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Thompson on Hollywood

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?
The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 5 Comments

HBO Acquires Toronto Fest Doc Precious Life

Israeli documentary Precious Life marks an early pre-Toronto Film Festival sale as HBO acquires U.S. rights. Directed by Israeli broadcaster Shlomi Eldar and produced by Ehud Bleiberg and Yoav Ze’evi, Precious Life tells the story of a four-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who lacks an immune system and requires a bone marrow transplant. This can only be done in an Israeli hospital.  As his doctor pleads for help, Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar decides to document this complex drama about Israeli and Palestinian doctors’ attempt to save the kid's life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2010 10:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Clip Watch: The Town Stars Affleck, Renner as Boston Robbers

Three things we know Ben Affleck can do: write (Good Will Hunting), direct (Gone Baby Gone) and deliver a strong Boston accent, on display in this clip from his sophomore directing effort, The Town. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) is in there with him. The cops-and-robbers flick debuts in Venice, followed by Toronto. I will report back soonest.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2010 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Yes it's True: Roadside Picks Up Biutiful Before Toronto

It's official. As I reported here, Lionsgate subsid Roadside is releasing Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Cannes entry Biutiful. They are partnering with Liddell Entertainment, which is supplying P & A, on a planned December opening. I knew the announcement had to be made before Toronto! Javier Bardem, who nabbed a best actor prize in Cannes, has a shot at an Oscar nomination if they all play their cards right. CAA, which reps Inarritu, orchestrated this hybrid deal. As I reported, ex-Lionsgate exec Tom Ortenberg is officially consulting on the film, Roadside and producer Jon Kilik confirm.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 25, 2010 7:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Boyle's 127 Hours Stars Franco as Ralston

Trailer Watch: Boyle's 127 Hours Stars Franco as Ralston
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours is going to Telluride, Toronto and London, where the media will check out what is a daring subject for a movie. Hiker Aron Ralston survived being trapped on a Utah canyoneering trip for five days in 2003 by a boulder on a solo hike miles from any possible rescue by doing what he had to do: sawing off his arm with a dull knife. He had not told anyone where he was going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2010 12:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Toronto Announces 102 Additional Titles

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced 102 new titles (total lineup is now 246) for its Contemporary World Cinema, Masters, Visions, Vanguard and Discovery programs. Among the newbies are German Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer's Three (pictured), Norwegian director Bent Hamer with the world premiere of Home For Christmas, and American Kelly Reichardt with her latest, Meek's Cutoff, screening as part of the Contemporary World Cinema Programme.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2010 8:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Adds 44, Last Night Closes Fest, Eastwood Debuts Hereafter, Let Me In Opens Fantastic Fest

TIFF Adds 44, Last Night Closes Fest, Eastwood Debuts Hereafter, Let Me In Opens Fantastic Fest
The fall fest shuffle continues as first Venice, then Telluride, Toronto, New York and finally London all lay in their programming. There's plenty of overlap among the new titles (as opposed to recycled Cannes fare, much of it from Sony Pictures Classics and IFC), but basically Venice gets to unveil their opener, Darren Aronofsky's ballet thriller Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) which then proceeds to Telluride (which never announces its program, which most folks respect, but THR has published its "unofficial" list) and Toronto. UPDATE: Here's the new trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2010 3:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Boyle's 127 Hours To Close London Film Fest

Danny Boyle's 127 Hours is set to close October's London Film Festival (after playing Toronto, and most likely, Telluride, which debuted Slumdog Millionaire). London also played Brit Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. 127 Hours portrays the true struggle of Aron Ralston, the American hiker who was trapped under a boulder in 2003 and managed to survive by severing his arm with a dull pocketknife. James Franco stars in the Fox Searchlight film, which opens stateside November 5.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 12:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Lionsgate, Roadside Pursue Dual Awards Track on Buried, Next Three Days, Biutiful

Lionsgate is an indie with a taste for mainstream genre fare, but when a Crash or Precious comes along, the distrib knows what to do. This year, though, Lionsgate is adopting a different model that more resembles the studio approach: chase consumers first with such movies as Buried and The Next Three Days, Oscar voters later. And let your specialty subsidiary do the heavy-lifting in the art-film arena: Roadside Attractions is closing in on a deal to release Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful starring the incandescent Javier Bardem. Ironically, ex-Lionsgate exec Tom Ortenberg is in talks to steer the campaign (he's also masterminding the Apparition release of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 6:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Illusionist: Trailer and Early Reviews

The Illusionist: Trailer and Early Reviews
2-D lives! The Illusionist, the latest animated feature from the French animator behind The Triplets of Belleville, Sylvain Chomet, didn't make it to Cannes after it scored big in Berlin in February. Sony Pictures Classics scooped up the film, which is based on an unproduced screenplay by the late great writer-director-star Jacques Tati about a "dying breed of entertainer." Chomet drew a tall, gangly, elegant character much like Tati's 50s persona in such films as Les Vacances de Mr. Hulot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 4:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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