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Thompson on Hollywood

Hetherington and Junger Talk Afghan War Doc Restrepo

Hetherington and Junger Talk Afghan War Doc Restrepo
Restrepo doesn't resemble your standard documentary, in any way. It's not like other embedded war docs, or voice-over narration films, or movies with a strong personality or clear narrative spine. It's another animal. UPDATE: The movie is one of the final five Oscar nominees for best documentary, winning out over a crowded and competitive field.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 4 Comments

#Sundance: Davis Guggenheim Talks Waiting for Superman

Ex-Variety.com staffer David Lewis reports on Paramount Vantage pick-up Waiting for Superman and the Q & A:
  • By David Lewis
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  • January 23, 2010 6:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Exclusive Video: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

After the dark places that Darfur documentary The Devil Came on Horseback took filmmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, they decided to lighten things up on their next movie. "We wanted to do something on women and comedy," says Stern. "It was still for the most part an all-boys club. Joan was a window into that."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 20, 2010 2:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Kenner Talks Food Inc.

Oscar Watch: Kenner Talks Food Inc.
Can a documentary change the world? Sundance entry An Inconvenient Truth, which won the 2006 documentary Oscar, certainly did. So did Super-Size Me. And so has Food Inc., Robert Kenner's probe of America's food industry. Initially inspired by Eric Schlosser's bestselling expose Fast Food Nation, Food Inc. has grossed $4.4 million, won the Gotham award for best documentary, is nominated for an Indie Spirit Award, and is considered a front-runner for this year's documentary Oscar. It's a must-see, and it's not a spinach-movie. Kenner makes it a fun, compelling watch, even as he shows us more than we may want to know. The movie is available on DVD and on Amazon, iTunes and Netflix and will air on POV April 21st at 9 pm.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 14, 2010 3:33 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Chinese Pull Two Films from Palm Springs Fest

Chinese Pull Two Films from Palm Springs Fest
According to the Palm Springs International Film festival, the reason why the China Film Group has pulled two films from the fest (which got under way Tuesday) is to protest the showing of Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam's pro-Tibet doc The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet's Struggle for Freedom (trailer on jump). So China pulled the horrific Nanking film The City of Life and Death, which scored with audiences and critics at September's Toronto Film Fest; National Geographic Films is set to release it in March. The film's director, Lu Chuan, told the Hollywood Reporter that China is protesting the fest's inclusion of a film about the Dalai Lama.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 6:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance: 18 Titles to Watch

Sundance: 18 Titles to Watch
Now that all the 2010 Sundance films have been announced (all are listed on IndieWIRE) which films are the ones to see this January? Most of the films in the lineup are unknown quantities that will need to be checked out first-hand. Some of the new films below (I am not including films from other fests) will be hot acquisition titles, and some may actually make it into theaters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2009 9:18 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Oscar Watch: Documentary Branch Snubs Capitalism: A Love Story

Oscar Watch: Documentary Branch Snubs Capitalism: A Love Story
The Academy documentary branch has named their short list of fifteen films (full list on jump), which will be narrowed down to five on Oscar nominations morning February 2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2009 12:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments

AMC Select Seeks Filmmakers

With a lack of available distributors to handle the spate of indie films seeking theatrical release, some filmmakers are taking matters into their own hands. Doc director Mary Mazzio went directly to a theater chain. Now her movie is playing in eight cities.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2009 7:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Gibney Talks Casino Jack and Three More Docs for 2010

When documentarian Alex Gibney (who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side) learned via his Jack Abramoff "Google Alert" that director George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl) had decided to name his fiction film starring Kevin Spacey as corrupt Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff Casino Jack, Gibney had his lawyer send a legal letter (dated November 10) asking Hickenlooper not to use the title, to which Gibney states he had prior claim, citing "violations of federal and state unfair competition laws":
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2009 9:42 AM
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  • 13 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Ten: Avatar, Tyson, Animation

In this week's podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talk animation (20 submissions), supporting actor and actress, 2012, Mike Tyson's LAX brawl and the four Oscar heavyweights yet to be screened, including likely last contender out of the gate, James Cameron's big-budget Avatar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 2:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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