Everything we’ve heard about The Wolverine has sold it as a very unique superhero movie. Star Hugh Jackman and director James Mangold have repeatedly explained how, though this is an X-Men movie, it’s much more character-based and emotional than most films derived from comic books. The foreign setting and international cast also lends a feel that is different from the average tentpole. Whether or not their ambitions have come to fruition probably won’t be revealed until The Wolverine is released on July 26. (Or maybe sooner when we finally get a trailer.)

Mangold bolstered these statements over the weekend when he took to Twitter to post ten images from films that influenced his style and storytelling on The Wolverine. Can you pick out what they are? Read More »

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There will be critics who call The Ghost Writer “a refreshing throwback to the taut political-conspiracy thrillers of the ’70s” and “an enjoyable treat that offers smart flashes of Roman Polanski in his prime,” and this praise, genuinely expressed or not, is unfortunate. Watching the film, I was convinced that had a “blind” screening been arranged—wherein a cinema-savvy audience was not aware of the director’s identity—hardly anyone would claim this a work by a masterful filmmaker. My personal guess would have been, “Ron Howard evoking Alfred Hitchcock—but has Howard lost his wet-fingered knack for the polished blockbuster? Either way, is this receiving a wide theatrical release?”

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Movie Playlist: Nanette Burstein

Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.

Nanette Burstein is the Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker behind On The Ropes and The Kid Stays in the Picture. Her latest film American Teen follows five high school students through their senior year. I hate to oversell the movie, but it’s literally one of my favorite films of the year.

Nanette Burstein: There are certain directors whose films, I could just watch them endlessly. Alexander Paine, I’m a huge fan of.

Peter Sciretta: You know, I saw a lot of like Election in American Teen…

Nanette Burstein: Yes, Election definitely influenced this film… Like the shots of the kids when you hear their voiceovers and they’re on the bed, I totally took that from Election. There was the night before election where there’s all these dolly shots into all the main characters and their thoughts and like they’re all crane…

Peter Sciretta: It was like those crane shots.

Nanette Burstein: Yeah, those shots are amazing, and that’s what inspired me to do that.

Nanette Burstein: There’s definitely different homages in this film, like Garden State which I love there’s this scene when Hannah goes to the party and she’s alienated and the way I cut that scene was completely influenced by that scene in Garden State where he’s alienated at the party.

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