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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes 2012: Directors' Fortnight Honors "No," "El Taaib," "Camille Rewinds" & Shorts

While films from the Cannes Directors' Fortnight are not given official festival awards, they are honored by organizations. This year, Pablo Larrain's "No," starring Gael Garcia Bernal, a surprise stand-out at Cannes...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 25, 2012 2:24 PM
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Mercurial Sacha Baron Cohen Takes on Freddie Mercury: Performance or Impersonation?

Trying to take the measure of Sacha Baron Cohen, who has played a Kazakh journalist visiting the US in "Borat," an Austrian fashionista voguing in "Bruno," a North African dictator demoted to ordinary US immigrant in "The Dictator." His Halloween parade of beards and costumes and accents makes it hard to tell if he’s an actor or an impersonator...
  • By Carrie Rickey
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  • May 25, 2012 1:23 PM
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Sony Pictures Acquires Dark Comedy "Revenge for Jolly!"

Sony Pictures acquires "Revenge for Jolly!" for US and Canadian distribution - marking the first acquisition for the newly-formed affiliate company of Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment. "Revenge for Jolly!" premiered at the 2012 Tribeca FIlm Festival. The dark comedy examines the moral ambiguity of revenge as one man tries to avenge the suspicious death of his beloved dog. Directed by Chadd Harbold and written by Brian Petsos, "Revenge for Jolly!" stars Petsos and Oscar Isaac, and features cameos from a long roster of other actors and comedians including Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, and Kristen Wiig.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 25, 2012 1:16 PM
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Relativity Media Will Co-Finance Luc Besson's Next Two Films: "Three Days to Kill" and "Malavita" with De Niro

Relativity Media struck a co-production and co-financing deal with Luc Besson's ("The Lady," "Taken," "Transporter") EuropaCorp on his two upcoming action flicks, "Three Days to Kill" and "Malavita" with Robert De Niro...
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 25, 2012 1:13 PM
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Cannes Critics Week: Antonio Mendez Esparza's "Aquí y Allá" Takes Top Prize

Cannes Critics Week showcases the first and second works of filmmakers. Spanish director Antonio Mendez Esparza's feature debut, "Aquí y Allá," has taken the top prize - the Nespresso Grand Prize (won by Jeff Nichols' "Take Shelter" last year), reports Variety...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 24, 2012 4:29 PM
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IN THE WORKS: Sean Durkin Takes 'Exorcist' to TV, Swank Goes HBO, Wasikowska Travels Aussie Desert & Cronenberg Sticking with Pattinson

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 24, 2012 4:20 PM
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Silverdocs Bookends Fest with Music Docs 'Don't Stop Believin: Everyman's Journey,' Mumford & Sons' 'Big Easy Express'

AFI-Discovery Channel's Silverdocs festival, in its tenth year, will open and close with music-themed documentaries. On June 18, Ramona Diaz's "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" will open, and Emmett Malloy's "Big Easy Express" will close the Washington, DC event on June 23.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 24, 2012 12:20 PM
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MovieFone and Fandango Forge First-Time Ticket Sales Partnership

Fandango and AOL's Moviefone announced an exclusive ticketing partnership, marking the first alliance between the two companies.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 24, 2012 4:38 AM
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Lionsgate Pacts with StudioCanal for Extended Global Partnership

At Cannes for the first time in their new roles as co-chairs of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, ex-Summit co-chiefs Patrick Wachsberger, long a major player on the international distribution and film sales scene, and Rob Friedman are wielding some muscle on the Croisette. Lionsgate and French distribution giant StudioCanal are enlarging their pre-existing partnership by renewing their library distribution agreement for Lionsgate to distribute more than 2000 StudioCanal titles, such as "Grand Illusion," "The Last Exorcism," "Terminator 2." Additionally, StudioCanal will also release "Catching Fire," the next installment of "The Hunger Games" franchise in German speaking territories, where the first film has grossed $24 million at the box office. "The Hunger Games" has grossed almost $400 million in North America and is closing on $650 million worldwide. “STUDIOCANAL exemplifies the global reach, market leadership and innovative thinking of the media companies with whom we are partnered around the world,” stated Wachsberger, Friedman and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. "Our StudioCanal partnership has been an important part of our growth around the world, and we believe that they will become an even more important part of our future.” Olivier Courson, Chairman of StudioCanal stated: “Lionsgate has always been a great partner to StudioCanal...In the UK we are partners in the leading independents home entertainment operation Elevation. And in Germany, we have a long term relationship on current films and are very happy to have "The Hunger Games." Strengthening our partnership with an even stronger Lionsgate on a long term basis is a great opportunity for StudioCanal." The StudioCanal library includes DVD, television, on demand and digital rights to titles from the Carolco and DEG libraries, including "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Total Recall," "Basic Instinct," "Rambo," "Tender Mercies," and "Evil Dead II" and French classics from "Rules of the Game" to "That Obscure Object of Desire" and "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 23, 2012 9:48 AM
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Submarine and Dakota Form Torpedo Pictures

Just what we need: more indie genre films. Indie seller Submarine Entertainment and Dakota Group Ltd. have formed the aptly named Torpedo Pictures -- a new indie label to produce low-budget, high-concept sci-fi, thriller and horror films. The label's fund will go towards projects in the $500,000 to $1.5+ million range, with a focus on emerging and established auteur directors and notable casts. Dakota will finance and Submarine will handle domestic and foreign rights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 22, 2012 1:55 PM
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