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Entries in politics (122)

Sunday
Aug022015

Podcast Smackdown (Pt 2) Nixon & Georgia & 1995 Takeaways

You've read the Smackdown proper and heard Part One of the companion podcast. Now we're wrapping things up with Part Two in which Nathaniel and guests discuss a movie they all loved (Georgia) and the most divisive movie of the batch (Nixon). Big thanks again to this month's panelists: Nick Davis (Nicks Flick Picks), Guy Lodge (Variety), Kevin O'Keeffe (Arts.Mic), Conrado Falco (Coco Hits NY) and Lynn Lee (The Film Experience)

Part 2: 39 Minutes
00:01 Mare Winningham and Georgia’s Screenplay
08:45 Oliver Stone’s excesses -- extremely split opinions on Nixon
19:15 Off-Oscar: Other performances we loved from 1995 and another round of Emma Thompson and Sense & Sensibility
30:00 Best Original Song ???
33:40 Final Thoughts, recommendations and takeaways

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes tomorrow.

Smackdown. Pt 2

Saturday
Aug012015

Annette Bening, the Romantic Comedienne

Andrew here. I could not let the celebration of 1995, which ends with tomorrow's Smackdown, pass without singling out one of the most important performances of the year from my favourite actress.

The American President represents a key moment in my Bening love affair because this – her tenth film after seven years in the business – represents my first meeting with her, and it was obsession at first sight. But enough about me. This mostly forgotten gem allows Annette to perform in a cadence that she's been rarely allowed to show her abilities - Annette Bening, at 37 years old, the best romantic comedy heroine of the 90s...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul242015

The Look of Silence

Amir returns to his favorite 2014 festival film, newly arrived in theaters...

Midway through The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to the 2013 Best Documentary Nominee The Act of Killing, there is a seemingly innocuous moment that sends chills down the spine. The film’s protagonist, Adi, and a male companion are trudging through the forest as they discuss their assassinated family members. Slowly reciting the “Ashhad,” Muslim prayer for the departed, they arrive at a river that runs through the trees. The camera stops as they exit the frame. The forest’s natural humming and buzzing, and the slow movement of the water in dusk’s light lend the moment a haunting eeriness. The weight of their wounds lingers above the water; the emptiness of the space is terrifying.

This sequence is not unique to the structure of the film, a documentary whose emotional impact and, frequently, its thematic development, hinges on small, quiet moments; a shot of a motorcycle riding away toward the forests, a woman sitting still at the doorway of her house, a long gaze that captures the gravity of decades of history.  Every miniscule gesture is effective, and the cumulative impact of these small wonders adds up to a film that is, without hyperbole, one of the best documentaries ever made.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul182015

Misc: Silly Villains, Prequel Genies, Naughty Droids, Creepy Dolls

AV Club Parker Posey cast in Woody Allen's next film. Here's hoping she can graduate to lead muse
Variety Miramax and its 700 film library (all of which were Oscar nominated in the 1990s*) are for sale. Potential buyers balking at the $1 billion price tag.
Guardian Emma Stone on being "the butt of jokes" and learning about whitewashing in Hollywood through that Aloha fiasco of hers

 

Empire Aladdin added to Disney's growing 'let's make live-action movies based on our animated library' list
Joanna Robinson ...offered my favorite response to this 
Variety Julianne Moore leaves Nicole Holofcener's Can You Ever Forgive Me? - replacement seeking commence (10 bucks on Catherine Keener cuz that's how Holofcener do)
Coming Soon David Gordon Green will direct a Boston Marathon bombing related film with the extremely generic title of Stronger
Harpy annoys me with this article asking us to excuse bad character design in X-Men movies if the movie turns out OK. Let's not lower our standards shall we? 
The Wrap Star Wars unhappy with Amy Schumer's risqué GQ photoshoot 
Screencrush realizes that every Marvel villain is essentially the same guy 
Salon has Hollywood reached a tipping point with sexism? More and more A listers speaking out

Long Read
This piece from The Telegraph won a lot of online attention. It looks back at the then unique Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) and how the filmmakers (Kerry Conran and Kevin Conran) were immediately forgotten by Hollywood despite their process becoming enormously influential.

...and ICYMI Tim's Toons also revisited this Visual FX landmark last year for its 10th anniversary

Off Screen
The Cut "what open marriage taught one man about feminism" - I would argue that this is not about feminism at all BUT it is about one couple's complicated relationship and it's interesting to hear intimate things about people's private lives that you're not usually privvy to. What's even more fascinating (if depressing / expected) is how defensive and hateful the comments are. People just can't handle anything that challenges the norm without excessive judgement - it terrifies them, they lash out. We've seen this over and over with every social battle... and also with every argument about what "marriage" means. Marriage has such a fraught complicated evolving history in legal, political, sexual, religious terms that it's hilarious that conservatives are always claiming that it's this great unchanging sacred monolith since the days of Adam & Eve. 
Smithsonian has a history of creepy dolls
The Verge 'the trolls are winning the internet' - you don't know how often I'm grateful to most of you in our comparatively pleasant comments here at TFE
Pajiba asks that you stop writing, reading, publishing thinkpieces if the people writing them have not seen the thing they are writing about (it's an epidemic, really in this clickbait era) 

*I'm kidding but it feels true. 

Wednesday
Jun102015

HBO’s LGBT History: And the Band Played On (1993)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions... 

Last week we looked at a biopic of one of the most reviled political figures in twentieth century American history in Citizen Cohn. This week we continue our collection of HBO AIDS films (notice that every single film we’ve discussed so far has been centered on the epidemic: from the Harvey Fierstein chamber piece, Tidy Endings, to Epstein & Friedman’s Oscar winning doc, Common Threads and even that James Woods’-led biopic which structured itself around Cohn’s own battle with the disease) by looking at And the Band Played On, a film you should all watch if for no other reason than to see the eclectic cast Aaron Spelling (yes, he produced it!) assembled.

Lily, Sir Ian, and a troubled production history after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun032015

YNMS: Suffragette 

Every day since Cannes wrapped it's become clear that the Oscar charts must be updated. We were already banking on Focus Feature's Suffragette for a Best Picture nomination but when we update we might get even more bullish after this new trailer and that prime October real estate (October has been very kind to Best Pictures of late - December is so passe). Anyway, let's not get distracted with Best Picture talk.

Suffragette stars Carey Mulligan as Maud, a working wife and mother who is recruited to join the growing movement and becomes a fierce activist. Mulligan, having a great year with Far From The Madding Crowd's success and a Tony nomination, will likely reap Oscar traction if people like the film but she's backed up by quite the ensemble of talented ladies. Meryl Streep is apt to get all the glory, as she does, for her small role as Emmeline Pankhurst, a catalyst for the story and an icon of Suffragette history, but I'll be interested to see which other members of the supporting cast can win any attention or praise (if any) for strong characterizations or memorable scenes once people start seeing the whole film. Suffragette will premiere at the London Film Festival. 

The trailer and our Yes No Maybe So breakdown -- which we'll do a little differently this time -- after the jump...

Click to read more ...