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The Playlist

Watch: First Trailer For ‘Happy Christmas’ Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber & Lena Dunham

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 20, 2014 3:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Happy Christmas
Don’t be fooled by the pristine-looking image above (hell, it’s “new” so we thought we’d use it). “Happy Christmas” is not the feel-good family comedy of the year. Hell, it’s not very shiny, slick and happy like that image would suggest. “Happy Christmas” is really a lo-fi, down and dirty family dramedy by filmmaker Joe Swanberg.

Exclusive: Sickness Gets Unleashed In Trailer For Horror 'Proxy'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 13, 2014 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Proxy
Director Zack Parker's "Proxy" has been collecting some serious travel miles. After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, the horror film has stopped in fests in Austin, Sitges, Strasbourg and Portland, among many others, but now it's coming home to a screen near you. And we have the exclusive trailer for the scare flick you might want to keep an eye out for.

Watch: Red Band Trailer For Ti West's 'The Sacrament' Produced by Eli Roth

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 21, 2014 10:20 AM
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  • 5 Comments
So, is Ti West's "The Sacrament" a found footage movie or a mockumentary? In fact, it's neither. "This is an after the fact made documentary. It’s like a Christopher Guest movie if you will," the director told Crave Online last fall. "It’s just very dark, and I don’t think anyone’s looked at Christopher Guest’s career and been like, 'Oh, found footage.' It’s always been like these weird mockumentaries, but mockumentary sounds good for comedy and not for anything else. So it’s just hard to label it necessarily but to me, having a tough time labeling something generally means something’s interesting."

Berlin Review: Josephine Decker’s ‘Thou Wast Mild And Lovely’ Both Fascinating And Frustrating

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • February 11, 2014 4:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, Joe Swanberg
In the sun-dappled, sweltering hills on a Kentucky farm, a minute shift in the pastoral chemistry is seemingly unnerving nature. This change in the air is not initially calamitous, but nevertheless felt, possibly subconsciously, by the entire environment. This interruption comes in the form of Akin (filmmaker/actor Joe Swanberg), a young farmhand whose presence upsets the delicate balance of harmony on the ranch of Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet of “Take Shelter”), a curmudgeonly old farmer and Sarah (Sophie Traub), his naïve and very peculiar young daughter. And perhaps the equilibrium of this idyllic setting is thrown because their relationship has something ineffably insalubrious hanging over it.

Exclusive: Posters & Photos Of Director Josephine Decker's Berlin Double Bill Including Film Starring Joe Swanberg

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 3, 2014 10:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, Joe Swanberg
Most directors would be happy with just getting one film screened at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, but filmmaker Josephine Decker has two unspooling — “Thou Wast Mild & Lovely” and “Butter on the Latch.” And Christoph Terhecte, Lead Programmer of the Berlinale Forum Section where the films will play, has a simple reason why both movies are getting space: "I haven't seen such a powerful filmmaking in a long time."

The Ones To Watch: 20 Breakout Actors, Directors & Talents From The 2014 Sundance Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 28, 2014 2:40 PM
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  • 2 Comments
2014 Breakout Talent From Sundance
Because we're usually far too busy for the partying and snowboarding, the highlights of the Sundance Film Festival are, of course, the movies themselves. But almost as pleasurable as the films, is discovering new voices and talent, and seeing for the first time the performers and filmmakers whose careers will grow and rise long after the locals have reclaimed Park City for another year.

Review: Joe Swanberg's Mumblecore Murder Mystery '24 Exposures'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 26, 2014 1:41 PM
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  • 2 Comments
24 Exposures
Last year, Joe Swanberg, the indie filmmaking titan and godfather of the so-called mumblecore movement, made a slight bid for the mainstream with “Drinking Buddies”—a more conventional romantic comedy that featured recognizable actors (like Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick) and a wide-ish release courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. But apparently the siren song of a shoestring budget, non-professional actors and a script that doesn’t concretely exist as much as it hangs in the air like a fine vapor was too much for Swanberg to resist. And so he’s back with “24 Exposures,” a typically Swanberg-ian take on a murder mystery that doesn’t exactly hang together as it goes flickering by.

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.

Venice Review: Ti West's 'The Sacrament,' Starring AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg & Amy Seimetz

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 2, 2013 3:51 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Thirty-three years on from "Cannibal Holocaust" and fourteen from "The Blair Witch Project," found-footage horror is still going strong. It's no surprise really: they're cheap to make, consistently popular and almost always hugely profitable. But even with the "Paranormal Activity" and "V/H/S" franchises riding high, we do sometimes wonder how much more juice the genre has in it — it feels like a long time since we saw anything genuinely fresh in the form and this is particularly dispiriting given the amount of cheap knock-offs that are appearing over time.

Review: Home Invasion Horror 'You're Next' Featuring Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, AJ Bowen & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 20, 2013 7:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
When low budget horror movie "You're Next" premiered back at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival it received a rapturous response and set off a small scale buying war (Lionsgate, home to the "Hostel" and "Saw" franchises, and savior to Joss Whedon's marooned masterpiece "Cabin in the Woods," eventually won out). It played Austin's Fantastic Fest later that same month to equally enthusiastic crowds and then…nothing. The movie is finally going to be released this week and while it isn't quite the genre breakthrough many at the time were claiming it was (a prominent blogger provocatively asked if it was the next "Scream" — it's not), it's still a fun, bloody, occasionally scary home invasion romp.

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