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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 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 Paul Williams (4)

Wednesday
Dec192012

Open Thread. Voices (& Comments) Carry

Editorial Note: I'm aware that despite the deliciously robust comment threads on recent posts like "Worst of the (Best)" and "Beasts of the Precursor Wild" a few of you (and me actually) have been having some issues with Comments. I'm monitoring it closely now and unfortunately this week it's decided that some of you are spambots so I've been fixing. A blogger's work is never done!

But what's on your mind today, movie-wise? And yes, yes, I know you're waiting on some key interviews. Thursday through Sunday will be poppin' here at TFE so patience! Interviews are the single most time-consuming kind of article, I'm sorry to say.

If you're exhausted with nothing on your mind this humpday... here -- enjoy some music. Here are new videos from Paul Williams (this song is eligible for the Oscar and is sensitive and beautiful much like his earlier Oscar nominated work. I think it has a good shot at the shortlist), Aimee Mann (I always forget she has a sense of humor and this "Labrador" is kind of awesome) and Hunky Hunk McHunkerson (aka Cheyenne Jackson). Won't someone please put him in an action movie... or at least in a Magic Mike sequel?

What'cha think?

Sunday
Nov182012

Playing Dress-Up: Jodie Foster in "Bugsy Malone"

[For Jodie Foster week, I invited a few guests to write about pivotal Jodie Foster movies for them. Here is Susan Posnock, who you may remember as a regular on Awards Daily a few years back. - Nathaniel R]

With Jodi Foster turning the big 5-0 tomorrow, Nathaniel asked if I would come out of my semi-retirement from film writing to help celebrate the actresses’ oeuvre. He offered up a number of films to reflect on, but the one I immediately thought of – despite the fact that I hadn’t seen it in about 30 years – was Bugsy Malone.

Long before the Internet, DVDs and even videos, I remember catching the film as often as I could (and my parents would allow) on HBO. In addition to Foster in a relatively small part, as tough-talking gangster’s moll Tallulah, it starred then-unknown Scott Baio in the titular role. Watching it this week I was struck by how completely odd it is – something I didn't pick up on as a kid. But as an adult, its unique flavors stand out. [More...]

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Tuesday
Oct162012

Oscar Horrors: For "The Hell of It"

HERE LIES... Paul Williams' rock opera score for Phantom of the Paradise, lain to rest by Nelson Riddle's nostalgia-drenched work on The Great Gatsby.

Andreas here with more spoooky Oscar Horrors, this time singing the praises of composer Paul Williams. His Oscar-nominated work on Brian De Palma's horror musical astonishes with its versatility, bouncing from one pop mode to another—surf rock to glam rock to piano ballad—all the while keeping tempo with De Palma's virtuosic visuals. The songs aren't hollow pastiches, either; Williams imbues them with surprising emotional depth, coloring the whole film with their underlying melancholy. In order to pull off such an operatic saga, De Palma needed big music, and Williams really delivers.

Phantom, after all, is a macabre tale of the music industry, filled with songwriters, divas, and wannabes (Williams himself even co-stars as the villainous Swan, a kind of Mephistopheles by way of Phil Spector.) The characters, like composer-turned-phantom Winslow Leach and his beloved Phoenix, speak the language of show-stopping musical numbers. The plot is driven by one such song, "Faust," written by Winslow and stolen by Swan, reprised over and over as the characters' relationships shift.

All my dreams are lost and I can't sleep
And sleep alone could ease my mind
All my tears have dried and I can't weep...

Like so much of the soundtrack, "Faust" is rich with longing and regret, paralleling the film's themes of love, fame, and sacrifice. Williams' music matches the rest of the film's mood so well: funereal and otherworldly, with a strain of twisted dark comedy. The jukebox-ready opening number "Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye" demonstrates this latter trait especially well, as does "The Hell of It." Perhaps the film's best song, "The Hell of It" plays over the ending credits, with Williams gleefully singing its damnation-centric lyrics: "And though your music lingers on, all of us are glad you're gone!"

Williams himself is not gone—as we're reminded by the new documentary Paul Williams Still Alive—but his music for Phantom of the Paradise sure lingers on, and on, and on.

Wednesday
Jul112012

From Here to the Oscars and Back ♫

This morning this sweet ballad popped into my head again -- I recently finally got around to Joyful Noise -- so I thought I'd share it. I hope Dolly Parton gets to sing this at the Oscars to the tune of her third nomination... provided it's declared eligible of course.

If the Academy would ever get their music branch in order, can you imagine how much fun the Original Song category could be? I mean this year alone we could have Paul Williams, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift and Hugh Jackman singing at the Oscars.

But we've learned not to hope for too much. If you have legacy artists like Bruce Springsteen and Cher and Madonna and whomever singing on stage, you just won't have time for those this-has-nothing-to-do-with-movies-but-we-the-producers-like-it performances from the likes of Cirque du Soleil.

Oscar Trivia / 2012 Original Song Category after the jump...

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