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Entries in Lee Daniels (19)

Thursday
Aug062015

Linkovers

must read
"Want to work in Hollywood? Only straight, white men need apply?" this new study from USC is getting a lot of attention and it is pretty damning evidence all told. (How did diversity issues get so much worse instead of better? - It boggles the mind.) That study is just for films but TV is doing a lot better. On that note it looks like we lost Lee Daniels to TV for good  (*sniffle... no more Paperboy or Precious). In addition to "Empire" Season 2 he's developing a girl-band series called "Star". NYT also looked at the diversity gap on the bigscreen from that study and Dana Delany tweeted in response underlining why she doesn't do film anymore.

The migration of actors (particularly female) and creatives to television has been well documented. I can only blame moviegoers at this point. They just only seem willing to look at "adult" and female stuff on television and save their ticket dollars for fx films 

links
Variety Todd Haynes to get a tribute at this year's Gotham Awards
Empire remember when Lasse Hallström was a big deal? His breakthrough was My Life as a Dog (not a literal title) and now he'll be directing a movie called A Dog's Purpose which is actually about a dog, a reincarnated dog who helps various owners in his lives
imgur a native of Florida photographs Edward Scissorhands locations 25 years later. The foilage sure grew and the colors sure are drabber now
Interview republishes an archival interview with Warren Beatty from 1972 as we await anything on his long-gestating Howard Hughes biopic
MSZ "Unloved" series looks at Peyton Reed's Down With Love and The Break-Up
Filmmaker Magazine talks to Randal Kleiser about Summer Lovers, an 80s guilty pleasure starring Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher.
Indie Outlook compares American Sniper and Selma to find the structure of "Oscar Bait". It's interesting but I wholly disagree on the notion that Selma's focus on the mechanicas of civil disobedience makes it dry and unsatisfying. I think that's exactly what makes it so good and so much more worthwhile than a simple "great man" biopic would have been. Love that movie.
This Is Not Porn Jessica Lange on the set of King Kong (1976). Hee 

spandex city
CW Seed This is actually cool. CW, which had a major hit with their fun and well-crafted Flash series is now streaming the original Flash television series from 1990 -  I had forgotten that existed even!
Comic Alliance "why I'm boycotting Marvel Comics" more on Marvel's very real diversity problem 
Htxt.Africa talks Star Wars and The Jungle Book from a Disney Africa presentation. Also says Doctor Strange looks "horror-movie-dark" 

for London readers
Facebook  Desperately Seeking Susan is getting a 30th anniversary screening at the Prince Charles Cinema 

the Leftovers

Oooh, here's the Season 2 trailer to HBO's "The Leftovers" which had so many good parts for ladies last season. This new season shakes things up a lot so we don't know quite what to expect. 

free the bacon
Kevin Bacon demands more male nudity in Hollywood

 

Thursday
Mar262015

Rebel Assignments: Film Directors + Madonna

David Fincher winning an MTV Movie Award for Se7en (1995) he was already an MTV darling at the Music Video AwardsA reader by the name of David recently asked which direct we wished would do a video from Madonna's "Rebel Heart". Given that David Fincher, now a reknowned auteur, came to fame via some of Madonna's best, it's a great question. More movie directors really ought to moonlight with music videos intead of just graduating from them. It's a unique form, basically both a musical and a short, that gives directors the chance to work faster and looser and play with ideas that they maybe couldn't risk in a feature without a test run.

Successful directors ought to donate their services at least once to either an upcoming band they want every to haer or a legendary artist whose work has meant a lot to them. So we're assigning a director to each Madonna song on her terrific new record "Rebel Heart" in order to pretend we've been gifted a video album specifically for Madonna fans and cinephiles alike.

It's a Venn Diagram niche, sure, but go with it.

Since the first track and first single "Living for Love" already got a fine toreador and minotaur themed music video -- and it's good if minimalist --  we should leave it be.

No no no. Scratch that.

"LIVING FOR LOVE"
Recreated by Gus Van Sant
We're completists. So we gotta try for the whole album. Gus Van Sant likes a good experiment and he can't just do a traditional "remake" so how about a shot-for-shot reinterpretation with a few inserts as he is prone to do. Madonna likes a good rolling cloud as much as the next Guy Gus (see Frozen/Ray of Light)

"DEVIL PRAY"
Assigned to Lee Daniels
This song sounds conservative but its lyrics are straight up messy mixing drowning metaphors, spiritual yearning, religiosity, the devil and a list of hallucinogenic drugs. So I think the only proper guide is the current king of absolutely fascinating messes, Lee Daniels. Look at the performances he got from Mo'Nique, Kidman, Oprah, and Taraji. Please get your hands on Madonna, you crazy beautiful man, and shake her up!

more assignments follow...

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Monday
Nov242014

Lukewarm Off The Presses: Hugh & Amy's Musicals, Diana's Director, Lee's Horror, & Eddie's Operation

Five stories we didn't share in all the hulaballoo of our trip to Los Angeles, the recovery week's madness and now our Thanksgiving prep. Can't let these stories go unremarked upon since many of them are related to this year's Oscar race as well as 2015 and possibly 2016. Let's get ahead of ourselves! 

Barnum by way of Jackson / Amy to play Janis

1. Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum
When I was coming out of Into the Woods the other day and coming out of The Last Five Years back in Toronto, I was wracked with indecision about how I felt. My cinephile self was mounting a civil war with my inner musical theater geek who is deeply devoted to both shows. The former musical is among my top 3 favorite Sondheim shows (the others being Company & Follies) and the latter is literally my favorite original musical of the 21st century to date. The solution to this inner turmoil is surely ORIGINAL SCREEN MUSICALS. We haven't had one since Dancer in the Dark, right? So I'm absolutely excited to see Hugh Jackman belt out whatever tunes they're writing for him as P.T. Barnum in a new musical biopic about the circus pioneer called The Greatest Showman on Earth. Having seen Jackman absolutely slay audiences on Broadway as another flamboyant showman (Peter Allen in "The Boy from Oz"), this could be his Oscar ticket if the movie is good. The songs are by a composing duo you know from "Smash" but before you get too excited it's not from the composers behind the fictional musical "Bombshell," damnit!, but the composers behind the fictional musical "Hit List" which wasn't half as good. (Sigh)

Bette Midler as Janis Joplin (sort of) in The Rose (1979)2. Amy Adams as Janis Joplin
Should Adams be nominated (maybe) and lose (definitely) the Best Actress Oscar for Big Eyes this season she will join the "Biggest Actress Loser Club" that is currently a three-person tea party with Thelma Ritter, Glenn Close, Deborah Kerr. Fine company, don't you think? The solution is UNDOUBTEDLY a Janis Joplin biopic since Amy Adams has a great singing voice, considerable awards momentum, and is still young enough to be interesting to Oscar... for at least another few years. We're far enough away from Bette Midler's wildly acclaimed take on that iconic musician (by another name) in The Rose (1979) that the earlier Oscar run won't be an issue either. [More after the jump...]

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Wednesday
Sep172014

Top Ten: Movie Stars Coming to TV

Margaret here, with a Tuesday Wednesday Top Ten. Ready to rank the incoming class of movie stars trying their hand at the small screen. Every TV season, a new group of movie actors crops up on the fall schedule, either because scarcity of good film roles or the lure of a hefty paycheck.

Here are the top ten series soon to debut, in order of how much we're looking forward a weekly date with their stars. Set your DVRs accordingly!

#10 True Detective - HBO - 2015

This spot is a placeholder for True Detective Season 2, the impossibly buzzy crime drama anthology series at HBO. While the show has yet to cast its leads, if any of the numerous rumours prove true it will certainly feature at least one famous and undervalued actor looking for a McConnaissance of his or her very own. Although it's not due until early 2015, it's safe to assume we'll be hearing at least as much about it all fall as we will any other show.

#9 Madam Secretary - CBS - 8 pm Sunday, 9/21

Téa Leoni stars in this drama series as a female Secretary of State. (Sure, she's got a globally-essential job, but what I want to know is can she have it all????) It's CBS, so unless it turns out to be a Good Wife-type anomaly, chances that it will be a formula-busting creative showcase are low. The supporting cast includes Tony winners Patina Miller (Pippin) and Bebe Neuwirth (Chicago, Sweet Charity), so we can always hold out hope for a musical number.

8 more starry series after the jump...

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Tuesday
Apr292014

April Showers: The Paperboy

waterworks at eleven, here’s Andrew with a brief one

Would anyone be willing to stand with me when I declare The Paperboy to be the best thing Lee Daniels has done? The movie is undeniably crazy, out-of-control, off-centre, you name it. But, it’s this very tendency for excessiveness and divergent tones that makes it such a fine representation of Daniels’ skills as a filmmaker. The Paperboy, from its most hilarious moments to its most obscene, is completely a Lee Daniels in the best way possible. It has as many important things to say about race and social constructs in its era as much as Precious or The Butler but uses pulp, the ridiculous and even the improbable to tell its story. Sometimes with pit-stops at randomness for the hell of it.

Case in point, this evening’s shower about midway through the film. Important moment of character development, or just a chance for a fun, rainy dance with Zac Efron in underpants? You decide.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan102014

The Pryor Life

JA from MNPP here again, taking a look at the news that no less than Lee Daniels is about to sign on to directthe long-gestating bio-pic of the comedian and actor and genius Richard Pryor.



Apparently Bill Condon almost made it a couple of years ago, but I guess that's fallen through since here we are. I was really looking forward to Daniels making his interracial gay action movie, possibly to star Alex Pettyfer, but I'm not exactly surprised that producers aren't throwing money at that.

And not only do we have a director, but we have a trio of names that're rumored to be up to play the troubled, brilliant comedian. Eddie Murphy, who's been considered for the role for as long as they've been thinking about making the movie really, is still in the mix, although if they want to focus on Pryor's life in his 20s and 30s that seems a bit of a stretch, doesn't it? Eddie Murphy is 52 years old.

Of course also in the mix is Damon Wayans, who's actually a year older than Murphy so what do I know. (Condon was considering using Damon's brother Marlon, and he makes more sense to me.) But I guess they've got that CG they used in the third X-Men movie to make Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen look young, they can just spend millions and millions of dollars using that. (I hesitate to even mention make-up since I thought the make-up Daniels used to age people in The Butler was just awful.)

I personally find the third name in contention the most appealing - Michael B. Jordan, hot off a great performance in Fruitvale Station, and buzzy as all get out. I don't see why Daniels doesn't consider David Oyelowo too though - he was my favorite thing in The Butler (granted, I didn't like The Butler).

So who would you cast? And what do you think about Daniels tackling not just Pryor but another bio-pic largely set in the Sixties and Seventies so soon?

Tuesday
Jan072014

Mini-Symposium: Oscar's Fifth Spot (Part Two of Two)

Will American Hustle win multiple acting nods?ICYMI we are starting a new tradition here at The Film Experience. Though we usually gather a handful of prominent film bloggers to discuss the Oscar nominations in great detail (once they've had time to sink in), this year we're doing a mini-symposium before the nominations to discuss the always competitive situations surrounding the "just glad to be nominated" spot. Yesterday,  Kurt Osenlund (The House Next Door), Nathaniel R (The Film Experience, c'est moi), Christopher Rosen (Huffington Post), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) and You (in the comments) began with the supporting categories and who might rise should one of the expected five in each category falter at the finish line. (Though if you really think it over, isn't Nomination Morning really the starting gate?)

Where we left off yesterday: Sasha thought Robert Redford's All is Lost nomination would still be nominated, despite worries that the campaign faded too quickly and that if anyone fell for DiCaprio or Whitaker it'd be Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips. Christopher thought Leo wasn't happening due to Wolf of Wall Street being "Zero-Dark-Thirty'd". We had spent a lot of time agreeing but that ends, now.

CHRIS: I had always thought Whitaker would get in, simply because he's really great and Lee Daniels' The Butler seemed like a perfect Oscar movie, but that one just has not seemed to take. If Harvey gets The Butler a Best Picture nod, I wouldn't be surprised to see Whitaker in there, probably at the expense of Hanks. But that's just crazy talk, since Captain Phillips is lined up as one of the strongest films in major categories. The Redford SAG snub was shocking, he hasn't really campaigned, and Bruce Dern has stolen away Redford's slam-dunk narrative for a win ... but I would still be stunned if Redford doesn't get a nomination. That said: Sasha's theory about Bale getting nominated as proof of the strength of American Hustle is a good one, but a more likely scenario for me is an Adams nomination for Best Actress. Either way, I think one of those lead performances gets a nod for that film, so if Bale winds up in, maybe he steals Redford's slot?

KURT: Hey all. Sorry for the silence on my end. I was out pretty late last night, braving the bitter streets of SoHo tucked into my coat, like a latter day Llewyn Davis. On that note, I think it's absolutely criminal that Oscar Isaac won't be making it into our Best Actor five this year, but I've pretty much accepted that reality, and I guess it's appropriate given the character's non-trajectory.

Leonardo of Wall Street, 30 Years a Butler, and Best Actress after the jump...

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