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The Playlist

Jessica Chastain Reveals How Crystal Castles Inspired Her 'Mama' Role, Says She Wants To Be A Bond Villain

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 19, 2013 12:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
This weekend, Jessica Chastain, the beloved, ethereal star of "The Tree of Life" and "The Help" (and currently Oscar nominated for her fiercely brilliant performance in Kathryn Bigelow's dazzling "Zero Dark Thirty"), goes to the dark side with the Guillermo del Toro-produced, Andy Muschietti-directed chiller "Mama." She plays a woman struck with a double-whammy: dealing with having to raise her two nieces who were recently recovered from a cabin in the woods where they'd raised themselves for years, and the maternal ghost (dubbed "Mama") who is still very possessive.

Sundance: 'Charlie Countryman' Director Fredrik Bond Shares How 'Trainspotting' & 'The Graduate' Inspired His "Coming-Of-Age Spiritual Love Story"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 18, 2013 12:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments
How can you be a first-time filmmaker and a veteran all at the same time? Well, if you're director Fredrik Bond, it's easy. For the last decade or so, he's been an acclaimed, award-winning commercials director, picking up honors from the British Television Advertising Awards and being nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials. He's been a globetrotter as well, growing up in Sweden, studying in New York, living in England and Los Angeles, and always working his passport for wherever the job would take him. But this week Bond arrives in Park City, ready to prove himself at the feature level with "The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman," and we had a chance to speak with him before the fest about the movie. The first thing he shared was how much he appreciated the Black List-ed script by Matt Drake ("Project X").

Interview: Guillermo del Toro Talks 'Mama,' 'Pacific Rim,' 'Crimson Peak' & What Happened To His Disney Double Dare You Shingle

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 15, 2013 2:40 PM
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  • 2 Comments
This weekend the new horror film "Mama" opens in theaters nationwide. It's the spooky tale of a pair of young girls who are abandoned in a cabin in the woods for several years. When they are finally discovered and returned to society, to live with their kindly uncle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from "Game Of Thrones") and his punkish girlfriend (Jessica Chastain), something else comes along with them… a spectral figure the girls name "Mama." In other words: perfect material for producer Guillermo del Toro to shepherd to the big screen.

Composer Alexandre Desplat Talks Scoring 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Working With Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson & More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 10, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Few film composers had a more amazing 2012 than Alexandre Desplat. The French composer, who rose to prominence based on his lush, nearly operatic score to Jonathan Glazer's woefully underrated supernatural melodrama "Birth," had an unparalleled 2012 which included scores to (deep breath) Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," Jacques Audiard's "Rust & Bone," Ben Affleck's "Argo," DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians," and Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty."

Jason Clarke Talks 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Terrence Malick & Where He Was When He Heard Osama Bin Laden Was Dead

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 8, 2013 4:52 PM
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  • 2 Comments
This weekend, the 2012 movie that has generated as much critical praise as controversy, will finally be unleashed on the masses in wide release – Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty." A white-knuckle account of the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, it's a surprisingly human tale, focusing on a cluster of dedicated operatives (led by Jessica Chastain's note-perfect portrayal of CIA agent Maya) who brought down the architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One of those operatives is played by Jason Clarke, as man as skilled at the art of "advanced interrogation techniques" (aka the torture scenes that have gotten people so riled up) as he is in greasing the wheels of an informant by buying him an expensive sports car in the middle of the night.

Gus Van Sant Talks Taking Over 'Promised Land' From Matt Damon, The Film's "Spy Scene" & Much More

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 4, 2013 10:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Gus Van Sant has always been a director who is hard to pin down, veering from insanely small-scale, personal works like "Elephant" and "Paranoid Park" to larger scale entertainments like "Finding Forrester" and his admirable-if-unsuccessful "Psycho" remake. This week, his charming eco-drama "Promised Land" opens, which casts his "Good Will Hunting" co-writer Matt Damon as an operative from a natural gas company who travels to a small, financially struggling Pennsylvania town to woo them to sell the drilling rights to their land. But his efforts run up against an environmentalist, played by John Krasinski (who co-wrote "Promised Land" with Damon), who tries to alert the citizens to the dangers they might face with the "fracking" process. It's not as showy as most of the movies grabbing for Oscar gold, but it's a solid, well-intentioned drama, beautifully, almost impressionistically directed by Van Sant.

Tom Hooper Says "The Camera Should Be A Meditation On The Human Face" & More From The Cast Of 'Les Misérables'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2012 3:12 PM
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  • 5 Comments
If the box office was anything to go by, if you saw any movie on Christmas Day with your family/friends/ON YOUR OWWWWN, it was "Les Misérables," Tom Hooper's blockbuster adaptation of the long-running musical stage adaptation of Victor Hugo's epic novel. Complete with an all-star cast of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham-Carter and Eddie Redmayne, the film might have gotten some mixed responses, but it was overwhelmingly the favorite choice of audiences on the 25th, and looks likely to be a major force when Oscar nominations are announced in a couple of weeks.

"It's Not A Propaganda Movie": Jessica Chastain On Torture, The CIA & 'Zero Dark Thirty'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 28, 2012 1:21 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Two years ago, it's possible that only friends and family of Jessica Chastain, along with a savvy casting director or two, would have been able to point her out in a line-up. But after a hugely busy 2011, and a fairly hectic 2012, she's one of the most in demand actresses around, something that's only been further cemented by her role in Kathryn Bigelow's controversial, much-praised "Zero Dark Thirty," which looks set to land her her second Oscar nomination -- and possibly even her first win -- in a few weeks time.

'Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Writer Lucy Alibar On Turning The Play Into A Film, Visions Of The Apocalypse & More

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • December 21, 2012 3:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While Benh Zeitlin has deservedly received much praise and many laurels for his direction of the little movie that could, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a critical darling appearing on many end-of-the-year Best of Lists, it was his longtime friend and co-writer Lucy Alibar who sent him her original play, "Juicy And Delicious" that eventually evolved into the film. Making big waves when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, going on to play the Cannes Film Festival in the spring and since then earning accolade after accolade, 'Beasts' is one of the most distinctive features of the year, and is hotly buzzed to finish its journey with an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

The Playlist Year In Quotes 2012

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • December 21, 2012 2:11 PM
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  • 2 Comments
For those of us who've been here since The Playlist was a rinky-dink little blogspot, it's pretty exciting that, as we've grown along with our faithful readers, we've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk more and more to the actors, writers and directors of the films we love. And 2012 was certainly our biggest year ever. Both as regular business and as part of the festival circuit (we were at Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Karlovy Vary, Cannes, LAFF, NYFC, TIFF, Venice, Marrakech, London and more), we managed to talk to dozens and dozens filmmakers and performers.

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