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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Designing Cinematic Jigsaw Puzzle and Game-Changer 'Gravity'

"Gravity" production designer Andrew Nicholson, who will be at the Art Directors Guild Wednesday night and at USC on Friday, discusses why the immersive, Oscar-contending blockbuster is a model for the future of hybrid movies.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 20, 2013 2:48 PM
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Spike Lee Talks 'Oldboy,' Studio Interference, '12 Years a Slave' (and, Implicitly, 'Django Unchained') and More in NYT

Spike Lee's "Oldboy," a remake starring Josh Brolin of Park Chan-wook's now cult revenge classic, hits theaters November 27. Lee is profiled today in the New York Times and, as is to be expected, has some no-bullshit things to say about the lasting appeal of revenge films, his personal connection to the theme of fatherly guilt in his new film, Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" (and, implicitly, Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained") and more. Highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 20, 2013 12:37 PM
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Why Bruce Dern Will Land an Oscar Nomination for 'Nebraska': The Method Actor Tapped His Own History

Bruce MacLeish Dern, age 77, has been having a blast on the speaking circuit. He's eating up the attention like a thirsty plant. Finally, after all these years, he landed an Oscar-worthy leading role, in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," which played well for the Academy last weekend. And Dern is loving it, even if he's losing his voice. He came to Sneak Previews and shared stories with us, including a heartbreaking explanation for the most emotionally moving scene in "Nebraska." Like the method actor that he is, Dern brought his own history to the performance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2013 8:00 PM
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Best of the Week: Reviews of 'Hunger Games,' 'Lone Survivor,' and 'Out of the Furnace,' Behind the Scenes at Studio Ghibli & More

The top stories of the week from TOH!
  • By TOH!
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  • November 16, 2013 3:06 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Ballhaus Talks 'The Book Thief'

The Book Thief" might be flying under the Oscar radar, but it's a unique Holocaust story told from a child's point of view as well as Death's (adapted from the best-seller by Markus Zusak). And that's what attracted DP Florian Ballhaus, best known for comedy ("The Devil Wears Prada").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 15, 2013 12:23 PM
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Indie Icon John Sayles Insists on His Right to Make a Black Female Buddy Picture If He Wants To ('Go for Sisters' TRAILER)

Mexican border noir "Go For Sisters," the latest emphatically idiosyncratic self-financed original from indie icon John Sayles, is finally hitting theaters in New York and Los Angeles this month, followed by a slow rollout through the rest of the country. (DVDs are available for pre-order on the VHX/Variance website.) A black female buddy road movie starring Lisa Gay Hamilton and Yolonda Ross as two African-American women who could "go for sisters" when they knew each other as teenagers is not exactly a commercial picture. But Sayles has made his peace with that long ago, deciding to tell the stories he wanted to tell, the way he wanted to tell them.
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • November 14, 2013 3:28 PM
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EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's Oscar-Contender 'The Wind Rises' (TRAILER)

A contender for the animated feature Oscar, the subtitled "The Wind Rises" (Disney) is now playing a one-week Oscar qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York in its Japanese subtitled version. Possibly the last film from Hayao Miyazaki, the Walt Disney of Japan, who won the animated Oscar for "Spirited Away," "The Wind Rises" is not aimed at young kids. Gorgeously drawn, it's an historical true story of the brilliant designer behind the Zero fighter plane that wrecked havoc in World War II. I interview Geoffrey Wexler, a high-ranking Studio Ghibli executive who was in town to start dubbing the English version that Disney will release on February 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2013 11:39 AM
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'The Unknown Known' Review and Q & A: Errol Morris vs. Donald Rumsfeld

It started in Telluride, the word that somehow Errol Morris didn't "nail" Donald Rumsfeld in his mano a mano confrontation in "The Unknown Known" (Participant, Radius TWC). While I am fascinated by this portrait of a man who was close to the seat of power in this country for decades, from the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations through George W. Bush and the aftermath of 9/11--the biggest reveal is that he wished that his boss had allowed him to tender his resignation after the damning Abu Graib pictures were revealed--Morris lets Rumsfeld off easy. The film is set to play DOC NYC, running November 14-21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2013 1:00 PM
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'Crash Reel' Documentarian Lucy Walker Knows Where She's Going

Lucy Walker's moving and shocking verite doc "The Crash Reel" will play in the upcoming DOC NYC, running November 14 through 21. Our TOH! interview, below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2013 12:50 PM
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George Clooney Talks Why He'd Never Be on Twitter, Brad Pitt and More in Esquire

A lengthy profile of George Clooney has arrived in Esquire Magazine, wherein the actor-writer-director-producer talks his early understanding of his ability to entertain people, why he would never be on Twitter, and his pal Brad Pitt. Interview quote highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 11, 2013 12:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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