The Playlist

The Films Of Billy Wilder: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 27, 2012 4:44 PM
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  • 12 Comments
"I want to thank three persons,” said Michel Hazanavicius, accepting the 2012 Best Picture Oscar for “The Artist.” “I want to thank Billy Wilder, I want to thank Billy Wilder and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” He wasn’t the first director to namecheck Wilder in an acceptance speech. A few years prior, Fernando Trueba, accepting the Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Belle Epoque" quipped atheistically "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him. But I just believe in Billy Wilder... so, thank you Mr. Wilder." Wilder reportedly called the next day "Fernando? It's God."

'Mirror Mirror' Team Tarsem, Lily Collins & Armie Hammer Talk The Influence Of Andrei Tarkovsky, Breaking The Fourth Wall & Not Fighting Girls

  • By Jen Vineyard
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  • March 26, 2012 5:53 PM
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  • 3 Comments
"Mirror Mirror" is the latest in a long line of Snow White stories -- "Once Upon A Time" on ABC is ongoing, as is the saga of Snow White and her Fabletown cohorts in the graphic novel series "Fables," with the film "Snow White and the Huntsman" not far behind. The Tarsem Singh-directed film, however, is the most kid-friendly of the bunch, with the evil queen character played for laughs by Julia Roberts. Even if this film only has a touch of the dark side, its stars Lily Collins and Armie Hammer insist "Mirror Mirror" is more modern, because Snow White learns to fight for herself, her prince, and her people. "Our Snow White has no huntsman," Hammer noted, "but it's an over-the-top family comedy. We're not trying to make 'Grapes of Wrath' here." And because it's a Singh film, the visuals are everything, as the two leads and the director shared with The Playlist.

Girl On Fire: 5 Things That Worked In 'The Hunger Games' & 5 That Didn't

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 26, 2012 12:05 PM
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  • 22 Comments
If you heard the sound of popping champagne corks and cheering in Los Angeles over the weekend, it’s more than likely that it was the celebrations over at Lionsgate HQ. The mini-major were built on low-budget genre fare like “Saw,” but hoped that their adaptation of young-adult publishing phenomenon “The Hunger Games,” co-written and directed by “Seabiscuit” helmer Gary Ross, would push them into the blockbuster game for the first time. And boy, did it ever. In only three days, it surpassed “Fahrenheit 9/11” as the company's biggest ever grosser, taking in around $155 million, making it the third biggest domestic opener of all time, and the most successful non-sequel ever. What’s more, with mostly positive reviews and an A-grade Cinemascore, the stage is set for two sequels that will be licences to print money.

Discuss: Who, If Any, Of The Current Crop Of Leading Ladies Are Reliable Box-Office Draws?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 23, 2012 3:27 PM
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  • 25 Comments
Put simply, the number of actreses who can be deemed consistent box office draws seems to diminish, rather than grow, as each year goes on. In part, it's because it's so rare for the major blockbusters to be lead by a woman: of the top 20 worldwide grossers last year, only "Twilight" could arguably be said to be led by a woman, and holding up those films as a victory for womankind would be an error, given their prehistoric sexual politics. 2010 was a little better, thanks to "Black Swan" and "Alice in Wonderland," but not much

Videodrome: The Best Of Recent Music Videos, Including Chairlift, Lana Del Ray, Grimes, Spiritualized & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 23, 2012 1:03 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Once upon a time, when The Playlist was a fledgling blog, we had a semi-regular column called Videodrome, which looked at the world of music videos. While we focus mostly on movies, we've always maintained an interest in the places where they cross over with music, and the promo world has provided us with directors from Spike Jonze and David Fincher to Michael Bay and Francis Lawrence, as well as occasionally featured big name stars.

15 Young Adult Fiction Properties That Could Be The Next 'Twilight' Or 'Hunger Games'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 23, 2012 11:56 AM
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  • 72 Comments
Today sees the release of "The Hunger Games," the much anticipated adaptation of the popular young adult novel series about a future in which children are forced to compete in a fight to the death for the entertainment of the overclass, and to help their district fight off starvation. The books have been bestsellers, and Lionsgate have pegged the film to be their own answer to another hugely popular teen-skewing franchise, vampire romances "Twilight." And it looks as if the gamble has paid off, with most prognosticators pegging the film to open well over $100 million in the U.S. this weekend.

We Read It: Michael Mann & John Logan's Unmade 1930s Noir A Nasty Look At Old Hollywood That Doesn't Quite Work

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 21, 2012 1:56 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Of all the unmade, potentially great projects of the last few years, one of the most talked-about is the untitled 1930s noir thriller penned by Oscar nominee John Logan ("The Aviator," "Hugo") with the intention that Michael Mann would direct, and Leonardo DiCaprio would star. The project started doing the rounds back in 2007, but despite interest from New Line, the film, with an estimated budget of $120 million, proved too expensive and too risky to get made.

Discuss: Why Are There So Few Reliable Leading Men, And Who Might Yet Become One?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 20, 2012 4:01 PM
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  • 80 Comments
The box office is up in 2012, but of the ten biggest grossers of the year so far, only one, "Safe House" was sold on the back of an established A-list star, namely Denzel Washington. The rest, for the most part, featured total unknowns, or in the case of "Act of Valor," active Navy SEALs, rather than actors. This is not, it should be said, a new trend. From "Avatar" to "Star Trek," big movies have been shunning established names in the favor of new faces for quite a while. But it is indicative of a problem that Hollywood has been facing lately: a distinct lack of new leading men.

Richard Linklater & Matthew McConaughey Talk The Odd DNA Of 'Bernie'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • March 19, 2012 4:52 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Ever since his debut, “Slacker,” earned him a spot on the national filmmaking stage, Richard Linklater has been one of Texas’ favorite sons. It’s certainly helped that so many of his movies not only took place in the state, but paid real and honest tribute to its citizens, without insult or parody. But in “Bernie,” his latest, he skirts that line between celebrating and satirizing Texans with his retelling of the true story of Bernie Tiede, a funeral director who killed an elderly widow and threatened to go free thanks to his hometown’s near-universal affection for the man. Jack Black stars as the title character, and Matthew McConaghey plays the self-aggrandizing prosecutor who despite his legitimate pursuit of justice ultimately proves to be the film’s unexpected villain.

Vengeful Gods, Slaves & Mere Mortals: Deconstructing The ‘Prometheus’ Trailer

  • By The Playlist
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  • March 19, 2012 2:06 PM
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  • 13 Comments
The trailer for Ridley Scott’s upcoming, much-anticipated sci-fi film, “Prometheus” has landed and pardon our French, but holy shit, it’s rather astounding. Christopher Nolan you’re officially on blast and you may need to raise your game for ‘TDKR’ trailer number two.

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