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The Playlist

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.

SXSW Review: ‘The Heart Machine’ Starring Kate Lyn Sheil & John Gallagher Jr.

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • March 8, 2014 9:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As more tools, apps, devices and iProducts emerge to ease the struggles of modern existence, the manifestations of each invention come with unforeseen consequences. And as such, as the digital age progresses, the complexities of intimacy, relationships and sex are increased. While the stigma of online dating has largely vanished, the prevalence of hook-up driven culture via apps like Blendr, Grindr and such reveal that, as technology evolves, options we didn’t even realize we wanted become available. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? New sexual possibilities could lie at the click of a button, and disconnecting anxieties will appear as the endlessly changing terrain continues to shift. And so, “The Heart Machine,” written and directed by filmmaker Zachary Wigon, explores these concepts while examining the byproduct of the distance, estrangement and alienation these applications for connection produce.

Bill Murray & Rosemarie DeWitt Join Lisa Cholodenko' HBO Miniseries 'Olive Kitteridge'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 20, 2013 12:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
For a while there, seeing Bill Murray in a movie was like spotting a rare animal. Tales of his being difficult to reach and non-committal even when taking film roles were the stuff of legend, but it seems these days he just really wants to work. With roles already in three 2014 films — "Monuments Men," "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "St. Vincent De Van Nuys" — and currently shooting Cameron Crowe's next effort, Murray has already signed up for his next gig.

Recap: Aaron Sorkin Finally Gets It Right With The Season 2 Finale Of 'The Newsroom'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 17, 2013 10:04 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Before diving in, a bit of a disclaimer and/or explanation is in order. Thanks to TIFF taking me away from the television for a couple of weeks, followed by some bungling couriers and concluding in massive fatigue upon returning from Toronto, "The Newsroom" slipped off the immediate radar. And a show you might have heard of called "Breaking Bad" took priority over the weekend. But with Walter White's latest adventures concluded for now, I finally got a chance to catch up with the last two episodes of "The Newsroom."

'Game Of Thrones' Star Natalie Dormer Flies To 'Mockingjay,' Craig Roberts Experiences 'The End Of The World' & More

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • August 23, 2013 1:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments
We’re still a couple of months away from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” but Lionsgate is already moving forward with the two-part finale “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.” THR is reporting that “Game of Thrones” actor Natalie Dormer is joining the finale as “Cressida, a director who joins the rebellion.” MILD SPOILERS—Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss consents to being part of the rebellion’s propaganda machine and Dormer’s character will aid in the crafting of the materials meant to inspire the people of Panem to rise up against the capitol. Dormer will appear in both parts of the film.

Review: 'Short Term 12' Starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr. & Rami Malek

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • August 21, 2013 12:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Short Term 12, Brie Larson
It’s Nate’s (Rami Malek) first day at the adolescent foster care facility Short Term 12, and his new coworker Mason (John Gallagher Jr., scruffy and soulful) is regaling the staff with a silly monologue about an unfortunate sharting incident he suffered in the line of duty. It's a funny tale, but it also lays out exactly what kind of people these workers are, willing to forego all bodily comfort in order to make sure these kids are okay. They’re a no nonsense bunch who’ve seen it all and remain unflappable, particularly supervisor Grace (Brie Larson), a steely and impenetrable young woman. They don’t even blink when a skinny kid with bright red hair goes bolting out of the house in his long johns, making a break for it. They just toss their coffee and tackle him on the front lawn before he gets past the gate and past their jurisdiction. This is the opening to “Short Term 12,” the second feature from writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton, based on his short film of the same name, which won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009. And even though it is a lightly amusing intro to our main characters and where they work, it’s a strong set up for the themes that will be revisited throughout the film, in the touching story of these young workers and their charges.

Watch: Brie Larson & John Gallagher Jr. Talk 'Short Term 12,' Working With Kids, Upcoming Projects & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • August 20, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Brie Larson, the 23-year-old actress known for roles in "The United States of Tara," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and "21 Jump Street," is having a moment. In fact, she was crowned the unofficial "It Girl" of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival by us and many others. Why exactly? She had (count 'em) four films at the festival this week. They include the Sundance hits "The Spectacular Now" and Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial debut, "Don Jon," her second co-directed short film, "Weighting" and lastly, "Short Term 12," the movie which won SXSW's coveted top Grand Jury prize this spring.

John Gallagher Jr., Jesse Plemons & Zoe Kazan Join Lisa Cholodenko's HBO Miniseries ‘Olive Kitteridge’

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • August 16, 2013 9:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The attraction of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Olive Kitteridge" was emphasized when actress Frances McDormand paid out of pocket for the rights, HBO and Tom Hanks decided to produce a miniseries from it, and Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") was tapped to direct it. The adaptation of Strout's short story collection will star McDormand and Richard Jenkins, and if that wasn't enough to draw your attention, a talented supporting cast has just been announced as well.

Recap: 'The Newsroom' Season 2 Episode 1, 'The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All The Lawyers'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 15, 2013 9:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments
After a rocky first season, both compelling and cringe-worthy in equal doses, and sometimes all at the same time, Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom" is back for a second season and it has undergone some significant retooling. The writers' room was given a shakeup, and even as production got underway, Sorkin seemingly changed plans midstream. After the first two episodes had been shot, and while Sorkin was writing the third, he realized his story wasn't going to play out way he wanted. So he went to HBO, asked to reshoot major portions of the first two episodes and rewrite the third, which they agreed to, though the cost was dropping the season order from ten to nine episodes. So, what was the result of all this overhauling? Well, mostly more of the same, outside of one key structural difference.

Video: Brie Larson Talks 'Short Term 12,' Her Upcoming Bollywood Musical, Being SXSW's "It Girl" & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • March 14, 2013 5:00 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Brie Larson, the 23-year-old actress known for roles in "The United States of Tara," "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and "21 Jump Street" is having a moment. In fact, she's been crowned the unofficial "It Girl" of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival by us and many others. Why exactly? She had (count 'em) four films at the festival this week. They include the Sundance hits "The Spectacular Now" and Joseph Gordon Levitt's directorial debut, "Don Jon," her second co-directed short film, "The Arm" and lastly, "Short Term 12," the movie which won SXSW's coveted top Grand Jury prize this week.

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