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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.

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.

Brian De Palma To Direct Meta-Adaptation Of 'Therese Raquin' Starring Emily Mortimer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2013 12:00 PM
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No matter what you thought about Brian De Palma's "Passion," it can't be denied that it found the filmmaker firmly back in his wheelhouse of erotically charged melodrama. And it looks like he isn't going to veer too far away from that subject matter just yet, only this time, it will happen on a movie set.

Stream This: 'Tapeheads,' 'Bad Milo!,' 'Boy A' & More On VOD This Week

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • August 30, 2013 1:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Happy Labor Day weekend, stream fans! Summer may be drawing to an official close, but there's nothing withering about the content we're highlighting for you this week. With "Passion" out in theaters today, we'd like to give Brian De Palma a high five: over forty years of filmmaking, and the director remains as polarizing as ever, continuing to delight and disappoint audiences with his unique style and scandalous content. Check out one of his earlier films below, followed by an homage to "Closed Circuit" director John Crowley with the inclusion of his feature debut. Also, a pre-theatrical release of a horror-comedy with the most disgustingly awesome villain we've ever heard of, a long-forgotten comedy with Tim Robbins and John Cusack, and a straight-to-DVD release of The Rock and Liam Hemsworth's latest vehicle. Okay, so maybe that last pick is a little withering. But the leaves have to fall sometime, right? And, of course, we have another treasured title from the bastion of goodness that is The Criterion Collection. Enjoy!

DVD Is The New Vinyl: Famous Pimps, Infamous Early Fassbinder & 'Q: The Winged Serpent'

  • By Aaron Hillis
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  • August 28, 2013 5:10 PM
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Dvd is the new vinyl, fassbinder, body double, more
“Truthfully, DVD is not the new vinyl," a reader recently confronted me, arguing that the beloved analog qualities of records (the richer, warmer recording; that nostalgic hiss and crackle) are fetishized in ways that most movies on digital discs are not. Sure, the latter may be closer in spirit to CDs and don't get any better with age like ye olde phonographs, but tell that to Twilight Time, the below-the-radar, two-man boutique label that has been making cineaste tongues wag over their limited-edition, lovingly remastered Blu-rays of film classics like "The Big Heat," "Bonjour Tristesse" and "Enemy Mine."

Five 2013 Indie Remakes And How They Measure Up To The Originals

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 28, 2013 4:17 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Five 2013 indie remakes
This year has seen the release of what feels like an unusually large number of remakes of indie/foreign films, and this week sees another—Brian de Palma's "Passion" (read our review here) which is a remake of French film "Love Crime" ("Crime D'Amour"). While traditionally remakes of lower-budget efforts have given cause for much forehead-scratching and eye-rolling among cinephiles—usually bemoaning the lack of originality in taking a pre-made concept rather than tackling a fresh creation and often then repackaging that concept in as bland a way a possible for sale to a U.S. audience—in recent years there's been cause for some hope. The phenomenon may not be going away, in fact it might be becoming more prevalent, but the standard of some of those remakes seems to be inching incrementally higher—a recent high watermark being Matt Reeves' "Let Me In," a terrific remake of the terrific Swedish original "Let the Right One In."

Retrospective: The Films of Brian De Palma

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 28, 2013 1:52 PM
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  • 9 Comments
retrospective: Brian De Palma
Few film directors are as polarizing as Brian De Palma, whose new film, the already argued-over "Passion," opens this week (read our review from Venice here). Hailed by some as an American visionary and a modern master of suspense, capable of gorgeously realized visual feats, De Palma is derided by others as a overtly referential hack who has based almost his entire career on a single trick: ripping off Alfred Hitchcock. But as "Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible," the new scholarly text on the director by Chris Dumas, points out, this divisiveness is at least partially his own doing. De Palma is a director who once claimed that he wanted to be "the American Godard" and talked openly about "the revolution" on national television (fun fact: he was once shot by a cop), yet went on to create fizzy popcorn entertainments that were occasionally boycotted for their perceived misogyny (at least two of his movies spawned honest-to-god, organized revolts).

Stream This: 'The Canyons,' Brian De Palma's 'Passion,' 'On The Road' & More On VOD This Week

  • By Emma Bernstein
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  • August 2, 2013 11:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Hey-o cinephiles, and welcome to the deluxe edition of Stream This. There was a lot to cover this week, with so many films being released on VOD concurrently or in advance of their theatrical debuts, and we didn't want to leave anything out, including those nifty themed picks. Thus, the result at hand: an extra-long version of the column, where we give you eight suggestions instead of six. (Don't worry, you won't have to buy special sheets or anything.) There's work from Brian De Palma, Paul Schrader, and Lynn Shelton to name a few, and all of it is either playing or will be playing shortly on a silver screen near you. In related news, James Ponsoldt's third film, "The Spectacular Now," opens this weekend to much critical praise from Sundance on down, so if you're looking to brush up on his canon, an earlier work is available to stream. Plus there's a largely forgotten Mark Wahlberg picture from the early 2000s to honor the "2 Guns" star while reminding us why we like artist formerly known as Marky Mark so damn much. And now, for our streaming picks of the week.

8 Established Filmmakers Who Reinvented Themselves With Risky Low-Budget Efforts

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 1, 2013 3:57 PM
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  • 12 Comments
This Friday will see the VOD release of Paul Schrader's much talked about "The Canyons," a film both inspired by and conceived for the post-theatrical era (though it will receive a limited theatrical run starting out in NYC and Toronto). The film, which revolves around a toxic producer (adult star James Deen) and his girlfriend (Lindsay Lohan), is a collaboration between "American Psycho" author/enfant terrible Bret Easton Ellis and "Taxi Driver" scribe Schrader, whose directorial career includes "American Gigolo" and "Affliction." After the duo failed to get a studio-financed shark attack movie off the ground, they decided to pursue something on a smaller scale that would required fewer gatekeepers. Schrader's email to Ellis read, "Enough of this. Let's just do something ourselves. The economics are right. You write it, I'll direct it, we'll pay for it, and we'll make cinema for the post-theatrical era." And so "The Canyons" was born.

Watch: First 4 Minutes Of Passion Starring Rachel McAdams & Noomi Rapace Plus New Pics From The Film

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 31, 2013 4:34 PM
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  • 5 Comments
It's Wednesday, hump day, which means the weekend is now appearing on the horizon, but there's still a bit of a journey before the work week is done and you can put up your feet for a couple days. And given that we're in the middle of summer, it means that prime time TV is a wasteland and given the blockbuster options right now, there isn't much reason to head to the multiplex. But quietly arriving on VOD today is Brian De Palma's "Passion," and to nudge you along in ordering it up this evening the first four minutes of the movie have been placed online.

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