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Entries in Macbeth (14)

Sunday
Aug142016

Half Century Halle (and other anniversaries)

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz...

1040 King Duncan is killed in battle and King Macbeth succeeds him. Shakespeare fictionalizes everything later for Macbeth. So many theatrical productions and movies follow. Out damn spot!
1932 The 1932 Summer Olympics end. This is the Olympic year when gorgeous Buster Crabbe became a gold medalist (pictured left). Hollywood then snatched him right up for movie serials and action adventure franchises including Tarzan The Fearless
1945 Japan surrenders during WW II (the six year war will last only two more weeks.) but movie makers all over the world have never stopped telling the war's infinite stories. On that same day Steve Martin is born in Waco Texas. It only takes him another 68 years to get the Oscar he totally deserved
 

1946 Two actor birthdays: Blacksploitation actor Antonio Fargas who became "Huggybear" on TV's popular Starksy & Hutch and Susan Saint James TV of McMillan & Wife with Rock Hudson in the 1970s and Kate & Allie with Jane Curtin in the 1980s
1959 Marcia Gay Harden materializes in LaJolla California, presumably already perfect 
1963 Emmanuelle Béart, Manon of the Spring herself, and 8 time César nominee is born in France. On the same day in Los Angeles Clifford Odets dies from stomach cancer. Many luminaries of stage and screen visit beforehand. He came to fame as a highly political playwright (four of his works became movies: Golden Boy, Clash By Night, The Big Knife, and The Country Girl). He was also fond of the actresses: married to Luise Rainer during her back-to-back Oscar wins and also took up with Frances Farmer -- he's played by Jeffrey DeMunn in the 1982 biopic Frances.
1965 Jane Fonda marries director/producer Roger Vadim. Together they cook up Barbarella (1968) which lasts forever unlike the marriage



Halle Berry Instagrammed this a month ago. 50 is apparently the new 30 for the extraordinarily beautiful people.

1966 Superstar Halle Berry is born in Cleveland. Becomes the first African-American Miss World contestant twenty years later. Hits the movies 5 years after that with Spike Lee's Jungle Fever  as auspicious debut. Happy half century to the Best Actress winner.
1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show gets its world premiere in London. It's the longest running film in theaters since it still shows regularly at many moviehouses around the world for weekly midnight screenings.
1980 Dorothy Stratten, a nude centerfold, is murdered by her boyfriend. The story was adapted to screen starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts by the genius Bob Fosse in Star '80 (1983), the influential artist's last film. 
1983 Mila Kunis is born in the Ukraine of the Soviet Union. Moves to Los Angeles seven years later and by the age of 11 she's already on TV
1987 Can't Buy Me Love opens in movie theaters. No one could possibly expect that nerdy Dempsey would reemerge years later into a sexy mature leading man that everyone called "McDreamy"

1992 Single White Female opens in movie theaters
1998 How Stella Got Her Groove Back starring Angela Bassett who still had hers (before she lost it and got it back heyyyy) hit movie theaters
2004 The cinematographer Neal Fredericks of sleeper phenomenon The Blair Witch Project (1999) dies suddenly in a plane crash on location for a film
2009 District 9 opens in the US, becomes a huge hit, and even goes on to Oscar nominations including Best Picture in one of the most surprising Oscar years ever (since no one knew when the year began that they'd shift to 10 Best Picture nominees and the studios definitely hadn't prepared for it.)

Tuesday
Apr262016

Silent Chambers and Spider Webs in "Throne of Blood"

The first time I saw a Jackson Pollock in the flesh, I had to sit down, dumbfounded, in my attempt to take it in. I was staring at just one painting (and there were several) for a good 15-20 minutes before I had to force myself to move on. While the artist's famous splatter paintings seem random there's such an intricate hypnotic depth to them once you're in their presence, like it's possible to slip right inside them and get lost. Each flick of paint, every solid drop, on top of another streak and another spill gives the impression that the painting goes on for years underneath no matter which detail pulls your eye in.

bronze

I kept thinking of that Pollock painting - bear with me through this unexpected reference point - while watching Throne of Blood (1957)...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec072015

Podcast: The Danish Girl, Youth, Macbeth, Chi-Raq

Nathaniel, Nick, Katey, and Joe all return for the latest episode of the podcast in which we discuss four new films that definitely bear their auteur's signature for better and worse. Listen in and continue the conversation in the comments. The more the merrier.

42 minutes 
00:01 NBR & NYFCC debrief
05:40 The Danish Girl
16:28 Macbeth's feeling of inevitability...or is it monotony?
22:56 Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, a bit of The Great Beauty and a lot of Jane Fonda
33:00 Spike Lee's new urgent joint Chi-Raq
39:45 Joe's new job & Nick's sudden activity

Further Reading for Context:
Nick's Danish Girl tweet
Nathaniel's Category Fraud Screed
Decider
Nick's "Favorites" Countdown
NBR & NYFCC

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Youth, Danish Girl, Macbeth

Sunday
Dec062015

Cotillard + Fassbender = Scorching Hot

Murtada here. Are you ready for some sexy stuff at the movies? Now playing in limited release is the latest big screen version of Macbeth from director Justin Kurzel. Reviews have been mixed but there’s no denying the heat created by the performances of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the titular parts. The screen almost combusts whenever they are together; they make Shakespeare sexy. And not just because of their considerable beauty, but rather because of what they bring out in each other. Fassbender raises Cotillard’s intensity and she is so tenderly natural that he can’t help but match her.

Sometimes one wonders how actors arrive at on-screen chemistry? Maybe it’s about surprising each other. That’s what Fassbender told the National Board of review about one of their scenes together:

 I don’t like to talk too much, with either director or actor, before doing the scene. [ ] She just picks up the ball and she runs with it, like that scene—the scorpion scene. I put my hand underneath her dress; I didn’t tell her I was going to do that, and she took it and she went with it and then she kisses me and then pulls away. She’s got this sort of repulsion, and then she reengages, and she’s like, “I love this man, I feel him, he’s sick.” All these things are happening on her face. That’s when you realize you’re in the presence of somebody great.

Here’s part of that scene, however for the exact part Fassbender is talking about you'll have to go to the movies.

It looks like Cotillard, Fassbender and Kurzel had a good time creatively; they are reuniting for Assassin’s Creed which is currently shooting.

Tuesday
Nov032015

BIFA Nominations: Amy, Ex Machina, Macbeth, and More...

We've already heard from the Gotham Awards (New York's indie awards) and now we're off to the UK for their rough equivalent the Moet British Independent Film Awards. The leaders are the absurdist festival sensation The Lobster (reviewed), the marital drama 45 Years - go Charlotte Rampling! (reviewed), and the long-awaited Macbeth (reviewed). Doesn't it feel like the latter has had buzz for about 16 months now without ever appearing in US theaters? Annoying. We still can't make sense of the US release plans for it. 

Best British Independent Film + Best Director
Amy”  Asif Kapadia
Ex Machina” Alex Garland
45 Years” Andrew Haigh
The Lobster” Yorgos Lanthimos
Macbeth” Justin Kurzel

The Lobster is may be the presumed frontrunner given its hefty 7 nomination total, but The Film Experience's position is that Ex-Machina deserves some awardage and it better be here because where else is it going to be, you know?

A 5/5 match with film and director suggests that the voting wasn't even close and those films were far out front though High-Rise, Brooklyn, and Suffragette also enjoyed multiple nominations

The complete list of nominees with brief commentary is after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct252015

Review: Macbeth

Andrew here to talk about a Shakespeare adaptation

There’s a moment in the recent adaptation of Macbeth that’s legitimately surprising for audience, even those who have read the play. Towards the end of the film Marion Cotillard appears on screen for Lady Macbeth’s moment of reckoning – that iconic “Out damned spot!” speech. The scene unfolds, naturally, in a different fashion than it does in the play. The monologue, though, becomes especially striking when the camera draws back to reveal “who” she is speaking to. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but a few of the persons in the row behind me gasped at the cutaway. It’s meant to be a jolting moment in the film, and it is, although it’s also a baffling one. The moment has stuck with me since I’ve seen the film as I’ve tried to make sense of it within the film’s framework. And, the more I think on it, the more it emerges as emblematic of this adaptation.

Let it not be said that Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth is not without ambition and energy. This Macbeth is transposed to the cinema in language that’s distinctly visual. This is a Macbeth about movement and space and contact, and then the ensuing loss of that same contact. The language of the film is restlessness and mournful agitation from its first shot and the entire fair is slick and confident, but I go back and forth on how effective it is.

Click to read more ...