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"All three look a little insufferable. The stupid music and the "based on a true story"/"an unforgettable story" shots and the critics quotes instantly turn me off. But I'm in for most things Lonergan, even though the plot of Manchester By the Sea is clearly Baby Boom meets Good Will Hunting." - CharlieG

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Entries in gender politics (169)

Saturday
Aug272016

Tweetweek: Braindead Marquees and Out-of-the-Box Casting

I don't know if I like the sound of this double feature...

After the jump funny tweet games, supportive boyfriends, The Night Of casting, a dissolve from The Godfather, a proposed franchise for Hugh Jackman, FYC Ellen Burstyn, and a little webslinging... 

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Tuesday
Aug232016

1984: Paris, Texas

As part of our celebration of the year of the month, 1984, Lynn Lee revisits the winner of that year's Palme d'Or, Wim Wenders' Paris Texas.

While it may not quite have the status of an iconic movie, there’s much about Paris, Texas that feels iconic.  A hybrid of those two most iconically American genres, the Western and the road trip—directed, natch, by a German and starring two European actresses—it bears the distinctive features of both.  The long stretches of silence, only occasionally broken by snatches of spare Sam Shepard-scripted dialogue or, as often as not, monologue.  Ry Cooder’s haunting slide-guitar score, which seems to meld with the harsh, lonely, yet strangely sublime landscapes of Texas deserts, highways, and roadside motels.  The lighting, especially at dusk.  The weathered countenance of Harry Dean Stanton—how does it manage to be at once so stoic and so expressive?—and the exquisitely sculpted planes of Nastassja Kinski’s face, as they quiver and dissolve in the movie’s most emotionally wrenching scene. 

That last aspect is at once the film’s ace and its Achilles heel.  By the latter I don’t mean Kinski’s acting (I think she’s fantastic, shaky Texan accent aside) or the writing of that particular scene.  Rather, I mean the conception of her character, Jane, and Jane’s relationship to Stanton’s wanderer Travis, which culminates in that scene.  

If the first two thirds of Paris, Texas are about Travis’ reconnecting with his brother and young son as he slowly comes back to life, the last third is dominated by his efforts to find Jane...

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Monday
Aug152016

Link Up

REMINDER: tomorrow night we're doing the first episode of "The Get Down" (now streaming on Netflix) for Hit Me With Your Best Shot

The Best Picture Project advice for taking your toddler to the movie theater
Los Angeles Times report on a South Korean thriller called Train to Busan that's striking a deep chord with moviegoers there
In Contention Kris Tapley has a new podcast called "Playback" - interviews and the Oscar race
Comics Alliance Flash Season 3 News. I cooled a bit on The Flash with the interminable and convoluted plot of Season 2 but season 3 is sounding like great fun: a musical episode (which we were hoping for since so many of the cast members have musical theater backgrounds) and more Gorilla Grodd for starters

MTV Teo Bugbee celebrates the 10th anniversary of Step Up, the sexiest family-friendly dance movie of the decade
Tracking Board we get the movies we deserve (on the success of Suicide Squad despite everyone agreeing that it's not good)
Coming Soon Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water has assembled quite a stellar cast (including Oscar nominees Richard Jenkins & Sally Hawkins) and production has begun. It's  "an other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963."
Theater Mania Remember Lesley Headland's Bachelorette? It started as a play before it was a movie and now it's coming back to the stage in September (sadly it's the exact dates I'm in TIFF so I won't get to see this production).
/Film Some of the titular characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Variety Birth of a Nation star Nate Parker responds to new reporting about a rape trial 17 years ago.
Variety Cirque du Soleil is making several changes to its Broadway show "Paramour" after opening night and reviews, which is quite rare. 
This is Not Porn Harrison Ford working out for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Coming Soon Patty Jenkins respondes to rumors that Wonder Woman, like other DC superhero productions before it is a mess in post. Calls them "entirely false" with a "transparent agenda"
Theater Mania Fyvush Finkel of Picket Fences and Fiddler on the Roof fame has died at 93 years of age 
Tracking Board more discussion of "genderless" acting awards. I maintain that this would be a disaster for actresses because sexist society (and Holllywood) values men so much more and that would only exarcebate the problem of women not getting their deserved kudos in film and television. This particular article seems to think the male acting categories have more range in roles which I think is flat-out crazy. The male acting categories are so much duller and generally only have a few types of genres honored. You get a wider spread with the actresses from all the same genres as men (bios, dramas, dramedies, epics) plus romances, comedies, musicals, etcetera. 

Olympic Fever
E!Online best reaction faces from the Olympics 
Slate on Kohei Uchimura, "the greatest gymnast of all time"
Slate on why Puerto Rico gets its own Olympic team
Towleroad The IOC has deemed the Daily Beast's awful homophobic article about gay Olympians using apps to hookup "unacceptable" (the article has since been removed from the Daily Beast's website but honestly people should be fired not just 'oh we're sorry') and the straight journalist behind it Nico Hines has been recalled from Rio. Still one has to wonder what damage he's already done given that he basically outed athletes from notoriously anti-gay countries whose lives could not be at stake 
Towleroad The Daily Mail has also been on the homophobic attack, labelling hugging between Olympic divers 'unmanly' 

Wednesday
Jul272016

Meryl Streep's "Fight Song" and Female Biopics

Meryl Streep for President in 2024! We're with her. 

In case you missed Meryl Streep's "Grit & Grace" speech at the DNC last night, please enjoy the reappearance of her tacky but adorable American Flag dress and catch up. I thought I'd share it with a little movie angle since it's all about Trailblazing Women...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul152016

"Jane Neighbor"

This Week's Must Read
"Behold Your Newest Silver-Screen Sex Goddess, Jane Neighbor"
Absolutely genius send-up of that controversial Vanity Fair profile of Margot Robbie we discussed. Or as the author herself described it on twitter, 'I wrote this profile of a female celebrity who is definitely real & not a projection of desires.' The Male Gaze just got punched in the eyeballs. 

Neighbor is twenty-eight and twenty-two, at once. She is a kind of gorgeous that can only be found in or very near rivers. She is blonde but also blond, depending on the spelling. She is tall when she is on a ladder, and medium-­tall when she is halfway up the ladder. Her eyelashes spell “glory.” Her naked hands can open wet jars, with just the strength of her slender fingers. She can be sexy and pointy and things that aren’t even adjectives, like glossary, or aren’t even words, like hilabrion. Her voice sounds like a truck full of rain.

This is probably my favorite parody since Nora Ephron skewered the writing in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Tuesday
Jul122016

Boyz n the Hood Turns 25

Lynn Lee revisits the John Singleton classic on its 25th anniversary.

Four young boys walk along a railroad track, idly chatting but in search of something specific.  They find what they’re looking for: a dead body.  A group of older boys arrives and harasses them.  The most pugnacious of the younger group fights back in a way that foreshadows his destiny as an adult.

Stand by Me?  No, Boyz n the Hood, which opened in theaters 25 years ago today.  And the parallels are no mere coincidence. Writer and drector John Singleton was intentionally referencing the earlier Rob Reiner film – perhaps as much for the differences as the similarities between the two narratives of boyhood and the cultural spaces they occupy...

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Wednesday
Jul062016

Interview: That Neon-Loving Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn. Photographed by Tom Hoops for Lab MagazineNicolas Winding Refn, the Danish auteur whose made a career of candy colored violent films after grimier movies at home, is both exactly what you'd expect and unexpected. The expected: he's a little bit eccentric pacing the room rather than sitting, a little intimidating, and a little impish -- it's difficult to know if he truly means what he says in some instances, or if he has just mastered the art of provocation. The unexpected: he's relatively friendly, surprisingly generous about his collaborators despite the auteur's ego, very tall, thin and surprisingly attractive, something you wouldn't necessarily think since he's so often been photographed with inhuman gods like Ryan Gosling who make everyone but other movie stars look crumpled and basic.

As we talk we find mutual ground in Christina Hendricks adoration ("the perfect woman," he says) but elsewhere it's like he's speaking a foreign language and I don't mean Danish. His films, though quite serious on the surface, betray a dark sense of humor, and yet it still surprises me to hear him drop "I think it would be fun to make a spy movie" as we're saying our goodbyes. Why is this surprising? I couldn't quite tell you but such is the fascination of meeting this singular director, whatever you make of his increasingly divisive movies.

Our interview follows....

NATHANIEL: Let's talk about your opening scene. It's such a bold tableau. Did you ever worry you were coming on too strong. Like 'how will I top that first image?'

NICOLAS WINDING REFN: I'm setting the stage knowing that, if you look through the film, you'll see the same dynamic in all the other scenes of death and beauty.

NATHANIEL: So you're laying the theme.

NWR: I'm laying the theme right on. Most films -- storytelling in mass media -- start slowly, introducing. Eventually it gets to some kind of dramatic point in the first act. That means the second act is how do we solve it and the third act is resolution. But i don't necessarily believe that's the right order...

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