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Thompson on Hollywood

Kenneth Branagh on Why Chris Pine Was the Guy to Reboot Jack Ryan

I like Chris Pine. He's a strong actor and a movie star--although his reboot of Tom Clancy's signature spy is going to be a test of his marquee value. It's one thing to join the "Star Trek" ensemble and another to carry a movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 15, 2014 6:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cinematographer Le Sourd Talks Anatomy of 'The Grandmaster' Train Fight

Oscar contender Philippe Le Sourd, who scored an ASC nomination last week for lensing "The Grandmaster," discusses the standout train platform fight between Gong Er (Zhang Ziyi) and her father's killer and protege (Zhang Jin), which you can watch below. Not only was Wong Kar-wai's improvisational style a challenge, but they also completed the scene two years later, compelling Le Sourd to keep a journal so he could remember the location of his lights and maintain visual consistency).
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 14, 2014 4:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Famed Cinematographer Roger Deakins Talks Coens, Storytelling, 'Prisoners'

I spoke to British cinematographer Roger Deakins via Skype while he was filming Angelina Jolie's challenging new film "Unbroken" on the water in New Zealand. Deakins, who often collaborates with the Coen brothers, is a go-to cinematographer for many filmmakers and is revered by actors because he puts storytelling front and center.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2014 7:47 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Livestream the Golden Globes Foreign Directors Panel

On Saturday at 1 PM Pacific, check out the livestream at the Egyptian Theater of the annual foreign directors panel the day before the winner is announced live at the Golden Globes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2014 1:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Wally Pfister Talks 'Transcendence' with LA Times: "If People Are Expecting Nolan Lite, I Think They'll Be Surprised"

Wally Pfister, best known as Christopher Nolan's Oscar winning cinematographer, will this year make his directorial debut with sci-fi actioner "Transcendence," arriving April 18 and starring Johnny Depp as an ailing scientist who downloads his brain into a supercomputer. Pfister sat down with the LA Times to talk his first time in the director's seat, getting advice from Nolan, navigating inevitable comparisons to Nolan, and more. Highlights below, plus the film's trailer.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 10, 2014 1:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Peter Berg Fought to Keep Brutal War Survival Thriller 'Lone Survivor' Real UPDATE

I have long been a Peter Berg believer. He is a gifted director who can now be forgiven for "Battleship," a misbegotten Hasbro/Universal concoction that he agreed to direct so that he could make his passion project "Lone Survivor." The indie-financed Universal release is a tough, unremitting, authentic, and intimate Afghan war film starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch and Eric Bana.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2014 9:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Going Inside the Production Design Secrets of 'Walter Mitty'

Designing the "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was a new experience for Jeff Mann, known for working on such "blunt instruments" as "Tropic Thunder" with Ben Stiller and "Transformers" with Michael Bay. But Stiller definitely had a different mind set for the daydreaming Everyman, full of whimsy and wistfulness, and Mann visualized that world in a graphic and poetic way that's certainly worthy of Oscar consideration.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 8, 2014 2:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Loves Her Gun' Star Trieste Kelly Dunn Talks Improv, Road-Tripping and Directors

Geoff Marslet's "Loves Her Gun" was a talking point out of last year's SXSW, not only because it centers around violence and gun control, but because the improvised dialogue makes for a naturalistic portrait of a woman's progression from victim to aggressor. She's well-played by Trieste Kelly Dunn, who broke out in SXSW 2010's "Cold Weather" and went on to star in Cinemax's "Banshee." The story starts off with a random act of violence in NYC before a road-trek to Austin, Texas, where the majority of the drama unfolds, complete with hipster band, mustache and river tubing with beer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 8, 2014 11:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

'Grandmaster' Wong Kar-Wai Mourns 35 MM, Honors Fading Martial Arts (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Hong Kong filmmaker Wong kar-wai ("In the Mood for Love") is an engaging and articulate man. He's happy that after two years of research travel around Asia meeting the grandmasters of martial arts, his film "The Grandmaster" is not only his second to be submitted by Hong Kong for the best foreign Oscar, but made the shortlist of nine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 7, 2014 12:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

How Martin Scorsese Pushed 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Into Mattering: "I had to find a more furious energy"

Martin Scorsese talks about "The Wolf of Wall Street," a peculiarly polarizing film that has ignited passionate debate. The question is why. Something about the movie rubs some people the wrong way, makes them uncomfortable. As far as Scorsese is concerned, it's obvious what he was trying to accomplish.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2014 6:27 AM
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  • 23 Comments

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