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Entries in Ben Affleck (25)

Tuesday
Oct142014

Top 10 Things We Learned from the 52nd New York Film Festival

To close out our New York Film Festival coverage for the year, a quartet of takeaways from this annual highly curated celebration of international cinema. NYFF doesn't have a broad selection like a lot of festivals but there were goodies. I've asked each member of our team to send me a top ten list of things they learned (we did not consult each other on our lists).

I'll start

NATHANIEL'S TOP TEN NYFF TAKEAWAYS

1. 17 years after Boogie Nights, Julianne Moore is still 'the foxiest bitch in the world'

2. Birdman has a smorgasbord of quotable lines. My favorite on first viewing:

Popularity is just the slutty cousin of prestige."

3. Marion Cotillard is getting so mesmerizingly authentic onscreen pretty soon she's going to walk right off of it in character like she's reenacting The Purple Rose of Cairo. (I apologize for the image: no one wants to think of the Dardenne Brothers going 3-D.)

4. You should never ever sit in the middle of a row of a long-ass Mike Leigh movie if you are feeling sick. My half-apologies to my row mates who you have no right to take up aisle seats if you're uncomfortable moving for the people in the middle.

More including Whiplash, Birdman, Inherent Vice, and Channing Tatum's boots after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct102014

Linkman

Empire The London Film Festival has commenced with Benedict Cumberbatch opening the festivities
Kenneth in the (212) Harrison Ford in 1978 
Logolog This one is for the linguistics and trivia nerds: Last week's box office top ten featured the first ever "pangram" -- I didn't know what that was but the article explains it
Film School Rejects will "Vs" movies be the next franchise trend? God help us all 


Guardian claims that The Imitation Game might be the queerest film for the mainstream in ages. I don't want to do that math because, if so, how depressing because it's not all that queer
/Film a Labyrinth sequel in development?
Pajiba Jennifer Garner talks about Ben Affleck's penis on the Ellen show. Hold me. Why, Jennifer, why?
Esquire Gone Girl as the story of Ben Affleck's career. Undeniable connections!
Vulture theorizes on how all the seasons of American Horror Story could be connected. I guess they mean, besides the famous actors?
/Film First images of Margot Robbie and Will Smith in Focus. Hey, do you remember when there was a movie with that title with William H Macy and Laura Dern? Anyone?
Guardian So, you guys, it turns out that that Effie Gray movie starring Emma Thompson and Dakota Fanning does actually exist and its now playing in the UK 
HitFix Sean Durkin of Martha Marcy May Marlene fame will direct a film version of Little House on the Prairie. Bizarre. 

Casting News
The Playlist Léa Seydoux is your next femme fatale Bond girl. YAS! Great choice, 007 team
Variety Gabriel Luna joins Ellen Page in Freeheld
The Playlist Jennifer Jason Leigh takes the largest (only?) female role in Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight

Retweet
I take it you've heard about American Crime Story, a new Ryan Murphy series that will take on true uh... American crime stories.

 

 

True crime instead of the freaky supernatural fiction crime that American Horror Story traffics in, right? I had to have my say on Twitter, you know? Hee

Weekend Watch

 

James Franco's "Making a Scene" a comic mash-up series, fuses Beetlejuice and Batman together. What would Michael Keaton say? Probably "who cares" given his recent comments about the Batman franchise post him.

While we're on the topic of Batman, The LEGO Movie is going to have a solo Batman sequel in 2017. Exactly when do we approach maximum saturation of all things Batman? You'd think it would have been awhile ago. I worry for the the 2020s

Finally
For Towleroad, I wrote up a piece on films of LGBT interest in the big Foreign Film lineup with their trailers and such. Check it out. I'm dying to see Switzerland's The Circle. And I didn't realize until researching this piece that Concrete Night is made by a writer/director pair who are famous lesbians in Finland. How about that?

Stay tuned for more coverage on this category and of course all the others too, right here. Interviews and events are already starting off blog and soon we'll start sharing them. Let's consider Monday/Tuesday the official grand opening of this new awards season here at TFE.

Wednesday
Oct082014

Linktime Stories

Cinematically Insane #DontTouchTCM when it comes to Turner Broadcasting layoffs 
Richard Kelly, of Donnie Darko directing fame, lurves Gone Girl and write a whole epic essay about it while also touching on Eyes Wide Shut and Fincher's music videos
In Contention interviews cinematographer Robert Elswit (Inherent Vice, Nightcrawler)
MNPP gives Quote of the Day to Michael B Jordan on his costumes for Fantastic Four. "snug"
Deadline Scarlett Johansson about to do an Edith Wharton miniseries that was originally supposed to be a Michelle Pfeiffer feature film in the 90s. *sniffle*

Empire first images of Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange and Brie Larson in The Gambler remake
Vulture the exact moment Jennifer Garner fell in love with Ben Affleck 
Antagony & Ecstacy on The Boxtrolls. Glad Tim loved it
Boston Globe Mark Wahlberg's compound is finished. Holy third nipple, is he planning to house everyone who has ever appeared in any of his movies?
IndieWire 11 things learned about PT Anderson / Inherent Vice at the recent press conference
The Dissolve interesting video about shooting sex scenes from Joe Carnahan. Starring Patrick Wilson! Who...speaking of...
The Playlist interviews Jason Reitman who talks about the initial indifference to Young Adult, his Labor Day "misfire" and the critical savaging of Men Women and Children. I haven't seen the latter film yet so I don't know if it's gotten a fair shake or not but Reitman does have a point about film criticism today:

When I talk to directors and actors, "Young Adult" is their clear favorite of my films. I don't think ten years from now people will go, "Oh wow, I didn’t realize "Labor Day" was a such a masterpiece." But what it has taught me is that I can't really gauge what a movie is in the moment. To bring it round back to ["Men, Women & Children"]: film criticism has become a tweet. The moment the movie plays, people are writing about it and there's no digestive period.  

We were right about Young Adult all along, bitches.

 

I love this bookOff Cinema
Arts.Mic on the good news on GLAAD's annual gays on TV report. But...
Slate chimes in with a a more dismissive response: why count?
Pajiba ranking Kyle Maclachlan's TV roles since Twin Peaks

<-- Encyclopedia Madonnica I backed this 20th anniversary edition of the book at Kickstarter. There's a couple more days left to back it and insure your own copy. The book meant so much to me back in the day before you could look up everything instantaneously and when there weren't elaborate comprehensive fansites to celebrities yet. Plus it was just damn fun with lots of trivia and silliness. When I first met Matthew Rettenmund (Boy Culture) here in NYC several years ago I was a wee bit starstruck because of it. And speaking of the big M...
Billboard looks back at the Bedtime Stories album for its 20th anniversary 

Finally...
Esteemed stage veteran Marian Seldes has died at 86. Her regal mischievious face appeared semi-regularly in movies and on TV but usually in tiny roles. It was the stage where she experienced her enduring glorious reign.

I unfortunately only saw her perform live once. It was Edward Albee's "The Play About the Baby" (which also starred David Burtka, pre NPH) a sort of abstract minimalist reinterpretation of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and she was a-maz-ing in it. One of my favorite stories about her comes from 1978's "Deathtrap" in which she co-starred with Victor Garber. The hit comic mystery became a controversial movie in 1982 (a gay kiss - GASP!) with Dyan Cannon and Christopher Reeve taking Seldes and Garber's roles for the big screen. But when the movie premiered, Marian was actually still doing it on stage. She was with the play for its whole four year run and NEVER missed a performance. Amazing.

Here are good obituaries at The New York Times and Playbill

Friday
Sep262014

NYFF: Gone Girl's Gone Wild

Tonight marked the opening of the 2014 New York Film Festival with the world premiere of David Fincher's Gone Girl -- here's Jason's take on the film.

In the deeply darkly funny world of Gillian Flynn's bestselling murder mystery Gone Girl, Nick and Amy Dunne's wedding vows are like cliffhangers or dares - in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, I do... she does, he does... what exactly? All manner of unspeakables, it turns out. The book's at its sharpest as a ghoulish fun-house mirror reflection of deranged marital compromise - the hollowing out of our interior spaces for the exterior presentation of platonic ideals; a jack-o-lantern propped on the front porch with a pumpkin pie in the oven, all is pretty and home and sugar and spice on the windowsill... save that horror show, smashed glass coffee tables, mopped blood, behind closed doors. And what happens when the nightmare tumbles out into the street for all the world, and all the world's cameras, to see? Who pulls the mess back in once its spilled, and how...

David Fincher's Gone Girl is at its best when it has everybody grabbing their pails and their shovels and frantically trying to scoop up those spilled Humpty Dumpty pumpkin guts and make sense of it. For a two and a half hour movie it's shockingly spry on its feet, bouncing from Clue One to Clue Two in its own emotional kind of scavenger hunt, trying to piece together the What Went Wrong And How, and in its finest moments it vibes on a surprisingly loose Coen-esque sense of danger - as the sharp tools in the shed try to stay one step forward and find themselves in up to their necks, there's fun to be had in their catch-up, watching games change and rules rewritten mid-play.

[more...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr192014

YNMS²: Foxcatcher & Gone Girl

Unless you count the LEGO Movie's probable Best Animated Feature bid and the Sundance bow of Love is Strange (I'm still hopeful - it's playing Tribeca right now) 2014 hasn't seen much in the way of Oscar contenders just yet. Recent trailers are changing the collective shrug to raised eyebrows - between The Homesman (previously discussed), Jersey Boys (if you're feeling very generous), the Cannes lineup announcement and these two trailers from past nominated directors Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) and David Fincher (Gone Girl) the body is ready for the first wave of Oscar predictions. We'll manage them before April wraps.

Both of these trailers have been around for a bit and both blissfully play more like teasers despite their length; the job of a trailer is to sell a future ticket, not to make you feel like you've already seen it so you don't need one.  Foxcatcher's traiser was actually released last year and then swiftly pulled before we could get to it but it recently resurfaced and Gone Girl has been kicking around for a week but I've heard your plea to discuss so a couple of quick notes follow

GONE GIRL

Yes. What's not to love really? Remarkable use of music and uncomfortable juxtapositions in the montage. Plus, Rosamund Pike's gorgeousity turning to the camera just in time for the vocals of "She" is just a marvelous 'we're-making-a-star here' relief given that her career, though healthy, deserves more fame and a richer choice of scripts. That final shot of her in the water is so disturbing. (Yikes). And though they aren't prominently featured in this trailer the supporting cast is really good with a lot of underused faces like Sela Ward and Missi Pyle. 

No. I got nothing though I guess I hope Fincher takes a break from crime thrillers soon and that greenish color palette which was fun for a couple of films but three in a row. It's approaching Eastwood's inky black and Soderbergh's yellow as a default rather than an artistic choice.

Maybe So. Casting Ben Affleck as your leading man has to be considered kind of risky, right? Aristically speaking. He's not the terrible actor some say he is but neither has he ever proven himself a great one. 

FOX CATCHER

Yes. Another minimalist peak at a crime drama, this one being a horrible and super weird true story. It has a very good chance of being riveting given the cast, the story and the writer/director (Bennett Miller of Capote and Moneyball fame). The "A coach is..." speech here is beautifully judged as a teaser framing device, especially with that pathetic shuffle into the gym with the pistol out. Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum seem like a pretty great trio to hang a movie on. And did I just spot Vanessa Redgrave?!? ( "Yes, please" times so so so many.)

Also Yes. Channing Tatum in a singlet

No. I dread any potential "sweepers" in any of the acting categories -- just on principle because there are ALWAYS more than four great performances in a film year -- so though I've long thought Steve Carell was an Oscar calibre actor (I nominated him right here for Little Miss Sunshine) I don't relish seeing him win everything because he went the prosthetic and vocal affectation route. He looks good in the trailer, don't get me wrong. I just know that no matter how brilliant he is, he'll be wildly overpraised merely because of this and the meat of the role. 

Maybe So. I suppose the ultra specific details of this tale might not help it with accessibility for the masses, or even to feel potent thematically. But we'll worry about that later if it happens.

 

Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So ?
And does the strength of your answer coincide with your faith in their Oscar play? 

 

Saturday
Jan252014

We Can't Wait #12: Gone Girl

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Deborah Lipp on Gone Girl.]

Gone Girl

Loosely based on Gillian Flynn's best selling noverl of the same name, the film tells the story of a woman who mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary.
 

 

Talent
Directed by a modern master of American thrillers, David Fincher, and starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Patrick Fugit.

 

Why We Can't Wait

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug232013

Link Spot

Cinderoncé The complete Cinderella story set to Beyoncé music because of course
LA Times on the 20 year road to get Dallas Buyers Club made.
Pajiba on the "Fred"'s aka Lucas Cruikshank's adorable coming out
Crikey a review of Pain & Gain that actually makes me want to see the first movie. The last paragraph is blurb heaven and should be quoted on every poster
/Film Reality Bites, one of my personal definitive movies of the 90s, is going to TV series. I'm not against this in concept except that Winona Ryder is unimproveable as Leilana so you're starting from behind, you know? I've long thought it was her (arguably) her greatest performance in a career full of memorable ones.

MNPP suggests a movie for Domnhall Gleeson and David Wenham. Someone Kickstarter Ginger Heat please!
Cinema Blend whoa, I thought Tony Jaa (of Thai action Ong Bak film fame) was long gone from cinema but he's been added to the Fast and Furious 7 cast
Boy Culture pitch-shifting Madonna's vocals on MDNA. These lower versions sound so much better which leads you to wonder what was with all the up-shifting (p.s. I love the album as is, unlike most) 
Salon on why you should watch Project Runway again 
In Contention has a Venice Film Festival preview
Gawker defends Ben Affleck's casting as Batman by way of Heath Ledger's equally (at first) controversial casting as The Joker. Forgets to also notice that Heath Ledger was always an awesome actor before The Joker but yes, people do go on about casting notices for superhero films. 

Marion. I added the Damn Spot*Speaking of... ZOMG
I forgot to mention what you've already finished talking about. That Marion Cotillard replaced Natalie Portman in the upcoming Macbeth film. The one with Fassy as Macbeth. Yay, upgrade! I like Natalie more than Marion (historically speaking) but that part was such a weird fit for the ballerina.

*Lady Macbeth, and the Complete Character Gallery of Tennesse Williams plays are my equivalents to superheroes when it comes to casting notices. I'd definitely prefer a new Lady Macbeth or a new Maggie the Cat reboot every 5 years to a new Batman or Spider-Man origin story every 5, wouldn't you?