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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: For Woody Allen, the Place is the Thing, from Manhattan to Midnight in Paris

When asked about Woody Allen's New York, critics often cite the glorious black-and-white Gershwin cinepoem that opens “Manhattan” (1979). I’ve always been partial, though, to the rough magic of Diane Keaton’s terrible driving in “Annie Hall” (1977). (See clips below.)
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 19, 2011 12:16 PM
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Five Star Day Premieres on Facebook and Theaters Day-and-Date

As indie filmmakers continue to try new ways to get their films out--with or without conventional distribution-- Five Star Day, an astrology-themed feature that overemphasizes the significance of place and time, premiered Wednesday November 2 day-and-date in movie theaters and Facebook. Gravitas Ventures and Breaking Glass Pictures claim that it's the first film to open simultaneously on both silver and laptop screens. At the same time that the film is available on Facebook -- $7 gets you access to the film for 48 hours--it will continue to roll out in theaters across the country.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 3, 2011 7:30 AM
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Now and Then Sees Double: Margin Call/Wall Street and Weekend/Before Sunset

With a couple of superb new indies making well-deserved waves, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column pulls extra duty this week by taking on two double features for the price of one: Margin Call vs. Wall Street, and Weekend vs. Before Sunset. Trailers below:
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 24, 2011 3:53 AM
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London Fest Opening Night: 360 is “Love Actually… without the laughs," Saatchi Fete Ends Early

Matt Mueller reports from the opening night of the London Film Festival, which ended too early for his taste:
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 13, 2011 10:44 AM
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Rising Indie Music Box Buys U.S. Rights to Deep Blue Sea, Will Campaign for Weisz, Arentz Talks

Rising Indie Music Box Buys U.S. Rights to Deep Blue Sea, Will Campaign for Weisz, Arentz Talks
Rising indie Music Box snapped up U.S. rights out of Toronto to Terence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston as mismatched lovers in post World War II London. The foreign language distrib, says managing director Edward Arentz, was ready to make the move to its first English-language pick-up. "Theaters and audiences are still out there," says Arentz. The film will play San Sebastian and close the London Film Festival before its UK opening on November 25.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

TIFF: Huppert and Fontaine Talk Culture Clash Romantic Comedy My Worst Nightmare

Even the most mainstream French comedies are aimed at grown-ups in a way that most Hollywood movies are not. For My Worst Nightmare, Anne Fontaine's tenth feature, the writer-director concocted the idea of pairing brainy actress Isabelle Huppert, who has been at the top of the French food chain for many decades, with Belgian comedian Benoit Poelvoorde, who starred in Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2011 11:44 AM
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Andrew Haigh Talks Weekend, A Perfectly Swell Gay Romance

One of the breakout films from this year's SXSW (audience award) was Brit editor-writer-director Andrew Haigh's Weekend, a Nottingham love story that could reach out beyond gay audiences. It's about a closeted gay man (Tom Cullen) passing for straight with everyone in his life except his best friend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2011 9:08 AM
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Indie Feature Littlerock Is a Love Affair Gone Sour

You could say that I had an on-again, off-again relationship with Littlerock (trailer below). Impressive yet exasperating, Mike Ott’s film about two Japanese tourists stranded in a California hamlet seduces, cheats, and comes halfway back to reconciliation, which is just another way of saying love hurts. And love it I did, at least at first. The camerawork is sensual and assured, whether capturing the low glimmer of fairy lights at a backyard kegger or a field of crispy, amber grass at dusk. While it’s just a slip of a film, more impression than narrative, the impression smacks of nostalgia — it’s a sweet reminder of afternoons drinking beer from brown bags and throwing rocks in abandoned lots.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 2, 2011 1:48 AM
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Trailer Watch: Too Much Revealed of The Artist, Weinsteins' Marketing Dilemma

It's one of the unfortunate tried-and-true tenets of film marketing that the more you reveal in a trailer, the better you grab audiences to see your film. The Weinstein Co. faces a challenge as far as selling Michel Hazanavicius' Cannes best-actor-winning The Artist to audiences.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2011 5:39 AM
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Luc Besson's Toronto Bound The Lady: Teaser Trailer and Shepard Fairey Design Poster

EuropaCorp mogul/filmmaker Luc Besson takes a turn away from action with his indie labor of love The Lady. The true romance starring global action star Michelle Yeoh and Brit thespian David Thewlis will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is the true love story of Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and writer Michael Aris.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • August 25, 2011 8:26 AM
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