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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Check Out Online Screenplays for 'Amour,' 'Moonrise Kingdom,' 'This is 40'

"It starts with the script" is an old chestnut which just happens to be true. I get a kick out of talking to actors, directors and studio heads, but by far my favorite conversations are with such writers as Michael Arndt or Tony Kushner. These people are smart! Years ago after interviewing the Coens for "Raising Arizona," I abandoned my fledgling efforts at screenwriting. I could never be that good.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2012 1:58 PM
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Doha Tribeca Film Festival: Purvis & Wade Talk 'Skyfall,' Their Last Bond Movie, and Kinky 'Cocaine Nights'

At their Doha Tribeca Film Festival Masterclass, which took place on the rooftop of a hotel on the edge of the city's old souk (with a fighter jet screaming overhead to add to the 007 vibe), British screenwriting duo Neal Purvis and Robert Wade revealed why "Skyfall" will mark the satisfying conclusion to their five-film James Bond journey. The ride began nearly 15 years ago with "The World Is Not Enough" and continued with Pierce Brosnan's final 007 excursion, "Die Another Day," as well as all three of Daniel Craig's outings, "Casino Royale," "Quantum Of Solace" and "Skyfall."
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • November 20, 2012 6:12 AM
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Sorkin Reveals Structure of Steve Jobs Biopic

Walter Isaacson's bestselling Steve Jobs biography was nothing if not a door-stopper. So writer Aaron Sorkin's challenge was to figure out a way in: cradle to grave biopic? One slice? He went with something closer to "Slumdog Millionaire"'s ingenious way of using the questions as entries to parts of a life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2012 4:48 PM
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RIP Film Critic Elliott Stein

When I worked at my first journalism gig as associate editor at Film Comment Magazine back in the 80s, Elliott Stein was one of my favorite regular contributors. He was erudite about world cinema, an omnivorous global cinephile and historian who knew more about Asian cinema than anyone I knew.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 9, 2012 8:28 PM
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Film World Salutes Andrew Sarris UPDATE (VIDEO)

Some of the top figures in New York film culture of the past five decades paid tribute to the late Andrew Sarris, the iconic film critic most noted for championing the “auteur” theory in America. Sarris died in June at the age of 83. The afternoon tribute, which played to a packed house at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, included speeches by friends of Sarris as well as an eclectic amalgam of classic film clips from films that Sarris loved.
  • By Charles Lyons
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  • October 25, 2012 1:34 AM
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Austin Film Festival 2012 Screenplay and Teleplay Competition Winners

The 19th annual Austin Film Festival jury has chosen its 2012 Screenplay and Teleplay Competition winners from a record-number of 6,500 submissions. AFF honored scripts in the drama and comedy categories as well as presenting the Enderby Entertainment and Dark Hero Studios Sci-Fi Awards.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 22, 2012 11:34 AM
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'Game of Thrones' Writer Vanessa Taylor Talks Streep Drama 'Hope Springs'

Vanessa Taylor is enough of a TV whiz--her writing credits include "Alias," "Everwood" and "Tell Me You Love Me"--to land a co-executive producer spot on Seasons Two and Three of "Game of Thrones." But that was after she went off on her own, trying to combat writer's block, to write an original spec screenplay, "Hope Springs."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2012 12:14 PM
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Check Out New IPad Magazine 'Backstory': Long, Gorgeous and Deep

You've got to applaud the chutzpah of ex-Creative Screenwriting senior editor Jeff Goldsmith, who has plunked his life savings down on bimonthly iPad publishing experiment: "Backstory." The gorgeously mounted magazine champions scriptwriters by telling their behind-the-scenes stories. Airily designed for the iPad, which doesn't need to cram columns of print into a small space, "Backstory" is easy to read via free iPad app. The first double issue is still available for free, and starting this month with new issue Number Two, the newstand sale is $4.99. A year's subscription is $24.99. "It feels like an eBook on crack," says Goldsmith.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2012 3:35 PM
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Frank Pierson Remembered

Meeting Frank Pierson was intimidating, to put it mildly. I was sitting outside the old WGAw boardroom, waiting to find out whether I, as a runner-up, would be filling a seat. I don’t remember who ushered me inside, but I sure remember Frank.
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • July 25, 2012 5:07 PM
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Obit: Screenwriter Frank Pierson Fought Against the Impoverishment of Film Language

Frank Pierson, who won an Academy Award for his screenplay of “Dog Day Afternoon” in 1975, was nominated for two other Oscars, and then turned himself into an Emmy-winning director, died Monday in Los Angeles at the age of 87 after a short illness.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • July 23, 2012 7:04 PM
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