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The Playlist

Wim Wenders Discusses Painful 'Hammett' Collaboration With Coppola, Friendship With Nicholas Ray

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 22, 2011 11:16 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Filmmaker Talks 5-Hour Version Of 'End Of The World,' Sam Shepard, Unfinished Version Of 'Hammet' & More At NYFF Q&AWim Wenders' route to filmmaking was a circuitous one. At the age of 21, he landed in Paris determined to become a painter, but cinema had been in his DNA from an early age. He made super 8 movies as a child and became a local neighborhood projectionist at the age of 6 when he inherited his father’s antique film equipment; so cinema seemed like a natural path. But for years, he turned his back on movies, and it wasn't until he saw an Anthony Mann retrospective -- sidetracked from his painting aspirations in a Paris cinematheque -- that he began to fully understand that cinema had its own authors and "had a language of its own.” He then began a 40-year affair with the medium that continues to this day.

VIFF '11: Lo-Fi Puppets And A Big, Hilarious Heart; 'Kooky' Is Destined To Be A Family Cult Classic

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 20, 2011 1:54 AM
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  • 3 Comments
In many ways, “Kooky” harkens back to the halcyon days of yore (read: in particular the ‘80s) when things were scary in kids’ movies. Or maybe we're just starting to show our old age, but didn't it seem like filmmakers back then were unafraid to at least hint at the possibility of actual threat and potential harm to characters, if not follow through on it completely? It was certainly a different time. Maybe they were untethered by the whims of insanely over-protective parents and ludicrous MPAA ratings strictures that insist on rounding off every sharp edge, creating a bland cinematic landscape these days that all-too-often wears down a movie for families to a pathetic, sanitized nub.

NYFF '11 Review: 'Play' Is A Confident, Complex Look At Social Issues In Sweden

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 19, 2011 12:58 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Festivals can be a great place to discover new, brilliant cinema, but often times the unknown films get drowned out by the heavily buzzed or the latest by a longstanding director. How many of us at the New York Film Festival saw "Martha Marcy May Marlene" and "The Kid with a Bike" but, for whatever reason, happened to miss out on "The Loneliest Planet"? It's highly likely that this writer isn't alone. Still, one person generally can't see everything a festival has to offer, so flicks that don't have Palme d'Or helmers behind them or a truckload of auspicious praise for their "breakout performer" tend to get shafted. Still, it's a must to attend those we know nothing about. Besides the fact that they deserve it, they also have something those lauded ones don't: the ability to surprise; for the viewer to go in blind and be completely taken without having known a thing about its cast or the curriculum vitae of the filmmaker. With movie news at the click of a button and various media available all over the web, this is a rare occurrence. We've had a few very pleasant whammies this year, from the social/political critiquing "Policeman" to the sweet "Corpo Celeste," and we're happy to add Ruben Östlund's "Play" to that trust.

VIFF '11: In Belgian 'Bullhead' Sympathy For The Devil Is A Mark Of Quality

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 19, 2011 11:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment
“No matter what you do or think, one thing is for sure, you’re always fucked. Now, tomorrow, next week or next year, until the end of time, fucked.”

Gaspar Noé Wants To Remake Larry Cohen's Cult Movie 'God Told Me To'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2011 9:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The last time we heard from Gaspar Noé he was taking us on a demented POV view through the seamy underbelly of Tokyo in "Enter The Void" and crying over "Avatar." And while he's currently contributing to the forthcoming omnibus "7 Days In Havana," been eyeing Bret Easton Ellis' "The Golden Suicides" and talking about a "sentimental, erotic" movie he wants to make, the unpredictable helmer may have something else completely different in store for us.

Wim Wenders Says 3D Has "Amazing Consequences," Still Waiting For Film That Cracks The 3D Code

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 18, 2011 8:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Venerable Filmmaker Praises ‘Avatar,’ Talks 'Pina' & Speaks Candidly About Hollywood’s Current 3D DilemmaWhile it might not seem apparent at first, given his films haven't made much of a commercial dent in recent years, Wim Wenders, is still ahead of the curve. In 1997, over a decade before its use became prevalent, he shot sequences of his "The End of Violence" film in HD, he cast Michelle Williams as his lead in the little seen "Land Of Plenty" before she became fully noticed in "Brokeback Mountain," and for his latest trick he's shot "Pina," a documentary about the medium of dance in 3D.

LFF '11 Review: Nasty Nordic Thriller 'Headhunters' Doesn't Have The Courage Of Its Convictions

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 18, 2011 7:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment
For fans of the crime genre, both on the page and on the screen, Scandinavia has been the hottest source of new material in recent years (although obviously not literally). Steig Larsson's Millennium trilogy was a huge bestseller worldwide, and has already provided three Swedish films and David Fincher's upcoming remake "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," while Kenneth Branagh has had great success on TV as Henning Mankell's "Wallander," and Danish series "The Killing" proved a huge hit at home and in the U.K, and was remade on AMC under the same name.

VIFF '11: 'Elena' Is A Dramatic Masterwork From Russian Director Andrey Zvyagintsev

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 18, 2011 2:57 AM
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  • 7 Comments
For this writer, there are fewer things in cinema more satisfying than a filmmaker in total control of their story. Sure, we love the visceral thrill of a well-choreographed, impeccably staged action sequence as much as the next red-blooded human being. And there’s the perfect combination of song/score over moving images, blissful moments heightened through all the tools available in the medium. But then there are those rare moments when a film has just begun, and the feeling sets in immediately that you’re in good hands; that no matter what happens in this film, you can trust the filmmaker has thought everything through and knows what he or she is doing. It’s a good feeling. Comforting even. But it’s rare.

NYFF '11: 'Kid With A Bike' Directors The Dardennes Say They Originally Planned A Different Ending

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 15, 2011 7:27 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Reveal That Holly Hunter Is One Of The Hollywood Stars Who Has Expressed Interest In Working With Them What can be said about the Dardenne brothers that five Cannes awards don't already say much more definitively? Even a mediocre splotch in their oeuvre is twelve notches above most other contemporary films that get paraded around on the blogosphere.

The Films Of Pedro Almodóvar: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 14, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Pedro Almodovar, I'm So Excited
Pedro Almodóvar is one of the most respected filmmakers in the world, an Oscar winner whose films have become Cannes mainstays, and who's capable of attracting almost any talent that he'd like, despite having never made a film in the English language (although he says that one is on the one way soon). But his global reputation is all the more remarkable considering just how challenging his fare can be. His violent, sexual taboo-pushing early work is the most obvious example, but throughout his career his interest in gay issues, Sirk-ian melodrama, explicit sex and obsessive behavior has hardly been the kind of thing that usually makes the chattering classes line up around the block.

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