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The Playlist

Watch: First Clip From James Gray's Cannes Competitor 'The Immigrant' With Marion Cotillard & Jeremy Renner

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 17, 2013 10:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments
We were only just talking about Playlist favorite James Gray, and his new secret sci-fi project, earlier this morning, and there's clearly something in the water, because the first tantalizing, albeit brief, clip from the "We Own The Night" director's new film, "The Immigrant," has arrived.

Cannes Review: 'Fruitvale Station' Recounts A Tragic True-Life Story With Good Performances & Intentions, But Little Subtlety

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 17, 2013 9:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Fruitvale Station
There are now a few stories surrounding Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station,” which screened in Cannes yesterday. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that as a debut, passion-project feature from an untested filmmaker, was plucked from obscurity, championed, notably by Forest Whitaker, and put into production. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that went from a standing start to become the runaway success story of Sundance, netting two of the biggest awards, in the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Prize. There’s the “Fruitvale Station” that launched a distribution bidding war, and catapulted its director and star to the top of everyone’s “ones to watch” list. And there’s the Fruitvale Station which is a stop on a BART line at which in the small hours of New Year’s Day 2009, 22-year old father of one, Oscar Grant was shot by a transit cop, dying later from his wound. There is the film, there is the story it tells, and there is what actually happened.

Cannes Review: Asghar Farhadi's 'The Past' A Mostly Powerful Look At The Messiness Of Stasis

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 17, 2013 6:28 AM
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  • 5 Comments
The Past, Asghar Farhadi, Bérénice Bejo
When "The Past" opens, we see a couple communicating through a thick pane of glass at an airport. They can't hear each other, but through gestures and mouthed words, they can get the gist of what the other is saying, but between them is an immovable object that prevents a full understanding of what they mean to say. And it's an apt visual metaphor with which "A Separation" director Asghar Farhadi's opens his latest film, a picture that finds four lives thrown into turmoil over hidden feelings, confused emotions and a dark secret that could change everything

Watch: First Footage From James Toback & Alec Baldwin's Cannes Documentary 'Seduced & Abandoned'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • May 16, 2013 2:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment
While this weekend sees the release of yet another Hollywood blockbuster, the global film industry at large has descended upon the South of France for the Cannes Film Festival. While most of us will never get to experience the festival ourselves, “Seduced and Abandoned,” a new documentary premiering this weekend at the Croisette, will explore the festival from the point of view of filmmakers and we our first look at the trailer.

Cannes Review: Being 'Young & Beautiful' Isn't Easy In Francois Ozon's Latest

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 16, 2013 11:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment
"No one's serious at seventeen," goes a line from Rimbaud's poem of the same name, and it's just one of a handful of confused messages in Francois Ozon's "Jeune Et Jolie (Young And Beautiful)," a flesh-filled exploration of teenage sexuality. Ozon, no stranger to provocative imagery, takes off the rose-colored glasses for his look at youthful dalliances and coming-of-age. Indeed, there is nary a sexual experience or conversation within the film that isn't marked by some kind of confusion, pain or absence of feeling, with "Jeune Et Joli" either the profile of a single wayward youth or a declaration that sex has devolved into a crude transaction.

Cannes Review: Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' A Mostly Empty Exercise In Excess

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 16, 2013 8:59 AM
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  • 16 Comments
The Bling Ring
American cinema seems preoccupied with the emptiness of excess, at least in the first half of 2013. Baz Luhrmann luxuriates in the meaningless wealth of "The Great Gatsby," while Harmony Korine put his own twisted spin on the dark soul of the American dream in "Spring Breakers." And now comes Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," another look at the at-any-cost pursuit of celebrity and the worship of brand names, but it doesn't bring anything new to a conversation that seems to have run out of things to say.

Cannes Review: Ari Folman's Part-Animated 'The Congress' Is Overstuffed And Overwritten, But Sort Of Fascinating

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 16, 2013 7:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Ari Folman's "The Congress" aka "Robin Wright at The Congress" aka "Reviewer's Nightmare" (last title mine) opens the director's fortnight at Cannes this evening and screened for a group of alternately beguiled and baffled press this morning. Evoking Miyazaki and perhaps on-form Gilliam in its best moments, and lurching oddly into "Southland Tales" territory in its worst, it is a film we'd be happy to call a fascinating muddle, were it not a little overstretched to really support even that summation. At the very least, however, should your copy of "Pink Floyd's The Wall" have worn out through overuse, we can see "The Congress" having a similar kind of life as a late-night stoner mindfuck.

Cannes Review: 'Heli' A Beautifully Shot But Despairing Look At Corrupted Lives

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 15, 2013 6:42 PM
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  • 5 Comments
"Now you'll get to know God in the land of the damned," a military police officer threatens chillingly midway through "Heli." But this is just further confirmation of where things are going, as the movie makes it clear from the start that it's headed down a bracing path in which neither animals nor children are safe. The film opens in the back of a pickup truck, with a closeup on a boot pressed against a bloody, battered face, mouth duct taped closed, barely showing signs of life. A dead body lies adjacent, and not much is heard except the sound of the engine, as the camera slowly glides from the rear of the truck, up into the front seat, looking out on the open road, in a single, slow methodical shot. The truck stops, the bodies are hauled out, and one is then hanged from a pedestrian overpass that crosses the road. Welcome to "Heli."

10 Movies Booed At Cannes

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 15, 2013 2:35 PM
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  • 37 Comments
If the Cannes Film Festival is known for one thing, it's the festival's close proximity to topless beaches. But if it's known for two things, it's the emotional, emphatic responses that usually greet the films. These reactions come from audiences that are unafraid to tell the film (and the filmmakers, who are often sitting in the theater, squirming inside their rented tuxedoes and sequined ball gowns) how much they love or (just as often) hate, these movies. Not that these audiences are always right – far from it. Some of the movies that have been audibly shouted down are the ones (in the same festival) that take home the top prizes or garner widespread critical and commercial approval outside of Cannes. The Brooklyn Academy of Music is currently having a Booed at Cannes mini-festival, celebrating some of the best movies with the worst reputations. We wanted to also look at ten movies that got hissed at in Cannes and what happened afterwards.

Cannes 2013: 7 Things We Learned About 'The Great Gatsby' From Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo DiCaprio & Co

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 15, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A perhaps unexpected offering to kick off this fortnight of high-profile international, arthouse and independent filmmaking, Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" will nonetheless burst open the Cannes Film Festival later tonight like a giant glitter-and-feather-filled pinata. Which means that this morning was all about the real reason the film snagged its prestigious opening slot: the dazzling constellation of stars it brings in its wake to walk the red carpet, get their pictures taken and talk up the film in handy soundbite format to the assembled roiling masses of journalists at the press conference.

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