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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 

 

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Entries in Holidays (109)

Monday
Dec222014

Monday Monologue: Henry II's Eulogy

Anne Marie here to celebrate the holiday with a furious monologue from my favorite Christmas movie. "Christmas movie" is a terrible description for Anthony Harvey's 1968 film The Lion in Winter, though it is technically correct. This is a political thriller of one very long Christmas night between Henry II of England (Peter O’Toole), his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), and their three conniving sons as they battle over who will be the next King of England.

And you thought your family was dysfunctional.

While we've written extensively about Katharine Hepburn's Oscar-winning performance in The Lion in Winter, this Monologue Monday before Christmas I'd like to shine the spotlight on Peter O'Toole's underawarded performance as the manic, magnificent Henry II of England. The movie is filled with great dialog for the Irishman to chew on, but O'Toole's best (or biggest) moment comes midway through the film, after a midnight meeting with the King of France.

A eulogy for a king after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec222014

Tweets o' the Week: Batman Returns, Last Christmas, and More

Good morning! It's just three days until Christmas. THREE! To note that I am unprepared is to state, shrugging, 'he thinks movies are alright'

I mean we haven't even started the Year in Review! Rectifying. Rectifying.

This is the kind of time frame wherein you need little friendly woodland animals to be doing all your busy work so that you can focus on the important things like Going to the Ball. I illustrate twitter collections with a picture of birds and today Cinderella seemed natural since Into the Woods is soon upon us. I hadn't really thought about this before but Cinderella is supposed to have this miserable indentured servant life but look at that view from her bedroom window!  Talk about a room with a view... that's prime real estate. Shouldn't she be sleeping in the cellar or something? 

Herewith some tweets that amused, edified, or otherwise cocked a brow this past week for a variety of reasons, posted to get this week chirping away quickly, happily. Enjoy.

(SO MUCH POSTING DUE THROUGH NEW YEAR'S. BEAR WITH US... VISIT A LOT, OKAY?)

Fav Tweets Non-Celebrity Division...

Sadly that tweet describes so many ill advised days o' mine! Moving on with GHOST, BATMAN RETURNS after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec182014

Stage Door: Christmas With the Crawfords

 Feeling the holiday spirit yet?

Jose here. It’s Christmas Eve in the Crawford household, and Joan (Joey Arias), and her children Christina (Chris March of Project Runway) and Christopher (Adam Davidson) are getting ready to receive a very special guest: Miss Hedda Hopper (Sherry Vine) who will broadcast a holiday special live from their home. As the perfectionist actress stresses to her children how important it is that they make a good impression - no wire hangers to be seen anywhere! - it becomes obvious that the holidays here are a truly special occasion, as many famous guests show up throughout the night (most of them mistakenly ringing the Crawford bell on their way to a party at Gary Cooper’s house).

Last seen in New York, twelve years ago, Christmas With the Crawfords is a hilarious parody that will certainly appeal to actressexuals who don’t mind their favorite divas being ridiculed. As with any good parody, the work seen on this show makes it clear that its creators are not in it for the cheap jokes, or the easy targets, but their higher purpose is to highlight what is it that made these people so fantastic, that to exaggerate their unique traits feels like the highest form of tribute.

Among the featured guests and performers are Connie Champagne as Judy Garland (her rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is equally funny and devastatingly sad) and Flotilla Debarge as Hattie McDaniel (don’t ask…), and truly to reveal all the guests that show up would be to rob the show of some of its magic. At its center this is a showcase for the astonishing Arias, who with thighs-to-die-for and shoulder pads for days, epitomizes the harsh/sweet duality that made Joan Crawford so enigmatic.

Arias moves across the stage with grace and poise, and his chemistry with March is unbelievable. One could see these two go at it forever, both being highly talented comedians who know the importance of choosing the right moments to deliver their punchlines. The production design by Andrea Purcigliotti features an anachronistic, but effective reproduction of the “big eyes” portrait Joan received from Walter Keane, and with nods to films Crawford made much later than the 1944-setting of the show, Crawford-ites will be in for a real treat. A Christmas miracle of sorts…

Christmas With the Crawfords plays at the Abrons Arts Center through December 27.

Tuesday
Dec162014

Curio: In the Kitchen with Meryl and Barbara

Alexa here. This week is cookie week in my house: the kitchen gets covered in flour and sugar in my attempt to craft cookies pretty as Martha's. I thought I'd try some new recipes this year, inspired by the world of film instead of M. Diddy. When I heard about The Dead Celebrity Cookbook Presents Christmas in Tinseltown I thought I'd check it out; I was sold when I saw it included Robert Mitchum's recipe for egg nog and Joan Crawford's recipe for angel food cake. First, though, I decided to try my hand at Barbara Stanwyck's family recipe for Christmas Kipfels during my yearly viewing of Christmas in Connecticut. With a little modification (rolling the dough instead of folding it, similar to rugelach), they were a snap.

With this recipe you won't need help from Felix

And so delicious!  So I was inspired to seek out other celebrity cookie recipes.  Another resource: Silver Screen Suppers, where you can find loads more of Joan Crawford's recipes. But when I stumbled upon Meryl Streep's family recipe for thumbprints (featured in Good Housekeeping) I knew I'd have to try it. After all, she showed some serious skills cracking those eggs in The Hours, clearly she knows her way around the kitchen. So of course, I dialed up The Hours and got to baking...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec022014

Curio: Cinema Greetings

Alexa here with your weekly arts and crafts break. Every year around this time I hunker down with a good cup of tea (possibly spiked), some DVDs and a reliable pen so that I can start addressing all those holiday greetings.  Although I curse at having to address 100+ envelopes, I do love getting all the lovely mail in return. I am still waiting for someone to come up with a good Bad Santa greeting but here are some of the cooler handmade film-themed greetings spied this year.

Mark Darcy's jumper card available here.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov302014

Abstew's Cinematic Thanks

Editor's Note: I asked Team Experience to tell us what they're thankful for this year during the holiday weekend. Here's abstew in the cinematic spirit.

abstew here. Thanksgiving may be only once a year, but it's always a great time to appreciate the greatness of film. Here are a few of the things I'm thankful for this year...

For Oscar Issac's camel coat in A Most Violent Year - practical and stylish winter wear while waging a war
For Tilda as a love-struck octogenarian socialite. Tilda as a yak-haired vampire. Tilda as a dentured dictator. Proving the existence of extraterrestrial life because, quite simply, Tilda Swinton is a shape-shifting, otherworldly being. 

For two favorite breakout stars: Jack O'Connell (dynamic in Starred Up and 71; I'm eagerly awaiting Unbroken) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (compelling in two very different films, Belle and Beyond the Lights). I'm excited to see what new opportunities come their way for years to come.
For Miles Teller's epic finale drum solo in Whiplash
For Rose Bryne's hilariously spastic take on the line, "Keep it down!" in Neighbors
For Eddie Redmayne's freckles
For the achingly sweet, yet realistically grounded love of John Lithgow's Ben and Alfred Molina's George in Love is Strange

For Uma Thurman bursting in and stealing an entire two-part film in a single scene. "Would it be alright if I show the children the whoring bed?" 
For Emmanuel Lubezki's faux single-take cinematography in Birdman, perfectly translating the immediate, kinetic energy of the theatre into a cinematic equivalent.
For Eva Green's fully committed, go-for-broke performances, elevating everything she's in from the big screen (300: The Rise of an Empire) to the small screen (Penny Dreadful).
For Star Lord's "Awesome Mix Volume 1" cassette tape
For the return of Rene Russo
For the look of Angelina Jolie's Maleficent (if only the perfect character design wasn't wasted on the film...)

For the mouth-watering food porn in A Hundred-Foot Journey and Chef 
For Wes Anderson's candy-colored, intricately detailed world of The Grand Budapest Hotel

For TFE's series Hit Me With Your Best Shot. The single best opportunity to view and explore a film in ways you hadn't thought...and then to gain even more insight after reading what others have posted. If you haven't participated, you should when it returns!

And that I live in NYC, home of the Tribeca Film Festival, NYFF, NewFest and countless other film festivals. That there are still single screen theatres like the Zeigfeld and Paris where it feels like an event to go to the movies. And, most importantly, that I'm actually given the opportunity to see every movie (not just Hollywood blockbusters) in the theatre the weekend they are released.

And finally, for Nathaniel, Team Experience, and everyone who reads and comments. I'm beyond thankful that we have such a wonderful place to share our cinematic obsessions and affections.

 -Andy (abstew)


More Thank Yous: Nathaniel, Amir, Manuel & Jose