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Thompson on Hollywood

Public Enemies: Goldenthal Returns to Studio Score

The only Oscar I ever held belonged to Elliot Goldenthal, who won for his diverse, Mexican-tinged score for partner Julie Taymor's Frida. The New York couple (together since 1984) are equally serious about opera, film and musical theater, which all demand very different skill sets.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2009 6:30 AM
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First Look: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland

USA Today presents a first look at Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter and Anne Hathaway, pictured here as the Mad Hatter and the white and red queens, respectively. The on-line story allows you to explore cool large photos via zooms.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 21, 2009 6:45 AM
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Campion on Bright Star

I sat down with New Zealand director Jane Campion at Cannes to talk about Bright Star a full sixteen years after I first met with her, for The Piano, for which she was the only woman to ever win the Palme d'Or in the 62 year history of the fest. Tragically, she lost the child she was carrying that year. Her daughter Ella was born three years later; spending time with her is the main reason Campion has made only four features since The Piano, and took four years off after In the Cut.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2009 9:13 AM
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Avatar: Cameron's New Frontier

The irony is that while the latest Star Trek invokes the old promise to take you where no man has gone before, the movie itself, while giving you a very good time, takes you back to a familiar and pleasant sci-fi universe, and does so using existing cinematic technology.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2009 7:28 AM
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3-D Conquers NAB

I'm out of my element in Vegas for my first-ever National Association of Broadcasters convention. Monday I did a Q & A with stop-motion auteur Henry Selick, who ran some nifty clips from Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and the surprise $74-million hit Coraline, which is starting to open in Europe. View this photo.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2009 8:41 AM
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Monsters vs. Aliens Brings 3-D Invasion

One of the surprises of the year so far is how well Henry Selick’s 3-D animated gothic fairy tale Coraline lasted at the b.o.; this weekend brings DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens and a spate of 3-D offerings are on the way. Even the venerable Cannes Film Festival, which has made an annual tradition of unveiling the latest animated fare, will for the first time open the 62nd fest on May 13 with not only an animated movie but Disney/Pixar’s 3-D balloon adventure Up, which opens May 29.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 24, 2009 7:11 AM
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Coraline's Selick on the Fantastic Garden

Remarkably, on its fourth weekend, the well-reviewed Coraline is still hanging in there--it grossed more than $5 million and placed eighth on its way to some $70-million in total domestic gross--even though new opener JonasBrothers: The 3-D Concert Experience took over its 3-D theaters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 1, 2009 6:19 AM
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Avatar's James Cameron Talks 3D

Variety tech wonk David S. Cohen conducts an in-depth interview with James Cameron about something he knows a little bit about: 3D. An early believer and innovator in the technology that looks to revolutionize the way many movies are made, Cameron expounds at length. (He reveals some tech details on his next 3D effort, the long-awaited Avatar, due in 2009.) Here's a sampling of their email exchange:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2008 6:05 AM
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The Digital Future: Are These the Good Old Days?

David Cohen here, while Anne Thompson is away for the week. Had lunch recently with tech legend Ray Feeney to talk about what's going on with visual effects, digital production and 3-D. Ray has been saying for a while now that the industry is undergoing it's biggest transformation since the advent of sound. Bigger than color, certainly. But the question is, what is the industry being transformed into? Ray's argument is that an all-digital pipeline -- everything from cameras to post to digital projectors to mobile video -- isn't just a different way of making movies, it's a new medium. But when every new medium is introduced, people start by doing what they already know how to do. In early movies, they tried filming stage plays. ("The Cocoanuts," anyone?) In early television, they did soaps (borrowed from radio), long-form dramas (like the movies) and variety shows (like vaudeville) until "I Love Lucy" pointed the way to the mega-hit sitcom. That's where we are now with digital moviemaking: using the new tools to make the same kind of thing. We're still waiting for the "I Love Lucy" of the digital age. Ray says:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 24, 2008 5:00 AM
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Oscar Watch: Bay Hosts Transformers Tech Show

Transformers director Michael Bay returned to the scene of the crime Thursday night at the Cary Grant mixing stage at the Sony lot to revisit the Oscar-nominated achievements in VFX and sound. The place was packed with filmmaking geeks eager to hear and see the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into a formidable FX epic like Transformers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2008 7:42 AM
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