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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: The Soul of Netflix's New Series? The BBC's 'House of Cards'

"Lilyhammer," Netflix's first foray into original programming, failed to generate sustained attention when it premiered last year. One suspects this won't be true of its star-studded second attempt, "House of Cards," debuting Friday. Except Netflix's latest isn't so novel after all: its animating force is the BBC's mostly excellent original.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 29, 2013 12:03 PM
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Now and Then: A 'Zero Dark Thirty' Piece That's (Mostly) Not About Torture

We are Maya. That's the first thought that comes to mind about Jessica Chastain's tireless, obsessed CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," a "motherfucker" who's been chasing Osama bin Laden for twelve years — nearly the same length of time as this country's impossible war.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 22, 2013 1:22 PM
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Kirby Dick Talks Oscar-Nominated 'Invisible War,' Re-releasing This Weekend in NY and LA [UPDATE]

Kirby Dick's "The Invisible War" has snagged one of the coveted five competing spots for the Academy's Best Documentary Oscar, and will be released January 18 at the Film Society at Lincoln Center and at Laemmle's Santa Monica, Pasadena and Claremont theaters January 19...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2013 2:07 PM
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  • 3 Comments

SnagFilms Adds New Funding as Film Library Nears 5,000 Titles

SnagFilms has raised funding in the form of a new $6 million Series C financing round from not only the entire existing investment group, but new shareholder CNF Investments, LLC, an affiliate of Clark Enterprises, Inc.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 18, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Institute's Artist Services Program Expands with New Non-Profits and Digital Partners

The Sundance Institute's Artist Services program announces it has expanded to include selected films supported by one foundation and five non-profits, all of which will help the program shape itself and the services it provides to filmmakers.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 17, 2013 6:00 PM
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Sundance 2012 Revisited: Top Ten Winners, Theatrical Numbers Down, VOD Profits Up (Charts)

As the buying frenzy for Sundance 2013 begins -- bolstered by the unexpected Oscar nominations for last year's grand jury prize-winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" -- let's look at what happened to the rest of the 2012 acquisitions. Last year, the prices for top films fell a bit below 2011, after several high-profile acquisitions underperformed...
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 17, 2013 6:00 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Sundance Institute's Artists Services Program Announces New Digital Titles 'Primer,' 'Hipster,' 'Detropia,' 'The Slaughter Rule' and More

Sundance Institute Artists Services, In collaboration with Cinedigm Entertainment Group/New Video, announces the SI films releasing today on various digital platforms. Check here to watch them. The Artist Services program provides filmmakers with exclusive opportunities for self-distribution...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 15, 2013 4:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: 'Enlightened,' HBO's Masterpiece of Heartbreak

"Enlightened" opens with Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) gag-sobbing in a bathroom stall, mascara streaking down her cheeks in mournful black rivulets. Like the rest of Season 1 of HBO's masterpiece, which returns for Season 2 on Sunday at 9:30, it isn't all that funny. But to call "Enlightened" simply a comedy is unjust: it's a symphony of regret.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 7, 2013 2:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: 'Justified' and the Anti-Antihero

Tony Soprano. Dexter Morgan. Walter White. Television's latest "Golden Age," on cable and in the ancillary afterlife, is full of men who break bad. Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), the U.S. Marshall at the heart of "Justified," may not be squeaky clean, but he's a saint by comparison — and the key to the series' subtle genius.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 3, 2013 7:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

MOD (Manufactured on Demand) Moves into Blu-Rays

Hollywood is always looking for new ways and new places to sell its movies. In 1982, Barry Diller, one of the smartest men ever to run a Hollywood studio, told me that the decisions he and the other studio heads were then making about new technologies – basic cable, pay-cable, satellite television. Pay-Per-View, videocassettes and videodiscs – “will dictate the makeup of this industry 20 years from now.”
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • January 3, 2013 6:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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