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The Playlist

10 Of Saul Bass' Greatest Title Sequences

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 25, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 5 Comments
The art of movie titles is becoming an increasingly lost one: aside from a few films (the Bond movies) and directors (Steven Spielberg, David Fincher and Jason Reitman always take particular care over their credit sequences), it feels like relatively little care is taken over such things, with many movies dumping them altogether. And it's hard not to put that down to the fact that we don't have Saul Bass around anymore.

5 Things You May Not Know About 'The Third Man'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 25, 2012 10:03 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Thirty-six years ago today, on April 25th, 1976, filmmaker Carol Reed passed away. One of the greatest directors ever to come out of the U.K, Reed started out as an actor, but gained fame as a writer-director in the late 1930s and 1940s, thanks to films like "Night Train To Munich," and the outstanding "Odd Man Out" and "The Fallen Idol." Later, he'd also find success with films like "Trapeze," "Our Man In Havana," "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and "Oliver!," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director, beating out Stanley Kubrick for "2001" and Gillo Pontecorvo for "The Battle of Algiers."

Jack Nicholson: 5 Of His Most Underrated Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 23, 2012 10:56 AM
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  • 13 Comments
There can be little doubt that Jack Nicholson is one of the greatest movie stars in the history of the medium. He's had more Oscar nominations and wins than any other actor -- twelve, having won three -- and has been an A-list star for over forty years now, remaining a legitimate box office draw in films like "Something's Gotta Give" and "The Departed" even in his seventh decade. He's worked with everyone from Antonioni to Scorsese, and given some of the most iconic screen performances ever, from "Easy Rider" to "The Shining."

The Essentials: The Films Of Don Siegel

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 20, 2012 12:04 PM
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  • 6 Comments
In the credits to his masterpiece "Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood included a dedication: "for Don Siegel and Sergio Leone." Leone was a no-brainer, one of the great filmmakers, but Siegel was less beloved of cinephiles: a cosmopolitan Chicago native who studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, he started directing montages at Warner Bros (including the opening scene of "Casablanca"), before breaking into features, with a string of B-movies with everyone from Robert Mitchum to Elvis Presley (the latter on 1960's "Flaming Star"), but became most notable for his work with Eastwood on five pictures from 1968's "Coogan's Bluff" to 1979's "Escape From Alcatraz."

Director Kevin Macdonald Talks The Long Road To Making His Documentary 'Marley,' And Why It's The Opposite Of 'Senna'

  • By John Lichman
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  • April 19, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Talking about icons can take a while, especially when you're tasked with an international icon like Bob Marley, whose face and music are synonymous with Jamaica, reggae and college dorms. Kevin Macdonald's new documentary, "Marley," takes nearly two hours to explore the culture and relationships that the singer forged in Jamaica, his politics and the fact that people shouldn't be too freaked out by the running time. The Playlist sat down with Macdonald to bring up Boney M, how "Marley" is the opposite of "Senna" and his upcoming projects.

5 Things You May Not Know About 'Superman II'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2012 1:58 PM
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  • 9 Comments
A little over a year from now, the most iconic comic character in history will be back on screens, courtesy of Zack Snyder's "Man Of Steel." Seven years on from Bryan Singer's oft-derided "Superman Returns," it'll see "The Dark Knight" mastermind Christopher Nolan producing a new, seemingly darker take on the character, to be played by Henry Cavill, with Michael Shannon as his Kryptonian nemesis General Zod.

We Read It: Casting Cassandra Clare's 'The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2012 12:04 PM
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  • 207 Comments
With "Twilight" wrapping up this year, and "The Hunger Games" proving a giant hit, the hunt is on for the next big young adult movie franchise. And we suspect that of all the projects brewing, "The Mortal Instruments" has one of the best chances. The book series by Cassandra Clare has sold millions of copies across its four novels (plus two more in a spin-off series, "The Infernal Devices") to date, as many as any of its competitors. And since the movie version started development, the books' fervent fan-base has come out in force for any tidbit on the project.

The Surprises & Notable Absences Of The 2012 Cannes Line-Up

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2012 11:03 AM
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  • 18 Comments
Early this morning brought one of the most anticipated moments in the cinephile's calendar: the announcement of the line-up of this year's installment of the Cannes Film Festival. And while it reads in places like a parody of a Cannes line-up (Alain Resnais! Abbas Kiarostami! Michael Haneke! Ken Loach!) there's no doubt that we're excited about all of those films, as well as new ones from David Cronenberg, Jacques Audiard and many, many others.

The Films Of Robert Bresson: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist
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  • April 18, 2012 1:40 PM
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  • 4 Comments
“We are still coming to terms with Robert Bresson, and the peculiar power and beauty of his films,” Martin Scorsese said in the 2010 book “A Passion For Film,” describing the often overlooked French filmmaker as “one of the cinema’s greatest artists.”

5 Things You May Not Know About Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 18, 2012 11:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
51 years ago today, on April 19th 1961, Federico Fellini's masterpiece "La Dolce Vita" arrived in U.S. theaters. The film was already a phenomenon; it had premiered in Italy the previous February, was instantly condemned by the Catholic Church (it was even banned entirely in Spain until 1975), and won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1960. On its U.S. release, it was widely acclaimed by critics, became a huge box office hit, and picked up four Oscar nominations the following year, including director and screenplay, and won for costume design.

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