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The Playlist

Review: 'How The Fire Fell' A Moody, Atmospheric Tone Poem About The Brides Of Christ Cult

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • January 26, 2012 5:38 PM
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  • 5 Comments
For every Gus Van Sant, Kelly Reichardt and Todd Haynes, each of them residing in Portland, there’s several dozens of other virtually unknown filmmakers working around the fringes in Oregon. It’s a state with an already strong, if still burgeoning, independent film scene. This writer, still relatively fresh to the area (not quite two years an inhabitant), has yet to see a locally produced narrative film (not including any from the aforementioned names of course) that’s stood out from a relatively crowded pack. Most tend to follow the modern indie format of 20 or 30-something malaise or “Portlandia”-esque hipster satire, to varying degrees of success.

Watch: New Trailer For 'Lockout' Is Kind Of Dumb, But Also, Kind Of Amazing

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 5:17 PM
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  • 4 Comments
"It's the world's most secure prison. It holds the planet's deadliest criminals. It's impenetrable…because..it's not on Earth."
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First Look At James McAvoy In 'Welcome To The Punch'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 4:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment
After playing an earnest lawyer in "The Conspirator," the noble hero Charles Xavier in "X-Men: First Class" and the squeaky voice protagonist of "Arthur Christmas," James McAvoy is getting some dirt under his fingernails. He's got Danny Boyle's "Trance" in the pipeline (though it won't arrive until 2013 as the director is busy with his London Olympics duties), he's currently filming the adaptation of Irvine Welsh's "Filth" and in the can is "Welcome to the Punch." And it promises to be explosive.

Sundance Review: 'Goats' Is An Unexceptional, Overly Familiar Coming-Of-Age Tale

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 26, 2012 4:18 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As far as quirky coming of age stories engineered for festivals and the twee aspiring directors who love them go, “Goats” is a fine little movie. Directed by newcomer Christopher Neil from a script by Mark Poirier, who adapted his own novel, it follows a teenager struggling to deal with his estranged parents as he tries to find a place for himself, but it’s also not really about anything at all, or at least anything original. In fact, it’s the kind of entertainment that’s familiar and pleasant enough that you easily forget that nothing much is happening on screen, which may admittedly be damning it with faint praise. But in a cinematic environment already well-stocked with so many tales of teenagers taking their first steps toward finding their own identity, “Goats” feels like the descendant of a family with an incredible pedigree who decided it was enough to live off of that legacy instead of trying to build anything new upon it.

Watch: Short Film 'Here' Co-Written By Tilda Swinton, Directed By Luca Guadagnino & Scored By Jason Schwartzman

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 4:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Yes, the merging of the worlds of cinema and advertisting isn't exactly new, with directors and actors frequently earning a bit of extra cash helming a commerical or fronting a campaign for a fashion. But rarely do we seen the kind of talented that has been assembled for the short film "Here," essentially a fifteen minute bit of hotel and costume design porn Starwood Hotels.

Review: 'The Wicker Tree' Is Almost Weird Enough To Be Enjoyable...Almost...

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 26, 2012 4:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
In the pantheon of horror films, 1973's "The Wicker Man" occupies a unique place. While well-reviewed at the time, it wasn't a commercial success, perhaps because, despite the appearance of Hammer horror alum Christopher Lee, it was a much folksier, more naturalistic approach to horror. Years later, defunct genre publication Cinefantastique described the film as "the 'Citizen Kane' of horror films," and ever since the movie has reached the rarified air of being a horror film that even movie snobs take very seriously. (There was, of course, the ill-fated 2006 remake that replaced the original's healthy suspicion of paganism with flat-out misogyny. Oh, and Nicolas Cage covered in bees.) So it makes a certain amount of sense why original writer/director Robin Hardy would return to "The Wicker Man" well with "The Wicker Tree," even though it's only tenuously connected to the original film, sharing more of a thematic link more than anything else, and none of the first film's visual sophistication or uneasy sense of dread.
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'Mirror Mirror' Moves 2 Weeks Back To March 30th; New Look At Kristen Stewart In 'Snow White And The Huntsman'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 3:24 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Universal and Relativity spent a good part of last year in a pissing match over release dates for their respective Snow White films, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to the movies, and we'll soon see who emerges victorious. Well, sort of soon.

Sundance: Director Antonio Campos & Stars Of 'Simon Killer' Talk Sociopaths, Sex & Soundtrack To The Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 26, 2012 2:56 PM
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  • 3 Comments
This time last year, "Martha Marcy May Marlene" was the toast of Sundance, an impossibly tense drama that, even by the end of 2011, still stood tall as one of the year's best films. Last January, "Afterschool" helmer Antonio Campos was in Park City in his capacity as a producer (he's one third of Borderline Films along with 'Martha Marcy' director Sean Durkin and Josh Mond), but twelve months later, he's back as director, with another intense character study, "Simon Killer."

Neal McDonough Says 'Captain America 2' Will Shoot At The End Of The Year & Hopes 'Nick Fury' Will Follow

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 26, 2012 2:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment
That "Captain America: The First Avenger" was getting a sequel was inevitable. The film successfully brought the comic hero to the big screen in a rousing and better than expected tentpole, and with Steve Rogers landing in contemporary Manhattan at the end of the film and heading into "The Avengers," there is still more to come.

Sundance Review: 'Shut Up And Play The Hits' Is LCD Soundsystem’s 'The Last Waltz'

  • By William Goss
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  • January 26, 2012 2:16 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Less of a documentary and more of a document, "Shut Up And Play The Hits" captures the week before, the day after and the very occasion of LCD Soundsystem’s Madison Square Garden farewell concert on April 2, 2011.

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