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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    No Budget Film School August 20-21: Bellflower Case Study with Glodell & Grashaw

    No Budget Film School began in 2005 to give filmmakers the know-how that was lacking from other traditional schools and workshops, and to teach them how to make films with only the resources they currently have available--embracing their limitations to focus on the most important elements, rather than getting discouraged. Founder Mark Stolaroff informs the NBFS from his own no-budget experience, working at Next Wave Films (which supported the likes of Christopher Nolan), viewing thousands of micro-budget films and relationships with working directors.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Today's Birthdays - 8/11/11 (Viola Davis, Duane Martin and Miguel Nunez Jr.)

    South Carolina native Viola Davis welcomes 46 today. Her controversial film The Help is currently playing at theaters. Additional film and tv credits include The Pentagon Wars, City of Angels, Law & Order, Antwone Fisher, Solaris, Century City, Syriana, Life Is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, Without A Trace, Nights in Rodanthe, Madea Goes to Jail, Eat Pray Love, United States of Tara, State of Play and more. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Steel Town are upcoming films she'll appear in.

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    More: Birthdays
  • Spout
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    "30 Minutes or Less" is the Anti "Social Network"

    One of the famous lines from "The Social Network" brings with it the following message: if you have an idea, actualize it yourself. That's basically the foundation of the film, too, as it's structured around the legal matter of two guys who got someone else to do the work, and then that someone seemingly ran away with the idea and reaped the glorious rewards. Something similar occurs in Ruben Fleischer's "30 Minutes or Less," which just so happens to be Jesse Eisenberg's first onscreen role since earning an Oscar nod for playing that alleged idea thief. In the new film, which is very loosely lifted from a tragic true story, two guys with a simple plan get Eisenberg to carry it out. Here it's a bank robbery, instead of a website idea, and to make sure he doesn't screw the guys over, he's been strapped with a bomb. If only the Winklevi had thought of something so safeguarding.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Talking Must-See Formula 1 Race Car Doc Senna: Visceral "Three Act Drama"

    Talking Must-See Formula 1 Race Car Doc Senna: Visceral "Three Act Drama"

    Sundance doc audience-award-winner Senna has been wowing fest crowds and European moviegoers in advance of its August 12 opening (via indie PDA). And motors are gunning on Peter Morgan's Formula 1 race car movie Rush, because low-budget indie doc Senna shows that the sky's the limit on what you could do with a fiction film and a big budget. With new technology, lightweight digital cameras put you inside the action and the visceral danger that this kind of racing is all about. It's inherently dramatic. Thus Ron Howard is chasing Rush, about three-time Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda, who crashed in 1976 but weeks later returned to the track, covered with burns, to compete.

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  • The Lost Boys
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    Seriously, ABC?

    How in the world did this show get picked up? ABC is channelling Fox circa 1992 in the worst possible way. And the very evident homo/transphobia makes me forget how progressive a network you have been in the past:

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    More: Annoyances
  • The Playlist
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    Ami Canaan Mann's 'Texas Killing Fields' Starring Sam Worthington & Chloe Moretz Lands October 7th

    Venice is just a few weeks away and while the number of high-profile films is pretty staggering already, one project many will be keen to check out is Ami Canaan Mann's "Texas Killing Fields." Yes, she shares the surname as Michael Mann and with good reason -- she's his daughter. Whether or not that filmmaking talent is genetic we'll soon find out, but if you can't make it to Venice, the film isn't that far off.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Weekend Preview: The Help, 30 Minutes or Less, Must-See is Formula 1 Doc Senna

    Girl of summer Emma Stone leads a strong cast in The Help, destined to please mainstream crowds but not necessarily critics and the Academy. Meanwhile, Jesse Eisenberg returns to the big screen for the first time since his Oscar-nominated role in 2010's The Social Network with what is meant to be lighter comedy fare--30 Minutes or Less--but the film is now mired in controversy. Working Title's racing doc Senna is a must-see, while The Last Circus is a "one-of-a-kind experience that will confound, befuddle and amaze," and Littlerock is a "little gem." Glee: The 3D Concert Movie and Final Destination 5 should pull younger audiences. Details, trailers and reviews for these films and more are below:

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Ryan Gosling Is Cooler Than You, And Too Cool To Answer Esquire's Questions‬

    "I have no shame whatsoever in admitting that I, like, totally want to be Ryan Gosling," tweeted Lost writer Damon Lindeloff recently. He is not alone. Even the mighty Esquire Magazine seems intimidated by an actor who is too cool for the room.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Diahann Carroll And Obba Babatunde Will Be Honored At 21st Annual NAACP Theatre Awards

    Tony winner Diahann Carroll and Tony nominee Obba Babatunde will be among those honored at the 21st Annual NAACP Theatre Awards, which takes place on August 29, at the Director's Guild of America in Los Angeles.

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    More: Theater
  • Shadow and Act
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    UK's Channel 4 Planning Public Screenings For Debbie Tucker Green's "Random"

    Talk about perfect timing (or maybe bad - depending on your point of view). U.K.'s Channel 4 and Film4 are planning a series of public screenings for Brit playwright Debbie Tucker Green's film Ransom, adapted from her own stage play.

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    More: Television