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Entries in David Cronenberg (33)

Friday
May312019

Who should receive an Honorary Oscar?

Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow in "Shame"Pete Hammond at Deadline revealed this morning that with all the dates moving earlier next Oscar season, the Academy is actually choosing the next Honorary Oscar winners THIS WEEKEND. It's too late then for an FYC but we feel the need to do one anyway. In the past we've made great suggestions like Albert Finney, Doris Day, Neil Simon, Michael Ballhaus, and Marni Nixon but they let all those people die without honoring them which is such bad form. At least they heard us on Maureen O'Hara, Harry Belafonte, and Angela Lansbury!

I have a suspicion that Caleb Deschanel, obviously a well-loved cinematographer given that surprise sixth nomination for the German film Never Look Away last season, will be named this year. He's 74 years old. For some reason I don't think they'll go with Glenn Close quite yet though she's a common prediction. She's 72 but working a lot right now and still in her prime.

 

TWELVE SUGGESTIONS...

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Tuesday
Apr302019

The New Classics - Eastern Promises

Michael Cusumano here to argue a case for the the best fight scene of the last two decades.

The Scene: The Sauna Fight
It’s no surprise that just about every discussion of the sauna fight from Eastern Promises dwells on the bare skin. If the King of Middle Earth strips down to his tattoos and takes on two goons in a bathhouse brawl it’s gonna dominate the conversation.

And it’s not only gawking. It’s thematically on point. This scene uses nakedness to make you feel a character’s vulnerability as effectively as any film since Psycho, plus all the skin on display reflects the film’s obsession with bodies -- bodies as currency and bodies defaced and disfigured... 

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Saturday
Jul012017

Bonne Fête, Bujold.

by Seán McGovern

Today we celebrate the 75th birthday of Québécoise actress Genevieve Bujold, one of the lesser-lauded Francophone talents. Apart from having a wonderful name to pronounce (dinner with Geneviève Bujold and René Auberjonois, perhaps?), she has more than 70 films under her belt. Instead of doing a retrospective of an actresses who not all of us might know or appreciate, consider this an introduction to some of her greatest work, including Anne of a Thousand Days, Dead Ringers and of course, not Star Trek: Voyager.

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Wednesday
Aug262015

Unlikely Couple: Robert Pattinson and Claire Denis

Here's Murtada with the week's most interesting casting news.

Robert Pattinson is starring in Claire Denis’ next movie. Are we being punked? No. Actually to judge from his last few choices it's just another day, another auteur. He’s becoming a top director magnet and has been using his bankability to make interesting choices. He’s confirmed as the lead of Denis’ untitled first English language film. The story is set in space in a “future that seems like the present” with Pattinson reportedly playing an astronaut.

 This particular project is intriguing beyond Pattinson. Denis of course is reason enough to be excited. Her last movie Bastards (2013) may have been less heralded than usual but it was a provocative visceral experience. Collaborating with her on the screenplay is novelist Zadie Smith (On Beauty, White Teeth) whose books have always been cinematic and full of fallible compelling characters. Smith writing her first screenplay? Now that’s exciting!

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Monday
Sep292014

NYFF: Seeing Isn't Believing in 'Maps to the Stars'

The New York Film Festival has begun. Here's Glenn taking an alternative look at David Cronenberg's divisive Cannes winner 'Maps to the Stars', now a confirmed 2014 contender.

Digital filmmaking has a lot to answer for – much of it good, but a lot of it bad. Its biggest crime, however, may be eradicating David Cronenberg of style. It’s as if the transition of celluloid to digital, which coincided with his swing away from merely a cult name-brand director to one whose films, at least briefly, appeared to be targeting a somewhat more acceptingly mainstream audience (A History of Violence and Eastern Promises certainly), weakened his eye for visual storytelling. Not only is Maps to the Stars a surprisingly ugly film in terms of its garish lighting, messy blocking, and lethargic, bulky transitions, but it’s a distressingly amateur in one in terms of simple camera placement and editing.

Much was made of Matt Zoller Seitz’s plea for film writers to discuss form in more detail. “Form is not just an academic side dish to the main course of content”, he said last year, and while I am not sure what Seitz’s opinion is on Maps to the Stars I can’t imagine he would be too thrilled.

more... 

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Friday
Sep262014

NYFF: Maps to the Stars, Or: Julianne Moore is God, Again

The New York Film Festival has begun. Here's Nathaniel on the latest from David Cronenberg which won Julianne Moore the Best Actress prize at Cannes earlier this year.

Let's not bury the lede. At a key moment in Maps to the Stars when the actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) gets some bad news that she's more or less been expecting/dreading, she is in a Buddha pose in yoga pants. Her eyes struggle to hold back tears and her body struggles to pretend it's relaxing when she lets out a sudden wail. You think the wail will descend into Julianne Moore's familiar crying jag (You know how she loves to do). Instead the wail abruptly stops. Fans of Julianne Moore won't be able to silence their own screaming so quickly. I, for one, felt euphoric watching her. For those of us whom we have famously dubbed "actressexuals" - the word originated at this blog though it's now escaped our small pfeiff fiefdom and entered the greater internet -- major achievements from our favorite stars can feel, however absurdly, like personal triumphs. Or at least like just rewards for enduring loyalty. Especially if you've worried that the magic has dissipated with familiarity, poor career decisions, lesser roles and/or medicore films.

This year, with Maps to the Stars and Still Alice (previously reviewed), the Julianne Moore I first fell for, the actress who inspired my whole career path (newbies might not know that this site emerged from a zine I started in the 1990s with issue #1 dubbed "Julianne Moore is God," pictured left) came roaring back into full power.

Pity, then, that the movie can't quite keep up with her or harness her brilliant satirical embodiment of all that is self-absorbed, self-loathing, self-medicated, and self-serving in modern Hollywood celebrity. [More...]

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