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Thompson on Hollywood

Docu-Weeks Round-Up

Docu-Weeks Round-Up
There happen to be a surfeit of good docs going the rounds right now, which will be available through various media, theatrical, online and if you need to check where to find something, you can look things up on SpeedCine or SnagFilms. Currently playing there is Zombie Girl: The Movie, directed by 12-year-old Emily Hagins:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 14, 2009 1:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

NYFF Will Screen Wild Grass, Broken Embraces, Antichrist

Cannes critics' fave Wild Grass, directed by Alain Resnais, will open the 2009 New York Film Festival on September 25, 2009. The fest closer will be another Cannes title, Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces, on October 11. Lee Daniels' Sundance hit Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire will be the fest's centerpiece.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2009 7:18 AM
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Coens Short from Chacun Son Cinema

One of the pleasures of Cannes a year ago was the Chacun son Cinema shorts collection from les meilleurs auteurs du monde--including the Coens. [Hat Tip: Jim Emerson.]
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2009 10:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Young Victoria Goes to Apparition

Young Victoria Goes to Apparition
Over the weekend, Apparition closed a U.S. distribution deal for Toronto Film Festival closer The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt in what could be her breakout role carrying a movie as the youngest British monarch. As is typical these days, the new distrib run by Bob Berney and backer Bill Pohlad did not put up a minimum guarantee, but rather beat out several competitors (including Miramax, Overture and Roadside Attractions) by committing to $4.5 million in P & A and a 250-screen release. Appariiton will open the movie November 13. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group will handle all domestic ancillary rights. Alliance will release in Canada.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2009 7:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body
The prospects for smart horror comedies are dicey. Audiences tend to get confused when their genres get too mixed up: are they supposed to laugh or be terrified? Look at the lackluster summer b.o. for Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. Mixing sex and horror is also risky, as the feminist thriller comedy Teeth proved.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2009 7:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Iron Man 2 Comic-Con Footage

Iron Man 2 Comic-Con Footage
The Iron Man 2 footage that was screened at Comic-Con has showed up online at Worst Previews. It's shaky-cam. Looks like great smart fun to me. (Note how Don Cheadle deals with his replacing Terrence Howard.) We have to wait until May 2010. It hasn't been edited into a movie yet.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2009 9:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Berney and Pohlad Announce Apparition, Malick's Tree of Life

Finally, ex-Picturehouse chief Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad of River Road Entertainment have announced their new company, Apparition, on the eve of taking Jane Campion's Cannes entry Bright Star to Telluride (my spies predict) and Toronto for a September 18 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2009 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Downey Banks on Franchises Iron Man 2 and Sherlock Holmes

What a difference a year makes. With Iron Man and an Oscar nom for Tropic Thunder behind him, A-list movie star Robert Downey, Jr. had a good Comic-Con. Backstage after Iron Man 2, he suggested that he's uncomfortable marketing movies, although he knows he has to do it, and that he hated the whole Hall H thing. If that's true, it doesn't show. He works the crowd better than anyone. He was hawking not only Iron Man 2, which had a stellar reaction--probably the best of the annual comics confab--but he genuinely adored playing the character Sherlock Holmes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 9:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Comic-Con Aids Independents

Comic-Con Aids Independents
Producer-turned-director Matthew Vaughn needs a hit. Layer Cake was a great audition piece, but Stardust was a flop. Much is riding on his next indie venture, the indie-financed $45 million action picture Kick-Ass, which no studio would finance. In an unusual move, Vaughn took 11-minutes of footage of the Hard-R movie (adapted by Jane Goldman from the Mark Millar comic) to Comic-Con, to rouse the fans. From the stage in the cavernous Hall H he exhorted them to vote with their thumbs. The plan: to boost its value with a North American distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2009 11:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

District 9 Wows Comic-Con

District 9 Wows Comic-Con
The hit of Comic-Con was Peter Jackson protege Neill Blomkamp's debut movie, the sci-fi thriller District 9. When Halo fell apart, Jackson and Blomkamp assembled this movie about what happens when aliens come to earth and we treat them badly. The creatures were designed as insect-like humanoids. Jackson was disappointed that Weta was so busy with James Cameron's Avatar that he wasn't able to commandeer his own people for the VFX and had to go elsewhere. "You have to empathize with the alien characters," Jackson said. "They have to have an alien head with the human psychography of a face that you can recognize and extract emotion from. It wasn't easy on our budget."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 1, 2009 11:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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