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The Playlist

Review: 'Go Down Death' A Unique, Strange & Unforgettable Directorial Debut

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 31, 2014 5:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Jonathan Mallory Sinus is credited as the “folklorist” responsible for the vignettes that follow at the beginning of “Go Down Death,” the closing film at the Fantasia Film Festival. What follows is a beautiful woman applying makeup and a man on guitar. Some of the world’s greatest filmmakers would argue that these are the only elements one needs to make a great film. The picture continues through its opening credits, introducing us to a doctor that overshares to a kind-eyed boy, and a double-amputee emphasizing liberation from his own legs as if his body were originally a vessel for a lie. Director Aaron Schimberg’s credit appears over the screams of a woman trapped inside a car, fighting for her life. This is a filmmaker with a very specific sensibility in regards to mortality.

Release Dates: Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater' Readied For Oscar Season, 'The Huntsman' Coming In Spring 2016

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 31, 2014 5:14 PM
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  • 2 Comments
You can have a great movie, but if you don't position it properly, it won't find the audience it deserves, nor maximize the profitability you were hoping for. That's a longwinded way of saying some movies have announced some new release dates, so let's dive right in.

20 New Photos Of The TIFF-Bound ‘Riot Club’ Starring Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, Jessica Brown Findlay & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 31, 2014 4:40 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The Riot Club
Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig’s has a zig-zagging trajectory. Her debut "Italian for Beginners" was an inventive and populist take on the Dogme 95 manifesto via a romantic comedy which won several plaudits including the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2001. She made a few well-received films since, but it was 2009’s “An Education” that dropped the filmmaker on the global map in a big way. She stumbled with the mostly tone dead romantic dramedy "One Day" starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, but critical redemption is right around with her latest film “The Riot Club.”

Watch: Walter Murch & Jon Favreau Talk Editing Of 'The Conversation,' 'Birdman,' 'Gravity' And More In 7-Minute Video

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 31, 2014 4:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Conversation Birdman Gravity
The art of film editing isn't exactly a subject that will get even the most devoted of cinephiles excited. It's a hidden art, a laborious task and often an undersung skill in the filmmaking world, with few "celebrity" practitioners. Martin Scorsese's regular collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker is probably the most "famous," and ranking right up there with her is Walter Murch. The Oscar winner was the man who brought "Apocalypse Now" down to size, helped reshape Orson Welles' "Touch Of Evil" and lend his touch to "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "The English Patient." And if you're going to listen to someone talk editing, he's the guy you'll want to pay attention to.

Interview: John Michael McDonagh Talks The Anger And Anarchy Of 'Calvary' And Beyond

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 31, 2014 3:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment
John Michael McDonagh, Calvary
This Friday, a film featuring a motley collection of characters of dubious motivation centred around a costumed hero on a mission, will roll into theaters. That’s, right, we’re talking about John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary” the complex, biting, pitchblack follow-up to the director’s more comedic debut “The Guard.” The film stars regular collaborator Brendan Gleeson, this time in a cassock as a Roman Catholic priest, the one good man in a rotten rural parish, going about his week as a countdown to the Sunday on which he’s been told one of his parishioners will kill him. And it’s an ambitious, multilayered movie that impressed us hugely in Sundance, and that provided us with a great deal to talk about when we met the director at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

20 Sophomore Films From Celebrated Debut Directors

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 31, 2014 3:22 PM
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  • 15 Comments
20 Sophomore Films From Celebrated Debut Directors
This week sees the release of John Michael McDonagh’s “Calvary.” Among the many things the film is--a black comedy; a murder mystery; a darkhearted fable; an anti-authoritarian screed--it is also a second film, coming on the heels of an admired debut, “The Guard.” “Calvary” is such a specific film, so unlike most anything else you’ll see this year, that it doesn’t easily lend itself to generalizations about the shape of the director’s career at this early stage, however in the feel of McDonagh digging in, getting into heavier, darker and less compromising territory, we can see a valid, some would say admirable, response to the challenges of the sophomore film.

Casting: Spike Jonze To Guest On 'Girls,' Emily Ratajkowski Joins Zac Efron In ‘We Are Your Friends’ & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 31, 2014 2:50 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Emily Ratajkowski
While rightly celebrated for his films, Spike Jonze is also an ace actor, who excels and showing up in small roles and knocking them out of the park. His turn as a penny stock mover and shaker in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street" was memorable stuff, as was his brief appearance in Bennett Miller's "Moneyball."

Stephen Daldry’s 'Trash' With Rooney Mara Is Hitting The Fall Film Festival Circuit, Just Not One You’ll Probably See

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 31, 2014 2:08 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Trash, Rooney Mara
So the trailer for Stephen Daldry’s “Trash” is out there. Set in Brazil, it chronicles impoverished street kids who find themselves involved in a political scandal when they make a discovery in a garbage dump. Soon the trio are running from the cops and trying to right a terrible wrong. It stars Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen as an NGO worker and priest, respectively, and highlights a triad of young Brazilian boys played by Rickson Teves, Eduardo Luis and Gabriel Weinstein. And yes, these non-actor discoveries are actually the leads with the Americans providing the support (Brazilians Wagner Moura and Selton Mello also co-star).

Watch: First Trailer For 'Stonehearst Asylum' Starring Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine & Ben Kingsley

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 31, 2014 1:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Stonehearst Asylum
When you pair up Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley—reunited over two decades on from "Without A Clue"—you can bet we'll watch. But we certainly have to give pause when the project in question, "Stonehearst Asylum" (formerly known as "Eliza Graves"), is hitting VOD the same day as theatrical. Granted, the stigma with VOD isn't the same as it once was, but that said, the strategy still does make you consider the quality of some projects.

Interview: Werner Herzog On 'Herzog: The Collection'

  • By James Rocchi
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  • July 31, 2014 1:31 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Werner Herzog boxset
The new box set “Herzog: the Collection,” released by Shout Factory, collects 16 of Herzog's films, presented on Blu-ray for the first time, from his 1970 debut "Even Dwarves Started Small" to 1999's “My Best Fiend." Herzog has 57 films to his name, of course—and counting—but these early works pulse with energy and strangeness, charm and power, gigantic ideals somehow being borne out of small budgets and limited resources by seemingly limitless passion and sheer force of will.

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