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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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Entries in Jason Reitman (10)

Wednesday
Oct152014

Link Link Link Went the Bloggie

A veritable cavalcade? avalanche? orgy? of links this morning from news stories we haven't covered through interesting film tidbits and showbiz articles we wanted to point out for various reasons.

bigscreen
Vanity Fair looks back at the making of now 20 year old Pulp Fiction
Fox Searchlight Birdman gets an incredible series of city-specific movie posters. Hopefully various movie theaters around the country will latch on to this. Such a fun idea.
The Spy in the Sandwich looks at Oscar's resistance to Asian cinema in the Foreign Language Film category and The Phillipines in particular
Variety Jason Reitman doing another "Live Read" of American Beauty on Thursday in LA, this time with his Men Women and Children cast 


The Wire on where Jason Reitman (Labor Day, Men Women and Children) went wrong
Awards Daily Meryl Streep on the set of Ricky and the Flash
NonFics 10 essential documentaries on sex and sexuality. I've only seen one of these, the experimental and memorable Zoo (2007) but it's not for the sensitive but it's brilliant
In Contention can Paramount toss a lifeboat to Noah for awards traction?
MNPP manages the internet's only 100% appropriate response to news that Javier Bardem might do the next Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Johnny Depp
Boy Culture 'Nick the Gardener' is going to be in Magic Mike XXL
The Wrap Benedict Cumberbatch gets political on tour for The Imitation Game. He's had it with religious fundamentalism. (Haven't we all?)
Variety looks at the new efficient micro-targeting for ethnic audiences from this past weekend's Addicted through last year's Hispanic hit Instructions Not Included

Why am I not linking to any Marvel Universe news that has been dominating the web for the past 48 hours (yet more Doctor Strange and Avengers rumors)? It's like this: Avengers: The Age of Ultron isn't out for another seven months and we haven't even seen a trailer and people are already speculating endlessly about the sequel after its next sequel. This madness has to stop. The balance is way way off and I wish other far more powerful movie sites would realize this. It's fun to speculate and look ahead, sure. But Jesus. Can we stick to the next year's worth of stuff? Rather than the stuff the unseen still unknown content of that stuff might lead to?

smallscreen & other randomness
Salon smart fascinating piece on Twin Peaks' influence over the television landscape spurred on by the announcement that the show will return. I'm confused why I didn't post about that as it's easily among my four immortal TV loves (if you must know the others are: Buffy, Mad Men, and My So Called Life)
AV Club Agents of SHIELD finally gets a near-great episode with double the Ming-Na Wen. She's so good on this show and it's just now realizing it in the second season.
THR Awesome director Steve McQueen is ALSO going to TV (argh) with a series about a gifted young African American testing the limits of social mobility for HBO called Codes of Conduct
Popwatch a beautiful piece on the mother/daughter relationship at the heart of Gilmore Girls and how revolutionary it was for television. A truth: I had never seen this show before, apart from I think one random episode, so I've been watching it on Netflix and it is adorable and everyone was right about it all along and why didn't I watch at the time?
Dangerous Minds just how beautiful was Karen Carpenter's voice?  
Empire First reveals of Netflix Daredevil series poster and stills 
Sound on Sight Closure is important on television
The Daily Beast the great animated series Archer drops the name of their spy org "ISIS" - now what to do with all that merchandise from a name that was once funny and is no longer 

It's All GONE GIRL All The Time round the web
On the post-production...

New Yorker "What Gone Girl is really about"
New Yorker "Marriage is an abduction"
iTunes you can now buy the "Amazing Amy" books as featured in the film/book 
Antagony & Ecstasy Tim Brayton's review...  

And for all that it's perfect, I find that Gone Girl suffers from that most amorphous and indescribable and subjective of artistic flaws: I just didn't like it. 

 

The Sweeney SistersBELATED RIP 
I am terribly sorry that I forgot to acknowledge the passing of Jan Hooks, who died way too young at 57, this past Thursday. But please know that she was easily among my favorite SNL players of all time - definite top 10 material of their 141ish cast members to date were I ever to make a list. I adored the Sweeney Sisters (her lounge lizard duets with Nora Dunn) and of course her off-SNL stint as a tour guide at the Alamo in Pee Wee's Big Adventure is immortal. It may well be the single movie scene I've seen more than any other as people I hung out with in high school and then a different set of friends I lived with during college all loved that movie and had that scene memorized and somehow it was frequently thrown in the VHS or DVD players for insta-laughs. What's your favorite Jan Hooks contribution to TV or film? Saturday Night Live honored her with a clip reel tribute.

Wednesday
Oct082014

Linktime Stories

Cinematically Insane #DontTouchTCM when it comes to Turner Broadcasting layoffs 
Richard Kelly, of Donnie Darko directing fame, lurves Gone Girl and write a whole epic essay about it while also touching on Eyes Wide Shut and Fincher's music videos
In Contention interviews cinematographer Robert Elswit (Inherent Vice, Nightcrawler)
MNPP gives Quote of the Day to Michael B Jordan on his costumes for Fantastic Four. "snug"
Deadline Scarlett Johansson about to do an Edith Wharton miniseries that was originally supposed to be a Michelle Pfeiffer feature film in the 90s. *sniffle*

Empire first images of Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange and Brie Larson in The Gambler remake
Vulture the exact moment Jennifer Garner fell in love with Ben Affleck 
Antagony & Ecstacy on The Boxtrolls. Glad Tim loved it
Boston Globe Mark Wahlberg's compound is finished. Holy third nipple, is he planning to house everyone who has ever appeared in any of his movies?
IndieWire 11 things learned about PT Anderson / Inherent Vice at the recent press conference
The Dissolve interesting video about shooting sex scenes from Joe Carnahan. Starring Patrick Wilson! Who...speaking of...
The Playlist interviews Jason Reitman who talks about the initial indifference to Young Adult, his Labor Day "misfire" and the critical savaging of Men Women and Children. I haven't seen the latter film yet so I don't know if it's gotten a fair shake or not but Reitman does have a point about film criticism today:

When I talk to directors and actors, "Young Adult" is their clear favorite of my films. I don't think ten years from now people will go, "Oh wow, I didn’t realize "Labor Day" was a such a masterpiece." But what it has taught me is that I can't really gauge what a movie is in the moment. To bring it round back to ["Men, Women & Children"]: film criticism has become a tweet. The moment the movie plays, people are writing about it and there's no digestive period.  

We were right about Young Adult all along, bitches.

 

I love this bookOff Cinema
Arts.Mic on the good news on GLAAD's annual gays on TV report. But...
Slate chimes in with a a more dismissive response: why count?
Pajiba ranking Kyle Maclachlan's TV roles since Twin Peaks

<-- Encyclopedia Madonnica I backed this 20th anniversary edition of the book at Kickstarter. There's a couple more days left to back it and insure your own copy. The book meant so much to me back in the day before you could look up everything instantaneously and when there weren't elaborate comprehensive fansites to celebrities yet. Plus it was just damn fun with lots of trivia and silliness. When I first met Matthew Rettenmund (Boy Culture) here in NYC several years ago I was a wee bit starstruck because of it. And speaking of the big M...
Billboard looks back at the Bedtime Stories album for its 20th anniversary 

Finally...
Esteemed stage veteran Marian Seldes has died at 86. Her regal mischievious face appeared semi-regularly in movies and on TV but usually in tiny roles. It was the stage where she experienced her enduring glorious reign.

I unfortunately only saw her perform live once. It was Edward Albee's "The Play About the Baby" (which also starred David Burtka, pre NPH) a sort of abstract minimalist reinterpretation of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and she was a-maz-ing in it. One of my favorite stories about her comes from 1978's "Deathtrap" in which she co-starred with Victor Garber. The hit comic mystery became a controversial movie in 1982 (a gay kiss - GASP!) with Dyan Cannon and Christopher Reeve taking Seldes and Garber's roles for the big screen. But when the movie premiered, Marian was actually still doing it on stage. She was with the play for its whole four year run and NEVER missed a performance. Amazing.

Here are good obituaries at The New York Times and Playbill

Wednesday
Sep102014

New Posters (Now With Less Floating Heads)

Manuel here to whet everyone's appetites with some recently released posters.

Fall movie season can sometimes feel much more thrilling for the way it builds anticipation than for what it actually delivers. Every year we can count on plenty of films to entertain, amaze, and awe us, but I'd wager that that number is usually lower than the number of films you were looking forward to. This is partly a math game and partly an acknowledgement of how PR and marketing savvy distributors (both big and small) have become. 

Take, for example these new posters for, respectively, Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children (as divisive after its premiere in Toronto as the film's trailer proved here), Justin Simien's Sundance sensation Dear White People, and Jon Stewart's first feature film Rosewater. I have to admit I love these posters not only because they aren't full of floating heads or beautifully lit silhouettes, but because they manage to signal the film's sensibility. Arguably, this is what we expect from movie posters, but it's not often we get artistic posters like these that embrace the expressiveness of the medium without resorting to distractingly obvious photoshop.

Men, Women and Children clearly works overtime to let you know that it is a Reitman joint what with the imagery evoking that opening credit sequence from Juno and placing Jennifer Garner front and center; yet it also (if a bit bluntly with that tagline) lets you know what the film's core problematic is, something the poster needs to do when the title itself, unless you know the source material, gives you little to no information. How many people do you think are reading The Film Experience on their phones in this poster? 

But if Reitman's poster goes for both quirky and serious, Dear White People openly goes for laughs in a way that is keenly attuned to the racial politics of the film, with Tyler James Williams' character's equally exasperated yet sardonically knowing look letting you know precisely where the film's humor lies. (You can actually read more about the poster's design over at Vulture; turns out a fan of the film went ahead and created this design only to find it becoming the film's official poster when he sent to Simien who loved it!).

The stark color scheme, the off-center image of Gael (covering up his entrancing eyes! the horror!), the prominence of that ever ubiquitous "Based on a True Story" tagline -- or is it more a disclaimer? a promise?; the poster is clearly wanting to associate "Jon Stewart" with something other than the comedic satire he's known for, going instead for a bleak poster that nevertheless bleeds into a hopeful light in the right hand corner. I particularly love the single bullet hole above the S.

What recent posters have nabbed your attention? Has any of them already secured a spot on your movie poster wall? If you could design a poster for one of your all-time favorite films, which one would it be? 

Thursday
Aug212014

Yes, No, Maybe So: Men, Women & Children

In the effort to get caught up on a backlog of trailers via our Yes, No, Maybe So. series, I asked the team which they'd like to do. I accidentally got two Men Women and Children completed before I had a chance to assign it as it were. So here are both Andrew and Matthew, both Maybe Sos but leaning in opposite directions to sound off on Jason Reitman’s upcoming Men, Women & Children based on the 2011 Chad Kultgen novel. It’s his immediate follow-up to last year’s Labor Day, which everyone is trying to forget about. (Successfully?) Will it return him to former critical glories. The film goes wide in the US on October 17th (facing off against Brad Pitt in Fury), shortly after its TIFF bow. Let’s make snap judgements about the trailer after the jump - Nathaniel.

Double-side breakdown after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep112013

"Labor Day" in a Nutshell

If I'd have known that the poster to Jason Reitman's Labor Day, an adaptation of the Joyce Manard novel, hadn't made it online yet at this writing, I'd have snapped a picture of it. It's a beauty for its rarity. How many actual film stills are used for movie posters these days? It's usually either iconic floating heads or powerful star bodies. If not that then boring vertical / horizontal grids of star faces, or a mishmash collage.

Here's the freeze frame in question, that's only been slightly modified for the poster image...

Kate Winslet & Josh Brolin star in Labor Day

And that film still, the first image released, is truth in advertising. What's more -- and only faithful TFE readers will truly appreciate this -- it's the image that stopped me in my tracks during the movie and made me think  "That's my choice for 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' though I promise I don't play that game with every movie I watch. 

The image is the story in a nutshell...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep072013

TIFF: Boogie Nights Revisited as Radio Show

Jason Reitman's Live Reads have long since gained "event" status on the West Coast and occasionally here in Toronto. Last year's TIFF event, a live reading of  American Beauty won so many raves that I knew I had to be there for the live read of Boogie Nights, another 90s classic and one much dearer to my heart. ... My crotch? Somehow Boogie Nights played much dirtier read aloud which got me to appreciate the unbelievable balancing act of the movie all the more. Somehow Mark Wahlberg's dumb sweetness, Julianne Moore's eager-beaver maternal warmth, Melora Walters and Don Cheadle's lost soul puppy love and the entire cast's totally committed work in Paul Thomas Anderson's classic elevate the material (already great to begin with of course) into something both stylized and authentic and totally endearing.

This time through without the visuals what I appreciated most was the comic glories of its dimwitted poetry.  Like this from Dirk:

You don't know what I can do! You don't know what I can do, what I'm gonna do, or what I'm gonna be! I'm good! I have good things that you don't know about! I'm gonna be something! I am! And don't fucking tell me I'm not!

Or literal dimwitted poetry like this from Reed...

I love you, you love me | Going down the sugar tree |  We'll go down the sugar tree, and see lots of bees: playing, playing |  But the bees won't sting, because you love me

more

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul042013

Will You Be Having "Labor Day" For Christmas?

Labor Day, the latest film from writer/director Jason Reitman is now scheduled to open on Christmas Day so I thought I'd post about it on Independence Day just to continue its holiday confusions!

You may remember that I had promised to read two books that y'all voted on in that "read this before the movie comes out" and this was your second choice pick (I'll read 12 Years a Slave next). I managed to get through thise runner up on flights during my recent Scandinavian trip. Joyce Manard's "Labor Day" was an easy read, actually as the novel is slim and the story is condensed to a very short time frame. I like both of its book covers though they're vague (love and peach pies do figure in but...) and its difficult to say what they're selling but the same is arguably true of the book, which I felt ambivalent about when I'd finished though it never really lost my interest in the reading.

It could make a smart tight movie about unloved middle aged people and the messy crossroads between romantic fulfillment and parenting, OR what it's like to grow up as the child of absent divorced parents but it also could make for an odd collision of coming-of-age clichés, faux thriller suspense, and romantic drama. If it's not tightly directed I could see some 'let's just watch some actors act' aimlessness happening given the novel's multiple identities. I'm loathe to give away details (though I'm 100% certain the trailer will...) but the set up is that an escaped ex convict Frank (Josh Brolin) suddenly enters the lives of a shut-in mother Adele (Kate Winslet) and her lonely teenage son Henry (played by 14 year old Gattlin Griffith from Changeling and then by 16 year old Dylan Minette who has had a few regular series gigs on TV... though it seems strange to have actors so close in age playing the same character at different ages) on a rare trip out shopping, further isolating them from the world. That's all I'm saying. 

 

I'm intrigued to see Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet work together -- seems like smart casting director match-making.

Winslet's character is a complicated one so if the movie is strong a Best Actress nomination isn't out of the question. Adele is eccentric, stubborn, moody, shut-down, delusional but also sexually vivid. She's described repeatedly in the novel as beautiful with a lithe dancers physique that's still a head turner even though she doesn't take care of herself and put herself out there visually (she seems to have no interest in dating). But based on the set photos of the costuming and styling maybe they've erred on the side of "she's a housewife that's given up!" Winslet might have to provide all the eroticism on her own. 

Dylan MinnetteBrolin is a smidge beefier than his character as described (Frank is a wiry almost gaunt ex-con) though it does look like he lost some weight for the role. But I think it's great casting emotionally since he is fairly adept at shading good guys and bad guys alike with questionable impulses and more complex character that you're able to read at first glance. 

Is this a movie you're looking forward to?
If you've read the novel what did you think of it? Do you remember Gattlin Griffith in Changeling (little Walter Collins) and if you've seen Dylan Minette on Lost or Saving Grace tell us what you think of his big screen potential?

Related Reading: 14 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen (BuzzFeed) 25 Beach Reads for Summer 2013 (Vulture)