The Playlist

Venice Review: John Curran's 'Tracks' Starring Mia Wasikowska & Adam Driver

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 29, 2013 7:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments
'Tracks' Starring Mia Wasikowska & Adam Driver
“Tracks” has been a long time coming. Ever since Robyn Davidson wrote her 1979 memoir of her 1700-mile, eight-month trek across the Australian outback from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, and the book became an award-winning best-seller around the world, Hollywood has been sniffing around it. Multiple attempts to mount an adaptation have been made—Julia Roberts was attached to a version for much of the 1990s—but it finally took the producers of “The King’s Speech” and the oft-undervalued New York-born, Australian-based director John Curran (“We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “The Painted Veil”) to get it made, with the film finally premiering at the Venice Film Festival today. And for many, it’ll have been worth the wait: it’s a very handsome film with a terrific central performance, even if it’s not quite an unqualified triumph.

Venice Review: Israeli Film Academy Best Picture Nominee 'Bethlehem'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 28, 2013 3:50 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Venice has welcomed Israeli films into its line up many times over the last few years: tank-bound war film “Lebanon” was a Golden Lion-winner a few years back, and last year saw “Fill The Void” become something of a crowd-pleaser at the festival. “ Bethlehem,” the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Yuval Adler might have started a little more under the radar than those films: it’s in the Venice Days sidebar, rather than the main competition as its predecessors were. But thanks to a promising trailer, and appearances in both the TIFF and Telluride line-up, the film’s certainly been the center of plenty of talk in the last few weeks.

Venice Review: Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' Starring Sandra Bullock & George Clooney

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 28, 2013 6:22 AM
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  • 24 Comments
Gravity, Bullock, Clooney
Since JFK vowed to put a man on the moon in 1961, space has represented untold possibility. Hope. Optimism. But once we actually got there, we realized what a terrifying place it can be. An endless void, freezing and/or burning, a place without air or life. But most terrifyingly of all, if you die in space, you die alone: thousands of miles above and away from your loved ones. And more than anything, aren’t we most afraid of dying alone? Alfonso Cuaron seems to think so, as that’s the fear that drives his new film, the extraordinary “Gravity.”

The 10 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2013 Venice Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 26, 2013 1:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments
If you look at the release schedule for the next couple of weeks, it's clear that we're entering the late August/early September slow season. Half-formed young adult adaptations, thrillers that star Ethan Hawke because Nicolas Cage was unavailable, 3D boyband concert movies and a Riddick sequel, with only "The World's End" and "You're Next" to save the day.

Watch: Clip From Venice & TIFF Selection 'Tracks' Starring Mia Wasikowska

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 25, 2013 3:17 PM
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  • 14 Comments
Tracks Mia Wasikowska
Can you tell we're on the cusp of festival season? More previews are arriving as premieres come closer and closer, and now another has landed, this time giving us a first peek at the Australian film "Tracks" from filmmaker John Curran ("Stone," "The Painted Veil"). And it brings to life a pretty interesting true story.

Venice: First Clip & Image From Real-Time Thriller 'Locke' Starring Tom Hardy, Produced By Joe Wright

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 25, 2013 3:06 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Locke Tom Hardy
While festivals are usually the place where esteemed pictures tend to peacock, they also provide an avenue for edgier, more experimental ventures to get their footing, and Venice will have one we're definitely curious about. And it's not just because of the talent involved, which includes stars Tom Hardy and Ruth Wilson ("Luther," "The Lone Ranger"), screenwriter and director Steven Knight ("Eastern Promises," "Redemption") and executive producer Joe Wright ("Atonement," "Anna Karenina").

Exclusive: Trailer For Venice & TIFF Film Festival Selection And Israeli Film Academy Best Picture Nominee 'Bethlehem'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 22, 2013 11:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments
While Hollywood always tends to flex its muscle at film festivals, packing red carpets with stars, and dominating headlines with highly anticipated movies, the pleasure of hitting places like Venice and Toronto is discovering hidden gems, or acclaimed movies from elsewhere that haven't quite made a wave internationally just yet. And Yuval Adler's "Bethlehem" could potentially make some major noise. It's already taken notice at home, earning 12 nominations from the Israeli Film Academy including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. And now, it's getting ready to show it's stuff for the world.

Venice 2013: Poster, First Look & Official Synopsis For Xavier Dolan's 'Tom At The Farm'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 25, 2013 11:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Tom At The Farm Xavier Dolan
We're coming out of the fog, storm and noise of the summer movie season, heading into the the promising months of fall festivals, and it's a good time to be a cinephile. With TIFF unveiling their first wave of titles earlier this week, Venice followed suit this morning giving folks headed to the Lido plenty to get excited about. As always, we'll start getting a peek at those films very soon.

New Films From Terry Gilliam, Hayao Miyazaki, David Gordon Green & Jonathan Glazer Top 70th Venice Film Festival Line-Up

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 25, 2013 5:52 AM
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  • 4 Comments
After a weighty first announcement for this year's TIFF earlier in the week, eyes turned across the Atlantic this morning to the reveal of the line-up for the 70th Venice Film Festival, which precedes Toronto by about a week. We already knew the festival was opening with Alfonso Cuaron's hotly-anticipated 3D space adventure "Gravity," and an educated guess at the line-up could be made from looking at which films among the TIFF announcement weren't world premieres, but the official roster was revealed at a press conference in Rome this morning, and it's once more, a doozy.

Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity' With Sandra Bullock & George Clooney To Open 70th Venice Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 3, 2013 6:49 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Gravity, Sandra Bullock (skip)
Festival opening films are always something of a roll of the dice. Organizers are always keen to bring some star power, so it tends to be one of the more high profile picks around, but often they may want to save the real quality for the main competition, so you'll often end up with something a little sub-par. As far as festivals go, though, Venice has a pretty good track record.

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