The Playlist

Venice Review: Kim-Ki Duk's Taboo-Shattering Black Comedy 'Moebius'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2013 12:45 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Moebius
Internationally at least, Kim Ki-Duk's "Pieta" was hardly the popular choice to win the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Film Festival. The Korean provocateur is a long-time favorite at Venice, and the film was predictably well-received by local audiences and critic, but U.S. and U.K. critics, ourselves included were less impressed, finding it rather drab, prosaic and straightforward.

Venice Review: Alex Gibney's Lance Armstrong Documentary 'The Armstrong Lie'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2013 11:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments
The Armstrong Lie, Gibney
The last few years have seen sport of all kinds haunted by the specter of doping, with everyone from Barry Bonds to Alex Rodriguez linked to the use of banned substances. But the name that is likely to forever be linked with drugs cheating in sports is Lance Armstrong. Thanks to his seven victories at the Tour De France, the cyclist would have been a hero even if he hadn't also recovered from a near-death battle with cancer, and subsequently raising millions and millions of dollar for research against the disease thanks to his Livestrong brand.

5 Reasons Why Jonathan Glazer's 'Under The Skin' Is One Of The Best Films Of The Year

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2013 10:45 AM
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  • 30 Comments
Under The Skin
This morning saw the first official press screening of "Under The Skin," the first new film in nine years from "Sexy Beast" and "Birth" helmer Jonathan Glazer, which premieres officially at the Venice Film Festival tonight. But as you'll know if you were reading over the weekend, the film's already been unveiled across the Atlantic as part of the line-up at the Telluride Film Festival.

Watch: First Clip From Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning & Peter Sarsgaard

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 3, 2013 10:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Night Moves
With a trio of measured dramas under her belt — “Old Joy,” “Wendy & Lucy” and “Meek’s Cutoff” — Kelly Reichardt has established herself as a filmmaker whose storytelling is patient and considered. But when news arrived that her latest "Night Moves" would take on eco-terrorism and feature a Hollywood-ish cast with Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Petes Sarsgaard, it certainly grabbed our attention. The result? As our review out of Venice notes, a "perfect reminder that Reichardt is one of the most exciting directorial talents we have right now."

Venice Review: Steven Knight’s ‘Locke’ Starring Tom Hardy

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 3, 2013 6:54 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Locke Tom Hardy
Of all the genres, the single location film is perhaps one of the hardest to get right. For one, you need a hell of an actor (or actors) to hold the attention for even the briefest of running times. You also need a story that coherently keeps the actors in place, with enough of a hook to keep you involved. And you need to keep things visually interesting enough to stop it being too static without being showy. It’s a big ask, Hitchcock was the master of the style, and there are a select few other examples, but most turn out poorly.

Venice Review: Sam Fuller Documentary 'A Fuller Life'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 2, 2013 12:57 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Like most right-minded film fans we're big fans of Sam Fuller (check out our list of essential films from the director). Kicking of his career as a crime reporter and novelist, Fuller soon found his way to Hollywood and after serving in World War Two as an infantryman, became a film director. Generally favoring low-budget and independently-produced pictures, but not averse to working within the studio system (he had a good relationship with Daryl Zanuck), he knocked out a string of genre classics — from "Pickup On South Street" and "Four Guns" to "Shock Corridor" and his epic autobiographical masterpiece "The Big Red One" — that quietly influenced many of your favourite directors.

Venice Review: Alexandros Avranas' Extraordinary, Shocking 'Miss Violence'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 2, 2013 11:12 AM
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  • 3 Comments
It's always exciting to see a nation not traditionally known for their cinematic output step up with a movement or wave of films and filmmakers that gain attention on the international scene. In recent years, some of the most exciting releases have come from directors based in Chile and South Korea, but just as notable have been the run of excellent cinema coming out of Greece. The wave began at Cannes in 2009 with Yorgos Lanthimos, "Dogtooth," and has continued with his follow-up "Alps" and Athina Rachel Tsangari's "Attenberg," among others. The latest to follow in their footsteps is Alexandros Avranas' "Miss Violence," and if our reaction when the film screened on the Lido yesterday is anything to go by, it's going to he just as acclaimed and successful as those pictures.

Venice Review: Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Zero Theorem’ Starring Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon & Tilda Swinton

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 2, 2013 6:45 AM
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  • 11 Comments
It’s been a rough couple of decades to be a Terry Gilliam fan. Not just because he hasn't been as prolific as you’d like him to be, with several false starts or projects that never made it to a greenlight—most famously “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” which actually made it to production before falling apart. Because the films we have seen, at least since the start of the 21st century, have felt compromised (“The Brothers Grimm”), muddled (“The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus”) or borderline-unwatchable (“ Tideland”).

Venice Review: Xavier Dolan's 'Tom A La Ferme'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 1, 2013 8:20 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Tom At The Farm Xavier Dolan
Few filmmakers in modern times have had such a meteoric rise at such an early age as Xavier Dolan. The French-Canadian wunderkind, a former child-star (and still occasionally a voiceover actor for local dubs, with roles including Ron Weasley in the 'Harry Potter' films) premiered his first film at Cannes aged only 20, and has returned to the festival twice more, rising up through the sidebars with "Heartbeats" and "Laurence Anyways."

Venice Review: Gia Coppola's 'Palo Alto' Starring Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer & James Franco

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 1, 2013 5:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Cinema's just about old enough at this point that we've seen a few three-generation acting dynasties—the Fondas, the Hustons, the Barrymores. But if there's a family that's produced three generations of directors, they're certainly escaping us right now. But enter Gia Coppola. The 26-year-old is, as you might imagine from the surname, the granddaughter of "The Godfather" helmer Francis Ford Coppola, which makes her the niece of his director children Sofia and Roman (Gia's father, Gian-Carlo, was Francis' eldest, killed in a boat accident in 1986 not long after her conception).

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