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Interview: Nicolas Winding Refn Compares 'Only God Forgives' To A Rembrandt, Responds To Critics & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 29, 2013 2:45 PM
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  • 12 Comments
There was undoubtedly no film that caused quite the same disproportionate signal-to-noise ratio last week as “Only God Forgives,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s return to Cannes after winning Best Director in 2011 for “Drive.” While to us the extremely polarized reaction felt more to do with the perils of unrealistic expectations (“Drive” was a left-field surprise to many in a way that “Only God Forgives” could simply never have been, given Refn’s different profile this time out), there was a difference of opinion among attending Playlisters about the film, though not one separated by such a wide gulf as elsewhere.

James Gray Feels "Embarrassed" For Critics For Complaining 'The Immigrant' Is Too Slow

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 29, 2013 1:39 PM
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  • 7 Comments
"The boos are the cost of being lucky. But they're still hard to hear," director James Gray recently told the LA Times about the reception he received in Cannes for 2008's "Two Lovers." But the filmmaker returned to the south of France last week to premiere his latest, "The Immigrant," where he's kind of like a big deal. ("James Gray is a rock star here," one of his agents told the paper). But the reception for his most recent was certainly mixed (read our positive review here), and while Gray doesn't mind criticism, he has little patience for those who can't sit still for a movie that's less than two hours.

The 5 Best Films Plus The Highs & Lows Of The Playlist's Cannes 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 29, 2013 12:57 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Cannes 2013 wrap
And so it's time to wrap up our time at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and gently put it to bed. The consensus that seemed to emerge, and that we're on board with, was that this was a strong year at the festival, and if there was no single, unexpected, left-of-field standout (no "Holy Motors" leapt out of the bushes and startled everyone) that was more than compensated for by the base standard being higher than in previous years.

James Gray Reveals Details About His Developing Sci-Fi Thriller & The "Conceptual Brilliance" Of '2001'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 28, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Following the premiere of “The Immigrant” in competition late last week (our review is here), we got to talk to director James Gray in Cannes. We’ll have more of his thoughts on the shaping of that film, on working with Marion Cotillard for the first time, and a few minor updates on some other upcoming projects later on, but one topic we spoke about in greater depth was his recently announced sci-fi film. Plot outlines have been scarce so far, but Gray revealed some exciting details about what he has in mind, and the learnings he is taking from his own favorite sci-fi film, Stanley Kubrick’s exceptional and influential “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Watch: Clips & Trailers From All The Cannes Winners Including 'Blue Is The Warmest Color,' 'The Past,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 28, 2013 11:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With the red carpets rolled up, the champagne corked and every available bed now vacant in the south of France, the Croisette is now back to being a hub of the bustling beach resort at least until next May when the frenzy of the Cannes Film Festival descends again. Over the weekend, the prizes were handed out by Steven Spielberg's jury and history was made as director Abdellatif Kechiche and the two lead actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux shared the Palme d'Or for very well-received relationship drama "Blue Is The Warmest Color" (read our rave review here). But it was just one of many films that got honored, including Asghar Farhadi's "The Past," the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis," Hirokazu Kore-Eda's "Like Father, Like Son" and many more titles including buzzed-about "Heli," "Blue Ruin," Jia Zhangke's "A Touch Of Sin," and more.

Cannes Review: ‘Stranger By The Lake’ An Impressively Controlled, Sexually Explicit Tale Of Gay Summer Love & Murder

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 28, 2013 10:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The scheduling of the Cannes Film Festival works in such a way that it’s rare that we get to see any film based on anything as spontaneous as peer recommendation unless it’s already been on our radar for a few weeks beforehand. But one film that did come to our notice by that route, and then had the stars align enough for us to be able to go and see, was Alain Guiraudie’s French-language “Stranger By The Lake,” and we’re very glad it did. Tonally in the same vein of sunny noir as, say, Francois Ozon’s “Swimming Pool,” ‘Stranger’ is a sexually explicit but low-key story of lust and murder set, with almost theatrically formal rigor, in a contained few locations on the “gay side” of a lake in the French countryside over a few weeks of summer.

Cannes Review: The Bright Colors Of 'Grigris' Can't Save Monochrome Story

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 27, 2013 2:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments
While Cannes had no shortage of high-profile titles to choose from, sometimes the most exciting thing about hitting the Croisette is discovering something flying under the radar. And unlike the auteur and star-driven movies, the push and pull over going to see something unknown versus eating, writing or catching up on a couple of hours of valuable sleep, can come down to the images. And wisely, the folks behind "Grisgris" put their greatest asset -- dancer and lead actor Souleymane Démé -- front and center on the press material. His lean muscular form and captivating face are a draw, and the crisply colored, expertly composed images from the movie, drew us into sitting down for this Cannes competition entry, but unfortunately, it didn't wind up being the hidden jewel we were hoping for.

Cannes Review: Worthy Medieval Parable 'Michael Kohlhaas' Nowhere Near Sum Of Impressive Parts

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 27, 2013 12:35 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Mads Mikkelsen, MICHAEL KOHLHAAS BY ARNAUD DES PALLIÈRES
Itself loosely based on a true story, the 19th century novella by Heinrich von Kleist, “Michael Kohlhaas," has been adapted several times for screen, notably by Volker Schlöndorff in 1969, even spawning “The Jack Bull," a pretty good HBO restaging starring Johns Cusack and Goodman, in 1999. But with Schlöndorff himself telling us in an interview that he considered his version his "biggest failure” it would have seemed that there was still room for the definitive, high-profile, straight-up adaptation. And on paper, that’s what Arnaud de Pallières’ Cannes competition entrant “Michael Kohlhaas” was meant to be -- just check out its impeccable line-up of European stars-with-major-arthouse-appeal: Mads Mikkelsen (last year’s Cannes Best Actor for “The Hunt”), Bruno Ganz (whose sclerotic Hitler in “Downfall” spawned its own remarkably resilient meme) and Denis Lavant (coming off his chameleonic performance in the critically worshipped “Holy Motors”).

Cannes 2013: 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' Wins Top Palme d'Or Award; Coen Brothers Take Runner-Up Prize

  • By The Playlist
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  • May 26, 2013 1:50 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Abdellatif Kechiche's 'Blue is the Warmest Color', Lea Seydoux
Ten days or so of the annual cinephile orgy that is the Cannes Film Festival draws to a close today, and Steven Spielberg and his jury have decided which movies were the best of heap on the Croisette. It was an interesting year at Cannes in 2013, with American films putting forth a strong showing in all categories, while auteurs ranging from Claire Denis to Jim Jarmusch to Roman Polanski and more all brought their latest works.

Cannes: Tilda Swinton Suggests ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ Could Be A Documentary For The Outsiders Of The World; Jim Jarmusch Won’t Analyze This

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 25, 2013 3:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Only lovers lef Alive, Cannes
The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival is quickly coming to a close. In fact the Un Certain Regard winners were just announced a short while ago (you can catch up with them right here). This year’s line-up, unlike years past, positioned a lot of heavyweights near the end of the festival, filmmakers like Roman Polanski, whose “Venus In Fur” screened today, and Jim Jarmusch, whose deadpan, odd and deeply enjoyable vampire movie “Only Lovers Left Alive” screened last night (you can read our review right here).

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