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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Entries in Aaron Sorkin (11)

Thursday
Dec242015

THR's Screenwriter Roundtable

Chris here. I hope you're having a relaxing and safe holiday weekend!

Earlier this week, hiding among the constant updates on the reams of money The Force Awakens is floating in, we got this year's Screenwriters Roundtable! You'll remember from November that we had some feelings about this year's Actress Roundtable and I'll confess that I found this year's Actor Roundtable underwhelming in lineup and discussion. However, the Screenwriters edition is often the loosest and freshest each year - with its selected participants typically on point.

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Tuesday
Oct062015

NYFF: Sing the Electric "Steve Jobs"

Reporting from the ongoing New York Film Festival here is Jason on Oscar hopeful "Steve Jobs".

It should surprise no one that a movie directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin is all about rhythm. The rhythm is established at the start (and Steve Jobs runs zero to sixty so you'd best get a grip quick) and pulses outwards like the blink of a cursor, or a techno beat. You could probably set your watch to it... if you were a maniacal math genius who could work out the exact algorithm they're working off of. 

The new film is structured around three events in Jobs professional life: his first presentation of his Macintosh computer in 1984; the "perfect black cube" of the NeXT machine in 1988 after he was fired from Apple; and his triumphant return to the company a decade later with the crayola-tinted iMac every girl in my college dorm owned. Within each chapter, there are a series of sonnets of sorts, devoted to the folks in his life - his daughter, his work-wife, his boss, so on. The pieces shift once the rhythm is established, but structurally speaking the film is rigorous, in a (and I do not use these words lightly) soul-pleasing kind of way. Once you find your way in to Steve Jobs, there's this satisfaction in expectations, and the massaging thereof. [More...]

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Friday
Sep042015

Lukewarm Off The Presses: About Lucille 

It's surprisingly easy to photoshop Cate's face over Lucille's so basically it works visuallyCate Blanchett playing Lucille Ball in a future biopic has already, rather oddly, taken over two entirely unrelated comment threads so I suppose we should say something official-like? The news of Aaron Sorkin's Lucy biopic to which Cate Blanchett is attached was one of those news stories that happened in those intermittent time periods when I was doing something other than the interweb (shock) for about 12 hours. I think it was dinner with a friend + 2 hours of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp + sleeping. When I woke up it was like the news had always existed and everyone but me was talking about it. These things happen. Even with our kind of news -- read: 'Actressy And How' -- when we're unlucky.

Undeniably this is a weird project on paper. Can you connect Sorkin's rat-a-tat-tat sober pontificating (even though it has a sense of humor) to Lucille's broad slapstick mixed with indefatigable verbosity? The verbosity sure. But otherwise... What's more, Sorkin's work rarely seems all that interested in women.  Neither can I imagine Cate pulling it off without resorting to technical mimicry absent the silly soul -- Cate can definitely do comedy but this kind of comedy? That seems like quite a reach.

with George Sanders in Lured (1947)with Gene Kelly in Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)

Then again, Lucille Ball is a showbiz icon with more sides than just ditzy Lucy from the beloved 50s sitcom. In fact, there are enough movements in that career to suggest that the way to go would be an I'm Not There approach. You've got the savvy businesswoman, the 40s dramatic starlet (see Lured for the improbable sight of glamorous Lucille Ball in a Douglas Sirk directed serial killer drama!), the sitcom superstar, the late career wanderings (Mame anyone? No?). The bio won't cover her whole life, thankfully but looks to focus on 1940 through 1960 and her marriage to Desi Arnaz. If we don't get a scene from the set of Lured (1947) I'll feel personally cheated. 

Saturday
Aug012015

Annette Bening, the Romantic Comedienne

Andrew here. I could not let the celebration of 1995, which ends with tomorrow's Smackdown, pass without singling out one of the most important performances of the year from my favourite actress.

The American President represents a key moment in my Bening love affair because this – her tenth film after seven years in the business – represents my first meeting with her, and it was obsession at first sight. But enough about me. This mostly forgotten gem allows Annette to perform in a cadence that she's been rarely allowed to show her abilities - Annette Bening, at 37 years old, the best romantic comedy heroine of the 90s...

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Wednesday
Dec312014

Interlinker

BBC News That's "Sir" John Hurt to you and "Dame" Kristin Scott Thomas. Woooo
They Live By Night Bilge Ebiri offers up a thoughtful defense of Interstellar and its portrait of restless Coop and the double edged sword of survival instincts
Reductress Brilliant send-up of Aaron Sorkin's recent sexist comments. These quotes are satiric but he has said that actresses aren't as good as actors so therefore he is MUCH stupider than his screenplays imply.
Pajiba Benedict Cumberbatch finally speaks about his "dance-off" with Michael Fassbender

Stage Buddy TFE's ocassional contributor Jose offers up his best theater of 2014
i09 lowest ticket sales year in quite some time for Hollywood
MNPP wishes you all a Happy New Year with a gallery of DILFs and their little ones from Channing Tatum to Cam Gigandet
Movies.com fun list of top hits from abroad that didn't make it to the States.  A few of this year's foreign film submissions are sprinkled in
Kenneth in the 212 wants an Emmy for Lisa Kudrow for Season 2 of The Comeback
Nerdist talks to Sam Raimi and he's quite candid about his recent artistic failures Spider-Man 3 and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Now if we can only get a movie as good as 
LitWit a book podcast celebrates the 50th anniversary of "The Chronicles of Prydain", a great young reader fantasy that Disney mucked up in the 80s with The Black Cauldron


Oscariffic
Interview Magazine a talk with ever gorgeous still undervalued Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game)
New York Times has a fine piece called "When the Red Carpet Is Rolled Up" about what happens to the previously unknown Oscar nominees after their moment of glory
Awards Daily Sasha named Rosamund Pike "Performance of the Year" but strangely in her top 11 best actress choices she says of #11 Essie Davis in The Babadook "arguably the best performance of the year". Why #11 then?
Critics Top 10 has been compiling list. It's fascinating to see how many lists each film tops no matter what run they occupy in the top 50. For instance The Grand Budapest Hotel has fewer #1 placements than several others but ends up at #2 overall.The highest ranking film with no #1 placements is Starred Up at #49
In Contention Kris Tapley does his annual best shots of the film year celebrating cinematographers: some of the selections include Godzilla, Interstellar, Mr Turner and Nightcrawler

Exit Video
The visual effects of Captain America: The Winter Soldier...

 

They'll have a tough road to a nomination given that AMPAS has been stingy with Marvel Studios films in this category unless Iron Man is around. But if they get nominated I'll celebrate even though this reel isn't particularly informative. So much destruction. But I love this movie. 

Thursday
Dec152011

Parties: Overheard at Guild / Oscar Functions

I thought for fun I'd collect several bits from conversations to share with y'all. A couple of the following bits were said directly to me, some were part of group conversations, some were merely overheard at screenings or events. All are anonymous and shall remain so of course but are fun for awards geeks and movie fanatics to think about. I am not a fiction writer so these are all actual quotes (or paraphrasals, rather, since I don't walk around with a tape recorder.) One thing that's important to remember but easy to forget about the Oscars is that the 6000+ voting members are individuals with individual taste. They are no monolithic unit though the world likes to imagine them sharing one gold plated borg-mind.

While mostly it is fun to talk with voters, one discouraging thing you quickly realize is true that I'd personally always hoped was false is this: many of the voters wait until right about now to start watching the movies. A lot of conversational roads have abrupt dead ends like "I haven't seen that yet but it's on the stack!" In short: they don't go to the movies as often as movie fanatics. Or, as one actress told me recently, "I see a lot of movies but I see them either long before they're in cinemas or long after." It made a lot of sense to me once I stopped to consider the inside mechanics of this Business we call Show. 

On to the (silent) sound bytes on My Week With Marilyn, Moneyball, The Artist, Young Adult and more.

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