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Thompson on Hollywood

Obit: Pioneer Sue Mengers Was Hollywood's Most Powerful Woman Agent

The minute I learned that legendary ICM agent Sue Mengers had died, I contacted Elaine Dutka, who had memorably profiled the uber-agent for the LA Times. Here's Dutka's obit. Sue Mengers, the first female agent to penetrate the Hollywood boy's club, died Saturday at her Beverly Hills home. Flamboyant, charming, witty, and abrasive, she was the most powerful woman on the agency scene in the 1970's and 1980s--arguably the most famous agent of her time.
  • By Elaine Dutka
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  • October 17, 2011 7:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Thirty Faces of Comedy

And they're all Amy Poehler! New York Magazine posts a slide-show of Polaroid tests for thirty of Parks and Recreation comedienne Amy Poehler's characters. She performed them for the comedy-troupe Upright Citizen's Brigade, profiled by the magazine this week.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 28, 2011 4:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Glenn Close Talks Gender Bender Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs is a 30-year labor of love for Glenn Close, who won an Obie for Simone Benmussa’s 1982 stage play based on a story by George Moore about a straight woman who passes as a male butler in a Dublin hotel in order to survive. Ever since, Close has been trying to turn the story into a movie, and finally pushed it through with actors’ favorite Rodrigo Garcia (Mother & Child) at the helm, thanks to some Fort Worth investors who were impressed that Close had some of her own skin in the $8 million venture. The film shot in chilly Dublin in 32 days. "The story seemed so psychologically modern," says Close, who is radiantly happy as writer-producer-star of the finished movie. "There's a comedic element. I think of Albert Nobbs as a clown, comic and tragic at the same time. it's about people surviving poverty, what people will do to survive."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2011 12:44 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Geena Davis, Callie Khouri and Mimi Polk Gitlin Talk Thelma & Louise at 20

Geena Davis, Callie Khouri and Mimi Polk Gitlin Talk Thelma & Louise at 20
The Academy celebrated the 20th anniversary of Thelma & Louise August 25th by screening a splendid new print of the iconic Ridley Scott movie that turned the traditional buddy movie on its head. I moderated a Q & A with Geena Davis, Callie Khouri and producer Mimi Polk Gitlin afterwards; highlights can be found here. Mainly, they admitted that things have not changed a whole lot for women in Hollywood. (Trailer is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oh The (Female) Horror! Viscera Film Festival Launches in LA

Oh The (Female) Horror! Viscera Film Festival Launches in LA
The Viscera Film Festival, featuring horror shorts made by femme directors, launches this weekend in Los Angeles. Running the gamut from hard-to-watch gross-out gore to slowly suspenseful, this festival proves that “women can be just as twisted, emotionally grinding, terror-inducing and splatter spewing as men," states the Viscera Fest.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 13, 2011 7:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cholodenko Hosts AFI Directing Workshop for Women Showcase

The AFI has long supported fattening the ranks of working women directors--still too thin--with its Directing Workshop for Women. Cari Beauchamp covered Monday night's showcase of recent grads, hosted by Lisa Cholodenko.Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right) opened Monday's AFI showcase at the DGA Theatre and soon had the audience laughing with the tales of serving as an assistant at AFI in the early 90s. She claimed she was totally inept at her job, but used the opportunity to thoroughly study the resumes and proposals of all the applicants to the DWW to learn how to “present” herself, Having learned her lessons well, she got into Columbia where she earned her MFA and was off and running.
  • By Cari Beauchamp
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  • May 11, 2011 12:11 PM
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How Rookie Director Tadjedin Made Miramax/Tribeca's Last Night, Starring Knightley

How Rookie Director Tadjedin Made Miramax/Tribeca's Last Night, Starring Knightley
Last Night is a high-profile test of new indie distributor-on-the-block Tribeca Films' video-on-demand model. Screening April 25 at the Tribeca Film Festival following its Toronto Fest debut, the movie was released on VOD on April 20, opening night of the Fest, and will open theatrically in limited situations on May 6. (Caryn James likes it. Trailer is below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Gender Imbalance in Media, Geena Davis, Broken Models of Masculinity & Femininity

Gender Imbalance in Media, Geena Davis, Broken Models of Masculinity & Femininity
In December we applauded Geena Davis's Institute on Gender in Media, which she founded after having a daughter in 2004 and became aware of how growing girls are represented and hypersexualized on screen, long before they have to confront the issue of how grown women are shown. Davis was astonished by the institute's research results -- upon which all of her comments are based: “I was absolutely floored to see that the same kind of imbalance and unfairness that exists in movies made for the general populace was also in these movies made for the very youngest kids.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 12, 2011 7:19 AM
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  • 26 Comments

Anna Faris and Women at the Movies: Not a Pretty Picture

In last week's issue of The New Yorker, Tad Friend cleverly uses a profile of comedienne Anna Faris ("Funny Like a Guy") as a way to examine the woeful state of women's roles in Hollywood today. He interviews Stacey Snider, Amy Pascal, Judd Apatow and others as he attempts to understand why Hollywood, dominated by men, so demeans and discourages smart movies by and about women.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 11, 2011 6:19 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Women in Film LA Announces 2011 Crystal + Lucy Awards Honorees, Including Bening and Holmes

Women in Film's 2011 Crystal + Lucy Awards honorees are listed below. WIF LA honors the industry's most "creative, dynamic and forceful" women, and will throw a gala fundraiser on June 16 in their honor and in support of WIF LA's educational and philanthropic programs. Says new WIF LA president, Cathy Shulman: "Each of these women has made a genuine impact.  Collectively, as leaders in every aspect of their lives, professionally and philanthropically, they stand as shining examples to men and women throughout the entertainment industry that achieving everything is possible.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 5, 2011 9:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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