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Thompson on Hollywood

Toronto Faves Client 9 and Inside Job, Waiting for Superman Lead Oscar Docs

Some of the best films I saw in Toronto were docs, and there's no question that the doc Oscar race will be one of the most competitive in years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 3:45 AM
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IFC Makes Second Toronto Buy: Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, in 3-D

IFC Films has acquired all U.S. rights (except TV) to Werner Herzog’s 3-D documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which explores the ancient walls of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave in the south of France. Herzog was able to get access to areas that have been off-limits by deploying special no-heat lights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 11:15 AM
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TIFF Review: Yves Saint Laurent Doc L'amour Fou

Meredith Brody reviews the latest doc about Yves Saint Laurent, L'amour Fou:
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 14, 2010 11:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride Report: Frears' Tamara Drewe, Morris's Tabloid

Telluride Report: Frears' Tamara Drewe, Morris's Tabloid
Meredith Brody reports from the ground in Telluride on Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe and Errol Morris's doc Tabloid.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 9, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

I'm Still Here Reviews: Fascinating, Hilarious, Genuinely Hated, Nucleus of Truth

It shouldn't need an introduction by now (Variety calls it the "most publicly prominent piece of performance art ever"), but The Playlist provides a useful Idiot's Guide To I'm Still Here (which premiered at Venice and opens Friday) in the intro the their own review: "The 'is this a joke' aspect of the entire affair was perhaps best typified on the much-watched bizarro appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman where the celebrity mumbled meekly throughout and the talk show host mocked Phoenix for barely being mentally present. I'm Still Here is a document of that lost-in-the-wilderness period directed by Phoenix's brother-in-law Casey Affleck in his feature-length debut."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 9, 2010 6:59 AM
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Fox Picks Up Scorsese's Letter To Elia, HBO Grabs Lebowitz Doc

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is acquiring Martin Scorsese's A Letter To Elia, which played well in Venice and Telluride. The documentary chronicles the life and work of legendary (and controversial) director Elia Kazan. The film is included in Fox's November 9 DVD release: The Elia Kazan Film Collection. Scorsese shares director credit with Kent Jones.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • September 8, 2010 3:42 AM
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Telluride Review: Errol Morris Goes for Laughs with Tabloid

Telluride critic Tim Appelo was surprised that documentarian (blogger/tweeter) Errol Morris's latest, Tabloid, is well, funny. Having spent some time with the man, he can be quite witty, as are his famous Oscar shorts. Dark humor informs all his films, even his dead-serious docs Fog of War and Standard Operating Procedure. I can't wait to see Tabloid in Toronto, where I'm scheduled to talk to Morris, and he is scheduled to dialogue with another seriously funny filmmaker, Werner Herzog.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Venice: Joaquin Phoenix is Not Here

Venice: Joaquin Phoenix is Not Here
Rookie director Casey Affleck is playing out his hand on the bizarre Joaquin Phoenix documentary I'm Still Here, which debuted in Venice Monday to rousing applause, and is still inspiring huge debate. What the hell is Phoenix doing? Committing career suicide? Creating an indelibly accurate portrait of a miserable depressed self-medicating and deluded actor? Doing an Andy Kaufman-type performance piece, egged on by Affleck?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 6:53 AM
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  • 4 Comments

HBO Acquires Toronto Fest Doc Precious Life

Israeli documentary Precious Life marks an early pre-Toronto Film Festival sale as HBO acquires U.S. rights. Directed by Israeli broadcaster Shlomi Eldar and produced by Ehud Bleiberg and Yoav Ze’evi, Precious Life tells the story of a four-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who lacks an immune system and requires a bone marrow transplant. This can only be done in an Israeli hospital.  As his doctor pleads for help, Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar decides to document this complex drama about Israeli and Palestinian doctors’ attempt to save the kid's life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2010 10:13 AM
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SnagLearning Expands Classroom Boundaries

SnagFilms announces SnagLearning, a platform of 125 documentary films that will serve as engaging education tools for students in nearly every middle and high school classroom. CEO Rick Allen calls it a "natural extension" of SnagFilms, which launched two years ago; "teachers have championed our slate of films, which students can stream for free as a means of supplementing their learning. As classrooms stretch their boundaries, SnagLearning will be there – at home or in school – to serve our ever growing community of teachers, students and parents.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 26, 2010 7:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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