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The Playlist

The Complete Woody Allen: A Retrospective Pt. 2 (1992-2011)

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 20, 2011 7:54 AM
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  • 20 Comments
Woody Allen
Woody Allen's latest, "Midnight in Paris," begins its roll-out in theaters today, and with it comes the second part of our complete retrospective on the great writer-director's work. (check out yesterday's Part One here). We pick up in 1992, with "Shadows and Fog."

The Complete Woody Allen: A Retrospective Pt. 1 (1966-1990)

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 19, 2011 8:17 AM
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  • 20 Comments
Woody Allen
Making a film once a decade, like the Terrence Malicks of the world, is all well and good, but what's truly impressive is making a film virtually every year for 40 years, and, generally speaking, consistently making pretty good ones. And that's what Woody Allen's managed to rack up since his debut as credited co-director on "What's Up, Tiger Lily?"

The Films Of Hal Ashby: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 6, 2011 6:55 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Hal Ashby
Laid-back, doobie-inclined, scruffy and shooting from the hip mavericks: while many of his peers went on to much greater success in the 1970s -- Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Francis Ford Coppola, Dennis Hopper, George Lucas, etc. -- perhaps no one director typfies the groovy, uber-chill Easy Riders and Raging Bulls generation of filmmakers more than Hal Ashby.

Already Sick Of Blockbusters? The Playlist's Guide To The Alternative Summer Movie Highlights

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 6, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The summer of 2011 is more stuffed with blockbusters than ever before, with every week bringing a new tentpole. We ran those films down earlier in the week, with Part 1, being those that look half-decent or better, Part 2 being those that we're more wary of, or even dreading. But in a summer like this, it's even more important than ever that those who truly care about cinema don't just settle for the big movies, but seek out the smaller releases as well.

Which Summer Films Might Make You Feel Like You've Been Lobotomized? The May-August Movies: Part 2

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 4, 2011 6:51 AM
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  • 5 Comments
So, yeah, we reached our character limit, so part two of the summer preview follows. It only gets worse from here on out. While we live in hope that some of these films will be pleasant surprises, especially in the first few entries, they all come with great big buyer-beware stickers. Check out the first part here, and read on for part two. And again, check back tomorrow for our indie, arthouse and foreign picks.
More: Feature

Which Summer Films Won't Make You Feel Like You've Been Lobotomized? The May-August Movies: Part 1

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2011 6:03 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Something's in the air. The days are getting longer. The weather's getting warmer. Your IQ is dropping by the day. That's right, it's the start of the summer movie season! The critical darlings that get you through the winter moments are a thing of the past, replaced by CGI-packed blockbusters, comedies and the occasional kids' flick, designed principally as a way of tempting you into an air conditioned theater to spend money on ice cream and nachos.

Retrospective: The Films Of Werner Herzog

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 29, 2011 5:21 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Few filmmakers have had as varied, or colorful, a career as Werner Herzog. A man that Francois Truffaut, who should know, once called "the most important film director alive," Herzog has been knocking out classics, in both the fictional and documentary worlds, for over 40 years now. Perhaps still best known for his tempestuous relationship with Klaus Kinski, with whom Herzog produced many of his very best films, the director's oeuvre goes far beyond those five, from minor classics to eye-opening documentaries, from classics of German cinema to a star-driven remake of an Abel Ferrera film.

The Playlist's Guide To Horror Sequels Worth Screaming About

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 15, 2011 7:32 AM
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  • 51 Comments
scream 4
If it’s one thing that horror movies are good at, particularly in the past decade with our annual “Saw” installments, it’s churning out sequels – like this weekend’s not-very-good “Scream 4.” (To quote “Scream 2” -- “Sequels suck, they are, by definition, inferior product.”) While most of these movies are blatant cash-grabs by studios that know the relative inexpensiveness of the films can boost their bottom line, there are a few that exceed our admittedly low expectations. But a feature called “Horror Sequels That Exceed Our Admittedly Low Expectations” would have kind of been a mouthful, so we went with the above instead. And given those set of rules, we decided to forgo grading the films, instead letting the writing speak for itself.

The Playlist's Guide To Assassins In The Movies

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • April 8, 2011 4:45 AM
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  • 10 Comments
We often don’t know where they come from, their real names or even why they do what they do. Yet, as an audience, we are frequently enamored with the glossy thrill of power offered to a hitman, a silent assassin disappearing into the night. Why hitmen have been such a genre staple isn’t hard to see - you put a gun into the hand of a major character, and boom! drama. The idea of a hired gun, someone whose line of work involves ending human lives without passion or emotion, is naturally fraught with tension and emotional weight.

Time To Put Away Childish Things: Is 2011 The Year Grown-Ups Started Buying Movie Tickets Again?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 5, 2011 3:47 AM
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  • 22 Comments
For some time now, the received wisdom has been that the kind of mid-budget, star-driven serious films that once dominated Hollywood were on their way out. Dan Jinks, the producer of "Milk," told Mark Harris at GQ a couple of months back that, "Everyone has cut back on not just 'Oscar-worthy' movies, but on dramas, period. Caution has made them pull away. It's infected the entire business." Indeed, the new regime at Disney announced their intention back in 2010 to focus entirely on tentpoles, even canceling a proposed sequel to the $200 million-grossing hit "The Proposal," a film that cost a relatively meager $40 million, because it didn't fit with the company's new remit.

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