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Thompson on Hollywood

Brad Pitt Gets Behind War on Drugs Expose 'The House I Live In' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Eugene Jarecki is a smart cookie; at his first meeting with Brad Pitt and Plan B Productions he recognized a fellow traveler. This wasn't like his other studio meetings. "He's a ridiculously bright and thoughtful guy," he said. "He chooses projects carefully, he talks about rich content: is there meaning, is there a transcendent reason to do a movie here?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2012 9:16 PM
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Exclusive Clip: 'Escape Fire' Documentary Details Perverse Economic Incentives That Drive American Healthcare

"Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" is one of those documentaries that makes you angry, but for the same reasons that make it essential viewing for anyone living in this country. The film, directed by Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman and nominated for the documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, arrives in theaters and on VOD and iTunes October 5. Director Heineman introduces our exclusive clip below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2012 12:01 PM
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Cinema Eye Honors Names Ten Finalists for Outstanding Short Film Award 2013

Cinema Eye names the ten finalists for its 2013 Outstanding Short Film Award, as chosen by a committee of international film festival programmers. The nonfiction films are listed below. Five of the finalists will be announced as nominees in October, prior to the 6th Annual Cinena Eye Honors in January.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 27, 2012 6:23 PM
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'How To Make Money Selling Drugs' Goes to Tribeca, Features 50 Cent, Sarandon, Eminem, Harrelson & 'The Wire''s David Simon

Tribeca Film takes US rights to Matthew Cooke's "How to Make Money Selling Drugs." The doc looks at the both sides of the "war on drugs," and includes interviews with 50 Cent, 'The Wire' producer David Simon, Arianna Huffington, Woody Harrelson, Eminem and Susan Sarandon, plus the infamous drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2012 12:36 PM
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TIFF Buys: HBO Docs Takes TV Rights to 'Casting By'; Trapero's 'White Elephant' Goes to Strand

TV rights to Tom Donahue's "Casting By" have been acquired by HBO Documentary Films, following its premiere at Toronto. The film shines a light on casting directors, the "unsung heroes" of filmmaking, and offers a new perspective on Hollywood history...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2012 11:57 AM
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TIFF Roundup: New Deals & Partnerships, Incl. Drafthouse, 'Leviathan,' Backup Media & Groupe 1, Plus eOne Buys Alliance

A roundup of news from the Toronto fest...
  • By Sophia Savage and Beth Hanna
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  • September 7, 2012 2:07 PM
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Documentary Community Calls for Release of Syrian Filmmaker Owra Nyrabia

A statement released by the International Documentary Association, signed by several major film organizations and filmmakers, is requesting the immediate release of Syrian filmmaker and festival director Owra Nyrabia...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 7, 2012 12:14 PM
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Telluride Forges Bonds, Affleck's 'Argo' Hits, Burns and Loyola Marymount Launch Doc Grad Program

Telluride is a place where people get to know each other. Without Telluride, I would not have dug into the Sight & Sound Top 50 with Alexander Payne (at the annual opening day Patron's Brunch), who agrees with me that "Citizen Kane" should be number one, not "Vertigo," and that Akira Kurosawa is the greatest filmmaker who ever lived.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2012 5:00 PM
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Venice Film Festival: Spike Lee Rocks the Biennale with 'BAD25'

Venice is buzzing this year with superb documentaries from high-profile film figures. Jonathan Demme’s “Enzo Avitabile Music Life” was a spirited portrait of the Neopolitan singer-songwriter who may not be widely known but whose zeal, talent and exhilarating performances with other figures in his field had me reappraising my assumptions about that woollily defined genre called world music; and more on Sarah Polley’s revelatory “Stories We Tell” later. But it was Spike Lee who rocked the Lido today with his rousing, passionate, breathlessly paced and frequently moving paean to Michael Jackson, which focuses intently on the creative process that went into generating the songs and videos for his third album, BAD – an album which spawned some of the greatest pop hits of all time, including its title track, ‘Man In The Mirror’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 31, 2012 1:44 PM
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Documentary 'The Act of Killing' Premieres at Telluride, Screens at Toronto

  • By Maggie Lange and Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2012 8:01 AM
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