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Thursday
Jun122014

Throwback Thursday FYC: 1964 Oscar Ads

The only ones I could find. We'll start with three pre and post-nomination ads aiming for the actual gold. This first for Anne Bancroft in The Pumpkin Eater is possibly just a poster but those sometimes double as FYC's when they're focused enough and this one is.

Three more ads and Oscar trivia after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun122014

ICYMI + Goldfinger

June is flying by and if you aren't here every day you're bound to miss something good. Here's a few posts just for the helluvit that you won't want to have missed that are already buried on pages 3, 6 or number whatever of this continually updated blog.

Sarah Paulson Reality Check - she thinks she'll keep getting stiffed for Supporting Actress and knows from Category Fraud
Disney Heroines - gorgeous old school paintings of Mulan and more
The Fault In Our Stars - reviewed through watery eyes
Miss Julie Posters - what'cha think?
Beauty vs. Beast - white swan versus Black Swan... the closest battle yet 

and for dessert
Maleficent Cake  - what do you suppose it tastes like?

and if you really haven't been here in a while...
First Oscar Predictions of the Year  and all the updated Oscar Charts

COMING SOON: Tuesday Night (June 17th) on Hit Me With Your Best Shot
James Bond in Goldfinger (1964)

We've never done a Bond film in this series and this one right here, 50 years old now, is universally regarded as one of the tippity-top entries in the franchise. Plus, it fits neatly into our '64 party and is available for instant watching on both Amazon and Netflix. I wonder if anyone will look beyond that gold corpse? You want to join in this week, I know you do.

Take the assignment - you're licensed to blog!


Thursday
Jun122014

Ruby Dee (1922-2014)

We've lost another showbiz legend.

Ruby Dee photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1962

Ruby Dee, the showbiz legend and awards magnet -- the list is seriously long and includes an Emmy & Grammy -- rose to fame on stage and screen in the 1940s. Her feature debut was That Man of Mine (1946) but her best remembered roles came later with The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), the screen adaptation of the oft-revived play A Raisin in the Sun (1961, which just netted yet more Tony Awards) opposite Sidney Poitier, and the first Off Broadway production of "Boesman and Lena" with James Earl Jones on stage in 1970.

Ruby Dee during her victory lap of events honoring her in the Aughts. This one is from 2008Younger audiences undoubtedly know her best from her screen return in the classic Do The Right Thing (1989, with her longtime husband Ossie Davie who passed away nine years ago), her political activism, and that round of lifetime achievement prizes in the Aughts starting with SAG in 2001.

That victory lap arguably peaked when she gave Denzel Washington the slap he deserved in American Gangster (2007). The resulting Oscar nod was surely a recognition of a sturdy cross-media showbiz career that stretch all the way to 1939 (gasp) with a stage debut at 17. She died in her home at 91 yesterday after a full, vibrant and influential life. 

Thursday
Jun122014

Some Came Linking

Vulture dreams up sequels for The Fault In Our Stars. We'll obviously take the Laura Dern one
The Awl "The Tortured History of Entertainment Weekly" - god I was so in love with that magazine when it debuted in the 1990s. The first issue I remember buying was #5 with Jamie Lee Curtis on the cover for Kathryn Bigelow's Blue Steel
Pixar Times Pixar teases the first five minutes of Inside Out their June 2015 release
Theater Mania Laura Benanti auditions for Peter Pan Live

Boy Culture RIP supporting actress Martha Hyer, Oscar-nominated for Some Came Running (1958) 
Kenneth in the (212) teases a new stage production with the music of the The Go-Gos?
Comics Alliance a giant statue of Spider-Man in Korea is causing a stir thanks to its Spider-Manhood
Empire there's a new trailer for The Boxtrolls
Variety expects crazy ladies to dominate the Guest Actress race at the Emmys 
THR has a lengthy cover story on the suicide of the director of Searching For Sugar Man 

Foreign Film Oscar Watch
The Great Beauty, Italy's Oscar winner just lost its home-field Oscar race to a film called Human Capital which also won three acting gongs. Human Capital wasn't eligible for submission by Italy last year (since it hadn't yet opened by the cutoff date) so it could well be Italy's submission this year.

P.S.
I'm not sure how I missed this excellent interview with Lori Petty over at The Daily Beast on Sunday but it's a must read if you have any affection at all for Lori or the 1990s when she just kept doing her inimitable thing all over now classic movies like A League of Their Own, Point Break, and... well, the interview weirdly neglects Tank Girl but what can you do? She talks working with Jodie Foster, Madonna, discovering Jennifer Lawrence and how she got her cameo part in Orange is the New Black despite definitely being off the radar in recent years. 

Lori Petty & Naomi Watts in Tank Girl (1995)

Why do you think the roles started drying up after Tank Girl?

Well, because I was thirty-something and I hadn’t married my agent, married any guy co-stars, or gotten fake titties or Botox. I never wanted to be a bombshell; I wanted to be an actor. I would much prefer to be a woman than a man, but if I was a dude, maybe I’d have Johnny Depp’s island because women in this industry after a certain age definitely don’t get to do Pirates of the Caribbean. Poor Keira [Knightley], they even airbrushed huge tits on her on the poster, and she’s flawless! I was trying to play football with a baseball, and you can’t really do that.

Thursday
Jun122014

Tilda. She's Just Like Us

Don't we all have one of these in our closet for that afternoon stroll?

Wednesday
Jun112014

A Year with Kate: Song Of Love (1947)

Episode 24 of 52: In which Katharine Hepburn shows off her talented fingers.

I have the strangest sense of deja vu.  Kate’s stuck in another melodrama about a young artist in love with a tortured composer. The composer is played by another foreign leading man. And I’ve created another set of box office graphs to answer KHep career questions through science. It’s like we never left RKO! I know you have a lot of questions--one being ”are you really going to start calling her KHep?” (Answer: Yes.) But first, let’s talk about the movie.

Song of Love is the highly inaccurate but very sweet story of Clara Wieck Schumann, a piano prodigy who marries tortured genius Robert Schumann (Paul Heinreid). Clara Wieck Schumann really was a piano prodigy, and she really did marry Robert Schumann and pop out babies like a human Pez dispenser. However, basically everything else about the movie is Hollywood fiction, including a second almost-romance with Brahms, played charmingly by Robert Walker (who’d just finished charmingly playing Kate’s son in The Sea of Grass. Accidental incest is awkward). It’s a pity the film glosses over her story, because Clara Wieck was actually incredible.

Channeling her inner Clara, Kate successfully learned to play piano for the role. (The music is dubbed.) When not tickling the ivories, Kate spends a lot of time looking very pretty sitting next to Paul Heinreid, or crying by him, or kissing him. Honestly, Katharine Hepburn and Paul Heinreid have about as much chemistry together as do my rug and my lamp; they look very nice next to each other and they spruce the place up, but barring any faulty wiring, I don’t expect a fire. 

 Still, the music is good and the acting is sweet. Plus, after three movies of men scowling at Kate it’s a relief to watch a guy smile at her again, even if (century-and-a-half-old spoiler alert) it’s before he goes insane and dies in an asylum. Enough about the movie, though. Let’s get to the real drama: the box office.

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun112014

Brad Pitt in "Fury"

A behind the scenes look at David Ayer's Fury, which takes place late in World War II and collects a bunch of strong actors (Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, etcetera with Brad Pitt to lead them) for tank duty. Did I underestimate it on my Oscar charts? They're shooting on real film. Good on them.