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Thompson on Hollywood

New York Film Critics' Cinematography Winner Delbonnel Goes 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Given the evocative look and setting of the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis," it's not surprising that Bruno Delbonnel snagged the cinematography award yesterday from the New York Film Critics Circle. He exquisitely captures the coldness, sadness, unhappiness, and loneliness of Oscar Isaac's struggling folk singer in Greenwich Village of '61.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 4, 2013 2:16 PM
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Top Ten: 'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' Gobble Up the Holiday Weekend Box Office

Two huge films gobbled up almost 75% of the holiday weekend top 10 box office. The second week of "Catching Fire" and the wide opening of "Frozen" both amassed huge totals that blew all the other films away. Will 2013 catch up with 2012? December will tell the tale.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 1, 2013 1:45 PM
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Composer Nicholas Britell Talks the Powerful Spiritual-Field Songs in '12 Years a Slave'

Composer Nicholas Britell ("Gimme the Loot") provides a powerful musical accompaniment for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" with a series of spiritual-field songs and stringed waltzes (which are currently available on the Columbia Records soundtrack). These originals and recreations enable us to better understand and appreciate the rich musical heritage that sprung from such inhumanity.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 29, 2013 2:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Winner Lubezki Talks the Virtual Cinematography of 'Gravity,' How a Peter Gabriel Concert Helped Him Visualize the Film and More

With three out of the last four Oscars for cinematography going to hybrid movies, is it any wonder that Emmanuel ("Chivo") Lubezki won Best Cinematography for "Gravity" at the 2014 Oscars? Especially after Lubezki and his collaborators devised a brilliant new lighting system for simulating the physics of space in the game-changing and emotionally-gripping blockbuster.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 27, 2013 2:15 PM
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Weekend Top Ten: 'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' Take Off

One expected blockbuster, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," easily matched expectations with a record gross for the season of $161 million, while the next tentpole up, Disney's animated "Frozen," took in nearly $270,000 on a single Los Angeles screen in advance of its national rollout next pre-holiday Wednesday.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 24, 2013 1:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Catching Fire' Dominates But Not Record-Breaker, 'Frozen' Massive in LA Exclusive, 'Philomena' Decent in Limited

Many harbored hopes that "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," the second film in the Jennifer Lawrence-starring young adult series, could possibly deliver the biggest domestic release of 2013. But the movie grossed $70 million from Thursday 8 pm through Friday, and should double that gross for the entire weekend. That's a massive number, but less than anticipated.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 23, 2013 4:38 PM
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  • 7 Comments

'All Is Lost' Is Far from Silent, Even with No Dialogue (VIDEO)

In space or on the ocean, no one can hear you scream. Comparisons abound between solo adventures "Gravity" and "All Is Lost," but unlike space, the ocean is far from silent. Even though J.C. Chandor's remarkable open-water survival thriller starring a 77-year-old Robert Redford boldly stepping out of his comfort zone is virtually dialogue-free. Thus the director was totally on board with making the sound design a driving narrative force.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 22, 2013 1:37 PM
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Crafts Roundup: A Survivor's Journey in Production Design

With the awards season upon us, we're launching a new column, "Crafts Roundup," which examines a different below-the-line category each week. As this particularly striking season is dominated by survival and/or reinvention (both fact-based and fantastical), we're starting off with production design and world building. Here are a few standouts so far:
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 21, 2013 11:36 AM
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Immersed in Movies: Designing Cinematic Jigsaw Puzzle and Game-Changer 'Gravity'

"Gravity" production designer Andrew Nicholson, who will be at the Art Directors Guild Wednesday night and at USC on Friday, discusses why the immersive, Oscar-contending blockbuster is a model for the future of hybrid movies.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 20, 2013 2:48 PM
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TV IS THE NEW CINEMA: 'Doctor Who' 50th Specials Celebrate Britain's National Treasure

The BBC's "Doctor Who" is the longest-running television program in the history of the known universe. The 50th anniversary festivities are already well underway in the UK, with a pair of celebratory broadcasts coming up this week on BBC America.
  • By David Chute
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  • November 20, 2013 12:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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