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The Playlist

Sundance Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Happy Christmas' Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey & Lena Dunham

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 20, 2014 2:22 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Happy Christmas
As perhaps the poster boy for independent cinema in the last seven to eight years, it’s crazy to realize that lo-fi filmmaker Joe Swanberg has never been in competition at the Sundance Film Festival before. While two of his films have played in Park City previously (though one was a short segment in “V/H/S”), Swanberg and his zeitgeist-defining mumblecore movement (read: indie filmmaking with a cute name and perhaps even lower budgets than audiences were used to at the time), were actually embraced by the SXSW Film Festival and not the indie-defining organizers in Utah.

Sundance Review: ‘The Voices’ Starring Ryan Reynolds Wrings Dark Comedy From Candy-Colored Carnage

  • By James Rocchi
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  • January 20, 2014 9:06 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The Voices
The fourth film from director Marjane Satrapi ("Persepolis," "Chicken with Plums"), "The Voices" navigates the line between the gruesome and the goofy with a step as nimble as a tight-rope walker going over a sea of broken glass. It’s an extraordinarily warm and funny movie about a likable schizophrenic murderer; it’s candy-colored and meticulously composed and yet also shiny with fresh wet blood. It’s weird and funny and perfectly-pitched, and to cap off its catalog of rare feats, it also features an immensely likable performance from Ryan Reynolds.

Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anne Kendrick & Ron Livingston

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 23, 2013 4:07 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Drinking Buddies
With the rise of digital filmmaking in the last decade, a new wave of DIY "mumblecore" filmmakers have risen up through the ranks. While initially many of these films were loose and unpolished, they are now are becoming more refined with many of these directors and actors now having basically integrated themselves into the mainstream (or mainstream indie anyway). Of the directors who have come of age during this digital era, perhaps none is more notorious or divisive than Joe Swanberg, the writer/director/editor/actor responsible for 12 films over the last 8 years. With an output that prolific, you would think by now you should know whether Swanberg's brand of filmmaking is your cup of tea or not.

Anna Kendrick To Play Cinderella In Rob Marshall's Musical 'Into The Woods'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 21, 2013 7:24 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The stars keep coming out to sing for Rob Marshall. The director, who is currently brewing up the big screen version of Stephen Sondheim's fairy tale riff "Into The Woods," already has heavyweights Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep on board, along with James Corden, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. And now another actress who recently showed off her pipes is getting a shot.

Watch: New Trailer For Joe Swanberg's Dramedy 'Drinking Buddies' Starring Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde & Jake Johnson

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 20, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Drinking Buddies trailer
Marking a massive shift for mumblecore director Joe Swanberg, in that it looks like he has an actual budget and is working with people you've heard of, the real pleasant surprise around the upcoming "Drinking Buddies" is that it's actually just a plain, good movie. Catching it at SXSW, we said that "relationships are hard, our biology is essentially wired to be completely destructive to monogamy and without giving away exactly how things end up [the film] does a great job of exploring that friction." Intrigued?

Joe Swanberg Completes New Film 'Happy Christmas' With Anne Kendrick, Lena Dunham, Melanie Lynskey & Mark Webber

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • May 31, 2013 9:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Joe Swanberg is having a moment. The prolific indie director hit SXSW this spring with his first Hollywood picture (sort of), “Drinking Buddies,” featuring a cast that includes Anna Kendrick, Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson. But of course, Swanberg has never been a one-movie-at-a-time kind of a guy, so surprise, he’s also got romantic comedy finished as well.

New Poster & Images From Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies' With Anna Kendrick & Olivia Wilde

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • May 17, 2013 2:10 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Joe Swanberg may have directed over a dozen films in the past eight years, but none of them have ever really gotten as much mainstream attention as his latest. “Drinking Buddies” premiered at SXSW this spring and it showcased Swanberg’s ability to make a more mainstream film with a starrier cast that recalls the most recent works of his mumblecore contemporaries, such as Lynn Shelton and the Duplass Brothers. Magnolia Pictures picked the film up for distribution shortly afterward and now we have a couple of new images as well as the first official poster for the film.

Anna Kendrick Joins Zach Braff's 'Wish I Was Here,' Zac Efron & Amber Heard To Star In Eran Creevy's 'Autobahn'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 16, 2013 10:39 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Damn it. Just when we thought we were going to be able to ignore Zach Braff's controversially crowd-sourced sophomore feature, he goes and casts Anna Kendrick. According to The Wrap, the "Pitch Perfect" star, so often the best thing in whatever she's in, has joined the cast of Braff's currently-prepping "Wish I Was Here." The actress will play the love interest of Braff's character's brother (Josh Gad), a young cosplayer named Janine. Manic Pixie Dream Girl alert! Mandy Patinkin is also in the cast (Mandy Patinkin Dream Girl alert!), and Kendrick will next be seen in the questionable-looking "Rapturepalooza," which opens on June 7th.

Gemma Arterton & Anna Kendrick Join Ryan Reynolds In 'Persepolis' Director Marjane Satrapi's 'The Voices'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 22, 2013 1:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Change is good and Marjane Satrapi seems to thrive on it. She broke out in 2007 with the beloved, critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated "Persepolis," but has hardly made a predictable step since. Her followup was the fantastical live action tale "Chicken With Plums" and not long after came the comic mini-feature (it ran about 75 minutes long), "The Gang Of The Jotas." Now, she's shifting gears again with "The Voices," and after nabbing Ryan Reynolds to star last fall, she's picked up two more names in what may be her most mainstream effort yet.

Watch: Anna Kendrick's Official Video For "Cups" From 'Pitch Perfect'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • April 16, 2013 11:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In case you weren’t aware, “Pitch Perfect” did pretty well, especially with the younger crowd (enough that a sequel is now in the works). The soundtrack was also a massive seller, and one of the highlights for many was “Cups” as sung by Anna Kendrick, and now (somewhat belatedly?) it has its own music video.

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