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The Playlist

"For Me, There Was No Character": Isabelle Huppert Discusses The Making Of Brillante Mendoza's 'Captive'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 16, 2012 2:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Few actresses are quite as fearless as Isabelle Huppert. She's been a near-legend for going on forty years, but has never taken a paycheck job, preferring to seek out challenging work with some of international cinema's most uncompromising auteurs. And that's embodied neatly in "Captive," her collaboration with Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, which just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.

'Return' Star & Director Linda Cardellini & Liza Johnson Discuss Telling The Story Of A Soldier's Transition To Civillian Life

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 10, 2012 11:01 AM
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"Return," the feature film debut by visual artist Liza Johnson, shakes up the traditional soldier's story by centering on a female protagonist, as she adjusts to her home life following a Middle East deployment. The film stars Linda Cardellini ("Freaks and Geeks," "ER") as Kelli, a woman who has trouble adjusting to the typical civilian life she left behind. Instead of finding comfort, she's more at odds with her environment, unable to enjoy the quiet moments with her husband Mike (Michael Shannon) or fall back into the easy routine of the job she left behind. Unable and unwilling to convey the despair within, Kelli soon finds her relationships and sanity crumbling without any idea of how to return to normalcy.

Michael Shannon Talks 'Return' & His Experience Making The Indie Film

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 9, 2012 11:03 AM
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Looking for strong roles for women in film? Look no further than this week's "Return," (read our review here), a compelling tale of a woman unable to settle into her suburban life after she returns home from a tour of duty overseas. The debut feature by visual artist Liza Johnson, the film is an assured, bold look at a mother and wife who's become a stranger to her own life all wrapped up in a slick combination between Michelangelo Antonioni's "Red Desert" and the stark realism employed by the Dardenne Brothers. It's got quite a great amount of talent behind it, with Linda Cardellini ("Freaks and Geeks") in the lead role of Kelli and a supporting cast of Michael Shannon and John Slattery ("Mad Men") all giving ace performances.

Michael Shannon Compares Zack Snyder To Martin Scorsese; Says 'Mud' Will Be Like A "Fairy-Tale"

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 8, 2012 9:58 AM
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  • 8 Comments
It's a statement that's thrown around a lot, but there aren't many better working actors today than Michael Shannon. He's consistently proven to be a mesmerizing fixture in any film he's a part of, whether in a lead role ("Take Shelter") or just playing support to bigger names ("Revolutionary Road").

Ben Drew (AKA Plan B) Talks About His Feature Directorial Debut 'Ill Manors' & Starring Alongside Ray Winstone In 'The Sweeney'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 7, 2012 10:01 AM
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  • 3 Comments
'Polymath' is a word that describes Ben Drew pretty well. The 29 year old East London native first came to fame back in 2005 under the name Plan B, where his work on influential mixtape "Run The Road" landed him a contract with 679 Records, and his album "Who Needs Action When You Got Words," landed the following year too all kinds of acclaim.

Director Nicholas Jarecki Reveals How Being Kicked Off 'The Informers' Helped Fund Sundance Hit 'Arbitrage' & Casting Brit Marling Over Skype

  • By John Lichman
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  • January 27, 2012 11:01 AM
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Last year at Sundance, “Margin Call” premiered to an unprepared audience who were greeted by a fantastic ensemble in a gripping drama that gave an insight to the 2008 financial crisis and resulting recession. That film went on to become something of a sleeper hit, and last week, picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay, but there's certainly much more to be said about the subject matter.

"It's Going To Be Boring": Zoe Saldana Tells Lies About 'Star Trek 2' & Talks Drama 'The Words' At Sundance

  • By John Lichman
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  • January 27, 2012 10:01 AM
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Two hours after Zoe Saldana wrapped for the day on the set of J.J. Abrams' upcoming “Star Trek” sequel, she arrived in Park City, where her film “The Words” premieres at the Sundance Film Festival. It's a neat little microcosm for her career, which has seen in seemingly constant employment in the last few years, varying from little indie pictures to, well, the most successful film of all time, "Avatar."

Sundance: Director Antonio Campos & Stars Of 'Simon Killer' Talk Sociopaths, Sex & Soundtrack To The Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 26, 2012 2:56 PM
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  • 3 Comments
This time last year, "Martha Marcy May Marlene" was the toast of Sundance, an impossibly tense drama that, even by the end of 2011, still stood tall as one of the year's best films. Last January, "Afterschool" helmer Antonio Campos was in Park City in his capacity as a producer (he's one third of Borderline Films along with 'Martha Marcy' director Sean Durkin and Josh Mond), but twelve months later, he's back as director, with another intense character study, "Simon Killer."

Sundance: Clarke Peters & Nate Parker And Writer James McBride, Talk Race & Religion In Spike Lee's 'Red Hook Summer'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 25, 2012 6:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Whatever you thought of his last film, " Miracle At St. Anna" (and we'd argue that it's better than its reputation suggests), most would agree that three-and-a-half years is too long between Spike Lee feature films (though his excellent documentaries have been a good placeholder). One of our most vital filmmakers, behind classics from "Do The Right Thing" to "25th Hour," he delivers work that is always thought-provoking and fiery. And he's not mellowed in his absence; when his latest film, the self-financed "Red Hook Summer," premiered on Sunday night at Sundance, it instantly became one of the controversial, divisive films of the festival, with some calling it a real return to form, and some calling it among his weakest, scrappiest efforts.

So Yong Kim Discusses Her Collaboration With Paul Dano & Battling The Freezing Winter In 'For Ellen'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 25, 2012 4:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Thanks to her previous films "In Between Days" and "Treeless Mountain," and a none-more-indie cast featuring Paul Dano and Jena Malone, So Yong Kim's latest "For Ellen" had to be one of the most anticipated films of Sundance, at least in certain circles.

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