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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in parties and events (23)

Tuesday
Oct212014

Top Ten Most Important Things About This Photo of The Zeéeeee That Everyone Is Talking About Today

It's a special top ten day. List mania all day long...

10 Renée has reemerged again but there's still no firm word on future movies other than The Whole Truth with Keanu Reeves, directed by Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) which is due next year supposedly
09 Sarah Paulson looks AHMAZING
08 Long rectangular table at these events are terrible because you only get to talk to a couple of people except when everyone is milling about. 
07 If you squint really hard you can pretend Sarah & Renée are non-identical siamese sisters they're so squinched together...
06 Bet you anything they talked about American Horror Story - weird that Ryan Murphy hasn't asked the Zeéeeee to do it? (Although his tastes do run a little more 1980s/1990s than 1990s/2000s as actresses go.)
05 Everyone in this photo has major trophies except for Sarah Paulson and that ain't right!
04 Everyone looks like they color coordinated. Did Elle magazine send out a dress code?
03 Down With Love Reunion. Woot. Such a good movie
02 Warren Beatty Photobomb! Hi, Warren. 
01 If that's The Bening by Warren's side this photographer needs to be fined for cropping her out. Framing!   The photographer has apparently cropped out Jessica Lange (w/ Warren). You don't do that photographer. Framing! 

Sunday
Oct122014

Birdman Conference & Party: Egos, Creative Challenges and "A Critical Presence"

Choosing Birdman as the closing night film of the 52nd New York Film Festival was a smart move. Premiering in the slot right after it would have been a truly humbling experience for another film. Not that I wish to inflate Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's ego any further.

Iñárritu, Norton, Watts and Amy Ryan at the premiere

In the press conference that immediately followed our screening yesterday he admitted that it's already enormous. "Inquisitor. Tyrant. Dictator" are just three of his names for his own ego and the idea for Birdman was to explore the inner struggle with ego and the creative process. Innaritu says he starts most creative projects thinking  "This is great, fantastic, very genius!" and shortly thereafter has a bipolar switcheroo "You're a stupid asshole. This is a piece of shit, no one would care about it!" He thought this creative struggle would  be a cool thing to dramatize on film though he didn't mean it to be specifically about the ego of actors. He actually thinks they don't have big egos. "Politicans have bigger egos...even my dentist!" he added spontaneously to much laughter in the room. "He's an asshole. He makes me suffer and I pay him."  

Michael Keaton's internal creative struggle takes a slightly different turn "I go through, 'Oh you're the greatest, you're wonderful. And then 20 minutes later... no, you're actually more than that Michael!"

Throughout the conference the actors found ways to keep the mood light and funny. Somehow Naomi Watts became the favorite member of the cast to tease, which was interesting because the actress she plays onscreen is riddled with insecurity. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep222014

BAZ DAZZLED!

Manuel here with some Spectacular Spectacular news!

This one goes out to those Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin fanatics out there (there’s still a number of us, right?). Since releasing The Great Gatsby ...sorry, two-time Academy Award winner The Great Gatsby, Baz has been flexing his muscles elsewhere: he directed some beautiful shorts for the Prada/Schiaparelli exhibit at the Metropolitan museum, he directed the musical stage adaptation of Strictly Ballroom currently playing in Sydney, and threw quite the lavish party (does he throw any other kind?) to commemorate the opening of Melbourne’s newest mall, Emporium. We’ve also been hearing whispers of him possibly directing the long-gestating Stanley Kubrick project on Napoleon for HBO. While we wait, those of us in the tri-state area (or those visiting) may get our Baz-fix from the holiday windows at Barney’s this winter in what the retail company is calling a “Baz Dazzled Holiday”; a title which is equal parts flamboyant, ridiculous, and flashy which is to say, Baz in a nutshell.

Style. Fashion. Razzle-dazzle. It really feels like a match made in Spectacular Spectacular! heaven. Let’s throw suggestions out here for what Baz & Martin might come up with for Barney’s. Are you hoping for some holiday pop mish-mash worthy of a Shakespearean couple, or maybe for a 1930s glitzy winter wonderland?

Also, I wouldn’t be doing this news tidbit any justice if I didn’t in some way shoehorn in this picture, taken during New York Fashion week of Baz and his two Moulin Rouge! stars, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor which Nat may have missed in his TIFF-frenzy. They do make quite the dapper trio, don't you agree?

Tuesday
Sep162014

An Evening With Patty! (Also "Maze Runner," Something Something?)

Patty Clarkson last night in NYCLast night I attended Teen Vogue's Maze Runner screening and though I'll be writing it up for my gig at Towleroad later this week, I must share with you, my devout fellow actressexuals and the only ones who will understand, that I made the night all about Patricia Clarkson.

I didn't even realize she was in the movie until she was there at the reception and I was powerless to stop myself from beelining straight toward her while the other guests of the studio and fans (who presumably won a contest or something?) spent the evening squealing about Dylan O'Brien who plays "Xander" excuse me... "Stiles" on Teen Wolf, the only non-supernatural teen on that very popular show, now officially run by dadaists. (Yes, I still watch it but it doesn't make a lick of sense anymore... not just from episode to episode but within something as easy to manage as a one hour block! It's like they're just making it up as they film. Each scene!).

I've met the great actress twice before at events and she is an absolute delight one-on-one, super funny, gorgeous, and above-all charismatic, kind of like her 1950's social butterfly "Elle" from Far From Heaven (2002) without, you know, the nasty betrayals and the constant subtly racist/anti-semitic/homophobic shade-throwing. She joked about wishing her latest director was 20+ years older so she could date him ("is your father single?" LOL) and was still obviously high off the reception of her starring role in Learning To Drive in which she takes driving lessons from Ben Kingsley. In a surprise turn of events that two-hander nearly nabbed the People's Choice Award from The Imitation Game in Toronto as first runner up. The film hasn't been picked up yet that I'm aware of but given the crowd-pleasing response at the festival (sadly, I was not part of that crowd as it slips through the cracks of my 25 screenings) someone really ought to. I mean, David Poland is smart about these things.

 

 



Is Hollywood listening?

P.S. Can we get Patty back in key supporting roles in prestige pieces where she once regularly cropped up, please? It's a real shame she only has one Oscar nomination to her name, despite deserving at least three (High Art, Far From Heaven, Dogville).

 

 

Wednesday
Sep032014

Off to TIFF: Nathaniel's Journey Begins

For the curious among you this is my very tentative list of films on my very jam-packed schedule at TIFF. This will be the 10th anniversary of my very first trip to TIFF from which my fondest memory was sitting behind Gael García Bernal and Javier Bardem for the premiere of The Sea Inside (the fondness of the memory is due to the view, not the movie). I haven't been attending annually but perhaps last year's short trip was the start of a tradition?

This list is highly subject to change - there are always cancellations, late starts, pop ups which all throw off schedules, you can try to follow the critical buzz which will throw off the schedule, you can meet with friends for food and conversation which will throw off the schedule, and you can sleep which will throw off the morning screening schedule. It's a madcap journey: eye strain, memory loss, and international film culture await up north. Some of these films are scheduled because I'm dying to see them, others less so because they fit exactly into the proposed schedule at an opportune moment. I'm going to try to skip some "must sees" like Maps to the Stars, Clouds of Sils Maria and more but 'WHY?' you shout in anger? Here's why: ten or so mouthwatering titles from TIFF's abundance are part of the New York Film Festival and those screenings begin in NYC literally the day after TIFF wraps. 

on my tentative schedule
1001 GRAMS (Norwegian Romantic Drama)
BANG BANG BABY (Canadian Musical)
CHARLIE COUNTRY (Australian Drama)
CUB (Belgian Horror)
DUKTHAR (Pakistani Drama)
FAREWELL PARTY (Israeli Drama, Ophir Nominee)
FORCE MAJEURE (Swedish Oscar Submission)
FOXCATCHER (Channing Tatum in a singlet. I think other people and things are in it, too.)
THE GATE (Cambodian/French from the director of "Indochine")
THE GOLDEN ERA (Chinese epic starring Tang Wei from Lust, Caution)
A HARD DAY (South Korean drama)
IMITATION GAME (Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing breaks the enigma code)
IN HER PLACE (I already forgot what this one is)
KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND SADNESS (Documentary)
THE LAST FIVE YEARS (Musical)
LABYRINTH OF LIES (German Drama)
LIFE IN A FISHBOWL (Icelandic Oscar Probability)
A LITTLE CHAOS (Kate Winslet back in corsets. Whoooo)
LOS HONGOS (I already forgot what this one is)
MARGARITA WITH A STRAW (Indian, LGBT)
MISS JULIE (Jessica + Colin)
MOMMY (new Xavier Dolan) 
THE NEW GIRLFRIEND (new François Ozon)
OCTOBER GALE (from the director of "Cairo Time" starring Patty Clarkson again)
OUT OF NATURE (Norwegian Drama)
PHOENIX (German)
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON ITS EXISTENCE (Swedish Oddity)
THE PROPHET (animated)
RED AMNESIA (Chinese Thriller)
RETURN TO ITHACA (from the director of "The Class")
THE RIOT CLUB (from the director of "An Education")
SCARLET INNOCENCE (I already forgot what this one is)
SHREW'S NEST (Spanish Thriller)
SONG OF THE SEA (from the filmmakers behind "The Secret of Kells")
STILL ALICE (indie Julianne Moore drama)
THEORY OF EVERYTHING (Eddie & Felicity court each other and Oscar)
TODAY (Iranian drama)
THE TRIBE (Ukranian Oscar Probability) 
WILD (Reese hikes toward Oscar #2?)
WILD TALES (Argentinian comedy) 

Anna Kendrick with the brilliant composer Jason Robert Brown ("The Last Five Years")

That's 40 films and I can guarantee I won't actually see that many and it's unwise to if you hope to remember any of them. But wish me luck in staying very roughly on track. Remember this: comments and retweets and shares are helpful fuel for those on the run from screening to screening. Follow Me on Twitter and Instagram if you want smaller and more frequent updates in addition to the reviews I'll be offering here.

What About the Blog? 
I'll try to get you one TIFF diary a day. Meanwhile the team has some fun stuff planned for you while I'm up North including more "back to school" pieces, a Team Top Ten and a mini fest celebrating the centennial of Robert Wise. 

Tuesday
Mar182014

Kate Winslet is FINALLY a Star

Here is abstew on Kate Winslet's star ceremony

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the ground of Los Angeles literally shook in anticipation of Kate Winslet's star today.

Don't worry, that earthquake in LA yesterday morning was all just a PR stunt orchestrated to commemorate the unveiling of the Oscar winner's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! (That Divergent budget must be massive.) But a little ground swell didn't stop people from coming out to celebrate Kate's star at Hollywood and Vine. Kathy Bates, wearing a fabulous black and white mumu, auditioned to appear alongside Carrot Top in his Vegas act as she debuted a prop-heavy comedy routine about Kate having to clean her own star. But so Kate's not embarrassed by doing so, Bates supplied her with an "I'm NOT Kate Winslet" T-shirt. And I immediately went on eBay to buy a knock-off of it. Shailene Woodley (see Divergent this Friday!) spoke off the cuff about how Kate was always prepared and pleasant on set and then got a little choked up as she spoke of what an amazing role model she is. (Kathy Bates was seen gathering her things and mumbling, "sure, go the cheap sentimental route...) 

Kate, who joked that she had a breast-pump in hand as the earthquake rumbled that morning (always boobs with her), gave a short but sweet speech about how honored she was. She also pointed out that Titanic was 18 years ago (well, technically 17, but I'm sure filming it made it feel much longer) mainly just to remind us all that we're old if we remember seeing it in the theatre. But honestly, I'm kinda thrilled that she finally has a star! I mean, Jennifer Lopez, Vin Diesel, and Jennifer Aniston all have them–it was time. Now, she's just got to get working on that Tony in her EGOT to complete her collection...

The video, which really starts at about 1:21, is below. That Kathy Bates bit kinda has to be seen to be believed.

Monday
Mar032014

An Open Letter, Some Linkage, Blurry Photos

The Dolby Theater was quick about getting 12 Years a Slave up in their awesome atrium of Best Picture winners in Hollywood. I stared at that so much while I was in LA, trust. But naturally it must prompt my annual outrage again.

Dear, Internet. If the Academy themselves understand that we just watched the 2013 Oscars, so can you! - Love, Nathaniel R

This is really all the IMDb's fault and then Google, too. Now virtually everyone except the Oscars and The Film Experience calls the Oscars by the wrong year, which will wreak so much havoc at future trivia nights and in every way of documenting film history. I have a friend who did really great work on several Wikipedia pages and people kept trying to change his dates to the wrong year so now it's a mess of conflicting pages. This madness must stop. Cate Blanchett is not the Best Actress of 2014... (at least not yet. Will Carol be ready in time?). She's the Best Actress of 2013. The Oscars aren't like a Beauty Pageant where you get a title andtour the country for the following year before you pass on the tiara. It's not like that. It's for a movie you did. Pretending that Cate is the Best Actress of 2014 puts you in People's Choice territory where people just win prizes even if they sat at home that year but are still popular. It's not really territory you want to be in. 

Five completely random links (more time to catch up what's happening elsewhere tomorrow)

  • Vanity Fair on their Oscar Party 
  • Daily Mail on that pizza guy and the tipping situation at the Oscars
  • Buzz Feed if John Travolta had to pronounced other people's names at the Oscars
  • Vulture Pharrell's Happy performance gifs of the stars joining in. This was SO smart to include so early in the show. The energy was perfect. 
  • Vanity Fair [LONG READ] I bookmarked this story about trying to find out what happened to the real "Patsey" from 12 Years a Slave and I haven't had time to finish it yet but it's totally an interesting subject. I WILL carve out time to read it this week and so should you. 

After the jump my favorite blurry photos I took of my TV last night. But why blurry photos, you ask?

Click to read more ...