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Thompson on Hollywood

'Gimme the Loot' Director Adam Leon Talks His Indie Bronx Adventure, Meryl Streep and 'Barry Lyndon'

Adam Leon's "Gimme the Loot," which took home the Best Narrative Feature award at SXSW 2012, opens in Los Angeles this weekend with a 96% Fresh rating to back it. The festival hit, which also went to Cannes, New Directors/New Films, the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle Film Festivals, got the attention of director Jonathan Demme when the Jacob Burns Film Center (in which both Demme and Leon are active) screened it for him. He was happy to come on board as Presenter when IFC approached him. Leon tells Charlie Rose that Demme thought it was an "ego boost" to be asked, but Leon insists it was his honor.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 28, 2013 4:17 PM
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Wes Anderson's Sprawling Period Pic 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Goes to Fox Searchlight (PRADA VIDEO)

Wes Andersdon's eagerly awaited next film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which just wrapped principal photography at Studio Babelsberg in Germany, has been snapped up not by his last distributor, Focus Features, which released "Moonrise Kingdom" to good numbers and a writing Oscar nomination for Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola (who have a perfume commercial making the rounds, see below) but by Fox Searchlight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 28, 2013 2:13 PM
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'My Life with Cleopatra' Memoir Reissued for Notorious Elizabeth Taylor Film's 50th Anniversary

Its questionable status has long been eclipsed by other unnatural disasters, like “Mars Needs Moms,” “Cutthroat Island” and that darling of revisionists, “Heaven’s Gate.” But for a long time it was “Cleopatra” that ranked in the public consciousness as Hollywood’s greatest, and certainly best publicized, disaster. (Think “Howard the Duck” in a toga, an asp at his throat.)
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 28, 2013 2:03 PM
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Martin Scorsese's 'King of Comedy' to Close 2013 Tribeca Film Festival

Rupert Pupkin. The name slides off the tongue like luggage off an airport carousel. And as portrayed by Robert De Niro -- post Jake LaMotta, pre Noodles Aaronsen -- he is one of the more memorable pieces of cultural/emotional baggage produced by the American screen. A hero of dubious sanity. Dubious worth. More cringe-worthy than an episode of “Two Broke Girls.” He is “The King of Comedy.” And he will be closing the Tribeca Film Festival on April 27.
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 28, 2013 2:00 PM
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SXSW Grand Jury Winner 'Short Term 12' Goes to Cinedigm, Plans Awards Push for Brie Larson

Cinedigm has snapped up all North American and Latin American rights to Destin Daniel Cretton's SXSW Grand Jury and Audience award winner "Short Term 12," starring Brie Larson as a troubled foster care worker. The company is eyeing a late summer release, with an awards push for its star, who gives a "career-defining performance," says Vincent Scordino, VP of Cinedigm theatrical acquisitions. "'Short Term 12' is exactly the kind of film we are looking to champion as we expand our theatrical presence."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 28, 2013 1:47 PM
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Brad Pitt Talks Tentpole 'World War Z,' Unused Budapest Scenes and Fast vs. Slow Zombies in New EW

Much has been reported on "World War Z"'s laborious trek to the big screen (June 21), plagued with re-shoots and re-writes -- all the while taking the title of Most Expensive Zombie Movie Ever Made. Despite rumors of conflict between director Marc Forster ("Quantum of Solace") and his producer-star, it's up to Brad Pitt's to turn this movie into a winner for all concerned. And so he sits down with Entertainment Weekly (which hits newsstands March 29), and discusses his newfound admiration for the big-budget tentpole, the stealthy zombies in the film, and why he loosened up on his original political interests in the project.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 28, 2013 1:43 PM
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Writers Guild Awards Set For February 1, 2014

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced the date for the 2014 Writers Guild Awards' simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York: Saturday, February 1, 2014.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 28, 2013 1:39 PM
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"The Revolutionary Optimists" Avoids Perils of "Indian Poverty Porn"

Ever since the success of Oscar-winning films "Born into Brothels" and "Slumdog Millionaire," India's slums and impoverished children have been a popular topic for Western filmmakers. Accusations of "poverty porn" are inevitable, however, and, when it comes to this former British colony, there's always a question of whether these films perpetuate age-old stereotypes of some backward "Orientalist" land, plagued with dirt, poverty and illness, all wrapped in exotic colors and bouncing music.
  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • March 28, 2013 1:09 PM
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Louisiana International Film Festival Appoints Former LACMA Film Curator Ian Birnie as Programming Director

The Louisiana International Film Festival (April 18-21) is quickly approaching, and has announced its appointment of former LACMA film curator Ian Birnie as its programming director. The fest will announce its full slate on April 1 -- no foolin'!
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 28, 2013 12:14 PM
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Deadline Approaches for Film Independent's Fall 2013 Screenwriting Lab

The deadline for Film Independent's Screenwriting Lab is fast approaching. By Monday, April 1st, writers may submit a feature-length narrative screenplay for consideration in this five week program in LA.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • March 28, 2013 7:15 AM
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