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Clooney Turns 47; Bello Grabs SFIFF Acting Award

Happy Birthday, George! Clooney turns 47 today, and Marc Malkin reports on the birthday party attended by girlfriend Sarah Larson, David Beckham and others --complete with two birthday cakes--Monday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 6, 2008 5:31 AM
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Los Angeles Film Fest: Preview

The Los Angeles Film fest is looming large; tickets went on sale Monday. Fest director Rich Raddon and programmer Rachel Rosen are offering a wide swath of entertainment designed to pull in moviegoers of every stripe.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2008 5:35 AM
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Santa Barbara Fest: Producers Panel

I went to Santa Barbara--rainy again, like last year--to recover from Sundance. At Patrick Goldstein's thoughtful producers' panel, Jim Brooks admitted that The Simpsons Movie was his first time being part of "an event movie where the studio is supporting you," he said. "On my other films I was always going against the wind. It made me depressed about all my past experiences. All the producers were also working on the script, the way we do the TV show as well. The big deal is to believe that in order to do the picture, if you're directing and writing it, you have to have some true temporary insanity that makes you believe that it's the most important thing in the world, you'll die if it isn't going to work. As close as a producer gets to that mindset is how valuable you can be to the person making the film."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2008 8:07 AM
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More: Festivals

Sundance's Trouble the Water Reveals New Orleans Heroine

Ten days after Hurricane Katrina, documentary filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal were all set to shoot a film about National Guard troops being redeployed more than 7000 miles from Iraq to New Orleans to cope with the storm’s aftermath. Then the duo got shut down—thanks to their credits on Fahrenheit 9/11.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2008 8:10 AM
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Sundance Faves

I confess to being fond of The Bagger (who has returned to his native habitat) because he writes so beautifully. It's ok if he doesn't accurately nail the Sundance sales zeitgeist. Leave that to the trades. Observing things so well is just fine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2008 8:29 AM
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Sundance Watch: Polanski Doc Goes to HBO Docs

Sheila Nevins' HBO documentary unit has acquired all U.S. rights including theatrical and video to Marina Zenovich's Polanski: Wanted and Desired, the hot buzz title of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Magnolia Films was also chasing the pic. It is revealing that the movie may not get a theatrical release in the current harsh market climate for docs. The sale closed Saturday night. Picturehouse, which is partially owned by HBO, would be happy to do the theatrical honors, but Nevins is not known for embracing theatrical. Submarine and Cinetic repped the title in the sale.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 20, 2008 5:06 AM
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Sundance Watch: Day Two

The screenings started today.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2008 5:39 AM
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Sundance Video: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Martin McDonagh

Here's the first of many Sundance video-interviews we're putting up during the fest, with the In Bruges gang:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2008 5:10 AM
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Terror's Advocate: Barbet Schroeder Talks

Barbet Schroeder is one of those brainiac filmmakers, like Werner Herzog, who moves effortlessly between docs (General Idi Amin Dada), features (Reversal of Fortune), studios (Murder by Numbers) and indies (Barfly), in whatever country (Maitresse) or language (Our Lady of the Assassins) that suits him. He's a global opportunist. And like Herzog he's not a bad actor; he does a memorable cameo in Darjeeling Limited as a bemused auto mechanic.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2007 7:39 AM
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TIFF: Confessions of a WireImage Photographer

Photographer Jeff Vespa (below right, with Elizabeth: The Golden Age star Abbie Cornish) is a well-known fixture in Hollywood. He lives on the red carpet. His busiest season starts in Venice in late August, followed by the Toronto and New York fests and the long awards season, through Sundance and the Golden Globes in January, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Oscars and finally, Cannes in May. In the summer, he rests. Vespa knows everyone. He meets many stars and directors at film festivals, where they first learn to trust him. Then they see him at the L.A. premieres and events he covers. Vespa and eight partners co-founded the Internet photo agency WireImage in January, 2001, which was recently acquired in a $207-million cash deal by rival agency Getty. Vespa edits and posts his photos for license online. (He makes sure everyone looks good.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2007 8:16 AM
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