The Playlist

Interview: Jim Jarmusch Talks The Vampiric Charms Of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ & Proposing To Muse Tilda Swinton

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 10, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Only Lovers Left Alive
Iconoclastic filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has been living outside of the mainstream for his entire career, so it’s perhaps only fitting that for his 11th feature-length film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” the writer/director turns his attentions to the outsiders that live in shadows.

Interview: Jonathan Glazer Burrows 'Under The Skin' With Scarlett Johansson For A Haunting Experience

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 4, 2014 1:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Jonathan Glazer, Under The Skin
It has been close to a decade since commercial and music video director-turned-filmmaker Jonathan Glazer released his sophomore feature film, “Birth.” Following his slick and stylish debut, the gangster flick “Sexy Beast,” marked a leap forward stylistically, with longer takes, a bold visual approach and a carefully considered integration of narrative and score. And now with his third film, “Under The Skin” (our review) Glazer has again pushed the language of his filmmaking into bold and truly exciting places. (Indeed, check out our 5 Reasons Why It's One Of The Best Films Of The Year).

Interview: 'Go Down Death' Director Aaron Schimberg Talks Structure, Reviews, And 'The Da Vinci Code'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 27, 2014 4:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Fever dreams can be scarring. However, if you’re filmmaker Aaron Schimberg, you can take that harrowing dip into the subconscious and make it into the fine, singular work “Go Down Death.” His debut film follows a few lives in a desolate village ravaged by constant bombing and unending trauma, changing character perspectives frequently -- ranging from a child gravedigger to a disfigured gambler -- but always maintaining its utter strangeness. It’s also sort of an anomaly in the independent scene, having been shot on 16mm black & white and utilizing both sets and scale models. We saw it last year and raved about it, claiming it “will trouble and beguile the subconscious long after you’ve moved on.”

Interview: Denis Villeneuve Talks Shooting Toronto For 'Enemy,' Dipping Into The Subconscious & His Next Projects

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 20, 2014 12:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Enemy, Denis Villeneuve
A cinematic puzzle that dives deep into the realm of the subconscious, Denis Villeneuve's "Enemy" blurs reality with absurdity, surreality and sometimes, straight up WTF excursions into the strange. But his film is not coy provocation, nor does it simply circumvent traditional narrative routes as a parlor trick. Instead, across 90 tight, captivating minutes, Villeneuve takes viewers into a crumbling relationship, and the portrait of a man torn between two women, weighing responsibility against desire.

Interview: Kate Lyn Sheil & John Gallagher Jr., Navigate Tech-Dating & Obsession In 'The Heart Machine'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 13, 2014 4:46 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Part of the pleasure of attending an established film festival like South By Southwest is the caliber of emerging talent it attracts: when you’re seeing a new director’s feature debut, you can rest (reasonably) assured that the cream of the submissions pile has risen to the top. Such is the case with Zachary Wigon’s first film, “The Heart Machine.” Starring John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom” and last year’s SXSW breakout, “Short Term 12”) and Kate Lyn Sheil (an indie darling who recently appeared in season two of “House of Cards”), the film explores the technological implications of the current dating climate, where sex-with-no-strings is available at the touch of an app, yet intimacy can be kept safely at bay via one’s computer screen.

Interview: Director Lenny Abrahamson on Michael Fassbender’s Giant Head, Faking SXSW in 'Frank' & More

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 12, 2014 4:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Frank, Fassbender
Obscuring the terrifically expressive and sometimes terrifying (“12 Years a Slave”) face of actor Michael Fassbender may seem like sacrilege, but that’s just what director Lenny Abrahamson (“What Richard Did”) does in “Frank,” a film that premiered atSundance but is—appropriately, for reasons that will be explained—also playing this week at South By Southwest. Screenwriters Jon Ronson (“The Men Who Stare at Goats”) and Peter Straughan (“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”) have expanded on a memoir by Ronson to create a wholly unique, comi-tragic portrait of one band’s evolution.

Interview: Robert Duvall’s Still Got It In “A Night In Old Mexico”

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • March 11, 2014 5:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
A Night In Old Mexico
It’s no surprise that Robert Duvall is a cantankerous (and charming) old coot in his new film, “A Night in Old Mexico,” helmed by the Spanish director and composer Emilio Aragón. The 83-year-old is still in fine and feisty form as Red Bovie, an old cowboy forced off his land by developers turning the area into sad excuses for “ranchettes.” Rather than live out his days in a trailer home, Red takes off for a Mexican border town with Gally (Jeremy Irvine, “War Horse”), the cowboy-wannabe grandson he has only just met due to a 40-year estrangement with his only son.

Interview: Jake Gyllenhaal Talks The Duality Of 'Enemy' And Why He Wants You To Be Confused

  • By Alex Suskind
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  • March 11, 2014 4:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Enemy
At its most basic, “Enemy” is about a man having an affair. Then again, nothing about “Enemy” should be described as “basic.” Denis Villeneuve’s film, which premiered last September at the Toronto Film Festival, is a psychological thriller, a psychosexual dream, an exploration in duality, and an arachnophobic’s worst nightmare (that last one will make more sense once you actually see the movie). It’s about a man, Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal), who discovers he has a doppelganger living on the other side of town. Is it the same person? Is it his long lost twin? Is it a figment of his imagination? It all sounds a bit perplexing, but these are the questions the movie forces you to answer.

Interview: Wes Anderson On 'The Grand Budapest Hotel,' Elliott Smith, The Beatles, Owen Wilson, Westerns & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • March 5, 2014 2:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
“His world had vanished long before he entered it. But he sustained the illusion with a marvelous grace." For all its idiosyncrasies, screwball-like speed, exquisite attention to detail, style and craft and some hilariously vulgar humor, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s eighth feature-length film, might be one of his most soulful in some time. That aforementioned quote might be the heart and soul of the movie too; a beautiful and melancholy adage about a refined character who refused to behave without elegance despite the barbaric age that society was devolving into.

Zoe Kazan Talks Twin Roles Of 'The Pretty One' & How 'In Your Eyes' Is "Like Joss Whedon Does Nicholas Sparks"

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • February 21, 2014 2:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment
After winning the Best Actress Award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for Bradley Rust Gray’s “The Exploding Girl,” Zoe Kazan added a big-budget rom-com (“It’s Complicated”) and more indie dramas (“Meek’s Cutoff”) to her resume, starred on Broadway (“A Behanding in Spokane”) with Christopher Walken, and wrote the charming (and underrated) screenplay for “Ruby Sparks,” in which she starred with her longtime partner Paul Dano.

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