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The Playlist

Dakota Fanning Goes Punk Again In 'Miss Bala' Director Gerardo Naranjo's English Language Feature Debut

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 16, 2013 12:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment
After breaking through internationally with 2011's "Miss Bala," Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo hasn't been in a big hurry to break into Hollywood. While earlier this year he replaced Joe Carnahan on the brewing "Death Wish" remake, his most recent work has been on the FX series "The Bridge," where he directed the pilot episode. But it looks like his next feature is brewing, and it's unsurprisingly one that will have a bit of grit to it.

Interview: Gabe & Alan Polsky On 'The Motel Life,' Future Projects And Producing For Werner Herzog

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 8, 2013 2:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Motel Life, Alan & Gabe Polsky
Well, it's been a long time coming, nearly a year in fact since its 2012 Rome Film Festival debut, where it picked up three awards—editing, screenplay and the coveted Audience Award—but "The Motel Life" (our review here) is finally making its way onto screens this week. The debut film from producing-turned-directing brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky, starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff with Dakota Fanning in a small role, the film is based on the 2006 novel by musician and writer Willy Vlautin and tells the story of two brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Review: Sweet, Sad 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff & Dakota Fanning

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • November 6, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 2 Comments
On the surface, there should be nothing particularly special about producer-turned-director brothers Gabe and Alan Polsky's debut, "The Motel Life." Threatening to sound like indie-by-numbers on paper, the film, based on the well-received novel of the same name by Willy Vlautin, is indeed familiar in its downbeat, disenfranchised Americana setting and even some of its themes: familial love, redemption and the fragility of hope in the face of ill-starred circumstances. But while it doesn't reinvent the wheel, or revolutionize the genre, it achieves its modest ambitions affectingly well, in no small part due to a clutch of cherishable performances, especially from leads Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff, as brothers Frank and Jerry Lee.

Willem Dafoe To Play Andy Warhol In 'Saint Laurent,' Plus More Casting For Dakota Fanning, Common & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 30, 2013 1:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Willem Dafoe is now joining the diverse ranks of Bill Hader, David Bowie, Guy Pearce, Jared Harris and Crispin Glover in donning the platinum wig to play pop art icon Andy Warhol. The actor has joined French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello's "Saint Laurent," a biopic about the famed fashion designer. Not to be confused with The Weinstein Company movie also in production, this much starrier endeavor features Gaspard Ulliel in the title role, with Olga Kurylenko, Jérémie Renier, Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Amira Casar in support. Cameras are rolling on the film which is already slated for a May 14, 2014 release in France. Can you say Cannes?

Exclusive: Poster For 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff & Dakota Fanning Plus Watch The New Trailer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 24, 2013 4:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The fall moviegoing season is nothing short of dominated by star-driven, heavy-hitting drama, as the studios all jockey for awards season gold. But there are plenty of smaller pictures that might not have the benefit of multi-million dollar campaigns but are no less potent and worthy of investigation. And one effort to keep an eye out for on the horizon is Alan and Gabriel Polsky's "The Motel Life."

Kelly Reichardt Talks Her Eco-Thriller ‘Night Moves,’ The Mysteries Of Co-Star Dakota Fanning & More

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • September 11, 2013 3:38 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Night Moves, Kelly Reichardt
Director Kelly Reichardt (“Wendy and Lucy,” “Meek’s Cutoff’) has an eye for vast American landscapes, in which she deliberately places lonesome, trudging souls who are continuously searching—for connections, for new lives, for meaning.

TIFF Review: Jason Reitman's 'Boogie Nights' Live Read Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Josh Brolin, Olivia Wilde & More

  • By Cory Everett
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  • September 9, 2013 2:30 PM
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  • 6 Comments
With a growing audience of devoted cinephiles over the past few years, it seems there are few film-related events more beloved than Jason Reitman's Live Reads. The setup is simple: Reitman selects a classic screenplay of his choosing to be read by new actors in front of a live audience with Reitman himself reading the stage direction. The only other accompaniment to the performances is a projection behind the performers featuring a frame of the film (digitally removing the actors) to set the scene and usually some music before and after the show begins. Sometimes the casting aims to turn the material on its head—"Reservoir Dogs" with an all-African American cast or "Glengary Glen Ross" with an ensemble of women—and sometimes it's more straightforward. So why have these readings become such a hot ticket? Well, for starters, the events (held typically at the LACMA in Los Angeles) are not recorded and are never repeated and at their best, they force the audience to think about the film in a new way. But the real secret to their success—like the films themselves—is that it usually comes down to the casting.

Exclusive: 'The Motel Life' Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, & Dakota Fanning Hits Theaters In November

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 5, 2013 4:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Motel Life
The fall film season just won't let up this year and one more understated gem of a movie is joining the fray: Alan and Gabriel Polsky's 2012 Rome film fest entry, "The Motel Life." Starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, and directed together by the Polskys (producers of "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" and "Little Birds") the drama depicts a pair of working-class brothers who flee their Reno motel after getting involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident. Today, Polsky Films announced a November 8, 2013 release for "The Motel Life" in 15 cities nationwide, and on VOD via FilmBuff.

Watch: First Clip From Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning & Peter Sarsgaard

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 10:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Night Moves
With a trio of measured dramas under her belt — “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff” — Kelly Reichardt has established herself as a filmmaker whose storytelling is patient and considered. But when news arrived that her latest "Night Moves" would take on eco-terrorism and feature a Hollywood-ish cast with Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Petes Sarsgaard, it certainly grabbed our attention. The result? As our review out of Venice notes, a "perfect reminder that Reichardt is one of the most exciting directorial talents we have right now."

Venice Review: Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' With Jesse Eisenberg & Dakota Fanning

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 30, 2013 5:00 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Night Moves, Jesse Eisenberg
After the acclaimed trio of “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff,” Kelly Reichardt was already proving hard to pin down. The three films that made her name (plus her lesser-known earlier works “ Ode” and “River Of Grass”) are immediately recognizable as the work of the director, but very different from each other thematically, if perhaps not formally. Whatever her next move was going to be, it was going to be interesting, but few would have predicted that it would be “Night Moves” – a crackling little suspense thriller/morality play indebted to Dostoyevsky and Hitchcock. But while it’s a left turn, it’s at least as good as the films that came before it, and still with the same recognizable DNA intact.

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