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Thompson on Hollywood

Alex Gibney Reacts to Pope Resignation, Talks HBO's 'Mea Maxima Culpa,' Exposing Institutional Protector the Catholic Church UPDATED (VIDEO)

One of the villains in documentarian Alex Gibney's takedown of the Roman Catholic Church, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," is the Pope, who February 11 announced his plan to resign at age 85. Did his long-term role --as Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope Benedict XVI--in covering up pedophile priests contribute to this decision?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2013 2:07 PM
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Berlin: Director David M. Rosenthal Talks Backwoods Noir 'A Single Shot,' Starring Rockwell and Macy

“I wasn’t one of these directors who knew at the age of 8 that they wanted to be a director,” said David M. Rosenthal over a large plate of currywurst and fries in the cafe at Berlin’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. “I was a photo geek in high school, the photo editor of the newspaper, and that’s how I kind of started to see the world through a lens.”
  • By Tom Christie
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  • February 12, 2013 12:16 PM
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Writers' Panel Talk Originals 'Looper,' 'Flight' and 'Moonrise Kingdom' and Adaptations 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' and 'Life of Pi'

Every year I conduct a Santa Barbara Film Festival ritual: the "It Starts with the Script" panel with writers of the year's best screenplays. In the 2013 group, some are up for Writers Guild awards next weekend: David Magee for his adaptation of Yann Martel's "Life of Pi," Stephen Chbosky for adapting his bestseller "Perks of Being a Wallflower," Roman Coppola for co-writing original "Moonrise Kingdom" with Wes Anderson, Rian Johnson for his original "Looper" and John Gatins for his original "Flight," which earned Denzel Washington an Oscar nomination. And Magee, Coppola and Gatins are also up for Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2013 6:29 AM
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'Before Midnight' Hits Berlin: Delpy, Hawke and Linklater Press Conference

"Before Midnight" isn’t just a chick flick, it’s a chick field-goal. About half way through the third Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy love-hate-love fest, I found myself thinking two words: 'Shut up! Stop talking!! Shut the FUCK up!!!'
  • By Tom Christie
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  • February 11, 2013 1:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Berlin: Damon on Affleck’s ‘Rough Spot,’ 'Promised Land'’s Bomb, and Berlin’s Airport Debacle

At a press conference following the screening of his and Gus Van Sant’s "Promised Land" at the Berlinale today, Matt Damon was asked what the chances of Ben Affleck’s "Argo"winning the Academy Award, and if he was tired of talking about his friend and business partner. “His life is so interesting, I never get tired of talking about him,” said Damon with a smile. “He’s been on a roller coaster for the last fifteen years.”
  • By Tom Christie
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  • February 8, 2013 7:23 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Cinematography Oscar Race

While the tech momentum for Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is clearly spilling over into the cinematography race, making Claudio Miranda the frontrunner for his ethereal golden hour hue, the other four nominees are a study in stylistic brilliance as well, conveying a vibe of what's old is new again...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 6, 2013 3:56 PM
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Oscar Watch 'How to Survive a Plague': From a Tale of Disease, a Primer for Empowerment

David France didn't set out to make a film about the AIDS crisis. He didn't even set out to be a filmmaker. Speaking to me from Los Angeles on the afternoon before the Directors Guild of America Awards—for which he was nominated for his first documentary, "How to Survive a Plague"—France told me that the project (also nominated for the documentary feature Oscar) grew out of his feeling that a crucial chapter of the history of AIDS in America had been lost. That story, he knew from personal experience, was one of activism and empowerment, one that had changed the United States forever. France wanted to bring it back.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • February 6, 2013 2:53 PM
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Harvey Weinstein Opens Up at Producers Guild Sundance Breakfast, Mistakes and All: 'I Was Worst CEO'

Before Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob accepted their Milestone Award at the January 26 Producers Guild Awards, Harvey sat down at Sundance with PGA chief Mark Gordon for a remarkably candid chat. This year--in the midst of Oscar campaigns for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Django Unchained," following back-to-back best-picture wins for "The Artist" and "The King's Speech"-- Weinstein came to Sundance with ten staffers to scout movies, and acquire them they did.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 5, 2013 4:24 PM
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De Niro Oscar Campaign Goes Into Overdrive; Star Wants Total 10-15 Scorsese Flicks (CLIPS)

To kick off its three day retrospective of the films of Robert De Niro, the American Cinematheque screened David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" and hosted a post-screening conversation with the iconic actor. Harvey Weinstein introduced De Niro after a reel of some of his career highlights -- including scenes from "Casino," "Raging Bull," "Kings of Comedy" and "Taxi Driver." (See clips below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 5, 2013 2:24 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Ang Lee Talks 'Life of Pi' VFX and 3-D

Tuesday night, the Visual Effects Society will honor director Ang Lee with its Visionary Award at the 11th annual VES Awards at the Beverly Hilton. It's an apt tribute, given the tremendous tech accomplishments of "Life of Pi" as both a groundbreaking 3-D experience and for the riveting performance of Rhythm & Hues' CG Bengal tiger, Richard Parker.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 4, 2013 3:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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