The Playlist

Interview: Mads Mikkelsen On 'Hannibal' Season 2, 'The Salvation' And The Scandinavian Filmmaking Rennaissance

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 11, 2013 2:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
A star for many years in his native Denmark prior to crossing over with the villain role in the first relaunched Bond movie, “Casino Royale,” Mads Mikkelsen, attending the Marrakech Film Festival as part of the Tribute to Scandinavian Cinema, has for quite some time now been one of our very favorite working actors. From early collaborations with Nicolas Winding Refn (the ‘Pusher’ Trilogy, “Valhalla Rising”) and Susanne Bier ("After The Wedding," "Open Hearts") right through to supporting roles in Hollywood fare (“The Three Musketeers,” “Clash of the Titans”), Mikkelsen is often the best thing in his movies, even if he’s only in them briefly.

Richard Armitage Talks 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug,' Deleted Scenes Between Gandalf And Thrain & More

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • December 11, 2013 11:33 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Desolation of Smaug
Although it’s appropriate that Bilbo Baggins serves as the central figure in the three “The Hobbit” films that Peter Jackson created to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same name, another character provides their narrative backbone: Thorin. Played by Richard Armitage, the would-be dwarf king seeks, against all odds, to restore his people’s kingdom, and that trek is the reason that Bilbo takes his "Unexpected Journey." Meanwhile, Thorin struggles to come to terms with the significance of his birthright, even as he must fight again and again with increasingly fierce adversaries to reclaim it.

Interview: Juliette Binoche On 'Sils Maria,' The Career/Life Balance & Finally Going Hollywood In 'Godzilla'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 11, 2013 10:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A Thousand Times Good Night
When revered Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami cancelled his attendance at the Marrakech Film Festival due to ill health, the organizers could have had a further problem on their hands as he was meant, in addition to giving a masterclass, to be handing out the award at one of the “Hommages”—the tributes given to a filmmaker or actor in recognition of their body of work. However, that one headache didn’t occur here because the recipient was Juliette Binoche, practically the busiest actress on the planet, and Bruno Dumont, her director in this year’s “Camille Claudel” and himself the subject of a Marrakech masterclass, stepped into the breach instead. It’s a mark of just how constantly she is shooting, and with what calibre of filmmaker, that, throw a stone at a festival like this, and you’ll hit two or three people who have worked with Binoche, and probably recently.

Marrakech Interview: Terry Gilliam On 'The Zero Theorem,' Re-Mounting 'Don Quixote' & The Return Of Monty Python

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 10, 2013 12:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Terry Gilliam
Something in the Moroccan air agrees with Terry Gilliam. When we met him here last, two years ago, he was in fine, jocular form and again this time he laughed and joked his way through his Marrakech Film Festival duties as a returning guest. This is despite the fact that a lot of what he had to say was essentially pessimistic, often shaded with that dark humor that characterizes so much of Gilliam's best output.

Marrakech Interview: Tomas Alfredson On "Slow Cooking," The 'Tinker Tailor' Sequel And Staying In Sweden

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 10, 2013 11:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Tomas Alfredson Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
A little like being told not to think of an elephant, when the small group of press who got to meet Tomas Alfredson at the Marrakech Film Festival was asked in advance not to ask about his next project, it was pretty much all any of us could think about. The “Let the Right One In” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” director has long been attached to an adaptation of “The Brothers Lionheart,” a children’s fantasy story by beloved Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (who also created Pippi Longstocking), and the version of the film that he was putting together was at one point rumored to have the highest ever budget for a Scandinavian film. Which is perhaps why Alfredson is a little gunshy about talking about it—in fact he told us that he doesn’t like to speak about projects before they are 100% financed and set in stone, so perhaps there’s still a question mark hovering there?

Marrakech Interview: Nicolas Winding Refn On Disliking Vikings, Realism & What He Learned From 'Fear X'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 9, 2013 2:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It’s telling, and maybe also a little paradoxical, that of the huge array of Nordic talent assembled onstage at the Scandinavian tribute last week at the Marrakech Film Festival, the honor itself was accepted (on the delegation’s behalf) by Nicolas Winding Refn. Telling, because it shows just how sky-high the director’s profile is, despite, or maybe because of, the mixed reaction to this year’s “Only God Forgives,” the follow-up to his Cannes-busting “Drive.” A little paradoxical, because it really feels that Refn can be less and less associated with the region of his birth these days: his last truly Danish film was 2005’s “Pusher 3” and his ongoing association with Ryan Gosling, along with his interest in non-European settings and cultures, makes him feel more international-with-maybe-an-independent-American-edge than anything else.

Marrakech Q&A: Martin Scorsese The Desire To Make Films, Suggests He Only Has A Few Left & Hopes ‘Silence’ Is Next

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 9, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 17 Comments
The Wolf Of Wall Street, Scorsese
Over the weekend at the Marrakech Film Festival, as a final treat before the red carpet got rolled up for another year, 2013 Jury President Martin Scorsese did a brief Q&A at the local film school, to which he is apparently a returning guest. Scorsese has filmed twice in the area ("The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Kundun" both made extensive use of the arid desertland around the nearby Ouarzazarte studios) and so has filmmaking ties to the region that led to the students referring to him, endearingly, as their "godfather."

Noomi Rapace Talks ‘Animal Rescue’ & ‘Child 44’ With Tom Hardy, Tommy Wirkola's 'Monday?' & Much More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 6, 2013 2:44 PM
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  • 6 Comments
These last few years have been a wild ride for Noomi Rapace, but sitting down to talk with her at the Marrakech Film Festival this week, we found her refreshingly down to earth, giving the impression of someone who is fully aware of the lucky hand she’s been dealt and is not afraid to work hard to stay so lucky. Of course it was the Swedish version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” trilogy that originally saw Rapace break out internationally, and since then one of the things that has characterized her career has been her tendency to work again with people she has collaborated with before. So over the brief span of four years she did “Dead Man Down” for ‘Dragon Tattoo’ director Niels Arden Oplev, has two projects with Tom Hardy in the can, two with Mathias Schoenaerts and hopes to reteam with Ridley Scott for the mooted “Prometheus 2.”

Emile Hirsch Talks 'The Motel Life,' John Belushi & America's Obsession With Weight

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • December 6, 2013 1:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments
With his first child, a couple of indie films ("Prince Avalanche," "The Motel Life," "Twice Born"), a miniseries (A&E's "Bonnie and Clyde") and a meaty high-profile role on the horizon (John Belushi in the as-of-yet untitled biopic), 2013 is chalking up to be a pretty good year for Emile Hirsch. Over the course of his film career (his debut being in "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" in 2002), Hirsch has frequently varied his acting choices. Being led simply by the quality of the material, rather than trying to configure a trajectory or formulate a brand, Hirsch has run the gamut of being a young actor in (and outside of) Hollywood.

Marrakech Fest Interview: Tobias Lindholm Talks 'A Hijacking,' Influence Of Kathryn Bigelow On Next Film 'The War' & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 5, 2013 3:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Tobias Lindholm, A Hijacking
In a nice note of symmetry to our 2013, one of our first interviews of the year at the Goteborg Film Festival in Sweden, was with the Danish director of “A Hijacking,” Tobias Lindholm, and today we found ourselves in December in Marrakech getting to speak with him again. Lindholm is here as part of the Marrakech Film Festival’s tribute to Scandinavian cinema, which also boasts Tomas Alfredson, Noomi Rapace, Alicia Vikander, Nicolas Winding Refn and Mads Mikkelsen in its starry lineup. But it’s not just his nationality that brings him back; last year “A Hijacking” his sophomore directorial feature, was awarded the Jury Prize at this very festival. It’s always a pleasure to talk to anyone as engaging as Lindholm, but the year has proven busier than he had anticipated back at its start, and among other tidbits, he gave us an in depth look at his next directorial project, “The War” which is clearly on his mind in an evolving form right now, as even here at the festival, he is putting in four or five-hour days purely on script work.

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