The Playlist

5 Things You Might Not Know About Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 20, 2012 12:00 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Is there such a thing as a perfect film? Perhaps. You could certainly argue that personal taste plays into the question of perfection too much -- one man's triumph is another's disaster. And even so, there are so many possible things that can go wrong with a film -- one duff performance, one ill-conceived shot, one poorly-written scene -- that it's almost an impossible task. But dammit if we don't consider "Chinatown" to be as close as you can get to being perfect.

What Could Be In This Year's Venice Film Festival Line-Up? 'To The Wonder,' 'The Master,' 'Anna Karenina' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 19, 2012 3:11 PM
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  • 16 Comments
With the release of a second teaser trailer of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" this morning, we got another look at one of the most anticipated films of the year. And with the picture already slated for an October 13th release, for some traveling film critics and fans, and those prepared to head to Italy, the Venice Film Festival could be where the film makes its world premiere, with artistic director Alberto Barbera suggesting a few weeks back that Anderson was heading to the Lido for the fest, which kicks off on August 29th.

Videodrome: The Best Recent Music Videos Including Fiona Apple, Beach House, Edward Sharpe & Best Coast

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 19, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Once again, it's time for the return of Videodrome, our semi-regular showcase for the best music videos around. Since the form has given the world game-changing helmers in both the blockbuster and arthouse realms, it's always important to keep an eye on promos, and indeed, one could argue that there's more invention to be found in the short form than there is in features. So, without further ado, the five best music videos we've seen in the last few weeks. As ever, any tips and suggestions are more than welcome.

20th Anniversary: 5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Batman Returns'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 19, 2012 10:58 AM
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  • 22 Comments
We’re on the eve of a brand new Batman blockbuster, next month’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” which will feature Anne Hathaway as the semi-villainous cat burglar Selina Kyle who prowls the streets at night as Catwoman. While Christopher Nolan and co. have given some real-world explanations for her eccentricities (her night vision goggles prop up on her head like cat’s ears), the hardest task in defining Catwoman for a new generation will be getting out from under the shadow of Michelle Pfeiffer, whose portrayal in Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” remains one of the towering performances in all of comic book moviedom.

What Ever Happened To These 5 Foreign-Language Filmmakers?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 18, 2012 2:54 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Generally you can find plenty of information about your favorite stateside filmmaker, and depending on who they are (see: David Gordon Green), you can find a long list of potential upcoming projects to investigate. But being head-over-heels for a foreign director is a different story -- without the Hollywood system or independent film cliques to generate word of mouth or gossip, you can spend years without hearing a peep from even the biggest festival sweethearts, and only last week were were discussing around the Playlist water cooler where some of our favorite international filmmakers had gone in the last few years.

Discuss: Is Movie Studio Interest In Comic-Con Beginning To Wane?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 18, 2012 1:23 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Now Cannes is long in the rear-view mirror, and the LA Film Festival just underway, the next big event on the film calendar is, for better or worse, San Diego Comic-Con. Originally a small gathering of fans of science fiction and comics, it's now grown into a vast Geek Bonnaroo, taking around 130,000 guests across four days, making it the biggest such event in North America, and the fourth largest in the world. And for the last decade or so, it's been a centerpiece of the marketing campaign for major movies from virtually every major studio.

Lionsgate Debunk 'Twilight' Reboot Rumors, But How Soon Is Too Soon For Franchise Do-Overs?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 18, 2012 12:18 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The "Twilight" series has not yet had a stake through its heart. The fourth installment, "Breaking Dawn Pt. 1" was as big as ever, and the fifth, "Breaking Dawn Pt. 2" is still five months from release with a new trailer is set to debut on Wednesday. It's still a major cash cow for Summit (recently acquired by Lionsgate for $400 million, with the franchise as the crown jewel of the buyout), even as the parent studio's "The Hunger Games" has arguably eclipsed it in returns and press of late.

The Essentials: 5 Great Films By Nicholas Ray

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 15, 2012 1:51 PM
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  • 6 Comments
While adored by the French and the Cahiers Du Cinema coterie that went on to become the rebellious French New Wave -- which spawned the oft-quoted Jean-Luc Godard phrase "cinema is Nicholas Ray" -- the American filmmaker never really received his due outside of the one film of his that most moviegoers have seen (and even then, they’re possibly unaware that he directed it): “Rebel Without A Cause.” And while that iconic 1950s film, with its audacious, expressionistic colors, its passionate angst and anguish, its mix of quiet machismo and vulnerability, is perhaps the cornerstone of many of Nicholas Ray’s films -- vibrant melodrama on the surface, percolating emotional agony within -- it’s certainly just the tip of iceberg when it comes to the director’s career.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 15, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 5 Comments
What's the greatest Alfred Hitchcock film? Every film fan will have a different answer, with "The 39 Steps," "Rebecca," "Spellbound," "Notorious," "Rear Window," "Vertigo" and "North By Northwest" all making compelling cases for being the very best. But few of his films had such an impact on cinema as "Psycho," the 1960s thriller that saw him go into darker, more shocking territory than ever before, with some of the most famous sequences in the history of the medium.

The 5 Worst Movie Star Performances In Musicals

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 14, 2012 3:14 PM
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  • 21 Comments
After a few of years since the last major effort (the ill-fated "Nine"), the live-action movie musical is back again, with two starry efforts due this year about as far away from each other as you can get. This Christmas will see the terribly-serious looking "Les Miserables" hit theaters, with a star-studded cast including Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. But first is "Rock Of Ages," which arrives in theaters tomorrow, with another A-list ensemble including Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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