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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Video: Robert Redford at Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey

Sundance Video: Robert Redford at  Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey
Sundance Festival and Channel founder Robert Redford opened up the Fest with his customary press conference, where he talked about new Sundance initiatives and Slamdance. As a big supporter of the doc Buck, about the original inspiration for his film The Horse Whisperer, it was no surprise when the film sold to Sundance Selects. Redford opened the fest with the debut screening of Sing Your Song, a doc about his old friend, Harry Belafonte, 82.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 8:32 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Sundance DealBook & Interviews, Oscar Nomination Reactions, Projects in Production

Weekly Wrap: Sundance DealBook & Interviews, Oscar Nomination Reactions, Projects in Production
SUNDANCE DEALBOOK
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:57 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Kenner, Weiss Talk HBO Doc "When Strangers Click"

HBO doc When Strangers Click premieres Valentine's Day. Below, director Oscar nominee Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and producer Marc Weiss answer some questions about why they made this film about finding love and human connection online, as well as their process: What was the most surprising thing you learned during the making of When Stranger Click?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future
The best film that I saw at Sundance was triple threat Miranda July's The Future, an accessibly entertaining wild ride of a sci-fi relationship movie, in which she casts herself as the bad guy and you know that she is likely to leave her lunky boyfriend, played by Hamish Linklater--one of the talent discoveries of the festival (who is not, thankfully, an it-girl). A New Yorker writer, video artist and performer, July's voice comes through loud and clear. After winning kudos for 2005 Sundance entry Me You and Everyone We Know (which first broke out John Hawkes, this year's Winter's Bone Oscar-nominee), she went on to complete a book of short stories and a performance piece which she then used as the starting point for The Future. Breaking up with boyfriend Miguel Arteta also contributed to this narrative.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 7:06 AM
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Sundance Video: James Marsh Talks HBO's Project Nim, Roadside Lands U.S. Theatrical Rights

Sundance Video: James Marsh Talks HBO's Project Nim, Roadside Lands U.S. Theatrical Rights
James Marsh is a happy man. Not only did his stylish, unsettling and provocative doc Project Nim, about a chimp raised by a series of human parents during the 70s, land a berth at Tiffany cabler HBO, which bought all rights before the festival, but it went on to play well at Sundance (the awards show is Saturday) and will be released theatrically by Roadside. Here are reviews from THR, Variety and indieWIRE.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 12:38 AM
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Sundance Video: Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor Talk Margin Call

Sundance Video: Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor Talk Margin Call
Margin Call is one of several low-budget ($3.5 million), accessibly commercial smart films for adults debuting at Sundance that got made with a major cast willing to work for nothing against the promise of worthy material and a decent back end.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 3:50 AM
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Video: Brit Marling Talks Another Earth, Sound of My Voice

Video: Brit Marling Talks Another Earth, Sound of My Voice
It is astonishing how quickly now a talent can soar from zero to 60 with the debut of a micro-budget film at a festival. At Sundance, I interviewed writer-actress-producer Brit Marling as Another Earth screened for Fox Searchlight (video below). Her rising star is the main reason that as soon as Searchlight looked at Mike Cahill's micro-budget sci-fi dramatic competition entry Another Earth, they swiftly pursued a deal, persevering over the Weinstein Co. and Focus Features, and signed all the paperwork early the next morning for less than $1 million for all English-speaking territories, with no P & A commitment.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2011 8:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Video: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta Talk Comedy on Cedar Rapids

Sundance Video: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta Talk Comedy on Cedar Rapids
Fox Searchlight brought two new movies to Sundance, and both played like gangbusters: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta's midwestern comedy Cedar Rapids (February 11), which I've seen--it's hilarious-- and Tom McCarthy's Win Win, starring Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti as a high school wrestling coach (March 18).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2011 8:06 AM
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Studios, Celebs Make Videos for It Gets Better Project: See Sony, Pixar, DeGeneres

With Chaz Bono's new doc Becoming Chaz (which was acquired by Oprah Winfrey's OWN network)debuting at Sundance, along with David Weissman's historic doc We Were Here, awareness of gender issues is front and center at Sundance--if not everywhere else.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 26, 2011 7:38 AM
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Sundance Watch: Weinstein Co. Aggressively Acquires My Idiot Brother in Seller's Market

Buying at Sundance is a game of grabbing one title at a time: each distrib circles the hit titles, grabs one, and retires from the fray. (Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia IFC tend to have bigger appetites.) What buyers don't want in a heated bidding situation is to overpay for a weak title or wind up needing product and going home with nothing. Weinstein Co. did not land Margin Call (which went to Lionsgate/Roadside) or Like Crazy (which went to Paramount) or Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon, or Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which both went to Sony pre-fest. Sony saw the Spurlock doc before anyone had seen the completed picture--Sony saw the first hour of the film, says Spurlock. James Marsh's dramatic chimp doc Project Nim went to HBO before the fest, which is seeking a theatrical partner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2011 12:58 AM
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