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THR Directors Round Table: Aronofsky, Weir, Hooper, Cholodenko, Cianfrance, Russell

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 20, 2010 at 9:41AM

Award season director contenders Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), Peter Weir (The Way Back) and Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) talk for 68 minutes, spending time on MPAA ratings and bad behavior on set (Russell).
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Thompson on Hollywood

Award season director contenders Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), Peter Weir (The Way Back) and Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) talk for 68 minutes, spending time on MPAA ratings and bad behavior on set (Russell).

I got a kick out of the roundtable's obvious deference for veteran Weir. They all recognized that they belonged to a club of filmmakers who killed themselves to get their films made, no matter what. Cianfrance worked as a documentarian and commercial director for 12 years before he made his film--and had to give back his salary. Weir raised financing overseas. Cholodenko had to make her film for $4 million after nurturing her script for five years. Russell shot The Fighter for $20 million in 33 days. Aronofsky had a tougher time financing Black Swan after The Wrestler. The indies have shrunk; there were no studios represented at the table. "We may have something the audience wants," said Weir. "It's how to get it to them." Hooper summed up the conversation with the observation: "The risk is being put back on the filmmaker. We are having to take more risk by working this way."

Left out of the discussion, for whatever geographical reason: Danny Boyle, Chris Nolan, the Coens, David Fincher, Mike Leigh, Debra Granik, Ben Affleck.

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Video, Oscars, Darren Aronofsky, Tom Hooper


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.