The Playlist

David Gordon Green Talks ‘Joe’ & Reveals How He Convinced Nicolas Cage To Star In His Dark, Tiny Indie Drama

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 10, 2014 5:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Joe, Nicolas Cage
While he stated early on that the eclectic careers of Danny Boyle, Steven Soderbergh and Gus Van Sant were the ones he strove to emulate, the career of David Gordon Green has nevertheless puzzled those who expected him to follow a singular track. Perhaps because he was touted as the heir apparent to Terrence Malick in his early indie filmmaking days a preconception was formed, but regardless, much has been made about Green's "about face" turn toward studio comedies (three in a row: "Pineapple Express," "Your Highness" and "The Sitter"). Perhaps settling into a pattern audiences and pundits alike are more comfortable with, Green has returned to his roots and quickly knocked out a succession of indie films. The latest is "Joe" a dark drama, but one that continues to defy genre and expectation.

Interview: Jim Jarmusch Talks The Vampiric Charms Of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ & Proposing To Muse Tilda Swinton

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 10, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Only Lovers Left Alive
Iconoclastic filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has been living outside of the mainstream for his entire career, so it’s perhaps only fitting that for his 11th feature-length film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” the writer/director turns his attentions to the outsiders that live in shadows.

Interview: David Gordon Green & Nicolas Cage Talk Flawed Father Figures Of ‘Joe,’ Evading Southern Clichés & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • April 9, 2014 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
David Gordon Green Nicolas Cage Joe
The genre-defying film “Joe” presents an unexpected yet engaging blend in its two central collaborators, director David Gordon Green and actor Nicolas Cage. Achieving a stunning handle on tone and naturalism from Green, it also breaks from what Cage calls “Western Kabuki” acting towards a more rugged, internal performance. The approach uniquely fits its premise: based on the novel by Larry Brown, the film follows Joe Ransom, a Deep South ex-con who attempts to help a drifter boy Gary (Tye Sheridan) escape the abuse of his alcoholic father (a fantastic Gary Poulter).

Interview: Jonathan Glazer Burrows 'Under The Skin' With Scarlett Johansson For A Haunting Experience

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 4, 2014 1:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Jonathan Glazer, Under The Skin
It has been close to a decade since commercial and music video director-turned-filmmaker Jonathan Glazer released his sophomore feature film, “Birth.” Following his slick and stylish debut, the gangster flick “Sexy Beast,” marked a leap forward stylistically, with longer takes, a bold visual approach and a carefully considered integration of narrative and score. And now with his third film, “Under The Skin” (our review) Glazer has again pushed the language of his filmmaking into bold and truly exciting places. (Indeed, check out our 5 Reasons Why It's One Of The Best Films Of The Year).

Interview: 'Go Down Death' Director Aaron Schimberg Talks Structure, Reviews, And 'The Da Vinci Code'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 27, 2014 4:23 PM
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Fever dreams can be scarring. However, if you’re filmmaker Aaron Schimberg, you can take that harrowing dip into the subconscious and make it into the fine, singular work “Go Down Death.” His debut film follows a few lives in a desolate village ravaged by constant bombing and unending trauma, changing character perspectives frequently -- ranging from a child gravedigger to a disfigured gambler -- but always maintaining its utter strangeness. It’s also sort of an anomaly in the independent scene, having been shot on 16mm black & white and utilizing both sets and scale models. We saw it last year and raved about it, claiming it “will trouble and beguile the subconscious long after you’ve moved on.”

Interview: Drake Doremus Talks Improvised Slow Boil Of 'Breathe In' & What's Coming In 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 26, 2014 12:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Breathe In Drake Doremus Felicity Jones
At the ripe old age of (almost) 31, writer/director Drake Doremus already has an enviable filmography, including festival favorites “Douchebag” and “Like Crazy,” the latter of which introduced American audiences to the charms of one Felicity Jones. If that’s not enough to give aspiring filmmakers apoplexy, his latest film, “Breathe In”—which premiered at Sundance in 2013—opens this week, and his next feature, “Equals,” is already brewing, starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult in a futuristic setting (though Doremus is not quite ready to talk about it yet).

Interview: Alejandro Jodorowsky Reveals How His 'Dune' Inspired 'Alien' & Challenges With Getting Script Published

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 21, 2014 4:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Jodorowsky's Dune
Frank Pavich's "Jodorowsky's Dune," opening this week in limited release, is a documentary that, for film freaks at least, is something close to miraculous (read our review). It's a detailed, first-hand account of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejando Jodorowsky's failed attempt to bring Frank Herbert's influential sci-fi novel "Dune" to the big screen (years before David Lynch "succeeded" in making a movie out of the difficult material). At one point Jodorowsky explains that he wanted to create the experience of a psychedelic trip… without the drugs. What could have possibly gone wrong? We got to sit down with Jodorowsky at South by Southwest, and while we mostly talked about his new film "Dance of Reality" (out in May—read our review), we were able to squeeze in a few questions about "Dune."

Interview: Denis Villeneuve Talks Shooting Toronto For 'Enemy,' Dipping Into The Subconscious & His Next Projects

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 20, 2014 12:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Enemy, Denis Villeneuve
A cinematic puzzle that dives deep into the realm of the subconscious, Denis Villeneuve's "Enemy" blurs reality with absurdity, surreality and sometimes, straight up WTF excursions into the strange. But his film is not coy provocation, nor does it simply circumvent traditional narrative routes as a parlor trick. Instead, across 90 tight, captivating minutes, Villeneuve takes viewers into a crumbling relationship, and the portrait of a man torn between two women, weighing responsibility against desire.

Interview: Kate Lyn Sheil & John Gallagher Jr., Navigate Tech-Dating & Obsession In 'The Heart Machine'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 13, 2014 4:46 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Part of the pleasure of attending an established film festival like South By Southwest is the caliber of emerging talent it attracts: when you’re seeing a new director’s feature debut, you can rest (reasonably) assured that the cream of the submissions pile has risen to the top. Such is the case with Zachary Wigon’s first film, “The Heart Machine.” Starring John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom” and last year’s SXSW breakout, “Short Term 12”) and Kate Lyn Sheil (an indie darling who recently appeared in season two of “House of Cards”), the film explores the technological implications of the current dating climate, where sex-with-no-strings is available at the touch of an app, yet intimacy can be kept safely at bay via one’s computer screen.

Interview: Director Lenny Abrahamson on Michael Fassbender’s Giant Head, Faking SXSW in 'Frank' & More

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 12, 2014 4:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Frank, Fassbender
Obscuring the terrifically expressive and sometimes terrifying (“12 Years a Slave”) face of actor Michael Fassbender may seem like sacrilege, but that’s just what director Lenny Abrahamson (“What Richard Did”) does in “Frank,” a film that premiered atSundance but is—appropriately, for reasons that will be explained—also playing this week at South By Southwest. Screenwriters Jon Ronson (“The Men Who Stare at Goats”) and Peter Straughan (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”) have expanded on a memoir by Ronson to create a wholly unique, comi-tragic portrait of one band’s evolution.

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