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Entries in Marie Antoinette (7)

Friday
Oct032014

Linkside Out

All the news stories we didn't get to and/or articles we like with a wee slant toward the stage this morning... itching to see a show again.

Guardian on the homophobic charges against the MPAA. That über obnoxious organization has struck again. Pride is the second gay movie this year without sex scenes or nudity to be slapped with an R rating.
/Film The Twilight Saga may well be back after some short films. When I first heard this news I groaned and rolled my eyes but then I read the plan and it's sort of a support young female filmmakers thing so it sounds kind of cool, actually. Pit that Twilight is so obnoxious 
The Playlist ranks all 35 of David Fincher's music videos. I used to be so obsessed with him because of Madonna. It's possible that I already linked this? I don't know. But their rankings are fairly good.


Vulture says it's been an amazing year for animation. We just haven't realized it yet. It's all those hard to find foreign toons, it is
Rope of Silicon is doing a Best Movies series and looks back at David Fincher's Se7en. That would probably be on my 100 movies list, too
Cinephilia and Beyond looks at Bob Fosse's masterpiece (one of 'em) All That Jazz
My New Plaid Pants bookmarked! Jason tells us about a Montgomery Clift documentary that I didn't even know about
Variety Jane Fonda and Viola Davis are charitable people. They look great together at an annual Rape Foundation brunch

Netflix, the Disrupter
New York Times on the Crouching Tiger sequel Netflix / IMAX deal
CHUD Netflix going into the business of Adam Sandler movies 
Variety wonders what Netflix's motives our with their recent feature film announcements 

Imelda Staunton rehearsing. Photo by Johan PerrsonOn Stage and Film Interest
Broadway World Imelda Staunton is in theaters now in Pride (and she's delightful in it) but she's also returning to the stage. She's in rehearsals for that mammoth role of Mama Rose in a London production of Gypsy. See photo left. 
The Hairpin wonderful personal essay on seeing Lindsay Lohan's stage debut in Speed the Plow
NYC Theater Interesting. The Laura Pels Theater on 46th street will be doing a stripped down production of Into the Woods while the movie plays in theaters. December 18th through March 2015
Theater Mania Audra McDonald might do a film musical!!! She's rumored to be involved in the stage to screen transfer of Michael John Lachiusa's Hello Again. If only someone would push his Wild Party musical to the screen
Playbill Ewan MacGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal just made their Broadway debuts in The Real Thing 
Variety Normally movies that become stage musicals are semi-recent hits. But next Spring Broadway will get Doctor Zhivago, once a super-sized smash movie hit from 1965. The song score combines talent from two fine musicals (The Secret Garden and Grey Gardens) so I'm excited.
Theater Mania David Burtka (NPH's other half) will be doing a cabaret show at my favorite cabaret spot directed by Neil Patrick Harris. I imagine this is the type of thing that people will judge harshly just hearing about it like "connections!" but I've seen Burtka in two stage productions and he's very talented

Three hot & short exit videos to wrap

1. We'll start with the best one. Making a Marie Antoinette style dress out of Sofia Coppolla's Marie Antoinette script. Love this.

2. Here's the first teaser for Inside Out, Pixar's 2015 release. And Pixar would like to remind you that they made it and that they made all those other movies you love to. BTW they were made by Pixar and did I mention that Pixar made this?

 

3. Inherent Vice's trailer which you've probably seen. We would have done a Yes No Maybe So on this one except that the New York Film Festival is in full swing which will render it immediately disposable since there'll be a review this weekend. The voiceover in this trailer reminds me of Annaleigh Ashford (from Masters of Sex) but she's not in the movie. I wonder who the voice belongs to?

Sunday
Jul292012

Catwoman and Marie Antoinette Would Just HATE Each Other

Shortly after writing about The Dark Knight Rises I got all frustrated remembering how audiences are ignoring the bracing terrific French drama Farewell My Queen so I couldn't resist doodling about them together. Enjoy!

That arthouse drama about The Terror would make for an eye opening double feature for fanboys, an educational footnote if you will, for Chris Nolan's awkward political metaphors about the unruly 99% and how hard they are on those put upon benevolent 1%ers!

Speaking of bags upon bags of money and who's got it... this weekend's box office charts.

Box Office Fifteen
01 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $64 (Cum. $289) Review
02 ICE AGE 4 $13.3 (cum. $114.8)
03 THE WATCH $13 *new*
04 STEP UP REVOLUTION $11.8 *new*
05 TED $7.3 (cum $193.6)
06 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN $6.8 (cum $242) Review
07 BRAVE $4.2 (cum. $217.2)
08 MAGIC MIKE $2.5 (cum. $107.5) Review
09 SAVAGES $1.7 (cum. $43.8) 
10 MOONRISE KINGDOM $1.3 (cum. $38.3) 

11 MADEA'S WITNESS PROTECTION $2.5 (cum. $62.7) 
12 TO ROME WITH LOVE $4.2 (cum. $12.9) Review
13 BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD $2.5 (cum. $4.1) 
14 MADAGASCAR 3 $4.2 (cum. $209.5)
15 THE AVENGERS $2.5 (cum. $616) Review

Just outside the top 15, French import and international feel good hit The Intouchables is really rising. It's about to hit $5 million in the US and still expanding. Outside of TDKR, the most crowded theaters (i.e. per screen average) were for two indies in very limited theatrical release: NC-17 rated Killer Joe (with Matthew McConaughey and Gina Gershon based on the Tracy Letts play) and Ruby Sparks with Paul Dano as a writer and Zoe Kazan as his creation. 

What did you watch this weekend? Besides The Olympics of course

Sunday
Jul152012

Review: "Farewell My Queen"

An abridged version of this review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad 

There are numerous reasons why the Marie Antoinette story has fascinated artists and storytellers for centuries now. From the Court's commitment to theatrical flamboyance with a blind eye to the consequent suffering of the masses (modern pop culture echos were seen as recently as The Hunger Games this spring), to the complexity of the Queen's intimate lonely gilded cage tragedy played against the backdrop of a vast messy violent history. One could argue that the now mythic story is super relevant all over again in this era of rampant socioeconomic injustice and the angry gap between the 1 and 99%. 

Benoît Jacquot clues you in early that he means to tell the famous story differently in the just released French import  Farewell My Queen. For one, it's told "backstage" through the stressful lives of the servants. Consider it the French Revolution: Downton Abbey Edition... without Maggie Smith or the jokes.

The German actress Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) plays the troubled big-spending transplanted queen, Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol), the film's actual lead, is her bosomy devoted servant Madame Laborde, and Virginia Ledoyen (8 Women) is the Queen's Object of Affection, the Duchess de Polignac. The French people were so unhappy with this rumored affair that the ostensibly powerless Duchess was fairly high on the list of the 286 heads demanded for the guillotine! [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul142012

Complete the Sentences. My Favorite French....

My favorite French movie is _________________ because ___________________ .  My favorite French actress is _____________ and she should _________________ .

You know what to do in the comments!

France is on my brain for five reasons today.

1. It's Bastille Day! Happy Bastille Day.

Tweet of the Day

2. The Tour de France is on

3. I saw Farewell My Queen (just opening in select cities) last night and it was happily excellent with a surprisingly strong lead performance from Léa Seydoux (Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Midnight in Paris) as a favored servant of the infamous Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger, also compelling). Here's my review. Go see it if it's in your city.

NOT your average fussy costume drama

4. Speaking of ladies of Versailles, the very buzzy documentary Queen of Versailles opens next week and I hear it's a must see though I haven't musted myself all the way to any screenings yet. [Please to note: "Queen of Versailles" in this case is aspirational and takes place in Orlando, Florida]

5. France is often on my mind because they produce at least one irreplaceable movie star queen a decade (Moreau, Adjani, Huppert, Deneuve, Binoche, etcetera) and usually a dozen other amazing ladies-in-waiting, too. Vive la France!

My tweet conversations last night after seeing the movie with Will, Joe, and Andrew ... (why aren't you following me? us?)

NOW... March toward the comments and stage your own revolution for a favorite film and actress before someone gets beheaded.

Wednesday
May302012

This & That (And A Bit More On *That*)

Woodcutting Fool David Lynch carved
Go Fug Yourself on Reese Witherspoon (and child) in France
MUBI's Notebook lists favorite Cannes films of 2012 (the winner being way down the list)
Film School Rejects Why blockbusters need to get their third act together. Heartily agree with much of this.
TV|Line Smash will lose two of its major male characters in Season 2. Does this mean Dennis & Bobby get more screen time? (I know it doesn't but my wishful thinking can be noisy and demand sentences all its own.)

AV Club wins the Best Snarky Headline of the Week (*not a real award) with this beauty... "Malin Akerman is playing Debbie Harry, who is also blonde."
Pajiba Most Versatile Bruce Willis
No Film School Most Fascinating Michael Haneke 
Coming Soon new Les Miserables photos. Apparently the trailer arrives today as well. We'll hear the people sing tonight in a Yes No Maybe So post.
Rope of Silicon Batmobiles  

Splitsider the Joss Whedon Roseann episodes
Playbill free outdoor staging of the hilarious stage adaptation of Xanadu will play Park Slope Brooklyn this summer
Acidemic on reality-warping multiple viewings of three 'comedies of remarriage' The Lady Eve, Bringing Up Baby and Bell Book and Candle 
My New Plaid Pants The Exorcist for TV via Martha Marcy May Marlene director?!?
La Daily Musto international beauties Léa Seydoux and Diane Kruger go sapphic for a  lesbian Marie Antoinette film called Farewell My Queen.

KISS HER! 

The Release Date Shuffle: Michael Haneke's Amour will be opening (and thus Oscar qualifying) on December 19th a bit earlier than Haneke's previous feature White Ribbon which did one of those awful New Year's Eve weekend releases in time for Oscar; G.I. Joe: Retaliation's shocking pushback to 2013 is prompting specalutation about how bad it might be. Last second release shifts for wannabe blockbusters are rare as they're expensive to open... and I promise that's the last time we group G.I. Joe with Michael Haneke in a paragraph; The Life of Pi arrives one month early so you can gobble it up for Thanksgiving instead of unwrapping it at Christmas time which is the inverse of what happened with the new Barbra Streisand picture, The Guilt Trip; And finally yes... yes... Cuaron's Gravity, our most anticipated this year, is now our most anticipated of 2013 (sniffle) which means that we've got to update those Oscar predictions. I know I know. Don't rush me! (This weekend?)

A Personal Note: I thought a link list was in order to get back up to speed (as much as one can in a day)... I generally cull the links through a process of trying to keep up to speed with What's Going On even though "news items" are only like ¼ of the links shared. 

But I couldn't let this return to blogging (glad to be crawling back -- we should be back in full swing by Thursday night) go without a hearty thank you to all of you, the readers, who sent such kind words on facebook, by email or right here on the blog after my father passed away. I spent a week in Utah with my mom and siblings and there were tears and memories and even laughter, too. My mom demanded a correction from my memoir post though. The photo that I love of my parents was taken before they were married. Hey, I wasn't there - honest mistake. She told me an amazing personal story about it and, as it turns out, it's her single favorite picture of the two of them. Now, I ♥ the photo even more.

 

Wednesday
Nov022011

Kiki, the Runway Bride

Here comes the bride, all dressed depressed in white ♬

Should the Apocalypse ever need to take wife, it couldn't do better than to kneel before one Kirsten Dunst and beg for her hand in unholy matrimony. Isn't she aesthetically effective and spectacularly depressing in a wedding gown?! Two of her signature characters, Justine in Melancholia and Marie Antoinette in Marie Antoinette march toward certain doom in their white and ivory splendor. 

I was thinking about Dunst for four reasons today. 

 

  1. It's Marie Antoinette's 256th birthday today. Eat cake.
  2. I was just reading that she'll reteam with Orlando Bloom, her Elizabethtown co-star for, sort of in the Roger Donaldson's new interlocking stories thriller Cities. I believe she'll be involved with Clive Owen's character in the film, a NYC hedge fund manager. But the Elizabethtown connection is worrisome only in that that film seemed to lead to the sudden downward spiral of her career, Bloom's career, and director Cameron Crowe's career who disappeared thereafter. (But he'll be back soon with We Bought a Zoo.)
  3. That coincidentally nervous-making news aside, she's been making all the right moves career-wise lately and I couldn't be more pleased. She's such a fine actress.
  4. Melancholia opens on the 11th, expands on the 18th and I have something special planned for it that I think you'll enjoy. Something more interactive than you're accustomed to in movie reviews. My review will arrive late next week... and I hope you'll see the movie first chance you get. It's very very sticky.

 

So... Kirsten Dunst: Does she make you hear wedding bells? 

Friday
Jun172011

From the Set to the Runway: Hepburn, Dunaway... Malick?

This week I had the pleasure of attending a lecture at the Morgan Library and Museum. I can't recall the last time I went to a lecture so I felt very Schlegel Sisters from Howard's End (1992). The things people used to do for entertainment!

The lecture was actually more of a threeway discussion. The museum paired influential fashion historian Valerie Steele with famed designer Anna Sui (who turns out to be a movie buff) and Oscar nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman (Coming to America) whose credits include 80s hits like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Three Amigos! (remember that one?) and even the "Thriller" music video! So herewith the tidbits I felt you'd enjoy most from the event.

Some actresses are not just movie stars, but fashion icons.

Faye Dunaway & Audrey Hepburn
The general gist of the event was in delineating what separates fashion from costume design and how costume design can but doesn't necessarily become fashion. Nadoolman suggests that it's a matter of "transference" and what's required is usually both a popular film and a character within the film that people want to be like in some way. That combination creates icons and icons influence fashion. Whether or not that happens, she argued, has little to do with good costuming which is about creating characters. For instance, Nadoolman said that one could argue that Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe in Breakfast at Tiffany's is actually bad costume design even though they're sensational dresses. What kind of a down and out call girl can afford those looks? Audrey Hepburn's before and after Paris looks in Sabrina were also discussed and it was interesting to hear Nadoolman tsk-tsking over Edith Head's oft misleading but admittedly savvy way with self-promotion. She designed Audrey's poor girl looks but the post Parisian fashions were not hers though of course Head was glad to accept another Oscar on behalf of them.

And yes that recent Black Swan controversy (Rodarte vs. Amy Westcott) was cited when they were discussing this.

Terrence Malick Inspires Fasion. Come again?
Anna Sui told the audience that behind every one of her collections, there is a movie. Sometimes it's not the principle influence but there are always movie images that inspire her. She referenced many films that have directly inspired whole lines including, recently, Goya's Ghost and one that I wasn't familiar with at all called Beau Brummell (1954) -- has anyone seen that?

Days of Heaven inspired an Anna Sui collection

She also talked about Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978). Sui is a huge fan of the film but she finds it so tragic that when she was designing a particular collection and using the film as her chief inspiration, she watched it countless times but only with the sound off! She used material like rubberized wheat (?) and overdyed all the textiles to get that ethereal twilight Days of Heaven feel.

The Body. The Torso. The Face.
When asked to address the differences between designing for stage, film and television, Nadoolman explained that it's all a question of scale and volume. In theater you're designing for the body "you're painting with a large brush". In film you're concentrating on the waist up. For television it's all about the close-up.

Interestingly two women in the crowd who designed for theater took umbrage at the notion that they didn't have to worry about the fine detailing since their clothes are seen only from a distance.

Marie Antoinette
The three fashionistas on stage really got into the discussion of Sofia Coppola's misunderstood 2006 film. Nadoolman told a great story about three-time Oscar winning costume designer Milena Canonero calling her in a panic from France...

We're doing Marie Antoinette and Kirsten Dunst has refused to wear wigs. How do you do Marie Antoinette without wigs?!?

Most costume design, Nadoolman stated, is not truly period accurate even if it appears to be. There are usually conscious choices made to change up period fashions, usually to make the characters more beautiful to modern audiences or to please a specific star or because the director is going for a specific mood or palette. Real gowns from Marie Antoinette's day, for example, were made of heavier upholstery-like material but Sofia's instructions to Canonero were that she wanted the actresses to "float" so light tissue tafetta was used. As for the color and the floating effect, her instructions were as follows:

I would like them to be like a plate of meringues."

It worked. Yum yum.