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The Playlist

The Films Of Otto Preminger: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 14, 2011 4:57 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Otto Preminger:
As Europe imploded, the 1930s saw an extraordinary exodus of filmmaking talent to the United States, with Jewish directors like Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Max Ophuls, Anatole Litvak, Fred Zinnemann and many more escaping persecution and following in the footsteps of Ernst Lubitsch to go to a new promised land, and the effect that they had can't be underestimated.

The Essentials: 6 Kevin Spacey Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 7, 2011 5:55 AM
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  • 8 Comments
On entering adolescence, and discovering that cinema had more to offer than Roland Emmerich and Jackie Chan, this writer's favorite working actor swiftly became Kevin Spacey. The actor had been working for over a decade, converting his theater cred into supporting roles in the likes of "Working Girl," "Henry & June" and "Consenting Adults," but the middle of the 1990s saw him take pivotal roles in a number of the decade's biggest and best cult successes, becoming a by-word for a certain kind of morally ambivalent figure, even while creeping towards stardom in commercial hits like "Outbreak" and "A Time To Kill."

The Films Of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 6, 2011 5:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments
The great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman famously intoned in his 1987 autobiography, “The Magic Lantern,” that discovering Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s work was, “A miracle. Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”

The Essentials: 5 Tom Hanks Performances

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 30, 2011 5:53 AM
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  • 15 Comments
For comedians aspiring to be dramatic actors, there is no better model than Tom Hanks. A two-time Academy Award winner and five-time nominee, this unflashy, modern-day Jimmy Stewart or Henry Fonda has also shown every struggling actor on earth that if you persevere you can actually make people forget you started out as a comedian and then simply a romantic comedy lead (remember the dreaded "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle" years). Hell, if you endure long enough you can even wipe out the memory of TV movies like "Mazes and Monsters" and sitcoms like "Bosom Buddies" (where's that other dude now?).The first man to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars since Spencer Tracy, he embodies a kind of fundamental decency like few others, but to stereotype him in that way does the star a disservice: like Stewart and Fonda, some of his most engaging performances come when he subverts that persona.

The Films Of Michael Bay: A Retrospective

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 29, 2011 5:44 AM
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  • 19 Comments
Michael Bay,  Pain and Gain
Fuck Michael Bay. Michael Bay rules.

The Essentials: The Films Of Nicolas Roeg

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 23, 2011 4:06 AM
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  • 11 Comments
Nicolas Roeg
You might say it’s a good month to be a fan of British cult filmmaker Nicolas Roeg. Just last week the Criterion Collection released the director’s 1985 oddball picture, “Insignificance,” and this week, his landmark science-fiction film “The Man Who Fell to Earth” starring David Bowie is being given a limited U.S. theatrical re-release to mark its 35th anniversary.

The Essentials: The 5 Best Ewan McGregor Performances

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 2, 2011 6:42 AM
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  • 22 Comments
After spending much of the last decade in some of the worst theatrically-released movies around ("Cassandra's Dream?" "Stay?" "Incendiary?" "Deception?" "Amelia?" "Angels & Demons?"), Mike Mills' "Beginners" seems to be the start of a new phase of Ewan McGregor's career. Not only is the film terrific, one of the years' best (read our review here), but McGregor's great in it, the best he's been in years.

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