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Thompson on Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE: First Athena Film Festival Line-Up: Miss Representation, Desert Flower, Mo

EXCLUSIVE: First Athena Film Festival Line-Up: Miss Representation, Desert Flower, Mo
The Athena Film Festival has lined up its first program of narrative and documentary films, which will unspool February 10 to 13, 2011 on the Barnard Campus in New York City.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 8:29 AM
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TRON: Legacy’s 3-D VFX Stretch Current Movie Tech to its Limits

TRON: Legacy’s 3-D VFX Stretch Current Movie Tech to its Limits
In the current issue of Popular Mechanics, I dig into the edge of the visual effects frontier represented by TRON: Legacy, which Disney opens wide December 17. The sumptuously visual movie will wow moviegoers with its 3-D VFX, if not its compelling storyline. Here's a snatch of the feature:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2010 7:08 AM
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Paul Giamatti Talks Barney's Version, Win Win, Too Big to Fail, Hangover II and Gibson

Paul Giamatti Talks Barney's Version, Win Win, Too Big to Fail, Hangover II and Gibson
Paul Giamatti is one of those actors who has enough of a global following, thanks to Sideways and HBO mini-series John Adams, to help get certain movies made. Barney's Version is one of them. You can see why he'd want to dive into the best Mordecai Richler character since Duddy Kravitz. The movie is worth seeing for how the actors run with their roles--from doting Dad Dustin Hoffman to Jewish princess Minnie Driver, hippie girlfriend Rachelle Lefevre and dream wife Rosamund Pike. Sony Pictures Classics is giving the film a qualifying run this week in New York and L.A. before a January 11 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2010 2:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Columbia Pulls Restless from Sundance

Columbia pulled Restless, directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Jason Lew, from the Sundance Premiere line-up at the last moment. Why? The film was finished long ago, although the fest says the director wants to keep working on it. He seems to be harboring hopes for Cannes, which has debuted his films in the past. But Sundance would seem to be the perfect launch pad for a teen drama that has all the earmarks of a Sony Pictures Classics release (at one time it was slotted to go there for March release, but Columbia took it back). SPC could yet retrieve the title, which "looks and plays totally like an independent," according to one source.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2010 9:07 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Trailer Watch: Two in the Wave, Godard/Truffaut Documentary

"I always thought the cinema was great but lacked sincerity and we ought to do it better," said Francois Truffaut.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2010 11:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Exit Through The Gift Shop Now On VOD; DVD December 14

Exit Through The Gift Shop Now On VOD; DVD December 14
The mysterious Exit Through The Gift Shop--the story of how a shopkeeper-filmmaker (Thierry Guetta) tried for five years to make a documentary about street art, only to meet British stencil graffiti artist Banksy, who turned the camera on Guetta instead--has been full of surprises from the start.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 24, 2010 6:21 AM
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Doug Liman Talks Fair Game, CIA Spies, Valerie Plame, Bourne, Jumper, New York vs. Hollywood

Doug Liman Talks Fair Game, CIA Spies, Valerie Plame, Bourne, Jumper, New York vs. Hollywood
Director Doug Liman fascinates me. He's hard to get a handle on. An indie filmmaker who broke through with Swingers and Go, after his smash hits The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Liman became a Hollywood director for hire (see: Warners' upcoming All You Need is Kill and Universal's Moon project).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2010 4:52 AM
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LACMA Premieres John Woo's Complete Red Cliff

Finally. LACMA concludes its Hard Boiled Hong Kong series with the Los Angeles premiere of John Woo's full-length third-century wuxia epic Red Cliff in all its glory. The five-hour version has everything--costumes, history, drama, battles, horses, burning armadas, romance--and an ensemble of gorgeous movie stars led by Tony Leung. At $80 million, it's the most expensive movie ever made in China, and it nearly did in Woo and producer Terence Chang. Magnolia released a shortened two-and-a -half hour version in theaters stateside which did not fare as well as the full-length version did around the world. See the whole thing if you can.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2010 11:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Nic Cage Goes Batshit

Nic Cage has made a virtue of his eccentricities his entire career--although lately, having to pay for them has led him to say yes to more B-movies than he should.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2010 1:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch Q &A: Tom Hooper Talks Long Road to King's Speech

Oscar Watch Q &A: Tom Hooper Talks Long Road to King's Speech
Fest fave The King's Speech, currently the front-runner at Gurus o' Gold, this Saturday blew the roof off its packed Academy screening. The crowd applauded director Tom Hooper, writer David Seidler, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, cinematography and score. It also nabbed the most effusive reaction so far over five years of showing films at Sneak Previews--the WGA crowd clapped Hooper down the aisle as he settled in for a Q and A. The movie debuted at Telluride (here's TOH's review) followed by audience-award-winning turns at fests in Toronto and the Hamptons. Will anything slow this film's Oscar momentum? (Well, some say it gets its history wrong.) The Weinsteins open the movie November 26--and it could reboot the company.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 22, 2010 2:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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