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Thompson on Hollywood

Video: John Turturro Talks Naples Music Doc Passione

Italian-American actor-director John Turturro is beloved by the Italians—Venice Fest audiences treat him like a huge star. In fact, ill-fated Romance and Cigarettes, which was caught in the backdraft at the end of United Artists, was such a hit in Italy that financeers stepped up to hire Turturro to direct a doc about the music of Naples. Passione is not unlike Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: it’s a “musical adventure” showcasing the music, old and new, of Naples, via a mix of old footage and new performances by the city’s top artists. The film was exhilarating, and more than one moviegoer walked out of the theater humming. I also admired Turturro's Mac and Illuminata, even though American moviegoers have yet to click with his movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2010 1:34 AM
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Trailer Watch: Bollywood Robot Stars Rai, Rajni

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) just tweeted that he was going to India, possibly to see this movie, Shankar's Robot, due out September 24, starring Aishwarya Rai and Rajnikanth, plus a lot of visual effects and music by A. R. Rahman. Looks like Hollywood remake fodder to me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December
Julie Taymor is cheering up these days. Her movie of Shakespeare's The Tempest--which had been in limbo at Miramax-- is now closing night at the Venice Film Fest (here's the new poster) and a centerpiece gala at New York, and is set to open December 10. Meanwhile her long-in-the-works Broadway musical Spider-Man finally has an opening date: December 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 12:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Burlesque Stars Cher, Tucci, Aguilera

Never underestimate Screen Gems topper Clint Culpepper. More than most studio execs, he gets to put together an eclectic range of projects under Sony's low-budget Screen Gems label because he's got that magic gut instinct for what audiences want and how to sell it to them. Since 1999, Culpepper has figured out which pictures to make without stepping on the toes of big Columbia and little Sony Pictures Classics: horror, urban and teen flicks like the Underworld, Hostel and Resident Evil franchises and Dear John.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2010 4:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Must-Sees: Despicable Me, The Kids Are All Right, Plus B-Remake Predators

Weekend Must-Sees: Despicable Me, The Kids Are All Right, Plus B-Remake Predators
It's pretty slim pickings this summer. Assuming you've seen Toy Story 3, what else is there?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 9, 2010 11:41 AM
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  • 4 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Experiments with Grease Sing-Along and Indie Labels Insurge, Vantage, Famous

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Experiments with Grease Sing-Along and Indie Labels Insurge, Vantage, Famous
Whatever happened to Insurge, that new micro-budget Paramount division that sought to take an alternative approach to standard studio filmmaking? “We want to find and distribute crazy, unpredictable, and hopefully awesome movies - movies that make you want to line up to see at your local theater with all your friends (and us)," stated the Beta Insurge website. "Movies that a big studio would never release because they’re too risky, too silly, and they don’t star Sandra Bullock.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2010 3:24 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Brewer's Footloose Remake Finds Cast

Writer-director Craig Brewer has landed his leads for his remake of Footloose, which is set for April 2011 Paramount release. Newcomer Kenny Wormald will play Ren (the role made famous by Kevin Bacon in the 1984 original), Julianne Hough (Dancing With The Stars) will play Ariel (the Lori Singer role), Dennis Quaid is Reverend Moore (John Lithgow) and Miles Teller is Willard (Chris Penn). Back to help with the remake are producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), who will produce with Brad Weston and Dylan Sellers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 22, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Glee Stars Hooked for Movies, Michael Shannon is Busy, Costner Sends Machines to Gulf

- When Glee actors signed on for the show in 2008, 20th Century Fox also hooked them with the option of up to three movies. The show was a hit from the word go, and stars Lea Michele and Cory Monteith lead a gang of multi-talented young stars who are in line to cash in on their small-screen success with big-screen features. Fans will likely eat them up. Michele is currently voicing Dorothy in 2012's animated Dorothy of Oz, and will star in horror film The Butcherhouse Chronicles, also set for 2012 release. UPDATE: But Glee stars may have to wait: Glee creator Ryan Murphy says they're focused on the series for now, and that no movie is being prepped.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 21, 2010 3:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Michael Feinstein's American Songbook Debuts This Fall on PBS

Classics crooner Michael Feinstein will make legions of music lovers happy this fall when he premieres a three-part series exploring the history of American popular music. The American Songbook will air October 6, 13 and 20 at 8 PM on PBS. This is my idea of heaven.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2010 8:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Regards to Broadway, En Route to Cannes

On the way to Cannes every year, I stop somewhere to break up the long journey, usually London or Paris (where the Cinematheque Francaise museum is a must-see). This year I stopped in Manhattan to catch the tail end of the Tribeca Film Fest (for the first time) and relax a bit before heading to the Riviera. It worked like a charm.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2010 7:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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