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The Playlist

The Devil In The Detail: Thoughts On 'Chinatown' On Its 40th Anniversary

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 18, 2014 4:00 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Chinatown Nicholson B/W
I still remember the first time I ever saw a two-dollar bill. It was in a wallet, on a TV screen in the living room of my childhood home. The wallet belonged to a dead woman called Ida Sessions, and it was Jack Nicholson who was riffling through it: Social Security Card; Screen Actors Guild Membership; two-dollar bill. I was maybe 12 or 13 and had never even set foot in America, but like anyone in the English-speaking world who watched way too many movies, I felt I knew the country like the back of my hand. Certainly its currency, which seemed more like real money than the colorful, monopoly notes we used, so often had I seen it brimming out of briefcases, left contemptuously on nightstands or fluttering down like green confetti after an explosion. But I had never seen a two-dollar bill, so that, of all things, was the detail that snagged my attention the first time I watched Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown.”

12 Performers Who Deserve 2014 Emmy Nominations (But Probably Won't Get Them)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 17, 2014 3:13 PM
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  • 39 Comments
Actors Deserving Emmys, Summer 2014
We're having a sustained and much needed break from the Oscars, but that doesn't mean that awards are completely banished from the cultural landscape. For better or worse, Emmy season is sneaking up. The biggest and most prestigious TV awards in the calendar ended their qualifying season at the end of May, and ballots opened only a few days ago, with voting set to finish next week, ahead of the announcement of nominations on July 10th (with the awards themselves following on August 25th).

Summer TV Preview: 16 Upcoming Shows That May Fill The 'Game Of Thrones' Gap

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 16, 2014 2:34 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Summer TV Preview: 2014
Did you know that in the 70 days since April 6th, the world’s population has increased by about 15,690,000 people, which is roughly equivalent to the current combined populations of Pennsylvania and Iowa? Of course not! That’s just one of the fascinating things that has been happening on our planet while we were all too busy anticipating, watching, critiquing and dissecting Season 4 of “Game of Thrones” to notice (find all our ‘Thrones’ coverage here). But with what is probably the show’s most controversial season coming to its end last night (finale recap), paradoxically—or maybe not, following the “no such thing as bad publicity” paradigm—on a probable viewership high, our Sunday evenings for the next few months are suddenly free: a gaping maw of endless exciting possibilities. Why not schedule an extra SoulCycle class, polish up that rusty Spanish or study world population expansion?

With 'American Gods' Dead At HBO, What's The Status Of Other Neil Gaiman Adaptations?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 16, 2014 1:42 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Though they're, at the most, halfway through the series, HBO is already starting to look for potential successors to "Game of Thrones," which recently became the biggest hit in the network's history. With "True Blood" wrapping up this year, they're very much in the market for another fantasy/sci-fi-type show: Damon Lindelof's "The Leftovers" will debut in a few weeks, and only a week or two back, it was revealed that Darren Aronofsky is developing an adaptation of Margaret Atwood's "MaddAddam" trilogy.

Discuss: Is 23 Super Hero Movies Over The Next 4 Years Too Much?

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 13, 2014 1:40 PM
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  • 39 Comments
Marvel Vs. DC
A simple, but terrific (and possibly frightening) observation has been made by our friends over at Rope Of Silicon: over the next four years, if everything goes according to plan for every studio, we're going to see twenty-three (count ‘em) super hero films. Because, as you know, the comic book movie arms race is officially on.

Ranked: Our Favorite Directing Duos From Best To Worst

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 12, 2014 4:03 PM
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  • 22 Comments
Best Directing Duos
This weekend comedy sequel “22 Jump Street” hits theaters, on a wave of goodwill and giggly advance reviews (our own included). For once it seems the usually barren ground of the comedy sequel has yielded something decent, and that is cause for celebration indeed. But already now the question is starting to bubble to the surface: well, why are we surprised? What did we expect? Didn’t we know that the infallible genius directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller are behind it?

10 Soccer Movies That Hit The Back Of The Net For The 2014 World Cup

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 12, 2014 12:55 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Anti-sports folk, look away now: today marks the beginning of the 2014 World Cup, and we're a little bit excited. We know that it's hardly the biggest deal on the sporting calendar for much of the U.S, but we love the beautiful game, and the month-long festival of soccer (or football, as people who name games in an accurate manner call it) is pretty much unbeatable when it comes to seeing the best of the best play their trade.

The Movies That Changed My Life: Amma Asante, Director Of 'Belle'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 12, 2014 11:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Amma Asante, Belle
The quiet little indie sleeper of the summer has been “Belle,” the British costume drama ignored by most of the movie blog world, but which has proven to be a real word-of-mouth hit: at present, it’s taken more than $7 million, making it the third biggest indie of the year (behind “Chef” and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel”), and is still going strong. The true-life tale of Dido Elizabeth Belle, born to a British aristocrat and a West Indian slave, and raised in high society, but never able to fully participate in it, it’s also terrific, as our review from a month or so back said.

‘Ghostbusters II’ At 25, And 10 Other Sequels That Stalled & Killed Their Franchises

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 11, 2014 3:45 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Sequels That Killed The Franchise
30 years ago last week, “Ghostbusters” hit our screens. It was an anniversary feted by many, (ourselves included, check out our nostalgia trip back to summer 1984), with articles, celebrations, appreciations, oral histories and even the announcement of a forthcoming theatrical re-release all timed to capitalize on the film’s now-classic status. By contrast, the 25th anniversary of “Ghostbusters II,” which happens this week, comes upon us largely unheralded, with perhaps just a far-off slow clap and an internet tumbleweed or two to mark the occasion. Safe to say the sequel is not quite as beloved as the original.

10 HBO Shows That Paved The Way For 'Game Of Thrones'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 10, 2014 1:56 PM
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  • 18 Comments
10 Shows That Paved The Way For Game of Thrones
We've survived the fight between the Mountain and the Viper, and (for now) the battle for control of the Wall, and this Sunday brings the grand finale to the fourth season of "Game Of Thrones." In the four years since the show began, a curious thing happened—it became a phenomenon.

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