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Entries in FYC (116)

Saturday
Sep032016

Summer Movie Season Surveyed

This article originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a revised TFE specific but abridged version...

While summer didn’t technically begin until June 20th and isn’t technically over yet, “Summer Movie Season” is not beholden to the solstice and equinox but to The Blockbuster. Summer has long been the most lucrative season for Hollywood and so they’ve stretched it out to start earlier each year. It now tends to begin sometime in April with the release of the first movie that feels like a Summer Blockbuster proper (this year that would’ve arguably been The Jungle Book on April 15th) and ends on Labor Day, aka Any Second Now. It’s no secret that it’s been a rough summer for the quality of blockbusters. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a big city or smart enough to seek out films without gargantuan ad budgets, there was still plenty of cinema to get excited about. So herewith the Best & Worst of 2016’s Summer movie season…

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Tuesday
Jul052016

Halfway Mark: Achievements in Costume Design

We've celebrated the male performances, the heroes and villains, cinematography & production design. So let's hit Nathaniel's (c'est moi) favorite craft category costume design, as we wrap up our halfway mark festivities this week (actresses still to come). Who would I choose and who might Oscar choose if the year had ended June 30th? 

HALFWAY MARK BEAUTY BREAK ~ BEST COSTUME DESIGN
(January to June theatrical releases only) 

Achievements in Overall Costume Design
If I were drawing up my year end ballot right now (January to June releases) I'd pick these five films though there will inevitably be strong competition to come -- will any of them be nominated at year's end?

The Neon Demon, Erin Benach
While Benach doesn't manage anything as iconic as her scorpion jacket for Drive, few films do so you can't hold that against this film. Between the dichotomous looks of the innocent ingenue (half sexual / half innocuous flowing girlie dresses) to the rigid couture of her rivals, there's lots of texture and color and editorial looks to consider.

Sing Street, Tiziana Corvisieri
Corvisieri pulls from a surprisingly wide range of styles in this film to trace the DIY looks of "Sing Street," the band within the film, and how their music video style translates into their schoolboy uniforms. Great fun on a costume level but always believably low-budget and "thrown together" (though they were surely well planned by Corviseri)

9 more honored costume designers after the jump...

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Friday
Jul012016

Halfway Mark: Cinematography & Production Design

We've celebrated the male performances and the heroes and villains of the year's first half. But before we get to the actresses -- what? foreplay makes it hotter -- let's revel in the beauty of Cinematography & Production Design. These five choices in each category are what yours truly, Nathaniel, would nominate if the year ended on June 30th. Please share your list of praiseworthy achievements in the comments. Movies are communal and loving them should be, too.

HALFWAY MARK BEAUTY BREAK
CINEMATOGRAPHY & PRODUCTION DESIGN
(January to June theatrical releases only. Disclaimer: I have not yet seen The Mermaid which I hear is an eyeful) 

Best Cinematography
If I had a ballot right now (January to June releases only...) 

A Bigger Splash, Yorick Le Saux
From gold dust sunshine to postcard istas, from the ambient light of off white seaside architecture to intimate dinners by candlelight, Le Saux is always caressing the already sensual actors with light.


 

Embrace of the Serpent, David Gallego
In glorious black and white but for hallucinogenic sequences, the sharp contrast photography does wonders to make this already foreign world look ever more forgotten and alien. And there's something about that inky water that makes the whole picture more suspenseful in its rowing languours.

8 more honorees after the jump...

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Monday
Jun272016

Emmy Ballots Due: Which old fav would you sacrifice for a newbie? 

Emmy nomination balloting ends today for the 68th annual Emmy Awards. Cross your fingers that we actually get a few shakeups this year. Yes, cross your fingers even if you love all 10 of the shows that are normally swimming in nominations. Why? Well, the Emmys really should reflect how competitive television is and not suggest that there have only been 10ish good shows on the air for the past half decade plus.

Comment Party! On that note please do tell us in the comments which 3 of your old favorites that you still love you'd be willing to sacrifice for 3 who have not been recognized. Make your Sophie's Choice in the comments and let us all pray that Emmy voters do the same. Nobody deserves 5+ nominations for the same thing when that means someone else can't even get ONE for something arguably just as good! The catch is that you can't ditch someone you don't love or think is unworthy who is always nominated. I'll go first as truly painful as this is:

I'd be willing to trade Michelle Dockery on Downton Abbey (who I totally think is the MVP of that entire series (if you blend all seasons together - otherwise there are different MVPs each year as there are for most quality shows) for Shiri Appleby's deep-digging as ambitious self-destructive Rachel on UnReal; Hell, I'd even be willing to trade Taraji P Henson (my preferred winner last year for Empire) if it meant I could have Eva Green's genre genius in Penny Dreadful in the mix (my winner this year). I'd even be willing to trade my beloved Titus Burggess on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (who I thought should have easily stormed to the win last year) if we could give a chance to another delusional show-stealer like Jamie Cavill in Jane the Virgin (who should have been Titus' main competition last year) or another outspoken gay like Noah Galvin from The Real O'Neals both because he's brilliant on his show and to stick it to ABC for even threatening to cancel that gem. (Yes, I know they think Noah is entitled and 'difficult' and yadda yadda yadda but they would never think of threatening and publicly humiliating a straight actor who was the MVP of a similarly acclaimed show.)

I expect zero nominations for THE REAL O'NEALS but I legit think it deserves multiple nods

The point is that many previously nominated shows and people are still deserving but it makes so much more sense to spread the wealth each year. If you don't spread the wealth it sends two messages ... 1) That you're not paying attention to what's eligible or even what happened on your favorite show that year and merely voting based on loyalty to your "favorites" and...  2) That TV's 'golden age' is really just a clever PR campaign for 10 shows and history won't mark it as anything particularly special. 

ICYMI Our Emmy Balloting Pieces
SHOWS: Emmy Drama Ballots |  Emmy Comedy Ballots | GirlsThe People vs OJ Simpson; PERFORMANCES: Amy Landecker in "Transparent"Donna Lynn Champlin "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" | Eva Green & Helen McRory in "Penny Dreadful" |  Constance Zimmer "UnREAL" | Boyd Holbrook "Narcos"Noah Galvin "The Real O'Neals" | Gillian Jacobs "Love" | Riley Keough "The Girlfriend Experience" | Jeremy Allen White "Shameless" ; MISCELLANIA: "Mr Robot" leads TCA Nominations | Ten Nominees? | More TV MVPs (earlier in the season)

Monday
Jun272016

Emmy FYC: The Actresses of "Penny Dreadful"

Our Emmy FYC series concludes with Nathaniel's final plea for Penny Dreadful...

When Penny Dreadful aired its surprise series, not season, finale a week ago, the event felt as dark to fans as Vanessa Ive's increasingly fatalistic worldview. In its 3 short seasons the series grew quickly from a gimmicky concept -- all your favorite monster myths thrown together! --  with rich visual panache (Season 1) to a complex, increasingly focused, and confidently disturbing drama (Season 2) to a rushed and scattershot but even more thematically daring and superbly acted grande finale (Season 3). By the Season 2 premiere it had become abundantly clear that the blood-pumping heart of this gothic universe, belonged to its haunted, dangerous, three-dimensional women...

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Sunday
Jun262016

Interview: Rising Star Boyd Holbrook ("Narcos")

Boyd Holbrook © Flaunt magazine, Fe Pinheiro, photographerI regret to inform you that I cannot begin this story with the sizzling lede I'd intended. But the redacted story, of where Boyd Holbrook called me from and the new project he's working on -- were nevertheless a good reminder that he's been an exciting talent to watch. That's not just because he's so engaging onscreen but because he doesn't want to get stuck in a rut; it's hard to guess where his creative muse will take him next.

So let's jump to our real topic. Boyd Holbrook was calling to discuss his role as DEA officer Steve Murphy in the Netflix series Narcos. The debut season was nominated for Best Drama Series at the Golden Globes and before its second season airs, it's undoubtedly hoping for Emmy to follow suit (balloting closes tomorrow). The story revolves around the drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura, Globe nominated for Best Actor) and the attempts of DEA agents Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) to bring him down. Though it's somewhat of a three-lead series, Holbrook and Peña are both on Emmy's Supporting Actor Drama ballot since Escobar is the subject matter. Holbrook's character is our window to the story and a handy historical reference guide as narrator. The early episodes have to impart a ton of information we couldn't be expected to know about both Colombia and the US in the late 70s and early 80s as well as technological limitations of the time in hunting and surveillance of your prey.

I talked to Boyd about the peculiar demands of the part, half-exposition and half-character work, but we begin with what I suspect is his multi-hyphenate inner artist [Interview after the jump...]

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