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The Playlist

10 Indie Directors Who Might Be The Next Generation Of Blockbuster Filmmakers

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 25, 2014 1:05 PM
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  • 31 Comments
10 Exciting Big Studio Director Transitions On The Horizon
Back in March, we unveiled a list of one-time indie directors who suddenly made the jump to hyperspace with blockbuster projects, and their associated blockbuster budgets. That piece noted that this was “a trend that’s become increasingly prevalent over the last decade or so” and sketched out some of the budget boosts these film-makers were getting, often having 5 or 10 times the budget of their previous film dumped in their laps by the studios, with a range of results.

Hell Yes: Rian Johnson Lines Up 'Star Wars: Episode 8' And 'Star Wars: Episode 9'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 20, 2014 2:41 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Rian Johnson, Star Wars
Let's say you're Disney. And let's say you buy Lucasfilm for a few truckloads of money, knowing that you've just purchased "Star Wars," one of the biggest franchises of all time. How big? The merchandise alone generated $3 billion dollars in 2011. And that was without any movies in theaters. Now, there are two ways you could exploit your new property: just take the logo and brand and crank out a bunch of junk in a variety of mediums and watch the money flow, even if the fanboys are pissed. Or you make careful decisions ensuring the longevity of the franchise for years and years. Disney is clearly doing the latter.

Watch: 8-Minute Supercut Celebrates The Evolution Of The Dolly Zoom

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 20, 2014 11:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Raging Bull
While contemporary directors have no shortage of visual tricks and effects to use when putting their movies together, one of the oldest in the book requires nothing more than a camera and a set of wheels. You may not know it by name, but the dolly zoom is an effect that keeps the subject of the shot in focus, while the camera moves in or away, creating a pretty nifty effect on the visual plane. And now you can see the best of the best of that artistry in one pretty solid supercut.

Recap: Harrowing 'Breaking Bad' Season 5, Episode 14 'Ozymandias'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 16, 2013 10:06 AM
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  • 18 Comments
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" goes the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, and not only does it serve as the title of this week's episode, it also was the foundation of one of the more tantalizing teasers that was released before the start of the final season of "Breaking Bad." The entire brief poem evokes the imagery of a man surveying his crumbled empire, and by end of "Ozymandias," everything that Walter White has built up and battled for is obliterated, until even he says farewell to his own name and life.

'Looper' Director Rian Johnson Is Working On A Cyberpunk-y Sci-Fi Script For His Next Film

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 1, 2013 6:48 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Rian Johnson
American writer/director Rian Johnson has never repeated himself. His debut, "Brick," is a film noir-y crime drama that featured one of the early turning-point Joseph Gordon-Levitt performances that proved the young actor was much more than just a TV child star trying to break into movies. His sophomore effort, "The Brothers Bloom," was a more whimsical con-man film that had flourishes of controlled Wes Anderson-like camera moves, and his third film, of course, was last year's sci-fi time-travel film, "Looper," starring Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.

New Images From 'Pacific Rim,' Rian Johnson Gives The Movie An Early Endorsement

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 3, 2013 4:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While every other studio seems to be dropping some mad billz for Super Bowl spots, Warner Bros. are politely sitting on the sidelines today. So, sorry, you won't be seeing anything for "Man Of Steel," "The Great Gatsby," "The Hangover Part III" or "Pacific Rim." But as a small concession of sorts, they've dropped some new images for the latter.

DGA Award TV Nominees Include Rian Johnson, Lena Dunham, Louis C.K., Philip Kaufman & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 9, 2013 3:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Perhaps as further evidence that great storytelling is happening just as often on the small screen as it is in the multiplex, this year's DGA nominees for televison feature more than a few names who are seasoned in the feature film world, so let's get right to it.

'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.

Podcast: The Playlist Talks 'The Master' & 'Looper'

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 1, 2012 10:59 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The podcast returns this week after a long absence. We apologize for the lack of shows, but obviously we've been hella busy. This week, host Erik McClanahan is joined by regular guests Kevin Jagernauth and Rodrigo Perez for reviews of two films from American writer/directors garnering a ton of attention at the moment: "The Master" from Paul Thomas Anderson, and the latest from Rian Johnson, "Looper." 

Review: Heady, High Concept 'Looper' Is A Dazzling Piece Of Sci-Fi Noir

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 26, 2012 11:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Welcome to 2044, Kansas. Time travel hasn't been invented yet, but in thirty years it will be. And when it is, it's immediately outlawed, with criminal organizations using it for their own ends -- namely, to dispose of bodies. In the future, thanks to the advances in tracking people, it becomes more difficult to make someone disappear. And thus there are Loopers. Sent 'assignments' from the future, they dispatch them in the present, get rid of the bodies, thus eliminating them from the future, for which efforts they get paid a modest sum. It's not the most honorable job, but considering how bad the economy has become, it's something.

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