FX's Hillbilly Noir Justified Was the Forgotten Prestige TV Show

Categories: Film and TV

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FX Networks
No show wears its love for language and land more proudly than FX's Justified, which ends its six-year run on April 14. Based on a novella by Elmore Leonard and starring squinty-eyed sex symbol Timothy Olyphant, the hillbilly noir never received the critical adulation or the audience one might expect for such a consistently moving and entertaining series. Boasting some of the best writing, acting, directing, and mythologizing anywhere on television, Justified left the innovations and the boundary-pushing to its more self-serious Golden Age cohorts, delving instead into the familial histories and economic dysfunctions that make its setting, Kentucky's Harlan County, such a dangerous place to call home.


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Podcast: Ex Machina Asks If a Robot Can Think -- And Is She Coming On to You?

Categories: Film and TV

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Universal Pictures
Ex-Machina
Reviews and discussion of Ex Machina, Dior and I, Clouds of Sils Maria, The Longest Ride, and About Elly are all on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, which includes Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly.


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Game of Thrones Season 5 Preview: Women Warriors Take Over Westeros

Categories: Film and TV

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Helen Sloan
It may be hard to remember now, but there once was a time when Daenerys was the most exciting character on Game of Thrones. Played by Emilia Clarke, the exiled royal best embodied the HBO drama's paradoxical appeal: its mix of historical authenticity and rousing fantasy. Reduced to currency by her own brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd), who trades her to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) for the promise of a Dothraki army, Daenerys was first introduced to us as the glue that bonds one man to another. That social role — as insurance on the best days, a hostage on the worst — has been the lot of highborn women for millennia, and it's one the series has repeatedly exposed as traumatically isolating and dehumanizing. Daenerys, for her part, is raped on her wedding night by her husband, with whom she cannot initially communicate verbally. But by the end of Thrones' first season, Daenerys manages to maneuver her way into dignity, power, and reverence.


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Bill Pohlad's Brian Wilson Biopic Could Be a Hollywood Home Run

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Illustration by Andres Guzman, photo by Marechal Aurore/ABACA/Newscom

"It's a whole different world than the first time," says Bill Pohlad.

Last September, Pohlad attended the Toronto International Film Festival for the world premiere of his second directorial effort, Love & Mercy, a biopic on Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson. The stakes were high, as the festival has a reputation for being a testing ground for potential award-winners.

"Bill was really apprehensive. I don't think anybody knew how this whole thing was going to go down," says his brother Jim Pohlad of that night.

No one knew if Brian Wilson was going to show up to support the film, but he did. No one knew if the movie would stand out among hundreds of others, but it did. No one knew how the audience would respond.

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Marvel's Daredevil, on Netflix, Plods Promisingly Toward Comic-Book Glory

Categories: Film and TV

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Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page in Daredevil.
The screen version of any long-running comic-book superhero inevitably feels thin compared to the richly detailed idea of that hero in the minds of the fans who grew up with it. Five movies in, no Hollywood Spider-Man has yet embodied, all at once, the comic iteration's glorious contradictions. He's the genius/broke-ass geek/outcast/photojournalist/inventor-hunk who dates supermodels and bombs out of grad school and fights off fear/depression/guilt with a relentless stream of Groucho Marx patter-jokes as he bops villains' skulls to save a city that hates him.


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Abderrahmane Sissako Visits the Walker for a Film Retrospective

Categories: Film and TV
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Photo: Courtesy New Yorker Films.
Abderrahmane Sissako, Bamako, 2006
Back in February, we reviewed Abderrahmane Sissako's devastating and beautiful film Timbuktu, which received an Oscar nomination this year. This week, the film is coming back to the Walker Art Center, along with several other of Sissako's films. After each screening, there will be a post-show discussion with Sissako. It's a rare chance to dive into the work of one of the best filmmaker in Africa working today.

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Film Podcast: In Defense of Furious 7

Categories: Film and TV

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Scott Garfield
Furious 7 and While We're Young are two very different movies — one's all synchronized driving and explosions, the other's all sorta-depressed New Yorkers who don't drive — but both receive generally positive reviews from Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, who again get together via the magic of the internet for the Voice Film Club podcast.


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Mad Men: What's Left After Achieving Everything?

Categories: Film and TV

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Mad Men has always been, among many other things, about the exit of the old guard and the entrance of the new — and the acceleration of that transition by the mood and the movements of the Sixties. The pilot, set in 1960, finds the Sterling Cooper higher-ups scrambling to locate a Jewish employee within their ranks so that he can sit in on a meeting with a potential Jewish client, Rachel Menken (Maggie Siff). “Have we ever hired any Jews?” asks Roger Sterling (John Slattery), whose place at the top was guaranteed to him as a birthright. “Not on my watch!” jokes Don Draper (Jon Hamm), oozing the casual anti-Semitism of the era. Just seven years later, those same men hire a Jewish copywriter, Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman) — who in turn becomes psychotically paranoid about being supplanted by the brand-new computer that’s moved into his office.


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Two Generations, One Actress: Sutton Foster on Her Empowering Role in Younger

Categories: Film and TV

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TV Land
Sutton Foster
Doing everything right in one generation just makes you old-fashioned, even obsolete, in the next. That’s the harsh reality that confronts 40-year-old Liza — played with spirited, sarcastic élan by Tony-winning actress Sutton Foster — when she attempts to re-enter the workforce after a decade and a half of stay-at-home motherhood. Finding herself shut out of the industry where she’d once been hailed as a wunderkind, Liza passes herself off as a 26-year-old to start again at the bottom of the publishing ladder in the peppy and observant Younger, the new sitcom from Sex and the City creator Darren Star.


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Mike Tyson, History Buff

Categories: Film and TV

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“Mark Twain said boxing is the only sport where a slave, if he's successful, can rub shoulders with royalty,” says former heavyweight Mike Tyson, who once knocked out nineteen opponents in a row. “Can you imagine that? Just by fighting another human being, he can meet a king, a prince, a queen, eat at the same table with them, be invited to the castle.” Or in modern times, make $30 million in one fight, build your own castle, stock it with tigers, and still wake up every morning the pawn of powerful men who make money off your sweat.

See also:

Mike Tyson: Minneapolis May Not Be Glamorous but It's Great


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