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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes Market: Elizabeth Banks Stars in Alan Ball's 'What's the Matter with Margie?'

A hit like "The Hunger Games" lifts all boats, and comedic actress Elizabeth Banks is one of them. She's set to star in "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood" creator Alan Ball's next dark comedy, "What's the Matter with Margie," which Myriad Pictures is selling at Cannes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 18, 2012 2:53 AM
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Cannes Market: Wachowskis' 'Cloud Atlas' Screens for Buyers; Butler, Worthington and McConaughey Get Funded for 'Thunder Run'

As the major studios focus on big-budget FX and brand-name tentpoles, and micro-indies spread like kudzu, the middle ranks of movies are being funded and produced outside the studio system. This is good and bad. 'Cloud Atlas' screened Tuesday at Cannes.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • May 17, 2012 11:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes: Audiard's Anti-Romance 'Rust & Bone' Showcases Cotillard

While director Jacques Audiard says that he wanted to offer a love story for these harsh economic times, his follow-up to Oscar-nominated "A Prophet," "Rust & Bone," which screened for press on Thursday morning, is far from a romance. It's more of a survival tale about violence and healing.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 17, 2012 6:50 AM
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Sony Pictures Classics Hits the Croisette, Buys 'Love is All You Need'

Always a major North American presence on the Cannes Croisette, Sony Pictures Classics covers the official selection and market screenings like a blanket. In many ways it's the unfinished material that tests the mettle of the buyers. Which movies are ready to bid on, sight unseen, off bits of footage and scripts?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2012 12:58 PM
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Cannes Market, New Image: 'Emperor' with Tommy Lee Jones

"Emperor," Peter Webber's political thriller centers on the tensions and uncertainties in the days just after the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. It's currently at the Cannes Market. General Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones, new picture above) is the de facto ruler of Japan, as the Supreme Commander of the occupying forces.  A member of his staff and leading Japanese expert General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? TOH's earlier write-up of "Emperor" explores director Peter Webber's career trajectory.  Webber previously directed "The Girl with a Pearl Earring," as well as episodes of HBO's "Six Feet Under."  
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 16, 2012 12:31 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Cannes Chases Stars, Polanski, Documentaries, Jury Press Conference Addresses Women Directors Issue

The competition jury at Cannes, as always, gave a press conference on opening day. Part of the jury's function is to provide the fest some badly needed star power--as well as a vacation from their day jobs, Ewan McGregor confessed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2012 12:19 PM
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Wes Anderson Goes Camping with 60s Cannes Opener 'Moonrise Kingdom'

As I entered the Palais this morning, Wes Anderson and his entourage were climbing the escalator in the Palais to embark on their first round of press and photo calls. For my money, Wes Anderson can be hit or miss. Sometimes his arch artificiality is winning ("The Fantastic Mr. Fox"), others, irritating ("The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou").
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2012 8:03 AM
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LAFF Announces Guest Director William Friedkin; Artists in Residence Elfman, Voltaggio & Saadiq

Continuing to move away from their Film Independent indie branding, The Los Angeles Film Festival has named Hollywood veteran filmmaker William Friedkin as Guest Director for the 2012 Festival. The director of "The Exorcist," "The French Connection" and "To Live and Die in L.A." will screen his latest, indie fest circuit film "Killer Joe."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 15, 2012 4:56 PM
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Weinstein Co. Dominates Cannes 2012 with Advance Pick-Ups UPDATED

As the 65th Cannes Film Festival ramps up for yet another glitzy opening on the Riviera May 16, with Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," Harvey Weinstein is showing his muscle. The French have never more adored the indie powerhouse, who scored five Oscars for "The Artist" last year, including Best Picture and Actor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 15, 2012 12:44 PM
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Six Things I Learned at the Maryland Film Festival, from the Indie Marketing Gap to Upcoming Divine Doc

To get some answers to the myriad questions facing filmmakers these days, directors Joe Swanberg ("V/H/S"), Craig Zobel ("Compliance") and Rachel Grady ("Detropia") hosted the fest's second annual one-day film conference, attended by a stimulating mix of knowledgeable filmmakers, exhibitors, distributors and journalists.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2012 12:34 PM
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