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Thompson on Hollywood

TOH's Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide for Cinephiles

If you haven't started your holiday shopping, well, good luck to you and all who sail with you. But if you're looking for a few eleventh hour gifts for that fussy cinephile in your life, TOH! has some great ideas, from books to boxed sets, if you're in a pinch.
  • By Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • December 23, 2013 3:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

WATCH: Anjelica Huston Talks Buzzy New Memoir 'A Story Lately Told' on Charlie Rose, Review Roundup

With "Smash" behind her, Anjelica Huston has been doing the rounds with her new memoir, "A Story Lately Told." In the book she dishes on her childhood growing up in Ireland, her famous philandering director father John, how she coped with her mother's death in a car crash, and her experience meeting her half-brother Danny when he was already two years old.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2013 1:33 PM
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Book Review: 'A Life of Barbara Stanwyck,' at 1000 Pages, Builds a Living Thing

“A Life of Barbara Stanwyck” by Victoria Wilson ends abruptly in 1940. Still ahead are “The Lady Eve” and “Ball of Fire,” “Meet John Doe” and “Double Indemnity,” not to mention more than 40 other movies and four years as the matriarch of a sprawling 19th century ranch on the television series, “The Big Valley.” Yet the book, which takes Stanwyck from birth in 1907 to the age of 37 and stardom in a town she hated for the “pretense” of its “so self-important” people, is exactly 1000 pages long if you include its meticulous stage, film, radio and television chronologies and notes on sources.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • November 25, 2013 1:16 PM
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  • 5 Comments

More Details on Rudin Buy 'City on Fire,' 900-Page Debut Tome Sold for $2 Million to Knopf (UPDATE)

The long novel appears to be making a comeback. "City on Fire," 34-year-old Garth Risk Hallberg's 900-page debut novel, sold to Knopf for just shy of $2 million following a two-day bidding war.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 12, 2013 4:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: 'The Book Thief,' Starring Geoffrey Rush, a Well-Meaning but Oddly Muted Holocaust Tale

"The Book Thief," adapted from Markus Zusak's best-selling novel, is a well-meaning re-telling of the oft-told tale: the Holocaust was a time of unimaginable horror, but even during the worst moments of man's inhumanity to man, there were good people around who adopted the children of Communists and sheltered Jews in their basements.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • November 8, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments

David Thomson Recalls Fun 'Moments That Made the Movies'

The New Republic critic David Thomson has written more than 20 movie books, among them must-owns such as "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film" and "'Have You Seen...?': A Personal Introduction to 1000 Films." The Brit transplant's long experience with writing accessible, entertaining, idiosyncratic, erudite and enlightening movie books led him to the most delightful one of all: "Moments that Made the Movies." Trust me. This is a keeper.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2013 6:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

To Celebrate Roman Polanski's 80th Birthday, A Retrospective

Happy birthday to Roman Polanski, who turns 80 on Sunday August 18. Published just ahead of this occasion is James Greenberg's picture-packed coffee table book "Roman Polanski: A Retrospective," which covers all of Polanski's movies as well as his career as an actor. Part of a series of glossy filmmaker retrospectives (Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg) from England's Palazzo Editions, "Roman Polanski" is published stateside by Abrams and is the only book of its kind the filmmaker has ever participated in.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2013 7:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Lynda Obst's New Book 'Sleepless in Hollywood' Asks: Is There Still Room for Movies in the Movie Business?

With six mega-hundred-million-dollar-movies already making belly flops into Hollywood’s summer movie pool, and the summer barely half over, it seems like everybody is worrying about the Future of Movies.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • July 23, 2013 1:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

TV Is the New Cinema: But It's Still Waiting for Its Close-Up

A highly readable new book promises to anatomize the shifts in entertainment technology and in the culture in the cable era that gave rise to the 21st Century's most lionized form of "art television": the 12-episode, novelistically textured premium cable serial. Brett Martin's "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From 'The Sopranos' and 'The Wire' to 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad'" (Penquin) provides a useful overview of the changes that enabled this alternative to the 30-to-22 episode anthology-of-short-stories format that for decades was the only game in town in Television City.
  • By David Chute
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  • July 16, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Memoir of a Hollywood Raconteur: Curtis Harrington's 'Nice Guys Don't Work in Hollywood'

When I was an undergraduate in UCLA’s film school in 1973, I interviewed Curtis Harrington for the UCLA Daily Bruin about his masterful "The Killing Kind." The filmmaker did not disappoint: He welcomed me into his gorgeous Art Nouveau-stuffed home in the Hollywood Hills and chatted openly and articulately about the unusual trajectory of his filmmaking career. He was at that time—and remained—one of the industry’s great near-misses, a man whose feature credits seemed to consist almost entirely of films maudits. He saved his grousing for his memoir, published posthumously by Drag City Books. Appropriately titled "Nice Guys Don’t Work In Hollywood: The Adventures of an Aesthete in the Movie Business," the book allows Harrington to finally tell his side of the story.
  • By Eric Myers
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  • June 21, 2013 1:43 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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