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Thompson on Hollywood

Director Lynn Shelton Talks AMC's Mad Men, MTV's $5 Cover Seattle

Director Lynn Shelton Talks AMC's Mad Men, MTV's $5 Cover Seattle
Seattle-based indie director Lynn Shelton (Humpday) directed the latest Mad Men episode. She talks to TOH film critic Tim Appelo, who admires her style.Mad Men hit big this week with “Hands and Knees,” Episode 410, thanks to the last director you’d ever expect: Seattle’s Lynn Shelton, 45, a TV debutante and micro-indie autodidact who never went to film school. A stage actor from 11 to twentysomething, Shelton won Slamdance at 41 with her theatre satire and chick flick We Go Way Back. Todd Haynes and Ira Glass became fans. So did Mad Men main man Matt Weiner, who hired her the same day her Mike Leigh-style (and Judd Apatow-like) improvised 2009 bromance Humpday won an Indie Spirit Award. “I just couldn’t believe my luck,” says Shelton. “I went around for two entire months with a gigantic goofy smile on my face, hugging anyone who would let me.”
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 29, 2010 8:17 AM
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Del Toro Talks Hobbit, Mountains of Madness, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Julia's Eyes, Biutiful

Del Toro Talks Hobbit, Mountains of Madness, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Julia's Eyes, Biutiful
When Guillermo del Toro left New Zealand after two years prepping Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, he was escaping from a box (MGM's financial issues had frozen the project), but he also didn't know what he was going to do next. Since then, the director/producer has been making up for lost time, making deals all over town: Disney, where he's doing Haunted Mansion, and which is releasing his Miramax horror production Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; DreamWorks Animation; and Fox, where he's excited about returning to big-budget directing with James Cameron's Mountains of Madness. Del Toro talks about his productions Julia's Eyes and Biutiful, which played in Toronto, as well as his other projects, in three flip cam interviews posted below, along with the Julia's Eyes trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 28, 2010 10:59 AM
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Trailer Watch: Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Inside Job

Two excellent Wall Street exposes, Alex Gibney's Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (on demand October 1, theaters November 4) and Charles Ferguson's Inside Job (NYFF October 1, NY October 8, LA October 15) serve as brainy fact-packed companion pieces to Oliver Stone's commercial sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which opened at number one this weekend. Here are trailers for both Oscar-worthy docs:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2010 5:43 AM
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Oscar Watch: Waiting for Superman Meets Zuckerberg on Oprah

Oscar Watch: Waiting for Superman Meets Zuckerberg on Oprah
Paramount has sent out "for Your Consideration" six-city screening invites for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman, which got serious Oprah Winfrey love this week, with two shows devoted to the controversial American education expose. The second show also featured Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who didn't say much as Winfrey explained that he was reluctant to appear and had wanted to make his contribution to the Newark city schools anonymously.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 25, 2010 11:00 AM
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TIFF Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Review, and Alex Gibney Talks

TIFF Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Review, and Alex Gibney Talks
Alex Gibney's hugely entertaining Eliot Spitzer doc, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer, is a leading contender for this year's doc Oscar. The movie is full of surprises. In my flip cam interview with Gibney (below) he explains how the story he tells turned out far different from what he thought it would be, and why Wall Street Masters of the Universe were so eager to go on camera to chortle over Spitzer's dramatic comedown: "They wanted to stamp on Spitzer's grave," Gibney admits. 'It's not stretching the truth to say they hated this man."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 12:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TIFF Interview: Inarritu Expected Biutiful, Starring Bardem, to "Provoke Extreme Reactions"

TIFF Interview: Inarritu Expected Biutiful, Starring Bardem, to "Provoke Extreme Reactions"
Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's long-awaited follow-up to Babel (which scored seven Oscar nominations in 2007 including best picture), came into Toronto with a stateside distrib (Lionsgate's Roadside Attractions), and played well here. Javier Bardem's performance as a down-and-out psychic in Barcelona, Spain, which shared the best actor prize in Cannes, is definitely on the Oscar radar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 3:59 AM
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TIFF Between a Rock and Hard Place: Boyle and Franco Talk 127 Hours

TIFF Between a Rock and Hard Place: Boyle and Franco Talk 127 Hours
I interviewed 127 Hours producer Christian Colson and writer Simon Beaufoy, the same team who worked with Danny Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire, just before my flipcam chat with Boyle and James Franco (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 3:09 AM
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IFC Makes Second Toronto Buy: Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, in 3-D

IFC Films has acquired all U.S. rights (except TV) to Werner Herzog’s 3-D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which explores the ancient walls of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave in the south of France. Herzog was able to get access to areas that have been off-limits by deploying special no-heat lights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 11:15 AM
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Exclusive Interview: With Somewhere, Sofia Coppola Grows Up

Exclusive Interview: With Somewhere, Sofia Coppola Grows Up
Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, which was the surprise winner of the Golden Lion in Venice, will be released by Focus Features this December.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2010 3:22 AM
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  • 14 Comments

TIFF: Tony Goldwyn Talks Conviction, Betty Anne Waters, Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell

TIFF: Tony Goldwyn Talks Conviction, Betty Anne Waters, Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell
At this year's Toronto Film Fest, indieWIRE interviewed filmmakers and stars at Live at the Lounge every day. In my talk with Conviction director Tony Goldwyn (video below), he admitted, as David Schwimmer had several days earlier with rape drama Trust, that serious dramas are the hardest films to finance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 13, 2010 11:19 AM
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