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Entries in Mad Men (87)


Mad Men @ the Movies: "Lost Horizon"

Lynn Lee, back again with Mad Men at the Movies.

With just two episodes left, “Mad Men” still has too much business to wrap up to spend much time on or at the movies.  But it’s surely no accident that the title of this week’s episode was “Lost Horizon” – a reference that’s popped up before on this show, but never with such direct resonance.

Lost Horizon, a bestselling novel written by James Hilton (who also penned Goodbye, Mr. Chips) between the two world wars, was made into a successful 1937 movie starring Ronald Colman and is most famous for introducing Shangri-La, fabled utopia of blissful ease and tranquility.  But while Shangri-La may be a haven, it’s also a prison—and, even within the narrative of Lost Horizon, possibly an illusion.  The entire plot is driven by a plan to deceive and kidnap a small group of random strangers and bring them by force to Shangri-La, where they each react very differently to what it offers them.

The parallels are obvious as our Sterling Cooper survivors gingerly transition to their new roles at McCann Erickson.  More...

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Mad Men 7.11 "Time & Life"

go speed racer, goLynn Lee, reporting for Mad Men at the Movies.

This should be a short report, considering there were no movie references this week – unless you count Lou Avery’s surprise bonanza with storied anime studio Tatsunoko Productions. But that sounds like a TV deal, especially with Lou’s reference to the studio’s best known serial, “Speed Racer.” (Which the Wachowskis did try to make into a movie almost four decades later, starring Emile Hirsch. It flopped spectacularly.) Still, this was the kind of character-rich, office-centered “Mad Men” episode (directed by cast alum Jared Harris, aka the late lamented Lane Pryce) that begs for discussion.

In a sense, there wasn’t time for the movies because there was so much going on, as Sterling Cooper tries yet again to reinvent itself and preserve its independence from the big bads. We’ve seen this particular movie before, and as the players keep reassuring each other and others, it can happen again...

We’ve done this before. You know we can.”

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Mad Men @ the Movies: "Forecast"

Lynn Lee, here again to discuss this week’s Mad Men

Glen is off to Vietnam but wants a proper goodbye from Betty

Maybe Don Draper should have been a movie director.  His best ads have a film-like narrative and emotional pull, and going to the movies (something we, perhaps tellingly, haven’t seen him do in a while) seems to recharge his creative batteries.  Even now, as he appears increasingly disaffected with the business of selling either his work or his home, he yearns for the kind of high concept that sounds better suited to the big screen, whether it involves the World’s Fair or a fantasy about the inventor of the Frisbee making a million and moving to France.  After all, he’s managed to rewrite his own life story – the public version, at least – like the brashest of screenwriters: from poverty to the penthouse.

[Jane Fonda, Vietnam and more after the jump]

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Mad Men @ the Movies: Ali + Brigitte = Megan?

Julia Ormond returns to her Emmy-nominated role as Megan's motherLynn Lee, back again to discuss Mad Men at the Movies.  

The title of this week’s episode was “New Business,” which may or may not be meant ironically. The episode felt contrived to strike certain thematic chords at the expense of developing the characters believably.  Diana the waitress feels more like a construct than a person, designed to appeal to Don’s hang-ups (the lover to be saved, the mother who abandoned her child); even their awkward elevator encounter with Sylvia Rosen just reminded me of how bored I was with that affair.  Megan does a 180 from the regretful wife bidding Don a tearful goodbye to the bitter ex-wife who accuses him of stealing her youth.  And her bickering French Canadian family shows up for no discernible purpose other than to bring back Julia Ormond and leave Don with a literally empty home.

That said, it’s Megan who brings Mad Men as close to the movies as it can get in an episode without any specific movie mentions. Megan’s film career has stalled, to the point that she’s subsisting on handouts from Don while their lawyers fight about divorce terms. She’s apparently desperate enough to seek help from Harry Crane, of all people - Harry, the noob who's been lusting after her since her show-stopping performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou.”

After seeking permission (sort of) from Don, Harry meets Megan for lunch and loses no time buttering her up.  He can’t believe she hasn’t gotten bigger parts!  He compares her to movie stars, both foreign and domestic...

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Mad Men @ The Movies "Hey, Mildred Pierce!"

Please welcome new member of Team Experience, Lynn Lee (who you may remember from the Reader Spotlight and Furlough Guest Blog) here to continue our unofficial Joan Crawford week - Editor 

Lynn here, filling in for Nathaniel as Mad Men – and with it, Mad Men at the Movies – returns for the final seven episodes.  The show has had a good run but from a filmgoing perspective I'm sorry we won't get to see what Don would make of the weird and wonderful cornucopia of movies in the ’70s, from gritty crime sagas to paranoid conspiracy thrillers to, well, “Star Wars.” 

Curiously, the only obvious movie reference that popped up in tonight’s episode was to a movie from decades earlier – Mildred Pierce (1945), the half-soap, half-noir blockbuster that revived Joan Crawford’s flagging career and won her the only Oscar of her career.  Fittingly, the shout-out comes from Roger Sterling, our most senior character now that Bert Cooper is gone.  Even more fittingly, it’s delivered as slightly derisive banter wrapped around an order to an underling: Roger’s in a diner with Don and three ladies, all decked out in evening wear, and he wants the waitress to bring him the bill.

Hey, Mildred Pierce, can I get the check?”

It's not exactly a flattering sobriquet...

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Cinemascope Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) is working on a stop motion animated film about Anne Frank. Yes, that Anne Frank
The Stake has a great piece on Tina Fey's firestarter comedy, especially its willingness to constantly poke at our racial discomforts
Playbill has fun making Stephen King's books into stage musicals
Pajiba has seen (well the first ten minutes) of a porn parody of Guardians of the Galaxy with characters named Star Load, and Bonin
EW shares the 20 best episodes of Mad Men. Great choices overall - I'll be furious forever that Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss didn't win Emmys for "The Suitcase"
MNPP I missed Matthew Goode's birthday but this is the perfect gif set with which to celebrate

Women and Hollywood the annual Crystal Awards for women in film are here and this year's honorees are Nicole Kidman and Ava DuVernay
Boy Culture celebrates the one and only Buster Crabbe with some pre-code footage
Deep Dish celebrates Bette Davis on her birthday with lots of clips from TV & film
The Guardian raves about Carey Mulligan's career and artistry. She is currently playing Bill Nighy's ex-lover on Broadway at the moment in Skylight. Yes, Nighy. He is 36 years older.
Theater Mania yes, it's true. Cats will be revived on Broadway
Salon Michelangelo Signorile writes about the bleak state of gay characters on TV, usually sexless even in shows where their straight counterparts have plenty of physical intimacy (this is especially sad to read after Looking's cancellation though the article doesn't mention that)
Comics Alliance the superhero craze has officially jumped shark? an Avengers inspired menswear line is upon us. No, not a boys underoos line, a menswear line. Kind of brings us back to that gender doublestandard discussion again, right?
Huff Post Comedy speaking of double standards read this great piece on the headlines that would follow Madonna if she did the same things celebrity men her age or older did
Maria Shriver's Blog also has a piece on ageism and sexism via the prism of Madonna
i09 proof that awards are always political -- and it isn't just Oscar that's perpetually under attack -- in this investigative piece about a very weird two years for sci-fi's "Hugo" Awards
TV Line "The Muppet Show" will be returning to ABC at some point. Let this serve as your reminder that they tried to revive it one other time in the 1990s and Michelle Pfeiffer was a guest! Here is video proof. (Yes, I was very excited that night)

Unfortunately, as in The Muppets (2011) they thought it wise to invent a new Muppet character that wasn't even a tenth as good as any of the originals. Why does this keep happening? I'm all for shaking things up lest one be fossilized in nostalgia but if you can't come up with a good character DO NOT steal screen time from the good ones!


Winnie The Tweets

It's our semi-weekly collection of Most Awesome Tweets if you don't have twitter or you can't possibly catch everything. The topic of the week was the bizarre news about a live action redo of Winnie the Pooh (after the jump)...

Mad Men's return is also reigniting Mad Men mania and you should expect the next seven weeks online to be Mad Men Manic. Question: can AMC's awards campaign PR team keep the heat on for an Emmy Farewell/Comeback?

Let's start with some real creative fan commitment -- a full manicure set! 



Tweets on Winnie the Pooh and more after the jump... 

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