The Playlist

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).

5 Reasons Why You Must See The Hilariously Dark & Twisted 'Sightseers'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 10, 2013 2:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments
5 Reasons: 'Sightseers'
Caravanning into theaters this weekend in limited release is Ben Wheatley's "Sightseers." It’s easily one of the best films of the year so far and perhaps more importantly one of the most enjoyable. Our review of the film from Cannes last year affectionately dubbed it "Natural Born Campers," and that's pretty apt. A pitch-black road-trip comedy (or at least that's one of many ways to describe it), "Sightseers" centers on Chris and Tina, two misfit lovers taking a sightseeing trip through rural England, but during their voyage, Chris (Steve Oram) starts to show his psychopathic true colors once he crosses paths (and becomes incensed) with society’s various annoying boobs: the careless litterer, the obnoxiously loud party girls, the pedantic asshole, etc.

The Playlist's 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2013 Cannes Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 9, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Cannes 2013, header
With the actual schedule released today (cue charts and diagrams as attendees try to work out how to be in eight places at one time), the final pieces are falling into place for this year's Cannes Film Festival, and it's shaping up to be a terrific couple of weeks. The initial lineup was already impressive, but the addition of a couple of titles we were surprised not to see in the original announcement has made the selection even more an embarrassment of riches. As such, we were hard pressed to pick a top ten, but finally settled on the following choices, that, along with the honorable mentions, we feel represent the strongest of what is a very solid lineup. It should be noted that there's a great showing by the U.S. in this selection, as there is for French-language movies, which is reflective of the festival overall. With Steven Spielberg the head of the Cannes Competition jury too, it feels like Franco-American relations are at an all-time high, cinematically speaking at least.

The Playlist's 15 Most Anticipated Indie Films Of The Summer

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 7, 2013 11:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The Playlist's 15 Most Anticipated Indies Of The Summer
So perhaps the blockbusting sturm und drang of “Iron Man 3” has you slavering for more KA-BLAMMO, in which case our Most Anticipated Summer Blockbusters is the article for you. If, however, you're already getting a slight tension headache at the prospect of weeks upon interminable weeks of tentpole releases and the din of clashing opinions that attends the redistribution of billions of dollars of wealth, never fear. The gods of counterprogramming have been especially kind this year, and there's a wide selection of upcoming, smaller-budgeted, lesser-distributed gems in which the only things that collide are intersecting lives, the only ticking time bombs are repressed emotions, the only things that break are hearts, and the only things that blow up are grandiose expectations, right in some sad sack's face. You are also much more likely to get some full-on nudity.

The Best & Worst Moments Of 'Iron Man 3'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 6, 2013 1:29 PM
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  • 46 Comments
Best/worst Iron Man 3 feature
If you were in prison, comatose or pinned to the ground by a fallen armoire this weekend, it's possible you didn't see "Iron Man 3." All the rest of us, it seems, ignored our mothers' protestations and spent a couple of hours of this fine sunny summer weekend indoors in the dark, watching Robert Downey Jr. suit up as Tony Stark/Iron Man for his third solo outing. In fact, judging by these numbers, so did Mom. The "Iron Man" threequel (read about some others here) is already in the history books as the second biggest domestic opening of all time, right behind sister film "The Avengers," and looks on track to be another billion-dollar movie for the unprecedentedly successful Marvel Universe project. But with Shane Black a new recruit for the director's chair (Iron Throne?) and expectations vertiginously high for the launch of Phase Two, the finished film could be expected to show at least a few stretch marks. Our early review is here and since then, many of The Playlist have managed to catch up with it, so here's what we thought worked and what did not. **Spoilers abound.**

Happy Cinco De Mayo: Here Are 5 Films To Raise A Glass To

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • May 5, 2013 12:42 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Cinco De Mayo movies
Bring out the Cuervo, it’s Cinco de Mayo! Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day and, although Mexican public schools are closed for the day (isn’t that the real definition of a holiday?), it is celebrated more, ahem, seriously, in the United States than Mexico. So you know, the Mexicans beat the French at the Battle of Puebla and Mexican ex-pats living in Civil War-era California turned it into a holiday. Fun fact, the Battle of Puebla also marks the last time a European force invaded anywhere in the Americas (we’re talking proper military invasions – not U-boats off of Maine’s seacoast during WW2 or the 1960’s British Invasion).

5 Reasons To Check Out The WTF, Strange & Baffling ‘Post Tenebras Lux’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 3, 2013 12:45 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Post Tenebras Lux
The word "art" within the context of cinema can sometimes be embarrassing to use. Much of the "cinema," movies or film we consume is consumer-driven -- well-calibrated, committee-made popcorn to entertain the masses. And indie films made by auteurs -- cinema as recently defined by Steven Soderbergh (and arguably accepted by all) -- are often artfully made, but still doggedly linear and narratively conventional. That's OK, all forms of movies have their place in the world, and as Danny Boyle recently intimated, they are symbiotic -- we need both forms, the blockbuster, the indie, the escapism and the esoteric. No arguments there, but "art," like the term "genius" should be, in this writer's opinion, sparingly used.

25 Blockbuster Threequels: Did They Sink Or Save Their Franchises?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 2, 2013 3:04 PM
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  • 35 Comments
A lot's been written over the years about sequels -- when they go right and bring us a welcome return to characters and themes we'd flocked to see the first time out and, more often, when they do not, and instead deliver diminishing returns in everything except box office terms. But what of the second sequel, the so-called "threequel"? It's a franchise entry that presents its own specific challenges -- is it the conclusion to a trilogy (like "The Dark Knight Rises") or just the continuation of a franchise (such as "Die Hard With A Vengeance")? Does it have lost ground to make up after a disappointing second entry ("Mission: Impossible 3") or are expectations at an all-time high following a mark II triumph ("Return of the Jedi")? This weekend, we all get to see whether "Iron Man 3" rises to or sinks beneath its particular set of challenges -- you can read our judgement here -- but it's a situation with pitfalls Marvel head Kevin Feige, for one, was fully aware of.

Wes Anderson's 5 Best Commercials

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 1, 2013 12:13 PM
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  • 9 Comments
There are, apparently, people in the world who don't like the movies of Wes Anderson, who turns 44 today. Of course that's fine and everyone's entitled their opinions blah blah blah, but we're unapologetic apologists for the quirky formalism of the director, even if we end up inevitably having to use one of our most despised words -- "quirky" -- to describe it. But there are other words we use, like "charming" and "stylised," which are constantly countered by detractors with things like "precious" and "twee." And yes, his style is so mannered that it walks that line, but to our mind generally the surprise of Anderson's films is, despite the fetishizable costuming and set design and despite the controlled palettes and contorted dialogue, just how deeply felt they can be -- this never more in evidence than with last year's winning and winsome "Moonrise Kingdom."

Robert Downey Jr.'s Career In 7 Films

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • April 30, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Robert Downey Jr., essential performances
"Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away then what are you?" asks Captain America (Chris Evans) in Joss Whedon's "The Avengers." "Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist," shoots back Tony Stark, in a quip that, delivered either of two ways, is only slightly more impressive than the actual truth. Because of course, outside the suit, and outside the Marvel films, Iron Man/Tony Stark is in fact, Robert Downey Jr, and he's one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.

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