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Entries in musicals (193)

Wednesday
Feb192014

Link Commando

Vanity Fair Bradley Cooper's commando White House trip
Theater Mania a screening of West Side Story on Sunday at 5 PM in New York. Rita Moreno will speak to the crowd. Who's going?
PopBytes Pushing Daisies might be coming back... as a musical! 
1:37:1 How often are entire Oscar nominated shortlists absent a Best Picture nominated film? Rarely. And almost always in the same category. I'll give you one guess  

Broadway World somehow I missed these images in early February from the set of Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard so maybe you did, too?
Guardian films that use both black and white and color sequences
Film School Rejects looks to Foreign Correspondent, not Rebecca (both 1940) as the prototype for Hitchcock's Hollywood films 
NYT Neil Patrick Harris prepares for his Broadway turn in Hedwig and the Angry Inch
/Film Roger Deakins is not returning to the land of 007 post Skyfall for the the as yet untitled Bond 24. This is going to be a tough movie for all of them: how do you follow up that 50th anniversary behemoth?
NPR talks to Steve McQueen and the Oscar nominated editor of 12 Years a Slave about assembling the movie
MNPP Jake Gyllenhaal doubled up in Enemy, a behind the scenes look
In Contention an oral history of Reality Bites (1994) for its 20th anniversary 

Finally...  The Film Stage reminds us that Tom at the Farm, Xavier Dolan's wonderfully tense queer thriller still doesn't have US distribution but it has a new poster. Bam

I miss the days when US audiences went to the arthouse and talked about subtitled hits... *sniffle* Now people only binge-watch American television. We're a nation of shut-ins!

Tuesday
Feb182014

12 Days Til Oscar: Best Picture Nominations by the Dozen

Tim here, with your daily dose of Oscar numerology. We’re now in the third year of the Academy’s undoubtedly well-intentioned "some random number that always turns out to be nine" approach to selecting Best Picture nominees, and for some of us, this is irritatingly arbitrary. But it could be so much worse. Think of how awful it must have been to been a rabid Oscar fanatic in the first decade of the award’s existence: depending on the year, there were anywhere from three to twelve Best Picture nominees, until it was finally nailed down at a nice, round ten at the 9th Academy Awards, for the year 1936.

The magic number of the day being 12, I'd like you to join me, for a closer look at 1934, the first of two years with 12 nominated films (for space reasons, I am alas compelled to leave 1935 to fend for itself) - the first year, as well, that the awards corresponded to a single calendar year. What can we learn about the Academy’s tastes and habits down the decades from each of these?

BEST PICTURE It Happened One Night (released by Columbia)
What It Is: One of the greatest of all screwball comedies, in which the sexily odd-looking pair of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable cross country and banter.
The Slot It Fills:
The long-abandoned "comedies are a valid form of artistic expression like anything else" spot. But, of course, the period in which the film came out was unusually good at producing top-notch comedies starring the best movie stars of the day.

Only 11 more slots to fill after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb112014

Shirley Temple Black, 1928-2014

Here's the last kind of news you want to hear, first thing in the morning. Shirley Temple Black, the quintessential child star, has passed away at 85 years old.

Temple's career exploded at the sage old age of 5, when she appeared in a string of massively successful hits for 20th Century Fox in 1934, including Little Miss Marker, Baby Take a Bow, and Bright Eyes. So fast and so complete was her success, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created a brand new award that year just so that she could receive it, the non-competitive Special Oscar for best juvenile performance. She appeared in a shocking number of films throughout the 1930s, dominating the box office and generally making everybody much less depressed that there was a Depression on. Her career continued strongly until 1949, with the actress still appearing in classics like The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer and John Ford's Fort Apache even as an adult. In later years, she was the U.S. ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, in addition to sitting on the boards of a number of corporations.

To most of us, though, her name was and will remain fixed to a very particular idea of childish exuberance, the round cheeks and curly hair of pre-adolescent innocence at its most bubbly and aggressively charming. Temple, in the 1930s, was one of the all-time iconic movie stars, an instantly-familiar face with an immediately-recognizable personality even to people who'd never think to watch one of her movies.

 


It's easy to assume that her stardom was based on being abnormally cute and able to carry a tune, but even in her earliest starring roles, she had a gift for comic timing and a distinctly clever streak that keeps her roles from getting too sacharine. She was, by any standards that have ever fairly applied to a pre-teen, a genuinely good actress and commanding screen presence, on top of being a darling moppet.

We've lost a lot of terrific actors in the last couple of months, but with Temple we've lost more than that. This morning marks the passing of one of the few genuine Hollywood legends left to us, and everyone who loves movies is a bit poorer for it.

Friday
Feb072014

Open Thread

We haven't done one of these in so long. Here's an open thread so tell us: What's on your cinematic mind?Any movie topic is welcome. I'm cooking up some things for you to take us through the Oscars and into March -- I think you're going to love March and April if you stick around so please do.

I myself keep fantasizing about this version of Frozen they were thinking of with a Bette Midler style Elsa. Just try to imagine it... Suddenly "Let it Go..." is a comic diva number of some sort and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" gets turned into a bitchy retort duet.

Wednesday
Jan292014

We Can't Wait #6: Into the Woods

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's abstew on" Into the Woods"]

Into the Woods
Director Rob Marshall tries his (jazz) hand at another movie musical based on the popular Broadway show. The film centers around a Baker and his Wife who have been cursed by a Witch to remain childless. To break the spell, the couple must go "into the woods" to bring back certain objects. Along the way, they encounter classic characters from fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Jack (he of the famed Beanstalk).

Cast & Crew
The sprawling cast is a mix of movie stars (Emily Blunt as the Baker's Wife, Meryl Streep as the Witch, Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, and Johnny Depp as The Big Bad Wolf), Broadway performers (Tony winner James Corden as the Baker, Lilla Crawford, from Broadway's latest revival of Annie, as Little Red, Tony nominee Billy Magnussen as Rapunzel's Prince), and talented individuals at home in any medium (Christine Baranski as Cinderella's Stepmother, Tracy Ullman as Jack's Mother, and 2014's "It" movie musical star, Oscar and Tony nominee, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella). [more...]

Click to read more ...

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