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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes Review and Roundup: James Gray's 'The Immigrant' vs. 'Nebraska'

A pair of films addressing very different aspects of the American experience, and set 92 years apart, have screened in Competition over the last couple of days: Alexander Payne’s "Nebraska" and James Gray’s "The Immigrant." Sad to say, I had expectations for both but didn’t engage with either, although admittedly my perceptions may be tainted by the cumulative effects of a nine-day onslaught of early morning screenings and inevitable late nights.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 24, 2013 1:14 PM
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Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 12:58 PM
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Cannes: Winners Announced for Critics Week, Cinefondation and Europa Cinemas Label Prize

A number of awards are being announced out of Cannes. "Salvo," a Mafia romance co-directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, has nabbed the Critics Week Grand Prize; UK director Clio Barnard's "The Selfish Giant," an update of the Oscar Wilde short story focusing on the friendship between two boys, has taken the Europa Cinemas Label prize as Best European Film in the Directors Fortnight section; and the Cinefondation and Short Films Jury, headed by Jane Campion, has awarded the 2013 Cinefondation prizes. Full list below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 11:52 AM
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San Francisco Silent Film Festival's July Program of Classics Stars Brooks, Garbo, Fairbanks and Films by Pabst, McCay, Ozu and More

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival ticks all of my boxes when it comes to enjoyable filmgoing experiences: it's brilliantly programmed, takes place in a dazzling and comfortable setting, unspools over a compact and encompassable time span, and has a respectful and joyous audience that enriches the experience. And (bonus) it's located in a neighborhood full of enticing and affordable eateries.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • May 23, 2013 11:17 PM
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Cinedigm Acquires Reggio/Glass/Kane's 'Visitors,' Presented by Soderbergh, to Debut at Toronto International Film Festival

Fans of the Godfrey Reggio/Philip Glass "Qatsi" trilogy can look forward to a fourth movie, "Visitors," which Cinedigm has acquired for North America. The black-and-white digital film will world premiere with a live Toronto Symphony Orchestra performance of Glass's score at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival this September. Cinedigm plans to release "Visitors" theatrically in 4K throughout Fall 2013.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2013 3:08 PM
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Cannes Film Festival Diary: Le Dernier Jour

“Carey Mulligan is an oyster.” So said a French photographer outside a cafe on the rue Hoch. Five of us were sitting around, with Christine in the middle, which is to say that everyone knew her; the photographer was a colleague from Paris, and was just coming from the red carpet at the Palais. He shoots conflict zones normally, but the red carpet pays, especially in Cannes. The photographer was particularly happy about a shot he got of Nicole Kidman french-kissing her husband Keith Urban. Someone asked him if he yells at the celebrities the way some photographers do. “Sometimes you have to,” he said. “ It’s so that they look at you.” Much more saleable. And that’s where Carey Mulligan came in. “She’s an oyster, she gives you nothing.” He makes a face, to give an idea of what Carey Mulligan looks like as an oyster. She is not smiling; she is impassive; she is closed. In fact she looks a little like her character in “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 23, 2013 1:18 PM
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Cannes Market: Weinstein Co. Nabs Stephen Frears' 'Philomena,' Starring Dench and Coogan

More news is coming in from the ever-busy Cannes Market. The Weinstein Company has snapped up the latest Stephen Frears film, "Philomena," a drama starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, with plans for an Oscar-friendly fall 2013 release.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 23, 2013 12:53 PM
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The Coens, Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan & Oscar Isaac Give Seven Easy Steps to Get To Know 'Llewyn Davis'

The Coen Bros' re-visit of the early folk music era in New York's Greenwich Village was certainly not lost in translation here in Cannes where it was received with almost universal affirmation earlier this week. "Inside Llewyn Davis" may also mark a turning point for actor Oscar Isaac, who's presence is in virtually every frame of the film; he even gets to show off his musical chops, while carrying the film about an unheralded folk singing talent who attempts to succeed solo after the suicide of his singing partner.
  • By Brian Brooks
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  • May 22, 2013 6:47 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Winding Refn Talks 'Only God Forgives': Cannes Press Conference, Review Roundup

"Only God Forgives" was unveiled Wednesday morning to the most divisive response at the Cannes festival thus far, and even with the smattering of boos and walkouts we’d hazard a guess that Nicolas Winding Refn couldn’t be more delighted by the reception. As empty, soulless, frenziedly art-directed viewing experiences go, "Only God Forgives" is one of the better examples. At the press conference following the screening, the Danish filmmaker expounded on his ultra-violent, hyper-stylized follow-up to "Drive," which features dismemberments, torture, eye gouging, Kristin Scott Thomas as a trashy, bestial, peroxide-wigged mother who calls her son’s female companion a “cum dumpster” and Gosling as a vaguely sketched mean machine operating in a seedy Thai underworld who makes the "Driver" look like a motormouth.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 22, 2013 12:10 PM
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Cannes Fest Diary: Le Weekend, from Compelling 'Jimmy P.' to Toback's Doc and 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

It was a weird, wooly and wet weekend in Cannes. And it began with what has to be one of the stranger ideas ever put forward for a film: “Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian” from Arnaud Desplechin (the wonderful “A Christmas Tale”). Based on a book by French anthropologist/psychotherapist George Deveraux, it’s the more or less true story of a Native American WWII vet, played by Benicio del Toro, who winds up in a military hospital suffering from post-war injuries, real or imagined. When the staff decides the problems are not physical, but don’t have a grasp on the potential mental issues an Indian might face, they call in Deveraux, who is also an expert in Native American culture.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 21, 2013 10:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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