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Thompson on Hollywood

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix

Fandor Streams Indie Video: Sundance Meets Netflix
Finally, the promise of streaming movies has become a practical reality, from Amazon to Netflix. But as multiple indie sites come and go (from Jaman and Mubi to Spout), on the eve of SXSW, a new indie site launches Wednesday, Fandor, that promises a better subscription indie streaming service via its website and Facebook. For $10 a month, you can browse, sample, clip and stream its library of 2500 films, from Fritz Lang and Maya Deren classics to Alex Cox and Derek Jarman indies or Sundance docs. (Shorts are in the mix too, especially as a mobile app comes online.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 4:58 AM
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Live at Oscars: Strangers No More Wins Doc Short, God of Love Wins Live Short, Inside Job Wins

"Three years after a horrific financial crisis, not a single financial executive has gone to jail and that is wrong," says Charles Ferguson as he accepts the Oscar for Inside Job. The front-runner won over upstart Exit Through the Gift Shop, depriving Oscar watchers of seeing who would accept the award for Banksy. This is a case of gravitas winning out over a more whimsical film about art. Gift Shop likely benefited from the Brit street artist's graffiti postings in the weeks before the Oscars, which were well-covered by the media, but probably was hurt by Banksy's interview proxy, the wacky subject of his movie, Mr. Brainwash. If anything the movie that was moving up on the outside was Lucy Walker's Waste Land, another movie about art.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 28, 2011 3:14 AM
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Video: Terry Gilliam Update, The Wholly Family Short Debuts, 1884 Promo

Video: Terry Gilliam Update, The Wholly Family Short Debuts, 1884 Promo
While The Man Who Killed Don Quixote continues to be stalled, irrepressible filmmaker Terry Gilliam will debut his new short The Wholly Family, reports Bleeding Cool (photos via Italian magazine Ciak), at the Bradford International Film Festival (March 16 to 27). The fest will present a retrospective of Gilliam's films (Jabberwocky (1977), Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1984), The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) along with its Fellowship Award. The short (still in post-production) is one of a series set in Naples funded by Italian pasta company Garofalo. Gilliam issued a statement:To be honoured by such an important festival pre-posthumously will force my family to treat me with some respect while I’m still alive. I will always be grateful for that.See Gilliam's behind-the-scenes Wholly Family video below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2011 8:11 AM
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Back to the Future: The Adventures of Andre and Wally B

Back in 1984--two years after Tron, Lucasfilm backed what we can consider to be the first Pixar short, The Adventures of Andre and Wally B, written and directed by Alvy Ray Smith, animated by John Lasseter, with sound by Ben Burtt and help from the big Cray computer. Delightful. Steve Jobs bought this unit of Lucasfilm and turned it into Pixar two years later.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2011 1:52 AM
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Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five
Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are quite strong.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 11:22 AM
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Oscar Video Exclusive: How Pixar Made Day & Night Short

The frontrunner in the Oscars' animated shorts category is a popular one from Pixar, Day & Night which played in theaters in front of Toy Story 3 last year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2011 10:35 AM
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2010 Oscar Short and Foreign Film Deadline is October 1

2010 Oscar Short and Foreign Film Deadline is October 1
The deadline is looming to submit all foreign language and short film (animated and live action) entries for the 2010 Oscars: October 1. According to the Academy, complete entries must arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m. PT that day. The rules are here. 55 foreign language films have been submitted by their country so far. (More on the foreign race anon.)  In the short film categories, filmmakers must submit an entry form, one film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline.  In the Foreign Language Film category, filmmakers must submit entry forms, one English-subtitled film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. Only one motion picture will be accepted from each country. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2010 8:36 AM
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Gotham Screen International Film Festival Kicks Off October 7th

Gotham Screen International Film Festival Kicks Off October 7th
The 4th annual Gotham Screen International Film Festival opens October 7 and runs eleven days, centralized at New York's Tribeca Cinemas.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 28, 2010 3:34 AM
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Movies Go Minimal: Which Ones Can You Identify?

35 MM: identify 35 movies in two minutes:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 21, 2010 3:55 AM
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Pattinson Short The Summer House Hits iTunes

It's France, July 1969, as astronauts prepare to walk on the moon. No, it's not Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen in a clinch in a dark room. It's lissome English lass Taluhah Riley (The Boat That Rocked) and Rob Pattinson (pre-Twilight) in a short targeted to women who are on Team Edward. It's just been made available (and already in the top five) on iTunes in the US, plus Canada, UK, France, Ireland and Germany:

US Download; Canada Download; UK Download.  See trailer below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 14, 2010 7:16 AM
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