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Thompson on Hollywood

Blue Valentine's NC-17 Rating Overturned by MPAA

Blue Valentine's NC-17 Rating Overturned by MPAA
Sometimes the right thing happens. Harvey Weinstein milked the controversy surrounding the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine to bring attention to the movie. Director Derek Cianfrance had refused to trim an intimate sex scene with implied oral sex between Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling from the realistic relationship drama. Finally Wednesday, after Weinstein led 40 minutes of appeals arguments and screened the film at the MPAA's Sherman Oaks offices, the MPAA appeals board overturned the rating.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2010 9:16 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Economist Film Project Selects Docs for PBS

The Economist Magazine is launching a collaboration with PBS News Hour called The Economist Film Project. The year-long initiative, which starts in January, seeks to showcase thoughtful and provocative documentary films from around the world. The Economist will select short and feature length films from established and emerging filmmakers on subjects that are in line with the mag's interest in economics, the environment, social and human rights, government and politics, religion, media and culture. Selected film segments will air on PBS NewsHour and online for the following year, and will be put in context with related Economist articles. The magazine's deputy editor, Gideon Lichfield, says the project:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 6, 2010 7:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Columbia Pulls Restless from Sundance

Columbia pulled Restless, directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Jason Lew, from the Sundance Premiere line-up at the last moment. Why? The film was finished long ago, although the fest says the director wants to keep working on it. He seems to be harboring hopes for Cannes, which has debuted his films in the past. But Sundance would seem to be the perfect launch pad for a teen drama that has all the earmarks of a Sony Pictures Classics release (at one time it was slotted to go there for March release, but Columbia took it back). SPC could yet retrieve the title, which "looks and plays totally like an independent," according to one source.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2010 9:07 AM
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  • 4 Comments

New MGM Chairmen Birnbaum and Barber Will Turn On Green Light by Mid-December. Whither Bond?

Now that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has approved MGM's reorganization plan, by mid-December, if all goes smoothly, the lean and mean MGM will have emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, MGM's secured lenders will exchange some $5 billion (which includes accrued interest and fees) for most of the equity in MGM, JPMorgan Chase will have raised $500 million for operations funding, and Spyglass partners Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum will take over the studio as co-chairman and chief executive officers of MGM Inc. That means they can start greenlighting movies and TV shows.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2010 6:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Suspect in Ronni Chasen Slaying Shoots Self

The LA Times is reporting that around 6 PM Wednesday, as Beverly Hills police were serving a search warrant at the Harvey Apartments on a man suspected to be connected to the slaying of publicist Ronni Chasen, the man shot himself. The identity of the man and the nature of his connection to Chasen were not reported. UPDATE: The Wrap uncovers more details.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2010 4:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Exit Through The Gift Shop Now On VOD; DVD December 14

Exit Through The Gift Shop Now On VOD; DVD December 14
The mysterious Exit Through The Gift Shop--the story of how a shopkeeper-filmmaker (Thierry Guetta) tried for five years to make a documentary about street art, only to meet British stencil graffiti artist Banksy, who turned the camera on Guetta instead--has been full of surprises from the start.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 24, 2010 6:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment

LACMA Premieres John Woo's Complete Red Cliff

Finally. LACMA concludes its Hard Boiled Hong Kong series with the Los Angeles premiere of John Woo's full-length third-century wuxia epic Red Cliff in all its glory. The five-hour version has everything--costumes, history, drama, battles, horses, burning armadas, romance--and an ensemble of gorgeous movie stars led by Tony Leung. At $80 million, it's the most expensive movie ever made in China, and it nearly did in Woo and producer Terence Chang. Magnolia released a shortened two-and-a -half hour version in theaters stateside which did not fare as well as the full-length version did around the world. See the whole thing if you can.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2010 11:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Ronni Chasen Memorial: Friends Mourn Murdered Publicist

Ronni Chasen Memorial: Friends Mourn Murdered Publicist
Talk about an Influencer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 22, 2010 1:11 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Tom Christie Ends 15 Year Stint at LA Weekly

It's hard to imagine the LA Weekly without Arts Editor Tom Christie. When I first met him in the mid-80s his hair was still black and he was working for California Magazine editor Harold Hayes (Esquire) at what eventually morphed into Los Angeles Magazine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2010 12:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: News, Media

Spielberg Casts Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln

Steven Spielberg has found his Lincoln. Ultra-picky Daniel Day-Lewis, 53, with two Oscars behind him, seems picture-perfect for the role of the iconic 16th president of the United States, who lead the country through the bloody Civil War. Liam Neeson was in line for the role at one point, but dropped out of the running, citing his age, 58 (Lincoln was 56 when he was assassinated). Said Spielberg:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2010 6:54 AM
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  • 9 Comments

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