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Entries in 20th Century Women (32)

Monday
Jul012019

Streaming Roulette, July: Reese doesn't live under the silver lake anymore

As is our practice we've selected 8-10 titles and frozen the films at utterly random moments without cheating (whatever comes up comes up!). It's our way of previewing new titles streaming in the first half of JULY 2019. (★ means we recommend catching them.) Please do let us know if you're dying to discuss any of the films and maybe we'll write about them.  

Ready? Let's go...

Why did I get stuck with the janky old broke hobo Spider-Man? 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) on Netflix ★
Watched this again on a whim with a friend who was curious because it won the Oscar. He's not into animated movies or superhero movies and he totally enjoyed it. Thus are its many inventive delights. It really holds up to viewing number two. Jam-packed with details you can easily miss on the first round.

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Tuesday
Jun182019

The New Classics - 20th Century Women

Michael Cusumano here to thank you for making this post part of your own personal Mike Mills film today. I'm honored.

image via "books in movies"

To watch a Mike Mills movie is to continually ask, “Why don’t more people make movies with this much freedom?” 

His films deploy everything from news clips to rotating narrators to archival footage from a century ago. The screenplay will jump backwards in time, skimming through the characters’ biographies, or forwards to glimpse the details of their death. The focus can zoom in to the most granular details or out to encompass the entire cosmos. I doubt he will ever make a film that doesn’t include a shot of the stars. At least I hope he doesn’t... 

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Tuesday
May292018

Top Ten: Annette Bening's Best Performances

The one and only Annette Bening turns 60 today. But, really, she's ageless. And with agelessness comes the superpower of never-peaking. She's been brilliant from the start and, if anything, keeps getting moreso. Herewith our ten favorite performances by The Bening, though should you ask us on another day the films and the order would change.

THE BENING'S 10 BEST

10 Mother and Child (2009/2010) 
Released in the early summer of 2010 to little fanfare, and immediately eclipsed by a much bigger summer hit in The Kids Are All Right,  she was moving playing an unlikeably negative and guarded woman who'd once given up a child (Naomi Watts) for adoption. 

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Monday
Feb262018

Interview: Greta Gerwig on what kind of filmmaker she's going to be

by Nathaniel R 

Greta Gerwig directing the prom scene in Lady Bird. Look, she's even dressed for the occasion!The first time we spoke to Greta Gerwig in 2013 for Frances Ha it was over the phone. Her voice was so animated it felt like an in person interview. She was learning the accordion because of that seismically magical moment in the French film Holy Motors and revealing to me that she didn't think being an "actor-for-hire" in other people's work would be her path. Little did I know -- though perhaps she did -- that the exquisite Lady Bird was coming. In between she wrote and starred in Mistress America (2015) and gave what is arguably her best performance in Mike Mills 20th Century Women (2016). The rest is of course current celebration and future history: Lady Bird proved a mainstream breakthrough as a writer/director. It's up for five Oscars including two for Greta Gerwig herself as a writer and as a director.

This time, speaking in person, that familiar voice is just as lively but her laughter even more infectious. She radiates as much joy from talking art in real life as she often has creating it onscreen as a performer.

When I ask her her how the accordion is coming, she admits she's "rusty" and that it hasn't been a movie that inspired her lately but 'certain books' though she leaves them unnamed. Whatever feeds your soul as an artist, that's where you go.

on set directing Timothée and Saoire in Lady Bird (2017)

I reminder her about that comment about acting for others not being her path and she says "I know..." in a goofily apologetic way, like she always knew where she was heading but just hadn't told us.  Our interview is after the jump...

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Monday
Apr032017

The Furniture: Repairs for the House in "20th Century Women"

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

"The house is a character in its own right," everyone says. It’s one of our more meaningless cliches, poltergeists notwithstanding. But the sentiment behind it is understandable. A building, though hardly alive, can still offer charisma. A dynamic visual language can be built from its beams.

20th Century Women has one of these abodes. The house in question belongs to Dorothea (Annette Bening), who lives with her son Jamie (Lucas Zumann) and two boarders, Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and William (Billy Crudup). As she explains to a fireman she’s invited to a party...

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Sunday
Feb262017

Film Bitch Award Winners

This site's own prizes, Nathaniel's long-running Film Bitch Awards, the Oscar correlative categories at least, all arrrived before the Oscar nominations this year. I was on schedule for once!

Amy & Jeremy wondering how they only managed one gold medal in the first round of Film Bitch Awards

I'm behind schedule on the "extra categories" which are supposed to be done by now (sigh) but for now, please to enjoy the medal ceremony in the standard categories. If you're a purist and only want winners and not "gold / silver / bronze" which is my personal awards preference because spreading the wealth is the only way to go with awards for things as apples & oranges beautiful as movies, the list of gold medalists is after the jump...

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