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Thompson on Hollywood

Your Week in Streaming: Why the Commercial Art Film Is Dying, and the Scandalous Films That Define Its Legacy

Whatever happened to the mainstream art film? Those daring, high-minded movies for adults and serious filmgoers, that flew into art houses and the megaplexes on the wings of word-of-mouth and studio support, are dying.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • November 6, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 10 Comments

James Toback Talks HBO Cannes Doc 'Seduced and Abandoned,' Entertaining Double Act with Alec Baldwin

Last May, James Toback descended on Cannes with cohort Alec Baldwin to shoot in ten days the documentary "Seduced and Abandoned" (HBO, October 28). This May, Toback returned to Cannes to screen the film and discuss it with interested parties. Of which I am most definitely one, having thoroughly relished his supremely entertaining and frequently illuminating portrait of the sorry state of the film business today.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 20, 2013 2:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

To Celebrate Roman Polanski's 80th Birthday, A Retrospective

Happy birthday to Roman Polanski, who turns 80 on Sunday August 18. Published just ahead of this occasion is James Greenberg's picture-packed coffee table book "Roman Polanski: A Retrospective," which covers all of Polanski's movies as well as his career as an actor. Part of a series of glossy filmmaker retrospectives (Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg) from England's Palazzo Editions, "Roman Polanski" is published stateside by Abrams and is the only book of its kind the filmmaker has ever participated in.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 18, 2013 7:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments

HBO Day at TCA: 'Seduced and Abandoned,' Spike Lee & Mike Tyson, Larry David's 'Clear History'

The buzzing environs of the Television Critics Association (TCA) conference on Thursday provided an eerie and apt setting for filmmaker James Toback to proclaim an epitaph for the moviegoing experience as we knew it: “We’re kidding ourselves if we think theatrical movies are part of the future,” he said. “Home entertainment will obliterate theatrical entertainment.”
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • July 25, 2013 10:17 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes Fest Diary: Le Weekend, from Compelling 'Jimmy P.' to Toback's Doc and 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

It was a weird, wooly and wet weekend in Cannes. And it began with what has to be one of the stranger ideas ever put forward for a film: “Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian” from Arnaud Desplechin (the wonderful “A Christmas Tale”). Based on a book by French anthropologist/psychotherapist George Deveraux, it’s the more or less true story of a Native American WWII vet, played by Benicio del Toro, who winds up in a military hospital suffering from post-war injuries, real or imagined. When the staff decides the problems are not physical, but don’t have a grasp on the potential mental issues an Indian might face, they call in Deveraux, who is also an expert in Native American culture.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 21, 2013 10:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Film Fest Diary 3: Seduced by 'The Past,' Abandoned by a Brazilian Beach Bikini Party

At 8:30am Friday morning, I got it. What Cannes is truly all about. You get something in theory, and then there’s the moment you get it through experience. Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past” had just begun, and I thought back to what a friend said was the real reason to attend Cannes: because you see the best films in the world. Literally, according to one of the money men in James Toback’s new documentary about Cannes, “Seduced and Abandoned” – more on that later – half of the year’s supply of big films debuts at the festival. Farhadi won the Oscar for best foreign film with his last, “A Separation,” and as the new film began, the audience just relaxed into their seats as the film, with its first shot, took over. It’s a wonderful feeling when you realize you are in very, very, very good hands.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 20, 2013 11:11 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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