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Thompson on Hollywood

Post-Fest Lament: Directors Missing in Action

There's something missing from our American movies. After watching a mess of films in Telluride, Toronto and New York, I realized I was seeing great foreign films and mediocre American ones. What's the missing ingredient? Many of our great directors. Where's Lawrence Kasdan, Jim McBride, Bob Rafelson, Robert Towne, Joe Dante, Walter Hill, William Friedkin, Phil Kaufman? These directors should all be working at the top of their game.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 8, 2008 12:27 PM
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Toronto Watch: Learning from Cannes, Venice and Telluride

Heading to Toronto, movies are seeking a fall media platform, or Oscar credibility, or a distributor, or both. The Toronto Star polled attending media on their best picks. There's plenty of info out there to help make choices among the hundreds of pics on display, especially from the key fests Cannes, Venice and Telluride. Here's a Guide.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2008 7:28 AM
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Telluride Watch 3: Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, and Awards Buzz

One of the tricks of the fall film fest trade is to launch a few movies that will gain awards season traction. Telluride has often done well picking some of these pics in advance, such as Brokeback Mountain, Walk the Line and last year's Juno. So given this year's short supply of completed specialty division fare, as many distribs have opted to take the late-year approach to chasing Oscar, Telluride dug up its own indie and foreign gems to help them get some attention.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2008 6:25 AM
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Telluride Watch 2: Fincher's Button Preview, Prodigal Sons

The first day of the 35th Telluride Film Festival started off hot and dry at the annual patron's brunch up the mountain. Tributee Jean Simmons sat under a melon-colored hat and blue umbrella, charming eager listeners, still beautiful. She remembered her then-husband, director Richard Brooks, telling Burt Lancaster during the filming of Elmer Gantry, "More teeth!" "Burt worked out on a trapeze every morning," Simmons said.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2008 6:23 AM
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Telluride Wrap: Larry Gross on Jenkins' Savages, Haynes' I'm Not There, Penn's Into the Wild

Well, I wasn't in Telluride this year. I was sidelined with my feet up recovering from a fractured metatarsal (that's what I get for hiking along a bike path in broad daylight), so here's brainy NYU grad and screenwriter Larry Gross (Geronimo), who writes even better than he talks. I agree with him on Tamara Jenkins' Savages. It's so well written, directed and acted (by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney and Philip Bosco) that the Academy and adult audiences at large will inevitably respond well. Fox Searchlight will push hard for Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 4, 2007 8:41 AM
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