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The Playlist

Venice Review: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ With Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Ed Norton & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 27, 2014 7:44 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Birdman
Hubristic, humble, heartfelt and hotheaded, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” is phenomenal. The feverishly anticipated (not least by us) movie from Alejandro González Iñárritu blasted through its Venice premiere (it’s the opening film) in a gonzo rush —it's so exciting, so moment-to-moment enjoyable that to expect profundity would be greedy. And yet it delivers on that level as well; the film is as thoughtful and smart as it is infectiously absurd. And that's perhaps the biggest surprise of an endlessly surprising, inventive movie: whatever the sum of its elements, like how it launches and completes the “Keatonnaissance” in one fell swoop, or incredible camerawork that imperceptibly stitches together into (mostly) one long, seemingly cutless take, “Birdman” adds up to more. It’s borderline miraculous.

The Playlist's 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2014 Venice Film Festival

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 25, 2014 2:25 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The Playlist's 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2014 Venice Film Festival
Last week we ran down our 20 Most Anticipated Films of the fall season, excluding those that only have festival berths planned and no wider releases as yet. But this week, the Venice Film Festival kicks off, initiating the first phase of the fall festival season, which runs into the tiny but mighty Telluride and the huge but also mighty Toronto International Film Festival. After that, everyone catches their breath for a couple of weeks before launching back into the fray for the New York Film Festival, which overlaps a little with the BFI London Film Festival, before AFI Fest takes us into mid-November and we all start to fret about the holidays.

Watch: Walter Murch & Jon Favreau Talk Editing Of 'The Conversation,' 'Birdman,' 'Gravity' And More In 7-Minute Video

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 31, 2014 4:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Conversation Birdman Gravity
The art of film editing isn't exactly a subject that will get even the most devoted of cinephiles excited. It's a hidden art, a laborious task and often an undersung skill in the filmmaking world, with few "celebrity" practitioners. Martin Scorsese's regular collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker is probably the most "famous," and ranking right up there with her is Walter Murch. The Oscar winner was the man who brought "Apocalypse Now" down to size, helped reshape Orson Welles' "Touch Of Evil" and lend his touch to "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "The English Patient." And if you're going to listen to someone talk editing, he's the guy you'll want to pay attention to.

Watch: New International Trailer For Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 'Birdman' Starring Michael Keaton & Emma Stone

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 31, 2014 10:39 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's "Birdman," has quickly skyrocketed to the top of the year's most anticipated films along with "Inherent Vice," and "Gone Girl" (a trifecta that will hopefully make this year's New York Film Festival one of its best years ever). Why? Well outside a stellar cast which we'll get to, it's a pitch black comedy about a washed up actor famous for a superhero role who tries to mount a comeback on Broadway. Trailers so far suggest a delusional dark psychology that the hero has to battle and possibly even a sly meta commentary in the nature of super hero hegemony on screen.

Venice Film Festival Artistic Director Explains Why 'Gone Girl' & 'Inherent Vice' Missed The Fest

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 28, 2014 1:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Gone Girl Ben Affleck
It's hard to believe, but in less than one month, the Venice Film Festival will kick off with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," launching both the fest season and the awards calendar all at once. And while it's certainly a high-profile movie, and a major get for the fest, it can't be denied that the two movies every festival organizer wants this year is David Fincher's "Gone Girl" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice." And credit to New York Film Festival for snagging the World Premiere for both movies, but as you might guess, the reasons why they landed there versus Venice or Toronto or Telluride is complicated.

Venice 2014 Line-Up: New Films By David Gordon Green, Ramin Bahrani, Andrew Niccol & Peter Bogdanovich

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 24, 2014 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Venice 2014
It feels like film festival announcements get earlier and earlier every year. There's still a week of July left, and we've already had major announcements from TIFF, NYFF and even London and Tokyo (which don't happen until November, and will be opening with "The Imitation Game" and "Big Hero 6" respectively). But before any of those arrive, we've got the 71st Venice Film Festival, and after unveiling their big-ticket opener with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman," the rest of the line-up for the official competition was announced in Rome this morning.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu's 'Birdman' To Close New York Film Festival

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 21, 2014 1:24 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Birdman
Tomorrow, the Toronto International Film Festival unveils their first wave of titles, and many are already speculating what it will look like given their new rules. Basically, after being scooped on big titles by Telluride the past few years, Toronto has essentially told distributors that any movie that wants to play the crucial opening days of TIFF must be a true premiere. That means no sneaking it to Colorado a few days before. So this next announcement is an interesting one.

Alejandro G. Inarritu's 'Birdman' Starring Michael Keaton & Emma Stone To Open 2014 Venice Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 10, 2014 6:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Birdman
The big three European festivals are Berlin, Cannes and Venice, and the openers for the first two of those lurched from the sublime to the ridiculous this year: Berlin nabbed Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" to kick off their fest, while Cannes was stuck with the clanging disaster of "Grace Of Monaco." Venice have kept their pick under wraps, until now, but fortunately, it should be closer to the Berlin pick in quality...

New Images From Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'Birdman' Starring Michael Keaton And Edward Norton

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 20, 2014 9:26 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Birdman
Earlier this month, the first trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" dropped and it was kind of bonkers awesome. But what on Earth is it about? “It’s less about a guy who played a superhero in big hit movies than it is about exploring the human soul and psyche, and also where we are as a society today and how much importance we place on those kinds of things,” the film's star Michael Keaton told EW. So certainly, not your average comedy or drama by stretch, but the firepower behind the movie is undeniable.

Watch: First Trailer For Alejandro Iñárritu's 'Birdman' Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Norton & More

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 12, 2014 1:30 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Birdman,
Well, our week just got a whole lot better, because the trailer (and poster) for one of our most anticipated films of the year has arrived. We've been enormously curious about "Birdman," partly because it's the latest film from one of our favorites, Alejandro Alejandro González Iñárritu (or Alejandro G. Iñárritu, as the trailer now bills him), and partly because the film promised to be something of a departure, apparently a more comic vibe for a filmmaker whose work before now, like "Amores Perros," "21 Grams," "Babel" and "Biutiful," has tended towards the bleak.

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