This ‘LOTR’-Themed In-Flight Safety Video Starring Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson Will Quell Your Fear of Flying

So, if you were 30,000 feet above the ground and started feeling some bumps that seemed a little more worrisome… Read More

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Watch: First Trailer for ‘Suite Française’ Adaptation Starring Michelle Williams and Kristen Scott Thomas

Suite Française, for those who haven’t read the book and don’t know the story behind it, was written during the… Read More

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Filmmaker Lynn Shelton on How to Survive Your Quarterlife Crisis and Her New Film ‘Laggies’

In Lynn Shelton’s new film Laggies, Keira Knightley plays Megan, a 28-year-old who’s “in between” in all aspects of her life. She’s an underemployed daddy’s girl with a master’s degree, and is perfectly fine with floating around the same nucleus of friends from high school and the same sweet long-term boyfriend. But when this long-term boyfriend (Mark Webber) proposes to her, Megan freaks out and goes rogue, shacking up at her 16-year-old buddy’s house (Chloë Grace Moretz), and freaking out the girl’s sardonic, lonely, divorced dad (Sam Rockwell, forever charming). One of our favorites at this year’s Sundance, it opens today. … Read More

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‘Listen Up Philip’ vs. ‘Inside Llewyn Davis': On the Interior Life of the Asshole Artist

I couldn’t stop thinking of the Cohen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis while watching Alex Ross Perry’s new movie, Listen Up Philip. Not just because of the superficial similarities: not just because Philip and Llewyn are both grumpy, hirsute male artists who seem intent on disseminating their self-important masculine angst. Not just because both films are loosely based on real people whose names have been altered (Dave Van Ronk for Llewyn, Philip Roth for Philip), or because these altered names both appear in the titles of each film in a way that implicitly condescends to their childish male characters. And lastly, not just because both films are stylized to reflect — with self-reflexive criticism — the ways nostalgia deforms how we perceive art. … Read More

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Gregg Araki’s ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ Is a Compelling Portrait of Sexual Ownership

“I miss fucking you,” Kat (Shailene Woodley) purrs sincerely. “Absence makes the heart get stronger,” her lunk-headed boyfriend Phil (Shiloh Fernandez) malapropos in response. Phil is, in her words, “not the brightest crayon in the box”; elsewhere in the movie, he tells her, “It’s like a vicious circus” and implores her, “Cut him some slacks.” She likes his simplicity, because he gives her what she needs — and when he starts weirdly rebuffing her, she gets it somewhere else. The fact that Kat is played by Woodley, whose roles thus far have skewed far more towards the “good girl” type, gives Gregg Araki’s White Bird in a Blizzard an extra jolt of electricity, for both the audience and the actress. And Araki slyly uses that novelty as a distraction from the clever things he’s up to elsewhere in the picture. … Read More

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Dystopia Is Here: ‘Citizenfour’s’ Revealing Portrait of Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, who risked his life by spilling the secret information that nothing is a secret, is perhaps over-revered by a certain type of person: white, male, national-security obsessed, libertarian-leaning, privileged. These are the folks who weren’t ever dissidents, immigrants, people of color or “othered,” people who were genuinely shocked and not exhausted by Snowden’s snuck-out news that the government is listening in (at least via metadata) to our every little click and convo. … Read More

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Watch Distinguished British Actor Benedict Cumberbatch Sneer While Wearing a Motion Capture Suit

Benedict Cumberbatch, who has played Sherlock Holmes, Julian Assange, Alan Turing, and John Ford, has also played Smaug, the… Read More

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The 50 Best Documentaries of All Time

This week, The Criterion Collection is giving a welcome Blu-ray upgrade to F for Fake, Orson Welles’ 1973 documentary exploration of hoaxes, fakery, and magic. It was one of his last completed films, and one of his few documentaries — and, in true Welles form, he went and made one of the greatest nonfiction films of all time. How great? Well, its re-release is as good a time as any to spotlight the finest documentaries ever… Read More

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Some Other Joan Didion Kickstarter Rewards We’d Like to See

It’s a great day for people who admire and revere the work of Joan Didion, our leading writer regarding the elegiac decay of the modern age. Her nephew, Griffin Dunne, who you may know as an actor (After Hours) and director (including Practical Magic, the best ’90s witch movie), is working on a Didion-approved documentary, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, about the writer, and today they announced a Kickstarter campaign, along with a trailer. … Read More

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