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Thompson on Hollywood

Emmanuelle Seigner Delivers for Husband Roman Polanski in Two-Hander 'Venus in Fur'

Roman Polanski's latest play-to-film "Venus and Fur" opened at the end of last year's Cannes Film Festival because it was the only day its star Emmanuelle Seigner could get away to the Riviera. Thus the film was a bit of an afterthought at the fest. It finally arrives via IFC stateside with terrific reviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2014 5:58 PM
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How Must-See 'The Case Against 8' Took Five Years to Make, from HBO Docs Czar Nevins to Its 'Fairy Tale Ending' (TRAILER)

The charged opening sequence of "The Case Against 8" witnesses former Solicitor General Ted Olson in the thick of a dress rehearsal.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • June 23, 2014 7:06 AM
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WATCH: Jenny Slate Talks Sex and Standup in Her Breakout Role in 'Obvious Child' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Stand-up comic Jenny Slate didn't go from zero to breakout overnight. Typically, like many performers, she's had wins and losses--like losing her gig on Saturday Night Live. It wasn't a good fit, she admits now. Clearly, indie "Obvious Child" suited her talents perfectly, as writer-director Gillian Robespierre carefully crafted this star vehicle that became the toast of Sundance 2014.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 20, 2014 8:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Why Sebastian Junger Made and Self-Released 'Restrepo' Sequel 'Korengal,' New HBO Doc (VIDEO)

Vanity Fair writer Sebastian Junger is well-known not only for "The Perfect Storm" (which was made into a George Clooney action movie) and his intrepid war reporting--which he ended after the untimely death in Libya of his long-time partner, British Vanity Fair photographer and cinematographer Tim Hetherington--but the Oscar-nominated documentary "Restrepo." I interviewed Junger and Hetherington for that movie (see video below), and talked to Junger again recently about the sequel "Korengal," which is in current release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 20, 2014 4:40 PM
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Los Angeles Film Festival: Sundance-Winning College Satire 'Dear White People' Challenges Audiences (INTERVIEW)

"Dear White People" was one of those first features we often see at the Sundance Film Festival that charges out of the gate exploding with all the things the young filmmaker wants to say. This week, it plays the Los Angeles Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 19, 2014 1:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Debra Granik Goes Rogue with First Doc 'Stray Dog' (LAFF World Premiere)

Filmmaker Debra Granik earned an impressive four Oscar nominations for 2010's "Winter's Bone," including best picture, actress (Jennifer Lawrence), supporting actor (John Hawkes) and adapted screenplay. Clearly all the talent on display in 2004's "Down to the Bone," which boosted the career of Vera Farmiga, was not a flash in the pan. What was the deliberate New York filmmaker, who works closely with producer-writer Anne Rossellini, do next?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2014 2:19 PM
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Why David Michôd Steered Clear of Hollywood to Shoot 'The Rover' with Pearce and Pattinson (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

After Oscar-nominated "Animal Kingdom" hit Hollywood, Australian director David Michod was the talk of the town, doing rounds of meetings and reading stacks of scripts. One day he told his agents: "I want to stop reading, I'm not getting any work done." That film, which debuted at Cannes as a midnight movie, is the stark and violent suspense thriller "The Rover," shot with Guy Pearce and Rob Pattinson in the searing heat of the Australian outback.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2014 5:27 PM
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  • 3 Comments

'The Rover' Cinematographer Talks Filming Pearce and Pattinson--"he's a natural" (VIDEO)

The Rover," the Australian dystopian crime drama from director David Michod ("Animal Kingdom") is a fascinating cross between a western and neo-noir. And the pairing of Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson is an intense psychological study of abuser and enabler. For Argentinian cinematographer Natasha Braier ("The Milk of Sorrow," "XXY"), this is a breakthrough movie. Shot on film in the hot outback, she helps convey a hostile environment where survival has put humanity on hold.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 13, 2014 2:36 PM
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Mexican Director Amat Escalante Talks Violent Love Story 'Heli,' Out Now in Select Cities

When it screened at Cannes in 2013, the Mexican film “Heli” raised eyebrows and some hackles for its unsparing evocation of Mexico’s drug-war violence, including torture. A compelling story of one simple family who, through no real fault of their own, stumble into a nightmare, “Heli” was director Amat Escalante’s third film at Cannes, and his first in competition. (It opens in select theaters this weekend.)
  • By Tom Christie
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  • June 13, 2014 1:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: DreamWorks' 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Leads Animation Race

Looking for a summer Oscar contender? 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' is the frontrunner for animated feature. DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg and producer Bonnie Arnold take us behind the making of the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2014 1:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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