The Playlist

6 Personal Highlights From The Film Festivals Of 2012

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • December 28, 2012 12:12 PM
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  • 2 Comments
We're generally anti-navelgazing here at The Playlist, but being the end of the year, it can't really be avoided. As we continue to take a look back at the cinematic year of 2012, we're trying to shake things up and keep things fresh outside of the usual Best/Worst lists. This year saw The Playlist making a presence around the world at more than a handful of festivals. And while you've already read our reviews and news, we thought we'd give you a taste of the experience of attending these festivals. Even if you can't make Cannes or board a flight to Marrakech, we hope this helps in translating what it's like to run around a foreign country with nothing more than a laptop and a love of cinema. So, without further ado, here are six personal highlights from the various film festivals in 2012 we attended.

Podcast: The Playlist Talks Highlights From TIFF, Telluride And NYFF; Plus Armond White: Genuine Contrarian Or Provocateur?

  • By Erik McClanahan
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  • October 3, 2012 6:14 PM
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  • 12 Comments
We've decided to double down this week on podcasts to make up for lost chats. Our slate for this week’s show is as follows: a round-up of festival reports from Toronto, Telluride and the beginning of New York Film Festival. Later in the episode, we discuss contrarian film critic Armond White regarding two pieces he recently wrote: one, called "The Battle of The Andersons," in which he claims Paul W.S Anderson is a better filmmaker than Paul Thomas Anderson. And the other, "The Whip and the Fedora," in which he posits "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls" is better than "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Oscars: Which Contenders Got Heat Coming Out Of Venice And Telluride?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 6, 2012 11:58 AM
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  • 14 Comments
As we write this, we're somewhere over the Alps, flying back to London after an exhausting, rewarding week at the Venice Film Festival. Meanwhile, our editor-in-chief just returned from the mountains after an equally busy weekend at the Telluride Film Festival. Festival season is only just getting underway, with TIFF kicking off as we speak, and Venice doesn't wrap up til Saturday. But even so, it's true that the first salvo of the awards race have been fired in both Italy and Colorado, so it seems like a good time to run down which films have found themselves in a promising position after the last ten days or so, and which fizzled as soon as they arrived.

Telluride Wrap: The 5 Best Films, Oscar Hopes & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 5, 2012 10:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Well, that's a wrap. The 39th annual Telluride Film Festival is in the rear-review mirror and we're already gearing up for TIFF, while Venice winds down. Meanwhile, Telluride organizers are already looking forward to next year: they've announced that the 40th edition of the festival will provide an extra day to expand into a five day affair, starting on a Thursday. Mark your calendars now as surely the festival will be looking to make a splash on their 40th.

Telluride Review: 'Hyde Park On Hudson' Is A Lightweight & Toothless Crowd-Pleaser

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 4, 2012 8:59 AM
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  • 5 Comments
At 61 years of age, the presumably hard-living Bill Murray conservatively only has two more decades of work left in him. So perhaps we all want him to really dazzle us with some meaty roles and not waste his time with middling fluff like Roger Michell's "Hyde Park on Hudson," a moderately pleasant but depthless picture that makes "The King's Speech" look like "A Clockwork Orange." OK, that's a purposeful exaggeration, but "Hyde Park on Hudson" is unremarkable; the type of would-be Oscar fluff that makes sure it goes down the award season check list for every gentle and inoffensive cinematic element it can find.

Telluride Review: Michael Winterbottom’s ‘Everyday’ Is Uneven, But Emotionally Rewarding

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 3, 2012 9:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The ultra prolific British helmer Michael Winterbottom has now made twenty films since his debut, “Butterfly Kiss,” in 1995. His eclectic creative appetites and peripatetic energy has seen the restless director take on a disparate array of projects from moody sci-fi ("Code 46"), pulpy noir ("The Killer Inside Me"), a post-modern music-scene saga ("24 Hour Party People") a western ("The Claim") and many, many more genres including documentaries as well.

Surprise: Telluride Unveils Quick Sneak Peek Of James Gray's 'The Nightingale' Starring Marion Cotillard & Joaquin Phoenix

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 2, 2012 3:23 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Disappointment with too few showstoppers has been a common complaint at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend (mostly by privileged film critics and Oscar bloggers wanting more sizzle). Each year, Telluride sneaks a few surprise films not listed on the official line-up and generally of marquee value (last year, "Butter" was one of the big contenders). This year, the only not-so-secret surprise was Ben Affleck's entertaining thriller "Argo." While a terrific suspense film, only one surprise left many pundits wanting more.

Telluride Review: Endearing & Buoyant ‘Frances Ha’ Marks A Terrific Gear Shift For Director Noah Baumbach

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 1, 2012 8:47 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Loose, limber and driven by a fierce energy and staccato/pause rhythm we haven't seen previously from this filmmaker, Noah Baumbach's sublime "Frances Ha" is a fresh and vivacious near-reinvention of the director/writer's comedic milieu. An enchanting riff on friendship and the late-20-something right of passage into true adulthood, while the buoyant comedy does focus on those who still don't have their shit together, it is however, leagues more rich and emotionally layered than the average arrested development dilemma that seems to pervade 20/30-something comedies of late.

Telluride Review: Intimate & Devastating ‘Ginger & Rosa’ Features A Transformative Elle Fanning Performance

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 1, 2012 12:22 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Lovely and devastating, challenging yet worthwhile, Sally Potter's "Ginger & Rosa" may be the English filmmaker's best since "Orlando," and perhaps her most accessible to date. The intimate and sensual picture also features yet another terrific performance by 14-year-old Elle Fanning, who is quickly becoming the most compelling teenage actor working in movies today. But this time, as the lead, Fanning is transformative, heartbreakingly conveying the inner-life of an adolescent with an almost eerie and nuanced command of her craft.

Telluride Review: Ben Affleck's '70s-Flavored 'Argo' Is A Terrifically Suspenseful & Entertaining Thriller

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • August 31, 2012 8:16 PM
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  • 20 Comments
Ben Affleck's third feature-length film, the terrifically suspenseful dramatic thriller "Argo," is the second picture to use Warner Bros.' 1970s logo in 2012. And like "Magic Mike," the Soderbergh film that employed the same logo earlier this year, it's an augur of what's to come, announcing a tone, mood and millieu that is imported straight from that era. Sporting a love for movies on his sleeve, Affleck's film gives nods to the smart, entertaining and engaging thrillers from the '70s -- "All The President's Men," "Three Days of the Condor," et al. -- and playfully with B-movie science-fiction pictures of the era without ever trying to lean too hard into any specific homage.

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