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Thompson on Hollywood

Exclusive Clip & Interview with 'Oslo, August 31st' director Joachim Trier

The one-two punch of Norwegian writer-director Joachim Trier's "Reprise" and "Oslo, August 31st" makes him one of Scandinavia's finest directorial exports, joining the likes of Denmark's Lars von Trier (a distant relative) and Susanne Bier. "Oslo" is bold and breathtaking.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 21, 2012 10:00 AM
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Costumes are Earthy, Intricate, and Architectural for "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Fact is, we have fairy tale fatigue. But something about "Snow White and the Huntsman" did catch our eye: its gorgeous, haunting costumes. The trailer for Rupert Sanders' upcoming translation of the Grimm's story shows earthy, exquisite, architectural clothing. The credit goes to Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 19, 2012 1:35 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Previewing 'ParaNorman' in the 'Land of Misfit Toys'

It's definitely a banner year for stop-motion. First, Aardman pushed the craft forward digitally with "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" (despite a lackluster box office response in the U.S.). Next, we have "ParaNorman" (Aug. 17), Laika's highly-anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed "Coraline," and, finally, Tim Burton's very personal and ambitious "Frankenweenie" (Oct. 5). Speaking of Focus Features' "ParaNorman," I was invited once again to the Portland-based Laika a few months ago to cover a set visit. My, how they've advanced in four years. It's a different culture -- a different world. Yes, you can still sense the Henry Selick influence -- the Yoda of this studio. But it's now Travis Knight's place: the gifted artist and protege-turned mogul, who has become Laika's John Lasseter.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 18, 2012 9:44 AM
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Weekend Preview: 'Dictator,' 'Polisse,' Pregnant Movie Stars & Vibrators

"The Dictator" rules with provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen, and here's what you'll get from "What To Expect When You're Expecting": easy laughs, strategically placed music and one-dimensional characters. Jennifer Lopez is the soul of the movie (if there is one), Chace Crawford is the eye candy and Elizabeth Banks is the lovable mess. The rest are forgettable. You'd think a movie about the creation of vibrators, "Hysteria," would be hilarious, sexy and frank. Instead, it's lands between dull and creepy (even if it is the tame vibrator comedy you could watch with your mother). Per usual, the real gems arriving this weekend are foreign: "Polisse," "Beyond the Black Rainbow" and "Elena" - Criticwire's pick of the week. There's also "Animerican Animal," "Viriginia" and "Battleship." Details and trailers below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 17, 2012 4:05 PM
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Sundance Lab Fellows Logan Kibens and Sharon Greene Debut 'Operator' in Screenplay Reading Series

Writer-director Logan Kibens and co-writer Sharon Greene debuted "Operator" Monday evening at the Ivy Substation in Culver City as part of the Sundance Institute Screenplay Reading Series. "Operator," a tech-savvy (and tech-wary) relationship comedy, was selected for the highly selective Sundance Screenwriting Labs in January.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 17, 2012 10:53 AM
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Terrence Malick "Status" Report: One-Time 'Lawless,' 'To the Wonder,' 'Knight of Cups'

Cannes would be happy to have anything from Terrence Malick; the fest bestowed upon him their Palme d'Or last year for "The Tree of Life," which went on to top many ten-bests of 2011 and even landed a coveted spot on Roger Ebert's greatest films of all time.
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • May 16, 2012 12:29 PM
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Q & A: Rodrigo Garcia and Jon Avnet Break the Mold with Star-Powered, Women-Centric Web Channel, WIGS

WIGS is a YouTube channel, but don't let the platform scare you off. Filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia ("Albert Nobbs") and producer-director Jon Avnet ("Fried Green Tomatoes") have created what may be the first scripted, professionally developed web content aimed at women: WIGS. Starting with the launch of its first series Monday...
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 15, 2012 11:26 AM
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Career Watch: The Commodification of Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp's career has been set on cruise control for years, and it's worked splendidly. He's Hollywood's highest-paid actor along with Will Smith, received not one but two Golden Globe nominations in 2011 (for two of his worst films) and is happy getting paid stupid amounts of money even though he agrees it's ridiculous and does not find it stimulating.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 14, 2012 4:12 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Trailers From Hell: Brian Trenchard-Smith on 'Daughters of Darkness'

Starting Monday, toh! is proud to broaden your horizons by offering three Trailers from Hell a week for your viewing pleasure. Filmmaker Joe Dante and his partner Elizabeth Stanley have been nurturing this site for a few years now and have built up a sizable collection of trailers complete with voice-over narration. Erudite film fan and collector Dante of "Gremlins" fame often contributes himself, and pulls in other filmmakers such as Allan Arkush and John Badham and screenwriters such as Josh Olson and Larry Karaszewski to provide their commentary. It works!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2012 12:45 PM
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Columbia's Women Filmmakers, from Holofcener to Cholodenko: Not as Easy As It Looks (Video)

The elephant in the room at last week's oddly titled Columbia University Film Festival panel "What Glass Ceiling? The Remarkable Success of Columbia's Women Filmmakers," showcasing filmmakers Lisa Cholodenko, Nicole Holofcener, Shari Springer Berman and Cherien Dabis was how tough it is for these indie filmmakers to be successful at all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2012 6:42 AM
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