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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Contender Lawrence Talks Winter's Bone, X-Men's Mystique, Foster's The Beaver

    As the Winter's Bone DVD and Blu-ray went out this week, rising star Jennifer Lawrence hit Los Angeles to accept a New Hollywood award at the Hollywood Film Fest, on a brief break from her role as Mystique (originated by Rebecca Romijn) in X-Men: First Class.

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  • The Playlist
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    Newcomer Adam Berg Latest Name Linked To Director's Chair Of 'Deadpool'

    Robert Rodriguez Seems To Have Moved OnEver since the summer, it's seemed like Robert Rodriguez was locked in to make what seemed likely to be his first big studio tentpole picture, the Marvel Comics adaptation "Deadpool," which would see Ryan Reynolds again don the mask of the irreverent super-powered mercenary, who he played, in decidedly watered down form, in the disastrous "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." Rodriguez spoke highly of the script (by "Zombieland" scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick), and it looked likely to be the director's next film after he completed the currently-filming "Spy Kids 4."

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  • The Playlist
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    Martin Scorsese On Board 'Goodfellas' Prequel TV Series With Nicholas Pileggi & Warner Bros.

    With the success of his and Terence Winter's HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," Martin Scorsese's venture into cable television definitely looks like it has the potential to expand. There were reports of a planned television series based on the director's 1990 gangster classic "Goodfellas," with the film's scribe Nicholas Pileggi in the process of writing for a pilot and potentially more, but Scorsese's involvement in that was still in question at the time.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sound of Music Reunion on Oprah

    True confession: I sang along with The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl a few summers back, with a lot of other happy fans of the 1965 musical, which is still the third most successful movie of all time (after Gone with the Wind and Star Wars). Corrected for inflation in 2005 dollars, according to Blockbusting, the movie's domestic gross (including rereleases) would be $953.9 million (158.9), its cost $49.7 million ($8.0). It took 114 days to make, 25 days over-schedule. Nominated for ten Oscars, it won five, including best picture and actress (Julie Andrews, cast after the director saw advance footage of Mary Poppins) and director (Robert Wise).

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  • The Playlist
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    DOC NYC: 'Lost Bohemia' Is A Failed Attempt At Capturing Artistic History

    Josef Birdman Astor's exposé on Carnegie Hall's artist evictions, "Lost Bohemia," is less successful than his profound middle name suggests. The famous concert hall had studios above it, catered to artists and housed greats such as Marlon Brando and Paddy Chayefsky, much as creator Andrew Carnegie had intended. When Birdman moved in, he felt not only honored to be part of this exclusive clique, he decided to capture the unique living experience by filming all tenants in their respective spaces. It's a portrait of various aging artists, but also a good look at artistic history. For instance, Editta Sherman, a photographer who has taken pictures for Cecil B. DeMille, recounts a cute story of a phone call she had with DeMille where he confessed that she was his favorite photographer. One tenant was a concert pianist that has played with various singers, namely Duke Ellington, and another was an acting coach for the previously mentioned Brando and Robert Redford. The pleasant trip-down-memory-lane atmosphere grinds to a halt when it is discovered that the landlord is planning to renovate, disposing of the studios and instead building office space and classrooms for a proposed educational program. The team try to fight back by starting legal cases (of which we never see), even recruiting John Turturro (who studied with the acting coach) for some publicity. They spread the word but it's all for naught, and residents begin dropping one by one like flies.

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  • Spout
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    2010 Fiction Films That Should Inspire Documentary Filmmakers

    2010 has been a very good year for documentaries (maybe the best of all time?). But it's also been a good year for fiction films that documentary fans should find appealing and that documentary filmmakers should find inspiring. I probably am only noticing this trend because I typically like non-fiction more, but lately a number of dramatic films, studio and indie fare alike, have made me think of documentary practices. I'm not even referring to "I'm Still Here," which I still consider a doc in spite of its fictional elements. However, there is something to be said for this being a year in which we've all thought more about the blurred line between fiction and non-fiction, whether due to the questionable realities of docs like "I'm Still Here" and "Catfish" or the very narrative-focused docs like "Last Train Home" and "Restrepo" (which I wish would be inspiring for dramatic films of their kind) or the ever-increasing amount of doc-style fiction movies and TV series.

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  • The Playlist
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    DOC NYC: 'Windfall' Is A Great Exposé On Wind Turbines

    The ultimate failure of politi-docs (those taking aim at political issues and current events) are a) their strict adherence to an audience that already knows everything they're talking about, or (b) that already agrees with their viewpoint from the get-go. The end product and subsequent viewing experience are nothing but a smug-fest, with no minds changed and no one charged to do anything different. The worst thing is, those who could actually learn a thing or two won't see it because of its nasty attitude. This isn't just a "liberal" problem, it happens on both sides of the coin, and rarely do we ever get a movie that offers both sides of an argument or one singular side of why people think a certain way that isn't coated with some sort of bitter condescension.

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  • The Playlist
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    DOC NYC: 'Tabloid' Finds Errol Morris Back In Exceptional & Weird Territory

    Doc NYC, New York’s Documentary Film Festival, runs November 3-9. We’ve got an early peek at a few films.

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  • The Playlist
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    Peter Jackson Talks Casting Richard Armitage As New Heroic Figure In 'The Hobbit'

    Director Says Heartthrob Actor Could Rival Legolas Or AragonWhen the first round of casting for "The Hobbit" was announced last week most of the names were unknown (but check out our handy guide to figure out just who these folks are) but for those of us familiar with Richard Armitage, he seemed to be a strange fit. Best known perhaps for his role on the Brit spy series "Spooks" ("MI: 5" in the United States), the decision to have him play the crabby old dwarf Thorin Oakenshield seemed slightly odd. We weren't quite sure what to make of Armitage being tasked to play a four-foot codger, but of course, Peter Jackson knows exactly what's he doing.

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  • The Playlist
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    Matt Damon Says His 'Bourne' Comments Overblown; Says 'Liberace' With Michael Douglas Still On Track

    Damon Say He's "Thrilled" Door Is Open For A Paul Greengrass-Led Return; Says 'Liberace' Still Aiming To Shoot In The Summer Of 2011 Despite Douglas' Battle With CancerNo sooner did Matt Damon say that "no one bothered" to call him regarding the Tony Gilroy-to-direct-"The Bourne Legacy"-announcement and all hell broke loose on the Internet. While Damon did sound partly miffed, those comments were soon expounded upon to be some sort of angry 'Bourne-gate' by overzealous writers (let's face it, as we said, Damon was aware this was happening and his newer comments essentially admit as much).

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