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The Playlist

5 "Unfilmable" Novels That Became Movies & 5 More That Are On The Way

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 17, 2012 11:59 AM
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  • 23 Comments
Like a red rag to a bull, the term "unfilmable novel" elicits about the same reaction for filmmakers as it does for Chief Wiggum in "The Simpsons" when he tells Ralph not to go into "the forbidden closet of mystery." Some of the greatest works of literature have been deemed, correctly or not, as unfilmable, and yet writers, directors, producers and stars keep trying, either developing such projects for years with no success, or very occasionally getting the films financed, usually with mixed success.

30 Essential Films Missing From The Sight & Sound Top 100

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 16, 2012 12:20 PM
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  • 26 Comments
The trouble with a list is that not everyone is going to agree. What's often offered as a personal selection of favorites can often be taken by a reader as a personal affront, a sign of snobbery or boorishness, even if a list is a compilation from multiple contributors. And as the fuss over the Sight & Sound Greatest Films Of All Time poll reminds us, that'll likely always be the case. After all, we know that it's all just a fun exercise, and yet looking over the full list (published today on the magazine's website along with the 800-odd submissions from critics all of the world), we still feel the pang of the absence of some of our own favorites.

Sight & Sound Unveil Full 'Greatest Films Of All Time' List; Robert Altman, Ridley Scott & More Crack Top 100

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 16, 2012 10:31 AM
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  • 26 Comments
Following the reveal at the beginning of the month of the top 50 on the Sight & Sound Greatest Films Of All Time, which caused plenty of debate on its own with "Veritgo" taking over the top spot from "Citizen Kane," the BFI have pulled up the curtain on the entire results of their once-a-decade poll of over 800 critics, academics and festival programmers all over the world.

Discuss: With 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Going IMAX, Is The Format Becoming The New 3D?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 15, 2012 2:08 PM
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  • 8 Comments
There has been something of a trend recently for re-releasing older fare in 3D, with Disney and Pixar movies, "Titanic," "Star Wars" and, next summer, "Jurassic Park" and "Independence Day" all getting the treatment. It's the new-money-for-old-rope-approach to the movies, and while these aren't guaranteed phenomenons (although "Titanic" did extraordinarily well internationally, especially in China, and "The Lion King" topped the box office in the U.S. last fall), they've been something of a no-brainer so far, allowing studios to get many millions of dollars through fairly minimal effort.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Bonnie & Clyde'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 14, 2012 3:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It's almost impossible to overstate the influence of Arthur Penn's "Bonnie & Clyde." It wasn't alone as one of the film breaking down the walls of a "new cinema" -- Michaelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" had turned heads the previous year, and Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" helped with the impression of the changing of the guard when it followed a few months later. But it was Penn's film (written by journalists Robert Benton and David Newman, with a polish from Robert Towne and produced by Warren Beatty), which told the story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the Depression-era bank robbing duo, that really felt like the lightning strike, bringing the techniques, sexuality, violence and cool-factor of European cinema to a mainstream audience for the first time.

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 13, 2012 1:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments
One of the trickier genres to get right is the teen comedy. Walking the line between not condescending to a high-school-age audience and yet also not alienating them is a difficult balance, let alone making a film that doesn't age, feels truthful, and can be smart and funny as well. And one of the finest examples of the genre remains to this day, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Discuss: Do We Really Want Our Most Promising Filmmakers Directing Superhero Movies?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 11, 2012 11:28 AM
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  • 49 Comments
Pretty much the hottest directorial job in Hollywood right now is that for "Justice League," the Warner Bros. movie that will team superheroes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and more. The film is still likely three years away, but the success of "The Avengers" and the end of Christopher Nolan's Batman saga has caused Warners to actively move forward on the project, commissioning a script from "Gangster Squad" writer Will Beall last year. And earlier this week, news leaked out of the director that was their first choice for the project: Ben Affleck.

The Films Of Spike Lee: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 10, 2012 4:05 PM
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  • 32 Comments
If this weekend feels special for movie fans, it's not because of the trio of big-name blockbusters hitting theaters, it's because it sees a new dramatic feature -- the first in four years -- from Spike Lee, one of the most talented, idiosyncratic, maddening and controversial American filmmakers of the last thirty years. It's a rarity for a director to be instantly, iconically recognizable, but Lee's one of the exceptions, gaining visibility through starring roles in his early films, a famous appearance in a Nike ad alongside Michael Jordan, and plenty of moments when he's spoken his mind and caused an uproar.

The Essentials: The 5 Best Sam Fuller Films

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 10, 2012 3:49 PM
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  • 8 Comments
The great Sam Fuller began life as a crime reporter at the age of 17, before writing pulp novels and doing mostly uncredited work on screenplays through the 1930s (his first credit was on 1936's "Hats Off"). He served in World War Two, seeing action in France, Italy and North Africa, as well as being present at (and filming) the liberation of the concentration camp at Sokolov. By the time he came to direct in 1939 -- having been inspired by his anger at what Douglas Sirk did to his screenplay "Shockproof" -- Fuller would infuse his work with his experience as both a journalist and a soldier.

Interview: Tony Gilroy Talks The Challenges Of Mounting 'The Bourne Legacy,' Addresses The 'Enhancement' Concerns & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 9, 2012 3:25 PM
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  • 3 Comments
"The Bourne Legacy" could be seen by some as a long-time coming for writer/director Tony Gilroy. While the almost billion-dollar grossing series has been defined by Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass, arguably the man behind the scenes masterminding many of the strings was Gilroy, who wrote all three 'Bourne' films (two writers were hired to work on 'Ultimatum' after his first draft).

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