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Thompson on Hollywood

Jim Carrey on Lipton's Inside the Actors Studio

Jim Carrey will at last appear on James Lipton's Bravo series Inside the Actors Studio on January 10. After seeing Carrey on TV's In Living Color, Lipton became a huge fan: "His was one of the first invitations I ever sent out,” he said.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 7, 2011 6:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Digital Viewing Transition: The Rise of Netflix

Digital Viewing Transition: The Rise of Netflix
In their excellent year-ahead discussion on KCRW's The Business, host Kim Masters and guests John Horn (the LAT) and Michael Schneider (Variety) agreed that 2011 marks a watershed year in the transition from traditional to digital viewing choices. They think the shift will come faster for movies than television. "The studios are burning along with huge overhead and a lot of movies that aren't working," says Masters, a confessed Luddite who defends theater-going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2011 2:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Modern Family's Gay Dads Ferguson and Stonestreet To Host WGA Awards

The West Coast Writers Guild Awards ceremony will be hosted by Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel February 5. Here are the nominees. The pair star as Modern Family's gay adoptive parents. WGA Awards show exec producer Spike Jones, Jr. says "audiences don’t know these guys can sing, dance, juggle, clown, and have done everything from motion pictures to Broadway. They’re a pair of old-fashioned entertainers, and I’m looking forward to cutting them loose.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 5, 2011 8:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, TV

Carlos: IFC's Long-Form Experiment, Embraced by Critics, Globes

Carlos: IFC's Long-Form Experiment, Embraced by Critics, Globes
As movies become tougher and tougher to finance and release, more and more filmmakers are turning to long-form TV. One of the titles that has been a surprisingly strong winner in year-end voting is critic-turned-filmmaker Olivier Assayas's Carlos, a five-hour French/English viewing marathon which was financed and shown by Canal Plus in Europe and Sundance Channel in the U.S. and released in theaters stateside by IFC Films, which also distributed Assayas's Summer Hours and learned some lessons from another long-form experiment, Steven Soderbergh's Che, which sold out the Ziegfeld in New York for a week. "There's an audience out there for event films," says IFC chief Jonathan Sehring. Until Michael Winterbottom's thriller The Killer Inside Me, Che was IFC's most successful theatrical/VOD release, totaling between $3 and 4 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2010 7:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Jeff Bridges Duets with Cookie Monster on SNL, Raises Star Profile

Jeff Bridges hosted Saturday Night Live (video below), yet another example that his public profile, post-Crazy Heart Oscar and with new releases TRON: Legacy and True Grit, is higher than it's ever been. (He's also been ardently pursuing a music career.) Remember, Bridges is infamous, Star Man and The Big Lebowski excepted, for being a beloved character actor who has never been a movie star. He never put butts in seats. But maybe that has changed. The box office performance of the Coens' True Grit (trailer below) will be a test of that--as will nabbing another Oscar nomination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2010 9:20 AM
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The Fighter's Dicky Eklund HBO Backstory

The Fighter is based on real characters from Lowell, Massachusetts, and the HBO doc on Dicky Eklund (played by Christan Bale), is up on Snagfilms.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2010 8:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Genres, Video, TV, Drama, HBO

Gender Watch: Geena Davis and PTC on Sexualization of Women and Girls On Screen

- Blue Valentine had to fight to get a fair R rating from the MPAA because the films shows female oral sex - female pleasure - while mainstream film and television continues to promote women and girls as objects of and targets for male desire without any examples of how to articulate or assert themselves against cultural stereotypes. The attention given to Blue Valentine's rating signifies our culture's imbalance in male vs. female sexual perspective and power. We are so used to seeing women as objects of desire, that when they are recipients of pleasure we don't know how to deal. It's not enough to show girls or women rolling their eyes in annoyance or acceptance of "the way things are" - we need to see them changing the paradigm. Below, two forces trying to do just that:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 16, 2010 6:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

IndieWIRE Blog Network Launches James on ScreenS

Please welcome a new addition to the indieWIRE Blog Network. Ex-New York Times critic Caryn James launches her first blog, James on screenS, which is plural because she will be reviewing not only new films but smart TV as well. She starts off with a review of Ricky Gervais's HBO comedy special; here's her precis of what she has planned:I’ll be covering film, television, the web, whatever is most interesting on any screen. After all, that’s how we watch. I’ll have new pieces every day, usually more than once. Of course I’ll review, everything from popcorn movies to foreign films, cable series to smart network sitcoms. But I’ll also be a guide through the huge swamp of stuff we’re all surrounded by, offering tips about that overlooked film now arriving on DVD, the best show on TV tonight, what movies to catch this weekend at a theater or on VOD. I’ll include links to amusing videos, and comment on what’s happening in the film and television worlds (just in time for movie awards season). No bloggy cliches –I hardly care what I ate for lunch, why should you? But I sometimes meet and interview fascinating actors and directors, and you’ll find that here too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 7:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Roger Ebert Launches New "At the Movies" on PBS January 21--Without Elvis Mitchell

Roger Ebert Launches New "At the Movies" on PBS January 21--Without Elvis Mitchell
Elvis Mitchell strikes again. The elusive film critic/interviewer has a long history of committing to jobs (and magazine deadlines, and dinner dates) without necessarily coming through. And he was supposed to cohost the new PBS Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies weekly TV series with AP critic Christy Lemire. But the dreadlocked ex-NYTimes critic and host of KCRW-FM's The Treatment has been dropped, though not for lack of chemistry, tweets Ebert, setting the record straight: "Elvis and Christy had great chemistry, as anyone could see who bothered to watch the pilot we posted." (Pilot and Ebert's own blog announcement are on the jump.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2010 4:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

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