The Playlist

Jake Gyllenhaal & Denis Villeneuve Push Each Other Into Haunting, Bold New Territory For ‘Enemy’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 6, 2013 1:50 PM
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Enemy, Denis Villeneuve, Jake Gyllenhaal
Two striking films are hitting the fall film festival circuit in a matter of days: “Prisoners," an emotionally bruising crime thriller about family, loss and sin, and “Enemy,” an adaptation of José Saramago’s novel, “The Double," which is an enigmatic psychological drama about identity, the subconscious and the male ego. The connection? Other than both films' dark, disturbing tone, they represent the work of two collaborators—French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve and actor Jake Gyllenhaal—who, as occasionally happens with director/actor pairings, seem to have unlocked something exceptional while in each other’s company.

Interview: 'Touchy Feely' Director Lynn Shelton Talks Her Meditative Film, Cronenbergian Deleted Scenes & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • September 4, 2013 1:03 PM
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Lynn Shelton
A different form of improvisation is felt in “Touchy Feely,” the fifth feature from Lynn Shelton; instead of the loose outlines and dialogue of the director’s recent films (“Your Sister’s Sister,” “Humpday”), it’s the film’s subjective and technical experience that feels crafted on the spot and cemented in the editing room. We follow two siblings -- masseuse Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) and introverted dentist Josh Pais – as they adjust to their surroundings following an unexplained shift in personal energy, and Shelton achieves this through use of micro closeups, swirling sound effects, and an exploratory pace.

Interview: Director Matthew Saville Talks TIFF Crime Pic 'Felony' Written By & Starring Joel Edgerton

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 2:03 PM
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Felony
While Joel Edgerton has no shortage of friends and collaborators he could have chosen to direct his script for the crime drama "Felony," he landed on Matthew Saville, a TV veteran with a couple of feature films under his belt as well. Edgerton had been impressed with the filmmaker's 2007 Aussie TV movie "The King: The Story of Graham Kennedy" and thus begun the journey to bring the actor's movie to the big screen. "The whole thing started with Joel. He wrote it and approached me about four years ago," Saville explained when we caught up with him over the phone. He was enthusiastic about the experience of working with Edgerton and the result of their teamwork will be seen next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Interview: 'Touchy Feely' Star Rosemarie DeWitt On Reverse Character Arcs, Gil Kenan's 'Poltergeist' Remake & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • September 3, 2013 12:08 PM
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Touchy Feely, Rosemarie DeWitt
A last-minute casting switch may have led actress Rosemarie DeWitt to Lynn Shelton’s fourth feature “Your Sister’s Sister,” co-starring Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass, but the gamble paid off tremendously — so much so that Shelton envisioned DeWitt specifically when it came to writing her follow-up, “Touchy Feely.” Following Abby, a massage therapist who develops a repulsion to skin on the eve of moving in with her boyfriend (Scoot McNairy), the drama premiered at Sundance this past year (our review here), and boasts a great cast including Allison Janney, Josh Pais, Ellen Page, and Ron Livingston.

Interview: Fred Schepisi Talks TIFF Entry 'Words And Pictures' Starring Juliette Binoche & Clive Owen

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 11:02 AM
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"I don't like to go down the same road with films, I don't like to repeat myself," director Fred Schepisi told us recently over the phone from Australia. Indeed looking over his filmography, one can't deny the diversity of his work in a career that has spanned more than four decades. From bracing drama ("A Cry In The Dark") to a John Le Carré based thriller ("The Russia House") to comedy ("Roxanne," "I.Q.," "Mr. Baseball"), Schepisi has worked with talent ranging from rising actors that would go on to become worldwide superstars (Will Smith in "Six Degrees Of Separation") to bonafide legends (Paul Newman in "Empire Falls"). And for his latest, "Words And Pictures," which premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, Schepisi is once again trying something different.

Interview: Eric Bana Talks The Real Life Politics Behind 'Closed Circuit,' His Life After 'Hulk,' And Whether Or Not He'd Do 'Star Wars'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 29, 2013 6:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Ciarán Hinds, Eric Bana, Closed Circuit
Now is a very good time for "Closed Circuit," a movie about the British judicial system and the proliferation of CCTV around London, to be released. With the firestorm of controversy surround illegal surveillance, Edward Snowden and PRISM, and the general feeling of unease knowing that there is a pretty good chance that the email you sent to your college roommate is being intercepted and reviewed by some higher power, it's an ideal moment for a claustrophobic, conspiratorial thriller like "Closed Circuit." Few thrillers tap into the zeitgeist like this film does. In the film, Eric Bana plays Martin Rose, a public-court lawyer assigned to defending a Turkish national who seems to have played a role in a deadly London bombing. As his investigation continues and he navigates Britain's controversial closed court system, he's drawn into a shadowy, conspiracy-laced world and reignites an old flame with his "special advocate" lawyer.

Interview: Rebecca Hall Talks The Real World Implications Of 'Closed Circuit' & Why She Wants To Make A Comedy

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 28, 2013 7:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Iron Man 3, Rebecca Hall
Rebecca Hall, in just a handful of roles, has become one of our favorite actresses, someone whose presence makes any project endlessly more exciting. Most of us first remember seeing Hall in Christopher Nolan's underrated magician thriller "The Prestige," and she made a splash not long after in Woody Allen's hit "Vicky Christina Barcelona" (she played Vicky), before turning in ace supporting performances in Nicole Holofcener's "Please Give," Ben Affleck's "The Town," the 1974 section of "Red Riding Trilogy," and this summer's "Iron Man 3" (as a brilliant scientist who creates something very bad). She's a fearless actress, bringing both a tightly coiled intensity and disarming beauty to her performances. This is the especially the case in this week's "Closed Circuit," where she plays a lawyer trying a terrorism case in Britain's controversial closed court proceedings (she's also involved romantically with another lawyer, played by Eric Bana).

Interview: Terry Gilliam Explains How "Hard-Bender" Gets Films Financed, Why He Doesn't Like TV & Much More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 28, 2013 12:05 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Terry Gilliam
There are few cinematic raconteurs as lively and interesting as Terry Gilliam, so you can imagine that when we chatted with him earlier this month, our conversation wound up being fairly wide-ranging. Yesterday, we ran the first part of our talk with Gilliam, focused solely on his forthcoming sci-fi effort "The Zero Theorem." And today, we bring the rest of our discussion with the filmmaker which fans and those just interested in the industry in general, will want to take a look at.

Interview: 'Drinking Buddies' Star Jake Johnson Talks Rules of Improv, Working With Joe Swanberg & Frustrations With Network TV

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 27, 2013 5:18 PM
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Drinking Buddies
Two attractive couples, their difficulties in life, work, and romance, a sly glance toward the other person's partner as a possible solution... It may seem like the rote set-up for your standard romantic comedy but filmmaker Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes The Stairs,” “All The Light In The Sky”) knows this. His latest film, "Drinking Buddies," succeeds not by the prolific indie director's shift up in budget and crowd appeal but by just how adeptly he tweaks that framework for a surprisingly observant and honest result — in our SXSW review, we called it “a film that feels loose without ever being ponderous or phony.”

Interview: 'Afternoon Delight' Star Kathryn Hahn Talks Motherhood, Unhinged Silver Lake Book Clubs & Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrel To The Nuts'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 27, 2013 3:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Afternoon Delight
Even though her scenes in “Step Brothers,” “Anchorman,” and most recently “We're The Millers” rank among those films' finest and funniest moments, actress Kathryn Hahn had, until recently, never landed a proper starring vehicle to showcase her considerable chops. The occasion took another talented presence looking to branch out — “Six Feet Under” writer/producer Jill Soloway with her feature directorial debut, “Afternoon Delight” — to see Hahn not just in a comedic lead role, but one that presents her stunning dramatic range as well.

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