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Entries in Dangerous Liaisons (5)

Saturday
Mar292014

25 Years Ago Today... Marquise & Madame 

These pictures were literally shot 25 years ago today - Michelle Pfeiffer & Glenn Close at the Governor's Ball for the 1988 Oscars on March 29th, 1989.  

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar082014

"Spark"

Illustration Friday is fun internet exercize for artists and though most of the participants seem to be professional, which I am not, I'm trying it again to celebrate my first iPad (which is much easier to draw on then the phone). This weeks topic is "Spark" and the second I saw the words this image popped into my mind. Because few things at the cinema have ever felt so much like a lit fuse to something powder-keg explosive...

To this day I remember the chills, my breath stopping in the movie theater when the Marquise de Mertueil (Glenn Close) and Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovich) had their final heated confrontation. They'd fallen out over previous verbal arrangements and epistolary evidence. "A single word" is all he asks to mend things between them, though it sounds like a threat. The single word he's looking for is "yes" but she has a different three letter word in mind.

War.

 

Movie go boom.

If "fierce" hadn't yet been invented as a word, the existence of Glenn Close's Marquise would have birthed it right then and there. (If Glenn Close were half as frightening as the Marquise crossed, the Academy would never have dared rob her of that Oscar. And rob her they did.)

Which moment lit the most explosive fuse in a movie you love?

Wednesday
Mar132013

Smash: "The Fringe"

When I first heard the title of the new Smash episode was "The Fringe" I was all 'grrl, whaaa?' since Smash is safe and exceedingly polished (the show has always looked great and well funded whatever you want to say about the writing and acting) whereas most Fringe shows are kind of the ultimate clichés of scrappy underfunded hot messes. Surprised I am but I report that this week's episode turned out to be the best of the season thus far.

2.6  "The Fringe"
What's the buzz ♫ tell me what's-a-happening? Eileen has opted for the more commercial version of "Bombshell" and Julia is horrified that her favorite song "Never Give All The Heart" might now be cut. Derek in a petulant fit quits the show. Jimmy in a petulant fit quits his show (for like ½ a day). Karen in a dead-eyed fit (there are no other kinds for her) sneaks out to perform in "Hit List" which is kind of a back-door way of quitting her show. Julia in a sulky fit vaguely suggests she might quit her show. (Ivy is too much of a professional to quit her show but it's so bad you know she wants to...) Is all this quitting brilliant self parody and meta commentary on the episode by episode erosion of Smash's audience? more

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb202013

Smash: The Dramaturg

previously on Smash

My hopes for Smash's precarious sophomore season were dashed the split second the third episode began as Katharine McPhee sang a poprock song in a halfshirt on a platform for a throng of admirers and capped it off with a little crowd surfing. I thought this was a show about making a Broadway musical... not about creating a pop star?! The new character Jimmy (Jeremy Jordan), prepping for a pitch to powerful director Derek, announces just before the opening titles that "one shot is all we need".  Unfortunately for Smash, it's had several of them and still isn't hitting its mark.

Julia (Debra Messing) hates dramaturg Peter (guest star Daniel Sunjata) at first sight which, in showbiz cliché, surely means a romance is brewing.

2.3 "The Dramaturg"
This week's episode, which felt mostly like connective filler to get us to the new season plotlines after the debut's efforts to tie off last season's storylines, mostly involved auditions though the writers didn't find a way to make that a thematic core. It played like a coincidence across multiple stories: Ivy auditioned for the Cecile role (the Uma Thurman role) in some sort of revival of Dangerous Liaisons; Jimmy and Kyle pitched their embryonic musical "Hit List" to Derek, Derek intended to re-audition for The Wiz producers who fired him in the last episode but was side-tracked by Julia's book changes. She was basically auditioning to keep her job by adding "heat" to the show (i.e. more focus on Marilyn Monroe's upwardly mobile sexuality; enter JFK). The changes were suggested by new dramaturg Peter (impossibly handsome Daniel Sunjata) who is no stranger to Broadway himself, having cut a very fine figure in the Tony winning baseball drama Take Me Out some years ago.

In my very limited experience with theater and theater people I understand dramaturgy to be a respected craft that functions like great editing, fine tuning and sculpting pre-existing material and jettisoning stuff that doesn't work. (A good dramaturg is EXACTLY what Smash needs.) Smash implies (at least for now) that it's more like vicious ghost-writing / script-doctoring so naturally this new character Peter is an asshole. Just like all the men on Smash. I do not need characters to be "likeable" to enjoy a show (hello Mad Men) but if they are all going to be hateful they need to be complex enough to fascinate me. There is no one on this show to root for beyond Ivy (whose self-pity is wearying). We're supposed to root for Karen but she literally complains and sighs and rolls her eyes every time we see her in a rehearsal scene which suggests that she DOES NOT WANT TO WORK TO CREATE A SHOW... so why should we root for her to star in a series about the making of a show? 

Set List: (Originals) "Party" (McPhee), "Our Little Secret" (Ovenden), "Moving the Line" briefly (McPhee/Hilty); Jukebox: "Dancing on My Own" sung as a dirge (Hilty); Showtunes: "Soon as I Get Home" (Hudson).
B♡BBY: Wesley Taylor was not in this episode. Hmmmm. Coincidence that it was a terrible episode? I think not!
Best Moment: Ivy finally wakes up and speaks the truth before walking away from a Derek landmine "You're doubting yourself. You don't do that remember? And neither should I."  
Worst Moment:  God, take your pick? This episode was all over the place. But I have to go with the weird cagey subplot about some sort of violent dude in Jimmy & Kyle's past. Zzzz. Don't care about this. Want more Ivy, Derek, Tom & Julia with a little piece of B♡bby (and okay he can bring Karen along) on the side.
Grade: D 

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO SAVE THIS SHOW? (Artistically, I mean. It's doomed ratings-wise.) 

Saturday
Nov102012

From Russia With Link

i09 the best of the new Disney/Star Wars mashup art
Vulture "Matthew McConaughey's awards campaign for Magic Mike begins now"...it's about f***in' time!
NPR on an Asian remake of Dangerous Liaisons 
MovieLine Daniel Day-Lewis doing an Eastwood in London 
/Film Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr Banks


Stale Popcorn Glenn, our favorite fellow fan of Burlesque, has words about the proposed Diane Warren jukebox musical. So many Oscar nominated power ballads from that one!
In Contention on the new Les Miz trailer. Why haven't I written it up, you ask? I can only write about Les Miz so often people and the movie isn't even out yet. Plus I already did a Yes No Maybe So once and my policy is not to repeat that with a single movie... I mean, some movies release five trailers, people!

Natasha VC "Ja!" 
Pajiba wonders why all the best Bond girls have the worst names. (If by worst they mean best... because those campy names are essential! They're so missed in Skyfall!)
The Mary Sue Willow and Oz reunited!!!... but on How I Met Your Mother. zzzz...
PopWatch Jennifer Lawrence on complaints that she's too well-fed for The Hunger Games

In Hollywood I'm obese.  I’m Val Kilmer in that one picture on the beach."

Ha! This make me love her so much more. 

TODAY'S MUST WATCH

I thought about writing a review of the revival of Annie on Broadway but Adam Feldman's Time Out Review is so incredibly spookily spot on on ever single point I might have made (seriously go and read it)  that it's not worth writing my own -- hate it when that happens! So Annie is in my brain currently and "Tomorrow" is the only song that's battling "I Dreamed a Dream" for earworm revival of 2012. I nabbed the video above from my friend Tom's Broadway Blog. He's always worth a read and he finds the most incredible videos. This one is the musical comedienne Christina Bianco doing various über famous divas doing Annie. They may as well cast Bianco right now in an American remake of Little Voice (1998) she's so good at impersonating other vocalists!