The Playlist

Kirsten Dunst Joins Joel Edgerton & Michael Shannon In Jeff Nichols' 'Midnight Special'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 12, 2013 6:52 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Depending on your own age, you'll be horrified in varying degrees by the revelation that 2014 marks Kirsten Dunst's 25th year in showbusiness. The actress—still only 31—made her debut in Woody Allen's segment of "New York Stories," before going on to notable early roles in "The Bonfire Of The Vanities," "Little Women" and most famously, "Interview With The Vampire." Her career's had its ups and downs over time, but with a Cannes Best Actress trophy for "Melancholia" a couple of years back, she's never been more respected. And in her biggest subsequent gig, she's just signed up with another Croisette-approved auteur.

Stream This: 'Mud,' Hugh Jackman In 'The Fountain,' Woody Allen's 'The Purple Rose Of Cairo' & More on VOD This Week

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • July 26, 2013 12:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Stream This
Hello streamers, and welcome back to our weekly search for the best of what's available to watch on the World Wide Web. The home entertainment system reigns supreme for another day, as two late summer flicks appear on VOD before their big screen release and a well-received picture, fresh off its theatrical run, hits the streaming services in advance of its DVD debut. Of course, there's plenty going on at the cinema too—this is blockbuster season, after all. Observing the premier of "The Wolverine," we have a much better alternative: an early-ish Hugh Jackman film, you know, before all the singing and all the muscles. And with the newest Woody Allen movie in theaters, starring the inimitable Cate Blanchett, we have celebrations of both artists. It could be that two-for-one which put us over, but with so many good VOD choices, we decided to forgo a Criterion selection for this week. Hulu Plus remains, however, and that section will be back next time, we promise. Now, let's get to the picks.

10 Great Modern Day Actor/Director Collaborations

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 17, 2013 2:17 PM
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  • 41 Comments
10 Actor/Director Collaborations
The hallowed halls of cinema are littered with iconic and unforgettable director/actor collaborations. The muses that feed the filmmaker, the director that inspires the actor. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, Ingmar Bergman and half his repertory including Bibi Anderson, Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow, Werner Herzog and his toxic relationship with Klaus Kinski, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Vitti and Michelangelo Antonioni, Spike Lee and Denzel Washington, Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart—no matter what time period of movies you look at, no matter whether it be high or low art, the classic collaborations are countless.

Joel Edgerton Joins Jeff Nichols' Sci-Fi & Ryan Reynolds Does The 'Mississippi Grind' Instead Of Jake Gyllenhaal

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 27, 2013 9:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
There are few emerging American filmmakers right now as exciting as Jeff Nichols. The director is coming of a pretty fantastic run of three indie films -- the must-see-if-you-haven't "Shotgun Stories," the excellent "Take Shelter" and the deeply felt "Mud." And now major studios are paying attention. You might remember that Nichols' name was tossed around to direct "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," but now he's got a projecgt lined up at Warner Bros. and he's staring to cast up.

Jeff Nichols Goes Sci-Fi To Direct His First Studio Movie, Once Again Reteams With Michael Shannon

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 8, 2013 10:42 PM
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  • 3 Comments
It was only a matter of time before the major studios came sniffing around "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter" and "Mud" director Jeff Nichols. In fact, they already have, with the helmer shortlisted last year for "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes," but now he's finally inked his first studio deal and he's bringing a trusted friend with him.

Director Jeff Nichols Talks 'Mud,' Writing For Matthew McConaughey & The Ending Of 'Take Shelter'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 30, 2013 11:04 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Last weekend, "Mud," a charming story about a couple of young kids who help an escaped murderer (played by Matthew McConaughey), opened in limited release. The movie is the third feature written and directed by Jeff Nichols, who made a splash with his gritty debut "Shotgun Stories" and then followed through on that initial promise with "Take Shelter," a wry psychological thriller that starred Michael Shannon (who also appears the director's other two features). "Mud" continues along the path that the earlier movies established – they're all hardscrabble genre films to one degree or another, set in a Deep South so tangible you can practically reach out and squeeze the hanging Spanish moss.

Review: Deeply Felt, Thrilling 'Mud' Shows Director Jeff Nichols & Matthew McConaughey At The Top Of Their Games

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • April 25, 2013 11:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Matthew McConaughey, Mud
It all starts with a beautifully surreal image: a decrepit boat resting comfortably in the branches of a tree. The young boys who find it want to use it, make it their own. But on this particular river island in Arkansas, they are not alone. It's not long before they encounter Mud (Matthew McConaughey, sporting a large snake tattoo and a chipped front tooth a la Jim Carrey in "Dumb & Dumber"), who's not only the namesake of Jeff Nichols' brilliantly constructed, emotionally satisfying genre deconstruction, but also the film's hero and anti-hero.

Exclusive: Jeff Nichols Talks John Carpenter-Esque 'Midnight Special,' Wants To Make 'Tremors'-Style Film & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 23, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Yesterday we sat down with Jeff Nichols, the talented indie filmmaker behind "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter," and this week's "Mud" which stars Matthew McConaughey in another great post-career resurgence performance (more from our interview later this week). While we had him, we couldn't help but ask about an upcoming project he's already teased – a John Carpenter-esque chase movie called "Midnight Special." Nichols talked at length about the movie, its tone and mood, and what is compelling him to make it as well. The director also discussed "Mud" and a laundry list of projects and genres he'd like to tackle. And given his output thus far, there's little reason to doubt he'll achieve them all.

'Mud' & 'Take Shelter' Director Jeff Nichols Writing John Carpenter-Esque Project ‘Midnight Special'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 22, 2013 11:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment
After making three distinct, small-scale films focusing on unique individuals caught in stories that could also be fables or fairy tales -- "Shotgun Stories," "Take Shelter," the upcoming "Mud" -- Jeff Nichols seems to want to shift gears a bit. He was on Fox's shortlist to take over "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" before it went to Matt Reeves, and over the summer he signed on to helm teen genius tale "The Boy Who Played With Fusion." In short, it seems like Nichols wants to play a bit more with genre material, and indeed, he's writing something we might not expect from him.

Fox Director Shortlist For 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes' Both Predictable & Surprising

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 25, 2012 10:40 PM
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  • 8 Comments
With Rupert Wyatt bailing on the director's chair just over a week ago, 20th Century Fox now have a vacany to fill for "Dawn Of The Planet The Apes" and it's one they want to move on fast as a release date is on the horizon. So here comes the shortlist and it's both predictable and kind of totally random at the same time.

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