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Thompson on Hollywood

WATCH: New Featurette for Oscar-Nominated 'Her' Score, Plus Karen O, Spike Jonze & KK Barrett Perform "Moon Song"

Check out a new featurette about scoring "Her" with Oscar nominee William Butler of Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy. Writer/director Spike Jonze, production designer KK Barrett and chanteuse Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs graced KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic with a live performance of "The Moon Song" from "Her." Watch here.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • February 20, 2014 5:46 PM
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Talking the 'Her' Score with Arcade Fire Oscar Nominee William Butler

Oscar-nominated William Butler's first-time experience composing the wistful score for Spike Jonze's "Her" with his Arcade Fire partner Owen Pallett was a bit of a romance as well as a crash course in moviemaking. And yet the experience opened him up more intuitively to the collaborative process.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 18, 2014 2:58 PM
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Crafts Roundup: Talking Production Design with the Five Oscar Nominees

The five Oscar nominees for production design ("American Hustle," "Gravity," "The Great Gatsby," "Her," and "12 Years a Slave") certainly capture the zeitgeist of the season in a variety of creative ways. They're about survival, self-invention, reinvention, and rebirth, and we reflect on this with all the nominees.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 6, 2014 2:28 PM
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Writers Guild Awards Go for 'Captain Phillips' and 'Her'

Given all the films that aren't eligible, the Writers Guild Awards gives a boost to other movies in the Oscar race. Saturday night Spike Jonze took home original screenplay for "Her"--ironically, thanking the rival he beat, "American Hustle"'s David O. Russell, for helping him with his script-- and Billy Ray won for "Captain Phillips."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 2, 2014 12:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Anatomy of a Scene: Talking the 'Her' Office with Oscar-Nominated Production Designer K.K. Barrett

Spike Jonze's beautiful and beguiling "Her," the dark horse in the best picture Oscar race, offers a warm and inviting fusion of LA/Shanghai, with its intoxicating use of red. And the opening scene in the office -- a high rise on Hope near Bunker Hill -- wonderfully sets up the delicate mood and world inhabited by the forlorn Joaquin Phoenix. Oscar-nominated production designer K.K. Barrett discusses his artistic choices and the impact.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 31, 2014 2:05 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'Ride Along' & 'Lone Survivor' Trump Sole New Wide Release 'I, Frankenstein'

Two Universal films ("Ride Along" and "Lone Survivor") beat back "I, Frankenstein" (Lionsgate), the sole new wide release. (Ironically, "Frankenstein" is a redo of the story that once was a staple for Universal.) Holdovers overall helped lift the Top 10 for the day to more than 10% above the same Friday last year (just under $26 million) as 2014 so far continues to start out with some strength. With the Super Bowl next weekend and the Winter Olympics ahead, though, it's a tenuous bump, more so when once again another horror film underperformed.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 25, 2014 3:47 PM
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LISTEN to Joaquin Phoenix Tell All on Terry Gross's Fresh Air

Joaquin Phoenix has enjoyed a strained relationship with his public. He's one of our great actors, from "Gladiator," which earned him one of three Oscar nominations (along with "Walk the Line" and "The Master") to Spike Jonze's "Her." Getting him to talk to Fresh Air's ace interlocutor Terry Gross was a favor to all of us. What did he reveal?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2014 3:10 PM
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Golden Globes Offer the Expected and Unexpected: Who Gets a Boost Heading for Oscars?

The Golden Globes -- voted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- do not reflect the direction of the Oscar race. But they can give valuable momentum for the winners who get nominated this Thursday. The full list of winners, and analysis, is here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2014 11:23 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Arthouse Audit: Awards Contenders Ramp Up for Oscar Bounty, 'The Rocket' and 'In Bloom' Open Modestly

The seasonally normal slow pace of new openings continues, with only two first-weeker's reporting grosses. Overall, highlighting the issue of an overabundance of theatrical releases, 20 new films opened in New York and/or Los Angeles, most of them to be little heard from again (at least five are already on Video on Demand).
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 12, 2014 4:16 PM
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'Lone Survivor' Stuns in Wide Release; 'Her' is Weak, 'August: Osage County' Strong

Led by "Lone Survivor," which grossed double its expected amount and looks to be a powerhouse for weeks to come, this weekend continued the steady business of the last few weeks. The Top 10 grossed about $114 million, up a tick from last year, when three new wide releases grossed better than all but one of this year's two new ones.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 12, 2014 1:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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