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The Playlist

Interview: 'Touchy Feely' Star Rosemarie DeWitt On Reverse Character Arcs, Gil Kenan's 'Poltergeist' Remake & More

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • September 3, 2013 12:08 PM
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Touchy Feely, Rosemarie DeWitt
A last-minute casting switch may have led actress Rosemarie DeWitt to Lynn Shelton’s fourth feature “Your Sister’s Sister,” co-starring Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass, but the gamble paid off tremendously — so much so that Shelton envisioned DeWitt specifically when it came to writing her follow-up, “Touchy Feely.” Following Abby, a massage therapist who develops a repulsion to skin on the eve of moving in with her boyfriend (Scoot McNairy), the drama premiered at Sundance this past year (our review here), and boasts a great cast including Allison Janney, Josh Pais, Ellen Page, and Ron Livingston.

Interview: Fred Schepisi Talks TIFF Entry 'Words And Pictures' Starring Juliette Binoche & Clive Owen

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 11:02 AM
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"I don't like to go down the same road with films, I don't like to repeat myself," director Fred Schepisi told us recently over the phone from Australia. Indeed looking over his filmography, one can't deny the diversity of his work in a career that has spanned more than four decades. From bracing drama ("A Cry In The Dark") to a John Le Carré based thriller ("The Russia House") to comedy ("Roxanne," "I.Q.," "Mr. Baseball"), Schepisi has worked with talent ranging from rising actors that would go on to become worldwide superstars (Will Smith in "Six Degrees Of Separation") to bonafide legends (Paul Newman in "Empire Falls"). And for his latest, "Words And Pictures," which premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, Schepisi is once again trying something different.

Interview: Eric Bana Talks The Real Life Politics Behind 'Closed Circuit,' His Life After 'Hulk,' And Whether Or Not He'd Do 'Star Wars'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 29, 2013 6:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Ciarán Hinds, Eric Bana, Closed Circuit
Now is a very good time for "Closed Circuit," a movie about the British judicial system and the proliferation of CCTV around London, to be released. With the firestorm of controversy surround illegal surveillance, Edward Snowden and PRISM, and the general feeling of unease knowing that there is a pretty good chance that the email you sent to your college roommate is being intercepted and reviewed by some higher power, it's an ideal moment for a claustrophobic, conspiratorial thriller like "Closed Circuit." Few thrillers tap into the zeitgeist like this film does. In the film, Eric Bana plays Martin Rose, a public-court lawyer assigned to defending a Turkish national who seems to have played a role in a deadly London bombing. As his investigation continues and he navigates Britain's controversial closed court system, he's drawn into a shadowy, conspiracy-laced world and reignites an old flame with his "special advocate" lawyer.

Interview: Rebecca Hall Talks The Real World Implications Of 'Closed Circuit' & Why She Wants To Make A Comedy

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 28, 2013 7:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Iron Man 3, Rebecca Hall
Rebecca Hall, in just a handful of roles, has become one of our favorite actresses, someone whose presence makes any project endlessly more exciting. Most of us first remember seeing Hall in Christopher Nolan's underrated magician thriller "The Prestige," and she made a splash not long after in Woody Allen's hit "Vicky Christina Barcelona" (she played Vicky), before turning in ace supporting performances in Nicole Holofcener's "Please Give," Ben Affleck's "The Town," the 1974 section of "Red Riding Trilogy," and this summer's "Iron Man 3" (as a brilliant scientist who creates something very bad). She's a fearless actress, bringing both a tightly coiled intensity and disarming beauty to her performances. This is the especially the case in this week's "Closed Circuit," where she plays a lawyer trying a terrorism case in Britain's controversial closed court proceedings (she's also involved romantically with another lawyer, played by Eric Bana).

Interview: Terry Gilliam Explains How "Hard-Bender" Gets Films Financed, Why He Doesn't Like TV & Much More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 28, 2013 12:05 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Terry Gilliam
There are few cinematic raconteurs as lively and interesting as Terry Gilliam, so you can imagine that when we chatted with him earlier this month, our conversation wound up being fairly wide-ranging. Yesterday, we ran the first part of our talk with Gilliam, focused solely on his forthcoming sci-fi effort "The Zero Theorem." And today, we bring the rest of our discussion with the filmmaker which fans and those just interested in the industry in general, will want to take a look at.

Interview: 'Drinking Buddies' Star Jake Johnson Talks Rules of Improv, Working With Joe Swanberg & Frustrations With Network TV

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 27, 2013 5:18 PM
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Drinking Buddies
Two attractive couples, their difficulties in life, work, and romance, a sly glance toward the other person's partner as a possible solution... It may seem like the rote set-up for your standard romantic comedy but filmmaker Joe Swanberg (“Hannah Takes The Stairs,” “All The Light In The Sky”) knows this. His latest film, "Drinking Buddies," succeeds not by the prolific indie director's shift up in budget and crowd appeal but by just how adeptly he tweaks that framework for a surprisingly observant and honest result — in our SXSW review, we called it “a film that feels loose without ever being ponderous or phony.”

Interview: 'Afternoon Delight' Star Kathryn Hahn Talks Motherhood, Unhinged Silver Lake Book Clubs & Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrel To The Nuts'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 27, 2013 3:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Afternoon Delight
Even though her scenes in “Step Brothers,” “Anchorman,” and most recently “We're The Millers” rank among those films' finest and funniest moments, actress Kathryn Hahn had, until recently, never landed a proper starring vehicle to showcase her considerable chops. The occasion took another talented presence looking to branch out — “Six Feet Under” writer/producer Jill Soloway with her feature directorial debut, “Afternoon Delight” — to see Hahn not just in a comedic lead role, but one that presents her stunning dramatic range as well.

Interview: Terry Gilliam Talks 'The Zero Theorem,' Working With A Low Budget, Artistic Influences & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 27, 2013 12:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
The Zero Theorem Terry Gilliam
If anyone personifies taking lemons and making lemonade, it might just be director Terry Gilliam. The filmmaker is almost as known for the battles he's endured on various pictures than the movies themselves, but it speaks to his spirit and determination that he's created a singular and distinctive catalog of work. There are few moviemakers who could've not only made "Brazil," but turned out a masterpiece in an environment where the studio was actively working against the director (documented thoroughly in The Criterion Collection's excellent edition of the film). "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" is still the closest anyone has come to capturing Hunter S. Thompson's fever dream prose, while "Twelve Monkeys" endures to the point that SyFy is now ordering up a pilot for a TV show based on the movie (and no, Gilliam has not been contacted about it).

Interview: 'You're Next' Writer Simon Barrett & Director Adam Wingard On Sequel Ideas, Inspiration & The 'V/H/S' Franchise

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 26, 2013 2:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Way back in 2011, "You're Next" became the toast of the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness series, was the focus of a frenzied bidding war and then… the kind of eerie stillness that you might expect from one of the horror movies "You're Next" gleefully sends up. Now, almost two years after it originally debuted in Toronto, "You're Next" is now in theaters, just as audiences have regained their composure after "The Conjuring" scared them witless. We finally got to see the movie at the South by Southwest Film Festival earlier this spring (you can read our review here) and got to talk to writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard, about what it was like having to wait all that time for their big horror movie to make its debut, whether or not they've planned subsequent "You're Next" sequels, their "V/H/S" franchise and what movies inspired this delightfully gory home invasion romp.

Interview: Wong Kar-Wai Talks Kung Fu, The Different 'The Grandmaster' Cuts & His Favorite Directors

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 22, 2013 3:22 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Wong Kar Wai, The Grandmaster
It's been six long years since a new Wong Kar-Wai movie graced cinema screens. The notoriously patient director behind "Chungking Express" and "In the Mood for Love" is back with "The Grandmaster," the biographical tale of Ip Man (also known as Yip Man), a true life historical figure (played in the film by the always brilliant Tony Leung) and martial arts wizard who would go on to train some kid called Bruce Lee. Harkening back to the director's earlier films, while adding a new level of expert technical precision, "The Grandmaster" is for any fan of kung fu or a devotee of Kar-Wai's work. It's in turns epic and gorgeous, a movie that demands to be seen, just for its visual opulence, and then discussed at length afterwards. We got a chance to do just that with Wong himself, who talked about the film's somewhat tortured production, why he decided to tell this story, what's different between this version and the international cut, what it was like working with Megan Ellison and who his favorite modern filmmakers are.

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