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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1980s

 

"'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' is like cocaine coated ear candy featured the cinematic MASTERPIECE, Mannequin." - Derreck

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Entries in books (87)

Monday
Aug242015

Curio: Getting Intimate With Ingrid

Alexa here with a curio in honor of Ingrid Bergman's centennial.  A few years ago, during a stop at Brooklyn thrift shop The Thing for some record shopping, I spied a paperback lying with a small pile of vintage books. There's nothing I love more than a pulpy celebrity biography, so I left the store without any LPs and with Ingrid Bergman: An Intimate Portrait in my bag instead.

It turned out to be perfect summer reading...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug242015

Miscellania: Tarantino's Quotes, Horror's ROI, and Crown's Actors

Dan Callahan interviews Ingrid Bergman's daughters for her centennial
Vulture Quentin Tarantino interviewed. He likes the films of the Duplass Brothers, loves The Newsroom (um, okay?) and disses on Cate Blanchett and Oscar Bait. 
Salon is Daniel (Ralph Macchio) the real bully in The Karate Kid? A contrarian reading
Planet Money Horror films continue to be the best return on investments for producers 
AV Club rumor has it that George Miller is being courted for Man of Steel 2. Danger! There's no way Warner Bros would let him go as expectation averse wild with that franchise as he allowed himself to go with his own franchise for Fury Road 
Grantland rising screenwriter Max Landis (yes, son of John) talks American Ultra, studio franchises versus original material and admits he "despised" Jurassic World

Salon talks to Gaby Hoffman (Transparent, Girls) about her unique roles of late
Mashable now superheroes are even entering the beauty industry with face mask treatments
Variety names ten actors to watch but some of them have been with us a long time like mumbling Emory Cohen (he's got a huge role in Brooklyn later this year, and thankfully he's dumped the mumbling and excessive tics for that one) or are couple of years into it like Short Term 12's Keith Stanfield. Glad to see Tessa Thompson (Dear White People) and Bel Powley (Diary of a Teenage Girl) on the list
Empire the great Alfre Woodard joins the cast of Luke Cage for Netflix in a very big role 
Film School Rejects on the best shows of the summer coming from the most unlikely places (like USA's Mr Robot or Lifetime's UnReal). But maybe they kill their own argument with MTV's "Scream" which I keep hearing is truly terrible. 

About Male Privilege and Hollywood's Resistance to Female Directors
/Film good essay with very solid points on the lack of female directors being offered big studio jobs and Colin Trevorrow's recent responses about the problem. He clearly means well but his response is naive - suggested that women have too much integrity is a bit too flatteringly sexist -- like a 'but women are sugar and spice and too noble to lower themselves thusly!'

Off Cinema
The Hugo Awards this year's sci-fi literary awards had all sorts of drama with shady ballot stuffing and conscientious objecting to said ballot stuffing and so on so they've elected "no awards" in several categories. But big winners were Marvel's "Ms. Marvel" for graphic story "Guardians of the Galaxy" & "Orphan Black" for the drama prizes. The top prize for Best Novel went to "The Three Body Problem".
Boy Culture "Beat it, I'm Madonna" a great video mashup of Michael Jackson & Madonna
Vimeo Penis painting the Queen and Princess Diana. No really. And obviously NSFW 

Actors in The Regular News
Variety turns out one of the all time best French actors was on that Amsterdam to Paris train that was attacked. He sounded the alarm. Well done, Jean-Hugues Anglade.
The Wrap sad about this - Rosie O'Donnell's 17 year old mixed up with drugs, a 25 year old alleged heroin dealer arrested for endangerment of minor. And Rosie just played a sad mom with a troubled teen daughter onThe Fosters.

Finally
Netflix is making a series The Crown about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth. Helen Mirren had to step down from her signature role this time since the series takes place when she was but 21 years of age and inherited the thrown. Claire Foy, who played Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall, plays the royal. People magazine has photos but they don't share this one so I thank Kevin Daly for providing. It's John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and the wondrous screen bitch Harriet Walter as someone... not sure who.

Love her. And she doesn't get enough credit. She's so terrifically callous in Sense & Sensibility (1995) and we've seen her several times in other costume dramas: Young Victoria, Downton Abbey, Cheri, A Royal Affair.

Tuesday
Aug182015

ICYMI 

Hello all. Nathaniel, returned home, back from vacation. You may not have even noticed that I'd gone but I was almost completely offline for the past 5 days. I was in Austin, TX to visit a friend I hadn't seen in a few years and we had a ton of fun. While travelling I read "The Devil in the White City" and y'all were right -it's absolutely gripping. It's also so dense with information and fascinating details that Leo & Marty may well have a tough time pulling it off. Especially if they make it a star vehicle since the book screams for more of an Altman Ensemble feel. 

On the trip home my friends and I discovered we were sharing the flight with Pearl (from RPDR) so the return to NYC felt even more glamorous than usual. This long weekend vacation was the last movie and computer free moment before The Season which, roughly speaking, consumes my entire life from mid-September to late-February each year. Thank you to Jose and Manuel for keeping the lights on while I was out and to Murtada, David, Kyle, Glenn, Sebastian, Amir, and Margaret who also pitched in.

Why not catch up on anything you missed this morning? I'll be doing the same. 

A Heaping Handful of Highlights
Chris Eigeman talks Metropolitan - This uniquely pleasurable 1990 indie just turned 25
100 Things I Love About Movies - off the top of my head
HBO LGBT: "Normal" - Manuel's great series is revealing that HBO has really been ahead of the curve
Bergman Kisses - a grand swooney journey through Ingrid Bergman's onscreen love life - she may be well be the greatest romantic heroine of the movies
Mr Robot and Humans - we started a new weekly TV discussion series with these two paranoid examples of our current communal disconnection. The series continues tonight with Masters of Sex
Smackdown 1995 - that's how we started the month and Smackdown 1954 is how we'll end it 
Disney's Upcoming Slate - Moana, Zootopia and more 

Meanwhile in Oscar Land
The forthcoming Oscar race is all starting to feel very real what with the releases of Hateful Eight's trailer, Germany's long list, Carol's teaser, and that image of Tom Hiddleston in a big hat...

Reviewed Recently
Fantastic Four (Tim), The Gift (Jose), Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Kyle), M:I - Rogue Nation (Tim), Ricki & The Flash (Nathaniel) and Woman in Gold (Nathaniel) 

Monday
Aug102015

Ingrid's First Oscar Nomination

We continue our Ingrid Bergman Centennial with Andrew Kendall on For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

It's difficult to speak of Ingrid Bergman without consider her place in Oscar history. She's one of the few people to win three acting Oscars. And, she's fourth (only to Kate, Meryl and Bette) when it comes to Oscar's Actress Hierarchy. For modern fans, then, the celebrity of that first nomination is a curio regardless of its quality. When did Oscar first bite? For Ingrid it came four years (and five films) after her Hollywood debut. Not for that year's best picture winner Casablanca, but for the adaptation of For Whom the Bell TollsCasablanca, and Ingrid's "Ilsa," have endured as such integral parts of film culture that her work in For Whom the Bell Tolls immediately faces the scrunity of living up to it. Why the vote for this over her work there? 

But, it’s essential to remember that films and awards as creatures of their time. At the time of its production Casablanca was merely a minor World War II drama and literary adaptations were all the rage (from 1937 through 1942 every Best Picture winner was an adaptation of a recently pubished text). The adaptation of the literary triumph of 1940 was the bigger ticket. Ingrid was desperate for the role and Hemingway also loved the idea.  In a 1971 interview Bergman revealed that Hemingway, a writer typically averse to being too involved in adaptations of his work, lobbied significantly for Bergman to get the role even reportedly sending her a copy of the novel with the inscription

You are the Maria in the book”.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul212015

Curio: Paperback Love

Alexa here with your weekly film curios.  I am an unabashed lover and collector of vintage paperbacks, especially movie tie-in paperbacks. Kayo Books is always a stop when I'm passing through San Francisco (and where I found What's Up, Doc? and King Solomon's Mines tie-in paperbacks).  I have been known to scan some favorite covers from my collection, and then print and frame them for quick wall art.  So the recent trend of movie posters re-imagined as paperbacks is one that I can't resist.  Of course, Penguin Classics are a favorite inspiration, as well as designs of the more pulpy variety like Dell (a hat tip to Pulp Fiction's 90s marketing).

Here is a collection of some favorite designs I've seen out in the wild.  

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul192015

Titus Andromedon and the "GBF"

Please welcome new contributor Kyle Turner to the team, who has previously Smackdown'ed right here. In the wake of the Emmy nominations, he's here to talk about one very particular film & tv trope - Editor
 

In Tina Fey’s book of autobiographical essays Bossypants, she describes with delight and nostalgia her time growing up working at the Delaware County Summer Showtime program for the arts. And while her experiences about her background in theater are the surface, it’s her relationship to the queer community that serves as, perhaps, the thesis and thematic core of the essay. She writes carefully, balancing emotional reaction of the present juxtaposed against examining the events in hindsight. She talks about the lesbian best friends she had for several years, the way her hometown was like “Gay Wales” (“What Wales is to crooners, my hometown may be to homosexuals – meaning, there seems to be a disproportionate number of them and they are the best in the world!”), and, most important, the role of LGBT people in her personal narrative(s). She writes

I thought I knew everything after that first summer. ‘Being gay is not a choice. Gay people were made that way by God,’ I’d lectured Mr. Garth proudly. But it took me another whole year to figure out the second part: ’Gay people were made that way by God, but not solely for my entertainment.’ ”

In one quote, Fey pinpoints a problem that mainstream media often has when depicting queer (usually male) characters: they’re often asexual, thinly written, or designed with tropes built in as opposed to given the benefit of complexity that their straight counterparts more reflexively are given. They are, in a word, tokenized. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul132015

Link or Dare

Film School Rejects on Comic Con leaks and what the studios should worry about instead
Arts.Mic Netflix has the best opening titles
Empire Jennifer Lawrence attached to The Rosie Project, a romantic story of a man with aspergers and a free spirited woman who inspires him
/Film X-Men Apocalypse teaser posters 
Queerty interviews Alex Keshishian on the seismic impact of Madonna's Truth or Dare (1991) back in the day. It changed lives! My friends and I still quote it regularly to this day.

Freier Fall 2 -- um, WHAT? They're raising money for a sequel to that very hot LGBT movie that's streaming on Netflix that stars Max Reimelt from Sense8.   
Awards Daily Sasha compares Oscars to the presidential primaries 
Guardian one million dollar reward in the case of Judy Garland's missing ruby slippers 
i09 first look at HBO's series version of the old sci fi classic Westworld
FSR checking in with Hayao Miyazaki who is still working -- albeit on short films -- and experimenting at 74. 
Variety Guillermo del Toro on his female centric Gothic horror, Crimson Peak 

Off Cinema
B&N Reads Esther Bloom on inappropriate books she read as a tween. I didn't do this but I remember the whispered conversations in school about books we weren't supposed to be reading.
Playbill interviews two of the most talented people in the world: Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff and talks tv learning curves, their summer productions at City Center, and Groff's fanboy obsession with Foster before he himself was famous. It's sweet 

Pic of the Day
"Chewie's Angels" (from Comic Con via HitFix) Mwahhhaaaaahaaa. L-O-V-E.