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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Video: Alex Gibney Talks Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady on Magic Trip

Sundance Video: Alex Gibney Talks Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady on Magic Trip
With Magic Trip, Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and his longtime editor Alison Ellwood have cut together a rich piece of 60s history using archive video and audio of the iconic literary figures on the famous cross-country Magic Bus trip recounted by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Gibney talks (our video interview is below) about how Ken Kesey created the original footage that he uses in Magic Trip. "It's archival cinema verite," Gibney says. "I wanted more of an immersion experience... it's like the origin story of the 60s."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 1, 2011 7:20 AM
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Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future
The best film that I saw at Sundance was triple threat Miranda July's The Future, an accessibly entertaining wild ride of a sci-fi relationship movie, in which she casts herself as the bad guy and you know that she is likely to leave her lunky boyfriend, played by Hamish Linklater--one of the talent discoveries of the festival (who is not, thankfully, an it-girl). A New Yorker writer, video artist and performer, July's voice comes through loud and clear. After winning kudos for 2005 Sundance entry Me You and Everyone We Know (which first broke out John Hawkes, this year's Winter's Bone Oscar-nominee), she went on to complete a book of short stories and a performance piece which she then used as the starting point for The Future. Breaking up with boyfriend Miguel Arteta also contributed to this narrative.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 7:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Ignites Buyer Interest

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Ignites Buyer Interest
So they're off! On a bright sunny Friday morning, the usual gang of buyers assembled at Park City' Utah's Holiday Cinema III for one of the more promising commercial titles, Margin Call, featuring an attractive ensemble of wily character actors led by Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Zachary Quinto--with ace support from Demi Moore, Simon Baker and Jeremy Irons. Buyers Harvey Weinstein, Focus's James Schamus, Sony Pictures Classics' Tom Bernard, Fox Searchlight's Tony Safford, IFC's Jonathan Seyring, and others packed the press and industry screening. UPDATE: Three companies are bidding on the film so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 22, 2011 2:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"
Who can blame moviegoers for being wary of any studio romantic comedy? While Fox Searchlight successfully subverted the genre with 500 Days of Summer and Disney's The Proposal proved that it is still possible to deliver the goods with smart filmmakers and stars, they are the exception that prove the rule: rom-coms usually suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Awards Weekend; Guild Nominations, Bond 23 Proceeds; Mara's Salander

Weekly Wrap: Awards Weekend; Guild Nominations, Bond 23 Proceeds; Mara's Salander
AWARDS:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 14, 2011 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Ron Howard Goes Lowbrow with The Dilemma; Early Reviews

Ron Howard Goes Lowbrow with The Dilemma; Early Reviews
What was Ron Howard thinking? Did this popular A-list Oscar-winning director really want to make a lowbrow comedy that could be summed up in the following tweet from @giteshpandya:9:24pm via WebDilemma: Low on laughs but should sell to fans of formulaic buddy & relationship comedies. Could use some trimming. #mtrv
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2011 4:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Movieline Hires Elvis Mitchell and Online Vets Jen Yamato, Alonso Duralde

Movieline Hires Elvis Mitchell and Online Vets Jen Yamato, Alonso Duralde
While we still don't know why ex-NYT critic Elvis Mitchell fell out of the new public television show Ebert Presents At the Movies (A.P.'s Christy Lemire and newcomer Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi.com are doing the honors), the NPR and KCRW radio personality has landed another staff gig at Movieline. The growing Jay Penske film site has also added popular online critics Jen Yamato (ex of Rotten Tomatoes) as West Coast Editor and Alonso Duralde (MSNBC.com) as DVD Editor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2011 7:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Green Hornet Early Reviews Are Mixed

Green Hornet Early Reviews Are Mixed
The early reviews are in on Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen's Green Hornet and they're all over the place.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2011 2:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010
Who doesn't like an underdog? They're not asking to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but these under-appreciated films deserve to be seen by wider audiences than their box office numbers, critics or lack of awards talk would suggest. After the jump is a sampling of the worthy films singled out by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Moviefone, The Playlist and Associated Content. Our adds to your bucket list of films to watch when awards season is over (or now, if you're caught up) are:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews

FilmDistrict Will Launch with Toronto Hit Insidious on April 1; Early Reviews
New distributor FilmDistrict is launching its 2011 slate April 1 with horror-flick Insidious (trailer below), a seven-figure Toronto Fest Midnight Madness pick-up from Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group that many expected to be a Sony genre label Screen Gems release. Sure, Sony is making nice to new distribution partner--and ex-Sony exec--Peter Schlessel. UPDATE: But, it turns out, SWAG doesn't acquire films for Clint Culpepper's Screen Gems; District 9 and 88 Minutes went through Sony's Tri-Star. SWAG knew in Toronto that FilmDistrict was eager to release Insidious.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2010 5:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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