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Entries in biopics (151)

Tuesday
Feb022016

Sweet 16 Links: Colette, Noni, Gaga, and a Lynch Reunion

Variety Keira Knightley in talks to star in the biopic about the French writer Colette. Crossing my fingers about this one. Colette is fascinating (she wrote Cheri!)
Comics Alliance on Marvel, politics, and why corporations are not your friend
Towleroad TitanMen has offered disgraced Congressman Aaron Schock (the one with abs and a Downton Abbey fetish) $1 million to star in a porn film. LOL
Variety Clive Owen, Alba Rohrwacher, and more join Meryl Streep's competition jury at Berlinale

Kenneth in the (212) Shirtless Russell Tovey reportedly causes a Broadway audience member to faint. Ha!
Pajiba checks in w/ the Trainspotting cast, 20 years on 
i09 Naomi Watts reunites with Lynch for Twin Peaks S3
i09 Noomi Rapace not returning for the Prometheus sequel
IndieWire thinks "The Chickening," a short film remix of The Shining is insane and genius. Definitely the first part. As for the second... 
Towleroad a first for ESPN, actor Matthew Wilkas (Gayby, You're Killing Me) labelled "Gus Kenworthy's Boyfriend" during the X Games 
Coming Soon Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford (we  her) has joined the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show the next TV musical (though this one won't be "live") 
Salon "Where are all the women in American Film?" a SAG-AFTRA member reviews her screeners

I had seen four films, 75 percent of which completely leave women out of the story. But maybe women really don’t feature in West African war zones. Or in the history of NWA. Or in finance.

But of course we feature. It just depends what story you want to tell.

TODAY'S WATCH
Lady Gaga performering her and Diane Warren's Best Original Song nominee "Til It Happens To You" at the PGA Awards

 

LEFTOVER SUNDANCE BUZZ
Variety 19 breakthrough performances from the festival
Film School Rejects talks to the cast and filmmaker of the LGBT Korean-American drama Spa Night
The Guardian Oscar buzz from the fest including Manchester by the Sea, Ira Sach's Little Men and Rebecca Hall as Christine 

TODAY'S MUST (LONG) READ
"Winona Forever" by Soraya Roberts for Hazlitt. It's a great history of the star's youth and her sudden generational iconhood. And how we've trapped her adolescence ever since. 

Winona Ryder arrived at the perfect time. Film scholar Timothy Shary characterizes the teen genre as “cyclical.” Ryder’s first film, Lucas, was released at the end of the hyper-hormonal Porky’s era (AIDS and teen pregnancy ruined it for everyone), five years before the release of Boyz N the Hood. In the period between 1986 and 1990, during her teen career, there were about 250 American films about adolescents, the most memorable being nostalgic thefts of innocence such as Dirty Dancing (1987), Hairspray (1988) and Dead Poets Society (1989). Three of Ryder’s films—Great Balls of Fire, 1969, Mermaids—adhered to this theme. She was in a sweet spot: post sex-crazed, pre-violence crazed—the ideal landing pad for a wide-eyed alien.

“You’d be hard pressed to say who was an average girl in teen movies after the mid-80s,” says Shary. The Brats had moved on, and so had John Hughes (his last teen film, Some Kind of Wonderful, came out in 1987), though no one forgot about them. “[Hughes] showed that you could make sensitive teen films that didn’t have nudity that didn’t pander to the supposed teen sex urge,” Shary says. He thinks this was “a contributing factor in helping set up an actress like Winona Ryder who could come along in the later ‘80s and be taken seriously as a teen actress.” While Hughes muse Molly Ringwald pined for the rich guy, Ryder merely pined for herself...

It's a delicious read and for those of you who didn't live through the Depp/Winona years, a fine encapsulation of the generational fascination with their relationship.

Thursday
Jan282016

Bye Instant Watch: Terms of Endearment, Tom Cruise, Big Fish...

What's leaving Netflix Instant Watch?

We should probably start covering that. It seems like a boring topic but we jazz up your public service announcements. I'll close my eyes and play with the control bar and wherever I freeze the movie I'll share the image. This weekend is your last chance to watch these films for free for who knows how long. Since there are Oscar titles in the mix, perhaps you can fill some holes in your Oscar lists of Things To See or Rewatch.

Ready? In chronological order of their film year, seven films leaving Netflix on February 1st...

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983)

EMMA: I've got some good news. I'm unofficially pregnant. I mean I haven't got the tests back but I'm never late.

AURORA: [Pause] Well... No, I don't understand."

Look how crazy young Jeff Daniels is! Shirley Maclaine is so hilarious and complicated in this movie -- that long pause with cascading rejection of possible responses under frozen 'I don't understand' face. She's going to lose out since she doesn't want to think of herself as a grandmother. A well deserved Best Actress win, with Shirley obviously relieved about it "this show has been as long as my career."

Oscar Note: I know we've asked this before but how long before we get another girlie Best Picture winner it's been FOR-EV-ER. Terms of Endearment was nominated for 11 Oscars (an astounding amount for a contemporary-set film), winning 5. 

six more movies after the jump

THE TERMINATOR (1984) 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan212016

Andrew Haigh to make Alexander McQueen biopic

Murtada here with the biopic news of the week.

After 45 Years I’d watch whatever Andrew Haigh decides to do next. His follow-up choice though would be exciting even in a vacuum; without knowing any of his previous films. Haigh is going to make a biopic of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969-2010). The movie will be based in part on the biography Alexander McQueen: Blood Beneath The Skin, by Andrew Wilson, which was published in the UK last year.

McQueen had a fascinating life which could make for a great film in Haigh's hands. Growing up in a London council flat, his talent took him from Savile Row to Givenchy to his own eponymous design house that continues to thrive. Alongside John Galliano, he was dubbed fashion’s "British enfant terribles". Carrying on the tradition of designers like Jean Paul Gaultier who went against the norm and shocked the surprisingly staid fashion establishment.

Who should be cast after the jump......

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec262015

Link Wars Episode ∞: The Blog Awakens

Guardian has a piece on the 7 best financial films for the release of The Big Short. Confession: I'm always surprised when internet lists remember that films existed before 1990. And this list has 4 of them [gasp]
CHUD Have you heard Radiohead's Spectre theme. The studio went with Sam Smith instead for the latest Bond
Variety Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me is coming your way (and filming already). Given the massive success of Straight Outta Compton expect more hiphop/rap biopics 

Gothamist Oooh. AMC Village 7 has reopened in Manhattan with spiffy new seats and bathrooms. I haven't been there in years but will have to return now. Now if only Film Forum and Village East would get renovations and they'd burn down the Angelika, Cinema Village, and Lincoln Plaza and build new non-tiny, non-crappy, subwayrumble-free arthouse theaters somewhere else... wouldn't that be swell?! 
MNPP the only recap of the recent Tom Hardy junket journalist dustup that you need is right here. Seriously who cares?! Stars cancel or push back interviews ALL THE TIME. 
Comics Alliance prepare for your heart to melt with these photos of Chris Pratt visiting a children's hospital 

Best of '15
Florida Film Critics went with Mad Max Fury Road as best of the year in 4 categories and gave Daisy Ridley Breakthrough for Star War: The Force Awakens
Movie Scene Kyle Turner's top 15 from Appropriate Behavior (yay!) to Mistress America (say what?)
Playbill 10 biggest social media moments for Broadway this year. Naturally Hamilton made the biggest splash
Theater Mania names the 9 best Off Broadway shows... i dont understand this number 9? It has to be 10 or 15 this year. I mean, MATH. SYMMETRY. LIST RULES. 
The Film Stage names 50 "Overlooked" films... though the criteria for overlooked is sligthly murky. Tangerine and James White, for example, didn't get even a tiny percentile of the box office they deserved but they did win spirit and gotham nods and in Tangerine's case a lot of press... which has to count for something. Very happy to see Appropriate Behavior (which you'll remember I loved nearly two years ago at its festival debut) and Victoria on the list though. Hopefully Mustang's inclusion (Team Experience loves it) will look silly after the fact if the Academy nominates it and it proves a late-bloomer at the box office. But for now with only $100,000 in the bank at only 3 theaters, it deserves this list placement.

More Star Wars... The Force Won't Go Back To Sleep
Digital Spy People will post ANYTHING about Star Wars for traffic. Here we consider the possibility of a gay Star Wars romance between Finn & Poe 
Gizmodo award winning interactive fan animations - Love the Grand Prize winner on Tattooine.
Vulture polls several celebrities about the best order to view the 7 Star Wars films in. The correct answer is obviously 4,5,6,7 (ignoring 1,2,3) but there's a lot of variety in the responses
/Film concept designs for BB-8 
American Leather Jacket for only $209 you can try to look at cool as Finn or Poe from Star Wars with the jacket they trade off onscreen
Academy Conversations the filmmaking team talks about production - I haven't watched it in full yet but it's nice to see Michael Kaplan represented there. He's one of the great costume designers and has had ZERO academy attention. That's probably because his best work comes in stylish contemporary film (Fight Club, Burlesque, Flashdance, Mr & Mrs Smith) or genre films (Blade Runner, Star Trek, The Force Awakens) and we know how Oscar feels about both of those kinds of pictures.

And if you haven't checked out the Emo Kylo Ren twitter page, do so. Laugh, you will. Know that it's more fun than a yub-nubbing Ewok treehouse party. This is my favorite but there were many many choices for that honor...

 

 

Wednesday
Dec232015

HBO’s LGBT History: Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we dipped our toes into Todd Haynes’s Mildred Pierce only to find that it’s oddly divisive, as is its leading lady, Ms Kate Winslet. Who knew? This week we look at a high profile project that was intended for the silver screen but given the current film market found itself in the not too shabby quarters of HBO: the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, written by 2016 WGA Ian McClellan Hunter Award honoree Richard LaGravenese and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Released in 2013, the project was perhaps the gayest project on HBO’s roster since Kushner’s Angels in America. Indeed, if you’ve been following us these past few weeks you’ll notice we’ve dealt with low-key flicks like Bernard and Doris and Cinema Verite. Documentaries it’s where it was until Soderbergh brought his glittering film to the Home Box Office. Upon its release (it premiered at Cannes), the film was showered with praise not only for Soderbergh’s visual flair but for its central performances, with Michael Douglas earning some of his best reviews in years. [More...]


Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec112015

Women's Pictures - Dee Rees's Bessie

Considering how often Pariah is called "a critical darling," it's disappointingly shocking that it took another 4 years for Dee Rees's next movie. Bessie is an HBO biopic of singer Bessie Smith, the Empress of the Blues, who rose to prominence in the 1920s and died in a car accident in the mid-1930s. When the movie premiered earlier this year, Angelica Jade Bastién wrote a fabulous personal review of it which I highly suggest you read. As Angelica points out, Rees's sophomore effort is a well-directed film that gets a lot right, even though it falls into a lot of the typical biopic pitfalls.

While the plotline of Bessie's meteoric rise, humbling fall, and return to semi-greatness followed a predictable biopic path, what really struck me about this collaboration between Dee Rees and Queen Latifah was how unapologetically individual it was. Unfortunately, fact-based films about black characters, if they are expected to attract a wider (whiter) audience, incorporate white characters to a large degree. Selma and 12 Years A Slave both have white antagonists who gain a lot of screentime - in the case of 12 Years A Slave, it was enough screentime to net Michael Fassbender an Academy Award Nominations.

In Bessie, blackness and queerness dominate...

Click to read more ...

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