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The Playlist

The Films Of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 6, 2011 5:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments
The great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman famously intoned in his 1987 autobiography, “The Magic Lantern,” that discovering Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s work was, “A miracle. Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”

The Essentials: 5 Tom Hanks Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 30, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 15 Comments
For comedians aspiring to be dramatic actors, there is no better model than Tom Hanks. A two-time Academy Award winner and five-time nominee, this unflashy, modern-day Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda has also shown every struggling actor on earth that if you persevere you can actually make people forget you started out as a comedian and then simply a romantic comedy lead (remember the dreaded "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle" years). Hell, if you endure long enough you can even wipe out the memory of TV movies like "Mazes and Monsters" and sitcoms like "Bosom Buddies" (where's that other dude now?).The first man to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars since Spencer Tracy, he embodies a kind of fundamental decency like few others, but to stereotype him in that way does the star a disservice: like Stewart and Fonda, some of his most engaging performances come when he subverts that persona.

The Films Of Michael Bay: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 29, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 19 Comments
Michael Bay,  Pain and Gain
Fuck Michael Bay. Michael Bay rules.

Five Louis Malle Films You Should Know

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 29, 2011 3:45 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Driven by a fierce intellectual curiosity that would find the filmmaker hungrily roving from subject to subject, both in the narrative sense and the journalistic one (he shot around ten documentaries in his career), French filmmaker Louis Malle was a cinematic explorer who turned over various and many stones.

The Essentials: The Films Of Nicolas Roeg

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 23, 2011 4:06 AM
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  • 11 Comments
Nicolas Roeg
You might say it’s a good month to be a fan of British cult filmmaker Nicolas Roeg. Just last week the Criterion Collection released the director’s 1985 oddball picture, “Insignificance,” and this week, his landmark science-fiction film “The Man Who Fell to Earth” starring David Bowie is being given a limited U.S. theatrical re-release to mark its 35th anniversary.

It Was A War For Cast & Crew: 16 Things You Need To Know About Terrence Malick's 'The Thin Red Line'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 17, 2011 8:54 AM
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  • 25 Comments
In late ’98/early ‘99, on the eve of the release of “The Thin Red Line,” two major events were concurrently taking place, each threatening to consume one another but both feeding the anticipation around them (the film was given a limited release in December, followed by wide release in January). One was "The Thin Red Line" itself -- Terrence Malick's first new film in 20 years, an approximately $52 million dollar war film backed by Fox 2000 (a shingle housed under 20th Century Fox) -- and the other the hallowed return of Malick the director, believed to be lost in the wilderness, driving cabs in Paris, selling T-shirts on Les Champs-Élysées or whatever fictional rumor pleases you most.

Terrence Malick Wanted John Travolta & 15 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Days of Heaven'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 9, 2011 8:01 AM
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  • 13 Comments
While many directors worry about the sophomore slump, Terrence Malick might be remembered most for his second film, "Days of Heaven." The film stars Richard Gere and Brooke Adams as a lovestruck young couple in early 1900s Texas. After Bill, Gere's character, kills his boss, the couple and Bill's sister Linda (Linda Manz) flee. While looking for work they stumble upon an idyllic farm run by a sickly, yet kind farmer played by Sam Shepard. When the farmer falls in love with Abby, played by Adams, Bill convinces her to enter into a sham marriage with him in the hopes he’ll die soon and leave them his considerable wealth. As one could guess, things go awry when Abby develops conflicting feelings of affection for the farmer.

Terrence Malick Punched Out A Producer & 10 Other Things We Learned About 'Badlands'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 3, 2011 4:46 AM
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  • 15 Comments
It has been almost four decades since Terrence Malick's debut feature film "Badlands" and if you haven't seen the film in a little while, it's just as good you remembered it. Starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, "Badlands" sounds about as un-Malick-esque as you can get. Loosely based on the true story of Charlie Starkweather and his 14-year old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate who went on a two-month road trip through Nebraska and Wyoming in 1958 and stacked up eleven murders, Malick re-imagines them as Kit and Holly, but this isn't your standard "Bonnie & Clyde" styled flick. Lyrical, enigmatic and pastoral, frame-by-frame the style and tone that Malick would become famous for makes its presence known. In fact, revisiting the film, one can almost see thematic parallels between "Badlands" and "The Tree of Life." Arguably, Kit and Holly represent "nature and grace" in their own way; Malick's penchant for nature as an unspoken force is definitely felt and more superficially, Jessica Chastain looks disarmingly like a young Sissy Spacek.

The Essentials: The 5 Best Ewan McGregor Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 2, 2011 6:42 AM
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  • 22 Comments
After spending much of the last decade in some of the worst theatrically-released movies around ("Cassandra's Dream?" "Stay?" "Incendiary?" "Deception?" "Amelia?" "Angels & Demons?"), Mike Mills' "Beginners" seems to be the start of a new phase of Ewan McGregor's career. Not only is the film terrific, one of the years' best (read our review here), but McGregor's great in it, the best he's been in years.

TV Vs. Film: Ten Shows Worth Skipping The Multiplex For

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 26, 2011 9:58 AM
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  • 26 Comments
The Playlist's brief flirtation with television continues... Yesterday, we dipped our toe into the murky waters of the debate around whether the quality of television has now surpassed that of contemporary film (conclusion: it's a silly question), and now, as the TV season wraps up this week, we're examining the evidence, the shows that keep The Playlist team going on weekends when movie theaters are bereft of anything that doesn't insult our intelligence.

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