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Thompson on Hollywood

'Two Lives' Stars Liv Ullman in Unbelievable True Story: Stony Brook Film Festival Review (TRAILER)

All too often, “based on a true story” is just a cop out for a lame narrative (“Don’t blame us it’s true!”). Sometimes, though, it’s a way of couching the incredible in a way that prepares the audience for a plotline that's too far out to be fiction. The latter applies to “Two Lives,” which German director Georg Maas, after 10 years of scripting and casting, brought to the Stony Brook Film Festival Saturday and a crowd that gives short shrift to the overly arty or the preciously contrived. They all said 'Wow.'
  • By John Anderson
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  • July 29, 2013 1:44 PM
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Trailers from Hell: Allan Arkush on Adrian Lyne's Mega-Hit Psychosexual Thriller 'Fatal Attraction,' Starring Douglas and Close

Trailers from Hell starts the week with director Allan Arkush introducing the trailer to Adrian Lyne's well-made yet wildly sexist thriller "Fatal Attraction," starring Michael Douglas as a philandering husband who becomes terrorized by an unstable fling (in the form of Glenn Close).
  • By Trailers From Hell
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  • July 29, 2013 1:34 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics Nabs Art-World Mystery Doc 'Tim's Vermeer,' Directed by Teller of Penn & Teller Fame

Sony Pictures Classics has snapped up worldwide rights to documentary "Tim's Vermeer," directed by Teller of illusionist duo Penn & Teller. The film centers on Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor who sets out to solve one of the art world's great mysteries: How did 17th-century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer paint photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography?
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 29, 2013 1:04 PM
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Michael Moore Mounts His 9th Traverse City Film Festival with 150 Screenings

Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival, celebrating its ninth year, runs July 31 through August 4 in Traverse City, Michigan. The running theme of the festival is "Just Great Movies," and this year's program lineup boasts over 150 films, with a record number of industry guests invited. Kicking off the fest is Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," while Brit documentarian Michael Apted will appear in person with "56 Up."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 29, 2013 12:54 PM
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In the Works: Details Emerge from Joe Swanberg's Upcoming 'Happy Christmas,' Starring Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick

Writer-director and actor Joe Swanberg has a new film, "Drinking Buddies," currently on VOD and in theaters this August, but that doesn't mean he's taking a summer vacation. He's editing his next film, "Happy Christmas," and has teased out some details about the cast, including the roles played by Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham and Melanie Lynskey.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 29, 2013 12:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

New York Film Festival to Open with Paul Greengrass Oscar Hopeful 'Captain Phillips,' Starring Tom Hanks

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that its upcoming 51st New York Film Festival will open with Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks in the real-life tale of a cargo ship captain contending with Somali pirates.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • July 29, 2013 12:31 PM
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WATCH: John Williams Describes How He'll Score J.J. Abrams' Upcoming 'Stars Wars'

Composer John Williams is set to score the next installment in the "Star Wars" franchise, "Episode VII," to be directed by J.J. Abrams. Williams has scored all six entries in the series. Watch a video below of the Oscar-winning composer explaining how he'll score the upcoming film.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 29, 2013 12:15 PM
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WATCH: Jane Fonda Portrays Nancy Reagan in 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' (TRAILER)

A new clip from "Lee Daniels' The Butler," as it is now known, shows Jane Fonda stealing a scene as Nancy Reagan alongside Forest Whitaker, who plays a White House butler.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • July 28, 2013 4:09 PM
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The Nine Best Quotes from Martin Scorsese's Essay on the Language of Cinema

Martin Scorsese pens an inspiring, spiritual, and comprehensive essay for The New York Review of Books called "The Persisting Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema." The whole thing is worth a read, but we have selected some key highlights from the original piece.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 28, 2013 2:46 PM
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Arthouse Audit: 'Blue Jasmine' Exceeds 'Midnight in Paris' Debut in Top Specialized Opening of 2013, Best Ever in Summer

Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" continues the auteur's recent rebound to levels similar to his heyday in the 1970s and 80s. His fifth consecutive release from Sony Pictures Classics scored his career-best best opening result (beating "Midnight in Paris") with a six-theater, three-day total of over $600,000. This number is a record for the June-August period for any live-action limited release.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 28, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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