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Entries in A Streetcar Named Desire (10)

Monday
Apr022018

Beauty vs Beast: Monkeys to Monoliths

Jason Adams from MNPP here on the surface of the Moon (aka lower Manhattan covered with farcical April snowflakes) and primed to toss a bone your way with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" which is wishing Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey a happy 50, which it turns today. The film premiered in Washington D.C. on April 2nd 1968 and in New York the following day, and it has probably been running on some stoner's projector every day since. The film was nominated for four Oscars and rightly won for Best Visual Effects - basically every movie that's gone to outer space ever since has been mercilessly ripping it off, just like every movie set in the future post-Blade Runner throws up a neon billboard or twenty. But for all its trippiness it's still at its heart just a "boy and his dog" movie. So what of the boy and his dog then?

PREVIOUSLY We faced down two of the greatest performances ever put on a movie screen last week with with A Streetcar Named Desire but y'all didn't have much trouble making your choice - Viven Leigh's Blanche DuBois roundhoused Marlon Brando's Stanley with 59% of strangers' kindnesses. Said adri:

"I always think of Tennessee Williams as expressing his soul through Blanche. So yes, my dearest Tennessee, I am with you on Blanche, no matter how messy, and a failure and a figure of ridicule she may be."

Monday
Mar262018

Beauty vs Beast: Somebody's Kindness of Strangers

Howdy y'all Jason from MNPP popping in to clear my throat and let out a rollicking "STELLA!!!" in honor of the master Tennessee Williams birth - he was born in the town of Columbus, Mississippi (three hours south of Memphis) on this day in the year 1911, and went on to basically shape the entire Southern United States with his writings; I'd argue he's had more of an effect on our modern view of the sub-Mason-Dixon than maybe anybody but Margaret Mitchell did. And to think a gay man did that!

Anyway for this week's "Beauty vs Beast" let's zoom in on his most famous story, the one about the Streetcar Named Desire that you take to the one called Cemetery that you take to Elysian Fields. And yes that means we're facing down arguably two of the greatest movie performances ever put on screen - Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois and Marlon brando as her brother slash ape in law Stanley Kowalski. But whose side are you on? Do you wanna sparkle in that rhinestone tiara or swap sweaty tank tops with Stan?

 

PREVIOUSLY Right after the Oscars we riddled you about a pair of the night's meme-worthy moments and it turns out that you'd rather ride on a jet-ski with Dame Helen Mirren than get Armie Hammer's weiner flung into your face (PS y'all crazy) to the tune of 55%. Said AlexD:

"This was impossible. But it seems reasonable that a proud queen like myself would only turn down Armie's hot dog for a real queen, Helen Mirren herself. And jet skiing at that!"

Wednesday
Feb222017

4 Days Until Oscar. Come Low or High Trivia  

Today's magic number is four. Since we have no brilliant angle on the number four, a random collection of Fab Four situations after the jump...

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Monday
Jun062016

The Furniture: Decorating Madness in A Streetcar Named Desire

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

The 70th Tony Awards are in just a few days. I certainly can't be trusted with predictions, but I’ll make one guess. The award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play probably won’t be split three ways. That sort of near-impossible result has only occurred once, all the way back in 1948. The 2nd Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play was shared by Judith Anderson, Katharine Cornell, and Jessica Tandy. Tandy won for the original broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Of course, she didn’t get to be in the movie and so we will leave her behind. Elia Kazan’s film of Tennessee Williams’s masterpiece premiered less than two years after its Broadway run ended. Its success was that instant. It won four Oscars, though all but one was for acting. That fourth prize, of course, was for production design. [More...]

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Friday
Nov132015

Here Comes A Tennessee Williams Biopic

Recent indie upstart Broad Green has announced they are developing John Lahr's biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh for a biopic on the titular playwright. No talent is attached yet, but the potential is enticing.

Williams, legendary for work such as A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie, has a life ready for any number of interpretations. Struggling with mental illness at an early age and battling rampant addiction, attracting and creating stars with consistently controversial and revolutionary writing, not to mention temptestous family and love lives - if nothing else, we have a catnip coctail for any actor who could fit the bill.

Could this be heading toward a fluffy, star-filled treatment a la Hitchcock or something more character-focused like Capote? Lahr's book, a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award winner, dives deeply into all aspects of Williams's life, so the adaptation could as easily become a "greatest hits" biopic as is it could focus intensely on a specific aspect of his career.

We rarely get to see the stories of our gay icons and early pioneers told on the big screen. The opportunity is especially exciting here considering how his sexuality impacted his work and pushed the boundaries about what could be talked about on stage and screen. Hopefully true to Williams' place in history, this will be an intriguing one to watch as it develops.

Tennessee Williams and his "Stanley Kowalski" Brando

Related: Much more on Tennessee Williams here

Tuesday
May192015

Q&A: Summer Classics, Best 'Action' Acting, and Late 70s Silliness

Yay, reader question time! I did two public appearances, with mic in hand, this weekend which is rare for me. First up was the Q&A with David Dastmalchian for the Animals opening at Village East Cinemas and then on Sunday, a very stressful pre-screening trivia for the Mad Men Finale at The Astor Room restaurant in conjunction with The Museum of the Moving Image. I am always terrified if I'm miked but here at home on TFE, no terror. I type at you, no miking necessary.

Let's take 9 reader questions. I suggested 1979 related questions (our year of the month) but let's do some general questions first on action film acting, summer movies, Oscar sweeps, and classic novels on the screen...

BHURAY: What are your five favorite novels of all time and if they've been translated to film how would you rank the films?

NATHANIEL: I don't feel all that well-read I confess. I spend so much of my time with movies that it's hard to carve out several hours for a book. But when I do read I try to alternate between one for fun and one because-it's-classic when I do read. These are the five best novels I've ever read:

Beloved and lots more questions after the jump...

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