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Thompson on Hollywood

TIFF Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Review, and Alex Gibney Talks

Alex Gibney's hugely entertaining Eliot Spitzer doc, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer, is a leading contender for this year's doc Oscar. The movie is full of surprises. In my flip cam interview with Gibney (below) he explains how the story he tells turned out far different from what he thought it would be, and why Wall Street Masters of the Universe were so eager to go on camera to chortle over Spitzer's dramatic comedown: "They wanted to stamp on Spitzer's grave," Gibney admits. 'It's not stretching the truth to say they hated this man."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 12:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

IFC Gets Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project

IFC has acquired worldwide rights to Barry Avrich's documentary Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project, narrated by Peter Fonda. The film tracks Weinstein from his concert promoter days in Buffalo, NY through his Miramax years and such Oscar-winning heights as Pulp Fiction and beyond. It examines his relationship with his brother Bob, staff and the Hollywood machine, complete with insider interviews.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 16, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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

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