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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in biopics (99)

Monday
Mar102014

Women's History Month: Ingrid Bergman's Joan of Arc

For Women's History Month ocassional portraits of actresses portraying iconic real women. Here is abstew with Ingrid Bergman as film's favorite saintly female warrior. 

Born: January 6, 1412 (the exact date of her birth is not exactly known, but she stated she was 19 at the time of her trial)

Death: May 30, 1431. After being captured by the English, she was imprisoned and a trial before an ecclesiastic court condemned her with heresy for which she was burned at the stake. Legend has it that her executioner begged for mercy on his soul because he had just killed a saint. 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar072014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Grace of Monaco"

Approaching trailers for movies you're going to see no matter what (i.e. anything with your favorite actor in it) makes the Yes, No Maybe So™ question a strangely hypothetical one. Such is the case with Grace of Monaco which is currently scheduled to open on ____. No, we don't know the date yet but people will be talking about it in May after its Cannes premiere. Let's hope those of us who can't afford $1000 a night for a trip to France in the summer don't have to wait seven months* to form our own opinions; a bit of glam adult counterprogramming in the summer (look at the scenery!) would be a kind thing to do!

But where were we?

Oh yes, Princess Grace. At the beginning of the trailer we learn that she'd like to return to Hollywood -- Hitchcock wanted her for Marnie (1962) but...conflict! Her formerly charming prince won't allow for it; this is not a Disney musical and there will be no Happily Ever After...

the Yes No Maybe So breakdown is after the jump. Non-Spoiler Alert: I'm a "Yes"

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Friday
Feb142014

Linkers Dozen

TFE Mrs de Winters or Danvers? So little time to vote for these ladies without first names. It's Beauty vs. Beast
Google has Valentine's stories today, with simple line animations and audio, and they're just adorbs 
NY Times film restoration isn't only for old hollywood. They also do porn!
/Film Black Widow film still being considered by Marvel Studios. But then, what isn't?
Coming Soon Ron Howard replacing Alejandro González Iñárritu in the director's chair on a new Jungle Book. Because a) they're so interchangeable! and b) we need another Jungle Book for some reason I guess.
LA Times what are the most memorable clips for the lead nominees. How to choose a key moment?

 

Extension 765 features a must-read list by Steven Soderbergh of everything he's watched last year. All I can say about this is that I LOVE THAT HE WATCHED ALL THE EPISODES OF "SMASH"
All Things Considered on the friendship between Shirley Temple and Bojangles
Cinema Blend The Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn romance may get its own biopic. Take that one millionth, Liz Taylor movie!
Variety with her remake of Murder She Wrote no longer happening, Octavia Spencer picks "Red Band Society" as her TV series
Awards Daily "Meet the Academy" a pie chart
VF Leonardo DiCaprio on why he didn't star in Moulin Rouge!

To be honest, I’m not really prepared to do a musical, simply because I think I have a pretty atrocious voice 

Bye!

 

P.S. Right after I posted this news update, Ellen Page came out. What timing.

Wednesday
Feb052014

William S Burroughs Centennial

Today is the centennial of the infamous Beat era writer William S Burroughs and I've been thinking about him lately due to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death via heroin (why is it that I always start stringing the celebrity junkies together when they die? Is it because there are so damn tragic many of them?) but mostly because I was really gripped by Ben Foster's portrayal of him in Kill Your Darlings, a problematic movie about guys that weren't nearly as palatable in real life (despite the movie being about murder) that had a great moment here and there. Of course the movie wasn't really about Burroughs but about Lucien Carr's (Dane Dehaan) murder of his lover (Michael C Hall). From time to time I have wondered why we've had no straight up biopic about Burroughs (Keifer Sutherland is the only other actor I can think of that's played him), given that he's a very famous white guy genius and that's the kind of biopic Hollywood likes best. But I guess it couldn't be done; The MPAA and most moviegoers and possibly even myself would just never be able to deal what with the sex, the drugs, the finger-chopping, the wife-shooting, and what not.

So let's move over to actual movies. Burroughs appeared in a small role in Gus Van Sant's terrific Drugstore Cowboy (1989) which I highly recommend to any of you wondering why Matt Dillon was a "you owe him" Oscar nominee for Crash (2005) and then of course there was David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991), a film version of Burrough's, ummmm, unfilmable novel. (Incidentally our friend Nick, who you know from Nick's Flick Picks and the podcast, writes extensively on this film in his first book "The Desiring Image") Whether or not any cinematic interpretation of Naked Lunch could be considered definitive if we didn't have it we would never have seen Julian Sands buggered by a towering insect monster or Judy Davis injecting bug powder into her breasts.

Have you seen Naked Lunch or read any of Burroughs work?

Burroughs with Cronenberg during the filming of Naked Lunch

Some Centennial Celebrations
Time Magazine "Rebel, Junkie, Exile, Genius"
NPR "Possessed by Genius"
The New Statesman "To say it country simple, most folks enjoy junk” - Burroughs in 1966 on kicking his heroin addiction 
Dreg Studios Brandt Hardin celebrates the history of Burroughs with a portrait 

Saturday
Jan252014

Mr R Will Link You Now

Variety a filmmaker accidentally takes his parents to Nymphomaniac, the secret screening at Sundance
Cinema Blend 50 Shades of Grey gets one of those exceptionally lazy and ubiquitous 'back to camera in silhouette' teaser posters. THIS MUST END. Every time a studio releases one of these I fear a mass suicide by graphic designers. (This is all they ever get to do now?)
/Film Rupert Sanders to direct live action remake of Ghost in the Shell 


The Carpetbagger Oscar's track record with black filmmakers 
i09 images from the making of The Ten Commandments including oil painting makeup tests
The New Yorker 50 Years of Dr Strangelove 
Cinema Blend Attack the Block's lead actor gets a plum role: Olympian Jesse Owens in the biopic Race

Sunday
Jan052014

Have A Super George Reeves Centennial

One hundred years ago today, the second but arguably most famous pre-Christopher Reeve era Superman was born. George Reeves didn't rocket in from outerspace, landing like a meteorite in the backyard of some kindly adoptive farm couple in Kansas. He was born the normal way a few hours to the northeast in Iowa. But by the time he was 38, the struggling movie actor who had had minor roles in two Best Picture winners (Gone With the Wind and From Here to Eternity) was a national celebrity in Superman's trademark blue longjohns with red underpants... albeit in black and white on the telly.

Remember when Ben Affleck played him in Hollywoodland (2006)? 

I hadn't heard people mention this movie in years (here's a good review of it from Erik Lundegaard) until they announced that the sequel to Man of Steel would co-star Ben Affleck as Batman. At that point, pictures of Ben in the Supes suit resurfaced with a vengeance online.

I always thought George Reeves deserved a better biopic than the one he got in Hollywoodland. Not that it was a terrible movie but you have to focus to make an impression and Reeves somewhat controversial death (suicide or murder?) made that impossible. In there somewhere was surely a potentially universal and moving story about bad luck, personal demons and thwarted potential via typecasting (or as non-actors know it: being pigeonholed or underestimated). But the movie, if I recall it correctly, flattened out while trying to also be a costume drama about the tumultuous 50s in showbiz (when TV first truly freaked the movies out) and a romantic drama and a movie about Detective Adrien Brody (huh?). Focus, people!

I'm sympathetic to focus problems as anyone who reads the blog for more than a week will realize. So my mind is already wandering away but not before stopping at this pressing poll of imaginary consequence!  

 

 

Wednesday
Nov062013

Paging Lacuna, Inc. - Naomi Watts' 2013 is One She'd Rather Forget!

One of my favourite movie-going memories of 2013 was seeing the trailer for Adore play before a bemused sold out opening weekend audience at Blue Jasmine. Amongst the scattered laughs was one lady a row or two behind me who uttered to her companion, “What is Naomi Watts doing?” She, and the rest of us, are sadly still waiting for an answer. On the heels of that Oscar nomination for The Impossible, Watts has since appeared in two films that have literally been laughed off of cinema screens.

[Adore and Diana giggles after the jump...]

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