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Entries in List-Mania (138)

Monday
Sep122016

Blue Velvet at 30

by Jason Adams 

With our host Nathaniel off in Toronto seeing movies this week; some good, some bad... but which ones will last forever? It's a question I put forth because David Lynch's masterpiece Blue Velvet played at the Toronto Film Festival exactly 30 years ago today. Did those fortunate souls sitting there in that audience know they were seeing a stone-cold American classic unveiled unto the world. I can't imagine they didn't know they were seeing something unlike anything else they'd ever seen before, that much seems clear. The film made some noise!

Blue Velvet's one of my Top Five Favorites so let's celebrate its anniversary (it was released in US theaters one week after its screening in Toronto). In honor of 30 years here are 30 favorite Blue Velvety facts, figures, and fun stuff, starting with...

1. LAURA DERN'S FACE

2. But seriously this is Lynch's first collaboration with his muse and most important collaborator (so says me and that cow he stood on Hollywood Blvd with) and it's a pleasure to contrast the character of Sandy with the places the two would later go - the sweetness and naivete here evenautally giving way to all kinds of craziness; it's impossible not to look at this nice young lady now and not see the wild woman -- Lulu Fortune anybody? -- about to come beating out from underneath those fuzzy sweaters.

Ears and lots of the F-word after the break...

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Saturday
Sep032016

Summer Movie Season Surveyed

This article originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a revised TFE specific but abridged version...

While summer didn’t technically begin until June 20th and isn’t technically over yet, “Summer Movie Season” is not beholden to the solstice and equinox but to The Blockbuster. Summer has long been the most lucrative season for Hollywood and so they’ve stretched it out to start earlier each year. It now tends to begin sometime in April with the release of the first movie that feels like a Summer Blockbuster proper (this year that would’ve arguably been The Jungle Book on April 15th) and ends on Labor Day, aka Any Second Now. It’s no secret that it’s been a rough summer for the quality of blockbusters. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a big city or smart enough to seek out films without gargantuan ad budgets, there was still plenty of cinema to get excited about. So herewith the Best & Worst of 2016’s Summer movie season…

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Friday
Aug262016

Request: Oscar Nominated Performances of the Aughts, Ranked

by Nathaniel R

This list was requested by Carlos recently in the comments. Perhaps in light of the Oscar Nominated Performances ranked of the past six years... so why not. It's a perfect weekend activity and will help you get in the mood for the possibly turbulent Oscar season ahead. So let's do this crazy...

ALL THE OSCAR NOMINATED PERFORMANCES RANKED (2000-2009)

First a terrible confession for one such as I: Two Oscar nominated performances in the Aughts slipped right past my movie devouring eyeballs (the shame. the shame.) I never got around to Tommy Lee Jones In the Valley of Elah or Cooler Alec Baldwin. I accept your judgment and will choose my favorite of whatever punishments are recommended.

So let's rank the whole other 198 lot of 'em, with the caveats that this is silly (apples & oranges) and had you asked me on a different day the order might have been different though the general truth of the groupings below would stay the same. 

 

  1. Mo'Nique, Precious (2009) *
  2. Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  3. Johnny Depp, The Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
  4. Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
  5. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (2007) *
  6. Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal (2006)

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Tuesday
Aug232016

Best of the 21st Century?

by Nathaniel R

Mulholland Drive voted the best film of the 21st century (thus far)Though we may collectively scratch our head at the need to do 21st century best of lists so often and at odd intervals. After 16 years? Ermm, okay? Lists usually get people talking. The BBC polled 177 critics (of which I was, alas, not one) and the results were both enjoyable and annoying, as with all lists.

Some notes:

• I won't see Toni Erdmann for another few weeks so I can't speak to its quality but it's odd to see it on a "best of the century list" when the film has only opened in one country (France) outside of its home countries (Germany/Austria). It starts opening in other countries next month and also hits the Toronto Film Festival. So that seems...early

 • Did Christopher Nolan really need 3 pictures in the top 100? I maintain that Inception does not hold up and is relentlessly and numbingly expository for anything beyond a single viewing and it's even kind of annoying during that first plunge. Cinema about dreams should be mysterious...

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Wednesday
Aug172016

120 Nominated Performances, Ranked. Who's Next?

As you will undoubtedly understand, I'm not up to speed at the moment. But I find a weird comfort in list-making and cine-dreaming, wondering what our next batch of Oscar contenders will look like. Will it be a great vintage or a weak one? Or, more usual, a weird combo of both. It's far too early to tell though we're hopeful. As I was wandering aimlessly around the web this morning I found this very enjoyable video from Ali Benz ranking all Oscar acting nominees this decade. Like a moving scrapbook of Oscar's classes for the past six years (2010-2015). Some things about the order make me so crazy but that is the joy and discussability of list-making. 

Here's the video and after the jump I'll rank them all myself. Busywork is good for me today.

120 Oscar-nominated Performances of the Decade - RANKED - from Ali Benzekri on Vimeo.

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Sunday
Aug072016

Stream This: The Others, The Piano, Inside Llewyn Davis

In the effort to stay au courant we'll alternate between Netflix and Amazon Prime for streaming news each week. And we'll freeze frame select titles at random places just for fun and see what image comes up. You know how we do! 

LAST CHANCE AMAZON PRIME


Felton: I look... is distinguished a word?
Lange: It's a word.

In Secret (2014, expires August 18th)
What is this? Oscar Isaac, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton and Jessica Lange? Big name casts for movies that don't seem to actually exist that you suddenly realize do, in fact, exist, are kind of unnerving. Like how do movies that never really get released find financing to get made in the first place? Apparently Oscar Isaac plays an artist in this one (they're looking at a portrait he painted of Felton) so that's kind of smudgy hot regardless. Isaac with paint stains I mean.

Men weren't up to the task!

Robocop (2014, expires august 18th) 
So that errant quote that popped up when I slid the bar to a random point in this useless movie is as good a quote as any to describe the foolhardiness of remaking a Paul Verhoeven picture. The Dutch auteur is many things but "remakeable" is not one of them. You've lost before you've begun essentially. See also the Total Recall remake and whichever one gets remade after that... maybe Basic Instinct?

seven more freeze framed films, some great/some terrible, after the jump...

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