The Playlist

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.

'The Artist' Duo Jean Dujardin & Michel Hazanavicius Work Together Again On Omnibus 'The Players'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 2, 2011 2:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments
"The Artist" actor Jean Dujardin is to director Michel Hazanavicius what Ryan Gosling is to Nicolas Winding Refn. With the former's silent movie sensation winning over audiences and poised to become a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars, it marks their third film together following the two very popular French-language spy spoof 'OSS 177' films, and what do you know, the pair have already collaborated on another project that is gearing up for release next spring in France.

'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.

Quelle Horreur! 10 Foreign-Language Horrors To Freak You Out This Halloween

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 28, 2011 6:55 AM
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  • 8 Comments
There's a reason so many American horror films in the last couple of decades have largely been remakes of foreign language movies – because those films are really, really scary. The fact that the remakes are, by and large, completely awful, has to do with the specificity – there are details in culture and location that, when displaced, shuffled, or wholly removed, greatly impact the narrative and the power of the storytelling. Feudal Japan, with its cultural landscape of spirits intermingling with the living, can't be swapped for suburban Chicago, the home of Abe Froman, the Sausage King. In the age of the internet, it's been easier for keen-eyed genre enthusiasts to diagnose which foreign horror films are worth tracking down (and which, in the decades previous, you might have missed).

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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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.

Review: Slick Bollywood Behemoth 'RA. One' Delivers Fleeting Pleasures

  • By Mark Zhuravsky
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  • October 27, 2011 1:58 AM
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  • 8 Comments
While Hollywood holds the world's audience enraptured, unleashing big, burly CGI extravaganzas, burgeoning international companies are revving up to put a dent into the market. Enter "RA. One," Bollywood's most expensive production and arguably the first straightforward superhero film to come out of India's massively prolific movie factory. As with any tentpole (with a warm reception pouring in from the Indian press, news of a sequel in the works are inevitable), the film comes packaged with a colossal star -- Shahrukh Khan, probably most familiar to American viewer as the star of 2010's heavy-handed drama "My Name Is Khan"). Equally important is the merchandising push, which can challenge even the most gregarious stateside rollout (the Wikipedia page expounds on coffee mugs, Happy Meals, a video game, game tournaments, action figures, comics -- major steps for an Indian film with an eye on the world market). So what you're probably asking yourself is, can director Anubhav Sinha's "RA. One" keep up with the big boys? With a 2 hour 40 minute running time and several standout set pieces, it certainly can, meanwhile sacrificing the bare minimum of character development and delivering a sluggish second act that marries "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and "Bicentennial Man" with little success.

FNC ’11: Alexander Sokurov’s 'Faust' An Odd, Dense Adaptation Of Goethe's Classic

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 23, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
By Nikola Grozdanovic reporting from the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal.

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.

Watch: Trailer For Angelina Jolie's Directorial Debut 'In The Land Of Blood And Honey'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 21, 2011 12:33 PM
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  • 19 Comments
Well, it looks like the Oscar race just got a major shakeup. Though it was slated for a release date in December way back in the spring, Angelina Jolie's upcoming directorial debut "In The Land Of Blood And Honey" has been a completely unknown element. With no festival appearances, and a lack of stills and promotional material, it was left up to speculation if the film was a misguided vanity project, a true awards season contender or something else entirely. Well, a very meaty trailer has now landed online and Jolie looks to have delivered something that could change up the game this fall.

In Theaters: 'Paranormal Activity 3' Hopes To Scare Off 'The Three Musketeers' This Weekend

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • October 21, 2011 7:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments
It’s almost Halloween, which means it’s time for terrible horror movies to rule at the box office. I’m surprised there aren’t more this year, but we do have the "Paranormal Activity" franchise taking the Halloween crown from “Saw,” which I think we’ve seen the last of for a good while, at least. Seven installments seems to be more than enough. Also this weekend, a festival of crazy wigs in “The Three Musketeers,” and we finally get to see that Other Olsen moppet at the local theater with “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”

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