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Entries in Madonna (67)

Monday
Dec192011

39 Original Songs Aim To Have Oscar Singing Along...

If you've ever read Inside Oscar, you'll know that the Best Original Song category at the Oscars has been infuriating people since time immemorial. They regularly snub instant classics and even when a great movie song is nominated it will usually lose. The music branch gets far less flak from the media than other controversial Academy subcategories like the Documentary group or the Foreign Language Film nominating committee but that's only because everyone knows that songwriting has very little to do with the actual art of cinema ... unless you're writing an original musical. Brett McKenzie's work on The Muppets aside, that really only happens once a decade or so.

Four other quirks to know. 

  1. The music branch HATES Madonna as a songwriter (the list of classic songs snubbed is alarming and her W.E. song "Masterpiece" has already been jettisoned) but likes her as a singer (both times she has sung other people's material -- Evita and Dick Tracy -- wins followed).
  2. They actually have an average point system to determine nominations rather than a  hierarchal ballot like most categories so you can theoretically torpedo someone you don't like by giving them a bad score.
  3. Three, a maximum of two songs from any movie can be nominated so if you are the only person who wrote an original musical that year, you can't hog the category even though you did more work than anyone else.
  4. They can't even be trusted to let the original performers perform them on the ceremony (Hi Beyoncé!) so don't get too excited about seeing Robbie Williams, Elton John, Zooey Deschanel, Lady Gaga, Jordin Sparks, Melissa Manchester, or any of the other celebs who sang this year's eligible tunes.

 

I'm rooting for Captain America's "Star Spangled Man" because it's a) awesome and b) actually used for narrative purpose rather than end credit pleasantries. Both are so rare in this category! So watch it get shut out.

Here's the eligibility list with as many music videos as I could find after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec012011

President Linkin'

Oh look! via the Film Stage via Splash via Twitter or some such, it's Daniel Day-Lewis on the set of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (written by the often genius Tony Kushner)

©Michael Phillips / Splash

According to Jeff Sneider he hasn't dropped the accent off camera since filming began. We are glad that Daniel Day-Lewis decided to be an actor again but we also hope they let him cobble his own shoes for these roles so he can indulge in all of his creative pursuits simultaneously.

The Awl Choire Sicha wonders why dudes can't have sex in movies anymore
The Onion "everyone giving up on John after latest movie recommendation."
Thompson on Hollywood Viola Davis to be honored at the Santa Barbara Fest... which is, as you know, a hotspot for Oscar campaigns. 
Madonnarama So it's true. Madonna will be singing on the soundtrack of W.E. (which I was suppose to see yesterday but oops. my schedule lately. blargh) on a song called Masterpiece. Before you get all hot and bothered about "Oscar nomination!" remember that no matter how genius the song -- and she's written some classics for the movies -- the Oscar music branch hateth her. (No, I can't fathom why.)

Ooooh, an animated tribute to Drive (I'm having ADD today. Can you tell?) It's vaguely spoilery except the chronology is kinda off.

tribute to drive from tom haugomat & bruno mangyoku on Vimeo.

 

[hat tip to First Showing]

Super Punch offers up the best comic book covers of the year and a running gag of Thor Goes Hollywood movie referencing wins "best marketing stunt". It is pretty fun. Don't you love this Loki as Mark Zuckerberg bit to your left? You know what's.
The Hairpin remembers Rita Hayworth, scandals and all. 
Animated Short Predictions 10 finalists have been announced so I reconfigured that particular Oscar chart. Boy was I way off base on that category. 
KTLA Speaking of short films, here's a video bit on African Chelsea, one of the buzziest contenders for Live Action Short. It's only 7 minutes long.  

Did I tell you that I was suppose to interview Jessica Chastain today but she had flight troubles or something? It didn't happen. Me sad.

Rope of Silicon Hi res photos from Ridley Scott's Prometheus
In Contention Guy Lodge makes a please for Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret. That's going around. There are even petitions. I stupidly didn't carve out time for it during its blink and you miss it NYC week and now there's no screener. Argh! 

Finally, I look forward to John Waters ArtForum "TOP TEN FILMS" list every year because John Waters has such an inimitable point of view. He writes and thinks fun eccentric things about movies and he used to make fun eccentric movies. True to form his list is eclectic and interesting and it's nice to see Pedro Almodóvar get props for a movie that's been weirdly underdiscussed. I giggled at Waters take on The Tree of Life.

You’d think I’d hate this film, and I almost did—until I realized it’s the best New Age, heterosexual, Christian movie of the year.

But then I had to gag, and not in the good way, when he honored Kaboom as "well written". Ugh. I hate that movie. I want Gregg Araki to grow up again. Mysterious Skin and then REGRESSION. No fair!

Saturday
Oct292011

The Whole Nine Links

Hollywood.com Frightening visual fusions of voice actor and cartoon characters
Stale Popcorn on Melissa McCarthy doing Divine for EW. He doesn't mention it but two Drag Race alums are in the ensemble photo. Go Pandora Boxx!
Boy Culture Madonna and Lola promote the new "Material Girl" contest. If I liked reality TV I would die from wishing they had one.
In Contention looks back at the Oscar glory of Titanic before it's 3D rerelease
Grantland interviews character actor Richard Jenkins (The Visitor, Rum Diary, Norman)
Film Studies For Free collects academic essays on the "philosophy of horror". I may definitely read some of the links offered if I can find the time because, as someone who has always been puzzled by the ardent love of this genre, I should look for answers to this question: "Why are those of us who enjoy the genre so attracted to watching things that, in real life, would be repellent to us?"
Gemma Correll "the neverending circle of creative woe" -- so perfect!

Bullett Mary Louise Parker is not ready to quit Nancy Botwin (Weeds). Writes a letter to her signature character instead. 

I hope you are doing better than the last time I saw you. I can't imagine you have changed much despite incarceration, fetching little recidivist that you are. You know I mean that with love. 

This is fun but I wish she was ready to quit her. Would love to see her do something new -- MLP not Nancy.

Indiewire honors Like Crazy with this top-grossing indie romance list in the US. Revealing. That'll be a tough list to crack, I think. Notice how 80% of them are Oscar nominees of some sort. I added the global gross since IndieWire didn't.

1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding - $241 (worldwide $368)
2. Brokeback Mountain - $83 (worldwide $178)
3. Atonement - $50 (worldwide $129)
4. Lost in Translation - $44 (worldwide $119)
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  - $34 (worldwide $72)
6. Amelie (2001) - $33 (worldwide $173)
7. (500) Days of Summer - $32 (worldwide $60)
8. Garden State - $26 (worldwide $35)
9. Vicky Cristina Barcelona - $23 (worldwide $96)
10. The Kids Are All Right (2010) - $20 (worldwide $34)

Ugh, I hate being reminded that Eternal Sunshine wasn't the #1 blockbuster of 2004!

Tuesday
Oct252011

London: W.E., Oslo and Japan

David here, reporting from the final week of the London Film Festival. If there's one name guaranteed to grab my attention, it's...

The sight of Madonna's name heading up movie credits is a slightly surreal one, and it's difficult to imagine the icon standing behind a camera, and so W.E.'s worst foible is an understandable one from such a deified person. Re-edited after a poor reception at previous festivals, there is a fair deal to admire here, but all those flashbulbs must have gone to her head, because the photography is stuffed with dramatically posed shots, as if its being filmed with a still camera. Yet it's in the camera work that the film digs up shards of emotional truth amongst the narrative cliches, suggesting that Madonna might prove a worthwhile director. When the camera moves, it does so with a defiant tactility, a visual sense alive with feeling and clarity. This story of a late-'90s neglected wife (Abbie Cornish) in New York turning to the story of Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough, superbly poised) for comfort and reflection is the stuff of clunky parallels with little sense of historical ambiguity. The soundtrack is alarmingly overloaded. But the immediate, reactive sense of the photography delves through the physical to the emotional roots, scoring unpredictable truths. (C) more articles on W.E.

Oslo, August 31st is like two pages ripped from a diary; one covered with words, the second blank and sodden with tears. After his first feature, the textured novelistic Reprise, director Joachim Trier follows in Louis Malle's footsteps by adapting Pierre Drieu La Rochelle's Le feu follet, a melancholy tale of a man debating suicide. Anders Danielsen Lie, one of the two leads of Reprise, is given the luxury of a film to himself ...only his character, Anders, isn't one to luxuriate. The film's first half is full of words. Anders attempts to spread his wings, testing the waters of the outside world as he breaks from a spell in rehab. A discussion with his friend Thomas (Hans Olav Brenner) stretches imperceptibly to twenty minutes, dense with completely natural musings, arguments, and agonising admissions that absorb both characters and viewers. As Anders spirals into the night, and into August 31st, the film shifts into sensory expression, the lens focus shifting lucidly, the soundtrack slowly emptying to mournful desolation. Far from easy to watch, and tearfully inconclusive, this is nonetheless another quiet triumph from Trier. (A-) more articles on Oslo August 31st

two brothers in "I Wish"

Two brothers on a quest to repair their family. It's a story out of 1980s Hollywood cinema, and I Wish does ring with the cliches of quest narratives like Stand By Me or The Goonies. Hirokazu Kore-eda, a festival favourite thanks to films like Nobody Knows and After Life, directs this bright tale which centres around the supposed miracle that occurs when two bullet trains pass each other. Koichi and Ryu, each stuck with a parent on opposite sides of Kyushu, plot a voyage to witness the miracle and wish their family back together. Where Kore-eda betters his Stateside influences, though, is in his generous characterizations of the adult characters, who lack the intimacy we're granted with the vibrant kids but feel alive with both warmth and foibles. Inevitably, the film cycles through familiar ideas, but the wheels are so smooth it scarcely matters. The achievement of the quest isn't the thing, but the journey, and you're unlikely to find a more heartwarming, vibrant trip all year. (B+)

Thursday
Oct132011

the link i live in

Animation Magazine Have you heard that Steve Jobs wanted Aaron Sorkin to write a Pixar movie? It's be more interesting if he wrote a movie about Pixar. How would his sharp sometimes cynical wit mesh with Pixar's self-promoted internal cheer as the happiest workplace on earth?
Towleroad I say a few words about Pedro Almodóvar's latest
IndieWire interviews Elena Anaya on her role in The Skin I Live In. *mild spoiler alert*
New York Times "The Formula of Melodrama" brought on by Almodóvar's gripping The Skin I Live In.
My New Plaid Pants more pics from the set of Steven Soderbergh's flesh fest Magic Mike plus JA's hilarious commentary. 

Gold Derby finds fun elected trivia about Meryl Streep's upcoming nomination for The Iron Lady (what do you mean "if") 
Awards Daily pontificates about Olivia Colman's Oscar chances for Tyrannosaur. I saw the movie much earlier this year and she is brilliant in it. 
Culture Map Austin Kristen O'Brien shares memories of George Harrison, whose back in the cultural ether (not that the Beatles ever leave it) given Martin Scorsese's documentary. Love this bit about Madonna and Shanghai Surprise (which Harrison provided music for) of all things.

On this last visit to Friar Park we met first to view footage from the film Shanghai Surprise. I joined Dad to watch the dailies with Harrison and the principal actors in the film, Madonna and Sean Penn. After the screening, we went back to Friar Park for dinner. However, before dinner was served, we gathered in the TV room so that Madonna could get Harrison’s feedback on her latest as-yet-unreleased video. It was "Live to Tell," and she shyly played it for all of us, looking earnestly to George for his approval. After the video we watched The Muppet Show, and I remember thinking it was funny, but yet perfectly natural, to be sitting here with Madonna laughing over Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.


CBR has a list of unproduced superhero movie screenplays that might make good comic books. Though I knew that Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer wanted to do a Catwoman movie after Batman Returns... I didn't realize that an actual screenplay was turned in (and rejected). Either that or I've just forgotten to block out the pain. 
Keyframe Nick, Timothy and Kevin (three of my four favorite Chicagoans) are arguing over the Chicago Festival fare in this ongoing conversation including The Kid With a Bike, Miss Bala, My Week With Marilyn, and The Artist, and Melancholia. I'm happy to see Nick appreciated Melancholia as much as I did. Where is my review? Funny you should ask. Why am I procrastinating it so? 

Finally, if you're young musical theater performer type -- I know TFE has readers of that persuasion -- you might want to consider auditioning for The Glee Project Season Two. In the past I've always been violently opposed to reality shows which cast productions of anything. Casting should not be a democracy. It should be left to the experts or the people who have to work with the people that are auditioning. I had NO intention of watching this show but I stumbled on it one day and was surprised at how interesting it was. The audience couldn't vote (yay!) and it became this behind the scenes expose (albeit heavily edited and undoubtedly self-censoring) of how show creators react to talent who would love to work with them, and what does or doesn't factor into their hiring decisions. It reminds you of how true it is that talent will only get you so far (i.e. a foot in the door) but there are so many intangibles in showbiz.

Monday
Oct032011

Enlinkened

TV|Line Madonna may be this year's halftime performer at the Superbowl
The Oreo Experience. An amusingly provocative (and depressing) look at fall movie trailers and what the white and black characters get to do in them. 
My New Plaid Pants on Ralph Fiennes' Coriolanus... coming soon. I'll admit a lack of familiarity with this particular Shakespeare play, too. 
ioncinema Andrew Haigh, the writer/director of Weekend names his ten favorite films. I asked him a similar question (which I didn't include in the published interview) and he only mentioned three of these: Don't Look Now, Last Night and Some Like It Hot.

Natasha VC on best uses of music in a Martin Scorsese film
Movie|Line Netflix Ten Most Rented Movies. An Interesting and Irritating List.
Shock Till You Drop asks David Cronenberg about his future projects including sequels (?) to Eastern Promises and The Fly. I spoke with Cronenberg today (interview coming eventually) but I didn't have time to talk up future theoretical movies since my predilection is always towards actual existing movies. Crazy, I know. I feel so lonely sometimes since most people only seem to care about future movies... though obviously I would be quite happy to see either of those imaginary movies as I'm a fan of both originals.


New York Mag talks to Laura Dern (Enlightened) who is my new hero for saying this:

I’m becoming fluent in French so I can go to France and make French films when I’m 60."

I have been suggesting this to actresses since I started writing a decade ago and finally someone is smart enough to take my advice. (okay okay. Maybe Laura doesn't read The Film Experience but let me have my fantasies. Shut up!)

Finally, Sasha over at  Awards Daily sounds off on the old complaint/notion that talking Oscar sucks the air out of the film room... particularly during the fall when we should be talking about how good the movies are. I'm in complete agreement here about film advocacy being the thing people are missing when they bitch about the Oscars. I discovered my cinephilia through the Oscars (as have several other people I've been lucky enough to meet over the years through my writing). They're two separate things now -- as they should be but all things take time -- but I take no issue with them sharing space each year.

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