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Thompson on Hollywood

New Republic Film Critic Stanley Kauffmann Dies at 97, Critics Write Tributes

It's easy to say that it's sad news that critic Stanley Kauffmann is gone. But the man was 97 years old. We should all be so lucky to last so long--he filed his last column in August, reviewing “Our Nixon,” “Israel: A Home Movie” and “Museum Hours.” What is sad is that the older critics in Gerald Peary's 2009 documentary “For the Love of Movies” are dropping, one by one, from Roger Ebert to Andrew Sarris.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2013 4:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Critics, Obit

New York Film Festival Picks Up Steam, Loses Outside Voices

Checking out the schedule for the 51st New York Film Festival, I'm struck by how many movies there are still to see, even if many have played other festivals, from Cannes last May to fall fests Telluride, Venice and Toronto. Under the Film Society of Lincoln Center executive director Rose Kuo, over the past three years the NYFF has not only undergone management changes, but has picked up steam and momentum as a major festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2013 4:24 PM
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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

The Guardian's The Observer Names Mark Kermode New Film Critic as Philip French Retires

Writer and broadcaster Mark Kermode will become The Observer's new resident film critic next month. Kermode, 50, will replace critic Philip French, who is retiring at the beginning of September shortly after his 80th birthday, having written for London daily The Guardian's sister weekly Sunday newspaper for 50 years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2013 2:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Ophuls' 'The Earrings of Madame de...' on Blu-ray from Criterion: Before the New Wave, a New Woman (VIDEO)

More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones, Saint Teresa of Avila reputedly opined, but she never met Louise, Madame de... (Danielle Darrieux). For the vain, tragic heroine of Max Ophuls' "The Earrings of Madame de..." (1953), the price of a direct line to the heavens comes in a foreign currency. (Watch Paul Thomas Anderson's introduction to the Criterion Blu-ray, below.)
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • August 7, 2013 11:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Is Harvey Taking His Scissors to Korean Hit 'Snowpiercer'?

So far, the reviews for dystopian thriller "Snowpiercer" are raves. But that doesn't mean that Harvey Weinstein won't tinker with the Bong Joon-ho film before releasing it to the territories he controls, which are most of the English-speaking world. Australia trade reporter Don Groves reports that Weinstein is tangling with Bong over the final cut of his post-apocalyptic thriller, which is now 126 minutes long, "demanding Bong slash the running time by 20 minutes for the version to be released in TWC’s territories."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Critics on Parade in Seattle: Curating, Writing Long vs. Short and Inviting Snark

At the recent Seattle Film Festival, Eric Kohn of Indiewire (@erickohn) moderated a panel discussion of the current state of film criticism and coverage today. I joined Seattle critics Robert Horton (@citizenhorton), Sean Axmaker (@seanaxmaker), Keith Simanton of IMDb (@IMDbKeith) and Lindy West of Jezebel (@thelindywest). We dig into long vs. shortform criticism, print vs. online, the social media conversation and how to communicate with audiences, what our role should be in promoting films, and where things are going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2013 7:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Is Emily the New Pauline?

The great TV critic Emily Nussbaum, in "The New Yorker," talks back to Brett Martin, author of the widely reviewed and excellent new book "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ to ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad.'"
  • By David Chute
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  • July 25, 2013 2:56 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Amy Nicholson Lands Karina Longworth Slot at LA Weekly

Film critic Amy Nicholson, who left her film editor gig during cutbacks at Boxoffice Magazine last year, has signed on as full-time staff film critic at LA Weekly, effectively replacing Karina Longworth, who ankled the paper in 2012 to write books on Meryl Streep and Al Pacino.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2013 4:21 PM
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Whither Women Film Critics? Study Says 78% of Film Critics Are Male, 22% Female

Yet another fascinating if depressing report from Martha M. Lauzen looks at, among other things, the percentages of women film critics as compared to their male counterparts. The numbers don't lie: In Spring of 2013 (i.e. right now), 78% of top critics (as defined by guidelines laid out by Rotten Tomatoes, below) are male, with only 22% female. The essay goes on to look at three perceptions about gender in popular film criticism, and then the realities.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • May 24, 2013 2:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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