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William Holden in Picnic

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Entries in Peter Jackson (12)

Friday
Dec152017

Ashley Judd might have been Arwen... or Galadriel 

by Nathaniel R

Ashley Judd in her blockbuster breakout "Double Jeopardy" in 1999I keep getting into trouble when I tweet out semantic arguments on the internet as if I'm missing the point of very serious topics. So let me assure you that I'm not missing the point. I am filled with rage when I read these stories about the toxic treatment of actresses in Hollywood but the only way I can cope (I live for actresses, duh) is to nerd out and take deep dives into thinking about their filmographies, or looking at Oscar stats, or other less fraught things to rage less. Lashing out in all directions with rage or feeding my rage by continually sharing it is just not my way and has never helped me cope with pain. So, in other words, I'll save my little semantics quibble until the end of the post. 

Anyway the reveals of what Harvey Weinstein was up to in his most powerful days keep getting worse. To stay within the confines of Weinsten adjacent imagery, let's just say it makes me want to watch an Inglorious Basterds ahistorical style rewrite in which some Ashley Judd gets the Brad Pitt role and her team of merciless female soldiers gives Weinstein what he deserved back then...

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Tuesday
Nov142017

110 days 'til Oscar. More Lord of the Rings?

It's only eleventy days until Hollywood's High Holy Night. If you aren't familiar with "eleventy" think back to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

That whole Oscar winning trilogy kicks off with the celebration of Bilbo Baggins eleventy-firth birthday or 111th birthday in human years. Eleventy can refer to 110 or numbers much larger; one stops counting after awhile...

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Monday
Oct312016

Beauty vs Beast: The Princesses of Borovnia

Jason from MNPP here -- with most holidays I think it would suck to share a birthday - who wants their birthday on Thanksgiving? Or even worse, Christmas? Everyone else getting presents on your day? What a nightmare. But Halloween is the exception - I would love my birthday to be on Halloween. Costume parties every year! A cake shaped like Frankenstein's head! Or even better - a cake shaped like the Bride of Frankenstein's head! (Because more cake.) 

And you wanna know who I bet has the best Halloween Birthday Parties? Peter Jackson, that's who. I bet he dresses up like the STD-riddled rabbit from Meet the Feebles or like the Mouth of Sauron every year. Damn you, Peter Jackson. 

Oh well - we'll go ahead and wish him a happy day today with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" anyway, and since we're going to be seeing his 1994 masterpiece Heavenly Creatures on a big screen (with Film Experience fave Melanie Lynskey in person!) in just a couple of days thanks to the brand new Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn, we'll go with a show-down between teen dreamers Juliet (Kate Winslet) and Pauline (Lynskey). Good luck choosing with this Sophie's Choice, folks...

Instead of doing the usual "Previously On..." here (Eli won last week's Let the Right One In contest though) I want to keep aboard the Melanie Lynskey Express for a minute since we're here and she's wonderful and we all love her so - she's got a new movie coming out this weekend! It's called Rainbow Time and it stars Lynskey as a woman pulled into the weird relationship between two brothers (played by Timm Sharp and Linus Phillips) and the movie's really fine and funny and I highly recommend it. Watch the trailer now:

Tuesday
Apr282015

Goodbye, Master of the Light, Andrew Lesnie

Glenn here with some sad news that broke late as America was tucking itself away in bed. Academy Award-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie has died of a heart attack at the age of 59. Most will know Lesnie as the man who photographed all of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, but he will also be well-remembered by the local Australian industry for a 35-year-long career that covered the broad spectrum of scope and genre.

Lesnie got his start in the Australian film industry just after the new wave of the 1970s. Unlike fellow countrymen and Oscar-winners John Seale, Dean Semler and Russell Boyd, Lesnie more or less remained in Australia and New Zealand. He only ventured over to work in America once his work on Middle Earth gained him a level of industry respect that would bring him to I Am Legend and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

His early career was made up of low-budget indie works and 'ozploitation' films like Fair Game. He lensed Kylie Minogue’s big screen debut in the delicately shot The Delinquents, and eventually found international acclaim working on Babe. He won an “Australian Oscar” for his superb sun-drenched work on Doing Time for Patsy Cline and would bring the visual extravaganza of Babe: Pig in the City to life before shuffling over to New Zealand to work on no less than eight Peter Jackson movies. Despite his newfound global success, he kept working locally on the indigenous pop-musical Bran Nue Dae, anthology film The Turning with Cate Blanchett, and last year’s ex-con drama Healing.

Devastating news from home. The master of the light, genius Andrew Lesnie has passed on.
Russell Crowe

Andrew Lesnie was a treat to work with. I am blown away by all he achieved. He'll be missed greatly. RIP.
Jamie Bell 

Lesnie died on Monday (Australian time). His final work was for Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner, which was a giant success at the start of the year in Australia and has just opened in America. Perhaps it was his stubbornness to remain at home in his corner of the world that saw him never receive another nomination after winning in 2002 for The Fellowship of the Ring, but he won more than enough awards for the trilogy to make up for it. At only 59 he's far too young, but he leaves behind an admirable dedication to his home country's industry and an enviable roster of work.

Friday
Jan172014

The Desolation of Smaug: Accentuate the Positive

Michael back again. Nathaniel recently asked us if any of us had seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson's latest Middle Earth chapter is entering its sixth weekend with $800+ million in the worldwide bank and three more Oscar nominations and it's gone completely unremarked upon at TFE.  But I could feel the life draining out of me as I attempted to review it. Surely the world did not need one more dissection of Peter Jackson’s chronic inability to rein in his material. What’s left to say, save that Desolation has exactly the problems you would expect it to have? Hell, one could get the same from any archived review of The Lovely Bones or King Kong. All the criticisms still apply.

So I junked that review and decided it would be good for the soul to write something positive instead. After all, Jackson is a maddening filmmaker not because he’s some worthless hack but because he frequently buries moments of brilliance in all the sprawling self-indulgence. So with that in mind here is a list of five things I loved or liked about The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug:

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