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Thompson on Hollywood

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?
The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete

Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete
As a Venice newbie, I got off the speed train from Rome, exited the station to a canal and grabbed a 40-minute ferry to the island the Lido. It's an adjustment. Basically a subway is a ferry here, a taxi is a motor boat or gondola, and houses have water in their basements with a garage for their boat (below). Trucks are boats too; Venice is under constant construction, like New Orleans. The Lido is a lovely resort (a bit like Fire Island or Catalina); I figured out that I needed to rent a bike to get around (I get a silly kick out of passing slow riders on the left). The casino location of the film festival (this is the 67th) is a maze of corridors, high-ceilinged halls, wide stairways and long lines for multiple screenings.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2010 1:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Boyle's 127 Hours Stars Franco as Ralston

Trailer Watch: Boyle's 127 Hours Stars Franco as Ralston
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours is going to Telluride, Toronto and London, where the media will check out what is a daring subject for a movie. Hiker Aron Ralston survived being trapped on a Utah canyoneering trip for five days in 2003 by a boulder on a solo hike miles from any possible rescue by doing what he had to do: sawing off his arm with a dull knife. He had not told anyone where he was going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2010 12:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments

TIFF Adds 44, Last Night Closes Fest, Eastwood Debuts Hereafter, Let Me In Opens Fantastic Fest

TIFF Adds 44, Last Night Closes Fest, Eastwood Debuts Hereafter, Let Me In Opens Fantastic Fest
The fall fest shuffle continues as first Venice, then Telluride, Toronto, New York and finally London all lay in their programming. There's plenty of overlap among the new titles (as opposed to recycled Cannes fare, much of it from Sony Pictures Classics and IFC), but basically Venice gets to unveil their opener, Darren Aronofsky's ballet thriller Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) which then proceeds to Telluride (which never announces its program, which most folks respect, but THR has published its "unofficial" list) and Toronto. UPDATE: Here's the new trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2010 3:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Boyle's 127 Hours To Close London Film Fest

Boyle's 127 Hours To Close London Film Fest
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours is set to close October's London Film Festival (after playing Toronto, and most likely, Telluride, which debuted Slumdog Millionaire). London also played Brit Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. 127 Hours portrays the true struggle of Aron Ralston, the American hiker who was trapped under a boulder in 2003 and managed to survive by severing his arm with a dull pocketknife. James Franco stars in the Fox Searchlight film, which opens stateside November 5.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 12:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Winners and Losers

For all the material that played great at Comic-Con, some trailers and footage did not go over well at all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Venice Fest Preview: Early Art

Venice Fest Preview: Early Art
Here is some early art for several of the movies coming up at the Venice Film Fest. (I arrive there August 31 by train after spending two days in Rome; I leave September 8 for the Toronto Film Festival.) I'll write up early coverage of opener Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel as a tough ballet master (modeled after Georges Balanchine), who I interviewed Monday. That film will likely show in Telluride as well as Toronto.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2010 12:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Never Let Me Go Opens London Film Festival

Fox Searchlight is parceling out its fall line-up across various festivals. Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is opening Venice and will likely play Telluride as well as Toronto. Now we learn that Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go is opening the the 54th BFI London Film Festival on October 13.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2010 12:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Mid-Summer Box Office Wrap: Top Ten Chart, Studio Report Card

At mid-summer, the box office is lagging just behind last year's pace and ticket sales are flat, reports Anthony D'Alessandro, who charts the season's winners, losers and studio market shares so far (as of last weekend). Will red-hot Inception take the number one box office crown from Toy Story 3? Stay tuned, as numbers and rankings will change by Labor Day.
  • By Anthony D'Allessandro
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  • August 5, 2010 5:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Black Swan Opens 67th Venice Biennale; American Films Expected; Where's Margaret?

Black Swan Opens 67th Venice Biennale; American Films Expected; Where's Margaret?
Not completed in time for Cannes, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan will make its world debut as the opening night film at the Venice Film Festival, which runs on The Lido from September 1 through September 11. This means that while I will see it there, Black Swan will likely not play the other fall fests.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2010 2:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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