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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Italian Producers Gori vs. Nunnari: Judge Rules $14 Million in Lost Profits to Gori

    - An L.A. Superior Court Judge has ruled (tentatively) in favor of Italian film mogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori (pictured, right) and against producer Gianni Nunnari (pictured, left) (The Departed, Shutter Island, 300, From Dusk Till Dawn).

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  • The Lost Boys
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    One Big Reason To Go See "Going The Distance"

    Alright, so I've yet to see "Going The Distance," the Drew Barrymore-Justin Long romantic comedy that opens today. But it's been on my agenda to do so opening night since February. Because "Going The Distance" kind of saved my ass, at least indirectly. And I'd say that's enough to already offer it as a recommendation.

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  • Matt Dentler's Blog
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    Sean Baker, director of 'Prince of Broadway'

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Early Review: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere Views Empty Movie Star

    Venice Early Review: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere Views Empty Movie Star

    Write what you know. And Sofia Coppola knows Hollywood.

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  • Todd McCarthy's Deep Focus
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    Telluride Airlift

    Just taking the charter flight from LAX to Montrose, Colorado, then the hour-plus shuttle bus from there to Telluride, provides more direct and relaxed interchange with filmmakers than two weeks in Cannes, Sundance or Toronto, where the talent is always courdoned off in hotels or surrounded by publicists and minders. At LAX, I immediately ran into Olivier Assayas and Edgar Ramirez, the director and star just beginning their North American tour with the great "Carlos." I first met Olivier when he was a babyfaced 20-year-old come to L.A. to interview filmmakers for Cahiers du Cinema, so it's very moving for me to see how far he's come to be able to create a work as extraordinary as "Carlos."

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama

    Venice Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama

    While Julian Schnabel's Miral packs an emotional punch, he tells the wrong story. I was in tears during both of the film's bookend sections, which focus on real-life Hind Husseini (the great Hiam Abbass), a wealthy Palestinian woman who in 1948 takes it upon herself to feed, clothe, educate and house thousands of orphans left abandoned and destitute by the ongoing wars and strife in Jerusalem. Her sense of obligation and personal sacrifice moved me. She and American Willem Dafoe share feelings, but can never get together; as she tells him: "I have 2000 daughters." While Husseini remains a character in the drama, the screenplay, adapted by Palestinian/Italian broadcaster Rula Jebreal from her semi-autobiographical novel, focuses on Miral (Indian actress Freida Pinto), a young girl born in 1973 whose widower father (Alexander Sidding) brings her to the orphanage to live during the week.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

    Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

    The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.

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  • Spout
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    "Going the Distance": Career Fantasy and Relationship Nightmare

    Like a lot of movies this year and a growing amount in general over the past decade, "Going the Distance" is highly informed by the Internet age. You could argue that this is only a matter of what life is like today. Certainly the movies would want and need to reflect the everyday commonalities of computer and smart phone usage in the real world. Nowadays it's strange to see a character write a letter or have an answering machine. But not every current movie can be looked at as a commentary on the technological and social consequences of the Internet age and how they have changed situations and lifestyles from how they used to be. Nanette Burstein's rom-com, a departure from her usual documentary medium (she directed "American Teen" and co-directed Oscar-nominee "On the Ropes" and "The Kid Stays in the Picture"), is as surprisingly topical as it is surprisingly crude (and its comedy is very blue).

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  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    Simple Syrup: Zhang Yimou's "A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop"

    A perfect storm of misguided homage and curdled auteurist tics, Zhang Yimou’s A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop manages the headache-inducing feat of both amplifying the Coen Brothers’ worst directorial tendencies and mixing them with the Chinese director at his most bombastically hollow. That the film is an adaptation Blood Simple, one of the Coen’s leanest and least mannered films, makes these accomplishments all the more dubious. Just how did we get from the free-floating anxiety and methodically unspooled twists of the 1984 neonoir to the clattering sideshow of Zhang’s remake, populated by screeching lovers and buck-toothed sidekicks clowning and floundering under an ostentatiously wide-angled sky? (And after that, perhaps someone can then explain how a filmmaker who was once as engaged and thoughtful as Zhang ended up helming this nonsense in the first place.) Read Matt Connolly's review of Zhang Yimou's new film.

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  • Spout
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    Video: 'Shrek Fish' Doesn't Look Much Like Shrek

    Is there still no DVD release date set for "Shrek Forever After"? Not that I'm interested in seeing it, but now would be a great time to capitalize on all the talk of the franchise since the discovery of an ugly fish that people have labeled 'the Shrek fish.' I don't quite see the resemblance myself (this other fish at least got the ears right), but I do recommend DreamWorks Animation gets its hands on this creature and makes it the new studio mascot. It could use a new logo anyway after six years of separation from DreamWorks Pictures. Or, maybe we can finally see that kid fishing from the moon actually catch something. And that something can be the 'Shrek fish.'

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