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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes: Asghar Farhadi Talks Fest Favorite 'The Past,' Starring Actress Winner Berenice Bejo

In what’s turning out to be a very strong year for the Cannes Competition, it’s hard to pick a front-runner at the festival’s midway point. As many critics rate the chances of Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s “Like Father, Like Son” (not least because of a family-ties dynamic many assume will appeal to Jury president Steven Spielberg’s sensibilities), they are also looking at previous Cannes winners the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis." And this is before the Competition entries from Steven Soderbergh, Nicolas Winding Refn, Paolo Sorrentino, Alexander Payne, Roman Polanski and Jim Jarmusch have even screened. But one man sure to be in the fray for the Palme d’Or this weekend is Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi with “The Past.”
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 20, 2013 3:34 PM
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Cannes First Look: Paul Haggis Talks 'Third Person,' starring Neeson, Wilde, Franco, Kunis

Paul Haggis has been quiet since his last outing as writer-director, 2010’s “The Next Three Days,” with only a credit on the videogame "Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" to fill in the gap between then and now. But he turned up in Cannes to beat the publicity drum for "Third Person," a multi-stranded relationship drama he shot last fall in Paris, Rome and Cinecitta Studios.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 20, 2013 12:59 PM
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CANNES EXCLUSIVE: Ari Folman Talks Fortnight Opener 'The Congress,' Which Predicts Hollywood's Chilling Future (TRAILER)

The Cannes International Film Festival gets under way Wednesday with the international premiere of Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," a perfect opening night choice given its already established hit status stateside (TOH review here). And on Thursday the edgier Cannes sidebar Director's Fortnight (or Quinzaine) will open with Israeli director Ari Folman's "The Congress," a live-action/animation hybrid starring Robin Wright and Danny Huston, which is being screened for the first time not only for Cannes audiences and critics but North American distributors as well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2013 1:22 PM
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Director Bouzereau Unveils Mogul Zanuck in 'Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking' (Interview)

"Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking," a portrait of the life and career of studio chief and producer Richard D. Zanuck, scion of Fox's Darryl F. Zanuck, will premiere on May 8 on Turner Classic Movies. Produced by TCM and Amblin Television, the 90-minute film features interviews with many of the filmmakers Zanuck worked with including Clint Eastwood, William Friedkin, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton. I talk with writer-director Laurent Bouzereau. (TOH! Zanuck obit here.)
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • May 10, 2013 2:49 PM
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How Katie Aselton Made Feminist Thriller 'Black Rock' (EXCLUSIVE CLIP, TRAILER)

Katie Aselton is yet another indie actress-writer-director who has taken matters into her hands. There's no point in waiting around for careers to come to you. With some financial freedom from FX hit comedy series "The League," in which she stars with her multi-hyphenate husband Mark Duplass, who directed her, with brother Jay, in "The Puffy Chair," Aselton co-wrote, directed and stars in the R-rated thriller "Black Rock" which opens May 17 in theaters and VOD.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 9, 2013 4:28 PM
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'I Thought I Was Bulletproof': William Friedkin Looks Back on the '70s

In a recent interview with New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff, iconoclastic filmmaker William Friedkin sat down to reflect on his diverse career, which spans 19 feature films since the mid-60s.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 8, 2013 2:52 PM
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At London 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Junket, Early Abrams Gleanings

This particular scene occurs so early in "Star Trek Into Darkness" that a spoiler alert doesn't really seem necessary, but if you don't want to know anything about the 12th film in the franchise, which opens May 17 (as if anyone didn't already know) stop reading now.
  • By John Anderson
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  • May 6, 2013 1:13 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Bradley Cooper Is New Model Smart Star

As "Silver Linings Playbook" comes out on DVD, which earned Bradley Cooper his first best actor Oscar nomination, well-reviewed "Place Beyond the Pines" is playing around the country, "The Hangover Part III" hits theaters on May 24, and Steven Spielberg has picked as his next movie "American Sniper," which was developed by Cooper's Warner Bros. production company, about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, an ace sniper who was tragically killed. This actor is clearly doing something right.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2013 6:17 AM
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Rebecca Eaton Talks 'Mystery' and the Return of Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey

Lord Peter Wimsey solved his first murder in 1923, made his debut on live television in 1947 and his television series debut on Masterpiece Theatre in 1972, and has just bounded into the 21st century in an Acorn Media DVD of that 1972-1975 television series starring Ian Carmichael. "Masterpiece" Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, who will have “Making Masterpiece,” a memoir of her years as executive producer, published in October, says, that for a “Mystery” series to be successful, “It’s all about the actor.”
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • May 5, 2013 7:19 AM
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Immersed in Movies: Shane Black and Kevin Feige Talk Going Over the Edge in 'Iron Man 3,' Stark's Demons, VFX

With "Iron Man 3" already smashing box-office records internationally ahead of its domestic release Friday, grabbing more than $300 million in nine days (including the highest opening ever in China), Marvel's post-"Avengers" Phase 2 plan is off to a smashing start. The trick apparently was giving Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark an existential crisis, and no one was better suited to the task than director Shane Black, who, like Downey, knows a thing or two about confronting personal demons, which is what "Iron Man 3" is all about.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 3, 2013 2:35 PM
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