The Playlist

2014 Directors Guild Awards: Alfonso Cuarón Takes The Top Prize For 'Gravity'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • January 26, 2014 7:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Directors Guild Of America (DGA) announced its 2014 award winners last night and, perhaps to no one’s surprise, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón won the top directing prize for “Gravity.” A spectacular visual achievement that took four years to make, Cuarón was arguably the frontrunner for some time, but the competition was tough and included Martin Scorsese for “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” David O. Russell for “American Hustle,” Steve McQueen for “12 Years A Slave” and “Captain Phillips”-helmer Paul Greengrass.

Legacies: Steven Soderbergh's Revolutionary 'Sex Lies And Videotape' 25 Years Later

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • January 23, 2014 7:07 PM
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  • 4 Comments
sex lies and videotape
“I’m a little concerned by what ‘sex, lies’ might have wrought here,’ said Steven Soderbergh at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, proving even at 27 to be, aside from a promising filmmaker, an unusually thoughtful and prescient commentator on the wider industry. This was scarcely a year after his debut feature had unassumingly premiered at the festival and irrevocably changed the face of the movie world, and already then the sleepy, retrospectively genteel-feeling festival of yore had unmistakably begun its rapid evolution into the titan it is today; a quick glance at our coverage of this year’s Sundance alone can tell you just how far it’s come, in terms of media profile, business activity, not to mention sheer volume of films.

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.

Chloe Grace Moretz Enters 'The Library' For Steven Soderbergh's Off Broadway Play

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • January 21, 2014 10:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
While still dabbling in helpful cuts of his director friends’ films, Steven Soderbergh has kept to his word of retiring from theatrical moviemaking. Currently in the midst of completing his Cinemax miniseries “The Knick”, he—as usual—hasn’t kept satisfied with simply one project on his plate; rather, after much talk of bringing his 2012 stripper pic “Magic Mike” to the Broadway stage, he’s instead selected Off Broadway as his choice for a gripping drama featuring one of Hollywood’s talented young actresses.

Steven Soderbergh Blogs About The "Huge Inspiration" Of Martin Scorsese's 'After Hours'

While some filmmakers eschew any kind of online presence, thank God Steven Soderbergh is bringing his intelligence and wit online. Already active on Twitter, the filmmaker has found a new outlet via his online store and blog Extension 765, and he's taken a time out to sing the praises of an underrated Martin Scorsese gem, "After Hours." Read More »

'Blue Is The Warmest Color,' Wes Anderson's 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' & More Hit Criterion In February 2014

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 15, 2013 5:13 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Criterion: February, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Foreign Correspondent
If you are one of those people in a relationship where Valentine's Day means presents, you might want to start dropping some suggestions to your significant other as Criterion has a variety pack of cinematic chocolates that you'll want to savor in February.

Steven Soderbergh Did His Own Influential Edit Of Spike Jonze's 'Her'; Chris Cooper Got Cut From The Movie

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 7, 2013 10:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Sometimes in creative pursuits, it helps to have a friend who can be honest about the work you're putting out. And for Spike Jonze, he's got a circle of colleagues and pals in his mobile that alone would make for one helluva dinner party. Charlie Kaufman, David Fincher, Catherine Keener, Chris Cunningham, Nicole Holofcener, Miranda July and Bennett Miller are among the confederates Jonze is lucky enough to be able to bounce ideas off of, but it was another friend in particular who helped the director find the final shape of his upcoming film "Her."

10 Films To Watch Before & After 'Gravity'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • October 3, 2013 3:05 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Films To See Before Gravity
Sitting in the dark, holding your breath throughout Alfonso Cuarón’s terrifying, beautiful “Gravity,” it can seem like the film simply spun up at you out of the void; it’s a work of such precision and simplicity that it almost feels like it came out of nowhere. But unlike, say, a sliver of space debris that glints in the distance a moment before hurtling in to wreak silent destruction on your space station, Cuarón’s hugely anticipated film (review here) not only had a gestation period of unforeseen length, but even back at concept stage it had its influences and its inspirations. So while it certainly feels unlike anything you’ve quite seen before, in realising his singular vision, Cuarón in fact refers to and borrows from several cinematic forebears, and, after the fact, we can see not only their imprint on the finished film, but also its kinship with several other titles.

Soderbergh Says Abandoned Leni Riefenstahl Biopic Would Focus On Director Battling The Studio System

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 23, 2013 1:20 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Perhaps only super attentive Steven Soderbergh fans are aware but at one time, the director was kicking around the idea of making a movie about controversial filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. The German director is best known for making the Nazi propaganda piece "Triumph Of The Will" which actual content aside, is regarded by many as a pretty technically accomplished work. Soderbergh had worked with Scott Z. Burns on a script about Riefenstahl, cracked the story and then ultimately realized, perhaps correctly, that no studio would finance such a movie. So instead, he and Burns pitched "Contagion" which got them a thumbs up and off they went. But whatever happened with the Riefensthal movie?

'Breaking Bad,' 'House Of Cards' & 'Behind The Candelabra' Among Big Emmy Winners

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 23, 2013 8:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Last night TV's finest -- which these days tends to include some of movie's finest too -- gathered for the Emmy Awards, while the the rest of us stayed glued to "Breaking Bad" and to some extent, the series finale of "Dexter." Either way, both options were better than that dubstep dance routine to "Breaking Bad" on the awards show. And once the jokes were over, and tributes were finished, some statues were handed out honoring some fine folks.

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