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FIRST LOOK: How Ziskin Pushed Daniels' 'The Butler,' Starring Whitaker, Winfrey, Cusack and Williams

In 2008, as Barack Obama was on the cusp of being elected, Sony chairman Amy Pascal sent Sony producer Laura Ziskin ("Pretty Woman," "Spider-Man") Wil Haygood's Washington Post article about Eugene Allen, who was a butler in the White House through eight presidents. Ziskin immediately saw "the potential for a personal and epic historic story," says her 11-year producing partner Pam Williams on the phone from the set of "The Butler," shooting in New Orleans with "Precious" director Lee Daniels and a cast led by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2012 4:29 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Best of the Week: Reviews, Interviews, Festivals, Hot Projects In The Works, Kubrick in LA & More

This week on TOH, we looked at the weekend's offering of films from digital vs. film doc "Side by Side" to Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis," we announced the Stanley Kubrick retro and exhibition making its way to L.A., we looked at the rash of reshoots besetting big-budget studio films, and much more!
  • By TOH!
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  • August 17, 2012 5:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cronenberg on 'Cosmopolis': Offer Him '50 Shades of Grey' and He'll Read It

David Cronenberg is a lucky man. As Canada's top filmmaker, he can land funding for most of the reasonably budgeted movies that he wants to do (a sequel to "Eastern Promises" aside), and has earned a reputation as an actors' writer-director ("Dead Ringers," "The Fly," "A Dangerous Method," "A History of Violence") which enables him, Woody Allen-style, to cast bankable stars with global fans.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2012 4:30 PM
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  • 11 Comments

'Side by Side': Keanu Reeves Talks Film vs. Digital Divide with Cameron, Fincher and More [Clips, Q & A with Director Chris Kenneally]

With "Side by Side," producer/interviewer Keanu Reeves and director Chris Kenneally decided to document the film industry's radical change and transformation. "We had questions that we wanted answers to and decided to go out and ask the great artists and technicians involved in moviemaking," says Kennealy. So he and Reeves interviewed the likes of David Fincher, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Wally Pfister, David Lynch, Danny Boyle and Lena Dunham, and each argues the case for film and/or digital cinema.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 16, 2012 3:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Producers Berger and Yerxa Talk 'Ruby Sparks,' 'Nebraska,' 'Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman,' 'Louder than Bombs'

At a time when it has never been tougher to get a movie made, credit is due to indie producers Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, who have slowly but surely turned out quality indie pics ever since they hung their Bona Fide Productions shingle back in 1993. Their most recent film, romantic comedy "Ruby Sparks," marks the return to the screen of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, the husband and wife team who directed sleeper hit "Little Miss Sunshine"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 14, 2012 4:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Coppola Talks “Twixt,” Success, Failure & The Future of Film

Francis Ford Coppola’s “Twixt," the third in a series of low-budget “personal” films he’s written, produced, and directed since the turn of the century has toured the film festival circuit – from Toronto in 2011 to San Francisco in 2012 – and was released in France in April, but a broad release remains elusive...
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • August 14, 2012 12:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Pushing Verisimilitude with 'ParaNorman'

Although Laika's "ParaNorman" (opening Friday) doesn't reach the brilliant heights of "Coraline" (Neil Gaiman and Henry Selick are a pretty unbeatable combination), it achieves something remarkable in its own right: verisimilitude. That's pretty unique for stop-motion, and the Portland, Oregon-based Laika now has something to build on for the future...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 13, 2012 6:33 PM
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Best of the Week: 'The Master' Arrives in Santa Monica, 'Bourne' Debuts, Plus Festivals, Interviews & More

This week on TOH, we eagerly anticipate the Toronto and Venice film fests, we review both "The Bourne Legacy" and the surprise screening of PTA's "The Master," we round up the best films of the year so far and more!
  • By TOH!
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  • August 10, 2012 4:25 PM
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Ted Hope Explains His Surprise Move to San Francisco

So why did indie producer Ted Hope take this dramatic turn in his career, moving from New York to San Francisco to take the executive director reins at the San Francisco Film Society? Well, first, Hope denies that he's ditching indie film production. He's simply reversing the order of the two things that matter most to him: making indie films and fighting for their future.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2012 1:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TIFF Preview: First-Time Writer-Director Josh Boone Talks 'Writers,' Starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly and Lily Collins

"Writers," directed by first-time feature filmmaker Josh Boone, has its world premiere in the Special Presentations section of TIFF 2012. Greg Kinnear stars as a successful writer estranged from his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly) and dealing with his kids' coming-of-age: 19-year-old daugher Samantha (Lily Collins) is already celebrating her first book publication, though her love life isn't quite so functional, and 16-year-old son Rusty (Nat Wolff) is in the throes of a troubled first relationship.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 9, 2012 6:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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