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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Barrymore's Whip It Delivers

    Barrymore's Whip It Delivers

    Reelz Channel host Leonard Maltin reviews Drew Barrymore's Whip It this week.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Who is Zoe Keating and Why Should Indie Filmmakers Care?

    Who is Zoe Keating and Why Should Indie Filmmakers Care?

    New York-based digital consultant Chris Dorr and I had a lively phone conversation Thursday about how independent filmmakers should exploit the internet. He got off the phone and wrote this essay.

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  • Enzian Theater
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    Samosas, Kingfisher, & 5 Premieres!

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    More: General
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Talk Episode 4: A Single Man, A Serious Man, Bright Star, Get Low, The Last Station

    In Oscar Talk, Episode 4, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I continue our discussion of all things Oscar. We cover the foreign language submissions (62 so far), the PGA and Oscar ten best films, the long-term forecast on Bright Star, Sony Pictures Classics’ Oscar hopefuls The Last Station and Get Low, and The Weinstein Co's Toronto buy A Single Man. We also veer off topic with discussions of New York Film Festival opener Wild Grass, Zombieland and Paranormal Activity.

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  • THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall
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    We Interrupt Our Commitment To Elitist Seriousness...

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    More: Sport
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Miramax Restructures, Reduces Film Output

    With the departure of Disney studio chief Dick Cook, things were not looking up for Miramax Films, yet another studio specialty division trying to survive some weak boxoffice. (Current release The Boys Are Back, starring Clive Owen, is not taking off.) Disney is dealing with the issue for the moment by restructuring Miramax, consolidating marketing and distribution with the parent studio, and reducing the number of films that Miramax releases every year. (That's the exact opposite of my solution for what they should do.) Miramax will reduce its output to just three movies a year (including acquisitions), and cut its staff of 75 by some 50 positions, winding up with about 25. (At its peak under the Weinsteins in 2004, when the firm released some 30 films a year, the staff was at 500.) The company had already shrunk considerably since Battsek took over in September 2005, and now releases from six to eight films. UPDATE:

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  • The Lost Boys
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    A Publicity Stunt For The Ages

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    More: Clips
  • REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog
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    NYFF: Antichrist

    Yes, she smashes his testicles and makes him cum blood and cuts off her clitoris with a pair of scissors (in close-up, no less!). It's all true. That’s where the discussion of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist stalled after its debut at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It’s not that critics and audiences at Cannes failed to get past the genital mutilation—I'm not convinced genital mutilation is something one should “get past”—but they did let it determine and essentially consume the discourse on the film. Antichrist was treated either as a grotesque provocation or a punchline. Either way, it was dismissable, something to be condemned or laughed at and certainly not something to be taken seriously. This is an understandable but insufficient reaction to a film as off-putting, disturbing, and frankly bizarre as Antichrist. Improbably, since that infamous Cannes premiere, the tide has turned with a Film Comment cover story, positive-to-ecstatic notices out of Toronto, and a New York Film Festival invitation. For a movie that's already gone through a complete critical cycle of backlash and anti-backlash months before its U.S. release, however, Antichrist still feels under-scrutizined. Neither a disposable abomination nor a misunderstood masterpiece, Antichrist is the sort of challenging mess of a movie that demands examination, contextualization, and analysis. Von Trier may be a nut, but he's also, as Antichrist makes clear, talented, frustrating, and intermittently brilliant.

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  • ReelPolitik
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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station

    Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station

    Sony Pictures Classics has added Telluride Film Festival hit The Last Station to its burgeoning 2009 slate of possible Oscar contenders. (Here's my Telluride feature on the movie.) The studio specialty subsidiary, which acquired North And Latin American rights, will push for Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy for Oscar nominations.

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