The Playlist

New York Film Festival Wrap-Up: My 5 Favorite Films

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 14, 2013 4:08 PM
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  • 5 Comments
51st New York Film Festival Wrap-Up
The 51st New York Film Festival is quickly coming to a close and it’s frankly taken us a little by surprise how fast its ended (this is also a way to say, damn, we’re still a little behind on some reviews). But it has been an excellent festival, so like Oli's more contemporaneous BFI London Film Festival diaries, I wanted to recap what I've seen so far. While there was no secret screening—director Kent Jones' dream of bringing Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf Of Wall Street" to the fest were squashed when Scorsese fell behind in his editing—this year's festival was still one of NYFF's best.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Bans Madonna From Its Theaters For Texting During ‘12 Years A Slave’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 14, 2013 3:20 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Madonna & Steve McQueen
OK so this is kinda rich and you may have heard this story already, but in case you haven’t, well, the irony is just too delicious to pass up. Last week during the New York Film Festival, Madonna was caught texting during Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave.” A painful, brutal, unflinching film about the horrors of slavery starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and many more. When one audience member called out the Material Girl and asked politely to please stop texting, she had the gall to yell at the person and call them a particular type of 19th century tyrant. "It's for business … enslaver!" she shrieked and then continued to text. A poor choice of words, and extremely poor taste, if there ever was such a thing.

NYFF: Jim Jarmusch & Tilda Swinton Talk The Vampire Romance Of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 14, 2013 3:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While she arrived a little late, Tilda Swinton made a grand entrance at the New York Film Festival press conference for “Only Lovers Left Alive," Jim Jarmusch’s meditative, moody and yet hilarious look at a vampire relationship that has spanned centuries. The movie stars Tom Hiddleston and Swinton as Adam and Eve, two vampire lovers separated by continents, she in Tangiers and he in bombed out Detroit. But the duo have to reuinte when Adam, an Über-hip but anti-hipster musician, who would rather not have his music out in the world because that would taint it, goes through a kind of existential and perhaps even suicidal crisis (read our full review here).

NYFF Review: Agnieszka Holland's 3-Part HBO Mini-Series 'Burning Bush'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 14, 2013 1:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Burning Bush
Political thriller, procedural, emotional drama and rousing cry for basic human rights and values, “Burning Bush” is a deep investigative look at gross abuses of power in late ‘60s communist Czechoslovakia and those that fought against it. A three-part miniseries for HBO Europe (no word yet on a U.S. airdate), the drama chronicles real-life events that took place when Russian forces began to occupy the country

NYFF: Spike Jonze And His 'Her' Cast Decode Romance In The Age Of Technology

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • October 13, 2013 2:48 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Her, NYFF press conference
The New York Film Festival closed with the world premiere of Spike Jonze’s swooningly romantic “Her,” a futuristic love story involving a mild-mannered office worker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who falls for a sentient operating system (o.s.) named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The picture touches on a number of issues in regards to contemporary life, particularly how the plugged-in nature of our society simply isolates some and subconsciously troubles others (read our NYFF review here). But Jonze told the audience during the film’s press conference that the fairly prescient idea came to him almost ten years ago, thanks to the simple wonder of instant messaging.

NYFF Review: Spike Jonze's 'Her' Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams & Rooney Mara

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 12, 2013 8:06 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Is social media anti-social? Has the information age divided us as much as it has been meant to unite? Is peer-to-peer simply an ironic term or are inter-personal, face-time relationships ripe for redefinition? While these are not the primary concerns of Spike Jonze’s lovely and perceptive relationship drama, “Her,” such implications are impossible to ignore in a movie that uses innovative and unconventional methods to explore some very universal anxieties.

NYFF: Abdellatif Kechiche Open To 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' Sequel, Says Director's Cut Will Be 40 Minutes Longer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 11, 2013 6:05 PM
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  • 7 Comments
After a rapturous Palme d'Or-winning reception at Cannes, and sweeping through Telluride and Toronto, Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue Is The Warmest Color" rolls into the New York Film Festival, and for once, this story isn't about the clash of personalities between the director and stars. Instead, it's about the film itself, what the future might be bring, and the possibility of even more from the already 3-hour relationship drama.

NYFF: Steve McQueen Talks '12 Years A Slave,' Michael Fassbender & More Plus Watch Full Q&A

  • By Diana Drumm
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  • October 10, 2013 3:11 PM
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  • 5 Comments
12 Years A Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave" is one of the most buzzed about films this year. Based on the true story of Solomon Northup and helmed by the director behind "Hunger" and "Shame," the film follows an African American free man who in 1841 was kidnapped and forced into slavery. There's been a lot of talk already about the film being a shoe-in for a few Academy Awards. Our own critic-on-the-ground at Telluride Chris Wellman wrote, "....it quickly became apparent that leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor had moved to the head of the line of best actor candidates, with [Michael] Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o sure to contend in the supporting categories. Even those of us who aren’t Oscar bloggers should break out whatever mnemonic devices we need to immediately commit Ejiofor’s and Nyong'o’s names to the tips of our tongues."

NYFF: Alexander Payne, Bruce Dern & Will Forte Talk The Particular Tone Of ‘Nebraska’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 9, 2013 4:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Nebraska, Bruce Dern, Payne
An alcoholic father suffering from the early onsets of dementia gets a sweepstakes notice that he’s won a million dollars. It’s a scam obviously, but the elderly man is determined to see it through, despite his wife and older son’s protests to the contrary. What’s the youngest son to do? Perhaps trying to relate and bond on a level they’ve never connected before, as he agrees to drive his father from Montana to Nebraska to track down the prize, but many detours await, including a protracted pit stop in his dad’s hometown.

"I Just Needed To Know You Weren't Nuts": Robert Redford Talks Making The Bold 'All Is Lost' With J.C. Chandor

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 9, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 6 Comments
All Is Lost, Robert Redford
Yesterday at the New York Film Festival, director J.C. Chandor revealed one of the best pictures of the fest: "All Is Lost." A masterful and tense drama that immediately elevates the "Margin Call" filmmaker from a promising indie director to a promising new auteur, who is one to watch from now on. "All Is Lost," is not only soulful and moving, its an incredible achievement. Boldly austere and silent, the drama chronicles a resourceful sailor, who after a collision with a shipping container in the Indian ocean, finds himself staring his mortality in the face despite all his best efforts.

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