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Entries in MPAA (11)

Friday
Nov082013

M Battles the MPAA 

Look, we're all well aware of Harvey Weinstein's history with Oscar campaigning. It's known, it's out there, they've even written books about it. So let's not pretend we're all delicate petals who are shocked by the man's efforts at drumming up heat for his annual roster of year-end awards contenders. Every studio does, most just don't do it on quite the same scale. And let's face it, sometimes his schemes are for the greater good to allow films to be discovered by more audiences. Having said that, however, I think we can all agree that he has well and truly outdone himself this time.

The story is still developing - we'll be sure to share the entire video when it surfaces on Funny or Die - but Harvey Weinstein appeared on CBS This Morning  yesterday to launch a campaign against Philomena's R rating from the MPAA due its use of "two f words". He uses words like "gentle", "humour" and "joy" to describe  Philomena  whilst comparing it to The King's Speech, which also went through a very public ratings controversy. None of this is news. Who he recruited to do battle with the Motion Picture Association of America, on the other hand, is news. Oh boy, is it news. Strange news. Odd news. Just watch for yourself.



That's right, M! Back from the grave of Skyfall's manor, Judi Dench in character as James Bond's boss has come out swinging. To quote Harvey himself on the TV, there's a "Kafka-esque absurdity" to it, don't you think? The MPAA may be able to resist Harvey, but can they resist Dench? Goodness gracious. Oscar season just entered a whole new level. We're through the looking glass, people. This is almost as good as the time David Lynch took to the streets of LA with a cow to campaign for Laura Dern and Inland Empire! As mentioned before, there's more to come, but this is the teaser that Harvey premiered yesterday. I think we can all agree that we're looking forward to seeing how this story develops.

And because I know y'all love you some Julie Andrews...

 

Sunday
Dec302012

Did You Gag on "Killer Joe"?

My screenings these past two weeks -- cram session! -- to complete year end business, have been like one wild tonal shift after another swinging as they have from meta rib-nudging (Seven Psycopaths) to the hormonally twee (Take This Waltz), severely depressed (Oslo August 31st) and on through the defiantly stiff and self-medicated (The Deep Blue Sea)... I can't possibly write about them all. But I did feel the night to blurt out (choke out?) a few sentences on William Friedkin's Killer Joe based on the play of the same name by Tracy Letts.

Friedkin and Letts aren't quite joined at the hip as collaborators go despite the Oscar winning filmmaker taking the cinematic reigns on both Bug and Joe. Letts most acclaimed play August: Osage County went to another filmmaker though it's fascinating to think what Friedkin might have done with the material. He is, after all, at least as willing as Letts to attack his material with edgy flair, wicked humor and artistic abandon... for better and worse.

[NC17 madness and two SPOILER images after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep032012

The Seven Link Itch

LA Times Michael Clarke Duncan (Oscar nominated for The Green Mile) dies at 54.
Badass Digest Devin charts the evolution of the MPAA system and offers up an idea for a revamp
Gawker Russell Crowe in a spot of trouble kayaking is rescued by the Coast Guard. I feel like we need a Noah joke here but I can't think of one. 
First Showing plot details (read at your own risk) for the new Spike Jonze film Her. It stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a computer voice.

Salon interviews the hilarious Retta on her Parks & Recreation scene stealing "Treat Yo Self" and her popular TV crazy twitter feed 
Movie|Line George Clooney's 1986 Tiger Beat profile!
Movie|Line interviews For a Good Time, Call... director Jamie Travis. Had I known it was Jamie Travis I woulda been first in line to see that film! Love love love his short films. (You may remember I embarrassed myself geeking out on him at the Nashville Film Festival.) Did any of you see that comedy this weekend? Next Friday is quite the girlie risque weekend with this film expanding and Bachelorette and Hello, I Must Be Going all opening. I officially declare September 7th "Girls Gone Wild" day.

...however should we celebrate?

Finally... with Telluride wrapping up and Venice and Toronto hitting the ground, reactions are flying fast and furious when it comes to fall Oscar hopefuls. More on that once I've collected my thoughts and recorded tonight's podcast (you heard me)...

Saturday
Jun232012

Another "Prometheus" Mystery: Will There Be Oscar Play?

Ridley Scott's Alien franchise prequel Prometheus should probably be a film I take great objection to. The first reason I ever loved the series (beyond Lt. Ellen Ripley, queen of all action heroines) was how it doubled as an ever evolving adventurous launch pad for young auteurs. It's got the same premise virtually every time so you sit back and immediately see the director's vision in sharp relief against each previous or subsequent film. Even the lesser entries in the series have this to recommend them and in the 90s, even after Alien Ressurection I wanted them to keep making Alien films so we could see it through the different set of rising auteur eyes each time. I didn't really want Ridley Scott to go back for this reason. I especially didn't want him to go back back. Backstory and prequels -- conceptually, they are like safety nets for the imagination. Don't be afraid of wondering... we'll catch you!


Where is the mystery? Or rather, why don't people want more of it. Why do you they want so many answers?

Thankfully, Prometheus doesn't rob the Alien franchise of all of its mystery and magic. It's not midi-chlorian level obnoxious. And given the screenplay and execution, for better and worse, the new film creates its own mysteries. Some or these are intentional and some surely not, some internal some external. What did David⁸ say to The Engineer in the penultimate sceneIs the MPAA's request that Ridley Scott remove the entire abortion sequence -- not so coincidentally the strongest sequence in the film -- the dumbest thing they've done since Blue Valentine's NC17? Or is it just the thousandth priceless example of how aesthetically stupid they remain and or the millionth piece of case evidence that they should never be allowed anywhere near art!

This week since I know I desperately need to update the Oscar predictions I've been thinking of another Prometheus-specific mystery. Will it have an awards future? [Aliens & Oscars after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar312012

Someday My Link Will Come...

The Playlist P.T. Anderson's The Master is coming on October 12th. Five long years for a new PT.
Gawker Rich Juzwiak on the reign of PG-13 "safe, sanitized, and worth shitloads of money"
Cinema Blend "the envy of lady bookworms everywhere"... Mia Wasikowska moves from Jane Eyre to Madame Bovary.
Empire has an hour long interview w/  General Zod himself Terence Stamp.
La Daily Musto "Newsies is the new Annie" love that headline for this review of the film turned stage musical.

Movie|Line apparently Leonardo DiCaprio was just too busy to attend the Titanic 3D premiere. James, Kate and Billy made the time.
WOW Dakota Fanning in Wonderland magazine. She's looking a bit Carol Kane, yes?
Thought Killer an imagined conversation between four girl icons: Buffy, Bella, Hermione and Katniss from Hunger Games
The Capitol Interesting piece on Jennifer Lawrence and the career she might have if she plays her hand well.

Her presence is palpably earthy and unfussy, reminiscent of Ingrid Bergman, another natural beauty who seemed uninterested in playing up her looks.

 

Flavorwire on the music used in Hunger Games (strangely much of the score is not on the soundtrack album 
Zephyr A must for horror fans: what horror icons from the past might look like today. 
Old Hollywood awesome storyboards from Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

Finally...
NPR Snow White is having a moment. Why now?

... and I suppose this as as good a time as any to announced that I'm taking Jorge's suggestion. We'll do Snow White and the Seven Dwarves for the April 11th Hit Me With Your Best Shot.  If you join in your prince will come. Someday. Promise.