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Emmy History, "Empire" Heat, and the Super Competitive 'Best Drama Actress' Race

The two hour season finale of Empire, a show I like to call "The Taraji P Henson Variety Hour," hits tonight and though Emmy nominee balloting is literally three months away (June 15th-26th) so there's plenty of time to weigh the options and discuss them, the Empire team is already working hard to win votes. Taraji P Henson & Terence Howard feel like likely players in the Drama races. I doubt Emmy will ignore the leads in a new primetime soap network drama this buzzy and popular. The 1980s were unquestionably the heyday of this genre of television (with Dallas, Dynasty, The Colbys, Knots Landing and Falcon Crest all popular) though it's probably worth noting that the actors within this genre have had an easier time landing nominations then their series have. Dallas and Dynasty, the two most popular shows of this genre in the history of television, were only up for the top prize three times between them. Why, you ask?

Emmy history and the historic Best Actress after the jump...

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Link Block Tango

HAPPY HANGOVER DAY. I kid I kid. I never drink on St Patrick's Day because who wants to be a cliche? I was too caught up in The Quiet Man but I also got stuck on a subway for hours. Oy so I'm off to a very late start today and last night's roundup post didn't go as well and I missed a few. So make sure to check that out again for all the updates. Definitely check out I/fwp because we always love it when we get a newbie set of eyeballs to this series, so here's a loving cinephile husband on this movie that he wouldn't have seen if not for his wife.

W Magazine Alicia Vikander photoshoot by Willy Vanderperre. I'm so anxious to see her in Ex-Machina. Loved her breakout parts in Anna Karenina, A Royal Affair. Can she keep it up?
Playbill a new TV sitcom for Megan Hilty in which she plays a former Tony-winning musical star adapting to life as a soccer mom. Ummm... unless she sings every episode this will make me crazy
BBC wonders if sexual fantasy can be filmed looking at 50 Shades of Grey, The Duke of Burgundy, Eyes Wide Shut and more
A Fistful of Films looks back for his birthday to his formative films in this epic post. I love personal blogging like this 

In Contention with Suffragette and The Danish Girl, will Focus Features on the forthcoming Oscar season?
Variety John Williams is not doing Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies due to a health issue "that's been resolved". But then why is he also not doing the new Star Wars (with Alexandre Desplat taking over). John Williams is 83 years old so this worries. Best wishes for a speedy recoveries.
The Dissolve looks at The Jinx and wonders why Andrew Jarecki's Robert Durst fascination worked so much better than it did back in All Good Things (2010). I didn't watch The Jinx because a) I'm not that into documentaries, b) I didn't like All Good Things and c) I'll miss Kirsten Dunst too much who was so excellent in Jarecki's first attempt at the story
Pajiba predicts the date of the end of the superhero craze. Ostensibly this post is about Jason Momoa and silly comic book wards
Variety on the Paley Center's celebration of the women in American Horror Story. Connie Britton and Kathy Bates quotes
Empire because Hollywood cannot leave the 80s alone we'll soon have a remake of that Roy Scheider helicopter movie Blue Thunder. This is not what that article is about but it's what we're always about: the one subsection of 80s hits that the studios don't seem to be mining for remakes are all the the actressy ones, you know the Goldie Hawn / Sally Field / Debra Winger / Kathleen Turner type blockbusters.
The Guardian on Disney's Princess franchise box office and the strong first weeks of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
cinematically insane on The Smartest Girl in Town (1936) and Pre-Code love (though this one isn't) in general.

MNPP celebrates Jai Courtney. Confession: My favorite part of Jai Courtney (and there are a lot of good parts) is Jai Courtney's nose. I was sad that it lived to smell no more after the plane crash in Unbroken.
MNPP actually Jason celebrates Jai Courtney twice over. But in this second link it's Jai Courtney celebrating Jai Courtney but Jai Courtney isn't focused on his nose. How many times do you think I can type Jai Courtney in this post? Jai Courtney.

Speaky of hunky deliciousness.. two more takeaways. The first is a new quad teaser poster for 007's next outing Spectre. Craig's first three outing got him in a bathing suit at least once. (Or wait, did Quantum of Solace skip that? -- if so, no wonder it's the worst of the three) but will Spectre? 

From the annual Broadway Backwards concert, which raised almost half a million dollars, an all male rendition of Chicago's classic "Cell Block Tango" -- Pop! Six! Squish! Uh uh, Cicero, Lipschitz!

My favorite is #17 the Spread Eagle but L-O-V-E the linguistic swish/switch-up to "uh uh" -hee!



Visual Index ~ The Quiet Man's Best Shots


One of the specific things the series Hit Me With Your Best Shot has taught me over the years is how great John Ford is as a director. When I was younger I never liked his films much but now I end up wanting to talk about every other scene in whichever film I'm watching of his; it's easy to marvel at the way he's staging and shooting his stories as an adult. His Ireland themed location-shot romantic dramedy classic The Quiet Man (1952) won the directing and cinematography Oscars in its year. It took the latter surely for those lush emerald landscapes and beautiful pops of color like blue dresses and flowers and The Queen of Technicolor's fiery mane. It inexplicably lost Best Picture in its year (to the oft-reviled The Greatest Show on Earth) but it obviously contributed to the decision to hand Maureen O'Hara's her recent highly deserved Honorary Oscar as its the movie most often cited when people talk about her gifts. But the movie sure is fun and sexy, too.

As usual the Best Shot participants wove interesting personal details and insights into their posts. We even have our first father & son article (!) as befits a film that's a clear family favorite in some homes.

Click on any of the 10 images in rough chronological order to read the 14 corresponding articles at these fine blogs & pinterests.

Images that were made by an enormously talented pair of image-makers to be read as quickly and deeply as possible....
-Antagony & Ecstasy


 As if she's a forest spirit that has stepped out of Celtic folklore.
-The Film's The Thing (Son)

It’s thematically and technically effective, but it’s also a gorgeous and unusual shot. 
-Coco Hits NY 

There are plenty of images to pull from “The Quiet Man” that confirm the Academy’s judgement
- Nebel Without a Cause 

This may very well be the start of a new actressing obsession for me...
-A Fistful of Films 

I’m choosing this as my Best Shot because it reminds me that as husbands, we are called to scoop up God’s grace and bring it just a little closer to our wives.

They may have layers and layers of clothing on, but that is downright erotic. For 1952, it's practically porn
-Dancin Dan on Film 

'"a good Christian act.'"
- Sorta That Guy 

There's more to its cinematography than those outdoors scenes...
-Film Actually 

In every scene you can tell that they'd like to chuck the customs to get to the consummation. Except when it's time to get to the consummation...
- The Film Experience 

Ford was a master of filling every frame with visual information...
-The Entertainment Junkie

Unlike anything else in this particular film... 
-Dusty Hixenbaugh 

Imagine how an inhabitant from the fictitious 1920s Irish community of Inisfree might react to an episode of Fox’s EMPIRE...
-Paul Outlaw  

Although I respect any person’s right to say no—even married people c. 1950s rural Ireland—it really grinded my maidenly gears...
-Video Valhalla  

So, the story takes the same path as expected... the meeting, banter, spats and misunderstanding, conflict, and finally, reconciliation.
-The Film's The Thing (Father)



"Is this a courtship or a donnybrook?"

Top o' the evening to you and a Happy St. Patrick's Day. To prepare for tonight's Hit Me With Your Best Shot we started the morning off right  by screening the John Ford classic The Quiet Man (1952). For those who haven't seen the film, it's about a rich American (John Wayne) who moves back to his ancestral homeland determined to settle down and immediately falls passionately in love with a fiery stranger (Maureen O'Hara) before he's even learned her name or bought that home which which to settle down into; O'Hara has that affect on people. One of the reasons I love watching old movies that I only have vague familiarity with (usually as a child) is that they're altogether different when you watch them as an adult. I've loved O'Hara since I was a child but I tended to avoid John Wayne movies (Red River is the only one of his films I've seen more than once, entirely due to Montgomery Clift). Which is why I was quite surprised to be drawn to John Wayne's stoic but expressive performance here and nearly chose this image as my best shot

I'm limiting myself to three images after the jump. It's so difficult because this movie is gorgeous. It won the Cinematography Oscar and its not hard to see why...

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Curio: Kim Novak, Painter

Alexa here.  Recently I was doing some searching for the perfect alternative poster for my second-favorite Hitchcock film Vertigo (wanted a companion piece for the print I have celebrating my favorite) and I stumbled upon a link to the painting below.  Turns out it was painted by the actress herself, Kim Novak.  

I then found myself in a Google deep-dive regarding 'Kim Novak, artist'. Here are some samples of her more intriguing pieces...

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We Can't Wait #4: Mad Max: Fury Road

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Glenn...

Who & What: Despite being a sequel – and a third sequel at that – there’s something refreshing about seeing Mad Max: Fury Road on the summer schedule. A passion project of the classic variety, George Miller’s 30-years-in-the-making fourth entry in the influential and groundbreaking dystopian action franchise comes to screens with fire-cannons blazin’. Starring a barely audible Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron’s shaved head and Nicholas Hoult with cracked-out make-up, this elaborately mounted Aussie action fantasy will surely be an IMAX spectacle of the highest order.

Why We’re Excited: Have you seen The Road Warrior? That’s why we’re excited. George Miller is one of the finest director of whizz-bang sequences that cinema has ever seen and I can only imagine what he’ll do with the mammoth budget that he was (inexplicably) given for Fury Road. It’s unlikely that Miller’s distinctly one-of-a-kind automobile mayhem will be what mainstream blockbuster audiences think they want in a year that has Avengers and Star Wars sequels, but it’s also unlikely that Fury Road will be like anything we’ve ever seen before. And then there’s the trailer. The best trailer of any film this year that we’ll see I’m sure of it. It genuinely should’ve been considered for Oscar’s best live-action short category.

What if It All Goes Wrong? George Miller doesn’t exactly do quiet very well. Despite receiving an Oscar nomination for the dying-child melodrama Lorenzo’s Oil, his directing career is more known for bombastic explosions of style. I’ve been skeptical of the project for a while given it started filming over three years ago and has been through more delays than I can count. Furthermore, what we’ve heard suggests the movie is literally just one long, extended chase scene and that Hardy barely speaks a word. Miller’s walking on a very shaky tightrope here and he could face-plant in the worst way, but much like James Cameron it’s probably not wise to bet on it.

When: Max takes over screens globally on May 15th. Only Japan and Brazil have to wait an extra week. How will they cope?!?

#5 The Lobster
#6 Crimson Peak
#7 45 Years
#8 Bridge of Spies
#9 Taxi
#10 Freeheld
#11 A Bigger Splash
#12 The Dressmaker
#13 The Hateful Eight
#14 Knight of Cups
#15 Arabian Nights
Sidebar 3 Animated Films
Sidebar 2 Tomorrowland
Sidebar 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron
Intro Pick a Blockbuster


In 'Hot Pursuit' of Counter-Programming

Is there any hope that summer action/comedy hopeful, Hot Pursuit, can be good? Reese & Sofia shared each others posters on social media the other day and it was endearing, albeit in a corporate mandated way. More...

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