Entries in magazines (86)
Brad Pitt covers the New York Times Magazine in which he wears as assortment of Giogio Armani gear and talks to Man Booker prize winning author Marlon James about Brexit, Trump and Mel Gibson. And of course gives great face while doing it.
As far as magazine celebrity profiles go, this is a very innocuous one. Pitt comes in as a nice and affable guy, but doesn't really offer any interesting tidbits. Except for what he says about Mel Gibson. In the course of discussing a potential film he wants to make about Pontius Pilate, he says that his movie "certainly won’t be for the ‘Passion’ crowd". Then for good measure, adds about Gibson's box office juggernaut:
“I felt like I was just watching an L. Ron Hubbard propaganda film.”
Brad Pitt, nice guy, movie star, expert at throwing shade.
Liz, and Liza and Halston, Oh my!
Reminder. At the end of the month the Smackdown returns with a look at the Supporting Actress Race of 1977 (The Turning Point, Julia, Close Encounters, The Goodbye Girl, and Looking for Mr Goodbar so get to watching so you can vote!).
To get you in the mid to late 1970s mood, if you lived through them, or just to engage your curiousity if you didn't, a collection of magazine covers from the year in question. Naturally we'll start with two Best Actress winners and then hit the general collections of showbiz covers...
This Week's Must Read
"Behold Your Newest Silver-Screen Sex Goddess, Jane Neighbor"
Absolutely genius send-up of that controversial Vanity Fair profile of Margot Robbie we discussed. Or as the author herself described it on twitter, 'I wrote this profile of a female celebrity who is definitely real & not a projection of desires.' The Male Gaze just got punched in the eyeballs.
Neighbor is twenty-eight and twenty-two, at once. She is a kind of gorgeous that can only be found in or very near rivers. She is blonde but also blond, depending on the spelling. She is tall when she is on a ladder, and medium-tall when she is halfway up the ladder. Her eyelashes spell “glory.” Her naked hands can open wet jars, with just the strength of her slender fingers. She can be sexy and pointy and things that aren’t even adjectives, like glossary, or aren’t even words, like hilabrion. Her voice sounds like a truck full of rain.
This is probably my favorite parody since Nora Ephron skewered the writing in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
1. Film Comment Cover Girl
In case you haven't heard, the summer issue of Film Comment, one of our favorite magazines since forever, is out. You can purchase it here. And guess what? Our friend and podcast mate Nick Davis wrote the cover story "The Age of Kristen Stewart"
The twenty-six year old actress works non-stop. She'll soon hit 40 movies and she only started 15 years ago. (The first movie that people tend to remember her from is Panic Room as Jodie Foster's daughter.) She has not one but three movies this year, hence the cover story, with two hitting theaters simultaneously today.
2. Cafe Society
Now Playing Limited Release
Woody Allen's new movie (they tend to expand quickly so if you're not on the coasts you probably only have a week or two to wait) is a melancholy dramedy. Jesse Eisenberg is a young up-and-comer who ditches working for his powerful uncle (Steve Carell) in Hollywood for nightclub hosting fame with his brother (Corey Stoll) in New York City. Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively are his love interests on each coast. Our Review ICYMI.
Now Playing Limited Release
We weren't personally wild about Drake Doremus's breakthrough Like Crazy (2011) though Anton Yelchin (*sniffle*) was great in it, but we appreciate that a young director is committed to romantic narratives. Doremus's new film is a dystopian sci-fi romance starring KStew and Nicholas Hoult. Here's the trailer.
Magazines may be a dying business but the few mega magazines that remain all have annual traditions to entice buys. And so it is with the "Time 100" an annual list of "Most Influential" though as with any such list it's highly subjective.
Here is a list of the movie & television people who made it this year in one of their five sections (the only section that does not include at least one actor is "Leaders")
Pioneers Aziz Ansari and Gina Rodriguez
Titans Dwayne Johnson, Wang Jianlin, and Kathleen Kennedy
Taraji is the modern-day Bette Davis, touching audiences with her honesty and intensity. When you are on set with Taraji, she listens, but she also questions. She challenges everyone to go the extra step to get it right. She has a deep understanding of the human condition, and she displays it with her eyes—the pain, the happiness, the love, the laughter. She probably would have been a great silent actor, but then the world wouldn’t have had Cookie.
Before Empire, she was underappreciated by white America and Hollywood, while African Americans heralded her as our Meryl Streep. I’m so proud that Cookie has moved her into the zeitgeist. What Taraji has done with the role made the world finally appreciate who she is—quite simply, a tour de force on and off the screen.
-Lee Daniels on Taraji P Henson
I offered Mark Rylance a significant supporting role in 1987 in my film Empire of the Sun—and he turned it down. A play had caught his fancy, and anyway, I sensed he was suspicious about film acting. Who could blame him? For actors who have given their lives to theater, making movies must be like lurching in the backseat of a car while the driver keeps working the brake. When Mark does a play, nobody says, “Cut,” only “Curtain” after a few uninterrupted hours. Legions of young thespians look to Mark as their muse and inspiration. From Boeing-Boeing to Jerusalem to Twelfth Night, the impact he’s had on classical and contemporary theater is the stuff of legend. A winner of three Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards and now an Oscar, Mark glimpses these honors with gratitude and humility, but his heart belongs to a good story. His soul is pure. He just loves to act.
-Steven Spielberg on Mark Rylance
Artists Gael García Bernal, Taraji P Henson, Melissa McCarthy, Ryan Coogler, Idris Elba, Oscar Isaac, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mark Rylance, Charlize Theron, and Priyanka Chopra
Icons They went full Revenant here honoring both Leonardo DiCaprio & Alejandro González Iñárritu
What's the takeaway?
It always amuses us when people call the Oscars "irrelevant" since the very fact that people get so up in arms about them every year is quite the indication that they remain the most relevant of movie institutions (even if movies themselves aren't as central to pop culture as they once were). They matter to people. Even the act of rising up against The Academy is underlining their stature as the house of the definitive golden idol of Hollywood. Time's movie lists are extremely unsubtle about sticking it to the Academy yet again over #OscarsSoWhite. Note that they ignored all but three Oscar nominees (the three big male winners) while honoring both Ryan Coogler & Idris Elba. Not that Coogler and Elba aren't worth honoring as they did have great years! But if they weren't trying to shame the Academy yet again they might well have considered Cheryl Boone Isaacs for this list since she's in the media so much of late and has been trying so hard to make a difference on the issue of diversity in Tinseltown. On the other hand, even as Time slaps Oscar's hand, they're embracing its other status quo #OscarsSoMale (in a manly back-patting kind of way) since they included all three of the Academy's most high-profile male winners (Rylance, DiCaprio, and Iñárritu) and neither of the big female winners.
Do you think of all these people as influential? Whose part do you suppose Spielberg wanted Rylance to play in Empire of the Sun?
It's our last Carol interview, he announced with a catch in his throat, attempting to let the best film of 2015 go for awhile. Our subject today is one of the great cinematographers, Edward Lachman. His filmography is loaded with essential mavericks of independent cinema like Sofia Coppola, Robert Altman, Steve Soderbergh, Todd Solondz and European auteurs, too. But his most fruitful collaboration has been with Todd Haynes. Carol marks their fourth and arguably best collaboration and brough him his long overdue second Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography.
The New Jersey native started in Studio Arts like painting and art history and viewed them as more creative outlet than profession. Eventually he found he could earn a living as a cinematographer and a rich succession of images have flooded out of him ever since -- think of the golden ragged warmth of Erin Brockovich, the supremely stylized Sirkian homage of Far From Heaven, and the hazy mystery of The Virgin Suicides. And that's just three titles.
I was eager to get on the phone with the man behind so many beautiful films and share a personal way his work affected me at the beginning of my cinephilia. But first I had to gush over Carol and how much it rewards repeat viewings. He joked that Carol obsessives have seen the movie more times than he has... and he shot it!
NATHANIEL: I began all my Carol interviews this season with "Why are you such a genius?"
ED LACHMAN: Someone once wrote that I'm a 'near genius'. I feel like more of a near genius.
NATHANIEL: [Laughs] Stop qualifying. The movie is exquisitely beautiful
LACHMAN: Thank you. A lot of it has to do with our director Todd Haynes. I'm a conduit to his vision. I interpret it through the images but what's so beautiful about Todd is how he references his stories through conceptual ideas. For me, images aren't just about the aesthetics but the gravity of the content and what the images represent.