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The Playlist

Berlin Review: 'A Single Shot' With Sam Rockwell Unravels From A Tight Premise Into A Downbeat, Messy Misfire

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 9, 2013 1:36 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The main narrative surrounding the evolution of David M. Rosenthal’s “A Single Shot,” which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival today, has been about the longer-than-usual casting merry-go-round -- since 2009 a roster of talent as long as your arm has signed up then signed out of the film. However the fear that, as the accepted wisdom goes, there must be something fundamentally wrong with a project that takes this long to put together was somewhat mitigated by the kind of names who kept on stepping up: as worrying as it might be to lose the likes of (pre-breakout) Michael Fassbender, Alessandro Nivola, Forest Whitaker or Juliette Lewis, it doesn’t sting so hard when you get Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright and Jason Isaacs to show up instead -- all actors we admire.

Berlin Review: Matt Porterfield’s ‘I Used To Be Darker’ Has Empathy To Burn But Lacks Urgency

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 8, 2013 2:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments
In between the big events that mark our lives -- the births, the deaths, the falling-in-loves, the breaking-ups, the runnings-away, the reconciliations -- there often exists a kind of pause moment. And it’s one such moment that Matt Porterfield’s Sundance-approved third feature, “I Used to be Darker,” which plays at the Berlin Film Festival today, deals with; a caesura that punctuates the Big Life Business that is going on in the disparate lives of one fragmented family.

Berlin Review: Joshua Oppenheimer’s 'The Act Of Killing' Is A Constantly Astounding, Terrifying Masterpiece

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 8, 2013 12:44 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Holy fucking shit. All apologies for incoherence in the following review but having just emerged from Joshua Oppenheimer’s shattering documentary “The Act of Killing,” which screened here in Berlin this morning, I am still shaking. I may not be in the best state to write about it, in fact, but there’s no way I can think about anything else, so I’m going to try. “The Act of Killing” is truly one of the most intensely unsettling, frightening, riveting films I've seen, maybe ever.

Berlin Review: Wong Kar Wai's 'The Grandmaster' Is Occasionally Mesmerizing, Mostly Muddled

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • February 7, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Perhaps the best place to begin a review of Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” is at the end -- or a few minutes after. An epilogue of sorts, which happens suddenly and far enough into the credits that maybe half the audience was watching it from the stairs, serves as a pretty representative microcosm of everything that is right about the film, and everything that is not.

The 5 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2013 Berlin Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 6, 2013 3:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments
We're still brushing the snow off our metaphorical evening wear from the Sundance Film Festival, which feels like it ended only yesterday, and yet tomorrow sees the second stop of The Playlist's 2013 festival roadshow get underway, with the opening night of the Berlin Film Festival. The earliest in the year of the Big Three European festivals (alongside Cannes and Venice), the Berlinale, founded in the German capital in 1951, is traditionally one of the most prestigious events in the movie calendar.

Berlin Film Festival Adds River Phoenix's 'Dark Blood,' David Gordon Green's 'Prince Avalanche,' 'Before Midnight' & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 18, 2013 12:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Sundance Film Festival is only just getting underway today, but we're already looking further down the festival calendar. The first SXSW announcements came earlier in the week, and early this morning, the first of the big three European festivals of the year (preceding Cannes and Venice), the Berlin International Film Festival, has been solidifying the line-up for its 63rd edition.

New Images From 'A Single Shot' With Sam Rockwell & William H. Macy, Film Added To Berlin Film Festival Lineup

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 16, 2013 11:26 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Here's the thing about film festival season. While it brings with it numerous high-profile titles that bloggers and movie fans have been following since day one, there is also a handful of strong movies we simply forgot about. Case in point: "A Single Shot." The long-developing picture firmed up its cast last spring, and went in front of cameras, and it promptly faded to the back of our minds. But today it was announced by the Berlin International Flim Festival as part of their Forum section, where it will be making its World Premiere. And a whole host of images for the movie have cropped up to give us a first peek.

Berlin Film Festival Adds Movies From Jane Campion, Michael Winterbottom, Shane Carruth, James Franco & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 15, 2013 12:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments
If things seems a bit quiet, at least for the moment, that's because everyone in Hollywood is packing their bags and getting the last details sorted out to head to the Sundance Film Festival. Meanwhile across the pond, industry folks are also gearing up for their first major event of the movie year, the Berlin International Film Festival. And this year, they'll be getting quite a few titles that are making their debut in Park City.

Bruno Dumont's 'Camille Claudel 1915,' 'Side Effects,' 'Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman' Added To Berlin Line-Up

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 11, 2013 8:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments
We're barely two weeks into January, and the movie festival season is upon us. The Sundance Film Festival kicks off next and the Berlin Film Festival will get underway shortly after. While it has always been a fest to keep an eye on, this year in particular its bringing some serious heat, with jury president Wong Kar-Wai unspooling his martial arts epic "The Grandmaster" in its international premiere. Even better, the competition lineup has now added some serious contenders.

Finally Finished? Wong Kar-Wai's 'The Grandmaster' To Open The Berlin Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 19, 2012 7:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The legend goes that when Wong Kar-Wai brought "2046" to the Cannes Film Festival, the print was still dripping as he worked until the very last minute to finish it. And to say that his latest, the martial arts biopic "The Grandmaster," has had a few road bumps and delays would be an understatement. The film has been in production on and off for the past couple of years, and had things gone according to plan, it would be in theaters in China now, opening this week. But of course, WKW had to continue tinkering, and the release date was pushed to January 8, 2013. But it seems the end is nigh, god willing, and "The Grandmaster" has set an international bow.

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