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Thompson on Hollywood

Sony Pictures Classics Nabs Art-World Mystery Doc 'Tim's Vermeer,' Directed by Teller of Penn & Teller Fame

Sony Pictures Classics has snapped up worldwide rights to documentary "Tim's Vermeer," directed by Teller of illusionist duo Penn & Teller. The film centers on Tim Jenison, a Texas-based inventor who sets out to solve one of the art world's great mysteries: How did 17th-century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer paint photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography?
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 29, 2013 1:04 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics Takes Alex Gibney's Long-Gestating Lance Armstrong Doc 'The Armstrong Lie'

After sitting on the shelf at Sony, Alex Gibney's Lance Armstrong documentary "The Armstrong Lie" has found its worldwide distributor in Sony Pictures Classics. The film centers on Armstrong's life and career over the past four years -- from his return to cycling out of retirement in 2009 to the much-publicized doping scandal in 2012, which stripped him of his Tour de France medals.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • July 24, 2013 12:50 PM
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All Things 'Austenland': New Website and Trailer for Keri Russell Rom-Com About a Jane Austen Die-Hard (VIDEO)

Jerusha Hess' romantic comedy "Austenland" stars Keri Russell as a Jane Austen die-hard who signs up to be part of an immersive Regency-era theme park dedicated to the beloved author. It premiered at Sundance at the beginning of this year, and hits theaters on August 16. Check out the new website, which is as endearingly geeky as the film promises to be, and watch the trailer below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 22, 2013 2:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sony Pictures Classics Takes Doc 'Jodorowsky's Dune,' on the Legendary Director's Doomed Sci-Fi Adaptation (TRAILER)

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American rights to Frank Pavich's documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune," which explores legendary director Alejandro Jodorowksy and his elaborate yet ultimately doomed 1970s adaptation of the eponymous sci-fi novel -- set to star Orson Welles and Mick Jagger, among others.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • July 11, 2013 12:02 PM
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Arthouse Audit: 'I'm So Excited' Scores Decent Opening, 'Museum Hours' Is Surprise Success

Summer isn't the usual launchpad for subtitled films, but this weekend two June openers both show promise. "I'm So Excited" (Sony Pictures Classics), from the most consistently successful foreign language director Pedro Almodovar, opened solidly, if below his usual level. The much less-heralded "Museum Hours" (Cinema Guild) scored an above-average per screen average in two New York theaters. Both should gain attention across the country in upcoming weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 30, 2013 3:55 PM
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Sony Pictures Classics' Bernard & Barker Feted and Roasted at MOMI's First Annual Envision Awards

Lotta love in the room last night at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York for Sony Classics co-chiefs Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, recipients of MOMI’s first annual Envision Award, and who were roasted, but not to the point of combustion. “They hold a record,” Focus CEO James Schamus began, and paused …. was he going to mention Bernard-Barker’s 135 career Academy nominations? A list of filmmakers that includes Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Michael Haneke and Asgar Farhadi? Their taste? Their balls? Their good looks?
  • By John Anderson
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  • June 12, 2013 2:34 PM
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Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 12:58 PM
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Mike Leigh Will Make His Long-Planned Turner Biopic, Helped By Sony Pictures Classics

Mike Leigh is finally going to make his passion project, a biopic on painter J.W.W. Turner: "I want to explore the man, his working life, his relationships and how he lived. But what fascinates me most is the drama that lies in the tension between this driven eccentric and the epic, timeless world he evoked in his masterpieces."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • March 19, 2013 11:55 AM
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Spain Gets 'Excited' About Almodovar's Latest Before U.S. Release (TRAILER)

Pedro Almodovar’s new comedy “I’m So Excited” (“Los Amantes Pasajeros”) opened to the highest take of any his films in his native Spain last weekend in its initial release. The film, to be released in the U.S. on June 27 by his usual American distributor Sony Pictures Classics, grossed about $2.6 million on 295 screens for the number two position behind “Oz: The Great and Powerful” (which grossed close to $2.7 million on more than twice as many screens). The per screen average for “Excited” though was slightly better than what “Oz” had, even though this was the widest release ever for an Almodovar film opening in Spain.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 14, 2013 6:29 AM
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Arthouse Audit: Sony Pictures Classics Rolls Out Oscar Bounty

Sony Pictures Classics is looking forward to a big Oscar night with foreign contenders "Amour" and "No" as well as two leading documentary entries, "Searching for Sugar Man" and "The Gatekeepers." The question is where the specialty box office goes after the awards. "No" and "The Gatekeepers" are both rolling out well in their initial stages, giving hope for success in further markets in upcoming weeks, whatever wins tonight. "Amour" is amassing less than spectacular numbers given its high profile.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 24, 2013 3:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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