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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.

In Theaters: 'No Strings Attached,' 'The Company Men,' 'The Way Back' and more

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • January 21, 2011 4:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Has everyone recovered from their Golden Globes hangover? Ricky Gervais is now in witness protection and Hollywood is all in extra therapy after having jokes made at their expense by that mean, mean man. Let's just distract ourselves with the entertainment provided by the finger pointing blame game being played by "The Green Hornet" team. It's the number one movie in America, but someone must answer for its suckage! We've at least successfully scared Michel Gondry off doing any more studio action comedies, so there's your silver lining. Chin up, movie fans, it's a new weekend with a fresh new crop of cinematic offerings to get excited about. Aw fuck it, everyone's at Sundance, watching the movies we'll see in six months, so what we have is a sex-com, "No Strings Attached' (spoiler alert, there are strings attached), a pink slip drama, "The Company Men" (topical!) and a bunch of older festival stuff in limited release that are seeing the light of projection booths on our shores.

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.

In Theaters: 'Blue Valentine,' 'Another Year,' 'Biutiful,' 'The Way Back'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • December 31, 2010 3:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments
New Year's Eve weekend delivers a grand slam of arthouse darlings for you indie film lovers out there. Ring in 2011 with one of the many highly praised and anticipated films that we personally hope (and bet) will be Oscar faves as well. They've already graced many a year end list, and now is your chance to see these films on the big screen near you. Think of it as a post-holiday cleanse of the mind, ridding your brain of any memories of "Tron: Legacy" or "Little Fockers." New year, time to get away from the bloated studio dreck-- bring on the lean, mean, art cinema machines!

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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