The Playlist

25 Movies That Defined The Sundance Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 21, 2014 12:05 PM
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  • 14 Comments
25 Movies That Defined The Sundance Film Festival
As you might have noticed from the wall-to-wall level of coverage over the last week or so, the Sundance Film Festival has grown considerably from its humble beginnings back in 1978, when it was inaugurated as the Utah/US Film Festival and had a remit to showcase exclusively American-made independent films, and to promote filmmaking in the region. Robert Redford's involvement as a guiding patron led to its name change in 1981, from which point on it expanded gradually, until a kind of Cambrian explosion occurred with the arrival of "sex lies & videotape " 25 years ago this, a film that, with only a touch of hyperbole, could be said to have remade the festival into the modern titan it is today.

'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Director Benh Zeitlin Confirms Next Film Will be Totally Bonkers

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 5, 2013 4:23 PM
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  • 6 Comments
One of the best underdog stories in movies last year happened off the big screen, with Benh Zeitlin's debut feature "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a tiny-budgeted indie with a bizarre premise and non-actors in all of the major roles, dazzling audiences from Park City, Utah to Cannes, ultimately picking up four Academy Award nominations, including a Best Picture nod and a Best Director nomination for Zeitlin. Of course the question ultimately arises: what next? How do you follow such a strong debut? Well, if you're Zeitlin, you go even weirder.

The Early Gems: Notable Films From 2013's Best Director Nominees

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 15, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 9 Comments
To send you into the long weekend, we're gonna take a break from the on-screen talent momentarily, and focus on the early work of the 2013 nominated directors. The five nominees (particularly controversial, thanks to the exclusion of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow) are a mixed batch; from one of the most beloved (and most nominated) directors in history, to a 70-year-old European veteran with his first nod, to a debut filmmaker less than half their age. But all have something in common -- they showed promise at the beginning of their careers with films that we've highlighted below. Let us know your own thoughts, and who you think will win out in one of the toughest Oscar categories this year.

6 Personal Highlights From The Film Festivals Of 2012

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 28, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
We're generally anti-navelgazing here at The Playlist, but being the end of the year, it can't really be avoided. As we continue to take a look back at the cinematic year of 2012, we're trying to shake things up and keep things fresh outside of the usual Best/Worst lists. This year saw The Playlist making a presence around the world at more than a handful of festivals. And while you've already read our reviews and news, we thought we'd give you a taste of the experience of attending these festivals. Even if you can't make Cannes or board a flight to Marrakech, we hope this helps in translating what it's like to run around a foreign country with nothing more than a laptop and a love of cinema. So, without further ado, here are six personal highlights from the various film festivals in 2012 we attended.

'Zero Dark Thirty' Wins Best Picture, Director & Actress From National Board Of Review, Leonardo DiCaprio Takes Supporting Actor

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 5, 2012 2:34 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Awards season continues on apace, and if things keep on the way things have been going this week, Kathryn Bigelow may need to enlarge her trophy cabinet. Her follow-up to the awards-laden "The Hurt Locker," Bin Laden-hunt picture "Zero Dark Thirty" hasn't even opened in theaters yet, but it already won the Best Film (along with Director and Cinematography) prize from the New York Film Critics' Circle on Monday, and now the National Board of Review (the somewhat nebulous organization who traditionally kicked off awards season, before the NYFCC moved their dates up last year) have followed suit.

'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Director Benh Zeitlin's Next Film A Fable About "Out Of Whack" Aging Process

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 25, 2012 5:54 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Is "Beasts of the Southern Wild" director Benh Zeitlin getting all 'Benjamin Button' on us for his next movie? The helmer made a huge impression this year with his thoroughly moving, inventive, absorbing and wildly imaginative debut feature that picked up four awards at Cannes and two at Sundance. And he's sticking to what he knows best for his next movie.

The Playlist Profile: Benh Zeitlin On Miracles, Fearless Filmmaking And ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’

  • By Maris James
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  • July 11, 2012 2:05 PM
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  • 7 Comments
When I meet with Benh Zeitlin, the 29-year-old director of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” he is on a quest for Thai food. He has been waking up in different hotels, in different cities every couple of days, and the food, he says, is always the same. We weave through the slow Soho crowds in the midst of a pre-storm heatwave. “I forgot about this,” he says, gazing at the mass of tourists. He seems a little dazed, homesick for New Orleans, which this humidity reminds him of. When we arrive at the address the publicist gave us for the Thai restaurant, it is inside a hotel.

'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Soundtrack Hits iTunes Today; Plus List Of U.S. Theaters Where The Film Plays

  • By The Playlist
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  • June 27, 2012 2:21 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Stick a cork in your list of best soundtracks of the year right now, it might be done. Unless, by some miracle, something unexpectedly happens (and or Hans Zimmer just blows us away with "The Dark Knight Rises"), one major contender for soundtrack of the year is the score for Benh Zeitlin's well-celebrated indie picture, "Beasts Of The Southern Wild." Already lauded at Sundance (where it won Best Narrative) and Cannes (where it picked up the cinematography prize), we recently placed the film at the top of our Best Films Of Year... So Far list and we'll tell you: believe the hype, it's well-justified.

New Photos From Benh Zeitlin's Sundance & Cannes Sensation 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • June 14, 2012 9:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
We get one every year; an indie darling that rises from anonymity to award season contender. This year, it looks like that film may very well be Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," which, after debuting in Park City to ravishing acclaim and a Grand Jury prize, recently went on to impress at Cannes (where it earned FIPRESCI honors as well).

On The Rise 2012: 10 Directors Who Look To Be Bright Sparks Of The Future

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 15, 2012 2:33 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Like it or not, filmmaking is undeniably a director's medium. It wasn't always like that, of course: it was only the coming of the auteur theory in the 1950s and 1960s that popularized the idea of the director as the person responsible for all that was great and terrible about a picture. And while anyone who's worked in film knows that it's a collaborative medium, there's still no better way of seeing where the form might be going in the next few years than by looking at the directors who've been making splashes of late.

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