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Thompson on Hollywood

Classic Cinema at Bologna, Perils of a Paulette, from 'Guilt Trip' to 'Vera Cruz'

It's time to head to the Pizza Maggiore to join more than a thousand people for a free outdoor screening of "Vera Cruz," the stunning Technicolor western directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Burt Lancaster, whose daughter Joanna charmingly introduces the film by narrating a slideshow of photographs of her exceedingly photogenic father. Il Cinema Ritrovato's artistic director, Peter von Bagh, compares the prescient and influential 1954 film to its successors, the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone and the brutal ones of Sam Peckinpah.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • June 29, 2013 10:21 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Circling the Airfield: Why Stony Brook Film Festival Booked Plane Crash Doc 'TWA Flight 800'

The Stony Brook Film Festival in New York (July 18-27) is the quintessential local movie event. Its director, Alan Inkles, sells out all his screenings, every year, because he knows exactly who his audience is, what it likes and where it lives. Which is why "TWA Flight 800" was a no-brainer: The site where the flight in question went down -- or was shot down -- is not so many miles from the state university where his festival takes place.
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 29, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Frameline Reviews: Sweet, Sincere 'G.B.F,' Riveting Human Rights Doc 'Born This Way,' AIDS Panic Drama 'Test' and More

The Frameline Film Festival wraps up this weekend in San Francisco with a fascinating array of docs and features about gay lives both closeted and open including the hilarious teen comedy "G.B.F." and gripping human rights doc "Born This Way."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • June 28, 2013 4:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

33rd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: Life and Films Through a Jew(ish) Lens

Film festivals are just about perpetual temptations in the San Francisco Bay Area. The discerning filmgoer here has to pick and choose her obsessions. One of mine is the well-programmed, easily-accessible San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, running July 25 through August 12, whose 33rd annual program was just announced at its ritually haimishe press conference (Bagels n'schmear! Strong coffee! And fresh plums just plucked from one of the festival employee's tree!).
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • June 27, 2013 11:39 AM
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Review: The Hitchcock 9 Moves to LACMA UPDATE

The carefully-orchestrated release of Alfred Hitchcock's nine surviving silent films, freshly restored by the British Film Institute National Archive, is burnishing his already polished reputation. Cinephiles around the world are gathering to watch the movies, made between 1925 and 1929, in venues from coast to coast. The first United States performances were held in San Francisco under the auspices of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, at the venerable 1922 movie palace the Castro, on June 14, 15, and 16th. Following the Silent Film Festival's most excellent tradition, the movies were shown with live musical accompaniment, ranging from solo piano to the five-member Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • June 26, 2013 5:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

What Could Play at the 2013 Venice Film Festival? 'Gravity,' 'Captain Phillips,' '12 Years a Slave' and Malick in the Mix

With the fall festival season only two months away, speculation has begun as to what will play at Venice, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Variety and HitFix think Alfonso Cuaron's space epic "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks as the real-life cargo ship captain who conducted tense negotiations with Somali pirates in 2009, will be part of the lineup.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • June 24, 2013 2:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Palm Springs International Shortfest Announces Award Winners

The Palm Springs International Shortfest has announced its winners; a total of $110,000 in prizes, including $16,000 in cash prizes, were awarded in 19 categories. Full list of winners below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 24, 2013 12:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Palm Springs International Festival of Shorts: Panels, Experts, Sharp Intel

The best place to see the big ol’ Super Moon this weekend was probably Palm Springs, which was definitely the best place to watch the 300-odd shorts films assembled by Kathleen McInnis and the big ol’ Palm Springs International Festival of – yes -- Short Films. While the locals went to the movies, the hundreds of attending shorts-makers -- especially those who don’t want to remain shorts-makers -- networked, partied (same thing) and availed themselves of the panels McInnis coordinates each year, in an effort to provide news-you-can-use for fledgling directors, producers and writers.
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 23, 2013 9:59 PM
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LAFF Winners: 'Mother, I Love You,' 'Code Black' Win Jury Awards; Audience Awards Go to 'Short Term 12,' 'Wadjda,' 'American Revolutionary'

The DIRECTV Narrative Award for the finest narrative film in competition at the Los Angeles Festival went to Janis Nords’ "Mother, I Love You," making its U.S. premiere, and The DIRECTV Documentary Award for the finest documentary film in competition at the Festival went to Ryan McGarry for world premiere "Code Black." Destin Daniel Cretton’s drama "Short Term 12" (Cinedigm, August 23), Grace Lee’s documentary "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" and Haifaa Al Mansour’s Saudi Arabian drama "Wadjda" (Sony Pictures Classics, September 13) won the audience awards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2013 4:22 PM
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Frameline Reviews: 'I am Divine,' Sedaris Adaptation 'C.O.G.,' Franco-on-Friedkin Highlight LGBT Film Festival

Frameline celebrates its 37th birthday this year with the annual summer San Francisco film festival (June 20-30) highlighting American and international independent LGBT cinema. While gay representation in mainstream film still leaves something to be desired, we have festivals like this and LA's own OutFest (which kicks off with "C.O.G." July 11) to thank for meeting that need. Frameline begins Thursday with lesbian drama "Concussion," followed by the premiere screening of "White Night."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • June 20, 2013 3:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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