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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 | letterboxd

 

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Adapting "Guardians" -a screenwriting interview

I especially like that part about how boundaries can be a good thing. Knowing where the plot points have to hit always stops me from wandering aimlessly in my writing. Some may see those thing as cookie cutter but I've always found them inspiring.❞ -Daniel

 

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Entries in Frank Langella (5)

Thursday
Apr242014

Tribeca: "5 to 7," Or Why Frustrated Writers Should Back Away From Final Draft

Tribeca coverage continues with Diana on 5 to 7 with Anton Yelchin & Glenn Close

Based on the imaginings of an out-of-touch, middle-aged writer-director, 5 to 7 is about a 24 year-old “writer” (Anton Yelchin) who becomes involved with the 33 year-old wife of a French diplomat (Berenice Marlohe). Brian lives in Manhattan, presumedly on his parents’ dime (Glenn Close and Frank Langella, both painfully misused), and attempts to write, his creative juices facilitated by posting a multitude of rejection letters on his wall and playing lonely man wiffleball in his apartment. Arielle also lives in Manhattan  and is oh so very “French” -- husband, two kids, posh neighborhood, and ability to balance high heels with a well-fitting dress.

Spotting Arielle in front of the St. Regis, Brian pursues her through quips that sound more like early drafts of “wit” rather than the finished product (think Woody Allen without the neurotic charm). She tosses words back at him that are meant to signify mutual attraction. When they do end up in a hotel room together (after she hands him the key), there is zip chemistry between the pair, cringingly highlighted all-the-more when Arielle tells Brian that he is a natural lover and asks whether his other lovers had told him that. That’s the crux of the problem with this film - we are told things consistently through voiceover and character iteration (Brian loves Arielle, Arielle loves Brian, Brian’s mother can see that they love each other), but we’re rarely shown anything substantial enough to back up these assertions. [More...] 

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Friday
Mar072014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Grace of Monaco"

Approaching trailers for movies you're going to see no matter what (i.e. anything with your favorite actor in it) makes the Yes, No Maybe So™ question a strangely hypothetical one. Such is the case with Grace of Monaco which is currently scheduled to open on ____. No, we don't know the date yet but people will be talking about it in May after its Cannes premiere. Let's hope those of us who can't afford $1000 a night for a trip to France in the summer don't have to wait seven months* to form our own opinions; a bit of glam adult counterprogramming in the summer (look at the scenery!) would be a kind thing to do!

But where were we?

Oh yes, Princess Grace. At the beginning of the trailer we learn that she'd like to return to Hollywood -- Hitchcock wanted her for Marnie (1962) but...conflict! Her formerly charming prince won't allow for it; this is not a Disney musical and there will be no Happily Ever After...

the Yes No Maybe So breakdown is after the jump. Non-Spoiler Alert: I'm a "Yes"

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Tuesday
Jan012013

Curio: Frank Langella at 75

Alexa here. I just couldn't let the day pass without paying tribute to Frank Langella on his 75th birthday. He has always been one of my favorite actors; something about his unctuous classicism makes him appear to be a larger-than-life Caravaggio, and my gothic sensibilities have only truly been satisfied with his turn as Dracula. His work continues to intrigue; 2007's Starting Out in the Evening was a recent high point in a career that has spanned more than 50 years. Plus, he revealed himself to be quite the debauched dandy in his memoir Dropped Names, making him all the more endearing (read what Nathaniel had to say about it here; it really is a fun read). 

 

I'm enough of a fan that I invested in an Edward Gorey-illustrated poster from his Broadway turn in Dracula, and I still hold on to my VHS copies of two of his early films... [more]

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Thursday
Jun072012

Frank Langella, Name Dropper

On my way out west to see family, I found great escapist distraction in Frank Langella's memoir "Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women as I Knew Them" When the book was first released earlier this year, I thought it sounded so distasteful so I didn't pick it up. As it turns out Billy Held an Oscar wouldn't let me go without reading it and sent me a copy as an early birthday gift. Thanks, Billy!

Frank Langella in his first flushes of fame. The book is about dead celebrities he met.

I hadn't realized that Langella was only talking about dead celebrities -- sorry, no shacked-up-with-Whoopi Goldberg or Frost/Nixon chapters! -- and I can't decide if that makes the sometimes unflattering anecdotes more wonderful or more distasteful. Probably both. Initial reservations aside the book is well written and a real page turner. Langella even predicts and silences most "they can't defend themselves!" criticisms with a clearly stated prologue, including this bit:

Separate and diverse individuals as they may be, my subjects have in comon the inevitable outcome awaiting us all: to live only in memories. In this case, mine.

I admit that they are most likely prejudiced, somewhat revisionst, and a tad exaggerated here and there. But were I offered an exact replay of events as they unfolded, I would reject it. I prefer my memories.

I am forcing myself to read the book very slowly so as not to exhaust all the juicy anecdotes quickly.  I still have a lot to read but my favorite story thus far is remarkably not about a movie star at all but about the movie starriest of American presidents John F Kennedy, who Langella met when he was all of 15 at a rich friend's parent's brunch. Langella, who is now 74 has a wealth of material to draw from given that his showbiz career started as a teenager and he's achieved success on the stage, in film and on television. 

Nothing shocks Bride of Frankenstein Elsa Lanchester!

I thought I'd share an example after the jump -- a little Elsa Lanchester bit...

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Monday
Mar262012

May the Links Be Ever In Your Favor

The House Next Door Poster Lab: Cosmopolis "a tame puppy to the preview's rabid dog"
The Mary Sue a Captain America surprise for soldier and son. Awwww 
24 Frames the Genesis Awards, honoring animal friendly media, were handed out. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Born to be Wild won best feature and best documentary respectively.
The Hairpin why 1995 was the best year for movies

The Wrap Frank Langella's new memoir dishes about other famous actors, including affairs with Rita Hayworth and La Liz.
The Sheila Variations anatomy of two pratfalls by physical actors Elvis Presley and Cary Grant.
The Wrap interesting. The great X-Men writer Chris Claremont also wanted Angela Bassett to play Storm when he first imagined his team on movie screens. And he wanted Kathryn Bigelow to direct. 

Hunger Links
Serious Film Michael's review of The Hunger Games 
Cinema Blend 10 differences between The Hunger Games books and movies. 
The Wrap the breakdown of the audience for this massive opening. Not the usual kind.