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Thompson on Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE Clip: Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Premieres at Tribeca April 23

EXCLUSIVE Clip: Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Premieres at Tribeca April 23
Director Dori Berinstein's Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, a look at the legendary performer's life, catches the vibrant 90-year-old Broadway actress both then and now, onstage and off. Berinstein co-wrote the documentary with Adam Zucker, which features many famous faces, from Barbara Walters to Debbie Reynolds to Lily Tomlin. The film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23. Here is the NYT's take on the fest's 10th year. Check out the exclusive clip below, in which Channing shares an anecdote about Jackie and Caroline Kennedy:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2011 3:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Harry Shearer Talks Expose The Big Uneasy, Media Coverage of Katrina, Spike Lee's "Canards"

Harry Shearer Talks Expose The Big Uneasy, Media Coverage of Katrina, Spike Lee's "Canards"
The tagline for Harry Shearer's The Big Uneasy, a Katrina doc that digs into the Army Corps of Engineers' role in the post-hurricane New Orleans flood, reads "Natural Disaster? You Don't Know the Half Of It." Shearer is well-known to public radio listeners for his weekly Sunday talkfest Le Show; the Renaissance man is not only a sharp and funny writer-actor-producer-director and mockumentarian (This is Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration, The Simpsons) but a well-versed media commentator and blogger for The Huffington Post. The half-time New Orleans resident is dead-serious when covering the Katrina debacle. On the eve of the hurricane's fifth anniversary, he decided that putting his own more deeply reported documentary into the conversation might help bring the mainstream media up to speed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 13, 2011 11:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Ashland Independent Film Festival Winners

Ashland Independent Film Festival Winners
The 10th Ashland Independent Film Festival wrapped Monday. At the awards show Sunday night, resident actor Donal Logue (The Tao of Steve) hosted the event. "Why do indie film?" he asked. "God only knows. It's a labor of love." He has seen many indie films lose their way halfway through as they try to reach wider audience, he said. Not the films at this festival, though.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2011 10:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Kopple Talks HBO Gun Control Doc, Gun Fight: "Reason is Lost"

EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Kopple Talks HBO Gun Control Doc, Gun Fight: "Reason is Lost"
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A., American Dreams, Shut Up and Sing) is premiering her latest, HBO Documentary's Gun Fight, on HBO April 13, three days before the fourth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting (33 people killed) and a week before the 12 year anniversary of the Columbine Massacre (12 people killed).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 8, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Ashland Independent Film Festival Runs April 7-11, Awards Shearer, Spurlock

Ashland Independent Film Festival Runs April 7-11, Awards Shearer, Spurlock
Thursday I'm heading up to Oregon's Ashland Independent Film Festival (the tenth), where I'll be interviewing this year's AIFF Rogue Award winners, Harry Shearer (This is Spinal Tap, The Big Uneasy) and Morgan Spurlock (The Greatest Movie Ever Sold). I will also check out Measure for Measure and Julius Caesar at the famous Ashland Shakespeare Festival. I'm on the film fest's doc jury, along with filmmaker/blogger A.J. Schnack and doc PR master Judy Arlington. We'll hand out awards Sunday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 7, 2011 5:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Film Society's Lincoln Center Cinema Adds Bingham Ray as Program Consultant

New Yorkers can celebrate the imminent arrival of two new art-house cinemas in a city that has long been underserved by movie theaters. Here are reports by indieWIRE and the the NYT on the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunn Munroe Film Center, which opens June 17 with Andrew Rossi’s film circuit doc Page One: Inside The New York Times (Magnolia).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2011 10:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weintraub Talks His Way: from Presley, Sinatra, the Mafia and Soderbergh to His Two Women

Weintraub Talks His Way: from Presley, Sinatra, the Mafia and Soderbergh to His Two Women
Jerry Weintraub is one of those larger-than-life Hollywood figures who helped to define the image of what a movie producer is. At age 73 he 's enjoying a resurgence of sorts that began with Steven Soderbergh's Oceans Eleven series and continued with his autobiography When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead (back on top of paperback bestseller lists) and now, the entertaining Doug McGrath TV doc His Way, which debuts on HBO April 4.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2011 7:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Must See Doc: How the Japanese Tsunami Happened

This smart C4 documentary explores what happened--talking to scientists and collecting reportage--during the 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan and the subsequent devastating tsunami. Posted by Film Detail, which collects some mind-boggling facts (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2011 8:23 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance Hit Steve James Doc The Interrupters Lands Distributor

U.S. rights for Sundance documentary favorite, The Interrupters, have gone to the The Cinema Guild. The film, from director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and author, producer and collaborator Alex Kotlowitz (bestseller, There Are No Children Here and author of the 2008 NYT article that inspired the film, Blocking the Transmission of Violence), follows three "Violence Interruptors" in Chicago -- former gang members who intervene in violent situations as they unfold in order to protect their community. The film will have a theatrical release this summer, followed by a PBS Frontline broadcast and a digital release by PBS Distribution in 2012. The Interrupters premiered at Sundance and won the Doc Grand Jury Prize at the Miami International Film Festival and True/False's 2011 True Life Fund.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 28, 2011 4:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Preview: Sucker Punch and Wimpy Kid vs. Indies

Weekend Preview: Sucker Punch and Wimpy Kid vs. Indies
The weekend brings few mainstream releases -- just Sucker Punch and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (each mark 27% of Fandango's pre-sales, as of Thursday). If you are seeking something new, you may want to check out indie offerings from well-reviewed doc My Perestroika to Francois Ozon's delightful 70s feminist comedy Potiche starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. Details, reviews and trailers are below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 25, 2011 1:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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