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Entries in Beloved (4)

Thursday
Apr272017

Familiar Faces: The Jonathan Demme Players

by Nathaniel R

Dearest reader, as you've probably heard by now the director Jonathan Demme has passed away at 73. He died due to esophageal cancer. I had run into him at a screening of La La Land  this past September and I took the opportunity to tell him how much Rachel Getting Married  meant to me (he joked about being first with interracial weddings for Rosemarie deWitt onscreen). Then we talked Swing Shift for a little bit as we had just discussed it on this very site. I was so saddened by this yesterday that I couldn't do much but tweet my farewells. The words wouldn't come out for a lengthy piece but then, surprise, I remembered I'd written the following piece that was never published (oops) to coincide with the release of Ricki and the Flash (2015). I filled in a few of the blank spots and adjusted some verbs to reflect the past tense but this surprisingly doubles as what I probably wanted to say about Jonathan Demme yesterday and couldn't. It's about his favorite actors but looking back, it's a fitting tribute because what American director was more curious about literally any kind of person he might find with his camera?

Jonathan Demme was one of America's most interesting and surprising directors. Though he's now best remembered for the modern classic The Silence of the Lambs (1991) it was actually something of an oddity in his filmography being the only horror film and, in some ways, the most classically controlled. In other ways though it's a traditional Demme picture. It features actors doing unexpected or suddenly signature electric work, weird musician cameos (what the hell is one of the members of 80s synth pop band Book of Love doing in there?), and diverse casting where most films would go with the default heavily male white cast. In fact, Silence might be his most white/male movie but that's part of its plot...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb142017

12 Days Until Oscar - Colleen Atwood, Anyone?

With 12 days until Oscar let's focus on 12 time Oscar nominee & 3 time winner Colleen Atwood for today's trivia post. As first reported on this site, and since echoed everywhere on other sites for years now, one of the most delightful if idiosyncratic Oscar facts is that Ms Atwood does not win the Oscar unless she is competing against Oscar's other 12 time nominee & 3 time winner, Sandy Powell, and vice versa. We thought this endearing stat would be dismantled last season via either Carol or Cinderella for Sandy Powell but she lost both bids with her peer Atwood out of the race. This season Powell is sitting one out (she had no films released in 2016) while Atwood returns to the short list with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Curiously the situations are reversed next year when Sandy Powell returns with two likely sartorial showcases...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep032013

Team Top Ten: Biggest Awards Season Flops

Amir here, to bring you our newest edition of Team Top Ten. Festival season is in full force. Telluride just wrapped. Venice is going strong. And in just two days, Toronto will set the awards season ablaze (Nathaniel and I will be there covering the flames). So we thought we’d vote on something that captures the spirit of the season.

Sort of.

Looking ahead at this point, there are a lot of films that look like surefire Oscar contenders. Inevitably, some of them will miss out on nomination morning, but at this very moment, everyone’s got their hopes high. Even in a year where unfortunate circumstances led to widespread discussion of racism in America, one can’t expect Mandela, 12 Years a Slave, Lee Daniels' The Butler AND Fruitvale Station to be nominated, but all four films are certainly gunning for it. So has been the story with many films in the past couple of decades, since the Oscars became the most glamorous political race on the planet and the Weinstein’s at Miramax supercharged awards campaigning.  

We’re looking back today at the films of the past 25 years – let’s call it the Campaigning Era – that looked like major Oscar players this far out in the year, or hell, even five minutes before nominations were announced in some cases, but failed to make a dent of any size. This is Team Experience’s Top Ten Awards Season Flops. Note that this is not a qualitative judgment - some stank, some were superb. But, for one reason or another, they fell short of what The Golden Man deems "Best". In simple terms – borrowed from Team Experience member, Nick Davis – these are the ten films that have the largest gap between their Oscar hopes and their Oscar outcomes. Without further ado… 

Bobby and 9 more dashed-hopefuls after the jump...

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Wednesday
Dec052012

The Surprising Year-End Aesthetics of John Waters

For a filmmaker whose movies are so instantly recognizably HIS and his alone, John Waters's annual top ten list adventure at Artforum is not what you'd expect... until you've followed it for a few years that is. It's not the crazy comic camp-fest his movies would suggest. There's usually a mix of outre movies, risque movies, documentaries, and the highbrow dramas. He's all over the place. Literally. Though the 66 year old director hasn't made a movie in eight years he recently hitchhiked across the country and is writing a book about it ("Carsick") to be published next year.

John ♥ Rachel

His number one choice is The Deep Blue Sea... and after Rachel Weisz's win at the NYFCC that movie is suddenly being talked up again.

1 The Deep Blue Sea
Paradise: Faith
Paradise: Love
4 Amour

Misery is really in this year. “Hurts! Hurts! Hurts!” yells out the dying elderly wife to her longtime-caretaker husband, and ticket buyers will agree. Makes Saw seem like a romantic comedy.

Hee.

Killer Joe
6 Beasts of the Southern Wild
Compliance
Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present
Beloved

Another crackpot Umbrellas of Cherbourg homage by the French director who adores unrequited love, cigarettes, Catherine Deneuve, and especially Louis Garrel. Yes, it’s L-O-N-G, but I wished the characters would have kept on singing in the theater even after the projectionist had gone home for the night.

I include this bit about Beloved because I was so curious as to what he saw in it. I tend to like Christophe Honore's films -- possibly because I share his love of love, cigarettes, musicals, and actresses ... but this film loses its way after a terrific start. Or maybe it finds too many ways after a terrific start. It's all over the place. Very first drafty, every idea included. 

10 The Imposter (on the documentary finalist list for Oscar)

Read John Waters top ten article here