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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Dealbook: Searchlight Lands Martha Marcy May Marlene, Magnolia/Participant Get Page One

During my panel today with Page One director Andrew Rossi and his star subject, NYT media columnist David Carr, at Sundance's Bing Bar on Main, a man came over and told me that Magnolia/Participant had acquired the film. So I broke the news to the press conference--if not in this blog. You can only do one thing at a time. On Saturday I had just told Participant's Jim Berk and Ricki Strauss how much I liked the doc, which I watched before the fest. They told me they were looking for movies to partner on. Participant effectively got word out to movie audiences on An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman through their activist outreach. This smart look at the ways technology and the internet are changing and threatening the New York Times, among other newspapers, will need help to break out beyond the narrow art-house niche. Magnolia plans a summer release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2011 10:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Trailer and Poster Exclusive: The Nine Muses

Sundance Trailer and Poster Exclusive: The Nine Muses
I've always been a sucker for classical mythology; here's an exclusive poster and trailer for The Nine Muses, which played Venice and London (here's a review); it screens Friday morning at Sundance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2011 12:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Trailer and Poster EXCLUSIVE: Buck, True Horse Whisperer Documentary

Sundance Trailer and Poster EXCLUSIVE: Buck, True Horse Whisperer Documentary
With so many movies going into Sundance without distribution, many of them docs, getting them seen by the right people is tough. Cindy Meehl's Buck has the advantage of being the behind-the-scenes true story of the man behind Nick Evan's novel and the film made from it by Sundance's own Robert Redford, the producer-director-star of The Horse Whisperer (1998). Our exclusive first look at the poster and trailer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 12:46 AM
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  • 13 Comments

Dancers on Black Swan's Lesbian Action/Horror, Critiquing The Fighter, Exit Through The Gift Shop

- It was inevitable that Black Swan would be divisive inside the ballet community. The Guardian pre-screened Black Swan for some of Britain's finest dancers. Here's a taste of their reactions:Tamara Rojo, The Royal Ballet: "I really have a problem with this film using an actress, not a dancer, to play Nina: the director seems to think that, in a few months, you can learn a profession that it takes years just to understand, let alone be good at. And in the film, Nina is supposed to be awesome."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 7, 2011 8:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Autism Society Partners with Wurzburg's Wretches & Jabberers for National Autism Awareness Month

On Wretches & Jabberers, Oscar-winning documentary director Gerardine Wurzburg (short Educating Peter, 1993) is partnering with the Autism Society for its theatrical release in April, which is National Autism Awareness month.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 5, 2011 7:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cinema Eye's Heterodox Award Nominees Straddle the Documentary-Fiction Line

Filmmaker Magazine is sponsoring Cinema Eye's new Heterodox Award as part of their Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking which are presented taking January 18 at New York's Museum of the Moving Image. The Heterodox category is created for films that "imaginatively incorporate nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production. These films illuminate the formal possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while raising provocative questions about on-going documentary orthodoxy and the perceived boundaries between narrative and nonfiction filmmaking."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010
Who doesn't like an underdog? They're not asking to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but these under-appreciated films deserve to be seen by wider audiences than their box office numbers, critics or lack of awards talk would suggest. After the jump is a sampling of the worthy films singled out by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Moviefone, The Playlist and Associated Content. Our adds to your bucket list of films to watch when awards season is over (or now, if you're caught up) are:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Cine Foundation International Launches Protest Film Campaign, Calls for Panahi Release

Cine Foundation International was launched on December 10 as both a non-profit film company and human rights NGO aiming to "empower open consciousness through cinema." They are wasting little time, having announced a campaign calling for the release of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. The campaign will include protest films that speak to human rights issues in Iran and throughout the world, six of which are commissioned feature-length, plus twenty shorts. Participating filmmakers may act anonymously or through pseudonyms since voicing their stories can be dangerous. The films, which will address themes of nation, identity, self, spiritual culture, censorship and imprisonment, will be aimed for public, web and various exhibition media.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 3, 2011 8:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Fest Preview: Berlin Adds 24 Panorama Picks

In February, between Sundance (see IW's preview) and South by Southwest, comes the venerable Berlinale, which sets out a rich smorgasbord of titles for international critics and buyers. Monday the Berlin Fest revealed 24 of the eventual 50 films to be screened in the Panorama sidebar to the 61st main event. (Here's Variety and The Playlist.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 3, 2011 6:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Unstable Elements Focuses on Beleaguered Belarus Free Theater Group

Madeleine Sackler (director of the 2010 Oscar short-listed documentary The Lottery) recently shot footage of the Belarus Free Theater group in the hopes of making a feature documentary highlighting the human rights infractions that are happening in Belarus. Last July, Sackler and cinematographer Daniel Carter interviewed Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kolyada, the husband and wife team that leads the group, among others.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 8:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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