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Journal

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    Talking Movies on NPR's All Things Considered

    Talking Movies on NPR's All Things Considered

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    Inside The Oscar Nominees Luncheon

    In contrast to Oscar night, when everyone is tense and on parade, the atmosphere at the annual Oscar Nominees’ Luncheon is relaxed and celebratory. Once the curtains are drawn there are no television cameras inside and everyone is in high spirits. I feel awfully lucky to be invited to attend every y...

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    Quentin Tarantino and Kirk Douglas Do A Q&K

    One of the highlights of the just-wrapped Santa Barbara Film Festival was a matinee screening of the underrated 1975 feature Posse, produced and directed by its star, Kirk Douglas, who agreed to appear on stage with the film’s number-one fan, Quentin Tarantino, in what festival director Roger Durlin...

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    Let's Hear It For Lon

    I doubt if any horror-film buff doesn’t already own a copy of The Wolf Man (1941) in one of its DVD incarnations, but the release of the new Benicio Del Toro feature has inspired Universal to reissue the original one more time—with a brand-new 35-minute biography of Lon Chaney, Jr. among its bonus features. The documentary, titled Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney, Jr. may not hold any revelations, but it’s a first-rate survey of the actor’s bittersweet life and career, with rare photos, a sampling of film clips (including some of his earliest appearances in the 1930s, and his immortal performance as Lenny in Of Mice and Men), ...

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    Leonard Maltin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen

    I’m pleased to announce the publication of Leonard Maltin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen. As those of you know who watch my weekly show Secret’s Out on ReelzChannel, there’s nothing I enjoy more than steering movie lovers to good films they may have missed. HarperStudio gave me an opportunity t...

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    James Cameron, The Terminator and Me

    James Cameron likes to be in control, but Arnold Schwarzenegger took him by surprise during Saturday night’s presentation of the Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. I was onstage conducting an evening-long interview with Cameron, interspersed with clips from many of his films. Normally, a presenter appears at the end of the program to hand the physical award to our honoree, but when that person is the Governor of the state of California, things work a bit differently. As he was unable to stay past a certain hour, and hadn’t arrived by the time we started the program, we surprised Cameron and the audience by h...

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    A New Look At Old Movies

    A New Look At Old Movies

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    Oscar's Early Bird Special

    Anne Hathaway and Academy President Tom Sherak read the announcements at 5:38 a.m.I don’t relish hearing my alarm go off at 4 in the morning, but I hopped out of bed today with a smile on my face. An hour later it’s still dark outside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but inside there...

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    Dennis Hopper On Display

    Even as Hollywood survivor Dennis Hopper battles prostate cancer, he is being celebrated in a multimedia show that’s touring the world. I caught a glimpse of it on my recent trip to Australia, where the exhibition called Dennis Hopper and The New Hollywood is on display through April 25 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. The touring show of photographs and artwork by Hopper is accompanied by a coffee-table book of the same name, published by Flammarion in conjunction with the ACMI and La Cinematheque Francaise. The book was on sale in the Centre’s lovely gift shop, but I didn’t want to lug it ho...

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    John Lasseter, Toy Guru

    James Cameron may be the King of the World when it comes to box-office receipts, but I haven’t seen him personally selling Avatar merchandise. On the other hand, Pixar’s John Lasseter is now appearing in a series of videos at the Disney Store online to introduce and promote a new high-end line of Toy Story toys and collectibles. A cynic could write this off as nothing more than a commercial ploy, and it’s certainly meant to sell merchandise, but what makes it work is that Lasseter is in fact a dedicated toy collector. When he says that he buys two of everything—one to keep in its package, in mint condition, and the other to play with—he isn’t...

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