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Thompson on Hollywood

Cholodenko Hosts AFI Directing Workshop for Women Showcase

The AFI has long supported fattening the ranks of working women directors--still too thin--with its Directing Workshop for Women. Cari Beauchamp covered Monday night's showcase of recent grads, hosted by Lisa Cholodenko.Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right) opened Monday's AFI showcase at the DGA Theatre and soon had the audience laughing with the tales of serving as an assistant at AFI in the early 90s. She claimed she was totally inept at her job, but used the opportunity to thoroughly study the resumes and proposals of all the applicants to the DWW to learn how to “present” herself, Having learned her lessons well, she got into Columbia where she earned her MFA and was off and running.
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • May 11, 2011 12:11 PM
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Cannes 2011: Fourplay: Tampa Debuts in Directors’ Fortnight

Debuting in this year's Directors’ Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalisateurs) is Kyle Henry's 17-minute short Fourplay: Tampa, which is the second of four Fourplay shorts set in different cities in Henry's omnibus film. Tampa premieres on May 20 at 11:30 am. Produced by Jason Wehling, the film's executive producers are REM frontman Michael Stipe and Jim McKay. Fourplay: San Francisco played at OutFest; in March, Henry sent Tampa to Cannes and then when it was accepted. he had to finish it in time. He hopes to assemble the four shorts into an anthology feature and sell it to a distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:15 AM
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ShortsHD Launches on DIRECTV: Like A Mini Short Film Festival Each Night

Shorts fans and filmmakers rejoice. Shorts International now boasts ShortsHD on DIRECTV. Their HD Extra Pack subscribers can now check out channel 568; a selection of the most popular titles will also be on VOD channel 1568. ShortsHD offers a library of titles from Oscar and international festival circuit winners to CGI animation and "cinematic gems" from around the world. The program will feature a premiere each night, and scheduling will group shorts together in 30 or 60 minute theme blocks, including comedy, docs, thrillers, musical, dramas and animation.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 5, 2011 5:06 AM
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SFIFF 54 Day Three: The Colors of the Mountain, Year Without a Summer, Le Quattro Volte

Meredith Brody continues her SFIFF diary, day three:I rush along Fillmore to slip into a 1 p.m. screening of The Colors of the Mountain, too late today to do anything but grab three samosas for $5, so greasy that they turn their paper sack transparent before I reach the theater. Three is more than I need or want, but I’ll be able to turn to someone later today and say “Would you like a samosa?,” a treat unavailable at the movies since the lamentable closure last year of the delightful Bollywood palace the Naz 8 across the bay in Fremont.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • April 25, 2011 1:38 AM
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Sebastian Junger's Tribute to Tim Hetherington, Video Diary

Sebastian Junger's Tribute to Tim Hetherington, Video Diary
As much as I admired Tim Hetherington, the photojournalist who bled to death Wednesday in Misrata, Libya, struck by a mortar, I also respect his confrere and comrade, Restrepo co-director Sebastian Junger, who is a fine writer. Check out this Vanity Fair tribute piece (below) he wrote to Hetherington. It made me cry, yet again.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2011 10:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Adds Fortnight, Shorts, Critics Week Lineups, More Films Directed by Women

Cannes Adds Fortnight, Shorts, Critics Week Lineups, More Films Directed by Women
The Director's Fortnight sidebar sometimes offers a more varied and fresh line-up--and often more American indies-- than the mainbar selections, although this year more up-and-coming filmmakers made it into the competition than usual.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2011 3:58 AM
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Put Down Your Flip Cam! UCLA's First Barbie Video Girl Film Festival

Put Down Your Flip Cam!  UCLA's First Barbie Video Girl Film Festival
If Todd Haynes could make a Barbie Doll movie-- Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (trailer below) broke him out at Sundance 1987, but was not cleared for theatrical release--why not UCLA film students?
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • April 14, 2011 7:57 AM
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Directors Go to the Opera

For those who missed Sky Opera Shorts, celebrating six years of Sky Arts' collaboration with the English National Opera, here are three videos whose directors used a popular aria from the 2008/2009 season. The films were aired on Sky Arts in February 2009 in the documentary Opera Shorts: Behind The Scenes, complete with interviews with the directors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 22, 2011 10:43 AM
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Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix
Finally, the promise of streaming movies has become a practical reality, from Amazon to Netflix. But as multiple indie sites come and go (from Jaman and Mubi to Spout), on the eve of SXSW, a new indie site launches Wednesday, Fandor, that promises a better subscription indie streaming service via its website and Facebook. For $10 a month, you can browse, sample, clip and stream its library of 2500 films, from Fritz Lang and Maya Deren classics to Alex Cox and Derek Jarman indies or Sundance docs. (Shorts are in the mix too, especially as a mobile app comes online.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 4:58 AM
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Live at Oscars: Strangers No More Wins Doc Short, God of Love Wins Live Short, Inside Job Wins

"Three years after a horrific financial crisis, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that is wrong," says Charles Ferguson as he accepts the Oscar for Inside Job. The front-runner won over upstart Exit Through the Gift Shop, depriving Oscar watchers of seeing who would accept the award for Banksy. This is a case of gravitas winning out over a more whimsical film about art. Gift Shop likely benefited from the Brit street artist's graffiti postings in the weeks before the Oscars, which were well-covered by the media, but probably was hurt by Banksy's interview proxy, the wacky subject of his movie, Mr. Brainwash. If anything the movie that was moving up on the outside was Lucy Walker's Waste Land, another movie about art.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 28, 2011 3:14 AM
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