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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Links: Richardson, NY Fests, Katzenberg, Flip-Cam Sale, Cinephile Fare, Newspaper Death Rattle

    Back from SXSW, I've been playing catch-up. For much of the news media, Natasha Richardson was the sad, sad story of the week.

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    Knowing: Proyas/Cage Thriller Will Wow Audiences

    Knowing is an intense, smart sci-fi thriller that stops just short of being great. Australian director Alex Proyas, the mind behind The Crow, Dark City and I, Robot , makes several questionable choices--among them ominous Jim Jarmusch lookalike lurkers and and a derivative ending-- but they don't de...

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    SXSW: Hill and Rogen Talk Observe and Report

    Monday morning I interviewed Observe and Report writer-director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) and star Seth Rogen. The movie played well on Monday night at the Paramount. It's a very dark reality-based comedy about fantasy and self-delusion, basically. The flipcam interview is broken into two parts:

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    Duplicity: Gilroy Directs Roberts and Owen

    While Duplicity isn't as good as Michael Clayton, you can tell that it comes from the mind of Tony Gilroy. According to his recent profile in The New Yorker, he's a man who likes to surprise. Gilroy reminds me of Steven Soderbergh: he's trying to outsmart audience expectations so much that he sometimes outsmarts himself. (It makes sense that he wrote the Bourne series.) Clayton was warmed up by the charisma of George Clooney, as well as the whip-cracking brilliance of British actor Tom Wilkinson, who goes up against the great Paul Giamatti in Duplicity. The plot of this gorgeous and sexy character-based heist thriller twists and turns--reveal...

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    Weekend Update: Watchmen Opening Not So Big; Kubrick's Tenth; Obama Gives Brown DVDs

    While Watchmen delivered a robust opening of about $55.7 million in North America, it came in lower than expectations--and much lower than Snyder's last film, the blockbuster 300--both domestically and overseas. Finally, Watchmen works best as the narratively complex, visually dazzling comics series from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Originally published in 1986, the graphic novel is flying off the shelves. I hope people do read the book, which instantly draws you in with its compelling, never confusing storytelling, deepening and peeling new layers as it goes. The movie, on the other hand, is hard to fathom, boasts too many characters, and do...

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    Watchmen vs. Aliens?

    [Posted by David S. Cohen]

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    Daily Links: Public Enemies, My Fair Lady, Women in Film

    The recession is hitting the movie studios in the pocket books; they are trimming their budgets going forward, according to this Reuters report.

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    Film Fest Musical Chairs: Tribeca, Sundance, LAFF

    It's no shock that after six seasons of programming the Tribeca Film Fest, Peter Scarlet is moving on. Rumors of his exit had started to circulate at the Indie Spirit Awards. And word is Scarlet was getting antsy with Robert DeNiro and partner Jane Rosenthal's push for a smaller, event-oriented festival with less room for esoterica even before he learned that Geoff Gilmore, after 19 years running the higher-profile Sundance Film Festival, was coming in to supervise him. (When he announced the job switch, Gilmore told me that he was planning to let Scarlet run this year's Tribeca festival.) But while Scarlet could have opted to stay on board t...

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    Coraline's Selick on the Fantastic Garden

    Remarkably, on its fourth weekend, the well-reviewed Coraline is still hanging in there--it grossed more than $5 million and placed eighth on its way to some $70-million in total domestic gross--even though new opener JonasBrothers: The 3-D Concert Experience took over its 3-D theaters.

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    Indie Spirits Photo Gallery

    On a bright Saturday afternoon at the Santa Monica Beach, I mingled with the presenters, nominees, media and guests at the Independent Spirit Awards. On the way in, I photographed waiters with free booze and Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, which won best actress (Frozen River's Melissa Leo), best foreign film (The Class) and best first feature and ensemble cast (Synecdoche, New York). On the blue carpet, I grabbed a shot of Mad Men star Jon Hamm; Dana Delany; At the Movies co-host Ben Mankiewicz; Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi; Film Independent's Dawn Hudson; and IFC's Matt Singer; and then spent a good hour hobnobbing ou...

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