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The Playlist

SXSW: Miranda July Says 'The Future' Is Her Version Of A Horror Film

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 16, 2011 7:39 AM
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  • 4 Comments
And More We Learned About Her New FilmFew working filmmakers are as divisive as Miranda July. Her first film, "Me and You and Everyone We Know" was to some, one of the best films of the last decade, but to others was barely watchable insufferable hipster bait. We're firmly in the former camp, and as such have been keenly anticipating her sophomore feature, "The Future," for some years. Our man at Sundance suggested that great things had again emerged from the polymathic helmer, and we were delighted to discover at SXSW that the wait had been worthwhile; "The Future" is less immediate than its predecessor, but just as rewarding.

SXSW: "I Don't Think It's Too Horrific" & More Learned From 'Attack The Block' Director Joe Cornish

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 15, 2011 7:12 AM
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  • 2 Comments
By all accounts, it's been a remarkably strong SXSW festival so far, with a number of films picking up extremely positive buzz, or adding to the buzz that was already behind them. First and foremost among them was "Attack the Block." We've been looking forward to Joe Cornish's directorial debut ever since we read the script last year, and when the first trailer hit a few weeks back, it looked like our hopes might have been realized. And boy they were: our review from the weekend gave it a big fat A-grade, and called it "the ideal midnight movie."

Exclusive: Neil Burger Talks 'Limitless,' Working With Robert De Niro & Making Mid-Budgeted Sci-Fi

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 14, 2011 6:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment
With only four film deep into his career, filmmaker Neil Burger has been amassing a varied body of work. So far he's done mystical period drama ("The Illusionist"), a pseudo docum-drama about who killed JFK ("Interview With The Assassin"), an post Iraq War indie drama ("The Lucky Ones"), and now his most ambitious work, "Limitless," a New York-set self-improvement, power-and-influence drama set within the confines of reality-based sci-fi.

SXSW: Greg Mottola Talks His Adaptation Of The Charlie Kaufman-Like 'Important Artifacts'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 14, 2011 6:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It doesn't get more high profile than Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman attaching themselves to star and produce a film, but when both actors put their names to the adaptation of Leanne Shapton's "Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry," it's no surprise that the project became a hot property.

Cary Fukunaga Talks His Horror/Romance Take On 'Jane Eyre' With Michael Fassbender & Mia Wasikoska

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • March 8, 2011 7:39 AM
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Indie Filmmaker Also Discusses His Gestating Musical With Owen Pallett, His African Civil War Drama 'Beasts Of No Nation,' & His Good Filmmaking Fortune So FarExclusive: Delighting fans of period romance everywhere -- and kids who can't be bothered with even the Cliffs Notes of the classic Charlotte Brontë novel --"Jane Eyre" is making another appearance on screen. But rather than coming from a predictably English pedigree, the 2011 Focus Features version arrives from the seemingly unlikely source of Cary Fukunaga, a young American director with a single feature to his name, 2009's gritty immigration thriller "Sin Nombre." Fukunaga went young with his casting, opting for Mia Wasikoska ("The Kids Are All Right") to play to the title role, while Michael Fassbender ("Hunger," the dreams of many a female Playlister) takes on the brooding part of Edward Rochester.

Neil Burger Doesn't Know What's Next, But Says His 'The Criminals' Script Is Gaining Buzz

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 8, 2011 7:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
'Limitless' Director Says He Has Several Projects To Choose From & The Bradley Cooper/De Niro Sci-Fi Film Is Opening DoorsExclusive: Eclectic filmmaker Neil Burger has gone from pseudo-documentary ("Interview With The Assassin"), to period-drama ("The Illusionist" with Ed Norton), to smaller indie, post-Iraq War film ("The Lucky Ones") and now has landed on a film that combines self-improvement, sci-fi-ish elements and high stakes power in New York, "Limitless."

Interview: Apichatpong Weerasethakul On 'Uncle Boonme,' Steven Spielberg, 'Inception' & More

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 4, 2011 9:26 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Exclusive: Despite this writer’s undying love for the man and his films (actually, to be completely melodramatic and corny, “Syndromes and a Century” was a life changer), Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work is not intended for mass audiences, and some of his pictures even leave the hardest cinephiles scratching their heads at the praise. That’s just how it is, not everyone's down for a 2+ hour experimental-narrative film from Thailand and there shouldn’t be any bitterness about it.

Interview: Kim Ji-woon Talks Emotional Core Of 'I Saw The Devil' And The Influence Of 'Zodiac'

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • March 4, 2011 8:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Exclusive: Last week we ran a bit of news concerning Kim Ji-woon’s gestating Hollywood debut “The Last Stand” with new-fangled/old-bodied action star Liam Neeson, also spilling the beans on an early personal project the filmmaker is working on himself. Here’s the rest of our interview, in which the director discusses his chilling thriller “I Saw the Devil.” We reviewed the film during Sundance and it’s an early best of the year, an unforgettable account of human nature at its ugliest. In our conversation, Kim speaks of the emotional core he was interested in, plus the different layers to the title and his affection for David Fincher’s “Zodiac.”

'Gnomeo & Julet' Director Kelly Asbury Talks the Narrative Quality of Elton John Songs

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • February 10, 2011 4:33 AM
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Plus: His Take on the Nearly Endless Development Process & Why Everyone Gets Uptight About the Movie's EnglishnessDisney and Rocket Films' "Gnomeo & Juliet," opening nationwide this Friday, has had a storied production history that could be its own compelling film. The story of star-crossed lawn ornaments was set up as a joint Disney/Rocket Films production in the first part of the aughts, under the supervision of "Beauty and the Beast" co-director Gary Trousdale, with Kate Winslet and Ewan McGregor attached (they're now replaced by Emily Blunt and James McAvoy). The project fell apart, only to regain steam and be cut down again when Pixar's John Lasseter was installed, as the head of Disney's animation division (this was around the time he axed Chris Sanders' "American Dog," before neutering it and turning it into the toneless "Bolt"). The project was finally rescued by executive Dick Cook, who set it up not at Disney Animation proper, but with Miramax instead. Of course, with Miramax since being sold, Walt Disney are now taking on distribution duties for the film. At the end of all the back and forth, this take on the Shakespearean classic, thankfully, did not end in tragedy.

Interview: Lee Chang-dong Talks 'Poetry,' How 'Avatar' Affected Him, An 'Oasis' Remake & More

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 8, 2011 4:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Former teacher, novelist, and minister of Culture and Tourism in South Korea, Lee Chang-dong has an extensive resume that extends far beyond cinema. That said, he is most well-known for his film output, with Venice and Cannes awarding him top prizes for the brilliant "Oasis" and "Secret Sunshine" (finally released through IFC last December). Lee's 2010 effort "Poetry" was no different, garnering a well-deserved Best Screenplay award at Cannes, celebrating the Korean director's ability to tackle many subjects with elegance and unwavering beauty. Granted, a first viewing was a bit overwhelming, but subsequent ones display the man's expertise in weaving multiple thematic threads together seamlessly, not to mention the brilliant performance by Yun Jeong-hie, who makes a similar late-career triumph/rebirth akin to Kim Hye-ja in "Mother."

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