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Thompson on Hollywood

LAFF Mid-Fest Report: Reviews, Exclusive Clips and Ursula Meier Talks Oscar-Worthy 'Sister' (VIDEO)

Halfway through Film Independent's LA Film Fest, we've sampled a spectrum of films, among them a gala premiere ("Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"), an indie debut ("Pincus"), indie gems ("Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Gimme the Loot"), a foreign stunner ("Sister") and powerful docs ("The Invisible War," "Birth Story").
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 19, 2012 7:17 PM
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Academy Announces Summer Long 'Last 70mm Film Festival'

As the film industry prepares to say good-bye--despite the efforts of celluloid holdout Christoher Nolan-- not only to Kodak but to film stock itself, the Academy is celebrating 70mm films all summer long with "The Last 70mm Film Festival." It will kick off at its Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on July 9 with "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and a reunion of its cast (including Mickey Rooney, Carl Reiner, Jonathan Winters, Stan Freberg and casting director Lyn Stalmaster). Check out the lineup below. More details will be available here.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 19, 2012 5:00 PM
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LAFF Keynote Speaker Cinedigm CEO Chris McGurk: Production and Distribution Revolution

Continuing an honorable tradition, CInedigm Chairman and CEO Chris McGurk, who has been around the block a few times, from Disney/Miramax and Universal to MGM/United Artists and Overture Films, gave the Los Angeles Film Festival State of the Independents keynote speech Saturday morning. He sees this year as a watershed transition to digital: we are in the middle of a production and distribution revolution, he says.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2012 1:18 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Los Angeles Film Festival Opens with Woody Allen: Advance Picks

Of course folks will flock to see the big ticket items at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which opened Thursday night with Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love," complete with the self-deprecatory filmmaker, who said, "I'm here to introduce the cast. If you like it, tell your friends and Sony so they don't put it in the witness protection program."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2012 9:54 PM
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Review Roundup: 'To Rome with Love' Not Wooing Critics

Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" had its stateside debut last night at the LA Film Fest, and American critics seem slightly more wooed by the director's latest loveletter to a foreign city than the Italians, but not by much. Review round-up below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2012 3:03 PM
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Fox Searchlight and Red Flag Debut Busy Duplass Bros' 'The Do-Deca-Pentathlon' On VOD

Writer-directors Jay and Mark Duplass headed into SXSW with an unusual distribution deal for their long-in-the-works micro-budget brother comedy "The Do-Deca-Pentathlon." They set it up at both Fox Searchlight, which released "Cyrus," and indie Red Flag Releasing. The VOD release date is June 26, and a theatrical release follows July 6.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 14, 2012 7:21 PM
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Watch: EXCLUSIVE TRAILER of Alex Karpovsky's 'Red Flag,' LAFF Premiere June 15

Yet another indie multi-tasker is New York actor Alex Karpovsky, who does not sit down between gigs, of which he has many. His fifth feature "Red Flag"--not to be confused with his psychological thriller "Rubberneck," which debuted at Tribeca in April-- premieres at the LA Film Festival on June 15. (Watch our exclusive trailer below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2012 6:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment

LA Film Fest Soft-Launches with Virgin Airlines Commercial 'Departure Date,' Tiffany Sponsors Sundance Fundraiser

"I didn't know this job was about fund-raising," said new Los Angeles Film Festival director Stephanie Allain at Monday night's downtown soft-launch party in advance of the real opening night Thursday of Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love." This premiere was for Virgin Australia/Virgina Atlantic/Virgin America commercial "Departure Date."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 12, 2012 8:38 PM
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SIFF Review: 'The Savoy King' Celebrates Harlem Jazz Drummer Chick Webb

“Music is a universal combiner," says Dr. Muriel Petioni, the mother of Harlem medicine, in the first few measures of Jeff Kaufman’s spirited window into the culture of the Harlem music and dance movement in the 1920’s and '30’s. This is a perfect descriptor for "The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America."
  • By John W. Comerford
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  • June 11, 2012 8:39 PM
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SIFF Virgin Diary 3: 'Wuthering Heights,' 'Not A Hipster' Interview, Award Winners (VIDEO)

My third day began with Andrea Arnold's exquisite "Wuthering Heights" at Capital Hill's Harvard Exit theater, built in 1925--- a charming theater and a long film to watch on a sunny Seattle afternoon, but it was well worth it.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 11, 2012 12:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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