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Thursday
Feb062014

The Amazing Technicolor Link Blog

Village Voice is Frozen the first Disney movie about girls rather than for them?
The New Yorker asks Richard Brody, film critic, to explain himself. Cute video but omg his desk is cramped
Jezebel somehow I missed this interview where Bryan Singer blamed women for the failure of Superman Returns (2006)... Jezebel, predictably, has words for him.  
The Dissolve has a piece about the toxicity of twitter and its effects on intrafeminist battles. Really interesting and ties into what's been going on with the Dylan Farrow letter I think 
VF George Clooney's advice for posing on the cover of Vanity Fair 
Coming Soon interesting. Dakota Fanning to headline the next film from Miss Bala director Gerardo Naranjo. She'll play a roadie on the way towards self discovery

NY Times Phedon Papamichael, nominated for his cinematography on Nebraska shares his favorite things of the moment from Instagram to the Polish film Ida
Pajiba on the beautiful casting of a new Netflix show: Linda & Kyle & Sissy oh my
Coming Soon got 10 free hours? Amazon Instant Watch debuts 10 new series pilots we've never heard of today but one of them called Mozart in the Jungle has a great team and cast
i09 a movie version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat produced by Elton John, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber? Sure why not. But they better get a costume designer that's on point

Cinema Blend Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is actually on track towards filming again. Ha. The saga of this movie is probably more exciting than the movie could ever hope to be. Lily Collins will star.
Coming Soon the original Fantastic Four movies were just terrible and I have literally no optimism for the reboot either despite admiring director Josh Trank's Chronicle and virtually all of the actors individually just not the in roles he's considering them for. His casting is too young, too arbitrary, too non-WASPy. I know it's foolish to lament the lack of role opportunities for hot blondes in Hollywood - Hahaha - but if any superhero role ever was meant for a WASPy blonde and a WASPy blonde alone it was Sue Storm. Kate Mara and Emmy Rossum don't fit the bill and isn't Miles Teller way too young and fun-loving for the science genius gravitas of Mr Fantastic? 

Finally
You know how much we love the topic of age and acting here at TFE. Well on this recent HuffPo conversation they discuss the earning power drop for actresses which comes, they say, at 34. With men their power doesn't drop until their mid 50s.

I started the video aggravated that all the panelists seemed clueless about the disparity when it came to the men... I mean it's so obvious since male actors don't even start their reign until their 30s usually (Leonardo DiCaprio is not the norm, he's a rarity. What's far more common is the Channing Tatums and Brad Pitts of the world who kick around for a bit winning some attention and then *BOOM* supernova at about 30)... but I'm glad they ignored the men and discussed the women. It's an interesting conversation and Lisa Rosman is a critic I liked and she's good on the fly discussing this. I would need to read more about this study to believe the results fully though because from where I sit it does seem to me that actress careers are lasting longer, even in terms of lead roles, than they once did. Obviously Sandra Bullock, even more successful than she once was as she approaches 50 -- and she was pretty successful to begin with! --  is a rarity. And yet in general it does seem to me that the major actresses are having longer shelf lives than they once did. They don't seem to just vanish until their mid to late 40s early 50s now (notice the quick fades of Hunter, Allen, Linney, Clarkson, etcetera) rather than the late 30s early 40s it once was.

Thursday
Feb062014

Meet the Berlinale Jury

The 64th Berlinale begins today in Germany - a press conference for Grand Budapest Hotel is streaming right now. It's the second of the six most powerful and premiere-heavy festivals each year, which schedule like so: Sundance -January; Berlin -February; Cannes - May; and the September glut of Venice, Telluride & Toronto. Like most of the biggies Berlinale has multiple juries for multiple types of awards, major and niche. But here's the main competition jury presided over by former Focus Features chief James Schamus. 

The Jury, The Competition Films, and Oscar History after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb052014

Happy 50th to The Lovely Laura Linney

Laura at the airport in a rare sighting in 2013You guys. I keep an elaborate spreadsheet of important dates for blogging and I somehow missed that today was The Lovely Laura Linney's 50th birthday. How could I? Don't you miss her?

Laura has kept a low profile these past few years (apart from headlining Showtime's The Big C), and an extremely low profile -- like no profile at all -- this past calendar year, largely we assume because of her stealth pregnancy. No one even knew she was pregnant and then she was suddenly giving birth at 49!

So a very happy birthday to a one of a kind actress. And to think I thought she was a little bland when I first saw her on Tales of the City (1993) as Marianne. How wrong I was. I blame the apple-cheeked suburban beauty which threw me. She was the perfect Marianne, really, and she only got better from there. How glad I was to be wrong. One of my favorite Oscar nominations of the past decade, like easy top 5 favorite, was her surprise nod (which I predicted - go me) for Wendy Savage in The Savages (2008) which is my favorite of her performances though the one-two punch of her stealth hatefulness in The House of Mirth (2000) and that indelible sibling warmth in You Can Count On Me (2000) is when the fandom truly hit me. 

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney in "The Savages"

What's your favorite Laura Linney role and when did you first fall for her? Jason gives his answer at My New Plaid Pants. Yours?

Wednesday
Feb052014

A Year With Kate: The Little Minister (1934)

Episode 6 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.

In which Katharine Hepburn has a little Scotsman in her.

Who’s up for a catfight? The Little Minister is seriously lacking in drama or conflict, so I decided to invent some of my own. 1934 was a low point for Kate, but a certain blonde fury came roaring to the top that year, one Miss Bette Davis.

more...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb052014

William S Burroughs Centennial

Today is the centennial of the infamous Beat era writer William S Burroughs and I've been thinking about him lately due to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death via heroin (why is it that I always start stringing the celebrity junkies together when they die? Is it because there are so damn tragic many of them?) but mostly because I was really gripped by Ben Foster's portrayal of him in Kill Your Darlings, a problematic movie about guys that weren't nearly as palatable in real life (despite the movie being about murder) that had a great moment here and there. Of course the movie wasn't really about Burroughs but about Lucien Carr's (Dane Dehaan) murder of his lover (Michael C Hall). From time to time I have wondered why we've had no straight up biopic about Burroughs (Keifer Sutherland is the only other actor I can think of that's played him), given that he's a very famous white guy genius and that's the kind of biopic Hollywood likes best. But I guess it couldn't be done; The MPAA and most moviegoers and possibly even myself would just never be able to deal what with the sex, the drugs, the finger-chopping, the wife-shooting, and what not.

So let's move over to actual movies. Burroughs appeared in a small role in Gus Van Sant's terrific Drugstore Cowboy (1989) which I highly recommend to any of you wondering why Matt Dillon was a "you owe him" Oscar nominee for Crash (2005) and then of course there was David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991), a film version of Burrough's, ummmm, unfilmable novel. (Incidentally our friend Nick, who you know from Nick's Flick Picks and the podcast, writes extensively on this film in his first book "The Desiring Image") Whether or not any cinematic interpretation of Naked Lunch could be considered definitive if we didn't have it we would never have seen Julian Sands buggered by a towering insect monster or Judy Davis injecting bug powder into her breasts.

Have you seen Naked Lunch or read any of Burroughs work?

Burroughs with Cronenberg during the filming of Naked Lunch

Some Centennial Celebrations
Time Magazine "Rebel, Junkie, Exile, Genius"
NPR "Possessed by Genius"
The New Statesman "To say it country simple, most folks enjoy junk” - Burroughs in 1966 on kicking his heroin addiction 
Dreg Studios Brandt Hardin celebrates the history of Burroughs with a portrait 

Wednesday
Feb052014

Is Jeremy Irons Put 'Out to Pasture' as Pennyworth?

[Editors Note: I am pleased to welcome new contributor Diana Drumm to The Film Experience. The benefit of fresh voices? They often have subjects to opine on that we haven't run into the ground already here at TFE. Like this consideration of Jeremy Irons, late in his career. Enjoy! - Nathaniel]


Last week, the internet announced, buzzed and trounced the news of Jesse Eisenberg signing on to play Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. (Insert maniacal mastermind Mark Zuckerberg joke.) Less buzzed about, but part of the same announcement, Jeremy Irons is set to play Alfred Pennyworth. Seriously. Jeremy “Scar is an unknowing introduction to masochism” Irons. Brushing aside millenial Disney hang-ups, Jeremy Irons is a glorious figure of bygone British manhood and Alfred Pennyworth is... A different sort of bygone British manhood. 

Lithe yet powerful, languid yet vital, vulnerable yet undeniably masculine. As an actor, Irons’s performances take on a seductive quality, with an earnest veneer covering an implicit rascaliness or vice versa or a muddled mix of both. With a bewildered look as powerful as a forceful growl, he (his innate talent, his RSC work, his Oscar) is being wasted.

Not that he’s the first thesp to be called in as a ringer for a blockbuster (or that this is his first time on the merry-go-round -- EragonBeautiful Creatures, etc.)...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb052014

More Kudos for The Grandmaster

The awards journey of Wong Kar Wai's long-gestating martial arts history epic continues. Though The Grandmaster didn't win a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, it nevertheless became one of those rare subtitled pictures to become a multiple Oscar nominee even without that honor. Though it's not likely to win either of its Oscar nominations, more trophies might be coming its way. It lost the Golden Horse for Best Picture, Asia's most prestigious film trophy, but now it leads the Hong Kong Film Award nominations with 14 nominations. Its nearest rival is Unbeatable, a fight tournament movie with 11 nominations which is really much closer to a Hollywood style inspirational sports drama like Warrior. (I reviewed the latter at TIFF last year.) 

Eddie Peng and Nick Cheung in UNBEATABLE

For those who, like me, are confused at the amount of different film awards for the Chinese film industry, I have asked and it works out something like so. There are three major regions (Taiwan, China, Hong Kong) and they each have film awards; The Golden Horse are from Taiwan and are considered the most prestigious because they have the widest open playing field (all three major regions are eligible for prizes plus places like Singapore -- which took Best Picture for Ilo Ilo if you'll recall) and they are the oldest and thus an institution; the Hong Kong Film Awards concentrate on Hong Kong cinema and China's Golden Rooster concentrates on mainland China... though in all three cases certain films work around the rules. It was ever so in film awards from anywhere, yes?

The nominee list, with more commentary, is after the jump

Click to read more ...