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Thompson on Hollywood

Debbie Reynolds' Costume Collection: A Glimpse Before It Goes on Auction June 18

On Tuesday night, the Paley Center in Beverly Hills hosted a cocktail party for Debbie Reynolds and the incredible costume, props and photos she has collected over the past forty years that will be auctioned off beginning on June 18. Cari Beauchamp reports:
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • June 9, 2011 12:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Review: Why is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Fest?

Cannes Review: Why is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Fest?
What motivates a groggy, jet-lagged scribe to crawl out of bed for an 8:30 AM press screening of Pirates of the Caribbean? Schadenfreude. The word on the Croisette was that the fourth Pirates installment was lousy. Safe to say I wasn't expecting to have a good time. (I didn't even see Number Three, even though it boasted Chow Yun-Fat.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2011 10:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Meek's Cutoff: Professor Kelly Reichardt's Filmmaking 101 Primer

Meek's Cutoff: Professor Kelly Reichardt's Filmmaking 101 Primer
Kelly Reichardt teaches filmmaking at Bard College in New York, and writes and directs rigorous low-budget indie films on the side. Her latest, Meek's Cutoff, is even better than her last, Wendy and Lucy, which was better than Old Joy, which I found a tough slog. Star Michelle Williams may have made some of the difference on the last two, but perhaps in spite of herself, Reichardt's austere, thoughtful films are gaining accessibility as she goes along. In person, she's seriously charming. Herewith, Professor Reichardt's tips for making a good indie movie:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2011 8:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SXSW Video: Catherine Hardwicke Talks Red Riding Hood, Twilight, Women in Hollywood

SXSW Video: Catherine Hardwicke Talks Red Riding Hood, Twilight, Women in Hollywood
Women directors really do have a tough time. So many factors work against them, no matter how successful they are, in terms of what the powers that be will let them do. Big-budget action films? Mimi Leder and Kathryn Bigelow are among the few who have been allowed into that club. Back in the day when Renny Harlin and Rachel Talalay both directed hit horror sequels, he got a career and she didn't. Even after Twilight, Hardwicke couldn't land the gig directing The Fighter, which went to a director, David O. Russell, who had been in movie jail. It's a boys' club, one in which failure for women is not tolerated. After she turned down the Twilight sequel because it was on a fast track and she wanted more time, Hardwicke tried to make Hamlet with Emile Hirsch, but has yet to raise the money.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2011 12:31 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk: Possible King's Speech Sweep, Santa Barbara Fest, Potential Upsets

In this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I debate a King's Speech Oscar sweep, possible Oscar upsets and share what we learned in Santa Barbara at various tributes and panels.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 5, 2011 12:42 AM
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Behind the Visual Effects on Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is one of those movies that is creepy, scary, believable and psychologically taut partly because he deploys 250 visual effects shots to such good effect. They aren't obvious, or on a big-budget scale. While we probably figured out that Nina morphing into a Black Swan at the film's finale is a visual effect (the most complex in the film), most of the film's effects are far more subtle.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December
Julie Taymor is cheering up these days. Her movie of Shakespeare's The Tempest--which had been in limbo at Miramax-- is now closing night at the Venice Film Fest (here's the new poster) and a centerpiece gala at New York, and is set to open December 10. Meanwhile her long-in-the-works Broadway musical Spider-Man finally has an opening date: December 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 12:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Unraveling Inception: Zimmer's Piaf Riff, Clothing Clues, Nolan's Anxiety

One of the great pastimes of summer 2010 is unravelling, explaining and debating Inception. Which is the main reason it is such a big hit: repeat business. (The movie's so good that the Chinese government is allowing it to play there, a rare honor for a Hollywood picture.) Here are some recent popular memes:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Campion on Bright Star

I sat down with New Zealand director Jane Campion at Cannes to talk about Bright Star a full sixteen years after I first met with her, for The Piano, for which she was the only woman to ever win the Palme d'Or in the 62 year history of the fest. Tragically, she lost the child she was carrying that year. Her daughter Ella was born three years later; spending time with her is the main reason Campion has made only four features since The Piano, and took four years off after In the Cut.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2009 9:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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