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Entries in Lisa Cholodenko (7)

Tuesday
Jun052018

Showbiz History: AIDS Movies, Reese & Ryan, and the Orient Express 

by Nathaniel R

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Happy June 5th, especially if it's your birthday. Is it your birthday? Do speak up this month if you're a Gemini please. Here's what was happening on this day in history as it relates to our favorite topic: showbiz.

1883 The first Orient Express leaves Paris. The train ride becomes mythologized in multiple pop culture works.

1953 Producer Kathleen Kennedy born in Berkeley. Currently rules the Star Wars franchise with a director-firing iron will. 

Lisa Cholodenko with her two time muse Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge, Laurel Canyon)

1963 John Profumo resigns his post in the House of Commons due to an affair with an alleged prostitute. There's an underdiscussed movie about this called Scandal (1989). 

← 1964 Happy 54th birthday to undervalued writer/director Lisa Cholodenko born in Los Angeles on this day in history. She goes on to make two bonafide lesbian classics (High Art, The Kids Are All Right)...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov042015

Topic Du Jour: Female Directors

If you haven't read Vulture's list of 100 female directors Hollywood could be hiring you should. It's a great 'shut your mouth' argument for those suits that hilariously say 'well, we would hire female directors if there were any!' Bless Kyle Buchanan for spearheading this -- though I hope he had interns helping.  Naturally there will be passionate responses. Diversity arguments will always promote some degree of snark -- see Anthony Mackie's recent comments about the Black Panther movie's search for a director -- and nitpicking, including here.

But we nitpick with love.

David Poland argues that "strategy," not shaming, is what's required and that statistics and math won't help. He neglects to detail the strategy though. As for myself I (mostly) love the list and think it's important that a wake up call like this is out there -- what did happen to Laverne herself, Penny Marshall, who directed so many huge hits in the 80s and 90s? It's smart to make the list far reaching and extensive but some of the people are not reasonable for an argument either because their careers have been over for so long or because...wait for it... they aren't good directors. (Obviously there are many bad directors with penises who get lots of work. But we'd like them to find other jobs, too!)  

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov102014

LGBT News Roundup

Hello all, Manuel here with a number of LGBT-related news to kick off your Monday.

- Let’s start with the pretty. Love these images of the Looking boys for their OUT100 spread. The magazine named the HBO series TV show of the year. HBO's been busy hosting their Artists Series where they invited some select lucky few to visit the set, keeping social media abreast of what the boys are up to. Check it out:  #LookingForPatrick #LookingForAgustin #LookingForDom

Oh and look, a teaser trailer for season 2!

Speaking of HBO (1), they’re going ahead on the provocatively titled series Bros Before Hos which centers on a queer black man and well, his brothers. The show is from the team behind Red Tails and, more recently, Dear White People. The show, they state, aims to "reflect the growing diversity of the American experience." You can check out a rough cut of the pitch of the show at the link.

Speaking of HBO (2), did anyone catch Olive Kitteridge last week with the wonderful Frances McDormand? I’ll have to wait a bit since I don’t have that premium channel, but you can catch up with out director Lisa Cholodenko over at Interview in their newest podcast.

- Kiss Me, Kill Me - an Alfred Hitchcock/Agatha Christie-style "Who-done-it" set in a little town called West Hollywood - successfully fulfilled its Kickstarter campaign this past week. This should be great news for those of us who want more Gale Harold, Tom Lenk & RuPaul’s Drag Race's Willam in our lives.

- In more horrific news, screenings of Switzerland’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film, The Circle in Kiev’s Cinema Zhovten theater ended in flames after the theater was set on fire. Proof that while we've come a long way, there's plenty more work to be done.

- And lastly, in case you missed it, here's the first official photo of Zachary Quinto and James Franco as a gay couple in Michael. I say "official" because if you've been following those two on Instagram, they've been giving us plenty of behind-the-scenes looks at the film adaptation of the New York Times Magazine article, “My Ex-Gay Best Friend.” Here's how the couple they portray are described in the piece:

“Many young gay men looked up to [Michael]. He and his boyfriend at the time, Ben, who also worked at the magazine [XY], made a handsome pair — but their appeal went deeper. On weekends we would go to raves together, and I would watch as gay boys gravitated toward the couple. Michael and Ben seemed unburdened (by shame, by self-doubt) and unapologetically pursued what the writer Paul Monette called the uniquely gay experience of “flagrant joy.” But unlike some of our friends who rode the flagrant joy train all the way to rehab, Michael and Ben rarely seemed out of control. There was a balance — a wisdom — to their quest for intense, authentic experience. Together they seemed to have figured out how to be young, gay and happy.”

Do Franco & Quinto fit the bill? Are you counting the days until we see Patrick and Dom again? Are you as excited that even as 2014 is shaping up to be a strong and diverse year for LGBT cinema (what with Pride, The Skeleton Twins, 52 Tuesdays, The Normal Heart, Love is Strange, The Circle, Yves Saint-Laurent, and Lilting among others) we already have three fascinating LGBT projects (Michael, Carol, and Freeheld) to look forward to in 2015?

Tuesday
May202014

Fantastic Links and When To Blog Them 

The Dissolve Alfonso Cuarón might direct the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. The internet seems largely happy about this which puzzles me. I understand everyone likes money but isn't this a huge step backwards after Children of Men/Gravity gave us his full auteurist muscle unbeholden to someone else's franchise? I most definitely think so
Pajiba wonders what was up with that airplane curtain closing wordless scene on Mad Men this weekend? 
The Film Doctor asks 9 questions about Godzilla before realizing he's too old for that shit. (I loved Godzilla so much myself that I've been surprised at the level of thumbs down in comments and online)  
/bent wonders why The Kids Are All Right's director Lisa Cholodenko hasn't yet made a follow up to that financially successful and Oscar nominated feature 

Towleroad one of the Vikings in How To Train Your Dragon 2 comes out as gay kinda. (But ParaNorman will always be first in this regard.)
Antagony & Ecstasy on the intuitive, fluid sensory experience of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and its companion novel
Slate Cliff Curtis, ethnic chameleon onscreen 
Gawker "selfie" is entering the dictionary. But why did it take "steampunk" this long?
MNPP JA zeroes in on one sweaty hairy detail of the Weinstein Co's Cannes preview: Southpaw's Jake Gyllenhaal 
The Wire wonders why the internet is so obsessed with Shrek --  I hadn't realized it was (just goes to show you how the interenet is not at all monolithic in terms of its obsessions  -- but this is an interesting article
The New Yorker if you're still grappling with your feelings about Godzilla here's a smart mixed take from Richard Brody which wrestles with the movies grandeur but lack of complexity and its largely passive human characters

Its scale may feel Biblical, but it doesn’t risk the crises and ecstasies, the sheer moral turbulence provoked by existential menace (cf. “Noah”). The monsters in the movie do monstrous battle, while people—the warriors ostensibly arrayed on the front lines against them—are reduced in the foreground to silhouetted spectators. They are the equivalent of the cutout characters of “Mystery Science Theatre 3000,” but without the comfort of a screen to separate them from the mayhem...

He Said / She Said
RogerEbert.com, which I always feel weird about linking to, since the link name always implies that Roger Ebert has written something new but he has of course departed from our mortal coil. Nevertheless, I started to enjoy these opposing pieces from  Michael Oleszczyk and Barbara Scharres on David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars until I remembered after the first couple of paragraphs each that I really really really want to go into this one fresh so I can't read anything. BUT if you're not as "sensitive" as I am about reading reviews before you've seen a movie, that's one rave and one pan from the same site so we are now free to call the movie "divisive" as often as we'd like. It's our favorite kind of critical response - homogeneity being so dreadfully dull. Oleszczyk and Richard Lawson at Vanity Fair both rave about Julianne Moore's performance and that's enough to excite me for now without really reading anything!

Speaking of Julianne Moore...

Here she is with Harrison Ford at a party at Cannes. Remember when nobody knew who she was but her walk in The Fugitive (1993) was so grabby anyway? #whowasthat 

You can see more photos from this particular party at Vanity Fair.

 

Saturday
Feb262011

Spirit Award Winners

Since they aren't airing the show live (it comes on at 10 PM EST) we shan't live-blog -- seriously in this day and age no live airing? Epic stupidity -- but we can share winners and talk about highlights after zee fact late tonight or tomorrow as we just skim through the show.

Jennifer Lawrence and Nicole Kidman, both nominated

Best First Screenplay Lena Durhman Tiny Furniture. Though she's already won the true prize: an HBO pilot deal. Tiny Furniture is quite singular and funny so check it out when you can.

Best Cinematography Matthew Libatique Black Swan. Yay! Single best thing about Black Swan if you ask me. He also won our gold medal.

Best Supporting Actress Dale Dicky in Winter's Bone. She puts the hurt on Lawrence so beautifully.

Best First Feature Aaron Schneider for Get Low. (Scott Cooper won this last year for Crazy Heart. Moral of the story: Find an old grizzly acting legend and you're newbie gold!)

Best Actor James Franco in 127 Hours. I'm so glad Colin Firth wasn't eligible. Firth was good in The King's Speech but so were a lot of people this year.

Best Documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. Mr Brainwash accepts the prize. Apparently goes on and on. Honestly I feel like I'm live blogging blindfolded. I hate tape delay. This is 2011. This is not my childhood with 3 television stations and friends who had something exotic called "cable"

Best Foreign Film The King's Speech.  I guess it's too much to ask the masses to vote for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. And the masses can vote on the Spirits if they join. Which is, I think, why it's more like the Oscars than not of late.

Robert Altman Award to Please Give. Yay. It also made our best ensemble nominations. Have you seen it yet?

 

 

 

Cassavettes Awards Daddy Longlegs

Best Supporting Actor John Hawkes for Winter's Bone. It's turning into quite a "Weekend in the Ozarks" here. Is it too much to hope that Jennifer Lawrence wins too? A nice change of pace that'd be. And when there are so many hundreds of awards to win each year, why do they all gotta go to the same things?

Mark Ruffalo tweeted a beautiful congrats to his "opponent" and apparently friend.

John Hawkes is the Man. Congratulations brother. All our days in shitty little theaters back in the day paid off. Blessings!!

And he also snapped a photo of Lisa Cholodenko and her woman Wendy. The Cholodenkos Are All Right. Speaking of...

Best Screenplay Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for The Kids Are All Right

Best Actress Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Director Darren Aronofksy, Black Swan

Best Feature Black Swan

It started as a Winter's Bone evening and then sported a rash that quickly turned into black swan feathers.

And that's it. Now the show is but an afterthought. What strange programming decisions stations make of late. The things that IFC felt were more important to show during the actula awards were The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) and Boondock Saints (2000) which they have undoubtedly shown hundreds of times already.

Stranger still it seems my IFC is not working. Dang. I was really not meant to watch this. I shall dutifully wait to see YouTube videos of Dale Dickey and John Hawkes winning their well deserved prizes.

See also: THE NICOLE KIDMAN SPIRIT SHOW