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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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 "...and will these three great artists appear on the actual Oscars show?" - Rick G.

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Entries in Dustin Hoffman (11)

Friday
Jun052015

Q&A Pt. 2: Rain Men, Paperboys, Oscar Greats

We had too many good questions last week to keep it all confined to one post. So now that you're read part one, so here's part two of the week's reader question roundup. I saved all the Oscar questions for this round to motivate me to update those Oscar chart this weekend. Ready? 

SONJA: Why do we mourn/rage about "undeserved" wins so often? In reality it doesn't change anything....

It's as useless as making your bed in the morning but we still make our beds, right? Or in my case throw the comforter haphazardly across the sheets - close enough! Listen, I consider it a sign of good character to mourn poor choices from awards bodies as long as one does so pointedly and briefly and doesn't allow it to become part of one's whole character like hating an actr- OH WAIT OOPS.  

People like to be dismissive about awards and say 'they don't matter!'  but it's simply not true. THEY DO. Awards permanently influence resumes and entire careers by way of their temporary affect on opportunities and, yes, praise (once considered a "great" it takes decades for the petals to fall off that rose... it took decades for people to start getting snippy about Al Pacino & Robert DeNiro's work!

Plus it goes in the history books. Baby cinephiles decades later still look these things up and watch the movies that were awarded to teach themselves movie history. I speak from experience. I know this to be true.

CASH: Dustin Hoffman's win for "Rain Man" baffles me...

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May182015

Beauty vs Beast: Wicca Wicca What

By the power of three, Jason from MNPP here today to make you see, make you see. If you can believe it Andrew Fleming's 1996 teen witch classic The Craft turned 19 years old two weeks ago, and it celebrated the last year of its teens with the news that greets so many other movies of a certain age -- it's remake time! Leigh Janiak, the female director behind last year's sufficiently creepy film Honeymoon, is gonna find four new girls to make light as a feather, stiff as a board, for a whole new generation. For a subset of 90s kids, this is like blaspheming the great Manon himself - inconceivable! Star Fairuza Balk (who's celebrating her birthday later this week - happy birthday, Fairuza!) weighed in with wise words on it; we have yet to hear from "natural witch" Robin Tunney. But what do you guys think? (Also: WHO WOULD YOU CAST?) And most importantly...

Whose team are you on?
Team Sarah0%
Team Nancy0%

PREVIOUSLY Last week's Kramer vs Kramer poll stayed incredibly close the entire seven days, and in the end it was only seven votes that handed Joanna (Meryl Streep) the win. Obviously y'all were as torn up over choosing as was that little boy's home life. Said Mike:

"I can't even say enough about these two marvelous performances. Both Oscars were well deserved. Still one of my ultimate favorite performances given by Meryl."

Monday
May112015

Beauty vs Beast: Daddy vs Mommy

Jason from MNPP hoping your hangover from partying hard into the wee hours of Mother's Day is not too harsh. I know how it goes - when your Mom demands more shots, ya gotta do more shots. And speaking of Motherhood! As Nathaniel just told you last week this month's Supporting Actress Smackdown belongs to the year 1979, and when they get to that on May 31st a really big piece of that puzzle will be Meryl Streep's performance in Kramer vs Kramer, which brought her her first Oscar. Kramer vs Kramer... Beauty vs Beast... it's a natural fit! Consider this an appetizer to the Smackdown main course...

Whose team are you on?

PREVIOUSLY  Last week we also took on the breaking of familial bonds, albeit in a galaxy a bit further away than our own, when we pitted Luke Skywalker against his helmeted Papa Darth. Well you're all a bunch of evil Empire lovers becauve Vader strutted off (imagine John Williams' marching music here) with just under 70% of the vote Said Steven:

"The Dark Side is strong with this one."

Wednesday
Dec042013

Team Top Ten: Oscar's Greatest Losers (Actor Edition)

Al Pacino won his Oscar on his eighth nomination. He deserved it more the other seven times!Amir here, back with another monthly team poll. Back in May, we had a look at the Best Actress Oscars and picked what we thought were the greatest losers in history. Since we all love symmetry, it’s only fair to give the losing gentlemen their chance to shine. And it's also quite topical in December 2013. This year's Best Actor race has so many worthy choices that the losers are inevitably worth celebrating in advance. 

This was an incredibly arduous task. Though we may all have our regular disagreements with AMPAS, there’s no denying the wealth of talent on display in their record of movie history. These are some of the most iconic performances in film history and to narrow them down to just ten is a fool’s errand. List-making always is! How does one judge Mickey Rourke’s brooding anti-hero Wrestler against Chaplin’s satirical Great Dictator?  Is tortured Joaquin Phoenix in The Master too fresh in the memory to compare to tortured James Mason? Jack Lemmon in The Apartment or Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot? It’s heartbreaking to leave anyone out, but now it’s done. Have a look for yourself and let us know who would have made your list. 

THE 10 GREATEST BEST-ACTOR-LOSING PERFORMANCES
after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct162012

Curio: 70s Paranoia Posters by Jay Shaw

Alexa here.  Catching Argo this weekend, with its panic, mustachoied men and analog opening credits has given me a taste for some good 70s paranoid thrillers.  (My current addiction to Homeland's depressive spy world set the table a bit, too.) I'm on the verge of staging a marathon of my favorites: Marathon Man, Three Days of the Condor, The Conversation, All The President's Men.  I was reminded that artist Jay Shaw recently created possibly the best alternative posters for this genre, each in stark black and white, utilizing images from these films seamlessly in his bold designs. They've been printed in editions of 100 and most are still available through Gallery 1988 for $30.  If this niche genre is a favorite for you too, snap these up while they are still available.

 

 

 

Click for... Klute, All The President's Men, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Marathon Man...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct162012

LFF: "Quartet" and Other Misguided Lovers

David here reporting on a diverse selection of films showing at the 56th BFI London Film Festival starting with the Best Actress hopeful Quartet...

Tom Courtenay and Maggie Smith in 'Quartet'

“Like being hugged by your favourite grandparent,” I wryly tweeted just after exciting the press screening of Quartet. Imagine that. It’s an undeniably pleasant experience, even as it might come with a slightly musty smell and a worry that if you let go they’ll lose their balance. (Said grandparent must obviously have reached a certain age, and I’m sure your grandmother smells lovely really.) Quartet is, in the nicest way possible, an elderly person’s movie – gentle, undemanding, exceedingly pleasant and just a little bit bland. Every piece of the easy narrative jigsaw puzzle is placed before you within fifteen minutes – Cissy (Pauline Collins) winsomely forgets where she’s going several times, Reggie (Tom Courtenay) withdraws bitterly at Jean’s (Maggie Smith) arrival, and Dr. Cogan (Sheridan Smith) happens to mention that the nursing home is in danger of closing down. Not to mention that this collective of aging musical greats are already rehearsing for their gala concert in honour of Verdi’s birthday. Continue...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec012011

Distant Relatives: The Graduate and Fish Tank

Robert here w/ Distant Relatives, exploring the connections between one classic and one contemporary film.

Sedentary and Sex

So what do a rough and realistic look at poverty in London and a comedy set in the suburbs of California have in common? Well at first glance both are about the events that lead up to and follow an inappropriate relationship. For many reasons, the cinematic arts naturally drift toward stories of forbidden sex. They allow filmmakers to explore the human condition in areas that lend themselves to lack of control. They're filled with all kinds of drama and conflict. And of course sex gets people to sit and watch. But there's more to it. After all, with all of these films about forbidden sex out there, why these two that seem so different? In both The Graduate and Fish Tank, the inappropriate relationships aren't really the problem. Well, they are eventually, but initially they're just a symptom of something greater. Both films have protagonists filled with agitation, ennui, longing, and the desire to do something, anything greater than what they're doing now. And both films postulate that this puts them on the easiest possible path to seduction.

In 1967 The Graduate became a hit because as all we all know, it spoke to an entire generation. But it didn't speak to a generation because every young person in the 1960's was familiar with boinking their parent's friends. Ben Braddock, the titular character came back from school to a safe suburban existence where everyone had unique opinions on what he should be doing with his life. Yet all of these opinions came from people with lives to which he did not aspire. Benjamin's potential seemed endless yet all paths pointed to an undesirable future. Fish Tank's Mia (Katie Jarvis), although an ocean and a continent away and on the opposite spectrum of the class divide finds herself in a similar situation, however she doesn't have the benefit of unlimited prospects. At fifteen, Mia doesn't have much of a future at all. She doesn't like her mother and doesn't want to become her mother, but there doesn't seem to be too many other options. She's not one for academic pursuits and mostly dreams of being a dancer in a non-specific way.

 

No Someday. No Rainbow.

With Benjamin and Mia adrift, the idea of a promising future slipping further and further away, they turn their attention to the possibilities of the present. Enter someone older, desirable, representative of impulsiveness and rebellion. Both Benjamin and Mia have a need that requires filling. Love and affection? Maybe. But more so a desire to be distracted from their hopeless future, perhaps even a need to be destructive, to have some ownership over a future already in shambles by being careless and responsible for its destruction themselves.

Then there are the seducers. The Graduate's Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) is the epitome of aggressiveness. Fish Tank's Connor (Michael Fassbender) is more subtle. Then again he has to be. A movie about a fifteen year old girl being seduced by an older man has to be handled differently than a film about a male college graduate being seduced by an older woman. An aggressive Connor would have immediately upped the suspense and diminished the realism. But in both films, it doesn't take much for the deed to be done. Yet once Benjamin and Mia realize that their older suitors are still representatives of their ugly futures, they realize that they can't be a part of them. Ambiguous endings abound, though there is the sense that our protagonists have learned something. Been used to be sure, but reset onto a better path? Or do they, in the words of The Graduate director Mike Nichols "become their parents?"

If you still think the comparisons are a bit trying, consider the title of our modern film: Fish Tank. It suggest being both submerged and imprisoned at the same time. It's a clear effective metaphor, and one that The Graduate would know something about too.


 

Other Cinematic Relatives: Lolita (1962), Beau Pere (1981), Fat Girl (2001), Notes on a Scandal (2006)