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The Playlist

Watch: First 3 Clips From HBO's 'Olive Kitteridge' With Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins & Bill Murray

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 31, 2014 1:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Olivia Kitteridge
Prestige drama at film festivals is no longer just the domain of movies. Television is now becoming a regular part of fest programming (Jane Campion's "Top Of The Lake" at Sundance and Bruno Dumont's "P'tit Quinquin" at Cannes Directors' Fortnight are recent examples) and this week at Venice, HBO's "Olive Kitteridge" will get a glitzy premiere. And you can now catch a glimpse of the forthcoming miniseries with three new clips.

Watch: Trailer For Roy Andersson's Trilogy Finale 'A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 31, 2014 11:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
While the word "trilogy" usually conjures thoughts of tentpoles and blockbusters, it's a term that's not unfamiliar to the arthouse world. Richard Linklater closed off his 'Before' series last year and now a beloved international cinema filmmaker is getting ready to finish the book on his own series. Roy Andersson will be premiering "A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence" at the Venice Film Festival, and the first trailer is here to provide a peek at the director's always unique perspective.

Venice Review: Fatih Akin’s ‘The Cut’ Starring Tahar Rahim

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 31, 2014 8:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The Cut, Fatih Akin
When Turkish-German auteur Fatih Akin pulled “The Cut” from the Cannes slate citing “personal reasons,” the rumor mill went to work overtime. Certainly, Cannes would have seemed like the natural home for the filmmaker’s next opus, so if, as was suggested, he had not been guaranteed the competition slot that his profile surely demanded, what could the reason be? Politics? Pique? Some internecine beef we weren’t aware of? Within all that gossip, however, one possible explanation never really entered the mix: that the film would not be very good. Akin’s track record alone, including such terrific, joltingly energetic, critically lauded and awarded titles as “Head-on” and “The Edge of Heaven” (the first two films in a thematic trilogy that “The Cut” is mooted to complete) seemed to put that beyond the realm of possibility. And in truth, it’s not not very good. It’s close to a disaster.

Venice Review: David Gordon Green's 'Manglehorn' Starring Al Pacino, Harmony Korine, Chris Messina And Holly Hunter

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 30, 2014 8:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Manglehorn
A bees nest beneath a mailbox. A boat bedecked in copies of a photograph. A cat who’s swallowed a key. A mime, a buffet, an earthquake, a multi-vehicle car accident inexplicably strewn with smashed watermelons. David Gordon Green’s slow, indulged but fathomless “Manglehorn” contains all of these motifs and more, sometimes playing out in double exposure, sometimes woozy slow motion, often counterpointed by Al Pacino’s husky gravelly narration. It should all be a terrible mess, and certainly it’s a less accessible film than the genre-tinged “Joe” or the sweetly straightforward “Prince Avalanche.” But it’s also fascinating, to those of us willing to let its meditative currents take us, a mosaic of moods, mysteries, magic and melancholy. And all anchored by a quietly assured central performance that may be among the most atypical of Pacino’s career, but is also one of his best.

Venice Review: Barry Levinson’s ‘The Humbling’ With Al Pacino And Greta Gerwig

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 29, 2014 7:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The Humbling
"Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything" is a line from Shakespeare's description of the final stage of life made famous in the "All the world's a stage" monologue from "As You Like It." It is quoted early on in Barry Levinson’s incoherent adaptation of what is by most accounts a substandard Philip Roth novel, “The Humbling,” clearly marking the film's themes of aging and the diminishment that comes with it. But "toothless, sightless, bland and empty" could also serve as a harsh but pretty accurate description of the film itself: a missed opportunity that squanders the talents of a pretty stacked cast and jeopardizes the audience’s patience and care for its spoiled characters for too long.

Watch: First 2 Clips From Venice/TIFF Drama 'Far From Men' Starring Viggo Mortensen

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 3:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Far From Men, Viggo Mortensen
There is no shortage of serious movies hitting the festival circuit this fall, but only one of them boasts the distinction of being based on the short story "L'Hôte" by Albert Camus. That's right, the philosopher's work is behind the latest from writer/director David Oelhoeffen, and with "Far From Men" hitting both Venice and TIFF in the next couple of weeks, two new clips are here to go with the trailer that landed a week ago.

Venice Review: 'She's Funny That Way' Starring Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Jennifer Aniston & Many Surprise Cameos

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 29, 2014 12:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment
She's Funny That Way aka Squirrel To The Nuts
If you've so much as read the headline of this review, you're probably already thinking too hard about Peter Bogdanovich's star-studded "She's Funny That Way," which is but a trifle, designed to melt in your mouth like candy floss. In fact, it goes out of its way to avoid anything that even faintly smacks of realism or meaningfulness; it just wants you to like it.

Watch: First Trailer For 'Three Hearts' With Charlotte Gainsbourg & Chiara Mastroianni Playing Venice & TIFF

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 10:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Three Hearts
Benoît Jacquot is a festival veteran, last doing the rounds with 2012's costume drama "Farewell, My Queen." Now he's back with a more contemporary tale, riffing on an old theme, while rounding some exciting talent to tell his story. The film is called "Three Hearts," and with screenings at Venice and TIFF coming up soon, the first trailer has dropped.

Watch: Miranda July's New 10-Minute Short Film 'Somebody'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2014 8:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Somebody
Artist, author and filmmaker Miranda July can now add a new job title to her CV: app engineer. July has taken another step into the digital era after teaching everyone what ))<>(( means in "Me And You And Everyone We Know." She has created an app called "Somebody," and an accompanying ten minute film of the same name which makes its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week. And if you can't make it to Venice, you can just watch it below.

Venice Review: Ramin Bahrani’s ‘99 Homes’ Starring Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon And Laura Dern

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • August 28, 2014 6:52 PM
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  • 3 Comments
99 Homes
It opens with blood spatter; it will end with your blood boiling. Which is to say that Ramin Bahrani’s ferocious foreclosure drama “99 Homes” is exactly as effective as it needs to be. While neither subtle nor particularly nuanced, the blunt force trauma impact of its narrative never feels exploitative, being wholly justified by the importance of its themes.

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