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Entries in Los Angeles (58)


Actresses (2009): On Being A Female Actor

Alex BBats here, dishing about about a film that has been on Nathaniel’s must-see radar, the South Korean film The Actresses. (Nathaniel, you will LOVE this film!)

The Actresses recently screened in Los Angeles at the Korean Cultural Center Los Angeles as a part of their bi-monthly film-screening program.  Though it is usually a projected DVD affair, it is free and I have fond memories of this venue because it was the first place I saw a movie in LA.  Jail Breakers, four long years ago …good times. If you’re in the LA area, why not give it a shot (hint: cheap date night). 

Time passing is one of the main topics of discussion in The Actresses.  Get ready for lots of discussion, because that’s all that happens.  Six actresses ranging from 20 to 60 years old get together to talk about acting, public pressures, rivals, boys, failed marriages, fashion, face size, while drinking and smoking.  The entire film happens within the set of a Korean Vogue photo shoot, minus a few driving and apartment shots at the beginning.  They start out seemingly like archetypes, Ok-bin Kim (Thirst and this year's Korean Oscar submission The Front Line) as young and eager to please starlet and Yeo-Jong Yun (The Housemaid 2010) being the fiery, no-nonsense veteran (who seems to be dealing with ageing better than everyone else), but the character deepens as they have legitimate discussions and debates about the benefits and drawbacks of being an actress and what has changed in the landscape of Korean and Asian entertainment. 

Some very funny and awkward set pieces make for a great start like Ok-bin running to get coffee when one of her seniors wants some, only to show up a hair too late. The entire scene of the actresses meeting at the beginning of the day is very enjoyable.  The only other people to have any sort of dialogue are the make up team, and you will enjoy their bitchiness  (“I heard you had a pearl inserted in your nose.” Gold.) There’s a bit of forced drama between Choi Ji-Woo (TV drama Stairway to Heaven) and Ko Hyun-jung (Woman on the Beach) that’s about...Hyun-jung not liking Ji-Woo, I guess?  That portion falls flat, but the real meat is last hour of the film which occurs around a table set for Christmas dinner.  The director, E J-yong, said each scene was improvised around certain scenarios, and the ladies let loose here, emotionally peaking during a discussion about how divorce stalled and nearly ruined some of their careers.  

The cast at the shoot

Why is the shoot taking place on Christmas Eve? Who cares. I could think of much worse ways to spend a holiday than with six gorgeous women chatting about the culture of fame and beauty.  I ended up just like Kim Min-hee (Hellcats) at the end of the film; a fly on the wall, listening to wise women speak of love and film with a smile plastered on my face.  


Matthew Ludwinski in "Going Down in La La Land"

There's a new gay film from Casper Andreas (Violet Tendencies, Slutty Summer) making the festival rounds. In fact, it's currently playing at Outfest in Los Angeles. The film is an adaptation of the comic memoir novel Going Down in La La Land which chronicles the adventures of a naive young actor who gets mixed up in porn/hustling when he tries to make it in Hollywood. As one does. Model/actor Matthew Ludwinski has the lead role.

Matthew Ludwinski photographed by David Waage for Mate Magazine

I recently interviewed him for global queer culture magazine mate (previously known as "winq") and that's the splash page for the start of the article above. Interviews can be tricky -- especially if the interviewee doesn't have a big resume to talk about -- but Ludwinski and his photographer David Waage for this profile were very friendly and fun. [Clicking on the image will take you to the magazine where you can sample bits or purchase.]

an Oscar Party scene from the filmI thought I'd share a bit that I couldn't squeeze into the article. There's an Oscar party scene in the film, where the staff is naked and painted gold (Hey, I had that idea like ten years ago... but alas, my parties are not that well funded). So when I sat down with Ludwinski at the hotel, given this Oscar party scene, I had to ask him about working with the Academy's favorite joke writer Bruce Vilanche, who plays a porn director in the film.

We ended up discussing the Franco/Vilanche Oscar night fallout kerfuffle very briefly.

Was Vilanche funny in person?

Hilarious. For a couple months afterwards he would send me dirty text messages. I always appreciate that.

Two of my favorite photos from the shoot after the jump...

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"Dick Tracy" Q&A with Warren Beatty

Alex (BBats) here, doing a lil’ scouting in LA. Oh my oh my!

BBats and Beatty! This past weekend, I had the pleasure to revisit Dick Tracy (1990) on the big screen courtesy of the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival.  The film hasn’t aged a day due to that rich pulp style that seeps through every set piece, costume, matte painting, and actor.  The main draw was a Q & A with Warren Beatty after the film! Now, I was battling the flu and taking notes as fast as I could, so keep that in mind and I wouldn’t say anything below was a direct quote.

Beatty stood in the wings as the film’s end credits rolled. Big applause for the film followed and I saw a big smile grow across his face. The moderator brought him out to thunderous ovation (duh). He seemed a little cagey and very careful in selecting his words; this Q & A was for the Los Angeles Times, he pointed out, and would be in print the very next day.

Hit the jump for some Beatty, Dick, and a lil' Bening action!

On Stephen Sondheim
'He did great stuff for this…I’m such a fan of Sondheim’s. Everytime I see one of his shows, I just fall apart on the first song.'

On the film itself
'I’m disgusting because I really do like it a lot.'

Beatty had been attached to the propertry since 1976. The moderator asked why he chose Dick Tracy. Beatty said that he didn’t want to do some picture where everything got blasted around, and that Dick Tracy was this guy who had been around forever and wanted to start a family. He paused and said he thought of it as a gentle picture. (Aside: I love when people call movies "pictures". Super classy.)

This next part is so funny, let's get it right by quoting directly from the Los Angeles Times.

 “Little by little I found myself caught up enough in it to actually go and make a movie about it, because it was hard for me. … I always think of making a movie like vomiting. I don’t like to vomit, but I get to the point where I think, ‘I’d better go ahead and do this, and I’ll feel better.’” 

Everyone  rolled with laughter. The vomiting reference also maybe gives us a little glimpse as to why he hasn’t directed a film since Bulworth (1998). But back to the Q & A.

His desk needs a bucket.

Beatty began to compliment everyone in the cast and the moderator honed in on certain performances and how he cast the roles. Interestingly, Beatty compared the casting process to writing. When you cast someone it's an instant rewrite, even if you don’t change a word.

Madonna sings "MORE" in Dick Tracy and you know you want more, too: Bening, Pacino. Hoffman, Oscars and Dick Tracy sequel nuggets after the jump.

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30 Seconds to Summer - THE SEQUEL

We're doing a quickie Yes No Maybe So for the Superbowl movie spots.

Aaron Eckhart fights aliens in Battle: Los Angeles

In Part One I covered the movies I'd already done some thinking about (usually due to stars or superhero familiarity). Here in Part Two, movies I had not paid even a whiff of attention to up until this very moment. New eyeballs who have casually dropped in from a google search might be shocked that a movie website exists that does not spend almost all its posting time serving up rumors about blockbuster movies and had never before EVER said a word about these four movies exists. But it's true! The Film Experience exists!!! There are about 21,000,000 sites that do that other thing well but this is not one of them.

after the jump super 8, battle los angeles and more.


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