, one question and one conclusion on the state of The Fighter director, David O. Russell.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 5:42 AM
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Sundance Dealwatch: Fox Searchlight Picks Up World Rights to Another Earth

When Fox Searchlight returned to Los Angeles from Sundance and screened micro-budget sci-fi romance Another Earth for the rest of the gang on the studio lot, the movie played so well that execs were encouraged to acquire the rest of the available territories on the film. So the movie did go for more than Searchlight's initial $750,000 for English-speaking territories. The official total figure is $2.75 million for world rights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 5:26 AM
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Trailer Watch: IFC's Peep World

Check out the trailer for Peep World, from director (and Coming to America, The Nutty Professor and SNL writer) Barry Blaustein. The film got picked up by IFC in Toronto last September. À la Little Miss Sunshine or Running with Scissors, the story follows a day in the lives of a dysfunctional family forced to come to terms with their intimate secrets, newly exposed with the publication of the youngest siblings's novel. Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Swartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji P. Henson and Ron Rifkin star...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 2:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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