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Thompson on Hollywood

The Killing: What Does Linden's Abstracted Look Mean?

One of my favorite things in The Killing, the successful new AMC series remake of the original Danish global hit, is the way homicide detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) takes a long slow burn as she susses out a new location. One of my friends calls it a "meaningful stare, that long, long shot when she is thinking, or being sympathetic." Another calls it an "abstracted" quality. It turns out that folks are debating what these slow reaction shots mean, exactly.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2011 5:49 AM
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Hot Cable Series The Killing, The Borgias, Game of Thrones Boost Breakout Stars

Hot Cable Series The Killing, The Borgias, Game of Thrones Boost Breakout Stars
Post-Oscar season, there's no question that these days, the best viewing to be found is on cable. Not only are AMC's critically-hailed Danish murder mystery remake The Killing, HBO's Tolkien light fantasy series Game of Thrones (adapted from George R.R. Martin's novels by top Hollywood scribe David Benioff and D.B. Weiss), and Showtime's The Borgias (adapted by writer-director Neil Jordan) compelling, gorgeously-mounted, well-written series, but they are breaking out --and reviving--talent as well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 26, 2011 8:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Academy Premiering Digital Restoration of Bye Bye Birdie; Ann-Margret and Bobby Rydell to Attend

"I hate you Conrad, I really do," goes one of the many great songs in Bye Bye Birdie which stars singer-dancers Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke at their absolute best. The Motion Picture Academy is premiering a new digital restoration of the 1963 musical comedy classic on April 27 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Critic Stephen Farber will host the presentation, followed by an onstage discussion with stars Ann-Margret and Bobby Rydell. The film, which was an adaptation of the Broadway musical, was directed by George Sidney and was nominated for both Music and Sound Oscars. Jesse Pearson, Janet Leigh, Paul Lynde and Mary LaRoche also starred.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2011 7:42 AM
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TV Over Movies: from Mildred Pierce and Nurse Jackie to Shameless and Justified

Reading the papers Friday morning, I realized that I'm more interested in Camelot, The Kennedys, The Borgias, Mildred Pierce and the American version of Scandinavian hit The Killing than the new movie reviews. It turns out that I can skip Camelot and The Kennedys, which earned lousy notices. And I'm already watching Todd Haynes' gorgeously-mounted HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, which is well-acted by Kate Winslet, Melissa Leo, Guy Pearce and Mare Winningham, but judging from the draggy first two episodes, didn't need to be stretched to five installments. And David Ulin's review made me want to go back to my fave James Cain paperbacks, which I read in my 20s. Time to make a pitch to my book group.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weiner and AMC Make Mad Men Pact

Raise high the roof beam, carpenters! AMC, Lionsgate and Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner have made their deal to extend his contract for as much as $30 million if it goes to three seasons. He will remain in charge of the lucrative show starring Jon Hamm as Madison Avenue ad exec Don Draper. Variety's Cynthia Littleton has the details:The sides came to a compromise on the running time issue by settling in allowing the show to run at its standard 47-minute length for each season premiere and season finale. The 11 episodes in between will run 45 minutes, but Weiner will have the option of delivering a 47-minute version to be made available on VOD and ultimately on DVD. (There's also been chatter about Lionsgate cutting a deal with Netflix for streaming rights to "Mad Men.")
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 12:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments
More: TV, Mad Men, AMC

Mad Men vs. Advertising: Weiner, AdAge and the Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Mad Men has been all over the news, from showrunner Matthew Weiner's contract dispute with AMC to disputes about how advertising should be used on the show. Isn't Mad Men about advertising? Sure. But that doesn't mean Weiner should sacrifice his creative integrity.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 31, 2011 6:00 AM
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Video Watch: Mad Men's Jon Hamm

For those of you mourning the loss of AMC summer series Mad Men (still mired in negotiations and pushed back to 2012), herewith for your delectation, some Jon Hamm hits. Here are some choice Don Draper quotes. And more videos are below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 30, 2011 6:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video, TV, Mad Men, AMC

Mad Men Tug-of-War Delays Show to 2012: Who Should Give In?

Last week Jon Hamm warned ominously that we probably won't see another Mad Men until 2012. AMC confirmed that Tuesday, although it has ordered more episodes from Lionsgate. That's way too long: the show has run over the past four summers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 29, 2011 8:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: TV, AMC

Zombies Rule the Earth, from Walking Dead to 28 Months Later

As zombies become the new vampires, and AMC's The Walking Dead launches Halloween, the dystopian 28 Days Later franchise shows no sign of slowing down.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2010 1:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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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  • 0 Comments

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