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Thompson on Hollywood

Toronto Film Festival's Essential 100 List

OK cinephiles. Who among you has seen all 100 on the Toronto International Film Festival's Essential 100? The full list is pasted below. True confession: I have seen all but the following 11, which I shame-facedly reveal below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 8:50 AM
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Pink Panther Director Blake Edwards Dies at 88, Video Clips

I grew up on the films of Blake Edwards, who has died at age 88. He is yet another example of a director whose kind we will not see again. Just as wife Julie Andrews was schooled in vaudeville, he possessed a range of skills that few can match today. Most impressively, he knew how to get a laugh from slapstick: the well-timed pratfall, the double take. No one else could have delivered the zany laughs in the best of the long-lived Pink Panther series, A Shot in the Dark. Edwards worked with the brilliant Peter Sellers to create the unforgettable klutz Inspector Clouseau, complete with clotted French accent and killer assistant, Cato, who could pounce on him at any moment, and with composer Henry Mancini, who scored almost all of Edwards’ films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 5:46 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Beauty Watch: Theron vs. Roberts as Evil Queen, Portman and Cassel Talk about Women

Beauty Watch: Theron vs. Roberts as Evil Queen, Portman and Cassel Talk about Women
We've been tracking the rival Snow White projects since September, and the latest is that Charlize Theron and Julia Roberts are both being wooed to play (beautiful) Evil Queens. Theron is in negotiations for Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman, with director Rupert Sanders (Michael Fassbender is currently rumored to be in the lead for the Huntsman, and four unknowns for Snow White, including The Tempest's Felicity Jones), while Roberts is Relativity's choice for The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, to be directed by Tarsem Singh. No word on whether Natalie Portman is still Relativity's choice for Snow White, or if Disney's Snow and the Seven is still planned (our guess is no).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 14, 2010 5:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest, RED, The Debt, Shakespeare

Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest, RED, The Debt, Shakespeare
On Friday, I conducted a Q & A with Helen Mirren after an opening night showing of Julie Taymor's The Tempest at the Arclight. Dame Mirren earned a rousing round of applause at the packed house.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 1:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Taymor Talks Shakespeare's "Tempest," Stars Mirren as Prospera: "It's more powerful with a woman"

While director Julie Taymor has been getting a lot of ink about her $60-million musical Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, which is finally opening on Broadway with Bono and Edge's music, less attention is being paid to her Shakespeare movie The Tempest, which opens Friday. Alas, this defiant art film is getting lost in the year-end deluge as Ron Tudor's deal to buy Disney's Miramax specialty label finally closes, and Disney pays more heed to the fate of bigger-budget entries such as Tangled and Tron: Legacy. "It needs to get seen," Taymor says of the $20-million period drama in iambic pentameter. "You don't have to get every word."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 11:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Two in the Wave, Godard/Truffaut Documentary

"I always thought the cinema was great but lacked sincerity and we ought to do it better," said Francois Truffaut.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2010 11:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments

In Development: Knightley and Wright for Anna Karenina, Moses to Rise Again And Again

News to inspire remake support: Keira Knightley could follow in Greta Garbo's footsteps and play the lead in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. The screenwriter is Tom Stoppard and the director is Joe Wright, who arguably gets the best from Knightley (see Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). It's Working Title's project; they expect the script by Christmas. They will then consider, according to London's Daily Mail: "several scripts destined for Wright, including one by Abi Morgan based on The Little Mermaid fairy tale, ‘and we’ll decide what looks like the most sensible thing to do.’" Let's see both!
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 19, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Winners and Answers: David Thomson's Stump-the-Film-Buff 50 Movie Questions Quiz

I commend all who responded, in part or in full, to David Thomson's first Stump-the-Film-Buff movie quiz, 50 questions strong, for your deep love and knowledge of the spectrum of global film, old and new. Twenty-four film savants submitted answers to all 50 questions, and two brainiacs got them all right. Two buffs weighed in with only one wrong answer, but the one who submitted first won third place. Four more got just two answers wrong. Thomson will send the three winners below a signed copy of his must-own New Biographical Dictionary of Film, fifth edition.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2010 5:36 AM
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Clooney in Talks as Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I was so fond of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. when I was a kid that I named my two kittens Solo and Kuryakin. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is yet another studio TV remake that begs the question: will anyone under 50 remember the title?
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • November 18, 2010 12:43 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Marilyn Monroe's Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

It turns out actress Marilyn Monroe put some time in the kitchen. The NYT posts a photo of her unusual 50s-era recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing, which they prepared and liked (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 17, 2010 11:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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