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The Playlist

Exclusive: Peter Weir Talks Trying To Crack 'Pattern Recognition,' Stanley Kubrick & 'The Way Back'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 25, 2011 8:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments
As our recent look at his filmography can attest, Peter Weir is one of the most versatile and fascinating directors currently working. And even if you aren't totally gripped by one of his films, it's hard not to be impressed by the artful craftsmanship that Weir brings to each project. We were thrilled to be able to talk to the director, especially since his output is so infrequent (he is much funnier and warmer than you would expect, given his cultivated aura of a prickly and demanding auteur). Over the course of our conversation, we talked about some of the movies that fell by the wayside while "The Way Back" succeeded, including confirmation that "Pattern Recognition," based on the trippy William Gibson novel, was a nut that Weir just couldn't crack. We also talked about his take on the Stephen King opus "Salem's Lot," which Stanley Kubrick championed him for, and why, if you see some avant-garde, documentary-style trifle from the filmmaker, well, we're to blame.

Sorry Cowpokes, Ed Harris Tells Us That Viggo Mortensen Has Killed An 'Appaloosa' Sequel

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 23, 2011 8:23 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Academy-Award Nominated Actor Talks Working With Peter Weir On 'The Way Back'EXCLUSIVE: When talking to Ed Harris this week about his turn as the mysterious Mr. Smith in Peter Weir's grueling (but life-affirming) "The Way Back," we couldn't help but ask him about the status of an "Appaloosa" sequel. We're big fans of the 2008 western, which Harris directed and co-starred in, alongside his "History of Violence" co-star Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger (in one of her best post-"Cold Mountain" performances), Lance Henriksen, and Jeremy Irons (as a scenery-chomping villain). The movie had a laid back, sardonic vibe, thanks largely to the fact that it was based on a novel of the same name by smart-ass crime novelist Robert B. Parker. There were two more books based on the characters that Harris and Mortensen portrayed, so we figured a return would be likely, given that Harris has mentioned a sequel many times in the last few years.

The Films Of Peter Weir: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 20, 2011 8:29 AM
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  • 16 Comments
Lord knows, we Playlisters love a cinematic polymath: a director whose interests seem unconstrained by the strictures of any one particular genre and who instead leaps nimbly, if not always successfully, from sci-fi to epic to thriller to comedy -- think Steven Soderbergh, Michael Winterbottom or Ang Lee. Peter Weir is almost one of these -- his feature film resume boasts everything from mystery to horror to romcom to historical epic, but he falls just short of true all-rounder status because a glimpse at his back catalogue really suggests that while he has dallied with various genres, he’s more comfortable staying within shouting distance of 'human drama.' In fact, you get the impression that Weir only crosses genres because he is following his particular thematic preoccupations (fish-out-of-water scenarios, man vs. nature struggles, etc.) where they lead, rather than because of some kind of intellectual compulsion to kick against his limitations through experimentation.

Peter Weir Teases 3 Projects That Fell Apart In The '00s; Here's What They Might Be

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • January 12, 2011 7:21 AM
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  • 1 Comment
In two separate Q&As in New York this past weekend (that Playlist members attended), Australian director Peter Weir ("Witness," "The Year of Living Dangerously" among many others) mentioned three failed projects he was working on in-between "Master and Commander" (2003) and "The Way Back" (2011). However, the cagey filmmaker wouldn't wouldn't go into further details, saying, "I think they rightly didn't stand up, and a particular one is still current with a star attached so it would be wrong for me to talk about it."

Peter Weir Shunned Stanley Kubrick, Made 'Green Card' Out Of Depression & 10 Things Learned...

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • January 11, 2011 7:26 AM
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  • 6 Comments
...About The Filmmaker's Career: Venerable Australian Director Discusses His Oeuvre At The Film Society of Lincoln CenterWhen Australian filmmaker Peter Weir talks, we listen, and so should you. The veteran director, responsible for the unimpeachable arty '70s classics, "Picnic At Hanging Rock" and "The Last Wave"; the across-the-board successful "The Truman Show," "Witness," and "Dead Poets Society"; and the arty-intelligent epics "Master And Commander" and fresh-faced "The Way Back" -- his latest, prison escape drama starring Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan -- was revered in a retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center that ran this past weekend in New York.

Review: 'The Way Back' Is A Stride Of Pride

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • December 30, 2010 7:43 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Reinventing the struggles of yesterday for cinematic purposes is a practice as old as the art form itself. Of course, there’s the three-act structure and the Joseph Campbell bullshit that contorts history into protagonist(s) battling incredible odds to provide a last second miracle, with theme being the overriding purpose. Did our hero save a lot of people? Did he/she rewrite the course of history and lay the groundwork for what’s going on today in our world? Should we count our lucky stars that one noble freedom fighter did what he needed to do to preserve our future and teach us a lesson about appreciating humanity?

Watch: Colin Farrell Prepares For A Close Shave In Clip From Peter Weir's 'The Way Back'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 23, 2010 6:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Update: This one is now arriving via Image Entertainment.

Watch: New Trailer For Peter Weir's 'The Way Back' With Colin Farrell, Ed Harris & Jim Sturgess

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 4, 2010 9:12 AM
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  • 2 Comments
A new trailer has emerged for Peter Weir's "The Way Back," and it makes the strongest case yet that the film could be a very late contender in this year's Oscar race.

New Poster For Peter Weir's 'The Way Back'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 28, 2010 7:54 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Oscar season is just heating up and the latest from Peter Weir, "The Way Back," should figure prominently in the late season jockeying for awards nominations. Following the film's trailer which dropped earlier in the month, we now have a look at a poster for the film. And no, it's not earth-shaking or anything special, but it does the job of getting us to write about the movie again.

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