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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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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LAFF: 'Short Term 12,' 'Crash Reel,' Indiewire Influencers Rock the Regal

I'm getting used to schlepping downtown on Olympic to LAFF and laying down my 8 bucks for parking at LA Live. The theaters at Regal Cinemas were packed for two fest hits, Destin Cretton's SXSW prize-winner "Short Term 12" and Lucy Walker's Sundance entry "Crash Reel," which brought a standing ovation for snowboarder Kevin Pearce.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 18, 2013 7:54 PM
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LAFF Review: Joe Burke's 'Four Dogs' Is Breezy Buddy Showbiz Comedy with Bite (TRAILER)

While micro-budget, plotless indies about sad sack dudes and their lonely lives are old hat at a time when anyone can pick up a camera and shoot, Joe Burke's "Four Dogs" stands a cut above as a portrait of two emotionally impotent man-children.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • June 18, 2013 2:01 PM
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LAFF: Destin Cretton Talks SXSW Grand Jury Winner 'Short Term 12,' Immaturity and the Mystery of Indie Film's Future (TRAILER)

Destin Daniel Cretton talks his "Short Term 12," from Sundance winning short to SXSW Grand Jury prize-winning feature...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 16, 2013 1:11 AM
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LAFF Kicks Off with Almodovar's Sexy 'I'm So Excited,' What To See at 2013 Fest

The 19th edition of the Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off ten days of screenings and events Thursday night (our recommendations are below) with Pedro Almodovar's sexily escapist romp "I'm So Excited" (review here), which played well for the North American premiere crowd downtown at LA Live. The Spanish auteur was on hand in a splendid lime suit, shilling for Hollywood roles for his cast.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • June 14, 2013 3:50 PM
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Review: Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'

Confession: going into "The Bling Ring," I was hopeful that I’d find the Sofia Coppola of "Marie Antoinette" rather than the Sofia Coppola of "Somewhere" parked behind the camera. Surely, a true-life Hollywood tale as fundamentally ludicrous as fame-and-celebrity-obsessed hipster teens targeting freebie-laden homes of the rich and famous cried out for the leering (but not sneering) pop-art approach Coppola brought to her portrait of the pampered French queen, rather than the deadpan, going-round-in-circles approach she applied to her tale of an alienated movie star.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • June 13, 2013 12:58 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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