The Playlist

Cannes Review: Leos Carax's 'Holy Motors' Is An Anything Goes Stew Of Big Ideas That Doesn't Always Work

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 24, 2012 6:04 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Hilarious and dull, fascinating and pretentious, there is no doubt that Leos Carax's "Holy Motors" is memorable. Whether it's actually any good is up for debate. Bold and confounding in equal measure, Carax's first feature in over a decade is less a movie than a collection of sketches about the making of movies, inspired by a handful of projects Carax has tried to realize over the years but which never came together. Carrying a contemptuousness and cynicism about the current state of cinema -- "All of it made possible by digital cameras, which I despise" Carax says in the press notes of the film -- the helmer both gazes outwards and look inwards in an ultimately sloppy and tremendously bonkers screed.

"There's Freedom In Bondage": 12 Things Learned At Cannes About 'Moonrise Kingdom' & Wes Anderson's Hyper-Controlled Style

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 24, 2012 3:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Having received some of his best reviews in years, Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" made a grand debut opening the Cannes Film Festival in style last week. By all accounts (including one very positive review of our own), Anderson's latest picture and first live-action film in five years, is a pleasant, charming and enchanting return to form that's both nostalgic for those early pre-teen years and emotional in its exploration of adolescent angst and early love. Starring newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward with an excellent supporting cast featuring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman, Playlist contributor Aaron Hillis got a chance to sit down with some of the cast at the press conference in Cannes.

Cannes: Andrew Dominik On The Violence, Politics & Look Of 'Killing Them Softly' With Brad Pitt

  • By Aaron Hillis
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  • May 24, 2012 2:19 PM
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  • 2 Comments
In what turned out to be a banner year for the movies, "The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" ended up somewhat overshadowed. As fellow neo-Westerns "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country For Old Men" swept up plaudits and Oscars, the picture, the second by Australian director Andrew Dominik, received some raves, but plenty of negative notices too, and it ended up making a miniscule amount at the box office. But by decade's end, many had since rediscovered the picture as one of the finest of the 00s, and as such, Dominik's first film since, crime tale "Killing Them Softly," was one of the most eagerly anticipated pictures of the Cannes film festival this year.

'Lawless' Director John Hillcoat: The American Film Landscape Is “Tough”; Television Is The New Medium For “Character & Drama”

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • May 24, 2012 11:06 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat has steadily built upon his career as an auteur known for brooding and unnerving pieces of work ever since his neo-western “The Proposition” started making the rounds in 2005. The picture offered viewers a refreshing take on the western genre, and a haunting tale of a crooked lawman who apprehends a notorious outlaw and gives him just nine days to take the life his older sibling or see his youngest brother executed.

Cannes Review: Lee Daniels' 'The Paperboy' With Matthew McConaughey & Nicole Kidman Is A Disastrous Flop

  • By James Rocchi
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  • May 24, 2012 8:08 AM
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  • 37 Comments
Many people will tell you that "The Paperboy" -- based on Pete Dexter's novel, brought to the screen by "Precious" director Lee Daniels -- is a trash masterpiece, an instant camp classic, so bad it's good. These people, these critics, are simply not to be trusted about any question of judgment for a long time based on that half-hearted ironic "endorsement" of one of the worst films of the year, never mind at Cannes. Like the patina on a bronze roof, there are two ways to acquire trashterpiece/camp/so-bad-it's-good status. One is through time, and patience, as entropy and erosion bring down the bright gleam to a more interesting set of colors and nuanced shades; the other is to spray it on artificially with a hose, with plenty of spillage and waste, toxic and cheap and jumped-up and unconvincing.

Cannes Review: Carlos Reygadas’ 'Post Tenebras Lux' Is Singularly Strange, But Not Especially Impressive

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 23, 2012 6:49 PM
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  • 11 Comments
When discussing Carlos Reygadas’ “Post Tenebras Lux,” comparisons to “The Tree of Life” come easily, though Reygadas’s film is as far from a paean to God as it gets. In fact, while Malick’s movie has a sweeping, hands-on perspective on enlightenment and God, Reygadas’ (“Silent Light,” “Battle in Heaven”) has a brazen, ostentatiously alienating and mostly detached view of redemption and Satan.

“Sentimentality & Brute Violence”: Nick Cave Says The Love Story & Excessive Violence Of 'Lawless' “Titillate Me”

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • May 23, 2012 5:47 PM
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  • 6 Comments
While many still know Nick Cave best for his work as a musician in groups like The Birthday Party, and especially for albums such as Let Love In and Tender Prey that he produced along with his band The Bad Seeds, Cave has become increasingly more visible in the world of cinema ever since he first started collaborating with filmmaker John Hillcoat on the helmer’s 1988 feature “Ghosts…of the Civil Undead.”

The Playlist Interview From Cannes: Wes Anderson Discusses The Nostalgia, Music, & Making Of 'Moonrise Kingdom'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 23, 2012 12:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Few filmmakers have a more distinctive take on the world than Wes Anderson. Many of his contemporaries -- David O Russell, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze et al -- are extraordinary filmmakers, but it's only with Anderson that you can look at a single frame -- any frame -- and instantly know that it's his. And the same is true of his latest, "Moonrise Kingdom," which marks his return to live-action filmmaking for the first time in five years.

Guy Pearce Reveals Details Of Drake Doremus' Next; Says It's About An Inappropriate Teacher/Student Relationship

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 23, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Guy Pearce has been having a pretty damn good year in 2012. The actor's been moving towards stardom since "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert" and "L.A. Confidential" fifteen years ago, and looked to turn into a megastar after "Memento," but when big-budget studio picture "The Time Machine" was a flop, he seemed to shift back into being a character actor, delivering many memorable turns ("The Proposition," "Factory Girl") but mostly resisiting stardom. But in the last few years, he's had a flurry of success: small roles in two Oscar-winners in two years with "The Hurt Locker" and "The King's Speech," a homegrown hit with "Animal Kingdom," and an Emmy for "Mildred Pierce."

Cannes Review: Beat Classic 'On The Road' Comes To The Screen In Lustrous-But-Long-Winded Fashion

  • By James Rocchi
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  • May 23, 2012 7:29 AM
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  • 15 Comments
Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" has been heralded for decades: an important novel, a cultural signifier, a sociological landmark, a cracking good read. It's also been considered "unfilmable" -- but now Walter Salles ("The Motorcycle Diaries," "Dark Water") brings the novel to the screen, and "The Motorcycle Diaries" turns out to be a pretty good template for understanding how Salles has shot his adaptation. "On the Road," like 'Diaries,' is scenic and episodic, full of youth's passion but with a shade of the future yet to come dimming the brightness of its vision, as a charismatic young man travels with another young man, saying little but watching everything along the way.

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