The Playlist

Interview: Inside The 'Breaking Bad' Writers Room With Writer/Producer George Mastras

  • By Cory Everett
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  • August 13, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment
On Sunday, "Breaking Bad" returned for the first of its final 8 episodes. Anticipation for the premiere was at an all-time high, reviews were ecstatic (read ours here) and ratings were 5 times higher than when the series first debuted back in 2008. To celebrate the final curtain closing on this highly acclaimed series, the cast and crew have been taking a well deserved victory lap — a 90 minute Times Talks event, LACMA Live Read and Q&As at FilmLinc are just the tip of the iceberg — but before Heisenberg cooks up his last batch, we sat down with writer/producer George Mastras who was one of the first writers brought onboard by creator Vince Gilligan back in Season 1. In this age of showrunner-as-auteur, Gilligan is one of the few to loudly refute this view, crediting his team of writers (which includes Mastras, Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison and Tom Schnauz), as well as the cast and crew for making the show the success that it is.

Interview: David Gordon Green On The Free-Spirited 'Prince Avalanche,' Working With Nicolas Cage & 'Suspiria'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 9, 2013 1:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Filmmaker David Gordon Green has had a deeply eclectic career of omnivorous tastes thus far. To perhaps best demonstrate the polar extremes, the 37-year-old director (who has already made nine features) has had films produced by Terrence Malick ("Undertow") and Judd Apatow ("Pineapple Express"). His body of work thus far has covered intimate indie dramas featuring children ("George Washington"), broad comedies ("The Sitter"), adult dramas ("Snow Angels"), and high concept absurdist swords and sorcerer pictures ("Your Highness"). His oeuvre has run the gamut of styles, tones and genres.

Interview: ‘In A World...’ Filmmaker Lake Bell Talks ‘Childrens Hospital’ As Directing Boot Camp, Shifting Role Of Kickstarter & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 5, 2013 11:00 AM
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In A World
In our interview with her at Sundance London back in May, Lake Bell explained that she'd always had the inclination to direct, but she was “steadfast on the path to being an actor." Now, a short year after helming a short film "Worst Enemy" and some episodes of "Childrens Hospital," the “It’s Complicated” and “How To Make It in America” actress’ feature debut "In A World" goes into theatrical release this week. The ensemble film — which won excellent reviews (us included) and the Best Screenplay award at Sundance — stars Bell as Carol, a voiceover artist looking to break into the Hollywood industry, who faces competition from her veteran voice star father (Fred Melamed) and his clique-minded male colleagues.

Interview: Paul Schrader Talks 'The Canyons,' How The Kickstarter Bubble Might Burst & Why "It's Not Lindsay's Porn Film"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 1, 2013 11:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments
A crowd-sourced project, from an acclaimed writer/director, with a script from one of literature's enfant terribles, and a cast led by a tabloid headlining actress and an adult film star, perhaps the buzz, press and hype around "The Canyons" was to be expected. But surely no one predicted a journey that saw a devastating behind-the-scenes piece from the New York Times, highly publicized "rejections" from Sundance and SXSW and more. But standing solidly at the centre of the storm and never wavering was helmer Paul Schrader, whose career has known no shortage of controversy. Throughout the entire pre-production, filming, post-production and publicity for the film, he has remained transparent about what happened on set, and more importantly, proud of the film he put together. And why not?

Interview: Miles Teller Talks Unbroken Takes In James Ponsoldt’s ‘The Spectacular Now,’ Admiration For Donny Osmond & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 1, 2013 10:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Spectacular Now
Since his portrayal of a guilt-wracked young man in “Rabbit Hole” deservedly vaulted him into the spotlight, actor Miles Teller has committed to different shades of the high school/college experience. He snagged considerable parts in “Project X” and “21 and Over”—both anarchic, single-night party films—and while upcoming projects range from YA sci-fi franchises (“Divergent”) to college-graduate dramas (“Get A Job”), he first realizes a stunning take on teenage love in James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now.”

Interview: Brian De Palma Talks 'Passion,' Digital Vs. Film, Psychosexual Thrillers & The Abandoned Ending Of 'Snake Eyes'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 30, 2013 4:09 PM
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  • 3 Comments
This week one of the most hotly anticipated movies is coming not to a theater near you, but to your favorite On Demand service (and the iTunes music store). "Passion" is modern master of suspense Brian De Palma's first movie since 2007's controversial Iraq War drama "Redacted" and marks a return to the kind of psychosexual thriller that defined his golden period (movies like "Body Double," "Dressed to Kill" and "Obsession"). It's certainly not a movie for everyone (debate rages around The Playlist water cooler about its perceived plusses and minuses), but if you're a DePalma die hard it's certainly worth the stream or download.

Exclusive: Lake Bell Reveals Her Next Directorial Effort, The "Unromantic" Romance 'What's The Point'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • July 26, 2013 11:01 AM
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Lake Bell
As proven with “In A World...,” her directorial debut and Sundance hit (winning Best Screenplay in addition to distribution from Roadside Attractions), writer/actress Lake Bell possesses a talent for deft, comedic explorations of her passions and the struggles surrounding them, which in the film's case, is voiceover acting and a male-dominated industry. The film hits theatres soon so Bell is already preparing for her follow-up project and when we spoke with her recently, she dropped a few hints as to its freshly-lived thematic direction.

Interview: Cary Fukunaga Talks HBO's 'True Detective,' Says Child Soldier Film 'Beasts Of No Nation' Coming Next

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • July 12, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 12 Comments
It’s been a while since we spoke to Cary Fukunaga but last week at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival we had the pleasure of catching up with the “Jane Eyre” and “Sin Nombre” director, and he filled us in on his many upcoming projects. Some of these projects had gone so quiet we feared they had fallen off the radar entirely but we can happily report that he has a good many diverse irons in a whole bunch of fires right now. In fact his next few years look, from this vantage point, to be highly promising, especially as it would appear he’s making good on his early intention to become an inveterate genre-hopper.

L.A. Film Fest Interview: 'Four Dogs' Team Talks Comedy, Drama, Honesty & Friendship

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 28, 2013 4:48 PM
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One of our favorite films from L.A. Film Fest last week was the lo-fi dramedy “Four Dogs,” about two unlikely friends making it through the Hollywood doldrums. Our review called it, "unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of this little pocket of humanity, it finds both the pathos and humor in the moments of real life that are truly funny and truly sad." We had a chance to catch up with the film’s writer/director Joe Burke, actor/writer Oliver Cooper, and actor Dan Bakkedahl to talk about reality vs. fiction, the most important element in comedy (and drama) and what it’s like to play yourself onscreen. Here are a few highlights from our conversation.

12 Coming-Of-Age Movies That Inspired Jordan Vogt-Roberts' 'Kings Of Summer' Including 'Goonies,' 'Badlands' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 20, 2013 11:25 AM
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One of the best movies in theaters right now, and one of our favorites of 2013 so far, is "The Kings Of Summer." Premiering at Sundance under its original title of "Toy's House," the comedy became one of the popular hits of the festival, and rightly so; it's a hilarious, smart and touching film helmed with considerable flair by debut feature director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, someone who's been on Playlist radars for a while thanks to his Sundance short "Successful Alcoholics," and his Comedy Central series "Mash Up."

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