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The Playlist

Charlotte Rampling Talks Working "Without Control," Art, Ambivalence And Francois Ozon

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 13, 2013 4:09 PM
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This year, the Marrakech Film Festival, with the highest-profile jury it has ever boasted and a Scandinavian tribute that brought some of the most exciting international filmmakers to town too, was heaving with ingenues and rising stars. But one of the pleasures of this festival has always been the opportunity it affords to get to meet with some of the more established, classic actors of our time—last year we enjoyed a riotous interview with Terence Stamp, for example—and this year was no exception as we got to sit down with Charlotte Rampling, whose fascinating and unique presence has been gracing our screens since the mid-sixties.

Patricia Clarkson Talks New Projects, "Motherlover," Lars von Trier And The "Perks" Of The Movie Business

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 13, 2013 11:04 AM
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The very first thing we heard Patricia Clarkson say, at the opening press conference given by the jury of the 2013 Marrakech Film Festival, was that at that point in the proceedings, all they had actually been doing was drinking. At which the collected luminaries including Jury president Martin Scorsese, Marion Cotillard, Park Chan-Wook, Paolo Sorrentino, Fatih Akin and Amat Escalante all laughed, somewhat sheepishly, and everyone kind of relaxed.

Alicia Vikander Talks The "Daring" ‘Hotell,’ ‘Ex Machina,’ ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ & More

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 12, 2013 5:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Sometimes neophyte actresses come along who fizzle out after a couple of early promising roles. And then there are those who, from practically the first glimpse we get of them, we just know are going to be big, and are going to be around for a while. Alicia Vikander, a no-brainer inclusion on our On the Rise list from March 2012, definitely falls into the latter category, making a vivid impression first in her feature debut “Pure,” and then breaking internationally with the one-two punch in the corset of “A Royal Affair” and “Anna Karenina.”

Review: Mental Illness Drama 'Hotell' Starring Marrakech Best Fest Actress Alicia Vikander

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 11, 2013 6:03 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Hotell Alicia Vikander
By turns funny, sad and discomfiting, Swedish director Lisa Langseth's "Hotell" is a terrific showcase for many of its ensemble, but especially its lead, Alicia Vikander, who here reteams with Langseth, director of her pre-"A Royal Affair," pre-"Anna Karenina" breakout, "Pure." But more than simply an acting exercise, the film is an entertainingly absurdist, occasionally caustic but never judgmental look at that most frequently mishandled of cinematic subjects: mental illness, its many variegated forms, and how we might find healing in the unlikeliest of ways. In fact, it's to the film's credit (though is perhaps as well a mark of the level of stigma attached to the term) that we hesitated even to use the phrase "mental illness" as it conjures up thoughts of exactly the kind of simplistic, diminishing portrayals that the film avoids.

Interview: Mads Mikkelsen On 'Hannibal' Season 2, 'The Salvation' And The Scandinavian Filmmaking Rennaissance

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 11, 2013 2:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
A star for many years in his native Denmark prior to crossing over with the villain role in the first relaunched Bond movie, “Casino Royale,” Mads Mikkelsen, attending the Marrakech Film Festival as part of the Tribute to Scandinavian Cinema, has for quite some time now been one of our very favorite working actors. From early collaborations with Nicolas Winding Refn (the ‘Pusher’ Trilogy, “Valhalla Rising”) and Susanne Bier ("After The Wedding," "Open Hearts") right through to supporting roles in Hollywood fare (“The Three Musketeers,” “Clash of the Titans”), Mikkelsen is often the best thing in his movies, even if he’s only in them briefly.

Interview: Juliette Binoche On 'Sils Maria,' The Career/Life Balance & Finally Going Hollywood In 'Godzilla'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 11, 2013 10:33 AM
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A Thousand Times Good Night
When revered Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami cancelled his attendance at the Marrakech Film Festival due to ill health, the organizers could have had a further problem on their hands as he was meant, in addition to giving a masterclass, to be handing out the award at one of the “Hommages”—the tributes given to a filmmaker or actor in recognition of their body of work. However, that one headache didn’t occur here because the recipient was Juliette Binoche, practically the busiest actress on the planet, and Bruno Dumont, her director in this year’s “Camille Claudel” and himself the subject of a Marrakech masterclass, stepped into the breach instead. It’s a mark of just how constantly she is shooting, and with what calibre of filmmaker, that, throw a stone at a festival like this, and you’ll hit two or three people who have worked with Binoche, and probably recently.

Marrakech Interview: Terry Gilliam On 'The Zero Theorem,' Re-Mounting 'Don Quixote' & The Return Of Monty Python

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 10, 2013 12:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Terry Gilliam
Something in the Moroccan air agrees with Terry Gilliam. When we met him here last, two years ago, he was in fine, jocular form and again this time he laughed and joked his way through his Marrakech Film Festival duties as a returning guest. This is despite the fact that a lot of what he had to say was essentially pessimistic, often shaded with that dark humor that characterizes so much of Gilliam's best output.

Marrakech Interview: Tomas Alfredson On "Slow Cooking," The 'Tinker Tailor' Sequel And Staying In Sweden

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 10, 2013 11:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Tomas Alfredson Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
A little like being told not to think of an elephant, when the small group of press who got to meet Tomas Alfredson at the Marrakech Film Festival was asked in advance not to ask about his next project, it was pretty much all any of us could think about. The “Let the Right One In” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” director has long been attached to an adaptation of “The Brothers Lionheart,” a children’s fantasy story by beloved Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (who also created Pippi Longstocking), and the version of the film that he was putting together was at one point rumored to have the highest ever budget for a Scandinavian film. Which is perhaps why Alfredson is a little gunshy about talking about it—in fact he told us that he doesn’t like to speak about projects before they are 100% financed and set in stone, so perhaps there’s still a question mark hovering there?

Marrakech Interview: Nicolas Winding Refn On Disliking Vikings, Realism & What He Learned From 'Fear X'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 9, 2013 2:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It’s telling, and maybe also a little paradoxical, that of the huge array of Nordic talent assembled onstage at the Scandinavian tribute last week at the Marrakech Film Festival, the honor itself was accepted (on the delegation’s behalf) by Nicolas Winding Refn. Telling, because it shows just how sky-high the director’s profile is, despite, or maybe because of, the mixed reaction to this year’s “Only God Forgives,” the follow-up to his Cannes-busting “Drive.” A little paradoxical, because it really feels that Refn can be less and less associated with the region of his birth these days: his last truly Danish film was 2005’s “Pusher 3” and his ongoing association with Ryan Gosling, along with his interest in non-European settings and cultures, makes him feel more international-with-maybe-an-independent-American-edge than anything else.

Marrakech Q&A: Martin Scorsese The Desire To Make Films, Suggests He Only Has A Few Left & Hopes ‘Silence’ Is Next

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • December 9, 2013 1:08 PM
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  • 17 Comments
The Wolf Of Wall Street, Scorsese
Over the weekend at the Marrakech Film Festival, as a final treat before the red carpet got rolled up for another year, 2013 Jury President Martin Scorsese did a brief Q&A at the local film school, to which he is apparently a returning guest. Scorsese has filmed twice in the area ("The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Kundun" both made extensive use of the arid desertland around the nearby Ouarzazarte studios) and so has filmmaking ties to the region that led to the students referring to him, endearingly, as their "godfather."

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