The Playlist

10 Films To See In September

  • By Kristen Lopez
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  • September 3, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 7 Comments
10 Films To See In September
We’ve entered September, the point where the films aren’t bombastic enough for summer (but not outright crap reserved for August), and don’t have the longevity or clout to be remembered come Oscar time. Ten movies made the cut, along with a swath of honorable mentions, so September might be a good time to take a break from school or work and go hit the multiplex!

The Playlist's 15 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • September 3, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 8 Comments
2013 Toronto International Film Festival preview
While there might be some overlap with Venice and a little stolen thunder (at least for hardcore cinephiles) thanks to Telluride, that doesn’t make the TIFF lineup this year any less spectacular. In fact this year's slate — that runs as deep as it does long — works more than ever to make those other festivals, impressive though they may individually be, feel a little like the throat-clearings before the main event. Boasting a staggering array of splashy premieres, the latest from a barrage of auteurs and a host of indie efforts that have hitherto flown below the radar but that could surprise in a big way, it feels like the TIFF 2013 program may be their most packed ever (though we seem to say that every year). So whilst our attendees face the unenviable (but actually extremely enviable) task of working out their schedules, we've dug through the near and far corners of this embarrassment of riches to highlight the 15 films we're most anticipating from this year's Toronto International Film Festival. It wasn't an easy choice.

The 10 Best Movies Of Summer 2013

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 30, 2013 2:21 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The Ten Best Movies Of Summer 2013
Summer 2013 is over, and so ends another season of loud, dumb, propulsive blockbusters and noisemakers. Lost within the rubble of explosions, posing, next-day blockbuster think pieces and box office discussions, there was also no shortage of options for audiences who didn’t want to turn their brains off, who didn’t want to feel like a kid again. Not that great films are measured in budgets or studio support, but this was an unusually dismal season for popcorn features, and the lines were drawn pretty clearly between the robots, aliens and superheroes of this season, and the lovers, comics and oddballs of the arthouse. For better or for worse, in ten years we’ll be talking about Nicolas Winding Refn’s divisive, maddening “Only God Forgives” more than “White House Down” or “2 Guns,” even if that talk is mostly about how some of us hated it.

20 Great Debut Films From Female Directors

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 29, 2013 3:44 PM
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  • 21 Comments
20 great Debut/female directors
One of the less reported stories of this August’s film schedule is that the month not only saw three films released that were directed by women, but they were in fact three feature debuts — Lake Bell’s “In A World” opened to a rapturous reception (including ours) on the 9th, Jerusha Hess’ “Austenland” bowed the following week, and this Friday Jill Solloway’s “Afternoon Delight” begins its run (our review is here). One swallow, or even three, may not make a summer, but these green shoots must certainly be promising for those in favor of changing the current female:male ratio in the film directing profession (which runs at 1 to 15.24 in the U.S. according to a Sundance Institute report) to a number that isn’t so outrageously out of whack that you have to keep double checking it. Yep, it’s 1:15.24.

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).

5 Things You Need To Know About 'King: A Filmed Record' On 50th Anniversary Of The March On Washington

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 28, 2013 12:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March On Washington, and across the country, various events are happening to mark the historic occasion. For the cinematically minded, there's something worth paying attention to: the epic Oscar-nominated documentary "King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery To Memphis" is screening at over 400 locations nationwide for one night only. And for anyone who perhaps wasn't old enough to experience the March On Washington for themselves that needs a reminder and education of just how powerful the moment was and everything that led up to it, 'Montgomery To Memphis' is worth checking out.

10 Awards Season Movies That Could Be Surprise Contenders

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 27, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Awards season gets underway this week. We're sorry. We know it's August. But it's a fact—the premiere of "Gravity" on Wednesday at Venice is only the first in a veritable tsunami of Oscar contenders that will be unveiled on the Lido, with more unspooling at Telluride, TIFF and NYFF over the next six weeks or so. By the beginning of October, we'll have a much better sense of how the season will be looking (although some of these films have started screening already—we've seen a couple, though are embargoed for the moment).

The Pub Crawl: 12 Movie Bars Worth Stopping By For A Drink

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 23, 2013 12:40 PM
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  • 4 Comments
This weekend sees the U.S. opening of Edgar Wright's "The World's End," the concluding part of his "Cornetto Trilogy" of collaborations with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Aside from so brilliantly and lovingly referencing and sending up the genres they love (zombies in "Shaun of the Dead," buddy cop movies in "Hot Fuzz" and now apocalyptic sci-fi in "The World's End") one of the greatest pleasures these films afford is the very central place that alcohol, but pubs especially, play in all of the plots. In "The World's End" (you can read our interview with Wright here, including a play by play of the soundtrack) that booziness is brought to its natural conclusion as the film is set around a 12-establishment pub crawl that is mildly interrupted by the threatened Armageddon.

25 Films About Lovers On The Lam

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • August 21, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Lovers On The Run feature
“We can make it. We can make it if we run,” whispers Ruth (Rooney Mara) in David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” which, after a limited release on Friday, begins its expansion this week. It’s a film we loved at Sundance, and one that in its gentle subversion of the “Lovers on the Run” subgenre—as the prequel comic makes clear, the events of ‘Saints’ mostly take place after the bank robbin’, outlawin’ part of the story is done—reminded us of all the other great (and not so great) films that have pitted a pair of lovers against the law.

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