The Playlist

Sundance: 'Paradise Lost' Director Joe Berlinger Talks About The "Unnecessary Friction" With 'West Of Memphis' Filmmakers

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 26, 2012 10:01 AM
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  • 12 Comments
For almost 20 years, documentarian Joe Berlinger (along with Bruce Sinofksy) has chronicled the complicated history of the West Memphis Three, a trio of Arkansas teenagers who were found guilty of a triple homicide despite questionable evidence. His first film about the trial, “Paradise Lost,” was released in 1996; Part 2, 'Revelations' followed in 2000, and Part 3, 'Purgatory,' just received a nomination for Best Documentary at this year’s Academy Awards. Berlinger never aspired to be the only filmmaker or news outlet pursuing the story, and in the last year or so, a couple of high-profile projects were initiated about the trial, including the documentary “West of Memphis,” produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh and directed by Amy Berg, and an adaptation of the book “Devil’s Knot,” an account of the crimes written by Mara Levirett, with Atom Egoyan set to direct and Reese Witherspoon to star.

Can't Make It To Sundance? Here's Clips From 'Arbitrage,' 'Grabbers,' 'The Art Of Rap' & 'I Am Not A Hipster'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • January 26, 2012 9:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Who’s bummed out that they can’t be in Park City right now? Who really wishes they were at Sundance watching all these new movies that the internet is full of buzz about? Good, it’s not just me then. Well to make things slightly easier a bunch of films that have premiered there in the past week have released some footage so the rest of us can get a taste of what we’ve been missing.

'Downton Abbey' Star Hugh Bonneville Eyes Peter James' Thriller 'Dead Simple' As Big-Screen Starring Role

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 26, 2012 9:19 AM
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"Downton Abbey" has gone from being a simple TV series to something of a phenomenon. The country house soap opera, created by "Gosford Park" Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes, became an instant smash on British TV, and its upstairs/downstairs appeal has carried over to the States in a big way -- it's not every British period drama that gets live-tweeted by Patton Oswalt, now, is it? And with its award-winning success inevitably comes the lure of the big screen for its cast. Names like Dame Maggie Smith and Jim Carter are obviously familiar film faces, but it's providing launching pads for some of its less well known actors too.

'Pariah' Director Dee Rees Writing A New Script Called 'Large Print' & Working On An HBO Series With Viola Davis

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • January 26, 2012 8:58 AM
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While Spike Lee may be making headlines at the Sundance Film Festival for both his fiery rants and his latest effort “Red Hook Summer,” he took some time out to help boost the profile of a rising filmmaker who is already earning acclaim. Lee appeared alongside Dee Rees of “Pariah” fame (he executive produced the film), and the pair had an extended conversation with New York Times writer David Carr that’s well worth the watch (it's in full below).

Sundance Review: 'Nobody Walks' Is A Sensual, Emotionally Complex Film With Humor & Humanity

  • By Cory Everett
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  • January 26, 2012 8:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Martine (Olivia Thirlby), a 23 year-old New York artist arrives in L.A. to complete a short film for an upcoming exhibit. We see her embracing a lover in the airport parking lot and just before things get too carried away she puts on the brakes and tells him that it was nice meeting him on the plane. This girl is going to be trouble. The opening credits roll as Martine makes her way from the airport, gazing out the window to take everything in as the city rushes by. With a synthy score by Brooklyn duo Fall On Your Sword (who also scored last year’s Sundance hit “Another Earth” as well as director Ry Russo-Young’s first film “You Won’t Miss Me”), L.A. seems really cool. Coming from the confined apartments and gray skies of NYC (in the winter anyway) the wide open spaces of the west coast start to look really attractive. Martine arrives at the beautiful Silverlake house of therapist Julie (Rosemary DeWitt) and sound designer Peter (John Krasinski) who, due to a loose family connection, have agreed to put her up while Peter can helps her complete her film. Julie has two kids from a previous marriage and Peter as portrayed by the always affable Krasinski, decked out in hoodies and sneakers, seems more like a cool older brother than a step-dad.

Steven Spielberg Zeroing In On 'Saving Private Ryan' Style Moses Tale 'Gods And Kings'; Spring 2013 Start Eyed

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 25, 2012 11:05 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Taking on a Steven Soderbergh or Woody Allen-esque workload, Steven Spielberg -- who dropped two movies in 2011 with "War Horse" and "The Adventures Of Tintin" -- shows no sign of slowing down. He's already deep into his next film, the long developing dream project "Lincoln" which he'll deliver at the end year and after that, he'll shift gears and jump right into "Robopocalypse" which already has a big summer tentpole date of July 3, 2013 penciled in. But it looks like he won't have a moment to slow down.

Sundance Review: Life, And Lust, Find A Way In Well-Performed But Standard-Issue 'The Surrogate'

  • By James Rocchi
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  • January 25, 2012 8:52 PM
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Inspired by the life and writings of Mark O'Brien -- a polio-stricken but determined journalist and poet confined to an iron lung since age six -- "The Surrogate" offers a less comprehensive look at O'Brien's life than Jessica Yu's excellent documentary "Breathing Lessons," but instead focuses on a small sliver of O'Brien's life and living. In 1988, O'Brien, then 38, made a decision to explore his own sexuality -- despite his paralysis - in part inspired by his own research into a story on sex and disability. Unsure about his ability to forge a relationship -- and concerned, as he puts it to his Catholic Priest and confessor, that he's "approaching his use-by date," O'Brien looks into hiring a sex surrogate. The surrogate, Cheryl Cohen Greene, explains that she's not a prostitute, but a therapist -- she and Mark will have six sessions, and then terminate their relationship. It sounds complex. It gets more so.

Sundance: Clarke Peters & Nate Parker And Writer James McBride, Talk Race & Religion In Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 25, 2012 6:11 PM
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Whatever you thought of his last film, " Miracle At St. Anna" (and we'd argue that it's better than its reputation suggests), most would agree that three-and-a-half years is too long between Spike Lee feature films (though his excellent documentaries have been a good placeholder). One of our most vital filmmakers, behind classics from "Do The Right Thing" to "25th Hour," he delivers work that is always thought-provoking and fiery. And he's not mellowed in his absence; when his latest film, the self-financed "Red Hook Summer," premiered on Sunday night at Sundance, it instantly became one of the controversial, divisive films of the festival, with some calling it a real return to form, and some calling it among his weakest, scrappiest efforts.

Radiohead Clears 14 Songs For Use In Doc 'The Island President,' Get The Full List Here

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 25, 2012 5:46 PM
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One film we're surprised didn't come out of TIFF with more buzz was "The Island President." Granted, we didn't get a chance to screen it, but we heard a lot of good word about the documentary and after picking up the Audience Award in that category, we figured there were bigger things to come. Well, that didn't really happen -- yet -- but some boys over the U.K., in a tiny band you might have heard of called Radiohead, will hopefully be giving the movie a little bit of a boost.
More: Radiohead

Watch Robert De Niro Float In Spanish Trailer For 'Red Lights'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 25, 2012 4:49 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Straight out of the Sundance Film Festival, with a freshly inked distribution deal with Millenium Entertainment, we've now been given our first, extensive look at "Red Lights" from "Buried" director Rodrigo Cortes. But, you might need a translator.
More: Red Lights

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