The Playlist

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

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 17, 2013 5:08 PM
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  • 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
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  • May 17, 2013 4:43 PM
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  • 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
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  • May 17, 2013 9:50 AM
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  • 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
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  • May 16, 2013 7:21 AM
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  • 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
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  • May 15, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 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
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  • May 7, 2013 7:29 PM
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  • 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
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  • April 29, 2013 2:17 PM
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  • 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.

The Surprises & Notable Absences Of The 2013 Cannes Line-Up

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 18, 2013 11:28 AM
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  • 10 Comments
So the 2013 Cannes lineup has finally been unveiled and as usual, there were a fair few surprise inclusions, a fair few snubby exclusions/category decisions, and some mildly oh!-inducing title changes. The majority of our firm predictions made it in (the Coens, Soderbergh, Farhadi, Sorrentino, Gray, Refn, Denis, Coppola among others) but sometimes into surprising sections, while a couple of films we had down as possibilities or longer shots paid off. So now that we know the lineup from G ('Gatsby' -- opening film) to Z ("Zulu" -- closing film) -- and it's a fairly U.S.-friendly list for Jury President Steven Spielberg to preside over -- lets dive right in and talk about the more eyebrow-raising moments from this morning's announcement.

SXSW: Selena Gomez Says 'Trash Humpers' Is Her Favorite Harmony Korine Movie & More From 'Spring Breakers' Panel

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 11, 2013 3:57 PM
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  • 3 Comments
In what was easily one of the most anticipated films of SXSW, based on the wildness factor alone, Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers" wasn't so much unspooled as unleashed on audiences in Austin last night. And while reaction was swift as the credits rolled, and discussion will continue about where this candy colored movie will fit in the director's ouevre, as we made clear in our review from Venice, "a piece of pop art."

SXSW: Danny Boyle Gives A Sneak Peek Of 'Trance'; Talks His Career With David Carr & Underworld's Rick Smith

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 11, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
On Saturday morning at the South by Southwest Film Festival, a special retrospective of the works of chameleonic British film director Danny Boyle was presented. Moderated by craggy New York Times reporter David Carr, who spent a copious amount of time with Boyle during the extended Oscar campaign for "Slumdog Millionaire" (and remains an avid fan), the presentation also featured Rick Smith who, as one half of electronic music duo Underworld, has been working with Boyle since his landmark "Trainspotting" in 1996 and who, most recently, provided the score for Boyle's new psychedelic mind-bender "Trance," opening in April. (We've seen the movie but are under embargo, but suffice to say the filmmaker has scored once again.)

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