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Thompson on Hollywood

IMDb Founder Col Needham Talks Sundance

IMDb founder Col Needham is a big film buff, and he takes his Sundance picks seriously. I caught him with the Flip Cam at the Eccles Saturday night:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 9:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out

Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out
The Sundance Fest's biggest sale so far is Like Crazy, the follow-up film from Drake Doremus, who showed Douchebag here last year. That movie was a minor improv road comedy of the Mumblecore variety. (Speaking of which, SXSW grad Joe Swanberg's first Sundance entry, Uncle Kent, has earned dismissive reviews here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 8:31 AM
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Sundance Watch: Hope and Vachon Do Hulu

Two of the cannier producers with taste who have been supplying films at Sundance for decades are Ted Hope (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Killer Films' Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce). This year Hope not only executive produced director Sean Durkin's impossibly-titled cult film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which played well here (amid buyer interest) and broke out the festival's "it-girl" Elizabeth Olsen--sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, who also stars in a solo one-shot tour-de-force Silent House--but is conducting with Vachon a series of interview shows produced by Digital Artists that are being streamed on Hulu.com. Check out their interview with Olsen:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 12:15 AM
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Ryan Gosling Promos Blue Valentine, Sings for Jimmy Kimmel

It's not news: Ryan Gosling is talented. Jimmy Kimmel is another story. Gosling has been promoting the socks off Blue Valentine for a while now. Herewith, our video interviews with Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance (a year ago at Sundance) as well as co-star Michelle Williams.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 21, 2011 4:39 AM
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Oscar Watch Exclusive: Tom Hooper Talks Directing Style in The King's Speech

In a wide-ranging discussion about his directing approach on The King's Speech, Tom Hooper talks (in the video below) about framing star Colin Firth in wide-lens close-ups so that there was "nothing between him and the character." He mentions one of the visual themes in the film was finding "a visual analogue to stammering which became about framing Colin in relationship to negative space."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 20, 2011 4:17 AM
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Jim Sturgess Talks The Way Back, Heartless, Singing the Beatles

Jim Sturgess Talks The Way Back, Heartless, Singing the Beatles
Jim Sturgess was deep in the throes of working on a thriller when he auditioned for Peter Weir's The Way Back. The young Brit felt "a combination of intimidation and awe and desperation" going up for a part in a Weir film. "I had quite a strange entrance into the movie," he recalls, "because when I found out that Peter was casting for the film and wanted to see me, I was in the middle of shooting a film back in London called Heartless, where I was playing a kind of psychotic, delusional, manic-depressive, suicidal character in a comedy, a British rom-com." When he met with Weir, he had been doing two weeks of night shoots and looked terrible, and left feeling disappointed. The actor ended up putting himself on tape and sent Weir a letter. "Thank god I did that," he says now, as Weir offered him the key role of a Polish Gulag survivor who leads a gang of escapees across 4000 miles to freedom.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 8:04 AM
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Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4

Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4
Australian star Jacki Weaver's role as a wicked mom in Animal Kingdom has generated awards buzz since its premiere at Sundance last year. She's got several nominations to prove it, and a win at the National Board of Review Awards. Sophia Savage sat down for a flip cam interview with the veteran actress:"That's gonna take years," Jacki Weaver replies to a request for a rundown of her Australian acting career, which spans 48 years. "How long have you got?"
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 18, 2011 7:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Golden Globes Foreign-Language Nominees: Lessons Learned from Bier, Inarritu, Guadagnino

Golden Globes Foreign-Language Nominees: Lessons Learned from Bier, Inarritu, Guadagnino
Mike Goodridge of Screen International moderated a panel discussion with Golden Globe nominees for Best Foreign Language Film Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, Italy), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Biutiful, Spain/Mexico), Susanne Bier (In a Better World, Denmark) and Aleksei Uchitel (The Edge, Russia), hosted by the American Cinematheque at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre. The only no-show was Radu Mihaileanu (The Concert, France). Bier, Inarritu and Uchitel's films were also submitted by their countries for Oscar consideration (nominees will be announced January 25). Sophia Savage reports:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 16, 2011 9:20 AM
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LA Film Critics Award-Winner Mazursky Talks Career, Kubrick, Tempest, Hollywood

LA Film Critics Award-Winner Mazursky Talks Career, Kubrick, Tempest, Hollywood
Paul Mazursky, 80, has always been a one-of-a-kind Hollywood filmmaker. He started out as an actor, wrote (often with a partner), directed and produced his films, and he hasn't stopped. He directed a 2006 documentary about a meeting of Hassidic Jews in the Ukraine (Yippee), directs theater and is prepping a Broadway musical version of Moon Over Parador. The director flourished inside the studio system during the 70s and 80s, a time when execs allowed all sorts of things to happen that they wouldn't today. Movies didn't cost as much. A single exec actually in charge of production could greenlight a movie. We talk about this in the flip cam interview below, as well as starting off his film acting career in 1953 on Stanley Kubrick's first film, Fear and Desire, Mazursky and Julie Taymor's different takes on Shakespeare's The Tempest, and what's wrong with Hollywood today, where it's hard to imagine any studio head greenlighting a film about an old man and his cat.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 14, 2011 6:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld Talks Coens, Learning from Bridges and Damon, Horses and School

True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld Talks Coens, Learning from Bridges and Damon, Horses and School
grit (noun): firmness of character; indomitable spirit.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 8, 2011 1:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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