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The Playlist

Jason Clarke Talks 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Terrence Malick & Where He Was When He Heard Osama Bin Laden Was Dead

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 8, 2013 4:52 PM
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  • 2 Comments
This weekend, the 2012 movie that has generated as much critical praise as controversy, will finally be unleashed on the masses in wide release – Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty." A white-knuckle account of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, it's a surprisingly human tale, focusing on a cluster of dedicated operatives (led by Jessica Chastain's note-perfect portrayal of CIA agent Maya) who brought down the architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One of those operatives is played by Jason Clarke, as man as skilled at the art of "advanced interrogation techniques" (aka the torture scenes that have gotten people so riled up) as he is in greasing the wheels of an informant by buying him an expensive sports car in the middle of the night.

Interview: Matt Damon Talks The Timing & Politics Of 'Promised Land' & How Ben Affleck Got Out Of Actor's Jail

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 4, 2013 11:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments
This month, Matt Damon stars in Gus Van Sant’s eco-drama “Promised Land.” Seizing upon the hot-button issue of fracking, a dangerous and potentially environmentally hazardous method of getting natural gas out of deep subterranean pockets of earth, Damon plays an operative for the gas company who is sent to woo the citizens of a small, northern New York town into signing over their land for the process.

Gus Van Sant Talks Taking Over 'Promised Land' From Matt Damon, The Film's "Spy Scene" & Much More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 4, 2013 10:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Gus Van Sant has always been a director who is hard to pin down, veering from insanely small-scale, personal works like "Elephant" and "Paranoid Park" to larger scale entertainments like "Finding Forrester" and his admirable-if-unsuccessful "Psycho" remake. This week, his charming eco-drama "Promised Land" opens, which casts his "Good Will Hunting" co-writer Matt Damon as an operative from a natural gas company who travels to a small, financially struggling Pennsylvania town to woo them to sell the drilling rights to their land. But his efforts run up against an environmentalist, played by John Krasinski (who co-wrote "Promised Land" with Damon), who tries to alert the citizens to the dangers they might face with the "fracking" process. It's not as showy as most of the movies grabbing for Oscar gold, but it's a solid, well-intentioned drama, beautifully, almost impressionistically directed by Van Sant.

David Cronenberg Says His Novel May Arrive In 2013, Talks Working With Robert Pattinson, 'Map To The Stars' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 3, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments
This week, David Cronenberg's polarizing "Cosmopolis" hits DVD and Blu-ray. Based on the Don DeLillo novel of the same name, it follows a young financial titan (Robert Pattinson) who cruises around in his super-stretch limo while he encounters various friends and lovers and comes under fire from a deranged assassin (played memorably by Paul Giamatti). After making a string of decidedly more commercial (or at the very least palpable) films, it's Cronenberg back in his very weird sweet spot full of bizarre sex, equally bizarre violence, and very long monologues delivered with aplomb by Pattinson.

"It's Not A Propaganda Movie": Jessica Chastain On Torture, The CIA & 'Zero Dark Thirty'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2012 1:21 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Two years ago, it's possible that only friends and family of Jessica Chastain, along with a savvy casting director or two, would have been able to point her out in a line-up. But after a hugely busy 2011, and a fairly hectic 2012, she's one of the most in demand actresses around, something that's only been further cemented by her role in Kathryn Bigelow's controversial, much-praised "Zero Dark Thirty," which looks set to land her her second Oscar nomination -- and possibly even her first win -- in a few weeks time.

Walton Goggins Talks Replacing Kurt Russell In ‘Django Unchained’ & Tarantino’s Longer Cut Of The Film

  • By Edward Davis
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  • December 27, 2012 1:15 PM
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  • 7 Comments
When “Justified” actor Walton Goggins originally signed on for Quentin Tarantino’s antebellum slave drama “Django Unchained” he had a small part as a plantation thug, Billy Crash, who worked under Leonardo DiCaprio’s scene-chewing villain in the movie. But fortune smiled on him during production. Kurt Russell was cast as a Mandingo trainer named Ace Woody, that served as villain Calvin Candie (DiCaprio)'s right hand man.

Miguel Gomes Discusses The Mystical Poetry Of 'Tabu' And The Pleasures And Phantoms Of Cinema

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • December 26, 2012 1:15 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Behold the courage of Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes: hoping to do a film in the vein of “Meet Me In St. Louis,” he and a crew traveled to the small Arganil Municipality in the country to begin work on a movie featuring a small family band -- that is until the movie’s investor died before signing on the dotted line. Instead of calling it a day, Gomes pressed on and made “Our Beloved Month of August,” a doc/fiction hybrid that captured the essence of the lively environment while commenting on the fragility and banality of a film production. It’s a special, beautiful beast of a movie that unfortunately didn’t see much of a release. Luckily, Gomes has quickly followed up with the brilliant “Tabu” (which we gave an A-grade review to out of TIFF).

'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Writer Lucy Alibar On Turning The Play Into A Film, Visions Of The Apocalypse & More

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • December 21, 2012 3:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While Benh Zeitlin has deservedly received much praise and many laurels for his direction of the little movie that could, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a critical darling appearing on many end-of-the-year Best of Lists, it was his longtime friend and co-writer Lucy Alibar who sent him her original play, "Juicy And Delicious" that eventually evolved into the film. Making big waves when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, going on to play the Cannes Film Festival in the spring and since then earning accolade after accolade, 'Beasts' is one of the most distinctive features of the year, and is hotly buzzed to finish its journey with an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

David Oyelowo Talks The '70s Influences Of 'Jack Reacher,' Says Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' Is 'Forrest Gump'-Esque

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 21, 2012 12:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment
David Oyelowo is one of those actors who has had a very, very good year. He started off 2012 by being a part of George Lucas' World War II epic "Red Tails," made a splash with the Cannes debut of Lee Daniels' pulpy "The Paperboy," and is closing out the year with two high-profile performances – he can be seen briefly at the start of Steven Spielberg's beloved "Lincoln" and stars as one of the heavies in the hotly anticipated "Jack Reacher," where he stars alongside Tom Cruise in the first adaptation of Lee Child's wildly popular book series.

Terry Zwigoff Talks Battling Over 'Bad Santa,' His Preferred Director's Cut & Much More In Candid Interview

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 20, 2012 1:13 PM
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  • 12 Comments
This weekend in San Francisco, SF Sketchfest, the people behind the San Francisco Comedy Festival, are producing a day's worth of holiday-themed programming at the historical Castro Theatre. The centerpiece of this day-long event is a director's cut screening of "Bad Santa," the insta-classic by "Ghost World" filmmaker Terry Zwigoff that stars Billy Bob Thornton as a boozing, thieving St. Nick. Zwigoff will be at the screening, along with Tony Cox (who plays Thornton's midget sidekick) and Lauren Tom (who played Cox's wife), to do a post-screening Q&A.

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