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Thompson on Hollywood

ShoWest: Activist Doc The Cove Is Summer Counter-Programmer

ShoWest screened the activist Sundance doc The Cove, which Roadside Attractions and Participant Media picked up after the fest and will open this July as a summer counter-programmer. National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos founded the Oceanic Preservation Society and channeled his passion for saving dolphins into making a movie that plays (somewhat like Man on Wire) like a thriller. The film focuses on dolphin activist Richard O’Barry, who fell in love with the dolphins he wrangled on the TV show Flipper. At this point, if O'Barry or the filmmakers return to Japan they face arrest.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 2, 2009 5:50 AM
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Cannes: Tarantino Will Deliver Inglourious Basterds

As I wrote sometime back, Quentin Tarantino is committed to delivering his World War II epic Inglourious Basterds for Cannes. The writer-director has loved going to Cannes ever since Pulp Fiction won the Palme d'Or in 1994, and had long wanted to debut Basterds there. Last year we had a blast hanging out with Marina Zenovich and Tim Robbins at the Hotel du Cap.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2009 6:12 AM
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Links: Richardson, NY Fests, Katzenberg, Flip-Cam Sale, Cinephile Fare, Newspaper Death Rattle

Back from SXSW, I've been playing catch-up. For much of the news media, Natasha Richardson was the sad, sad story of the week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2009 9:16 AM
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SXSW: Photo Gallery, from 6th Street Brides to Sega Man

SXSW fest producer Janet Pierson delivered a smooth festival, with just one glitch when one filmmaker didn't show up for a Q & A. Not bad. At the awards ceremony where Made in China (pictured) won the narrative jury prize, Pierson thanked the people she leaned on. But she led those troops. Here's Kim Voynar's profile of a woman coming into her own.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 19, 2009 9:08 AM
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More: festivals, SXSW

SXSW Awards Winners

On Tuesday, the changing of the guard began, as SXSW film people ramped up for awards night, interactive people started to leave town and music people trickled in. Screenings will continue through the weekend. But the film fest proper culminates tonight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2009 9:35 AM
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More: festivals, SXSW

SXSW: Hill and Rogen Talk Observe and Report

Monday morning I interviewed Observe and Report writer-director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) and star Seth Rogen. The movie played well on Monday night at the Paramount. It's a very dark reality-based comedy about fantasy and self-delusion, basically. The flipcam interview is broken into two parts:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2009 7:16 AM
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Links Round-Up: Diamonds, SXSW's Berney, SnagFilm, Digital Distribution

Paramount has acquired this Wired diamond heist story which is online, still not on stands. Variety comfirms that J.J. Abrams will produce.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 16, 2009 9:52 AM
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Nowhere Boy: Weinstein Backs Young Lennon Biopic

New Weinstein Co. honcho Tom Ortenberg has scored his first big buy, Sam Taylor-Wood's Nowhere Boy, a UK feature about the early days of Beatle John Lennon. The picture has been filming for about two weeks; Ortenberg and Harvey Weinstein targeted the pic for a pre-buy in Berlin. They see the film as a possible year-end awards contender. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Lennon's Aunt Mimi, who helped raise him along with his mother Julia. The movie also details young Lennon's close relationship with Quarrymen bandmate Paul McCartney and ends when the early Beatles leave Liverpool for Hamburg, Germany to conquer the world. (I love Malcolm Gladwell's story in The Outliers about how the Beatles put in their 10,000 hours playing long sets in Hamburg.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 16, 2009 8:38 AM
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More: festivals

SXSW Preview: Comedy, DIY, VOD, Critics

True confession: I am a SXSW newbie. While I've visited Austin, I have never attended this fest, which opens Friday with the Apatowish bromance I Love You, Man, which seems to be a perfect fit for the hip younger groove of SXSW.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2009 5:07 AM
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More: festivals, SXSW

SXSW Screens Bruno Footage, Debuts Raimi's Drag Me to Hell

After its success debuting at SXSW such Judd Apatow projects as Forgetting Sarah Marshall last year and Knocked Up the year before, Universal Pics is taking advantage of the hip SXSW demo --and the fest's pre-summer time-frame--to promo two more flicks. The studio will screen the first-ever footage from Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen's follow-up to Borat, on 3/15 at 11 PM followed at midnight by Sam Raimi's full-length horror title Drag Me to Hell.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 10, 2009 5:15 AM
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