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Thompson on Hollywood

Doc/Fiction Hybrid The Arbor Wins Guardian First Film Award

Clio Barnard's film The Arbor has won The Guardian's First Film Award. The film is a about English playwright Andrea Dunbar, best known for Rita, Sue and Bob Too, an autobiographical sexual-adventures drama about teenage girls living in the slums of Bradford, England. The play was turned into a film by Alan Clarke in 1986 and caused un uproar with residents of the Buttershaw council housing estate, where Dunbar lived.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 6:29 AM
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Production Watch, Part I: Rapace & Fassbender for Prometheus, Stewart & Mortensen for Snow White

- The Alien prequel now known as Ridley Scott's Prometheus is getting an early summer 2012 release: June 8. Scott is working with Damon Lindelof (Cowboys & Aliens, Lost) on revising the original script by Jon Spaihts from Scott's original concept. Much of the plot in unknown, but Scott has confirmed "Alien DNA" will be in the genome of Prometheus. Noomi Rapace will star with Michael Fassbender (sorry, Snow White and the Huntsman, you lost him).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 9:30 AM
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Tonino Guerra to Receive Writers Guild's Jean Renoir Screenwriting Award

The Writers Guild of America West will give Italian Tonino Guerra the Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement by an international writer (given on an occasional basis). Guerra has written over 100 screenplays and is, states the Guild's Howard Rodman:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 24, 2011 6:26 AM
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Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4

Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4
Australian star Jacki Weaver's role as a wicked mom in Animal Kingdom has generated awards buzz since its premiere at Sundance last year. She's got several nominations to prove it, and a win at the National Board of Review Awards. Sophia Savage sat down for a flip cam interview with the veteran actress:"That's gonna take years," Jacki Weaver replies to a request for a rundown of her Australian acting career, which spans 48 years. "How long have you got?"
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 18, 2011 7:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Golden Globes Foreign-Language Nominees: Lessons Learned from Bier, Inarritu, Guadagnino

Mike Goodridge of Screen International moderated a panel discussion with Golden Globe nominees for Best Foreign Language Film Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, Italy), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Biutiful, Spain/Mexico), Susanne Bier (In a Better World, Denmark) and Aleksei Uchitel (The Edge, Russia), hosted by the American Cinematheque at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre. The only no-show was Radu Mihaileanu (The Concert, France). Bier, Inarritu and Uchitel's films were also submitted by their countries for Oscar consideration (nominees will be announced January 25). Sophia Savage reports:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 16, 2011 9:20 AM
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Sundance Trailer Watch: Bier's In a Better World

Sundance Trailer Watch: Bier's In a Better World
One of the films I most look forward to catching at Sundance is Susanne Bier's Danish entry for the Oscars, In a Better World (Sony Pictures Classics). Bier directed Brothers (remade by Jim Sheridan) and After the Wedding, which was nominated for the foreign Oscar. In a Better World is about a Danish doctor who must deal with conflicts at home as well as at an African refugee camp.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cinema Eye's Heterodox Award Nominees Straddle the Documentary-Fiction Line

Filmmaker Magazine is sponsoring Cinema Eye's new Heterodox Award as part of their Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking which are presented taking January 18 at New York's Museum of the Moving Image. The Heterodox category is created for films that "imaginatively incorporate nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production. These films illuminate the formal possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while raising provocative questions about on-going documentary orthodoxy and the perceived boundaries between narrative and nonfiction filmmaking."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 10:05 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci Kiss in Italian Ages of Love Teaser Trailer

Check out Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci (and a handful of Italian co-stars) in this lip-locked teaser trailer for Giovanni Veronesi's The Ages of Love, which opens in Italy February 25. De Niro plays Adrian, an American Art History professor who has been living the loner life in Rome since divorcing his wife years ago. His limited and tranquil existence is disturbed when he meets his doorman's daughter, played by Bellucci...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 8:59 AM
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White Material: Denis Dissects Black and White in Africa

Claire Denis' White Material is no Out of Africa. Take away the Hollywood studio gloss, the romance, the carefully framed vistas at magic hour. None of that. This is another look at Africa, up close and personal, a stripped down movie that manipulates you by withholding information and playing with your sympathy toward beautiful French actress Isabelle Huppert. White Material often frustrated me while I was watching it--who's that? What is their relationship? Is he/she crazy?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 2:50 AM
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Four Rising Stars of 2011: Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Tom Hardy

Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Rebecca Hall and Michael Fassbender are four hot-as-flapjacks actors who have given Hollywood reason to expect great things. They are, so far, actors known better for their roles than their celebrity, and while 2010 was a year packed with noteworthy performances--including theirs-- we expect that their best work is yet to come. Casting directors and filmmakers are throwing parts at these rising stars: here's a preview of their 2011 slates (from flailing indies to franchise prequels, we've got the available stats) and why we care:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 24, 2010 8:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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