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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 Blue Jasmine (26)

Tuesday
Mar112014

'The World is Round, People!' But Can It Spin a Little Differently?

Blue Jasmine was one of Woody Allen's biggest hits, earning $94 million globallyGeena Davis and I have been harping on gender disparity in film for ever and I've also spent a lot of time on its sister problem: ageism focused on women. But in the past couple of years it feels like the conversation has finally reached the mainstream. 

Every website, even the most misogynist-friendly, now knows what the Bechdel Test is and that the majority of movies still fail it even though it's super easy to pass. Cate Blanchett's Oscar speech got a lot of attention and Kevin B Lee recently had a major cinemetrics piece in the New York Times about women's limited screen time and now, as The Wrap reports, a new study out of San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows how bad the problem is not just in lead roles (only 13% of the films in the top 100 of last year) but in ageist double standards (women over 40 account for only 30% of female roles while 55% of male roles are for the over 40 set) and in racial representation (73% of all female roles are for caucasian women).

All of this despite the fact that Cate's Oscar speech was total righteous truth-telling. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb032014

A Personal Note on Allen/Farrow and a Plea For Sanity

I'm about to pull a Hannah Horvath and make something that's not about me entirely about me for a moment but... I had a really difficult week. As long time readers undoubtedly now, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow as artists and as a unit were largely responsible for making me the cinephile that I am today. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) was a major turning point in my life, the moment that I realized innately if not quite in a self-aware way, how much the movies meant to me.

Woody & Mia in the 80s

I will never be able to thank either of them enough for that gift. Were it not for them, and over the rest of the 80s an actress we should probably just call "Michellyl Glenn Turnstreepfer", I would not be the person I am and you would never have read The Film Experience as it would not exist.

So Allen and Farrow were a superhero duo to wee Nathaniel and their movies, events. To this day, I'd rather think of them that way. I turned up every year from 1984 (Broadway Danny Rose, my older brother drove me because he said "it looks funny") through 1992 (Husbands and Wives, their last film together) even when I had to drag reluctant family or friends. The catatrosphic end of their relationship -- there's no other word for it -- drove Farrow away from Hollywood and thus tarnished her justified place in film history (I hate how often I've had to explain her career/celebrity/talent to people over the years) and permanently tarnished Woody's own reputation; no one who has ever been accused of child molestation, whether or not they are convicted (and Woody was never even charged), is ever presumed innocent again. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan142014

The 2nd Annual Team Experience Award Goes To...

Amir here, to bring you the results of the 2nd annual Team Experience Awards, a poll of the year’s best in film by the international group of writers who contribute regularly to this website. In our inaugural edition, Leos Carax’s off-kilter French fantasy, Holy Motors, won the top prize. This year, our 14 voters are more in synch with the American awards season tune. I think it’s fair to say we all like 12 Years a Slave. Like, really, really like 12 Years a Slave. If Steve McQueen’s film were Sally Field, we’d be the Academy circa 1985.

BEST PICTURE
12 Years a Slave
 (Steve McQueen)
Runner-up: Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach) 

BEST DIRECTOR
Steve McQueen
 (12 Years a Slave)
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) 

However, the consensus and the number of categories topped by Slave don’t quite reflect the intense competition behind the scenes. In fact, only two categories were landslides: Best Picture and Best Visual Effects. Elsewhere, the competition was intense and never really took shape until the last ballot was in. In the best supporting actress category, for example, five women were within an inch of each other, and Emma Watson (The Bling Ring) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives) missed out on the runner-up spot by a hair. The nitty-gritty of our votes further down but now the winners of the 2nd Team Experience Awards...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan092014

Art Directors Make Their Picks 

Jose here, with yet another batch of guild nominees. This time members of the Art Directors Guild have determined nominees in three categories (which are just as nonsensical as those of the Costume Designers Guild...how is Her contemporary and Gravity a fantasy?). It's mostly more of the same, except for one or two rather interesting choices here and there, and truly it seems as if Oscar mostly cares about the "old look" which is why the Period nominees might pretty much translate into our final five nominees. Right?

The nominees were the following:

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Thursday
Jan022014

PGA (Barely) Adds Mystery to Best Picture Race

Just when you thought the Best Picture race was solidifying around eight or nine contenders, the Producer's Guild today went and threw a couple of curveballs. Don't get me wrong, their nominees are barely a surprise, but at this stage of the race (with still two months to go!) it's nice to have some mystery evolving in the fringes of the top category.

The nominees are:

  • American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
    Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
  • Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
  • Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
    Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
    Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
  • Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
  • Her (Warner Bros. Pictures)
    Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
  • Nebraska (Paramount Pictures)
    Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
    Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
  • 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
    Producers:  Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
  • Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
    Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland

Several of these were rather obvious, and if we still lived in a world of only five Best Picture nominees I have no doubt those five would be American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Nebraska and 12 Years a Slave. Alas, we don't live in that world anymore, so here are nine thoughts I had in order of Oscar- relevance.

Click to read more ...