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Entries in Kim Hunter (3)

Friday
Jun232017

i've got good news. that link you like is going to come back in style.

Guardian Great interview with Holly Hunter about The Big Sick and her career. (People are already mentioning "Oscar nom!" in regards to her supporting work as Zoe Kazan's mother in the romantic comedy)

Pajiba on what the new Defenders posters might remind you of

Playbill Adorable John Benjamin Hickey, fresh off the revival of Six Degrees of Separation, thinks there should be a fine for people who leave their cel phones on in theaters. Agreed! 

Screen Crush picks the 25 best LGBT films of the past 25 years. Happy to see Pariah and Bound mixed in with the usual titles like Brokeback Mountain and such. And the past few years have been so good for LGBT cinema. I mean: Carol, The Handmaiden, Moonlight, Tangerine. #Blessed

Esquire Fun article by Tyler Coates on how he finally learned to love RuPaul's Drag Race which he had avoided for years and even bad-mouthed in print

Theater Mania you don't see this often but there's an actual age restriction on the Broadway adaptation of George Orwell's "1984". No one under 13 will be admitted due to its intensity. The show stars Tom Sturridge, Reed Birney, Olivia Wilde, and TFE fav Cara Seymour (who previously did that lovely guest spot for us). I'm seeing it soon so will report back.

IndieWire has issues with the "orientalism" of the new Twin Peaks. Add this to the onling Sofia Coppola controversy and... well... People I don't know what to do with all the outrage anymore at everything. There's got to be a line where, as an adult, you're just okay with what you're seeing and discarding the parts that irk you, or filing them under "I don't know about that but whatever" if they're not harmfully intended. Artists will always have their own peculiar obsessions and they'll always draw from a wide variety of influences (at least the good ones will) to craft their own stories and nobody really owns history; pop culture and the arts are giant beautiful melting pots of ideas and aesthetics from all over the world. Oh and also the Laura Dern hairstyle is not proprietarily Asian as the article seems to imply. I know this because I was obsessed with silent film star Louise Brooks as a teenager (Pandora's Box Diary of a Lost Girl 4ever!). It was originally called the 'Castle Bob,' because Irene Castle (a famous NY dancer) debuted the then-shocking look in 1915. It was a very controversial look but became a sensation in the 1920s with flappers and silent film stars. Hollywood's first popular Asian American actress Anna May Wong, who the article references as an influence on Dern's look, actually had to get her hair cut like that because it was so popular.

This is Not Porn great photo of Oscar winner Kim Hunter in makeup chair on The Planet of the Apes (1968)

Hilarious Reads and I Personally Needed the Laughs. You?

The New Yorker "Tennessee Williams with Air Conditioning"... *fans self* I was cackling so loud by the end of this. Best article in forever.

• McSweeneys "11 Ways That I, a White Man, Am Not Privileged" Oops. Hee!

Buzzfeed "25 Gay Pride signs that will make you laugh harder than you should" - so many of these are so wonderful I just want to hug all gay people for being funny and able to spell

McSweeneys "An Oral History of Quentin Tarantino as Told to Me By Men I've Dated" 

What places are delivering right now? So, in the early ’90s, right around when Pulp Fiction came out, Quentin Tarantino and Mira Sorvino were dating. I always thought Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion was a dumb chick flick, but I caught part of it on cable the other day and there was an ad for Red Apple cigarettes in the background of one of the shots! Do you know about Red Apple cigarettes?

Monday
Jun062016

The Furniture: Decorating Madness in A Streetcar Named Desire

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

The 70th Tony Awards are in just a few days. I certainly can't be trusted with predictions, but I’ll make one guess. The award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play probably won’t be split three ways. That sort of near-impossible result has only occurred once, all the way back in 1948. The 2nd Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play was shared by Judith Anderson, Katharine Cornell, and Jessica Tandy. Tandy won for the original broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Of course, she didn’t get to be in the movie and so we will leave her behind. Elia Kazan’s film of Tennessee Williams’s masterpiece premiered less than two years after its Broadway run ended. Its success was that instant. It won four Oscars, though all but one was for acting. That fourth prize, of course, was for production design. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar232011

Best Shot: "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Hit Me With Your Best Shot continues with A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). This week's film was chosen in light of the Tennessee Williams Centennial, the great writer's 100th anniversary is this weekend. If this is your first "best shot," partipicants are asked to watch a film, and select its best shot (or their favorite, natch) and post it, with or without an accompanying essay.

Stanley: Yknow there are some men that are took in by this Hollywood glamour stuff and some men that just aren't.
Blanche: I'm sure you belong in the second category.
Stanley: That's right.
Blanche: I cannot imagine any witch of a woman casting a spell over you.
Stanley: That's right.

Elia Kazan's masterful adaptation of Tennessee Williams happens to be, by a significant margin, the best film version of any of his work. It moves more elegantly around Hollywood's censorship of then risque material than the other biggies that followed (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer and Sweet Birth of Youth) and it's managed to be more definitive than any film version of the other play vying for most immortal Tennesse Williams Creation (The Glass Menagerie). The 1951 film will forever be revered, and justifiably so, for providing an irreducibly perfect 'moment in time' look at the shifting of Hollywood acting; the friction between pre-50s artifice in Vivien Leigh and Blanche DuBois and post-50s "realness" in Brando's "Method" Stanley is still absolutely sensational 60 years on. As are both approaches to acting, I might add as a fine point (provided the actor is a skilled one). Too often we view all sweeping artistic shifts as progress when they are more often than not, merely lateral aesthetic shifts, opening up new pleasures but not truly replacing the old ones. Time marches on; we explore new things.

In the understandably immortal hoopla surrounding two of the greatest screen performances of all time, we often lose sight of other pleasures. A Streetcar Named Desire has many of them from Tennessee William's indestructable poetry to Elia Kazan's assured guiding hand to the Oscar-winning art direction and the expressive shadowy lighting from Harry Stradling Sr. Stradling manages effects that are both harsh and ethereal, both ugly and beautiful, but not always in the combinations you'd expect them to be and sometimes both at ones. His camera and lights perfectly bridge all of the performances, moods and characters.

But the way he lights Stella (an inspired Kim Hunter) has always fascinated me. In her scenes with Blanche, the shadows often obscure one or the other of her faces and in those scenes which highlight the mad desire for Stanley her eyes are often obscured, with only tiny sparks of light flashing and reflecting from them.

Stella: Isn't he wonderful looking?

Blanche: What you're talking about is desire, just brutal Desire. The name of that rattletrap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another.
Stella: Haven't you ever ridden on that streetcar?

Stella seems unknowable, feral, as dangerous in her own singlemindedness as Blanche is in her self-deception and Stanley is in his brutality. Her eyes have an animalistic defiant glint but it's not just her irises; this is one of the horniest performances ever captured on film.

This shot in particular is just fascinating, pulling the central triangular drama into sharp (deep) focus.

My pick for best shot.

The sisters have been having a serious chat. The previous night's tumult involving poker, flirtations, drunken messiness, abuse, "Stelllllaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!" and an obvious offscreen fuck-a-thon between Mr & Mrs Kowalski have disrupted their bond. If they're not quite seeing eye to eye the sisters are beginning to really listen to each other until they hear Stanley's return. We see his shadow first on the left side as then his body as the women immediately stop talking.  For the next agonizing few seconds, they seem absolutely frozen with indecision, though there's a curious sapphic charge to Blanche's silenced pawing pleas. There's another "Stella", Stanley's foolproof siren call, from the background and then Stella, ever so slightly turns his way, catching the light, his light if you want to get figurative though not literal.

She's lost to Blanche and herself again. Though Stella ends the movie an hour and some minutes later swearing Stanley off forever, our guess is she hops right back on that rattletrap streetcar named Desire once the credits roll. She's up one old narrow street and down another with Stanley as her violent conductor.

The Kindness of Strangers
Enjoy these participating posts at other fine movie-loving blogs.

 

Next Wednesday
Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO (1960) in celebration of the release of a stunning debut novel "What You See In The Dark" by Manuel Muñoz which brushes up against this movie in interesting ways. Coming soon: an interview with the author and a book giveaway. But about BEST SHOT: It's impossible that everyone will love the shower scene best, right? Why don't you join us and try to pinpoint your favorite image? Next Wednesday at 10 PM right here... and at your place if you participate.