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Thompson on Hollywood

CinemaCon Panel Decries Hollywood's Underserving Women, Chasing Young Males

At CinemaCon, The Hollywood Reporter editorial director Janice Min assembled and moderated a terrific panel, "Driving Financial Success: Women + Movies = Bigger Box Office," including Geena Davis, who runs the influential Institute on Gender and Media, director Paul Feig ("Bridesmaids," "The Heat"), Nina Jacobson ("The Hunger Games"), Amy Miles (CEO Regal Entertainment Group), and Vanessa Morrison (President, Fox Animation Studios), addressing the myriad issues women have with Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera, including why the media likes to hate Anne Hathaway and Gwyneth Paltrow so much.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 2, 2013 4:18 PM
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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: 'Kill List' Director Ben Wheatley Talks IFC's 'Sightseers'

Brit filmmaker Ben Wheatley had brought his prior two low-budget features, "Down Terrace" and "Kill List," to the Cannes market. Then he made his proper Cannes debut with "Sightseers" in the Director's Fortnight, an unexpected breakout during an unexceptional year. Then the film played the fest circuit, including Toronto. IFC opens the dark relationship comedy in New York and L.A.on May 10. See my flipcam interview with Wheatley below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 2, 2013 1:39 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'What Maisie Knew' Writer Waited 18 Years to Make Film Adaptation of Henry James

Film has the power to take you inside someone's head. And that's what under-appreciated aces Scott McGehee and David Siegel do with well-reviewed "What Maisie Knew," which opens Friday. They show what a sweet smart young girl feels (sharp-as-tack Onata Aprile) as she watches her selfish, narcissistic parents, a rock star (Julianne Moore) and an art dealer (Steve Coogan), break up.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 1, 2013 4:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment

CinemaCon: Directors Raimi, Stone and Del Toro Argue Horror, Provoking vs. Pleasing Audiences, Seeing Red

At CinemaCon last year the Filmmaker Forum included Martin Scorsese and Ang Lee, while this year directors Oliver Stone, Guillermo del Toro and Sam Raimi submitted to questioning by moderator Elvis Mitchell. Not surprisingly, all three reveal very different takes on how to please audiences--or whether to please audiences. And when Stone complained about bad conditions in some theaters around the country, the exhibitors weren't offended: they applauded.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 29, 2013 6:20 AM
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Skinny Matthew McConaughey Talks New Approach to Roles: 'Mud,' 'Dallas Buyer's Club,' 'Magic Mike' [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

When we sat down with Matthew McConaughey last November, he looked scarily thin. He'd lost 38 pounds to prep for passion project "The Dallas Buyer's Club," about a straight man fighting HIV who becomes a dealer in unapproved drugs to stave off AIDS. (The film just landed a distributor.) The actor was fasting and subsisting on a diet of fresh fish and a daily glass of red wine. He was down from 182 to 143 pounds as he was just about to start filming. (Flip cam video below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2013 2:28 PM
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'Upstream Color' Star Amy Seimetz Talks Multitasking and Directing 'Sun Don't Shine' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Back in 2010, indie producer-writer-actress Amy Seimetz was living in Tampa, Florida and dealing with losses in her family, "a lot of anxiety," she says, when she realized that "I need to get out of acting in these movies... I need to direct my own thing." Her first feature "Sun Don't Shine" is a well-shot micro-budget portrait of a couple on the run for murder in the mold of James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 24, 2013 4:13 PM
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Sebastian Junger Grieves for Fallen Comrade Tim Hetherington Via HBO Doc 'Which Way is the Front Line from Here?' (VIDEO)

Sebastian Junger is a tough guy. The whip-smart Vanity Fair contributing editor and author ("War," "Fire," "The Perfect Storm") has put himself in dangerous situations, from Liberia and Niger to Sierra Leone, as an occupational hazard. He won a National Magazine Award for reporting the Oct. 1999 Vanity Fair article “The Forensics of War.” But when he heard of the death of his best friend, British filmmaker and war photographer Tim Hetherington, 40, who had co-directed with him the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan doc "Restrepo," Junger gave up his jones for danger.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2013 5:29 PM
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EXCLUSIVE Interview: Jameson First Shot U.S. Winner Shirlyn Wong Calls Working with Willem Dafoe "surreal"

When Shirlyn Wong received an email telling her she was one of two U.S. finalists for the 2013 Jameson First Shot competition, she was pretty happy. "I was like, great, this is second place, this is awesome!" she told me in an interview last weekend in Manhattan. The email didn't say anything about second place, but Wong--almost by instinct--wasn't about to get her hopes up. "There's so much rejection in this industry," Wong told me during our interview, "that you immediately accept rejection."
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • April 19, 2013 12:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Sofia Coppola Talks 'The Bling Ring,' First Digital Shoot, Feeling-Over-Talking Technique

Director Sofia Coppola sits down with the DGA Quarterly to discuss her upcoming film "The Bling Ring" (June 14), starring Emma Watson as the leader of a pack of celebrity-looting Hollywood teens. Highlights from the interview below, including Coppola's interest in today's social-mediated youth, her experience with shooting digitally for the first time, and her methods for communicating feeling in a scene.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 10, 2013 1:10 PM
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Les Blank Interview From 1982 on Documentary 'Burden of Dreams,' Chronicling Herzog's Chaotic 'Fitzcarraldo'

To celebrate the life of Les Blank I am sharing this interview I did with him at the 1982 Toronto Film Festival -- the very first Toronto Fest that I ever attended.
  • By Joe Leydon
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  • April 8, 2013 12:13 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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