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Entries in Carrie (25)


Countdown to Carrie: "When There's No One"

I'm not suggesting that I want to see Chloe Grace Moretz in a musical (God, no) but wouldn't it be great if the impending Carrie remake (October 18th) were an adaptation of the infamous flop stage musical instead or just a retread on hallowed cinema ground? At least then it would have a reason for existing.

Here's the beautiful Alice Ripley, famous to Broadway fans as one half of Side Show's siamese twin stars and the lead in the mental illness musical Next To Normal (which also needs to be a movie, right?) and singing Carrie's 11th hour amazement "When There's No One" on Seattle TV. The stage musical, which we've written about before when it played here in NYC recently, is playing there this month so Seattle readers take note and let us know if you go to the show!) This number is the signature showstopper from cracked mamma Margaret White, a role originated by Betty Buckley on stage (who neatly also co-starred in the Brian dePalma classic... albeit not in the same role.)


It's hard to picture Julianne Moore belting that out but I hope the movie star at least does it for friends at karaoke for a laugh.


Uh Huh Link Her

Erik Lundegaard on lipsyching w/ talent via Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Jimmy Fallon
Guardian Kevin Smith talks about Ben Affleck's Bat Cave. errrrrr....
Empire The Help reunion! Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will co-star in a James Brown biopic for Tate Taylor. Unfortunately neither won of them is playing James Brown (This aint no I'm Not There)
THR Hugh Jackman will play a supporting role in Chappie, the next sci-fi epic from Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium)

Towleroad James Franco's Sal Mineo biopic Sal which seems like it was completed many years ago finally gets a trailer
Deadline good grief. They put up and then removed a Diana poster from the Princess's crash site in Paris?
NY Times Magazine talks to director Kimberly Peirce about her stop and start career, from Boys Don't Cry to Carrie 

Today's Must Read
Interview Magazine is featuring a conversation between Darren Aronofsky and Scarlett Johansson about Her (which Aronofsky loves and which she vocally stars in) and the funny but serious banter reminds us of why we love both of them.

"I've got Patrick"... Scarlett photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Interview

Scarlett even indirectly adresses what we were talking about on the last podcast, how she's totally become a more nuanced dimensional actress in the past couple of years:

JOHANSSON: I like doing voice work, and I've also become increasingly interested in pushing different parts of performance, whether it's a physical thing or a kind of vocal nuance, so this seemed like it would be an interesting thing to at least talk about...

ARONOFSKY: Did you think about what you were going to do with your voice in terms of what artificial intelligence might sound like? Or was the goal always just to be as present and natural with the performance as possible?

JOHANSSON: Well, one thing that Spike really emphasized was the fact that the character, Samantha, is really experiencing everything in the moment because she's developing, so she doesn't have any preconceived ideas of anything. Even her programming is not really preconceived—she has no opinion on anything until she forms it right then, in the moment. So Spike just wanted it to have a real levity and, I think, a curiosity. He also wanted that level of depth. So more than just the tone of the voice, which was ultimately sort of unimportant. With her, it was about finding the shape of things and building this character that's almost a babe—but just fresh out of the package in every way.

Fresh out of the package in every way, eh? That's how she feels as an actress of late. The change is 100 proof intoxicating.


"Give Carrie a call?"

Sometimes I receive an e-mail from a reader that is so spot on I don't even know what to add. So thanks to Dave for pointing out this absurdity on Facebook. 

He writes:

Are they honestly trying to make "Carrie" sexy? Do they think that evoking old 1-900 hotlines is... relevant to kids today? 

Good questions both and lol on the 1-900. On the other hand, if Margaret White rings (or sings), I'm totally picking up. 

Sexy 'Scary Carrie' hits theaters one month from now. With remakes of lesser known titles you sometimes have to worry that studios will bury the original to clear the way for new profits. Thankfully the original Carrie is too well known and too widely disseminated for that. The new Carrie will surely self-immolate (literally and figuratively) but the original will haunt forever. 


Juli's Big October

147 days from now Julianne Moore will have not one, not two, but three movies opening in theaters. How exhausted is she going to be 148 days from now!? That's a lot of promo duties and red carpets in the first half of October.




Yes, No, Maybe So: "Carrie 2013"

If you remake Carrie they're all going to laugh at you!

the Mean Girls of Thomas Ewen Consolidated High School.

Or, if not laugh, than shake their heads in annoyance that you've dared to keep company with a 70s classic. I've never disguised or hedged my opinion here. I think Carrie (1976) is a GREAT motion picture. Not just a good one. Since it can't really be improved upon (specifically in the performance arena since Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie both did risky revelatory Oscar worthy work) there's no reason to remake it. Unless of course you have a fresh take on it, which is the only reason to ever remake anything that's great to begin with.

The teaser which featured merely voiceover about the telekinetic PMSing high school misfit over a zoom in on Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White as Firestarter was a hit as teasers often are (leave them wanting more!) but the new trailer basically says "hey, I'm just the same as the old Carrie only with actors you kids know. Look, it's all the famous scenes including the climax. Come see me in October!"

Pray for forgiveness Julianne! You're risking ANOTHER iconic do over?!

Having clearly stated my bias -- I'm a "no" ahead of time on principle -- let's break it down anyway after the jump with as much of an open mind as I can muster on this one.

Click to read more ...


Burning Questions: Are Jump Scares Ever Not Awful?

Michael C here. I recently caught up with Andres Muschietti’s Mama and found it to be a decent little chiller with one particularly irksome habit. It is packed end-to-end with cheap jump scares. It’s as if the studio insisted the director include a quota of brainless “Boo!” moments amid all the creepy suspense stuff that takes actual filmmaking skill. 

Savvy filmgoers understand that jump scares are the worst. Apart from the fact that it requires roughly the same level of craft to startle someone with a loud noise as it does to zap them with a seat buzzer, they have the added drawback of creating distance between the audience and the film. They release tension, rather than build it. This explains their popularity among teenagers who see horror movies as a carnival ride, doling out empty “scares” with mechanical timing.

So finding a minefield of these cheap shots in another otherwise capable spook story like Mama got me thinking. Are there any defensible examples of the jump scare? Or is it an artistic sin every time it’s trotted out?

jump scares after, um, the jump.

Click to read more ...


Oscar Horrors: Margaret White Burns in Hell

Just one more day of Oscar Horrors! On this penultimate day of the series, JA has an incredible take on one of our shared favorites, "Carrie". -Nathaniel

HERE LIES... or rather, HERE BURNS IN HELL... Margaret White, Piper Laurie's Supporting Actress nominated performance in Brian DePalma's 1976 film Carrie.

JA from MNPP here - the only thing more shocking to me than the fact that Piper lost the Oscar for Margaret White is the fact that nobody's covered this performance for this here Oscar Horrors series yet. You could just sit back and quote her lines and be done with it - "I can see you dirty pillows." "Pimples are the Lord's way of chastising you." "I liked it. I liked it!" What a grand time it'd be! It would be like any given evening in my house, really. But give me an excuse to watch Carrie for the 50th time, and I will bite.

Piper lost the Oscar to Beatrice Straight's very brief role in Network; I won't diss Straight because I like her and I like that performance (and I like her a few years later in Poltergiest even more)... but come on. 

Rewatching the film today I was reminded what a note-perfect line Laurie walks. Dances, really. In sensible witch shoes. Her Margaret White should be what you see when you look up "Jesus Freak" in the dictionary.

But while she's often criticized for being over the top (and it's not as if director Brian DePalma backs off that angle -- when Carrie tells her mother she's going to the prom, Piper repeats the word aghast - "Prom?" - which DePalma then gooses with some ever-so-subtle lightning and thunder) what I noticed today is it's Margaret's smallness and fear that reveals themselves between the hysterics, and become disturbingly palpable. She is in a battle with herself, the beleaguered Christian, trying to be all the God Warrior she can be, but her beaten-down daughter, meekness personified (Sissy Spacek giving one of the finest performances ever put on screen, if you ask me), begins to beat her back at every turn and she's entirely befuddled by it. You can sense she's felt this before - when her husband, the one with the stinking roadhouse whiskey on his breath, also driven nuts by her zealousness, up and took off. It must be the Devil! You can see the parts clicking into place in Laurie's performance as her confusion turns into its own sense - this is what she is here for. Calmness washes over her; she has found her life's meaning. And it's a serenity that's terrifying.

And that's the thing with this performance and why it continually rings true to me - in the twenty minutes or so of screen-time that Laurie has, she simultaneously charts not just a broad portrait of religious fervor driven way off the deep end, but the pinpoint center wherein stands a very small very frightened woman, deranged by her own terror of abandonment. Once was enough, twice is too many, and she will drag her daughter straight to Hell before she ever lets go.