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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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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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

Media Roundup: Multiple Changes in Movie Coverage

The April 4 death of Roger Ebert unleashed an unprecedented outpouring of affection and appraisal. Ebert embodied the old and the new, the tough-nosed competitive reporter and film enthusiast as well as the new model internet communicator and brand-builder. On the one hand, he revealed as outmoded the film critic as expert expounding down to their audiences. But he also exemplified the authoritative experienced veteran whose opinion was valued. He had clout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2013 6:53 AM
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Roger Ebert Update: Funeral Held, Memorial Services Planned in Chicago

On Monday April 8 at 10 AM funeral services for Roger Ebert, who died Thursday at age 70, will be held at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. State St. Friends and fans are welcome on a first-come basis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 8, 2013 6:54 PM
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Obit: Roger Ebert was a Superman

Sad news. Roger Ebert has died of complications of cancer. The legendary and indefatigable Pulitzer-prize-winning film critic had announced Tuesday that he was taking a "leave of presence," per his journal on the Chicago Sun-Times. Since December he had been recovering in a Chicago rehab facility from a hip fracture. It turned out that the cancer he had been fighting since 2002 had returned. He is survived by his loving wife Chaz.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Now and Then: Why We Love GIFs, from Taylor Swift to Goats (VIDEO)

Disclaimer: this will not be your usual romance. It involves Taylor Swift, a goat, and a lemon among its cast of thousands. It has no clear "meet cute," and may not reach a happy ending. In one sense at least, it has no beginning or ending at all. But somewhere along the way we fell in love with the GIF. This is one man's attempt to explain why.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • April 2, 2013 3:49 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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