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Thompson on Hollywood

Telluride Bound

Thursday morning I'll greet the charter shuttle folks at LAX as we head for the Rocky Mountains for the Labor Day Weekend four-day film rituals at Telluride. We're not supposed to know what the films are in advance (this is how the fest gets away with unannounced debuts) but there will likely be some Cannes holdovers (White Ribbon, Bright Star, A Prophet), some new entries (Bad Lieutenant, The Road, Life During Wartime, Up in the Air) and as always, a strong selection of rare classics, smart panels and tributes. This year the 36th fest will sing the praises of the late critic Manny Farber with a critics' panel and showing one of his fave films, and Alexander Payne serves as guest director, underwritten by a $50,000 grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2009 3:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups
Going into the fall festival season in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, we know the following:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 10:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Fires, Festival Watch, New Moon Pics, Battsek Talks

Weekend News:Two Los Angeles County firemen were killed in a vehicle crash as they fought the Station fire near Acton after a long weekend battling fierce blazes in the Angeles National Forest brought on by hot, dry Southland weather. The Mt. Wilson tower-cam continued recording Sunday as wildfires threatened the mountain's radio and TV towers. Thousands of area residents were evacuated and sought shelter at local schools as their homes were endangered.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2009 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Oscar-Talk Podcast Debut

Weekly Oscar-Talk Podcast Debut
I am happy to announce the debut of a weekly Friday kudo-podcast with In Contention's Kris Tapley. Here's the first Oscar Talk. We discuss the awards hopefuls so far and likely contenders coming out of upcoming fests; Meryl Streep’s remarkable emergence as a 60-year-old movie star; how the ten best picture slots could effect the Oscar race; new indie distribs Overture, Summit and Apparition; changing trends in Oscar campaigns; Paramount pushing Shutter Island to 2010; how Avatar Day went; and a Toronto preview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 6:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats
Grant Heslov's comedy The Men Who Stare at Goats looks pretty funny, I must say. I love George Clooney in full-on dimwit mode (see: O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The film is based on non-fiction writer Jon Ronson's book of the same name about a special paranormal military unit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 4:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies
It's hard to narrow down the must-see Toronto Film Fest list to 30. After all there are 335 films at TIFF09. (I'm including movies that I've already screened in L.A., Sundance or Cannes.) Some fall openers are launching at TIFF, 100 pictures are available for acquisition, and a select few will emerge with their Oscar hopes intact. Reaction from media and audiences will determine which films earn a full-on Oscar push. And I'm listing the pictures in alphabetical order.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2009 8:12 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Toronto Watch: Docs Alert

Toronto Watch: Docs Alert
There's a plethora of strong docs in the Toronto line-up this year. I am most looking forward to:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2009 8:49 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Twitter Effect, Toronto Preview, Hardwicke, Singer Choose Branded Projects, Moore Trailer

Twitter Effect, Toronto Preview, Hardwicke, Singer Choose Branded Projects, Moore Trailer
Hollywood execs are coming to the uncomfortable realization that the Twitter Effect will inexorably change their business. No more tricking audiences into buying one weekend on a bad movie, they're realizing. Now movies may actually have to be good. The horror! Michael Sragow lays out the ways that Twittering on a Friday has changed the movie landscape.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2009 2:39 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto
Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Tarantino Promos Inglourious Basterds, Top 20 Films

First, Quentin Tarantino is one of the most entertaining people to be around, period. So put him on the campaign trail for a new movie and we get to enjoy the results. (Is he really going to do a Len Deighton movie? The Ipcress File gets my vote.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2009 7:07 AM
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  • 6 Comments

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