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The Playlist

'The Rover' Director David Michôd On Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce & How We're "Hurtling Toward Oblivion"

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 11, 2014 1:29 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Bone-dry, brutal and so slender it’s almost emaciated, Australian director David Michôd’s second feature, after his terrific debut “Animal Kingdom,” premiered in Cannes to high anticipation and ultimately mixed reviews. We ourselves really liked “The Rover,” which stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson as unlikely companions on a bleak road trip across as collapsed and exhausted near-future Australia (review here) but can understand how Michôd’s vision of a hellish ruined world, in which the first luxury to disappear is human kindness, might have proven simply too unrelentingly bleak for some; it’s the type of film into whose deliberately empty spaces one can read everything, or nothing at all.

Watch: Nicolas Winding Refn Introduces Restored 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' At Cannes

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 3, 2014 10:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Nicolas Winding Refn Texas Chainsaw Massacre
We might already be in June, with the red carpets at Cannes rolled up, and put into storage for next year, but it seems there are a few odds and ends to tie up from the festival. Indeed, even with three people on the ground, we couldn't cover everything and one event we missed has now partially made its way online.

Cannes Review: Bizarre, Unsettling, Brilliant Critics’ Week Winner ‘The Tribe’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 29, 2014 11:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
The Tribe
A group of comedy writers, pushing for a “Tropic Thunder”-style gag about the type of pretentious, foreign, arthouse guff that wins festival awards, might very well land on the logline “unsubtitled Ukrainian sign-language drama” and we’d grimace and laugh accordingly. But then we watched unsubtitled Ukrainian sign-language drama “The Tribe” and were too busy gaping in astonishment to so much as crack a smile: this deeply compelling debut feature from director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy utterly defies mockery with the seriousness of its subject matter and the intelligence of its execution.

Cannes Review: Prize-Winning Survivalist Love Story ‘Les Combattants’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 28, 2014 5:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
So we’re electing to go with the French title of this film (which translates to “The Fighters”) rather than the mooted English language versio — “Love at First Fight”— because we’re quite fond of the English language and also of this little film, and slight as it is, it doesn’t deserve to be lumbered with such an offputting pun. Triple winner of the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight sidebar (which is actually non-competitive but certain independent bodies elect to award prizes, all three of which “Les Combattants” won) we have to say that in a very strong year for that particular section, we were maybe expecting a little more from the film, which beat out the likes of “Whiplash,” “Tu Dors Nicole,” “A Hard Day,” “Cold in July” “National Gallery” and “Girlhood,” among others.

The Best And Worst Of The 2014 Cannes Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 27, 2014 3:33 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Best/Worst Cannes
Our suitcases are only partially unpacked and our accreditation badges are still rattling around the bottom of our bags, but this year's Cannes is now well and truly over, and perhaps the only way for us to attain true closure, is to run through our highlights and lowlights.

Cannes Review: 'The Target' Is An Uninspired Korean Remake Of French Actioner 'Point Blank'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 27, 2014 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Discuss: Korean action cinema is the most exciting in the world right now. That's not to say that there aren't exciting examples coming from elsewhere in the world (Indonesia in particular has soared up in recent years thanks to Gareth Evans and "The Raid" movies), but from Park Chan-wook to Kim Jee-woon by way of Bong Joon-ho, the last decade or so of Korean cinema have been some of the most exciting and innovative around.

Cannes Review: Ruben Ostlund’s Sharp, Icily Funny ‘Force Majeure’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 27, 2014 10:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments
A biting satire that plays out with almost crystalline precision in the rarefied, thin-air environs of an upscale ski resort, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s fourth feature, “Force Majeure” took the Jury (runner up) prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, but also, more importantly, took the coveted honor of being The Film We’d Heard Nothing About Prior That Gained So Much Buzz While There We Had To See It (last year’s recipient: “Stranger By The Lake”).

Watch: 35-Minute Cannes Press Conference For 'Clouds Of Sils Maria' With Juliette Binoche, Chloë Moretz & More

  • By Ben Brock
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  • May 27, 2014 9:41 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Clouds Of Sils Maria
The last tidbits from Cannes are still rolling in, even as the Croisette itself now looks like the opening scenes of “28 Days Later” (presumably). Last to screen in the Palme d'Or competition, and hence the focus of various final press appearances, was Olivier Assayas' “Clouds of Sils Maria," which has had a mixed but interested reception: it ultimately failed to pick up any prizes, and Playlister Jessica Kiang seems to think that was fair.

Cannes Review: Mathieu Amalric's Elegant And Airless ‘The Blue Room’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 26, 2014 12:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments
La Chambre Bleue
Presenting a compelling argument about the dangers of lovers’ chit-chat in a state of post-coital distraction, Mathieu Amalric’s latest directorial outing “The Blue Room” marks the French actor/filmmaker’s return to Cannes (though to the Un Certain Regard section) after “On Tour,” his last film, surprised many by winning him the Best Director prize in 2010. “The Blue Room,” based on a novel by popular Belgian crime writer George Simenon, is a very different affair from the burlesque baubles of “On Tour,” though, working in a far more controlled, contained register, and delivering a film in which the intentional mood of claustrophobia sometimes feels more like unintentionally choked, strained filmmaking. It’s a meticulous and tightly coiled cautionary tale, but it’s hard to imagine any of its characters having life outside the narrow confines of its stagy plot, or the edges of its carefully composed frames.

Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s 50-Minute Press Conference From Cannes

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 26, 2014 11:00 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Tarantino, Pulp Fiction
By now you’ve probably heard about Quentin Tarantino’s press conference from Cannes. He’s not down with digital projection, he’s starting to heal over the “knife in the back” that was casting agents helping leak his “Hateful Eight” screenplay, which he still might make, and he’s considering making a 4-hour version of “Django Unchained” for cable (the irony that he called digital the death of cinema and announced a potential project for the small screen on the same day evidently lost on him).

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