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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Raising 'Kane' in 'Lincoln'

Steven Spielberg has always shown a reverence for Orson Welles and "Citizen Kane" with his trademark use of light shining through chiaroscuro-style. Not surprisingly, he uses it effectively in "Lincoln." Plus, there's an early nod to "Kane" with a close-up of Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally) through a mirror on the dresser.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 16, 2012 3:00 PM
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Ben Stiller and His Penis Saluted By Friends and Colleagues at American Cinematheque Ball

Ben Stiller's friends and colleagues raucously celebrated the actor/comedian's career at the American Cinematheque's yearly benefit ball at the Beverly Hilton Thursday night. Pals who showed up to give sincere or more often, irreverent, in-person tributes were Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jack Black, Patton Oswalt, Laura Dern, Andy Dick, David Cross, Stiller's wife Christine Taylor and "Tropic Thunder" co-writer Justin Theroux (who was responsible for the tribute video that is captured in part below).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 16, 2012 11:49 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Kubrick's Early Odyssey: 'Fear and Desire' and 'Killer's Kiss'

As the much-anticipated Stanley Kubrick exhibition opened at LACMA on November 1, the museum hosts a parallel film retrospective of the director's 13 feature films, screening in chronological order. This puts Kubrick's two least-seen yet remarkable works, "Fear and Desire" and "Killer's Kiss," as the inaugural double-header for the film series on November 9.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 9, 2012 3:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Mendes Talks Bond Resurrection in 'Skyfall'

Why all the swooning over "Skyfall?" Because, oddly enough, after 50 years we've only just begun exploring James Bond's troubled psyche, and because director Sam Mendes has brilliantly made up for lost time by engineering the best possible conceit: an existential crisis for our iconic superspy...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 8, 2012 4:27 PM
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Rating 'Psycho,' Behind-the-Scenes 'Hitchcock' and the Universal Hitchcock Fifteen

I got over the awful HBO "The Girl," starring Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren, by watching the entire Dick Cavett Hitchcock interview. I had more fun with Thursday night's AFI FEST world premiere of Sacha Gervasi's light-hearted "Hitchcock," starring a superb ensemble led by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren as the master auteur and his collaborator and wife Alma Reville, who the director thanked when he won his AFI Achievement Award, but I confess that I'd rather stick with the real thing.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 2, 2012 2:23 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Previewing 'Rise of the Guardians'

DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians" (November 21) is an exquisite and enchanting adaptation of William Joyce's magnificent and epic "Guardian" book series, which reinvents some of our favorite fairy tale icons. First-time director Peter Ramsey, who cut his teeth doing storyboards for David Fincher and Spike Jonze before moving into animation at DreamWorks, has wisely upped the superhero quotient in "Avengers"-like fashion, which makes for a more spectacular movie.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 1, 2012 9:00 PM
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Makeup Artists Talk Challenges of 'Cloud Atlas': Multiple Characters, Movie Stars Hanks & Berry, Yellowface & Political Correctness

Tom Hanks and Halle Berry have starred in a combined 88 films, so when tasked to transform two of Hollywood's most familiar faces, “Cloud Atlas'” hair, make-up and prosthetics designers Jeremy Woodhead and Daniel Parker had only one place to start: the nose.
  • By Amy Nicholson
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  • November 1, 2012 2:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments

CHALLENGE! Take David Thomson's Second Stump-the-Film-Buff Quiz

San Francisco-based critic David Thomson, the brainy Brit behind the must-own Biographical Dictionary of Film, has now written a spanking new film history, "The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies." We asked Thomson to concoct another demanding quiz, this time derived from info contained in his new tome. He thinks this one is even harder than the last. Impossible you say? We challenge you to test your film buff cred.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 31, 2012 3:46 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Women in Film Expands Outreach with Speed Mentoring; Top Ten Pieces of Advice

Speed Mentor Pamela Rodi, President/Creative Director of Rodi Marketing
"There wasn't one woman, not one woman, that I could look up to and say 'I want to be that woman." Things have changed in the 50 years since producer Marion Rosenberg started in the entertainment industry, said the Women in Film trustee and mentoring co-chair at the organization's inaugural Speed Mentoring session on October 29. She was talking with twenty mentors and twenty mentees, comprised of WIF members who were chosen based on the strength of their proposed questions.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 31, 2012 3:01 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Talking 'Cloud Atlas' VFX

"Cloud Atlas" might not approach the VFX intensity or complexity of "The Matrix" trilogy or "Speed Racer," but it still required the same level of sophistication and flexibility that the Wachowskis demand. After all, you've got six stories about reincarnation spanning 500 years with the same actors in multiple roles...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 29, 2012 5:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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