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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it



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Morning Truth Tell: "Feel-Good" Is a Useless Term

On facebook the other day I noticed this new entry in an ongoing series of promotional images for Short Term 12, a movie I am wild about. Like wild cuckoo-crazy besotted with.

But here is Today's Truth: Feel Good is a useless term. It means too many things to too many different people. Carry this truth with you today. Discuss it with friends (and share The Film Experience while you're at it). What does "feel good" mean to them? To you?

Short Term 12 is absolutely a Feel Good movie to me both for its moments of joy and because I was elated when I left the theater having seen such a rich movie. But many people who love "feel good" movies, in the more typical definition of the term --  'no troubling thoughts' & 'happily ever after!' -- might have trouble with this story of troubled children and the Foster Care supervisor Grace (Brie Larson) who carefully connects with them.


Attack of The December Glut 

I shall honestly try not to complain about the studios weird habit of shoving everything into one month of the year this year. I shall honestly try! I know the complaint is as tired as their inability to think outside of the Christmas Box. This post is brought to you by tonight's news that Sony Pictures Classic will open Foxcatcher, the true crime story of Olympic wrestler brothers and the schizophrenic who murdered one of them, the same day as their other Oscar hopeful The Past (December 20th) from Oscar winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. This post was also brought to you by the sorry news that Spike Jonze's fascinating looking Her was recently pushed back to December, too, despite looking like a perfect fall title... like a Lost in Translation kind of moodpiece that could really use some air on both sides of it to breathe a little in the imagination.

Herewith the current schedule for the last month of the year so save up your pennies and let your friends and family know you won't be available for their parties and reunions because Hollywood is greedy-greedy-greedy and Scrooge-like. They want ALL your money and your time at the tail end of the year. Unless you wanna just wait until February and try to catch up after the Oscar nominations. That's so much less fun, damnit! See, I'm not a velvet rope kind of person. I don't believe in exclusivity when it comes to the movies. I want everyone invited to the Oscar discussion party. Not just people who do showbiz as their work or have lots of free time in December and happen to live in New York or Los Angeles. (sigh)

two musicals kick off holiday movie season: Black Nativity and Frozen

Thanksgiving Weekend
GRACE OF MONACO - expanding in December
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM - expanding in December


December 6th
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS -- expanding for Christmas

Dave and Mark Schultz... to be played by Mark Ruffalo & Channing Tatum in "Foxcatcher"December 13th
AMERICAN HUSTLE --expanding for Christmas
SAVING MR BANKS -- expanding for Christmas

December 18th-20th
HER -- going wide in January  
THE PAST  -- expanding in January
FOXCATCHER  -- expanding in January 

December 25th
LABOR DAY -- expanding in January 
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (Ralph Fiennes directing) -- expanding in January 

That's it. That was my last ever rant this year about December glutting!

The point is to really embrace and enjoy the serious movies that open before the holidays. They are rare beasts that deserve your love. In fact, go pledge yourself to Blue Jasmine again!


Revisiting "The Color Purple" With Oscar-Tinted Glasses

When I selected The Color Purple (1985) for the Best Shot series I was motivated not only by recent conversations about Oprah Winfrey's big screen return and dim memories of her debut as Sofia but by my own remembered shrug towards the movie. For such a widely beloved movie it's not one I ever warmed to -- though I remember loving the "Miss Celie's Blues" scene -- which turned to be the magnet for our Best Shot club. I knew it was time to revisit since how can you ever warm to something you're never in contact with? I hadn't watched the film since I was sitting in the movie theater in 1985 as a newborn Oscar fanatic (!) if you can believe it.

my favorite of the movie's self-consciously beautiful moments

1985 was a crucial year in my Oscar fanaticism. It was the first year in which I consciously remember reading about movies through a golden statue lens and wondering about what might get nominated months in advance. This hardly seems worth noting except that this was unusual at the time. That's something that people do much more loudly now -- like 10,000 times more loudly -- than they ever did publicly before, say, the early mid 90s when the sea change began (brought on by both the rise of campaign-crazy Miramax and the Internet). By the late 90s Oscar had fully become the long seasonal circus we recognize today as opposed to a One Night Only event that people talked about for one month of the year. It seems like such an innocent time actually -- the only articles about Oscar were in monthly or weekly entertainment magazines until basically the week of the ceremony when things got loud. At least that's the way I remember it. 

I bring up the Oscars primarily as a window to personal history and how my opinion has both changed and stayed the same. [more]

Click to read more ...


I link for the applause, plause

The Backlot has an interesting thing to say about Marilyn Monroe. Interesting Monroe thoughts are rare!
The Playlist the new project Nasty Baby from Sebastian Silva sounds fun. With and Kristen Wiig and Tunde Adebimpe 
In Contention on the supporting/leading category placement decisions of upcoming performances. I'm really hoping Amy Adams (American Hustle) goes lead since that would be a nice change of pace.
Pop Blend Sigh. People still care about Jennifer Aniston's feelings about Angelina Jolie!

Kveller lol. the best use of Christina Aguilera's "Burlesque" since Burlesque itself. That's one pricey flamboyant Bar Mitzvah celebration
Pajiba writes an open letter to Showtime since they're still airing Dexter. (I'm SO glad I quit that show. I only wish I had quit it a couple of seasons before I did.
The Advocate terrific op-ed about waning enthusiasm for Lady Gaga and gay man + diva love affairs

I’ve heard other gay gripes about Gaga and wondered if it had less to do with Mother Monster and more with an approaching expiration date with the gay man/diva treaty (signed around 1900 between Sarah Bernhardt and Oscar Wilde, possibly). 


Pajiba cast changes at Orange is the New Black. Thrilled that Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere) is joining!
New York Times a revival of the musical adaptation of The Color Purple (for the stage) is winning raves in London - I didn't know there was a new one so that's not why we were talking about it. I guess it's in the ether. 
The Dissolve "shocker" critics more critical than general moviegoers 


Morning Truth Tell: Parker Posey Gives Best Deleted Scene of All Time

It was recently announced that Kiernan Shipka nabbed her first big post Mad Men gig. She'll play the lead role in a Lifetime TV's remake of Flowers in the Attic [src]. "Who's on top and who's on bottom now?!?" But the only thing I can ever think of when I hear Flowers in the Attic is the genius of Parker Posey, who famously lampooned both the incestuous book and bad acting in an audition sequence for Waiting For Guffman that she wrote herself.

Sadly this scene seems to have been removed from the internet altogether which does not alter the truth that it is the single greatest deleted scene of all time or at least the funniest "bad acting audition" ever recorded for the cinema and brought to us on the magical soon to be archaic DVD machines. (And lord knows there is an abundance of competition since bad audition montages are a total cliché.)

Live this truth. Carry it with you today.


Coming Soon... Supporting Actress 1952

On August 31st the Return of Stinkylulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown!
(in case you missed the announcement

We'll be talking... 

  • Gloria Grahame, The Bad and the Beautiful (the film is our "Best Shot" subject on the 21st)
  • Jean Hagen, Singin' in the Rain
  • Collette Marchand, Moulin Rouge
  • Terry Moore, Come Back Little Sheba
  • Thelma Ritter, With a Song in My Heart 

Have you seen all the films? If not, get on that! We'll also do a "reader's choice" as supplement so if you'd like to vote please send me your ranked ballot by Wednesday the 28th with "1952" in the subject line, your rank (of those you've seen), and a sentence or three if you'd like to explain.


Visual Index ~ The Color Purple's Best Shot(s)

For this week's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot I challenged participating blogs (you should join us next week for The Bad and the Beautiful!) to rewatch Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's THE COLOR PURPLE (1985) and make their choice for "best shot". The cinematography by Allen Daviau was Oscar-nominated, as were its central trio of actresses Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, and Oprah Winfrey (who returns to the screen in The Butler this weekend). The Color Purple famously lost all of its nominations but remains a touchstone film for many moviegoers and a divisive one for others.

All of which makes it an ideal candidate for this series. Here's what the various blogs chose so click on any of the pictures for the corresponding article. They're mostly in chronological order though I've had some strange html issues that have altered the look of the post which I can't quite figure out so I apologize for the wonkiness. I always marvel when different sets of eyeballs coalesce around the same images and scenes in films as visually showy as this one. 8 of the 13 participants chose the same scene and its aftermath.

The Film Experience

Nick's Flick Picks

More best shot choices after the jump...

Click to read more ...