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Thompson on Hollywood

WATCH: Deleted Musical Number from Steve Coogan's 'The Trip' (NSFW)

Not to put too fine a point on it, in Monty Python style, the refrain of this profane Steve Coogan musical number cut from "The Trip" is "everyone is a bit of a c..t sometimes." It's funny.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2014 4:48 PM
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Robert Altman's 'Nashville': The First Modern TV Musical (VIDEO)

"Treme" embarked on its final season Sunday. "Smash" is gone. "Glee" and "Nashville" soldier on, but the bloom of pop-cultural significance is off their respective roses. With this age of the hour-long musical television series fast coming to a close, I set out searching for its origins, and I found it at the movies. Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975) may be the finest American film of the 1970s -- and the first modern TV musical, too.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 4, 2013 1:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

After Years in Shadow, Oscar Winner '20 Feet From Stardom' Lets Backup Singers Take Center Stage (UPDATED)

It was a big task for a little documentary to go up against the likes of "Man of Steel," "Monsters University" and "World War Z." In a way, though, it's a fitting role for Morgan Neville's film. Those big popcorn flicks can hold up a mirror to our lives, but "20 Feet from Stardom" goes deeper. By asking questions about sex, race and the American dream, it challenges us to look critically at our collective, national soul. In doing so, it's one of the most important films of the year.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • November 26, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Lou Reed on Lou Reed During Filming of 'Get Crazy,' on Charlie Rose, American Masters, Arcade Fire Tribute UPDATED (VIDEO)

"Get Crazy" director Allan Arkush recalls talking to Lou Reed about when it first struck him that he was indeed 'Lou Reed.' Check out videos of Reed on Charlie Rose in 1988, and Arcade Fire's tribute to the late singer on NPR, with snippets from Reed classics "Perfect Day" and "Satellite of Love." Plus, PBS's "American Masters" series is presenting a special in memoriam broadcast of 1988 documentary "Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2013 1:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Casting Watch: Tom Hardy Takes on Elton John for Focus Features Biopic

Brit actor on-the-rise Tom Hardy ("The Dark Knight Rises") will channel Elton John in “Rocketman," a musical biopic for Rocket Pictures, with a planned fall 2014 shoot. And Focus Features's new chief Peter Schlessel, who picked up U.S. rights to the film for FilmDistrict in June, will release the movie through Focus.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2013 4:25 PM
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FIRST LOOK: Meryl Streep as The Witch in Disney's 'Into the Woods' UPDATE

UPDATE: The first image has arrived from Rob Marshall's adaptation of Sondheim's "Into the Woods." As first looks go, this is a great one: Meryl Streep as The Witch, with claws and all, who wishes to reverse a curse so that her beauty can be restored.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • September 27, 2013 11:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments

IN THE WORKS: 'Mother of George' Director Dosunmu to Helm 'Fela Kuti' Musical Biopic for Focus

Focus Features is developing a drama about famed Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti, who was also front and center in the hit Broadway musical "Fela!" "Mother of George" filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu will direct "Fela Kuti," which Focus is describing as a "drama with music," as opposed to a fullblown musical.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2013 4:14 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TIFF Buy: Open Road Acquires John Ridley's Must-See Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side' (TIFF VIDEO)

John Ridley is having a good Toronto. Not only did "12 Years a Slave" leap to the top of the Oscar pack, for which he could well earn an adapted screenplay nomination, but his directorial feature film debut "All Is By My Side," a smart slice-of-life from the London launch of Jimi Hendrix's career, has been acquired by Open Road. Ridley has succeeded where many have failed over the years, to make a Hendrix biopic by steering clear from the shoals of cooperating with the Hendrix estate. He skips his most famous music and relies on early covers like "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2013 10:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Check Out Bollywood Ten Best Lists and VIDEOS

The Guardian (UK) does a good job covering Indian and Bollywood movies, which have a much higher mainstream profile in Britain than they do stateside. This week the paper published a juicy package around the on-going Centenary of Indian Cinema. Taken together, the pieces offer a solid overview of must-sees and good Internet-friendly lists of Ten, for any Bollywoodphile.
  • By David Chute
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  • July 27, 2013 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Film Society of Lincoln Center Kicks Up Its Heels with Summer Slate of Gene Kelly Musicals (CLIPS)

Now, we've written before about how movie musicals these days often end up being partial or complete disappointments. But the 40s and 50s were the golden age of American film musicals: big, set piece-heavy stories that were written specifically to be films. In truth, they're a piece of our national heritage, and we always welcome the chance to see them on the big screen.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • June 24, 2013 3:41 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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