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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: 'Veep' and Why We Need Satire Right Now

Satire and solemnity are tense bedfellows, and in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings -- after the flags of nations stiffened in the white smoke of the blast, after the dead began to be named, the wounded tallied, the innumerable stories of bravery recounted -- you might say the latter is the order of the day, and you would be right.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • April 17, 2013 2:35 PM
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Now and Then: Cary Grant, The Man from Dream City, Revisited (CLIPS)

My own fever dream of Cary Grant takes place between cities, sitting down for a Gibson with Eva Marie Saint on a moving train somewhere in Middle America. Headed "North by Northwest," he's at his sexiest then, temples just flecked with gray, tanned and almost ageless. He's not just the recipient of her advances: he's asking for it.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • April 10, 2013 2:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Now and Then: Quentin Dupieux's 'Wrong' Exposes the Limits of Surrealism

Drafthouse Films, the distributor of Quentin Dupieux's bizarre new film, "Wrong," describes the French director and electronic musician (stage name: Mr. Oizo) as "one of the world’s most fearless cinematic surrealists." The surreal does indeed seem to be Dupieux's preferred register, but this leads me to a trickier question. Should we care?
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 26, 2013 3:21 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Review: Pre-'Les Mis,' Minnie Driver & Gang Sing Live in Welsh High School Musical 'Hunky Dory'

Welsh filmmaker Marc Evans' elegiac, semi-autobiographical high school musical "Hunky Dory," which played at SXSW last year after its UK release, is finally opening in NY and LA theaters and on VOD March 22 via distrib Variance. The delightful comedy written by Laurence Coriat, set in the sweltering hot summer of 1976, stars a winning Minnie Driver as a drama teacher who mounts a glam rock version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: Hitchcock's Bad-Ass '40s Brunettes Were the Lead-Up to Those '50s Icy Blondes

My favorite words in the movies come from the dusky, sultry opening minutes of "Rear Window" (1954), as Grace Kelly's New York socialite glides through L.B. Jefferies' (James Stewart) dim apartment, switching on the lights. "From top to bottom," she announces herself. "Lisa." Flick. "Carol." Flick. "Fremont." Flick.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 19, 2013 2:54 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Latest Behemoth 'Godzilla' Starts Production, As Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim' Heads for July 12 Release

Principal photography began March 18 in Vancouver on Warner Bros./Legendary behemoth "Godzilla" with an all-star global cast: Brit Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars alongside Japanese Ken Watanabe, French Juliette Binoche and Americans David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston as well as indie darling Elizabeth Olsen in her first studio production. Of course the humans will be dwarfed by their super-size adversary.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • March 19, 2013 11:54 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Now and Then: In 'For Ellen,' the Many Faces of Paul Dano

Put a quarter in the jukebox and the rocker Joby Taylor (Paul Dano) transforms. His loping gait diffuses into trance, a manic, writhing riff on his stage persona. It's a conversion experience of sorts, fittingly enough: "For Ellen" is a tale of many metamorphoses.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 19, 2013 1:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: The Dardenne Brothers' Lost Boys

From the first minutes of "The Kid with a Bike," marked by an energetic shot of its young protagonist, Cyril, careening through a field and climbing over a fence, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's latest is an exercise in kinesis. It's not just that Cyril's always running: he's running away.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 14, 2013 1:56 PM
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Eva Mendes Joins Ryan Gosling's 'How to Catch a Monster' with Christina Hendricks and Ben Mendelsohn

Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, "How to Catch a Monster," has Ben Mendelsohn ("Animal Kingdom") on board to star with Christina Hendricks. The film, which Gosling and Hendricks describe as a fantasy noir...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 6, 2013 2:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: 'Side by Side,' I'll Still Take Film Over Digital

Smart, wide-ranging, and informative, "Side by Side" may be a postcard from the future of movies, but it's still intoxicated by the past. Its dreamiest moment comes at the outset, a montage of clips from the first century of cinema: Eadweard Muybridge's horses to "Do the Right Thing."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • February 5, 2013 1:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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