Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Documentary Noms Shockers Explained

Oscar Watch: Documentary Noms Shockers Explained
One of the great subjects of debate this Oscar season is what happened with the documentary branch's voting for the final five nominations. Two hits from Oscar-winners were left off the list: Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman and Alex Gibney's Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, while outsider Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop came through.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 3, 2011 11:45 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

SXSW's Pierson Talks 2011 Features Program; Will Sundance Buying Spree Continue?

The South by Southwest Film Festival has never historically been a market. Set in March in Austin's vibrant film community, nourished by the concurrent SXSW Interactive Fest and the wildly popular Music Fest to follow, SXSW Film Fest has continued under the canny direction of Janet Pierson to nourish indie newcomers, launch male-driven commercial comedies (Simon Pegg sci-fi comedy Paul would be this year's example) and pull a young hip moviegoing demo. One hot ticket this March will be Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke's Red Riding Hood. Last year's SXSW breakouts include Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture, Aaron Katz's Cold Weather, Gareth Edwards' Monsters and the doc Marwencol. (Full 2011 line-up is posted below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 2, 2011 7:58 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

IBM Centennial Shorts: 100 x 100 vs. Errol Morris's They Were There

To celebrate their centennial anniversary, IBM has produced two videos (below). Compare and contrast 100x100, which tells IBM's history through the eyes of 100 different people, from a 100-year-old to a newborn baby, with Errol Morris’s 30-minute doc They Were There, scored by his frequent collaborator, Philip Glass.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 1, 2011 8:15 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Sundance Video: Alex Gibney Talks Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady on Magic Trip

With Magic Trip, Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and his longtime editor Alison Ellwood have cut together a rich piece of 60s history using archive video and audio of the iconic literary figures on the famous cross-country Magic Bus trip recounted by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Gibney talks (our video interview is below) about how Ken Kesey created the original footage that he uses in Magic Trip. "It's archival cinema verite," Gibney says. "I wanted more of an immersion experience... it's like the origin story of the 60s."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • February 1, 2011 7:20 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Sundance Video: Doc Resurrect Dead Explores Toynbee Tiles, Wins Prize, Kickstarter Raises $13,000

One of the surprise word-of-mouth hits at Sundance comes from an unexpected source: first-time filmmaker Jon Foy, of Philadelphia, who landed in the Sundance competition with Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Veteran doc filmmaker Doug Block (Home Page, The Kids Grow Up), who runs the doc community site The D-Word, got a call from the rookie Philadelphia filmmaker and film school dropout, seeking advice. He had been toiling away for more than five years on a doc about the Toynbee Tiles, which crop up embedded in roads around the country, from the North East spreading all the way to South America, inspiring many theories about their origin. UPDATE: The doc won the best directing documentary prize Saturday at Sundance.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • January 30, 2011 1:39 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Sundance Video: Robert Redford at Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey

Sundance Video: Robert Redford at  Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey
Sundance Festival and Channel founder Robert Redford opened up the Fest with his customary press conference, where he talked about new Sundance initiatives and Slamdance. As a big supporter of the doc Buck, about the original inspiration for his film The Horse Whisperer, it was no surprise when the film sold to Sundance Selects. Redford opened the fest with the debut screening of Sing Your Song, a doc about his old friend, Harry Belafonte, 82.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • January 28, 2011 8:32 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Kenner, Weiss Talk HBO Doc "When Strangers Click"

HBO doc When Strangers Click premieres Valentine's Day. Below, director Oscar nominee Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and producer Marc Weiss answer some questions about why they made this film about finding love and human connection online, as well as their process: What was the most surprising thing you learned during the making of When Stranger Click?
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • January 28, 2011 7:48 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Doc/Fiction Hybrid The Arbor Wins Guardian First Film Award

Clio Barnard's film The Arbor has won The Guardian's First Film Award. The film is a about English playwright Andrea Dunbar, best known for Rita, Sue and Bob Too, an autobiographical sexual-adventures drama about teenage girls living in the slums of Bradford, England. The play was turned into a film by Alan Clarke in 1986 and caused un uproar with residents of the Buttershaw council housing estate, where Dunbar lived.
  • By Sophia Savage
  • |
  • January 28, 2011 6:29 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Sundance Alert: Life in a Day Premieres at Sundance and on YouTube

Check out Life in a Day--live on YouTube as of 8 PM EST Thursday. Yes, big Hollywood filmmaker Ridley Scott is involved, but remember, the guy makes films and commercials and knows how to edit little pieces of film together. "This isn't like any other film you've seen before," as documentary/narrative filmmaker Kevin Macdonald said before the film unspooled Thursday night at Sundance. "Thank God it's better than Koyaanisqatsi," said one critic. Yes, it's much better.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • January 28, 2011 1:18 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Sundance Video: James Marsh Talks HBO's Project Nim, Roadside Lands U.S. Theatrical Rights

James Marsh is a happy man. Not only did his stylish, unsettling and provocative doc Project Nim, about a chimp raised by a series of human parents during the 70s, land a berth at Tiffany cabler HBO, which bought all rights before the festival, but it went on to play well at Sundance (the awards show is Saturday) and will be released theatrically by Roadside. Here are reviews from THR, Variety and indieWIRE.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • January 28, 2011 12:38 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates