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Thompson on Hollywood

Oliver Stone Talks 'Untold History of U.S.' at NYFF [VIDEO]

From "Platoon" to "JFK" to "Nixon" and beyond, few filmmakers have done more to challenge the convenient bonafides of US history than Oliver Stone. Judging by the response to yesterday’s sneak peak at his upcoming Showtime series "The Untold History of the United States," the director has lost none of his audacity in his transition to premium cable.
  • By Sheerly Avni
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  • October 7, 2012 4:22 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Case Study on Self-Releasing 'Detropia': "Filmmakers need to be better businesspeople"

The DIY distribution model may be all the rage, but it's not as easy as it looks. As "Detropia" filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady learned the hard way, self-releasing demands a steep learning curve in the intricacies of marketing and distribution. These are skills that it takes professionals years to acquire.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2012 7:51 PM
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  • 2 Comments

David Chase and Cast Talk 'Not Fade Away': NYFF Review and Press Conference

At the New York Film Festival screening of David Chase's marvelous first feature "Not Fade Away," I felt my spirits lift a little higher with each scene until, by the time the band finally performed an original song for the first time, I was soaring, the way you're supposed to do when you forget you're on the job because there's a real live movie on screen.
  • By Sheerly Avni
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  • October 5, 2012 4:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Will Animated Black-and-White 3-D 'Frankenweenie' Win Burton His First Oscar?

"Frankenweenie" is not only Tim Burton's best film since "Big Fish" (another rite of passage story), but also a lock for a best animated feature nomination. In fact, the Oscar arguably appears to be Burton's to lose, though it's shaping up to be quite a race with two other tantalizing retro movies yet to come: Disney's "Wreck-It Ralph" (November 2) and DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians" (November 21).
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 4, 2012 12:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Andrea Arnold Talks 'Wuthering Heights': Chaos, Class, Race, Gender & Women Directors

Although Andrea Arnold had sworn never to film a period piece based on a novel, directing "Wuthering Heights" was about remembering what she felt when she first read Emily Bronte's classic: upset about Heathcliff. That was the hook. Her first interest "was to tell his story," she says.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2012 5:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments

NYFF Press Conference: Ang Lee Talks Logistics and Spirituality Behind 'Life of Pi'

At the "Life of Pi" post-screening press conference, Ang Lee, actor Suraj Sharma, producer Elizabeth Gabler and novelist Yann Martel answered questions which focused primarily on the logistical challenges of a production that, according to Lee, involved participants from 23 countries, a year of pre-production that included a 70 minute pre-vis, and 3-D animation modeling based on the meticulous observation of four trained tigers.
  • By Sheerly Avni
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  • September 28, 2012 2:25 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Talking 'Looper' VFX

Rian Johnson, like many directors, hated CG without really understanding it. But no more, thanks to "Looper's" VFX supervisor, Karen Goulekas ("Green Lantern," "The Day After Tomorrow," "Spider-Man"). In fact, she made it her mission to turn Johnson into a convert. But then Goulekas had no choice: she needed A-list VFXers to create convincing work for the futuristic thriller about time traveling hit man Joseph Gordon-Levitt confronting his older self (Bruce Willis) in an existential showdown.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 28, 2012 11:54 AM
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'Sexting' Q &A: LaBute Talks One Shot Performances and the Athletics of Acting [Video]

Clearly, with "Sexting" and "After School Special" Neil LaBute ("Nurse Betty," "The Wicker Man," "Death at a Funeral") enjoyed experimenting in a short medium. We talked to him about shorts' liberating power, capturing a theatrical performance on the screen, and never asking the audience to like his characters.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 27, 2012 12:41 PM
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Emily Blunt Talks Keeping It Real in 'Looper,' 'Your Sister's Sister' and 'All You Need is Kill' (VIDEO)

The performer who anchors "Looper" and turns it into something deeper than a hardboiled sci-fi actioner is Emily Blunt. (Here's my review.) I grabbed the in-demand actress between rehearsals on Doug Liman's "All You Need is Kill" for a brief telephone interview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2012 6:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Interview: Rupert Friend Talks Directing Short Film Debut 'Steve,' Starring Knightley and Firth

In Rupert Friend's short movie "Steve," the first-time director uses his sixteen minutes of film to put a tense twist on a slice-of-life portrait of neighbors interacting in a anonymous city. "Steve" is part of the Stars in Shorts series premiering this Friday.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 26, 2012 11:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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