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The Playlist

5 Key Directors Of New Australian Cinema As Andrew Dominik's 'Killing Them Softly' Hits Theaters

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 27, 2012 1:01 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Though born in New Zealand, Andrew Dominik, the director of this week's "Killing Them Softly," moved to Australia at the age of 2, and was raised there. And around thirty years later, he provided a firecracker up the arse of the nation's film industry by directing "Chopper," a biopic of colorful criminal Chopper Read that made Eric Bana a global star, and firmly launched Dominik as a filmmaker to watch.

Andrew Dominik Talks The Anger Of 'Killing Them Softly', Downplays The "Mythical" Long Version of 'Jesse James'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 27, 2012 12:30 PM
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  • 10 Comments
When Australian director Andrew Dominik and ultra-handsome super-star Brad Pitt last teamed up, it was for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," a brilliant, elliptical ode to the old west and one of the very best movies of the past decade. Five very long years later, the pair have reteamed for "Killing Them Softly," which opens this weekend and, as it turns out, is just as brilliant as their previous collaboration.

The Essentials: 5 Great Max Von Sydow Performances

  • By Peter Labuza
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  • November 27, 2012 11:10 AM
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  • 10 Comments
The most notable thing about Max von Sydow is that he has played them all. Strong heroes, existential figures, formidable villains—there are few actors in the history of film with the versatility of the Swedish star. With a career that began all the way back in the 1950s, von Sydow has continued to turn in unique performances throughout his career, working with celebrated auteurs like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and, most notably, Ingmar Bergman. Sure, there are a handful of dud performances ("Dune," "What Dreams May Come"), but the strong performances still reign over all, and the range of the actor's work is simply astonishing. This week in Brooklyn, BAMcinematek begins a career retrospective of the formidable actor (all in 35mm!), and here we salute five of von Sydow's most powerful performances.

The Disc-Less: 5 British Films Not Available On DVD Including Movies By Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Leigh, Terence Davies & More

  • By Peter Labuza
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  • November 27, 2012 10:07 AM
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  • 7 Comments
With "Hitchcock" now in theaters giving us a (not very accurate) portrait of the Master of Suspense, one of history's greatest directors is once again in the conversation. Additionally, the National Film Preservation is currently streaming a partial copy of "The White Shadow," a 1924 silent by Graham Cutts, one of Hitchcock’s early mentors and collaborators. In honor of Cutts and Hitchcock, this week’s column highlights our neighbors across the Atlantic, with five great classics of British cinema that have yet to grace us with discs of their own here.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Casablanca' On Its 70th Anniversary

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 26, 2012 1:57 PM
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  • 3 Comments
A little over 70 years ago, Allied troops had invaded and freed French North Africa from Nazi occupation. And aside from helping to turn the tide of the war, it proved to be something of a boon for Warner Bros. as the company had just completed a film called "Casablanca," which was set among the resistance movement in the Moroccan city under German occupation. The film hadn't been greenlit with high hopes and was generally seen as something of filler material, intended to cash in on the recent success of the now-mostly-forgotten "Algiers."

This Year, We're Thankful For Cinema Being Alive & Kicking

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 22, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 5 Comments
It's Thanksgiving today, so things are going to be a little quiet around these parts, and Hollywood is also on a bit of a break, taking a breather before the last big movie month of the year gets underway. And we're sure many of you will be busy eating/digesting turkey between now and Monday, while spending time off with friends and family. So in the spirit of the holiday, we wanted to share with you with some thoughts on what we're thankful for in 2012.
More: Features

Sacha Gervasi Shot & Mostly Cut His Own Cameo In 'Hitchcock' & More About The Master Of Suspense

  • By Jen Vineyard
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  • November 21, 2012 1:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment
In Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock,” Anthony Hopkins plays the legendary director, and Helen Mirren his wife and often unacknowledged collaborative partner. On the surface, the film is about the making of "Psycho" -- and great fun is there to be had with recreating some of the key moments of that movie, including a shower scene with Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh -- but even more so, the film is a love story (about both the married couple who made the film possible by mortgaging their home and their mutual love of film).

Here's The Prescription: 15 Movies About Mental Illness

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 20, 2012 2:29 PM
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  • 7 Comments
This week sees the further expansion of David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook," which since it premiered at TIFF (read our rave review here) has been tipped by many as one of the best films of the year, and a serious year-end awards contender. On one hand, the film, an adaptation of Matthew Quick's novel starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker, is a relatively conventional romantic comedy. On the other, it's a truthful comedy-drama, that tackles one of the last major cinematic taboos -- mental illness -- in its depiction of bipolar, OCD protagonist Pat (Cooper).

Revolution & Car Crashes: 5 Things Learned About Jean-Luc Godard's 'Weekend' From The Criterion Collection's New Release

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • November 20, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
“Weekend” can be retroactively seen as a turning point in Jean-Luc Godard’s still-growing body of work. This is partly because the film’s nightmarish, picaresque plot makes some of Godard’s more recent movies look high-concept.

Discuss: Which Hopeful Young Adult Franchise Could Fill The Hole Left By 'Twilight'?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 19, 2012 3:57 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Farewell, "Twilight." After four years, and five movies, there are (until the inevitable reboot/spin-off/extra sequel) no longer any movies in the super-popular Stephenie Meyer-penned vampire franchise to look forward to/dread. The final movie, "Breaking Dawn Pt. 2" (our review here) is in theaters, doing the usual blockbuster numbers, but for the near future at least, that's it.

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