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Thompson on Hollywood

Here's the Lineup for the 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival

The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival has revealed its lineup for the 2014 fest, set to kick off April 24 and run through May 8.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 1, 2014 1:58 PM
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Miyazaki Talks Retirement, Oscars, True History in 'The Wind Rises'

Well, I hate to break it to you, but during my satellite interview at Team Disney last week on the Oscar-nominated "The Wind Rises," Hayao Miyazaki confirmed that he will not direct another movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2014 8:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments

'Frozen' Puts Chill on 'Lion King,' Longest Running No. 1 Film Soundtrack Since 2003

"Frozen" has beaten Disney's highest grossing animated blockbuster "The Lion King." The film's mighty soundtrack has held at No.1 on the charts for its fourth non-consecutive week, the first theatrical film album to do so since 2003's "Bad Boys II."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 6, 2014 1:15 PM
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EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's Oscar-Contender 'The Wind Rises' (TRAILER)

A contender for the animated feature Oscar, the subtitled "The Wind Rises" (Disney) is now playing a one-week Oscar qualifying run in Los Angeles and New York in its Japanese subtitled version. Possibly the last film from Hayao Miyazaki, the Walt Disney of Japan, who won the animated Oscar for "Spirited Away," "The Wind Rises" is not aimed at young kids. Gorgeously drawn, it's an historical true story of the brilliant designer behind the Zero fighter plane that wrecked havoc in World War II. I interview Geoffrey Wexler, a high-ranking Studio Ghibli executive who was in town to start dubbing the English version that Disney will release on February 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2013 11:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Verdict on War Horse, Streep as Iron Lady, Theron as Young Adult, Animated Frontrunners

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 8:45 PM
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  • 4 Comments

John Lasseter Gets the 2453rd Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame

While Disney was promoting the Blu-ray and DVD release of Cars 2 on November 1, the day Disney/Pixar animation czar John Lasseter happened to get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was still a happy day and a well-deserved honor. Disney's Rich Ross and Sean Bailey, Pixar's Ed Catmull, Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, voice talent Owen Wilson, Bonnie Franklin, Patton Oswalt, John Ratzenberger and Don Rickles, as well as composer Randy Newman, all showed support for the guy Emily Mortimer called a "genius."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 2, 2011 1:32 AM
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Oscar Talk: Spielberg's Tintin, Gothams, NY vs. LA Critics Votes, Animation and Foreign Debates

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's Tintin, Gothams, NY vs. LA Critics Votes, Animation and Foreign Debates
In Contention's British correspondent Guy Lodge reports on his viewing of The Adventures of Tintin during this week's Oscar Talk with Kris Tapley. "The action sequences are more fluid," Lodge says, than anything else in Steven Spielberg's work. A downhill chase through the streets of Morocco is "jaw dropping...it's such a ride." We debate how the Academy's animation branch will regard this motion capture adventure. Is Spielberg an interloper in their ranks? Will the mainstream Academy take the movie, which has been compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark, seriously? (Here's TOH's London review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 21, 2011 4:00 AM
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Steve Jobs: The Story of His Adoption, Search for His Biological Parents, Sister Mona Simpson

Steve Jobs: The Story of His Adoption, Search for His Biological Parents, Sister Mona Simpson
The person who invited me, back in my Premiere days, to have lunch with Steve Jobs, was press agent Harry Clein, who was doing some PR work for Pixar. He recounts what it was like to work for the demanding executive.Steve Jobs hired my firm to work with Pixar right after Toy Story became a big hit. Disney was taking all the credit for its success and he wanted people to know that Pixar had not just been the technical end of Toy Story but also the creative source.
  • By Harry Clein
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  • October 9, 2011 4:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Mid-Year Top Animation Contenders in the Year of the Sequel

Oscar Watch: Mid-Year Top Animation Contenders in the Year of the Sequel
As we head into the fall awards season, Bill Desowitz looks at where the animation Oscar race is heading: it's so far a weak field The good news is that the Oscar race for best animated feature is wide open -- the widest, in fact, since Happy Feet beat Cars in 2006 (the last time Pixar lost the Oscar). And, lo and behold, here we are again with Happy Feet 2 competing against Cars 2 in the Year of the Sequel. Thanks to a new policy, a maximum of four films can now be nominated if 13-15 qualify. In the past, anything under 16 qualifiers meant three Oscar nominees. So expect either four or five nominees this Oscar season. The bad news, of course, is that there's a dearth of originality -- at least thus far. In fact, DreamWorks's Katzenberg told Fortune that it's the worst year for movies overall that he can remember.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 26, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

D23 Expo Adds Two New Pixar Pics on Dinosaurs and the Inner Mind, Promos John Carter, The Avengers

D23 Expo Adds Two New Pixar Pics on Dinosaurs and the Inner Mind, Promos John Carter, The Avengers
The warmth in the Anaheim Convention Center Hall at D23 for Pixar and Disney animation czar John Lasseter was expressed, loudly, with a standing ovation. Also getting one was Billy Crystal (make him Oscar host already!), who's back with John Goodman in Disney/Pixar sequel Monsters University (2013). Borrowing a few pages from Comic-Con, Disney is using its direct relationship with fans and marketing synergy to promote its characters and products at its huge three-day D23. Not getting as warm a welcome as Lasseter was Disney chairman Rich Ross, who still seemed stiff in front of the teleprompters, even when he cried, "cupcakes for everyone!"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2011 1:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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