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Thompson on Hollywood

Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman

New York doc vet Jennifer Fox debuted her six-hour Danish-funded documentary Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman at Sundance in January. (Here's John Anderson's Variety review and NYT feature.) She's been taking the six one-hour segments to 15 cities around the country in advance of their showing on the Sundance Channel next spring. She just finished a swing through L.A., where the docu about women, sex, relationships and family showed at the American Cinematheque.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2007 7:49 AM
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Penn Premieres Into the Wild

Three men stood in the back of the Directors Guild theater beaming proudly at actor-filmmaker Sean Penn: producer Art Linson, Paramount Vantage head John Lesher and River Road financeer Bill Pohlad. Without them, the movie might not have gotten made.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2007 8:03 AM
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TIFF: Audience vs. Critics

Three tracks of movies screen in Toronto: high-brow innovative cinema to intrigue critics and cinephiles, movies with news content for the hungry media, and pics that wow the film fans in theaters. The most fortunate--breakouts like Jason Reitman's Juno, Joe Wright's Atonement, Craig Gillespie's Lars and the Real Girl, and Sean Penn's Into the Wild--do it all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2007 8:20 AM
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India Splendor: Bollywood Stars Shine in L.A.

I had a blast Saturday at India Splendor's tribute to the late great Raj Kapoor, who spawned a dynasty of Bollywood talent, including the delightful star Rishi Kapoor. Variety's Shalini Dore reports:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2007 9:20 AM
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Simpsons Movie: Groening and Brooks Do Rose

This weekend I caught up with Charlie Rose's conversation with Matt Groening and Jim Brooks, both of whom are among the smartest and funniest people I have gotten to know in Hollywood. Brooks insists upon high standards. He's a guy who observes, analyzes, improves. What The Simpsons has done, as the longest running TV show and now a movie, is pretty amazing. (Like many Angelinos, I TiVo Charlie Rose and watch the shows that appeal to me.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2007 9:36 AM
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Rush Hour 3 Review: Ratner Winds Up Action Comedy Trilogy

I was agreeably surprised by Brett Ratner's action-comedy Rush Hour 3, but given that it was threequel I wasn't expecting much. This time Ratner drops the bickering fish-out-of-water duo Chan and Tucker into Paris and gives Chan more comedy and Tucker more action, with entertaining results. It will do very well, although the competition in the next couple weeks from the likes of Bourne Ultimatum and Superbad is as intense as any period all summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 2, 2007 9:41 AM
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Comic-Con Wrap: Iron Man, Marvel, Hulk, Watchmen, Narnia, Golden Compass, Shoot 'Em Up

While Comic-Cons past have heralded the advent of such future blockbusters as 300 and Superman Returns, this year only Jon Favreau’s new Marvel entry starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the mighty Iron Man roused the fan hordes in the 6000-seat Hall H to rise up and give a standing O. The crowds also responded well to Pixar's Wall-E, from Finding Nemo creator Andrew Stanton, about a robot trash compactor left behind on earth, who is being "voiced" by sound wizard Ben Burtt, who created the whistle-language for Star Wars' R2D2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 31, 2007 4:34 AM
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Movie Musicals: Singing Along with The Sound of Music

I've always wanted to go to the annual Sound of Music singalong at the Hollywood Bowl. So when a friend organized a group dinner and bought tickets, I happily went along. Besides, I wanted to see Nora in her usher uniform.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2007 5:25 AM
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Women in Film: Journos Pick Top 100

It was Philadelphia Inquirer critic Carrie Rickey's idea. After realizing that the American Film Insititute's nomination ballot for last year's list of 100 best American movies comprised 400 titles, of which 4.5 were directed by women, she suggested that the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is one of 27 members, vote for their own list of best 100 movies of all time. The AWFJ sent in lists of films to create a ballot of their own, and voted for 100. (As a member, I voted too.) The top 100 list will be announced June 25. I have been leaked five, none of which were on the AFI's list of 400 nominees:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2007 6:46 AM
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DiCaprio Talks, Cannes Party Hopping

It was fun taking a breather at the Hotel du Cap Saturday to interview Leo DiCaprio. Warner Independent shuttled various journos from the Palais along the Mediterranean coast to the Cap d'Antibes. We walked through the sun-dappled woods to a series of cabanas by the water, where we hung out until Leo arrived. He was wearing Prada shades, a blue shirt and jeans, but eventually took the shades off; he was smart and charming. Here's the story I filed on the web. And here's Variety's review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2007 7:31 AM
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