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Entries in 10|25|50|75|100 (222)

Monday
May222017

25th Anniversary: Alien 3 - the theatrical cut vs. the assembly cut

Tim here. With Alien: Covenant opening to #1 over the weekend, it's fortuitous timing that today marks the 25th anniversary of Alien3.  The 1992 sci-fi thriller is probably best-known today for two reasons: introducing music video director David Fincher to the world of theatrical features, and knocking all the shine off of the Alien franchise for the first time (and alas! not the last).

 Underperforming at the box office, and outright flopping with critics, Alien³ has never since recovered its reputation; if time has been kind to it, it's only because at least we can now say, "well, at least it's not as bad as Alien: Resurrection"...

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Monday
May012017

The Furniture: My Gal Sal's Nonsense Gay Nineties

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Here's Daniel Walber...

My Gal Sal is a pack of lies. The 1942 musical, ostensibly a biopic of songwriter Paul Dresser, is almost entirely fabricated. Of course, that hardly matters. Accuracy is no prerequisite for the Best Production Design Oscar, which Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright and Thomas Little won for the picture. No one will be mad if some details are fudged in musical numbers like “Me and My Fella and a Big Umbrella.”

That said, My Gal Sal is interesting because it’s all nonsense. It’s a window into the way Hollywood projects itself onto the past, a compendium of historical kitsch.

Dresser (Victor Mature) begins the film in a strict, Indiana home. His minister father objects to his music, so he runs away and gets a job with a medicine show. 

Eventually he meets Sally Elliott (Rita Hayworth), an established Broadway star. They don’t hit it off right away, but he meets her again in New York City. Their on-again-off-again romance, troubled by his sudden success, drives the rest of the plot...

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Monday
May012017

May! 

And you... and you... and you... you're gonna love May! 🎵

That's my promise to you readers. We're planning to work our asses off this month for you after a slow April. When you feel energy comin' off the blog, given back in the form of comments, shares, donations, good vibes, or subscriptions, won'cha?

May is the month of the Virgin Mary, emerald birthstones, Tauruses and Geminis, and all sorts of ultra specific things you can celebrate on this very day if you're feeling festive.

10 things work celebrating on this day in history (May 1st) after the jump including Batman and our third living 100 year-old movie star...

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Thursday
Apr272017

50th Anniversary: the 20th Annual Cannes Film Festival

by Nathaniel R

Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave at Cannes '67Fifty years ago on this very day over in France the 20th annual Cannes Film Festival opened with the French film I Killed Rasputin directed by Robert Hossein. The jury was headed by the influential Italian director Alessandro and featured both Shirley Maclaine and Vincente Minnelli, two of our favorites.

When the festival closed that year the awards were spread out (as they should be) with lots of countries winning something. The Palme d'Or went to Michelangelo Antonioni's brilliant Blowup at the end of the festival (a film we tried to interest y'all in a few years ago to crickets. *sniffle*). Check out Vanessa Redgrave's frankly awesome full-body get-up on the red carpet with her then brand new lover Franco Nero (of Camelot fame). They finally married 11 years ago!

Both of the acting prizes went to young actors...

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Tuesday
Apr252017

OTD: Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino, "Ziegfeld Girl," and what's new on Blu-Ray and DVD

On this day in history (4/25) as it relates to showbiz. Consider this suggestions as to things to celebrate or ponder to liven up your day. Have a great one!

1917 Today is the centennial of the great singer Ella Fitzgerald, born in Virginia one hundred years ago on this very day. She was often referred to as "the First Lady of Song" but her film career amounted to cameos like the one in St Louis Blues (1958) where she sings a song beautifully and that's it. 

She only appeared onscreen in four movies, the first of which was Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942) but as one of the 20th Century's most celebrated voices, you can hear her music in 100s of films and TV shows... 

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Thursday
Apr062017

Celebrating Grindhouse: 10 Years Later 

By Spencer Coile 

There was something electric in the air when I sat down at an opening night showing of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's collaborative work, Grindhouse ten years ago to this day. I was only 15 years-old at the time, crowded into a rowdy, sold-out theater. Dripping in nostalgia, the film heralded back to B-movies from the 60's and 70's that were pulpy, campy, and over-the-top in every way imaginable. This 3+ hour epic featured trailers, two films (Planet Terror from Rodriguez, Death Proof from Tarantino), and an "intermission" as a means to immerse its audience into a culture of filmmaking that had long been forgotten... 

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Monday
Apr032017

Happy 75th to Four-Time Oscar Nominee Marsha Mason

by Eric Blume

Marsha Mason speaking at an event in 2015Today marks the 75th birthday of Marsha Mason, one of Hollywood’s leading ladies from the 1970s.  Celebrating her is easy because she brought a lot of light and joy to screens for a decade and a half with her toothy vibrance and warm energy.

It’s strange to think that contemporary young movie audiences don’t even know Mason, since she scored four Oscar nominations for Best Actress over nine years!  Her first nomination came in 1973 for Mark Rydell’s Cinderella Liberty, where she plays a prostitute with an 11-year-old mixed race son.  Her rapport with co-star James Caan and the young actor who plays her son has a scrappy grace to it, and it’s a winning performance. 

Mason’s other three Oscar nominations came from roles written or tailored expressly for her by her then-husband, Neil Simon...

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Monday
Mar202017

The Furniture: Thoroughly Modern Millie

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

Thoroughly Modern Millie opened 50 years ago this week, in the spring between San Francisco’s Human Be-In and the Summer of Love. None of 1967’s Best Picture nominees, immortalized as the birth of the New Hollywood in Mark Harris’s Pictures at a Revolution, had yet opened, but there was already something in the air.

Director George Roy Hill capitalized on this countercultural moment with an extravagant show of concentrated nostalgia. Thoroughly Modern Millie leaps back to the Roaring 20s, America’s last moment of liberated sexuality and conspicuous consumption before the Great Depression. Its flamboyant, frenetic ode to the flappers and their world was a big hit, making more than $34 million and landing 10th at the yearly box office. The film was nominated for seven Oscars including Art Direction-Set Decoration.

Yet its portrayal is not without contradictions...

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