The Playlist

Watch: Vintage 'Siskel & Ebert' Special 'Dial H For Hitchcock'

  • By Ben Brock
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  • April 8, 2014 11:37 AM
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Alfred Hitchcock
You'll want to make some time for this excellent "Siskel & Ebert" special from 1983, “Dial H for Hitchock,” in which the beloved and much-missed critical pair do their thing (after a few promos for their review of “The Big Chill”, for whatever reason). The show highlights an interesting bit of film history: it was made to coincide with the rerelease of several Hitchcocks in the early 80s – “Vertigo,” “Rear Window,” “Rope,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “The Trouble With Harry” - all of which had been hard to see in the U.S. for some years before 1983, Hitchcock himself having intentionally kept prints scarce to increase their value. “

The 25 Greatest Movies Never Made

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • March 25, 2014 3:52 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Jodorowsky's Dune Poster
The grass is always greener on the other side. We always covet what we can never attain. Last week, Sony Pictures Classics' must-see documentary “Jodorowsky's Dune” opened in limited release; director Frank Pavich's funny, affectionate tale of Alejandro Jodorowsky's doomed attempt at adapting Frank Herbert's indispensable sci-fi classic for the big screen (our review). So ambitious and grand—legends like Pink Floyd, Mick Jagger, H.R. Giger, Mœbius, VFX wizard Dan O'Bannon, Salvador Dali and Orson Welles were some of the names mooted to be involved—perhaps Jodorowsky’s version was so insane it never could have really happened, or perhaps if it had, it would have been a epic fail (indeed David Lynch's version, which would eventually bring the story to the big screen in 1984, was one of that visionary director's biggest stumbles, even according to Lynch himself).

20 Films About Doubles And Doppelgangers

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • March 13, 2014 3:10 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Double and Doppelgangers feature
In a culture of cellphone-snapped selfies it’s hard to imagine a time when people might have been afraid of their own image. But Facebook walls and Instagram feeds to the contrary, for the vastly longer portion of human history, to see a perfect replica of yourself was an uncanny event, impossible even, exemplified by the belief shared by some native tribes in the early days of photography, that it could take away your soul. Or perhaps they were just being super cautious about ownership of their brand image.

20 Celebrated Filmmakers Who Never Won A Best Directing Oscar

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • February 26, 2014 3:42 PM
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  • 27 Comments
Filmmakers Who Never Won A Best Directing Oscar
For better or worse (which at this time of year, as the punditry reaches its hyperbolic event horizon, usually feels like worse) an Academy Award is the highest honor anyone in the film industry can receive. But of course, like any large organization—even one that wasn’t, as of 2012, reportedly 94% white, 77% male and 86% over the age of 50—the AMPAS gets things wrong (shocking, we know). Sometimes due to the politicking of insiders, sometimes because the wind shifts, and yes, sometimes because of plain old-fashioned bias, the membership votes to award the lesser film, or the lesser performance, or the lesser accomplishment, while the greater one stays seated after the envelope is opened—if they're there at all.

Watch: Steven Soderbergh's 'Psychos,' His Feature Length Mashup Of The 1960 And 1998 Versions Of 'Psycho'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 25, 2014 12:43 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Psychos
"The real trick—as was the case in 'Psycho'—is: can you keep the plot a secret and convince people to go without really telling them why they should go?" director Steven Soderbergh asked during an MSN interview about his final theatrical film "Side Effects." "The best case scenario is people coming in cold. Then you have the most fun." But merely tipping his hat to Alfred Hitchcock wasn't enough for the filmmaker, who has gone a bit further in deconstructing the iconic thriller.

Watch: Learn How The Criterion Collection Restores Classic Movies In 6-Minute Short Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 14, 2014 1:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Each month, The Criterion Collection drops their latest slate of releases, which leaves us weeping for the beating our bank account will be taking. And while the DVD world in general has seen both sales and prices fall as customers turn toward digital, the boutique label still thrives selling physical discs, at a premium price. But it's not just content that drives the cost of The Criterion Collection releases, but the often meticulous work that goes into restoring a film from a battered print into a high def Blu-ray platter.

Watch: 8-Minute Supercut Celebrates The Evolution Of The Dolly Zoom

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 20, 2014 11:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Raging Bull
While contemporary directors have no shortage of visual tricks and effects to use when putting their movies together, one of the oldest in the book requires nothing more than a camera and a set of wheels. You may not know it by name, but the dolly zoom is an effect that keeps the subject of the shot in focus, while the camera moves in or away, creating a pretty nifty effect on the visual plane. And now you can see the best of the best of that artistry in one pretty solid supercut.

Watch: Alfred Hitchcock’s 53-Minute "Lost" Holocaust Documentary 'Memory of the Camps'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • January 14, 2014 10:25 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It was just last week that we were alerted again to an odd spot in the career of Alfred Hitchcock: one, a documentary, and two, a project so distressing an initial viewing reportedly kept him away from work at Pinewood Studios for a week. Featuring footage of Nazi concentration camps shot by the British Army Film Unit in 1945, and with Hitchcock onboard as advisor next to director Sidney Bernstein, the film was completed yet put into storage. It’s since been restored once and put on television in the mid-80s, and before new footage is implemented in a new cinema release this year, you can catch the entirety of Hitchcock and Bernstein’s work.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Unseen Holocaust Documentary Restored, To Be Screened In Cinemas And On TV

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • January 9, 2014 12:21 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It has long been an enduring facet to Alfred Hitchcock’s character that away from the director’s many films of murder and heart-stopping suspense, he was greatly repulsed by violence in real life. The examples of this irony might call to mind the twisted types of crime seen in Hitchcock’s usual wheelhouse, but as a new documentary partly made by him about the WWII Nazi death camps nears closer to a re-release, we get the sense that the most unlikely example was the most affecting for the director himself.

10 Directors Who Remade Their Own Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • November 21, 2013 4:25 PM
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  • 12 Comments
10 Directors Who Remade Their Own Movies
This week, the Vince Vaughn vehicle “Delivery Man” hits theaters (our review here). While on the surface it may seem of a type with recent paternity comedies like “The Change-Up” and “The Switch,” it does feature one rogue element (aside from not starring Jason Bateman): it’s a remake of a French-language Canadian comedy called “Starbuck” that's also directed by the original’s director, Ken Scott. It’s easy to see how the festival success of "Starbuck," strong national box office and gentle high concept (a commitment-shy frequent sperm donor discovers he’s fathered over 500 children, a large segment of whom now want to meet him), might have put it on the remake list immediately. Indeed there are currently two other versions in the works—a Bollywood one and a French picture—but the choice to offer the directorial chair to Scott for the U.S. version is a little more unusual.

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