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Thompson on Hollywood

'Strongman' Director Zach Levy Takes Distribution Into His Own Hands (TRAILER)

Zach Levy must hold some kind of lofty status in the pantheon of DIY film distribution: In 2010, he took his documentary “Strongman” on a 450-mile tour of small theaters and one-night stands in Maine, doing what he had to get his film not only in front of audiences but -- just this week -- an overdue release on DVD.
  • By John Anderson
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  • October 18, 2013 2:28 PM
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Diablo Cody Talks the "Weirdest Thing" about Directing Debut 'Paradise,' Her Love of VOD and More on Interview Trail

Diablo Cody's directorial debut, "Paradise," hits theaters this weekend, starring Julianne Hough as a religious small-town woman whose faith is put to the test when she suffers terrible burns. Taking matters into her own hands, she heads to Vegas for some soul searching, where she meets up with Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer. Oscar winner Cody ("Juno") is on the interview trail. Check out some quote highlights, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 18, 2013 1:39 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt Talks '12 Years a Slave'

Sean Bobbitt discusses going for visual simplicity in Steve McQueen's Oscar frontrunner, "12 Years a Slave."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 18, 2013 12:33 PM
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Why Michael Fassbender Doesn't Have to Campaign for Oscar Frontrunner '12 Years a Slave' (CHARLIE ROSE VIDEO)

In the November issue of GQ, Michael Fassbender leads the writer on a wild motorcycle race, opens up about his work jag and lets loose on why he won't campaign for "12 Years a Slave." His memorable quote has gone viral: "It's just a grind. And I'm not a politician. I'm an actor." Instead of campaigning, this month Fassbender is heading to New Zealand to shoot his own indie feature, followed by "Macbeth" with Marion Cotillard. On the second viewing of the film, as floored as I was by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Kenyan Yale grad Lupita Nyong'o, I appreciated the nuances of Fassbender's performance as Epps, a ruthless slave driver. As far as I'm concerned Fassbender doesn't have to campaign.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2013 2:23 PM
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Steve McQueen Explains Why He Can't Talk Enough About '12 Years a Slave,' Unlike Michael Fassbender (VIDEO)

Steve McQueen on "12 Years a Slave": "It's a case of making a picture about slavery. Either you make a picture about slavery, or you don't. It's one of the two. I am here, in evidence of those unfortunate events. My family survived those unfortunate events so I can't make a picture which would not tell the truth, otherwise there'd be no point."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2013 6:26 AM
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Josh Singer Talks Challenges of Tackling WikiLeaks Drama 'The Fifth Estate' --and What He Left Out

Check out our interview with "The Fifth Estate" screenwriter Josh Singer, who got his start right out of Harvard Law School with John Wells on "The West Wing" and went on to write "Fringe" and other TV series. He talks about the fascinating real-life personality at the center of the action, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose many skills include playing the media, and how the ways we exchange and share information in the digital age have irrevocably changed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 16, 2013 9:10 PM
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Oscar-Winner John Ridley Talks Writing '12 Years a Slave' and Directing Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side'

John Ridley has been honing his craft for years, apprenticing with John Wells on "Third Watch," through multiple movie scripts ("U-Turn," "Red Tails") and television series ("Barbershop," "Platinum") to his first feature "Cold Around the Heart." He wrote the script for Oscar frontrunner "12 Years a Slave" as well as his sophomore directing effort, Jimi Hendrix slice-of-life "All Is by My Side," which both played the Toronto Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 16, 2013 6:30 PM
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Oscar Watch Q & A: Chiwetel Ejiofor Embodies Solomon Northup in Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave'

“12 Years a Slave” broke out at the Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, as audiences and critics immersed themselves in Steve McQueen and John Ridley's hard-hitting film adaptation of the memoir of musician Solomon Northup, a free Bostonian who was kidnapped and sold into slavery from 1841 to 1853. “12 Years a Slave” and its British star Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Kinky Boots") leaped to the top of the Oscar prediction charts, along with Alfonso Cuaron's critical and box office hit "Gravity." Fox Searchlight opens "12 Years a Slave: October 18.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2013 4:31 PM
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Plan B Producer Dede Gardner Talks '12 Years a Slave,' 'World War Z,' and Partner Brad Pitt

The movie of movies on the fall film circuit was Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" (October 18). The film was nurtured along the way by Plan B producer Dede Gardner and her partner, Brad Pitt, who co-stars in the film with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch. I interviewed Gardner for a TIFF Industry Q & A, below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2013 4:20 PM
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David Thomson Recalls Fun 'Moments That Made the Movies'

The New Republic critic David Thomson has written more than 20 movie books, among them must-owns such as "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" and "'Have You Seen...?': A Personal Introduction to 1000 Films." The Brit transplant's long experience with writing accessible, entertaining, idiosyncratic, erudite and enlightening movie books led him to the most delightful one of all: "Moments that Made the Movies." Trust me. This is a keeper.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2013 6:39 AM
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