The Playlist

Bong Joon-Ho's ‘Snowpiercer’ Will Open The L.A. Film Festival On June 11th

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 1, 2014 3:32 PM
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Snowpiercer
I can’t remember the last time the media squawked so hard over a movie. It seemed like there was two years of fighting over “Snowpiercer,” Bong Joon-ho’s sci-fi thriller that’s been seen over most of the world and not North America. Harvey Weinstein owns the right and there was a protracted battle over the length of the movie that had bloggers crying foul over his “Scissorhands” ways.

L.A. Film Fest Interview: 'Four Dogs' Team Talks Comedy, Drama, Honesty & Friendship

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 28, 2013 4:48 PM
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One of our favorite films from L.A. Film Fest last week was the lo-fi dramedy “Four Dogs,” about two unlikely friends making it through the Hollywood doldrums. Our review called it, "unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of this little pocket of humanity, it finds both the pathos and humor in the moments of real life that are truly funny and truly sad." We had a chance to catch up with the film’s writer/director Joe Burke, actor/writer Oliver Cooper, and actor Dan Bakkedahl to talk about reality vs. fiction, the most important element in comedy (and drama) and what it’s like to play yourself onscreen. Here are a few highlights from our conversation.

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Levitated Mass' Tells the Story Of A Rock Star Meeting The Masses

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 27, 2013 5:58 PM
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The new documentary from Doug Pray, "Levitated Mass," is a story about an artist, a museum, a city, a piece of art. But what it's really about is a rock. A rock that's a star. Quite possibly one of the most famous rocks in the world, Levitated Mass, the massive monolithic land sculpture by land artist Michael Heizer that currently resides at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It's a story of hope, inspiration, fellowship, and the definition of what art is to the many individuals that make up the public that experienced Levitated Mass in its journey to LACMA. The film is all of those things because of Doug Pray, who is an immensely talented documentarian ("Hype!", "Scratch," "Art & Copy," and more

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Delivery' Brings Scary and Entertaining New Life to Well-Known Horror Genres

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 25, 2013 6:01 PM
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"Found Footage" is a tired trope, so one hesitates to lump in "Delivery" with the rest of the found footage horror genre because it's not under the guise of amateur "found" footage, it's footage that was specifically created— just for something quite different than what it was intended. "Delivery" makes horror out of what might be the least horrific genre (depends on who you ask) imaginable: the pregnancy reality show. Director Brian Netto and co-writer Adam Schindler have taken the taken both the found footage and reality show genres, and mashed them into one very scary and very entertaining homage to "Rosemary's Baby," and a worthy entrant into the pregnancy horror genre.

L.A. Film Fest: Spike Jonze Talks Music Videos, James Gandolfini, 'Wild Things,' Maurice Sendak & More

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 25, 2013 1:47 PM
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Yesterday, we brought you our first installment of the Spike Jonze and David O. Russell chat at L.A. Film Fest, where the filmmaker presented clip from his upcoming oddball romantic comedy “Her.” But now we’ve got a recap of the previous hour of the chat, a friendly and lively discussion between the two longtime friends and unofficial collaborators. Opening with with the 2007 skate video “Fully Flared,” Russell guided Jonze through a chat starting with his early days writing magazines Freestylin’ and Dirt, through his music videos, “Being John Malkovich,” “Where the Wild Things Are” and finally to his new project, “Her.”

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Casting By' Is A Warm Tribute & Thanks To The Often Overlooked Work Of The Casting Director

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 24, 2013 7:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Here’s an interesting fact revealed in Tom Donahue’s documentary “Casting By”: casting directors are the only opening single card credit that does not receive its own Academy Award nomination. It’s an interesting fact, but also sort of a depressing one, as this film reveals not just how integral casting directors are to the creative process of filmmaking, but really how important they have been in shaping the history of American cinema. This film seeks to highlight the publicly under-appreciated casting directors and to pay tribute to the one woman who evolved the position of the casting director, its role in the filmmaking process, and in doing so, had a dramatic effect on some of the most important and influential films of the 20th century.

L.A. Film Fest: Spike Jonze Unveils Two Clips From 'Her' During Chat With David O. Russell

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 24, 2013 2:33 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Spike Jonze sat down for a chat with his best buddy David O. Russell on Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Fest to talk about his career and unveil two new clips from his upcoming film, “Her,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Chris Pratt, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson. We’ll have more highlights from their freewheeling chat ranging from Jonze’s early skate and music video days and more later on, but first we wanted to give you the details on the clips from “Her.”

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Goodbye World' A Realistic & Entertaining Take On The Apocalypse

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 20, 2013 6:55 PM
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Blame it on the Mayans, maybe, but 2012 and 2013 have seen a host of films with apocalypse on the brain, from big budget action flicks to meta-comedies like “This Is The End,” to smaller, more realistic dramedies like “It’s A Disaster,” which made its premiere at last year’s L.A. Film Fest (we even wrote a guide on the 2013 apocalypse movies). Director Denis Henry Hennelly’s “Goodbye World” falls more in line with the latter, situating a group of seven college friends in a Northern California cabin in the wake of a cyber attack. While it has its funny moments, it’s definitely not a comedy, but it seeks to acknowledge the weird ways in which people react to times of crisis, especially amongst this particular group, with their complicated personal histories. Will they implode from their own internal strife or outside threats?

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Code Black' Depicts Life In The ER Of An LA County Hospital With Heartbreak & Hope

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 20, 2013 12:20 PM
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During the introduction to his documentary “Code Black” at its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, director and ER doctor Ryan McGarry warned the audience about the graphic imagery in the film, which documents the emergency room at LA County Hospital. However, McGarry justifies these images of people suffering because his film is largely about the way that the U.S. healthcare system isn’t doing enough to help alleviate this pain. And yes, there is imagery in the film that is extremely graphic, something that ER doctors and nurses have seen before, and in which they remain calm and unflappable.

L.A. Film Fest Review: 'Four Dogs' Is A Refreshingly Real & Funny Take on Hollywood & Friendship

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • June 19, 2013 7:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The debut directorial feature from Joe Burke, “Four Dogs,” could be aptly subtitled, “Down and Out in Hollywood,” as it centers Oliver (Oliver Cooper), on a struggling actor, and his acting class buddy, Dan (Dan Bakkedahl). But in actuality, the Hollywood struggle story is really only a surface conceit; the film is really about the love and support one can find in the unlikeliest of people and relationships. Largely improvised, and willfully blurring reality and fiction, “Four Dogs” straddles the line between drama and comedy, unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of this little pocket of humanity; finding both the pathos and humor in the moments of real life that are truly funny and truly sad.

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