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Thompson on Hollywood

The Oscar-Winning Boston Movie: Trailer of Cliches

Just what you've all been waiting for: All of the Boston Oscar movie cliches in one super Bostony trailer:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 7:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Docs: Lucy Walker Talks Waste Land, Rival to Front Runners

The field of five Oscar-nominated docs is strong this year, not a weakling in the bunch. As street artist Bansky wages a campaign for Exit Through the Gift Shop against front-runner Inside Job, another film about art, Waste Land, could pose some competition. Justin Lowe reports from a recent screening at the Landmark Theatre in West LA, where director Lucy Walker presented her film for an invitation-only audience:Facing a formidable field of competitors for the best documentary Academy Award, Walker and the film itself made a convincing case for consideration among the top three contenders. Waste Land focuses on Rio de Janeiro’s community of catadores, waste recyclers who live and work in the slum adjacent to the Jardim Gramacho landfill, following Brazilian artist Vik Muniz from his studio in Brooklyn to the garbage dump for an ambitious project. An internationally recognized photographer who frequently employs non-traditional materials, Munoz’s goal at Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest trash disposal facility, was to work with catadores from the waste pickers’ association known as ACAMJG to create large-scale portraits composed primarily of re-purposed solid waste.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 22, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Video: Susanne Bier Talks In a Better World

After her foray into Hollywood filmmaking with DreamWorks' Things We Lost in the Fire, which boasted impeccable performances from Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro but was too dark to yield much box office, Denmark's star director Susanne Bier returned home to build yet another organic, thoughtful movie with her long-time collaborator, Anders Thomas Jensen. Bier, who had the first of her two children a year after she graduated from film school, feels supported in Denmark. She and Jensen go off to a retreat where she paces and acts out scenes, and he writes them up. "We are both obsessed with moral issues," she says. "We usually have one or two characters we are passionate about. How would we react in each case? Are we morally sound?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 2:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: Unknown, I Am Number Four, Big Mommas, Last Lions, Putty Hill

It's no surprise that indie offerings Putty Hill and the doc The Last Lions score the best reviews of the motley crew of movies that opened for the holiday weekend. Unknown, Liam Neeson's follow-up to sleeper hit Taken is next.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 1:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

New School of Superheroes: Bale, Cavill, Evans, Garfield, Hemsworth, Reynolds & Palicki in Tights

New School of Superheroes: Bale, Cavill, Evans, Garfield, Hemsworth, Reynolds & Palicki in Tights
Entertainment Weekly's latest issue profiles the new generation of superheroes, represented on the cover by new Superman Henry Cavill. As his director Zack Snyder puts it: “Other actors put that suit on and it’s a joke, even if they’re great actors. Henry put it on, and he exuded this kind of crazy-calm confidence that just made me go, ‘Wow. Okay, this is Superman.’ If you can put on that suit and pull it off, that’s an awesome achievement.” An even better achievement? Still having a career after the spandex has lost its stretch.  Ryan Reynolds says of his Green Lantern character: “He’s not in the mainstream the way Superman or Spider-Man is.” And he once considered himself a purely comedic actor: “I looked like Dick Van Dyke, so I thought I was going that route.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 17, 2011 8:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Video: Hulu Pacts with Criterion--And Netflix Couldn't Care Less

Reaction is mixed to news that Hulu and Criterion Collection have announced an exclusive new content partnership that will bring more than 800 titles to the Hulu Plus subscription service, including works from such auteurs as Ingmar Bergman, Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut and Orson Welles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2011 6:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Poster Exclusive: Ozon 70s Comedy Potiche Stars Deneuve, Depardieu

One of my favorite films at the Venice Film Festival was writer-director Francois Ozon's feminist 70s comedy Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu. Here's an exclusive first look at Music Box Films' new poster for the American release on March 25.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2011 12:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer, Poster Watch: Williams in Meek's Cutoff, Brand vs. Mirren in Arthur, Biopic Soul Surfer

No one harbors any illusions that Kelly Reichardt's minimalist western Meek's Cutoff will be the next True Grit. And while Michelle Williams is by far the biggest name in a strong ensemble-- Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Will Patton, Shirley Henderson and Zoe Kazan--she's hardly doing a showy star turn. But I admire this rigorous, dusty, austere road movie about pioneers who are lost and thirsty on their long trek west. If anything the movie reminds me of Gus Van Sant's under-appreciated desert epic Gerry. The new poster is designed by Marlene McCarty. Here's my Venice Fest review:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2011 12:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Video: Inception ASC-winner Pfister Talks Working with Nolan in 35 mm, Tech Panel Q & A

In a surprise win, American director of photography Wally Pfister, who has been working with Chris Nolan for twelve years, ever since Memento, collected his first American Society of Cinematographers' award for Inception Sunday. He beat out Oscar favorite Roger Deakins, who collected the BAFTA for True Grit on Sunday. Check out my flip cam interview with Pfister (below), who talks about working with Nolan; Pfister has received Oscar nominations for Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and now, Inception, one of eight noms for the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2011 9:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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