The Playlist

Director Kevin Macdonald Talks The Long Road To Making His Documentary 'Marley,' And Why It's The Opposite Of 'Senna'

  • By John Lichman
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  • April 19, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Talking about icons can take a while, especially when you're tasked with an international icon like Bob Marley, whose face and music are synonymous with Jamaica, reggae and college dorms. Kevin Macdonald's new documentary, "Marley," takes nearly two hours to explore the culture and relationships that the singer forged in Jamaica, his politics and the fact that people shouldn't be too freaked out by the running time. The Playlist sat down with Macdonald to bring up Boney M, how "Marley" is the opposite of "Senna" and his upcoming projects.

Kevin Macdonald Lining Up Submarine B-Movie 'Black Sea'; Still Looking For Male Lead For 'How I Live Now' With Saoirse Ronan

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 14, 2012 4:57 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Pop quiz: when was the last great movie set on a submarine? You had to think about that one for a little bit didn't you? Well, at any rate, it's certainly been a while since a filmmaker has gone underwater into the cluttered environment of a submarine, but Kevin Macdonald hopes to do just that. The filmmaker, currently in Berlin where "Marley" is unspooling to festival audiences, is lining up a new film that he hopes will be strictly some solid genre flair.

Berlinale 2012 Review: Reverence Outweighs Insight In Kevin Macdonald's 2 1/2 Hour 'Marley' Documentary

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 13, 2012 2:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
A long film detailing a tragically short life, on paper, Kevin MacDonald's Bob Marley documentary "Marley" has more than enough of a pedigree to justify its 2 1/2 hour running time. After all, it's a biopic of one of the most influential and evergreen musical pioneers of all time, being brought to us by the respected documentarian behind the thrilling "Touching the Void" and the Oscar-winning "One Day In September." But the truth is that film's exhaustive approach at some point becomes simply exhausting, with its sporadic moments of true inspiration, almost all directly connected with the music or Bob's early life, serving mostly to remind of how by-the-numbers the rest of the movie is. It purports to bring us the man behind the myth, but 150 minutes later, the flesh-and-blood Marley remains frustratingly out of reach, and the myth is still reverently intact.

Magnolia Announces Acquisition Of Kevin MacDonald's 'Marley' On The Birthday Of The Reggae Legend; Film Will Hit On 4/20

  • By Simon Dang
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  • February 7, 2012 10:45 AM
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  • 15 Comments
Well done, Magnolia marketing team. On the birthday of legendary artist Bob Marley, the distribution shingle has announced the acquisition of Kevin MacDonald's documentary "Marley" which will now premiere in theaters and on VOD and digital platforms on April 20th. Yep, that's right, a 4/20 release for the Marley doc.

Kevin MacDonald's Bob Marley Documentary, New Werner Herzog Death Row Films To Premiere At Berlin Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 19, 2011 9:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment
We've barely wrapped up our 2011 Film Festival coverage (look for one more piece from sunny Marrakech later today), but already we're looking towards the 2012 festival calendar. Sundance have unveiled what seems to be a particularly tantalizing line-up for the Park City festival in January, while this morning has seen the first films unveiled for the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, which kicks off in February.

Saoirse Ronan Lands Lead Role In Kevin MacDonald's Apocalyptic Romance 'How I Live Now'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 14, 2011 9:05 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Since her impressive debut in 2007's "Atonement," Saoirse Ronan has made a career out of taking some of the toughest, least conventional teen roles. From her youthful fibber in Joe Wright's film, she's played the deceased victim of a rape and murder in Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones," a Polish girl struggling for survival in Peter Weir's "The Way Back," and a pair of fresh-faced assassins, in Wright's "Hanna" and Geoffrey Fletcher's "Violet and Daisy." And she's still only seventeen. Ronan is currently filming the vampire tale "Byzantium" from Neil Jordan, and is next set to play the dual role of a teen girl and the alien parasite that possesses her in Andrew Niccol's adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's "The Host." Now she's just lined up a third, a film so firmly inside her wheelhouse that, to be honest, we'd assumed she'd signed up to months ago.

Interview: 'Life In A Day' Director Kevin Macdonald Talks The Influence Of 'Listen To Britain' Docs

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 29, 2011 3:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Working With Matthew Hebert, Ridley Scott & More From The Filmmaker"Life In A Day," the jaw-dropping new documentary, edits 4,500 hours of YouTube footage, submitted from people just like you, into a cohesive whole about our globalized lives and intimate love affair with everyday technology. The man tasked with corralling that footage was Kevin Macdonald, a talented filmmaker who oscillates gamely between documentaries (like the Oscar-winning "Munich" precursor "One Day in September") and narrative features ("Last King of Scotland," the outrageously underrated "State of Play").

Review: 'Life In A Day' A Thrillingly Personal YouTube Documentary

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 28, 2011 6:33 AM
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Kevin Macdonald's gloriously free-form new documentary, "Life in a Day," hinges around the uncanny conceit that you – that is, the thousands of people who contributed footage on a single day last summer – have co-authored the film. In an audacious promotional stunt/joyfully new age-y technological experiment, and partially in honor of the fifth anniversary of user-generated giant YouTube, users from around the world were implored to send in videos of their lives. They received 80,000 submissions from 140 nations, which resulted in a whopping 4,500 hours worth of footage. That footage, whittled down and sequenced and set to music (under the saintly supervision of Macdonald and editor Joe Walker), is what constitutes “Life in a Day.”

Kevin Macdonald To Direct Adaptation Of Meg Rosoff's 'How I Live Now'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 6, 2011 3:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Director Kevin Macdonald has had an interesting career thus far. He came out of the documentary world with the acclaimed "One Day In September" and "Touching The Void" under his belt, and then helped Forest Whitaker win an Oscar for "The Last King Of Scotland." And while his follow up features -- "State Of Play" and "The Eagle" -- have been somewhat underwhelming, his choices continue to fascinate.

Review: 'The Eagle' Marred By Humorless Melodrama & A Silly Bromance

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 10, 2011 5:27 AM
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Helluva Chase Though...While mildly engaging initially, but soon marred by cliches, all-to-familiar and humorless swords and sandals tropes, a barrage of mixed accents (including puzzling Brooklyn ones), and the unintentional bromance comedy of two warring leads turned bffs by the end of the picture, Kevin Macdonald's "The Eagle" fails to deliver anything we haven't seen from the Roman soldiers/bros. on-the-run genre.

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