The Playlist

Sundance: James Marsh Talks 'Shadow Dancer,' Circling 'Tinker Tailor' & The Oscar Snub For 'The Interrupters' & 'Senna'

  • By John Lichman
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  • January 29, 2012 2:07 PM
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The culmination of James Marsh's slow-burn thriller “Shadow Dancer” is a change of color and a rather sudden spoiler engulfed in a fireball. But it's also another change in direction for the Oscar-winning director of “Man On Wire” and last year’s “Project Nim” that again displays the helmer’s versatility, as he moves between feature films and documentaries. And with his latest starring Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough, Marsh once again gives viewers a rich world worth exploring, this time in Ireland during The Troubles.

Director's Guild Of America Names 'The Artist' Helmer Michel Hazanavicius Outstanding Director Of The Year

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 29, 2012 8:24 AM
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It's a decade since the winner of the Director's Guild of America award went on to lose the Oscar -- Rob Marshall picked up the DGA prize for "Chicago" in 2002, only to lose out to Roman Polanski for "The Pianist" at the Academy Awards. Two years before that, DGA winner Ang Lee was beaten by Steven Soderbergh. In the last forty years, only four in total (the others being Steven Spielberg for "The Color Purple" and Ron Howard for "Apollo 13," neither of whom even picked up Oscar nominations) have won with the Director's Guild without picking up the Oscar.

DGA Doc Nominees Give Some Love To 'The Interrupters'; Martin Scorsese, James Marsh & More Tipped

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 12, 2012 2:04 PM
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Every year, it seems the documentary branch of the Academy goes out of their way to embarass themselves, and this year is no exception. When the shortlist for the Oscar nominees landed back in November, it was arguably more notable for what was left off the list than what was included. A number of high profile, well reviewed films -- Errol Morris' "Tabloid," "Being Elmo: A Pupeteer's Journey," Werner Hezog's "Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life," "Page One: Inside the New York Times," "Senna" -- didn't make the cut, but luckily the DGA have righted some of those wrongs.

National Board Of Review Gives Best Picture & Director To 'Hugo'; Tilda Swinton & George Clooney Take Acting Awards

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 1, 2011 4:14 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Wim Wenders' 'Pina,' 'Buck,' 'Paradise Lost 3,' 'Project Nim' & More Make Oscar Documentary Shortlist

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 18, 2011 7:38 PM
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  • 6 Comments
...and then there were 15. Just like that, the field for the films battling for the five slots at the Oscars for Best Documentary just got a lot smaller. The Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences announced the shortlist for the award and once again, there is no love for Werner Herzog.

In Theaters: 'Horrible Bosses' Or 'The Zookeeper'? You Decide

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • July 8, 2011 6:39 AM
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Hello my summer chickadees, have your retinas grown back after the assault of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"? I'm peeping through protective lenses as I type my weekly missive to you. This weekend doesn't hold quite as much bombast in new releases, so if your addiction to explosions and CGI rears its head, you'll have to revisit some of our earlier summer releases. Or just take it down a notch with some low brow comedy. If you like your comedy R-rated, we have "Horrible Bosses." If you want to take a kid (or you have a massive head wound), check out "The Zookeeper" with the maestro of fat man physical comedy, Kevin James. There are also a few other new selections in theaters, or you may just have to get outside and soak up the Vitamin D.

Interview: James Marsh Talks 'Project Nim' & Says He's Not A Fan Of Tom Hooper's 'The Damned United'

  • By Cory Everett
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  • July 6, 2011 10:28 AM
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James Marsh is a rare breed of director that seems equally at ease doing documentaries as he is doing fiction films. He’s probably best known for his Oscar winning documentary “Man On Wire,” about tightrope walker Philippe Petit who illegally performed his high-wire routine between the Twin Towers in 1974. More recently he was responsible for “1980,” the middle installment of the excellently dark UK miniseries “Red Riding,” which received a limited theatrical release stateside and was a project we called “easily one of the cinematic highlights” of last year.

Review: 'Project Nim' Is A Tragic Look At The Life Of The Ape That Was Raised As A Human

  • By Cory Everett
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  • July 5, 2011 2:41 AM
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It’s not often that a documentary can be called highly anticipated but “Project Nim,” the latest from the Oscar winning “Man On Wire” team (director James Marsh and producer Simon Chinn), certainly qualifies. The doc was a smash when it played at Sundance earlier this year and it sees the filmmakers returning to the 1970s to take on an entirely different incredible but true story. The film tells the tale of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was the subject of a landmark experiment to see if an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. This study was the brainchild of Dr. Herbert Terrace, a Columbia University behavioral psychologist who hoped to teach Nim enough language that he could eventually express what he was thinking and feeling. This would refute Noam Chomsky's thesis that language is inherent only in humans, hence his moniker, a direct pun on the famous linguists' name.

Watch: Excellent Trailer For James Marsh's Documentary 'Project Nim'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 10, 2011 1:40 AM
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2011: The summer of the ape, it would seem. There's a little monkey filling in for anything resembling a new joke in "The Hangover Part II," Jackie Chan's CGI simian returns in "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom," we're sure Johnny Depp's cheeky nemesis will return in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" appears to have been written by a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters. And all of that before "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" lands on August 5th. But the one that we're really looking forward to is "Project Nim."

Already Sick Of Blockbusters? The Playlist's Guide To The Alternative Summer Movie Highlights

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 6, 2011 4:10 AM
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  • 8 Comments
The summer of 2011 is more stuffed with blockbusters than ever before, with every week bringing a new tentpole. We ran those films down earlier in the week, with Part 1, being those that look half-decent or better, Part 2 being those that we're more wary of, or even dreading. But in a summer like this, it's even more important than ever that those who truly care about cinema don't just settle for the big movies, but seek out the smaller releases as well.

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