Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Playlist

The 5 Best Bob Hoskins Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • August 9, 2012 1:43 PM
  • |
  • 9 Comments
For many actors, there is no such word as "retirement." While there are big names who slip away from the movie business to do other things, or simply enjoy time off as they head into their twilight years -- Gene Hackman and Peter O'Toole being among the recent examples -- those feel like the exception, rather than the rule. But unfortunately, the great British character actor Bob Hoskins has been forced to step away from the limelight.

5 Of Dustin Hoffman's Most Underrated Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • August 9, 2012 10:01 AM
  • |
  • 13 Comments
There’s a certain generation of male stars who emerged in the 1960s and 1970s who signify that golden age of American cinema, starring in some of the most acclaimed films of that era while also maintaining long careers as box office draws that continue to this day. Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty -- a line-up of actors that, for the most part, puts today’s A-listers to shame. And the unlikeliest of them all is Dustin Hoffman.

The Essentials: The 5 Best William Friedkin Films

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 30, 2012 12:00 PM
  • |
  • 15 Comments
The decent opening weekend for the NC-17 "Killer Joe" should be celebrated for a number of reasons, but perhaps most notably, it marks something of a comeback for director William Friedkin. The helmer was, for a brief period in the 1970s, the most powerful filmmaker in Hollywood, but a series of critical and commercial flops after "The Exorcist" saw his stock drop quickly, and while there were a few quiet gems, the quality of his work tended to be closer to sub-"Basic Instinct" erotic thriller "Jade" (which Friedkin has said is one of his favorite of his films, curiously), or tree-rape horror "The Guardian," than to his breakout films.

The Essentials: 5 John Schlesinger Films You Can't Miss

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 27, 2012 9:56 AM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
He’s not a name that many young filmmakers reference these days, but British director John Schlesinger quietly managed a career spanning five decades, with a small fistful of classics to his name. A former actor, Schlesinger moved into documentaries in the late 1950s, graduating to features soon after, and worked fairly prolifically until 2000’s “The Next Best Thing” (admittedly a rather ignominious end to a great career), a film released only a few months before he passed away from a stroke.

The Films Of Christopher Nolan: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • July 19, 2012 2:04 PM
  • |
  • 25 Comments
We can all agree at this point that a certain sub-set of Christopher Nolan's fans are out of hand, what with the death threats to critics and all. But even if we were one of those who didn't like "The Dark Knight Rises," or indeed the rest of Nolan's output, we suspect that we'd still be glad he existed. While some might find his movies humorless (though we'd disagree), or chilly (though we'd disagree), or overly rigid (we'd... mostly disagree), but no one else is making films like Christopher Nolan, taking nine figures of Warner Bros.' money, pairing it with big ideas and concepts, and making resoundingly entertaining and thought-provoking blockbusters.

The Films Of Jim Jarmusch: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 17, 2012 11:09 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
There's no one in independent film quite like Jim Jarmusch, one of American cinema's most idiosyncratic filmmakers. Born to Episcopalian parents in Ohio in 1953, the director fell in love with B-movie double bills his mother left him in as a child, and fell into counter-culture arthouse movies in his teens. The director studied Journalism at Northwestern before dropping out and studying literature at Columbia, moving to Paris for ten months and then returning and applying to the film school at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he worked under legendary "Rebel Without A Cause" director Nicholas Ray, who encouraged the filmmaker's unique, particular approach.

The Films Of Cameron Crowe: A Retrospective

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • July 13, 2012 2:11 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
It may be hard to believe, but Cameron Crowe is 55 today. The eternally boyish journalist turned writer-director feels, perhaps because of his alter-ego in "Almost Famous," as though he'll always be seventeen. But for a certain generation, he's been a figurehead for his journalism (at Rolling Stone and elsewhere), his screenwriting (of seminal teen flick "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," most notably), and for his direction, starting with 1989's "Say Anything" through to last year's charming semi-return-to-form "We Bought A Zoo."

The Essentials: The 5 Best John Frankenheimer Films

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 6, 2012 1:57 PM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
Few filmmakers these days name John Frankenheimer as an influence. He was never particularly trendy, never embraced by the auteurists or overtly paid homage by those who came after. In part, it's because of some of his later projects; the commercial failure of thriller "Black Sunday" in 1977 drove him to alcoholism that lasted for several years (it was only when he was reduced to drinking on the set of martial arts actioner "The Challenge" in 1981 that he checked himself into rehab), and some of his later projects, including his final film, "Reindeer Games," and the famous disaster "The Island Of Doctor Moreau" (on which the helmer replaced Richard Stanley several weeks into production) meant his critical reputation took a hit.

The Essentials: The Films Of Rob Reiner (Before He Forgot How To Direct Movies)

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • July 5, 2012 1:09 PM
  • |
  • 8 Comments
Maybe it's just a particular hang-up of this writer, but we find one of cinema's greatest mysteries to be the question of what happened to Rob Reiner. The sitcom star, and son of the great Carl Reiner ("Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "The Jerk"), became a film director in the early 1980s, and had an extraordinary, almost unmatched run across the next eight years, helming seven diverse and hugely-acclaimed films that have become enshrined as some of the finest of their era. Few filmmakers, at least within the mainstream, can make a claim to a consecutive string like it.

The Films Of Oliver Stone: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
  • |
  • July 5, 2012 11:05 AM
  • |
  • 16 Comments
Oliver Stone loves his country, but he is also its loudest critic. Whether tackling history head-on in films like "Platoon" or "Born On The Fourth Of July," or profiling presidents in "JFK," "W." and "Nixon," and even in seemingly genre-centered material like "Natural Born Killers" or "Any Given Sunday," Stone views America in his own unique, if sometimes contradictory ways. His track record is certainly marked by tremendous highs, definite lows and curious middles (mostly with genre excursions like "U-Turn," "Any Given Sunday" and "The Doors") but he is never one to sit still. For evidence of Stone's constantly changing priorities one can look to his last few films — "World Trade Center," "W.," "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" — and truly get a sense of a director driven both by passion and finance, and by a love for his country that is also pained by its failings.

Email Updates

Recent Comments