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Thompson on Hollywood

Earth Day Is April 22: Films, Festivals To Celebrate, Protect and Inspire

Earth Day Is April 22: Films, Festivals To Celebrate, Protect and Inspire
As earthquakes, tsunamis and tornadoes remind us of our fragile planet, here's a round-up of offerings to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 19, 2011 6:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment

EXCLUSIVE Clip: Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3-D

Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Werner Herzog's 3-D exploration of the world's oldest paintings in the Chauvet Cave in southern France, is an enchanting ride. Rather than using 3-D as a device to escape into fantasy, Cave of Forgotten Dreams opens our eyes to a real and fragile history that makes us marvel at our own existence. Herzog invites us "to reflect on our primal desire to communicate and represent the world around us, evolution and our place within it, and ultimately what it means to be human."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 19, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Adds Fortnight, Shorts, Critics Week Lineups, More Films Directed by Women

Cannes Adds Fortnight, Shorts, Critics Week Lineups, More Films Directed by Women
The Director's Fortnight sidebar sometimes offers a more varied and fresh line-up--and often more American indies-- than the mainbar selections, although this year more up-and-coming filmmakers made it into the competition than usual.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2011 3:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Morgan Spurlock Talks Funding, Making, Selling Doc The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock Talks Funding, Making, Selling Doc The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
There's no question that Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a high-concept brand-friendly crowd-pleaser. But the brand that comes out ahead on this breezily entertaining doc is Spurlock himself. At 40, he's that magic combo of canny producer-writer, visual director, and eager-to-please, comedic performer who somehow remains likably authentic and serious about engaging and educating his audience. This is hard to do! "If you make someone laugh, you make someone listen," he says.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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

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"

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

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