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The Playlist

Spike Jonze Talks About Working With Scarlett Johansson On 'Her,' Arcade Fire & Intellect Vs. Intuition

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • December 19, 2013 4:52 PM
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Her, Spike Jonze, Joaquin Phoenix
While you’ve probably heard it described in simple ways, Spike Jonze’s “Her” is much, much more than the iPhone movie about falling love with Siri. And it’s hardly a film about technology and our future – though that obviously is an element. In many ways, "Her" is a traditional love story and relationship movie, but finds an ambitious concept to explore notions of connection, isolation, loneliness and loss.

'Invisible Woman' Star Felicity Jones Talks Her Dickensian Drama, Ralph Fiennes, 'Spider-Man 2' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 19, 2013 12:06 PM
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Felicity Jones, The Invisible Woman
As our own Oli Lyttleton pointed out in his under/over selections, Ralph Fiennes (starring and directing) has a new movie coming out this month that is really quite brilliant and barely anybody is talking about. And that film is "The Invisible Woman." It's based on the real-life affair Charles Dickens had with a young actress who served the author in one of his theatrical productions, and is based on the nonfiction book (of the same title) by Claire Tomalin. We were lucky enough to get a chance to talk to the Invisible Woman herself, Felicity Jones, about what it was like playing this forgotten historical figure, what additional research she did on her own, and whether or not she can tell us anything about what she's up to in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."

Oscar Winner Asghar Farhadi Talks 'The Past,' What Awards Recognition Means To Him & His Next Project

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • December 18, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments
The Past Berenice Bejo Asghar Farhadi
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi‘s work has been quietly stunning audiences for almost a decade. His last three films—”Fireworks Wednesday,” “About Elly“ and ”A Separation“—racked up festival accolades from Berlin to Tribeca to Sydney, with the latter film going on to win both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. (“A Separation” also received a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, a rare international coup.) Farhadi’s latest film, Golden Globe nominee “The Past (Le Passé),” has also been selected as Iran’s submission to the 2014 Oscar race (nominations will be announced on January 16th).

'Lone Survivor' Director Peter Berg Talks Beards, 'Battleship' And What's Going On With The 'Friday Night Lights' Movie

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 17, 2013 3:02 PM
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Lone Survivor
Peter Berg is a manly director. After shepherding such testosterone-soaked films as "Very Bad Things," "The Rundown," "Friday Night Lights," and "Battleship," the director has set his sights on bringing his passion project to the big screen, in spectacularly violent fashion. "Lone Survivor" is based on Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's nonfiction account of how his elite unit was ambushed and fell in the rocky mountains of Afghanistan. As told by Berg, it is a film full of fire and fury and men doing incredibly manly things. We got a chance to speak to the director, who told us about pulling together his cast, what his thoughts on "Battleship" are more than a year later, the movie's patriotic tone, and more.

'The Grandmaster' Cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd Talks Pleasure & Pain Of Shooting Wong Kar-Wai's Epic

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • December 14, 2013 10:36 AM
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'Grandmaster' Cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd
Wong Kar-wai's historical epic "The Grandmaster" charts the mostly true story of Ip Man (Tony Leung), the martial arts master who would eventually teach a young Bruce Lee how to fight. Whatever your take on this expansive and arty picture, it's easy to agree that the movie is absolutely magnificent to look at. This is due to Wong's close collaboration with French cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd, who was able to bring out the vivaciousness of any scene, whether an intense fight sequence or a quieter moment of subtle yearning (this is, after all, a Wong Kar-wai movie). We got a chance to talk with the cinematographer about what it was like working on the movie, how difficult it was to maintain consistency with such an lengthy shoot (almost spanning three years from stem to stern), and much more

Charlotte Rampling Talks Working "Without Control," Art, Ambivalence And Francois Ozon

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 13, 2013 4:09 PM
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This year, the Marrakech Film Festival, with the highest-profile jury it has ever boasted and a Scandinavian tribute that brought some of the most exciting international filmmakers to town too, was heaving with ingenues and rising stars. But one of the pleasures of this festival has always been the opportunity it affords to get to meet with some of the more established, classic actors of our time—last year we enjoyed a riotous interview with Terence Stamp, for example—and this year was no exception as we got to sit down with Charlotte Rampling, whose fascinating and unique presence has been gracing our screens since the mid-sixties.

Hurt People Hurt People: Neil LaBute & Alice Eve On The Intricate Roleplaying Of ‘Some Velvet Morning’

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • December 13, 2013 3:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Some Velvet Morning, Alice Eve, Neil LaBute
Since his award-winning debut feature “In the Company of Men” in 1997, Neil LaBute has developed a diverse career that spans writing and directing for both the stage and screen. Depicting unsettling and often cruel relationships between men and women, his work can be difficult to stomach, but there is no denying his unique voice. Over the years, LaBute has experimented with directing other people’s work, venturing into the horror (“The Wicker Man”), thriller (“Lakeview Terrace”) and comedy (“Nurse Betty,” “Death at a Funeral”) genres, to varying degrees of critical success. At the same time, he is a prolific playwright, with “The Mercy Seat,” “Fat Pig,” “reasons to be pretty,” and “The Shape of Things,” among others, making theatrical waves.

Patricia Clarkson Talks New Projects, "Motherlover," Lars von Trier And The "Perks" Of The Movie Business

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 13, 2013 11:04 AM
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The very first thing we heard Patricia Clarkson say, at the opening press conference given by the jury of the 2013 Marrakech Film Festival, was that at that point in the proceedings, all they had actually been doing was drinking. At which the collected luminaries including Jury president Martin Scorsese, Marion Cotillard, Park Chan-Wook, Paolo Sorrentino, Fatih Akin and Amat Escalante all laughed, somewhat sheepishly, and everyone kind of relaxed.

Alicia Vikander Talks The "Daring" ‘Hotell,’ ‘Ex Machina,’ ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 12, 2013 5:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Sometimes neophyte actresses come along who fizzle out after a couple of early promising roles. And then there are those who, from practically the first glimpse we get of them, we just know are going to be big, and are going to be around for a while. Alicia Vikander, a no-brainer inclusion on our On the Rise list from March 2012, definitely falls into the latter category, making a vivid impression first in her feature debut “Pure,” and then breaking internationally with the one-two punch in the corset of “A Royal Affair” and “Anna Karenina.”

Alexander Ebert Talks Scoring 'All Is Lost,' Getting Robert Redford To Surrender & Almost Making A Musical With Heath Ledger

  • By Edward Davis
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  • December 12, 2013 3:07 PM
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  • 2 Comments
All Is Lost, Robert Redford
Of all the survival narratives this fall, and there are many, director J.C. Chandor's "All Is Lost" is perhaps the most beautifully counter intuitive. If "Gravity" is the maximalist thrill ride in space, then "All Is Lost," it its opposite, a minimalist, moody, near wordless meditation of a man (Robert Redford) lost at sea. It's one man in the middle of the Indian Ocean with a schooner that's slowly sinking thanks to man made debris.

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