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Thompson on Hollywood

Best of the Week: LA Film Fest Premieres, Reviews, Interviews, In-the-Works and More

This week on TOH, we offer 10 important takeaways (some courtesy of Chris Nolan) from the Produced By Conference 2012, both Woody Allen's underwhelming "To Rome with Love" and Pixar's "Paperman" had premieres at LA Film Fest, modern Gothic screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith talks "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and more!
  • By TOH!
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  • June 15, 2012 4:24 PM
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Weekend Preview: Must-Sees Are Shelton's 'Your Sister's Sister' & Art Doc 'Marina Abramovic'

We'll waste no time on "Rock of Ages" (47% rotten) and "That's My Boy" (14% rotten), focusing instead on the two best films opening this weekend. Contrary to its tepid banner ads, Lynn Shelton's "Your Sister's Sister" is refreshingly simple and authentic. Per her improv-based directorial style, stars Mark Duplass (who also starred in her "Humpday"), Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt are a joy to watch as they navigate through a charged romantic triangle involving two sisters.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 14, 2012 1:31 PM
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Streep Lays Out Women's Pic Studio Stats at Women in Film Awards: "Why Don't They Want the Money?"

If women make up 51 percent of all moviegoers, “Why don’t they want the money?” asked Meryl Streep at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards Tuesday night. She cited five movies in less than five years aimed at women, costing a fraction of the cost of studio tentpoles, that grossed $1.6 billion combined worldwide...
  • By Valentina Valentini
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  • June 13, 2012 3:13 PM
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'Safety Not Guaranteed' Director Colin Trevorrow Uses The Duplass Effect on TV Stars Plaza and Johnson

Want to make a good movie? Think Seattle and serial collaborators Mark and Jay Duplass. Colin Trevorrow does not pull back on his praise of Mark Duplass, who helped to produce as well as starring in "Safety Not Guaranteed," which launched at Sundance in January to gushes of praise (here's Time).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2012 7:17 AM
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CASTING WATCH: Aronofsky's 'Noah' Wants Winstone, Watson & Wife; Penelope Cruz Joins 'Counselor,' Reteams with Almodovar

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is adding to its ark. Aussie Russell Crowe will play the titular Biblical character, while Brit Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast," "The Departed," "Hugo") has been offered the villain role. Emma Watson is in talks to join as Ila, a girl rescued by Noah, a role Dakota Fanning had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 12, 2012 4:28 PM
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Interview: 'Your Sister's Sister' Director Lynn Shelton Talks Mark Duplass, Acting, and an Indie Model that Works (VIDEO)

Slow and steady sometimes does win the race. Indie filmmakers would do well to emulate Lynn Shelton. Trained as an actress and photographer, Shelton shot documentaries and music videos and has been championed by film festivals at her home base Seattle...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2012 4:28 PM
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The Paramount Picture: 116 Stars, from Indiana Jones, Captain Kirk, Jack Dawson and Ethan Hunt to Aurora Greenaway, Danny Zuko, Benjamin Button and The Godfather

The Paramount Picture at Vanity Fair (where you can access close-ups of the faces) celebrates the studio's 100 years with 116 of its "greatest talents ever to work at the studio." Can you match the stars with their iconic studio roles? Tom Cruise fed the studio for decades, from "Top Gun" through "Mission Impossible"...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2012 1:44 PM
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INTERVIEW: Modern Gothic Master Seth Grahame-Smith Talks 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,' 'Dark Shadows'

Novelist and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith is a gothic mash-up master. He broke the mold with a title that caught everyone's sensibilities hilariously off-guard: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." On June 22nd, his adaptation of his own bestseller hits screens: producer Burton and director Timur Bekmambetov's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 12, 2012 1:40 PM
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Produced By Conference 2012: Ten Takeaways for Filmmakers, from Chris Nolan to Peter Berg

More than 1200 attendees jammed the sold-out fourth annual session of the Produced By Conference on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City this weekend for panels and mixers that included some of the industry’s biggest players, from Christopher Nolan to Peter Berg.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • June 11, 2012 7:35 AM
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Immersed in Movies: Dissecting 'Prometheus' with Scripter Damon Lindelof and VFXers

While it's not surprising that critics and journos are deeply divided over "Prometheus," it helps to have low expectations. In my case, I came away with more than I expected. I found Ridley Scott's return to sci-fi enthralling. He seems to have transcended the "Alien" universe by combining it with "Blade Runner."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 8, 2012 6:25 PM
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