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The Playlist

NYFF ’11 Review: ‘Paradise Lost 3’ Is Utterly Compelling, But Still Ethically Messy At Times

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 6, 2011 8:37 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Few movies have a conclusion as out-of-nowhere, compelling and yet strange as the one featured in "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory." What makes this finale even more exceptional is the fact that the film is a documentary and that this unexpected coda wasn't dreamed up inside the head of an imaginative screenwriter, but a surprise twist that occurred in these dramatic real life events.

'Pitbull' Was The Original Title Of 'The Kid With A Bike' But Distributors Turned It Down

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 6, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Dardenne Brothers Hit NYFF '11 And Talk Casting, Scoring & MoreAre there any filmmakers as consistent as our favorite Belgian siblings the Dardenne Brothers? While they won't break any box office records, every instalment of the arthouse duo's output (though as per request and general lack of accessibility, we forget anything pre-1995) is generally a critical and cinephile darling, not to mention it probably holds an award from the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. And their newest offering, "The Kid With A Bike," is a home run.

NYFF '11 Review: '4:44: Last Day On Earth' Envisions The Apocalypse Without Much Imagination

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 6, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There's something very wrong in Abel Ferrara's "4:44: Last Day On Earth." The world, as the title would suggest, is coming to an end, and Ferrara, the fuck-you auteur behind "King of New York" and the non-Nic Cage-adorned "Bad Lieutenant," is content with keeping things inside a spacious apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There aren't any fireballs ascending heavenward, or steely buildings splintering into a million computer generated pieces. The anguish here isn't global, but personal, and instead of millions of people, Ferrara zeroes in on an arty couple, played by Willem Dafoe (channeling his "Antichrist" persona of earnest concern, except with more levity and less genital mutilation) and the young Shanyn Leigh.

NYFF Adds Secret "Work-In-Progress" Screening For A Major Film; What Will It Be?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 5, 2011 8:33 AM
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  • 36 Comments
Update: NYFF says this film will be from a "master filmmaker" not a "legendary filmmaker," and the picture is one that will be released sometime in 2011 so that changes up at lot of your guesses. Let the speculation continue...

Alexander Skarsgård Says His Dad Encouraged Him To Work With Lars Von Trier

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 5, 2011 7:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While Lars von Trier might get himself into trouble with everybody else and may have ruffled the feathers of Björk, who swore off acting after starring in "Dancer In the Dark," the Danish auteur has a small stable of actors who continue to return to his films. The promise of working on a set that is unlike anything else they will ever experience is a lure and coupled with the director's ambitious and at times outrageous concepts, it's just too good to resist. But for rising star Alexander Skarsgård, he received firsthand knowledge from someone very close to him who is one of von Trier's most frequent collaborators.

Kirsten Dunst Says Sci-Fi Romance 'Upside Down' Is Like An Accessible 'Brazil'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 4, 2011 6:13 AM
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  • 3 Comments
For a moment there, it seemed like Kirsten Dunst might have found her career floundering in the wake of the Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, but not only has the actress found her footing, her upcoming roster of films would be the envy of any thesp in Hollywood. There is no better indication than "Melancholia" that Dunst is moving in a new direction. While opinion may be split on Lars Von Trier's film, there is no denying that Dunst's turn in the lead role is easily the best performance of her career, and those on the Croisette thought so too as she walked home with the Best Actress prize this spring. And unlike the events in the film, the future for Dunst after "Melancholia" is looking very bright with a number of promising projects on the horizon.

David Cronenberg Says 'A Dangerous Method' Is An "Intellectual Ménage à Trois"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 3, 2011 5:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Still Hoping To Make 'Eastern Promises 2' With Viggo MortensenIt has been a very busy fall so far for David Cronenberg. His latest film "A Dangerous Method" has been traveling the globe, premiering at the end of August at the Venice Film Festival, going to Telluride and then TIFF last month for its North American debut and now, hitting the New York Film Festival. For a director whose filmography generally displays a tendency towards the freakier end of the spectrum, his new movie is bit straighter than we're used to from Cronenberg. Starring Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley, the film centers on the relationship between Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Russian-Jewish patient Sabina Spielrein (Knightley), which turns sexual, ultimately causing a rift between Jung and his mentor Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), but also catalyzing strong findings in regards to Jungian psychoanalysis.

NYFF ’11 Review: ‘Corpo Celeste’ Is A Quietly Moving Coming-Of-Age Tale

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 3, 2011 4:43 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The subtle, affecting “Corpo Celeste” is the story of Marta (Yle Vianello), a 13-year-old Italian girl who has spent the last decade growing up in Switzerland. She returns to Calabria (an act that’s described in the press materials as a “return emigration”), in southern Italy, to be bombarded with family and thrust into the rites of Catholic confirmation. She doesn’t stumble across a conspiracy or gain a magic key that transports her to another dimension but you hang on her every move, action, and glance, just the same.

Scorsese Says Working On 'George Harrison: Living In The Material World' Was "A Real Life Saver"

  • By Cory Everett
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  • October 3, 2011 2:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment
And 5 Other Things Learned From The Press Conference At NYFFThe New York Film Festival kicked off its 49th edition on Friday and we'll be spending the next few weeks digging into all that the lineup has to offer. The festival is curiously light on World Premieres this year (the only notable one being awards question mark "My Week With Marilyn"), but the fest makes up for it with some serious auteur power bringing in the latest from Alexander Payne, Lars Von Trier, Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, Pedro Almodóvar and the city's own Martin Scorsese, who will unveil his new 3 1/2 hour two-part documentary "George Harrison: Living In A Material World" this week about 24 hours before it premieres on HBO. The film was screened for press this weekend and both members of The Playlist staff in attendance were extremely impressed by it (read our review here).

NYFF '11 Review: 'Tahrir' Is A Must-See Account Of The Egyptian Uprising

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • October 2, 2011 3:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The "Arab Spring" -- a term frequently used to describe the various countries in the Middle East rising against their much-maligned leaders -- rages on in full force. Though the wave of revolution is powerful, the media tends to be very selective in its coverage, focusing on one country before quickly moving onto another. You can't blame someone if they just assumed Egypt was just dandy now given the lack of coverage, as Libya's the new paramour.

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