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Entries in Looking for Mr Goodbar (5)

Tuesday
Jun062017

The Dramas of Diane Keaton


“It’s not a good idea to be identifiable, though it’s reassuring. It feels safe in most ways, and that’s bad, because it means that you’re accepted, and once that happens that’s where you stay. You have to watch yourself. I’d like a life like Katharine Hepburn’s in terms of work. She matured. She made the changes. Like Martha Graham.”

Diane Keaton,  New Yorker, 1978

Diane Keaton is to receive the American Film Institure Lifetime Achievement award on June 8th. We should be pleased, not only deserved because Keaton is a true legend, but also because highly accomplished comic actors are so often overlooked by awards bodies. Think of Keaton and Annie Hall comes immediately to mind along with other Woody Allen films, as well as comedies like The First Wives Club, Father of the Bride and Something's Gotta Give. But few actresses have a dramatic filmography that can match Keaton's. For all her fluffy breeziness, her dramatic skill is equally sharp and coldly acerbic, with films like Shoot the Moon, Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Reds capturing this dichotomy. And we can't forget the entire Godfather trilogy.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May262017

Beauty Break: The Men of "Mr. Goodbar"

by Seán McGovern

Annie Hall turns 40 this year and Diane Keaton will be the recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award next month (June 8th to be exact). Keaton, a perennial A-lister, reminds us every few years about the extent of her talents. She's been enjoying recent success in The Young Pope and her upcoming projects Hampstead and Book Club sound promising at least. Since Annie Hall turns 40 this year so too will Keaton's other '77 triumph, Looking For Mr. Goodbar. 

Though Goodbar is remembered for Keaton in a dramatic role (which this author will pay attention to here at a later date), the film is definitely what we'd call in contemporary parlance "problematic". I recently watched Goodbar for my own podcast, but amongst the reprehensible moments I finally understood why so many women of a certain age (i.e. my mother) swooned over Richard Gere - who we get to see plenty of in this film, as well as co-star Tom Berenger who never looked so gorgeous.[More, slightly NSFW, after the jump...] 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug012016

Podcast/Smackdown Pt 2: Richard Dreyfuss Double Feature of '77 and Films Oscar Ignored

As a companion piece to yesterday's Smackdown, a two-part podcast. If you missed Part One it's right here. Now we conclude our '77 festivities (did you enjoy or did we go to overboard?) with our panel, which includes Mark Harris, Guy Lodge, Nick Davis, Sara Black McCulloch, and Nathaniel R, discussing Tuesday Weld, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Keaton, Looking for Mr Goodbar, The Turning Point and a few '77 extras.

Part Two Finale. Index (40 minutes)
00:01 One more anecdote on The Goodbye Girl 
04:45 Richard Dreyfuss' big year and Steven Spielberg's interest/disinterest in actors in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
15:30 Tuesday Weld's career and the divisive Looking for Mr Goodbar
24:00 The Turning Point and a female-heavy Best Picture lineup
32:15 Performances that weren't nominated from: Saturday Night Fever, Opening Night, Handle With Care, Roseland, and Three Women
39:00 Thank yous! 

You can listen to the podcast here or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Smackdown 77. Part Two. Close Encounters

Sunday
Jul312016

Smackdown '77: Melinda, Leslie, Tuesday, Quinn, and Vanessa Redgrave

Presenting the Supporting Actress Nominees of '77. A mother with extraterrestrial problems, a highly neurotic swinger, a wealthy political activist, a precocious daughter, and a timid ballerina.

THE NOMINEES 

John Travolta opening the envelope

If the characters weren't quite typical this time, the shortlist formation was a familiar mix of career glories. Consider the slotting: Oh look, there's the child actor slot that the Supporting Actress category is famous for going to Quinn Cummings; Tuesday Weld wins the underappreciated enduring talent nod; No typical shortlist is complete without a newish critical darling with momentum which in 1977 was Melinda Dillon (she had created the "Honey" role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf  on stage but didn't get to do the movie and was finally making film inroads via her role in the previous year's Best Picture nominee Bound for Glory ); Finally, you have to have a current Oscar darling with considerable prestige and fame (Vanessa Redgrave) on hand in any given year. Oops, that's only four. The last type is more rare but not unprecented. The final player fell under what you might call the "novelty" slot (Leslie Browne). When the latter happens it's usually either foreign-born non-actors or famous musicians but in this case it was a soon to be principal dancer with the American Ballet Company.

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

Here to talk about these five turns are our panelists: Mark Harris (Author of "Pictures at a Revolution," and "Five Came Back"), Guy Lodge (Variety, The Observer), Nick Davis (Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern), Sara Black McCulloch (Rearcher, Translator, Writer) and your host Nathaniel R (Editor, The Film Experience).

And now it's time for the main event... 

1977 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN 

 

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Friday
Jul292016

HMWYBS: A Sensational Diane Keaton in "Looking for Mr Goodbar" 

Best Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 3
Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)
Directed by: Richard Brooks
Cinematography by: William A Fraker

Finally with chapter 3 in our look back at the Cinematography nominees of 1977 -- a little prep work for the Supporting Actress Smackdown (last day to get your ballots in) -- a real threat to Close Encounter of the Third Kind for the Best Cinematography crown. Close Encounters won the Oscar, its sole competitive Oscar, but William A Fraker was more than worthy as a nominee for his evocative experimental work on Looking for Mr Goodbar. The cinematography (along with its swinging partner, the editing) are ready and able to capture the whirlwind moods, liberated momentum, self-deprecating humor, and multiple flashes of fear within this time capsule of the sexual revolution.

My only regret in showcasing the cinematography for this series is that good images are hard to come by. More (a little bit NSFW) after the jump...

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