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The Playlist

'NEDS' Director Peter Mullan Almost Helmed 'The Time Traveler's Wife' (Until He Botched The Pitch)

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 27, 2011 2:50 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Says 'NEDS' Is 40% Autobiographical & Talks About His Issues With Arthouse CinemaFrom bit parts in "Braveheart" and "Shallow Grave" to winning Best Actor at Cannes for Ken Loach's "My Name Is Joe," not to mention working with Steven Spielberg on the upcoming "War Horse" and securing the role of Death Eater Yaxley for the final two "Harry Potter" films, Scottish actor Peter Mullan has come a long way in a short time. Though he's well-known for his work as an actor, he's had a passion for filmmaking ever since he was 19. His first feature, "Orphans," made rounds at the Venice Film Festival and Paris Film Festival, but it was his sophomore project "The Magdalene Sisters" that really made a splash on the circuit, playing at the Toronto International Film Festival and garnering a nomination for a BAFTA Award. The drama, following three women in an asylum, was a large step forward for the filmmaker in terms of directorial style and substance; the festival-goers that caught it were impressed and eagerly awaited his follow-up.

Q&A: Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon Talk 'The Trip,' Differing Improv Styles And Their Onscreen Personas

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 27, 2011 2:24 AM
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  • 1 Comment
This world loves bickering buddies. From Laurel and Hardy to Jay and Silent Bob, there's plenty of fondness for comedies built around caustic and amusing back-and-forths between two people that, at the drop of a hat, either want to kill each other or cuddle. Michael Winterbottom, the man responsible for "Welcome to Sarajevo" and the harshly-and-unjustly-criticized "The Killer Inside Me," saw gold in the relationship between his star Steve Coogan ("24 Hour Party People") and friend/comedian Rob Brydon and amplified their personalities for "Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story." The result was a riot, and things went so well that the three reunited for "The Trip," a BBC2 series and movie.

Q&A: Danny McBride Talks 'Your Highness,' The Allure & Pitfall Of Sequels & Staying On Budget

  • By The Playlist
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  • April 7, 2011 2:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Comedian Talks About Potential 'Your Highness' And 'Pineapple Express' SequelsIf all goes according to plan this weekend, Danny McBride will wake up on Monday morning with comic stardom firmly within reach. For those who have been paying attention, McBride has been stealing scenes and building up a strong body of work over the past few years, with notable turns as the lead in "The Foot Fist Way," Rico in "Hot Rod," Cody the casual demolitions guy in "Tropic Thunder" and the good-hearted bro Red in "Pineapple Express." Of course, he is also the star of the cult HBO series "Eastbound & Down" as the boorish baseball player Kenny Powers. However, in "Your Highness," McBride has his biggest screen role yet as Thadeous the far less ambitious, pot smoking, lazy brother to the heroic Fabious (James Franco). The film is very much Thadeous' story as he goes from slouch to hero and McBride gets the lions share of the screentime and makes the most of it. We can't remember the last time an actor so elegantly and frequently used the word "fuck" in a variety of phrases, but McBride does so with hilarious aplomb combined with a slacker attitude that makes for a great performance all around.

Keepin It Real: Kelly Reichardt Called Bullshit On Modern Equipment For Anti-Western 'Meek's Cutoff'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • April 5, 2011 6:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment
And 7 Other Things We Learned From Michelle Williams, Zoe Kazan & The Director Who Kept Her Actors In The Dark Back in September of 2009, we heard the quiet rumblings of a new Kelly Reichardt film, thanks to an interview with confidante/sometimes-producer Larry Fessenden with the A.V. Club. The film sounded like a micro-budgeted, anti-Western and we set it high on our anticipated list, waiting patiently for more inklings of news.

Q&A: Adrien Brody Talks 'Wrecked,' Rumored Super Hero Roles & Working With Wes Anderson Again

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • March 31, 2011 4:49 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Actor Says His Body Of Work Is Eclectic Because "Actors Should Be Chameleons"Adrien Brody's career is a puzzling or fascinating one, take your pick. At the age of 29, in 2003, he became the youngest actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (for Roman Polanski's "The Pianist"), but instead of rocketing to the A-list the actor took a circuitous path, taking on smaller, off-the-beaten-path roles, and only working on one film per year until 2008 when he started speeding things up a bit. His post "The Pianist" career -- which includes everything from Peter Jackson's "King Kong," "The Jacket," "The Brothers Bloom," to Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" and "Hollywoodland" -- is an eclectic one and to hear it from the actor, this by design. Brody continues to switch things up taking on action roles ("Predators"), lo-fi experiments (Tony Kaye's still unreleased "Detachment") and B-movie detours ("The Experiment," "Giallo"). His latest move is very small indie film you may have only heard a tiny bit about and it hits theaters in limited release this weekend via IFC.

Q&A: Duncan Jones Says 'Source Code' Was A Sensible Career Move To Control His Own Creative Destiny

  • By The Playlist
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  • March 31, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
British Filmmaker Talks His 'Superman' Meetings With Christopher Nolan & Wanting To Stick To His Original ProjectsOnly an elite few group of filmmakers get offered a chance to meet with Christoper Nolan to discuss potentially directing the new "Superman" film he's producing, let alone first time filmmakers, but that's exactly what happened to Duncan Jones. Though he bowed out of the running on his own volition and Zack Snyder got the gig, it's a rather huge testament to Jones' unique filmmaking aesthetic that he was even allowed in the front door. But after Jones' low-key sci-fi debut "Moon" hit at Sundance 2008, the British director (and son of David Bowie), became an instant auteur and a cause celebre for the geek crowd who felt his melancholy and textured lunar-based drama did not receive the mainstream push that it deserved.

Interview: Rose Byrne Talks The Similarities Of Horror & Comedy In Making 'Insidious'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 30, 2011 11:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Say what you will about James Wan and Oren Peli, but with "Saw" and "Paranormal Activity" under their respective belts, it's hard to deny that they have been a major force in Hollywood, helping to shape much of the direction of contemporary horror films. So when the two decided to team on "Insidious" -- with Wan directing from a script by "Saw" co-creator Leigh Whannel and Peli producing -- curiosity about what they would conjure ran high. So who knew that it would be an old school haunted house flick in the vein of "Poltergeist"?

Interview: 'Rubber' Helmer Quentin Dupieux Talks Killer Pic, Says 'Inception' Is "Not Cool & Boring"

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 30, 2011 10:44 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Reveals His Next Project 'Wrong' Is About A Missing Dog But He'd Rather Not Try And Pitch ItThere are few films we can think of as singularly weird as "Rubber." The story, following a vindictive, lovelorn tire that goes on a killing rampage in a small Southwestern town, is strange and oddly affecting – a tale of loneliness, where the protagonist just happens to be a rubber wheel. And this is before you start talking about the audience who is "watching" the movie unfold (and getting picked off one by one). Hearing the premise for "Rubber," your first thought is probably, "Who the hell came up with this?" Well, that'd be French filmmaker and musician Quentin Dupieux. He talked to us about the origins of the film, his approach to the score (which he co-composed with Justice's Gaspard Auge), and what's next.

Interview: Charles Burnett At KAFFNY Talks Racism, TV Work, And The L.A. Riots

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 24, 2011 1:48 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Cinephiles received a surprise treat when, in 2007, Charles Burnett's debut film "Killer of Sheep" was showcased in theaters and on DVD thirty years after it was created. Taking cues from Italian neo-realism, the movie examined a community of African Americans in L.A. as they lived their day-to-day lives, scraping by but always remaining optimistic. The release reached many new audiences, which begs the question -- what is this brilliant artist up to now?

Olivier Masset-Depasse Talks About His Belgian Oscar Entry 'Illégal'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 24, 2011 1:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Every year the Academy honors five films in the Best Foreign Film category, and in a genre that's already tough to market, an Oscar boost is a blessing for many films that would otherwise face a much tougher road to finding an audience. However, what people often forget is that those five nominees are whittled down from dozens and dozens of submissions from nations around the world and the reality is, most of those films don't see a release on our shores. While Belgium's entry "Illégal" didn't make the cut, the film by Olivier Masset-Depasse is getting a release and the subject matter will strike close to home.

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