Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

Cannes Review: ‘Borgman’ Delivers A Deliciously Dark, Twisted Cannes Competition Treat

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 19, 2013 10:15 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
BORGMAN BY ALEX VAN WARMERDAM
Caustic, surreal, creepy, and blackly funny, Dutch polymath Alex van Warmerdam’s “Borgman” is the trickster god in this year’s Cannes competition pantheon. Tonally similar to recent cultish favorites from Yorgos Lanthimos and Ben Wheatley (“Dogtooth” feels like a particularly close and favoured first cousin), there’s also a little Haneke in its chilly dissection of a perfect bourgeois life. But it’s really its own thing, due to the inspired choice to take recognisable archetypes of evil and mischief-making, and let them loose on a crisply contemporary, contained playground in the form of an aspirational, architect-designed modernist house, its gardens, and the lives of the family that lives there.

TCM Classic Film Festival Round-Up: The Film Festival of Film Festivals

  • By Diana Drumm
  • |
  • May 19, 2013 10:00 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
From Vanity Fair calling it “Comic-Con for the Martini Set” to being dubbed “the Disney World for classic movies,” TCM Classic Film Festival is all of that and so much more. Although both descriptions are fitting, there are so many aspects of cinema and Hollywood at work, more than you’d see at any other film festival this year, that it would be unfair to pigeonhole the event for a certain set or level of cinephile nerd-dom. If you aren’t familiar with TCM, it's a cable station devoted to classic films and, unlike its competitors, has no commercials (maybe a few vintage trailers and programming promos, but nothing too corporate). If you’re one of those people who refuses to watch anything in black-and-white (excuse our death glares), this year’s festival programming proved that TCM is devoted to great cinema and that the term classic can be (and should be) applied to films before, during and after the “more stars than there are in heaven” era of classic Hollywood.

Cannes Review: 'A Touch Of Sin' Sees Jia Zhang-ke Change Things Up, With Peculiar, Bloody Results

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 18, 2013 12:45 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
A Touch of Sin,  Jia Zhang-ke.
Ooh-ed and aah-ed over, but largely in more arcane cinephile circles, Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke (Venice winner “Still Life,” Cannes 2012 doc ”I Wish I Knew,” “The World”) has made a name for himself to date with detailed, glacially paced, social realist films, often in the documentary tradition, set against a backdrop of a modern-day China that we rarely see: the China of disenfranchisement, displacement and social unease which comprises the flip side of the globalisation and economic boom times that make more headlines abroad. It provides fascinating, glimpse-behind-the-curtain subject matter, and Jia is nothing if not authentic, but his measured, long-take style can try the patience to the degree that really, the reason that we had this film as one to watch out for on our Cannes Anticipated list was because we’d heard that for the first time, Jia had incorporated elements of genre into his social critique. And we have always believed that just a spoonful of genre can help the dense social commentary go down.

Cannes 2013: 'The Immigrant' Footage Showcases Firecracker Turns From Joaquin Phoenix & Marion Cotillard

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 17, 2013 5:08 PM
  • |
  • 13 Comments
A definite highlight of tonight’s Weinstein 2013 slate preview at Cannes, which we ran through in large part here, was one of the films that is one of our most anticipated of this whole festival -- James Gray’s “The Immigrant.” With Gray uncharacteristically confident about the film in its unfinished form every time we’ve spoken to him, calling it “the best thing I’ve ever done,” our expectations are high.

Cannes 2013: The Weinstein Sizzle Reel Showcases 'Grace Of Monaco,' 'Mandela' & More, Only Occasionally Sizzles

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 17, 2013 4:43 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Cannes 2013 TWC Sizzle Reel
In what has apparently become something of a tradition on the Croisette, this evening saw a select group of journalists forgo tempting Official Selection screenings to attend instead the starry, champagne-fuelled preview of The Weinstein Company’s forthcoming slate. Perhaps not quite as salivating a prospect as last year’s auteur-heavy brand-new lineup, which included early glimpses of “Django Unchained,” “The Master,” and “Silver Linings Playbook” it’s still a mark of TWC’s high standing on the awards circuit that what is essentially an invite-only marketing event got so many clamoring to attend. Well, that and the canapes (foie gras toastinis, breaded shrimp and mini eclairs, if you must know). Oh, and the presence of the legendary Harvey Weinstein.

Cannes Review: 'Fruitvale Station' Recounts A Tragic True-Life Story With Good Performances & Intentions, But Little Subtlety

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 17, 2013 9:50 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Fruitvale Station
There are now a few stories surrounding Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station,” which screened in Cannes yesterday. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that as a debut, passion-project feature from an untested filmmaker, was plucked from obscurity, championed, notably by Forest Whitaker, and put into production. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that went from a standing start to become the runaway success story of Sundance, netting two of the biggest awards, in the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that launched a distribution bidding war, and catapulted its director and star to the top of everyone’s “ones to watch” list. And there’s the Fruitvale Station which is a stop on a BART line at which in the small hours of New Year’s Day 2009, 22-year old father of one, Oscar Grant was shot by a transit cop, dying later from his wound. There is the film, there is the story it tells, and there is what actually happened.

Cannes Review: Ari Folman's Part-Animated 'The Congress' Is Overstuffed And Overwritten, But Sort Of Fascinating

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 16, 2013 7:21 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Ari Folman's "The Congress" aka "Robin Wright at The Congress" aka "Reviewer's Nightmare" (last title mine) opens the director's fortnight at Cannes this evening and screened for a group of alternately beguiled and baffled press this morning. Evoking Miyazaki and perhaps on-form Gilliam in its best moments, and lurching oddly into "Southland Tales" territory in its worst, it is a film we'd be happy to call a fascinating muddle, were it not a little overstretched to really support even that summation. At the very least, however, should your copy of "Pink Floyd's The Wall" have worn out through overuse, we can see "The Congress" having a similar kind of life as a late-night stoner mindfuck.

Cannes 2013: 7 Things We Learned About 'The Great Gatsby' From Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo DiCaprio & Co

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 15, 2013 10:05 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
A perhaps unexpected offering to kick off this fortnight of high-profile international, arthouse and independent filmmaking, Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" will nonetheless burst open the Cannes Film Festival later tonight like a giant glitter-and-feather-filled pinata. Which means that this morning was all about the real reason the film snagged its prestigious opening slot: the dazzling constellation of stars it brings in its wake to walk the red carpet, get their pictures taken and talk up the film in handy soundbite format to the assembled roiling masses of journalists at the press conference.

Max Von Sydow Talks Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen & Playing Jesus At The TCM Classic Film Festival

  • By Diana Drumm
  • |
  • May 7, 2013 7:29 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
At this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, we had the chance to sit in on a few conversations with the legendary Max von Sydow. As part of the festival’s tribute to the actor, TCM screened two excellent von Sydow films – the existential and cinephile must-see “The Seventh Seal” and the 1970s spy thriller “Three Days of the Condor (both featured in our The Essentials: 5 Great Max von Sydow Performances). During the introductions to these films, the Swedish actor discussed his career, the directors he had worked with and what’s next on his plate with TCM hosts Ben Mankiewicz and Robert Osborne, respectively.

The Best And Brightest Of The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • April 29, 2013 2:17 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
The Best And Brightest Of The Tribeca Film Festival 2013
And so we’ve reached the end of the Tribeca Film Festival. Known for its wide-ranging selection of films from all over the globe, they truly outdid themselves this year with a slate of diverse, boundary-pushing films that suggested that, outside of the most prestigious fests like New York, Cannes and Sundance, independent cinema was alive and well, flourishing in the fest’s eleventh year. We profiled twenty films at the start of the fest that might be worth discussion, and a number of those spotlight films didn't disappoint. But the excitement of the Tribeca Film Festival is that there's often greatness emerging from where you least expect it.

Email Updates

Recent Comments