Alexa here. Lately I came upon the fantastical drawings of Jesse Bowie. Presumably after some noodling on her subconsious, Jesse draws humans that aren't, anthropomorphizing the famous. (Her sketches remind me a bit of the film posters of Iain Hector, who reverses Jesse's centaur treatment, instead putting animal heads on film characters.) Here is a selection of Jesse's filmic sketches; she has also done her bit on the likes of Aziz Ansari, Joanna Newsom and Elvis. For those of you who have a vision, she also does custom work! (Nicole Kidman as a unicorn, anyone?) Check out her shop for more.
Click for Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and Danny Trejo...
If it were January instead of July we'd be tuning in to Season 2 of Smash right this second. Mondays at 10:00 PM on NBC, don'cha know. Only six months to go. Ugh!
Here is Katharine McPhee as "Karen" (who won the Marilyn Monroe role on Season 1) bowing down to Jack Davenport as "Derek" her director. As well she should since Davenport runs circles around her as an actor and convincingly sells us on his Karen-fixation which goes at least a little bit of the way towards understanding Karen's otherwise invisible charms as a leading lady.
I kid. I kid.
About the bowing down part (I meant everything else). I have no idea what McPhee is doing in this photo?Adjusting her marks maybe -- but doesn't she have people for that?
I am so excited for Season 2 of Smash and I have no idea why since there might be less Megan Hilty (the MVP) since she didn't get the Marilyn part. But a new show runner, new song writers (for a competing musical in the Season 2 plotline), and new cast members including Jennifer Judson in a multiple episode arc (a la Emmy nominated Uma Thurman last year), and rising stage star Jeremy Jordan of Broadway's Bonnie & Clyde and Newsies (and the Dolly/Latifah musical Joyful Noise) could mean a better show but it could also mean a lot of change for the sake of change and that's not always helpful either.
Right about now or 5 minutes ago, you're like "Why is Nathaniel talking about Smash in July?". It's only because I'm suffering withdrawal and seeking solace in my Smash-patch (i.e. playlists. I recommend listening to Hilty tearing into "Let's Be Bad" at least once a week to stave off the cold sweats and palpitations).
Smash was the target of much internet and media ire last season (musicals always have big bullseyes on their chests just visible underneath the sequins) so I was happy to read recently in Variety that its fate wasn't as dire as armchair and professional TV pundits originally suggested which could bode well for a Season 3 unless Season 2 is disastrous. Apparently Smash commands a very high CPM for an in house drama and it's also popular in high income households which is a big deal to massive corporations like NBC.
Are you hopeful or un about Smash S2? Will you join us on Tuesdays in the winter for weekly recaps like we did this year?
I know this is old news but this song by Sigur Rós has been stuck in my head all week and hurts my heart (in the good way). Also I love the NSFW music video.
This is exactly what would happen if Kate Bush and Shame's Steve McQueen had angry sex after a screening of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (they both hated it) and then nine months later a music video shaped baby was born.
If you didn't get a chance to see the premiere of VITO last week, make sure to tune in to one of its final airings [July 31st: 12:45 p.m.; Aug. 4th: 3:00 p.m.; Aug 8th: 9:15 a.m.] or find it on alternate HBO channels or HBOGO. The documentary is about the life and activism of Vito Russo (1946-1990) who was the author of the seminal non-fiction book "The Celluloid Closet" the definitive kick off point to the now robust commonplace conversation about the depiction of LGBT people in filmed entertainment.
I spoke with Jeffrey Schwarz, Vito's director, for Towleroad last weekend. I'd previously seen Schwarz's documentary about B movie showman William Castle (Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story) and we talked for an hour about a wide range of things beyond Vito including his work as the producer of "added value content" for DVDs. He's worked for a who's who of auteurs (Lynch, Scorsese, the Coens, and many many more) on bonus features and "making of" projects. It's not a subject one hears much about in terms of what goes on behind the curtain -- The Making of The Making of! -- perhaps that's diving too deep down the DVD/Bluray rabbit hole?
But I thought I'd share a few notes that didn't make it into my Towleroad interview for lack of space as well as being slightly off the Vito doc topic.
NATHANIEL R: You run this company Automat Pictures that does DVD extras. You've worked with these legends, almost mythically famous directors.
JEFFREY SCHWARZ: If you love movies, what I do for a living is a like a dream come true. I started doing this in 1998 when I got a job editing and shooting behind the scenes on Gus Van Sant's Psycho. That's how I got into this business. I didn't even have a DVD player yet! The format was first emerging and the studios were hiring independent producers to make added value content. I got lucky because I was in the right place at the right time. I'd actually pitched my William Castle movie to Sony because they own all the William Castle movies. I was a little bit naive thinking that this big studio would want to produce my documentary but they did end up hiring me to produce the DVD extras for The Tingler!
That's really what got me started -- first it was Psycho, then it was The Tingler! and that led to other jobs for other studios.
Take One: Ruthless People (1987)
DeVito wants Bette Midler dead and gone in Ruthless People. The sooner the better preferably, with a minimum of fuss and personal expense. Sam "spandex mini-skirt king" Stone's wife Barbara (Midler) is kidnapped by the nicest people to ever venture to the criminal side, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater. When, over the phone, Reinhold relays his strict rules regarding heiress Barbara ransom, DeVito’s face brightens by the minute at the idea that she will be killed if he disobeys their orders or any police intervention is suspected. Cue a fleet of cop cars and every news channel in LA reporting on the story. Cut to: Sam popping a champagne cork with filthy glee.
Ruthless People is a daft rejig of crime film plot staples, a film noir hijacked by a clown. DeVito gives it just the right amount of mugging and brimful-to-overflowing silliness it requires. He revels in the heightened ridiculousness of the plot in his typically impish fashion. There’s something consistently written across his face that suggests he’s so in on the joke and wants us to be just as tied up in the murderous slapstick as he and the rest of the cast are. DeVito mined this goofy performance style to perfection during the 1980s in films like Twins, Throw Momma from the Train and Wise Guys, but its best expressed right here. DeVito is ever the generously complicit comedian in Ruthless People and deserved that Golden Globe nomination for his comic efforts. (Inexplicably, Paul ‘Crocodile Dundee’ Hogan won that year)
Take Two: The War of the Roses (1989)
When the DeVito-directed The War of the Roses was first announced there was talk, rumors really, that it would be the next installment of the Romancing the Stone series. It wasn’t, but it featured the same core trio: Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner romantically entwined and Danny DeVito on the sidelines. MORE...