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Thompson on Hollywood

Academy Unspools Summer of Silents, Starring Keaton, Chaplin, Oliver & Hardy

On the heels of one the most acclaimed films in the Cannes Film Festival this year --the silent film The Artist, made in Hollywood by the French, which earned Jean Dujardin the best actor Palme d'Or--the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is presenting a wondrous program, Summer of Silents.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 27, 2011 12:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Dueling Snow Whites: Relativity's Grimm vs. Universal's Huntsman, The Casts So Far

Dueling Snow Whites: Relativity's Grimm vs. Universal's Huntsman, The Casts So Far
UPDATE: One point for Relativity's untitled Snow White! Finally, some good news for the film comes in the form of Sean Bean. He will play the King whose kingdom is destroyed by the Evil Queen (Julia Roberts). Relativity is now touting this as a family-friendly Snow White, since they already know Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman is going to outdo them in the creative edge department. The film is currently shooting in Montreal.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 27, 2011 11:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Michael Tolkin's The Rapture Posits the End of the World

Anyone who was raised as a Christian knows that deep in your consciousness are buried irrational childhood ideas, beliefs, and hopes. Your rational adult self may revise your views of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spigot (as Rowan Atkinson would say), but you never get rid of all that embedded Stuff.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2011 11:58 AM
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  • 9 Comments

RIP: Ultimate Cinephile Don Krim

In my early years working in the New York film world, Don Krim was one of the good guys. He remained a steadfast film lover and preservationist until succumbing to cancer on May 20 at age 65. He helped to make many crucial classic films available for the likes of us to see, and for that he should be thanked and remembered. Here's an interview with him on the occasion of the 2002 restoration of Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2011 10:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Paramount, Fox, Cameron Relaunch Titanic Again in Retro-3-D

I know that James Cameron is invested in the future of 3-D, but it pains me that having set the highest possible 3-D standard with the glorious global blockbuster Avatar, the filmmaker is making Paramount and his home studio Twentieth Century Fox happy by retro-fitting the second-highest-grossing film of all time, 1997's Titanic, in 3-D. The studios plan a worldwide rerelease on April 6, 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship's sailing.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2011 12:12 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Cannes The Artist Reviews: "A Triumph of Artistic Teleportation, A Big Blast of Pure Delight"

Cannes The Artist Reviews: "A Triumph of Artistic Teleportation, A Big Blast of Pure Delight"
Weinstein Co. scooped up French production and last-minute competition entry The Artist before it screened at the fest, and since then it has become a popular title. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday and I were turned away from one festival screening before I talked us both, as well as LA Weekly's Karina Longworth, into another in the market. It could turn into a worldwide hit, because it's a charmingly accessible Star is Born Hollywood romance set at the same nostalgic turning point as Singing in the Rain: the advent of sound. The film is shot in sparkling black-and-white and it's silent--except for a surging score and a few key percussive moments.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2011 6:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oz: The Great and Powerful: All Star Cast of Williams, Franco, Kunis, Weisz, Braff, Spencer (UPDATE)

The acting chops of Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful are looking good. Michelle Williams is joining the already stellar cast to play the good witch, Glinda. James Franco is Oz, Weisz and Mila Kunis are sisters Evanorah and Theodorah (evil witches of the East and West, respectively). Zach Braff will play Oz's assistant.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 18, 2011 7:55 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Cannes Update: Trabalahar Cansa (Hard Labor), Poliss, Puzzle of a Downfall Child

Cannes Update: Trabalahar Cansa (Hard Labor), Poliss, Puzzle of a Downfall Child
Two out of the three Cannes films that Simon Abrams reviews here may never be screened for stateside art-house audiences. But one is a must-see for everyone, he writes:The restored print of Puzzle of a Downfall Child, Panic in Needle Park director Jerry Schatzberg’s 1970 debut feature, is a must-see. Cannes director Thierry Fremaux introduced the screening of Puzzle, whose star, Cannes festival poster girl Faye Dunaway, attended tonight’s screening along with Schatzberg. The film is a knockout psychodrama about the inner life of a reclusive fashion model (Dunaway) and her doomed romances with men ranging from a wealthy and obnoxious playboy (Roy Scheider) to a modest photographer (Barry Primus). If the Criterion Collection or another equally important cultural institution (perhaps the Film Society at Lincoln Center) can give Puzzle’s impeccable new print a premiere or a release, the film could find an audience.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 14, 2011 3:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"
While there will always be the odd dissenter, there's no question that Woody Allen's latest Midnight in Paris played well to audiences and press alike in Cannes. This is Woody Light, a sweet funny nostalgic romantic confection that proves a lively counterpoint to the dark and moody fare that tends to dominate the Cannes selection. (Australian newcomer Julia Leigh's brainy and formal Sleeping Beauty, starring Sucker Punch's Emily Browning as a lost soul who sells time with her sleeping body, would be one example. It proved divisive with critics and will be a marketing challenge.) And Owen Wilson and Allen turned out to be a perfect match, ably supported by Rachel McAdams as the ugly American you love to hate, Michael Sheen as a pompous blowhard, plus Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody as various denizens of the Paris Allen loves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 10:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sophia Loren Interviewed by Billy Crystal at Academy Tribute: "I Am Never Content."

Sophia Loren Interviewed by Billy Crystal at Academy Tribute: "I Am Never Content."
On May 4, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences hosted a gala tribute to Sophia Loren, who will be 77 this September. The revelation in the film clips was not her beauty, range, bravura dramatic acting in such films as Vittorio De Sica's Two Women (the first Oscar win for a non-English speaking role) or iconic American roles, dancing in gold lame with Cary Grant in Houseboat (1958) or making Gregory Peck's jaw drop in Arabesque (1966)--both men were clearly besotted--but her comic sexy romps with Marcello Mastroianni in movies like De Sica's 1964 Marriage Italian Style, for which she was also nominated. Her strip scene with Mastroianni sent temperatures soaring in the theatre. They made 12 films together.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 2:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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