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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 List-Mania (91)

Saturday
Dec142013

Catching Up With the Linkses

The Wire a definitive ranking of the hair in American Hustle. Elizabeth Röhm's Dolly Polito and that awesome bathroom showdown between Amy & Jennifer are not high enough!
NY Post gives you more background on The Wolf of Wall Street's Jordan Belfort and how filthy rich he still is. So much for penance!
Vulture interesting piece on Inside Llewyn Davis and discrepancies with actual folk music culture as it was experienced at the time
Cinema Blend first images from Transcendence with Johnny Depp
Movie City News 12 weeks to go in the Oscar punditry game. Why is so little changing?
MNPP renames Hercules "The Legend of Pecules" which is all well and good since Kellan Lutz beefcake will surely be the only reason to watch it 
LA Times looks at the quiet subversive Oscar campaign for James Franco in Spring Breakers (oh I so wish the Globes had had the guts to go there 

List-Mania
Alan Sepinwall's  top ten TV of the year including Southland and Top of the Lake (yes times two) and I really co-sign the comments on both Mad Men and Masters of Sex
Matt Zoller Seitz's top ten TV of the year 
Stephen Holden's top thirteen of the year. So much capitalistic anxiety
Cinephiled this podcast gives you a peek inside the voting for the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards. I meant to share this last week but it's very much worth a listen: Starring James Rocchi, Karina Longworth, Alonso Duralde, and Amy Nicholson 
A.O. Scott's top ten of the year with love for the Coens and the McQueen but I'm most enthralled by #10 which goes like so:

10. ‘The Great Gatsby’/‘The Wolf of Wall Street’/‘The Bling Ring’/‘Spring Breakers’/‘Pain and Gain’/‘American Hustle’ Six variations on the big theme of our times: “Just look at all my stuff!” It’s capitalism, baby! Grab what (and who) you can, and do whatever feels good. We’re all going to hell (or jail, or Florida) anyway.

Slant individual top 10s from their team. And...
Slant top 25 films of the year (collectively) with lots of love for Museum Hours, Her, and Inside Llewyn Davis.They also loved two films I hated: Bastards (to me Claire Denis' nadir) and Upstream Color


Off Cinema

The Advocate on the gayest responses to Beyoncé's surprise album release. 
Gawker 'Beyoncé is just like everyone else only much better'
(I'm not really a music person but I definitely admire a capable surprise and in this day when most entertainment WILLFULLY spoils itself before it premieres I am so proud of this woman I don't even care about! I can't imagine how a celebrity that big kept all of that a secret when other celebrities and their teams were involved)
Playbill it's hard to imagine an odder pairing than avante garde performance artist Taylor Mac and Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin but here they are co-starring in The Last Two People On Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville which starts performances today! Hope I get a chance to see this one.

Monday
Dec092013

The AFI Lists. Useful or Redundant?

Earlier today we heard the AFI Lists for film and television. I immediately wondered what purpose they served. There are so many lists these days that are like spotlights on "CONSENSUS!" that the very act of publishing them feels redundant. With so many talking heads commenting on the Oscar race each year, both full time specialists and average reporters who become part time "experts" by virtue of, um, grist for the content mill, consensus is no longer an interesting thing to "find" or "capture" because it is so very inescapable.  AFI's list looks EXACTLY like an Oscar pundits chart, whereas in year's past they seemed to be about 70% Oscary 10% populist and 20% random. In fact, it looks the Gurus of Gold made it!

The AFI Top Ten (Motion Pictures)
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
FRUITVALE STATION
GRAVITY
HER
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
NEBRASKA
SAVING MR. BANKS
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET 

In fact it's identitical to the current Gurus of Gold top ten chart but for one switcheroo: the pundit chart includes Lee Daniels' The Butler instead of Fruitvale Station. Interestingly enough, both Best Picture hopefuls come from the Weinstein Company who are our usual Oscar champs but seem to be struggling with traction this year. In fairness, The Butler was never expected to place during "critic's week" but if it doesn't perform well at SAG and the Globes in a couple of days, it's Oscar dreams will die.

This can only mean two things:

 

  1. The AFI committee this year is secretly composed of only BFCA members and they're aiming to exactly predict the Best Picture race.
  2. It's a weak year for British pictures in terms of American traction. Since the AFI only looks at American pictures, strong British Oscar contenders sometimes automatically make the AFI list more interesting because they have to look elsewhere to fill the top ten. The only exclusion that might not be worrying awards strategists today is the exclusion of Philomena (also from Weinstein Co!) which is directed by, written by and stars Brits... and therefore ineligible. 

 

The American Film Institute also releases a television list for some reason despite the name of their organization. That went like so...

The AFI Top Ten - Television
THE AMERICANS
BREAKING BAD
GAME OF THRONES
THE GOOD WIFE
HOUSE OF CARDS
MAD MEN
MASTERS OF SEX
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
SCANDAL
VEEP

And I think it's a (slightly) more interesting list in that it looks a little more like the AFI lists of yore in that it's partially awardsy but also kind of guilty pleasure buzz-sensitive. Or maybe it's just more interesting because people can actually enjoy these shows instead of the movie list which is (sigh) heavily titled towards movies that have just opened or haven't opened... just like the critics awards. It's still fairly Emmy correlative but there's no Homeland or Modern Family so that's something. I haven't had time to write about it but I am head over heels in love with / in lust for /  in awe of Masters of Sex, which is the single best show on television at the moment. It's so assured, so fresh, so perfectly cast... and weirdly gets better every single week. I really can't get over it. I look forward to each new episode like I haven't looked forward to any tv show's new episode in years. 

Sunday
Dec082013

LinkLove

Randomness
Salon Rashida Jones clarifies her earlier statements about pop stars #actinglikewhores 
Washington Post Shirley Maclaine gets the Kennedy Center Honors. What a career
Variety The Square takes the top prize at the International Documentary Awards. The doc Oscar race is really really competitive this year!
In Contention European Film Awards. We shared the winners earlier but Guy has extensive coverage
Daily News Madonna's daughter Lola plays Rizzo in Grease at NY's performing arts high school (aka the Fame school) 
Salon has a really interesting piece on the Coen Bros obsession with failure via Inside Llewyn Davis though I would suggest not reading it before you've seen the movie since it reveals virtually every pivotal plot point and punchline. Save it for later

CoSign!
Jonathan Rosenbaum on "the season of critical inflation" Yes, to this. Just yes.
John Forde on the loud reactions to diver Tom Daley's coming out
i09 Wicked imagined as an animated musical (no, not Frozen

Tis the Season of List-Making
Slant Kurt looks at 20 great shots from the film year from Spring Breakers through undersung indies like Mother of George and new treats like Her
Guardian looks at the best screen "robbers" because I guess The Great Train Robbery is coming to TV or something? (I'm not clear) from Mr Pink (interesting choice) through Bodhi (duh)
NY Post Lou Lumenick and Kyle Smith battle it out over their top ten lists - they share only Mud and Gravity
Time Magazine Richard Corliss loves The Hobbit (again? ugh) but my favorite bit is this line on Spike Jonze Her...

In a future Los Angeles so near-Utopian that no scene takes place in a car...

hee!

Friday
Dec062013

Team Experience: Great Losers, Actor Edition (Pt 2)

ICYMI we polled all contributors and came up with a list of The Greatest Losing Best Actor Nominees. As ever I must thank Handsome Joe Canada (aka Amir Soltani) for organizing these Team endeavors. If you really wanna dive in (and why wouldn't you?) you should also check out Michael, David and JA's individual lists here, here, and here.

My own list was topped by Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie who came in at #7 in the finals. It was a joy to be asked to think about that star turn again for the write up, though once I was happily ensconced in reminder clips it was hard to pull away; Tootsie is a longtime resident of the Rewatchable Hall of Fame!  A full 70% of my personal choices made the communal top ten, which is the most overlap I've ever had with a Team list. My missing heroes were Paul Newman in Hud (1963, previously discussed), Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking (1995) and Roy Scheider in All That Jazz (1979, previously discussed).

Did these men almost make our group list? Find out who did after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov252013

The Linking Games: Catching Blog

Self Styled Siren has ten rental suggestions for your friends who are haven't yet become true movie fans - 10 classics anyone will love
The Cut Scarlett Johansson's runway looks for her 29th birthday
Vanity Fair Jason Statham on 'poncy actors' and stuntment deserving Oscars 
Variety Emma Thompson is just killing it in these campaign stops for Saving Mr Banks


 Awards Daily on a live performance of the score from All is Lost
The Film Doctor revisits Frances Ha and its French New Wave inspirations
MNPP The Moment I Fell For... Mark Ruffalo
In Contention I'm beginning to realize that Guy Lodge and I have very very different taste in actresses. He thinks Julia Roberts is the MVP of August: Osage County. (I will say this for her: she has the toughest role and she is really going for it.)
Gurus of Gold for this week's chart David Poland had us imagine what would happen if Oscar held a "Best Casting" prize and didn't differentiate between Adapted and Original Screenplay. FTR I love some of the other gurus choices for Casting more than my own picks but I was doing it how I thought Oscar might...
Variety Bunheads after glow... TV giant Amy Sherman Palladino joins other producers to bring Sutton Foster back to Broadway in the new musical Violet. Yes, please.
Variety finally a worthy sounding project for Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno, the biopic Castro's Daughter

All Hunger. All The Time
The Hairpin Closeted characters from The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen to everyone in The Great Gatsby
Monkey See and yet more thinkpieces. On gender types: Is Peeta essentially Katniss's girlfriend?
Atlantic Wire An Open Letter to Jena Malone (who does make a fabulous Johanna) 

Tweet of the Week
By name you've undoubtedly heard that Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp are both in for a sequel to Eyesore in Wonderland.

 

 

 

What else is there to say really?*

*although don't let that stop you from having doing what you do in the comments

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