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The Playlist

Review: 'Policeman' A Strong, Haneke-Inspired Rumination On Israeli Society

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • June 13, 2014 8:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Policeman
While it's absolutely an important issue that deserves coverage, we've already heard nearly every angle of the Israel-Palestine conflict seventy times over—so much so that we barely have a clue about their other dilemmas. One of these issues starting to come to light is the large economic disparity that exists among the Israelis themselves, resulting in many protests against the abnormally high cost of living. In his assured debut "Policeman," journalist/novelist Nadav Lapid tackles this very problem with a reserved strength rarely seen in a filmmaker so green.

The Films Of Abbas Kiarostami: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 13, 2013 2:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Considering the near-impossible restrictions and generally repressive atmosphere in Iran, it's extraordinary the degree to which the country's film industry has flourished in the past 30 years. Perhaps the best known of the Iranian filmmakers, internationally, is Abbas Kiarostami, who's become a staple of film festivals and increasingly beloved by film fans across the world.

Review: 'Oslo, August 31st' A Tender, Bleak Search For Hope

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2012 1:41 PM
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  • 2 Comments
A reprint of of our review from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Naomi Watts & Robin Wright Are 'The Grandmothers' In Anne Fontaine's Doris Lessing Adaptation

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 2, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment
'Animal Kingdom' Star James Frecheville & Xavier Samuel From 'Twilight: Eclipse' Also On Board After a long career as an actress and director, French helmer Anne Fontaine had something of an international breakout with her last film, "Coco Before Chanel." The film, a biopic of the legendary fashion designer starring Audrey Tautou, proved to be critically acclaimed, garnering six Cesar nominations, four BAFTA nods and a place on the shortlist for Best Costume Design at the Oscars, and is one of the most successful French pictures of recent years, taking an impressive $43 million worldwide. As such, Fontaine is a hot property, and news has emerged that she's set to make her English-language debut with a pretty impressive cast.

'Dragon Tattoo' Pair Niels Arden Oplev & Noomi Rapace Reteam For 'Dead Man Down' With Colin Farrell

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 1, 2011 7:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While his Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace, used her turn in the Swedish Millenium trilogy films to break into Hollywood with roles in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows" and "Prometheus," original "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" director Niels Arden Oplev hasn't fared quite as well. While he's been attached to quite a few projects -- "Game Theory," "The Keep" and "The Last Photograph" (though Zack Snyder, who developed the movie has now decided to direct it himself) -- none have really taken off, but it looks like his old leading lady is coming back with a much bigger star in tow get his next project moving.

'Festen' Director Thomas Vinterberg Teams With Mads Mikkelsen For Drama 'The Hunt'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 31, 2011 2:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Considering that he co-founded the Dogme movement, and made the best of its films, in "Festen" (or "The Celebration"), a picture that's proved highly influential across the last decade-and-a-half or so (David Fincher seems to be a fan, as there are certainly echoes of the film in the trailer for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"), it's disappointing that Thomas Vinterberg's career has proceeded in fits and starts ever since. It took him five years to follow-up "Festen," and that sophomore picture, the ambitious, but misshapen "It's All About Love," with Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes and Sean Penn, was critically slaughtered, while the Lars Von Trier-penned "Dear Wendy" didn't fare much better.

LFF '11: Gerardo Naranjo On Innocence, The Genesis Of 'Miss Bala' And 'Intelligent Action Movies'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 28, 2011 5:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Plus, More From The Director And The Film's Star Stephanie SigmanAside from Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" over a decade ago, there haven't been a lot of decent movies focusing on the drug trade just over the border. Sure, the cartels crop up from time to time, but mostly in villains in dumb action movies, but it feels like quite a while since we've had a really smart, incisive look at that terrifying world.

Paul Walker Sought To Take Lead Role In 'District B-13' Remake 'Brick Mansions'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 27, 2011 1:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment
David Belle Will Reprise His Role From The Original FilmWhile Paul Walker has had an incredible career despite possessing the charisma of a park bench, he really wasn't going anywhere until the 'Fast and Furious' franchise picked him back up for the fourth installment in the series. Were it not for the fourth film's mammoth box office take (soon eclipsed by the monstrous performance of the fifth film), Walker was well on his way to fronting a sea of direct-to-DVD efforts, and not performing death-defying car stunts for action fans worldwide. Being the co-lead for a movie that makes $626 million worldwide does seem to open doors that previously seemed closed, as "Fast Five" proves.

Luc Besson Producing English Language Remake Of 'District 13' Titled 'Brick Mansions'

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • October 26, 2011 2:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With the American Film Market just around the corner, producers and filmmakers are going to be looking to get financing together and distribution deals in place for their projects, and noted French filmmaker Luc Besson is wasting little time by using his production company EuropaCorp’s AFM mailout to announce that he is producing an English remake of the Parisian-set “Banlieue 13” (aka "District 13").

NYFF Review: 'Goodbye First Love' Looks At Young Romance Without Affection

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 23, 2011 6:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Television and movies love to indulge us in pre-adulthood nostalgia. Whether the bait is loose (young hooligans causing a ruckus) or more specific and event-oriented (prom, which we've seen less of lately because, well, prom sucks), the powers that be tug at our heartstrings and force us to look back at a time free of major responsibilities and full of fresh experiences. The glazed schmaltz can be off-putting for some, but occasionally sincerity shines through and we get something that captures the emotions extraordinarily well (for this writer's money, "The Virgin Suicides" and "The Girl" are uneven but nail certain feelings on the head). But if we look back without this fondness, what are these stories? Are they merely just happenings that somehow affected the person we become, or are they just the product of naive children that didn't know better? Mia Hansen-Løve's "Goodbye First Love" attempts a critical look at a teenager's first relationship without wooing us first with their blithe beginnings, but has very little to say about the topic.

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