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Entries in politics (159)

Wednesday
Apr272016

New Actor Obsession: Dominic Rains

Confession: I normally remember actresses names with their faces straightaway even if they've only had a bit role that impressed me. Sometimes actors take a few roles to reel me in as if I'm face blind. And so it was at Tribeca where Dominic Rains took the Best Actor prize for his strong sympathetic work as Osman, an Afghani journalist transplanted to rural California in Ian Old's The Fixer (2016). All throughout the picture I was like "who is this guy?" like I'd never seen him before only to discover thereafter that I'd already seen him AND loved him in two other movies. In my defense the Iranian-American actor, born in Tehran and raised in Texas, looks different in each of his key roles. But still! I'd never let this talent slip by me with an actress no matter what they did with their hair and costumes.

Rains was the mohawked punk rocker in the little-seen but high-energy Taqwacores (2010) and the sleazy drug-addled pimp in the stunning Iranian vampire picture A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014).

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr202016

Review: Confirmation

Kieran, here. Politics, even at their most abstract are ultimately personal. At its best moments, HBO's Confirmation directed by Rick Famuyiwa’s (Dope) and written by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) understands this. Anita Hill’s (Kerry Washington) 1991 allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) on the eve of his confirmation to the US Supreme court is a subject about which few who can remember are indifferent. Who was lying and about what? What did the Anita Hill’s testimony say about the positions of gender, race and political alignment in this country? These are the kinds of questions that evoke vociferous, often angry opinions and the film doesn’t offer up easy answers.

The truth of whether Clarence Thomas sexually harassed Anita Hill is secondary. Thomas, as rendered by Pierce in what is actually a small role with few spoken lines, is a beleaguered public figure, forced to defend himself and deal with the consequences these allegations had on his personal and professional life. I say this not to imply that Thomas is innocent (I’ve always thought he was guilty). But, as is often the disgusting and sad truth about men who commit these crimes, they’re not always technically lying when they maintain their innocence under oath. In order for it to truly be a lie, these men would have to believe that they did anything wrong in the first place. Whatever mental gymnastics Clarence Thomas had to go through in order to get to this place, his own words and Pierce’s subtle but precise performance clearly illustrate that Thomas does not believe he was guilty of any wrongdoing. When the film is examining the implications of a culture that allows men to make these leaps and how it turns victims into villains, it shines and Pierce is a key component of what makes this element works. He opts not to turn Thomas into a monster for it’s not the “monsters” who violate women and irrevocably damage lives. They are simply people, a much truer and scarier fact to fathom.

more...

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Wednesday
Apr132016

HBO’s LGBT History: Larry Kramer in Love and Anger (2015)

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

Last week we looked at the recent doc Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures which works as a nice primer on the famed photographer and, as is par for the course for films on gay icons from a certain era, as a portrait of a man working tirelessly to make the most of his ever winnowing time: Mapplethorpe died at age 42 of AIDS complications. We’re not going too far afield this week, as we’re focusing on a documentary on “America’s angriest AIDS activist” in Jean Carlomusto’s Larry Kramer in Love and Anger.

Kramer should be familiar to you. We’ve previously encountered him and talked about his righteous anger when we talked about The Normal Heart, and by that point he had already made HBO appearances in The Out List, Vito, and Outrage. That enough should be a reminder that there’s no way of talking about American gay rights activism of the last three decades without talking about Larry Kramer. Carlomusto’s film expediently moves through Kramer’s biography; from his time at Columbia Pictures, to Women in Love and Faggots, through the Gay Men’s Health Crisis group and The Normal Heart to ACT UP and his latest health scares and marriage...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr092016

Linky Dreadful

The Guardian talks to Jessica Chastain and she is fired up about gender in Hollywood - as a cool non-competitive 'everyone wins' take on Best Actressing awards that's pretty cool to hear.
Kenneth in the (212) a protest of the Cats musical revival. LOL
Tracking Board Judy Greer is moving behind the camera! She'll direct A Happening of Monumental Proportions. The cast is now coming together
Girish Shambu on recent excellent micro-budget indie cinema
Variety Star Melissa McCarthy and her Husband/Director Ben Falcone already have their next movie lined up: Life of the Party
Gothamist Netflix is upping the prices for its longtime subscribers. Okay, cool Netflix. I guess this means you're going to add good movies to streaming again? Hello? Hello? [dial tone]
MNPP which is hotter, annual Taylor Kitsch fetish-wear edition
W Magazine for some reason Disney thought a fashion collaboration with Kenzo was smart marketing for The Jungle Book so here it is  
Film School Rejects rewatches No Way Out (1987) with directors commentary. Ugh, that's such a good little thriller. And Sean Young and Kevin Costner were scorching hot together at that precise moment in history
Pajiba shares screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie's story about how Close Encounters of the Third Kind changed his life. 

Superheroes still
/Film shares early nerd joy tweets from Captain America: Civil War. As a Captain America nut I was excited until I started digging deeper and one person who loved it like crazy still says it's not as good as Deadpool (which is not even a *good* movie, let alone a great one) so I'll continue to downplay expectations as Captain America: Winter Soldier is the best Marvel Studios movie ever and it's difficult to top #1s in any subgenre. 
Coming Soon Confirmed: Marvel Studios characters will appear in Sony's 2017 Spider-Man movie surprisingly virtually no one.
/Film Boyd Holbrook circling villain role in Hugh Jackman's superhero swansong Wolverine 3 with filming starting next month. The movie is said to be very loosely based on "Old Man Logan" story of the comics 

Political Mic Drop
I have announced on another platform and now here that I will stop talking about politics... at least until, oh, September. The why is that I find it absolutely damaging and yet strangely addictive like being a chainsmoker after a lung cancer diagnosis. Everyone hates everyone and I lose faith in almost everyone daily (including you. haha) when I listen to them talk about politics. And clearly people lose faith in me when I talk about politics (#imwithher). So since I will make a valiant effort to not speak about this until it's more relevant -- the next time anyone complains about how "long" the Oscars take I want to point them to this interminable two year long ordeal we're all living through politically --  I only ask that you read this hilarious, scathingly truthful Hilary Clinton endorsement from Ellie Mystal (thanks to MattRett for pointing it out) which sums up my feelings more than I thought was possible. And it put a smile on my face... which I didn't think was possible anymore politically.

(And that's it. Radio silence on politics after tonight. That's my plan at least.)

Today's Watch
The ghoulish tortured cast of Penny Dreadful are almost back! It took me a second to realize that the new poster was not a deformed skull performing its best Munchian scream but actually a man's body; Josh Hartnett's perhaps? Just 22 days until Season 3 begins. If you're not watching the show you don't deserve Eva Green, who may well be the most under appreciated supreme sorceress of the acting arts. 

Official Synopsis:

This season on PENNY DREADFUL, Tony® Award-winning star Patti LuPone (American Horror Story), who guest starred last season as the Cut-Wife, returns as a series regular in the new role of Dr. Seward, an American therapist who treats Vanessa (Eva Green) with an unconventional new approach. Wes Studi (Hell On Wheels) joins as a series regular as Kaetenay, an intense, enigmatic Native American with a deep connection to Ethan (Josh Hartnett) who also becomes an ally to Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton). The third season also adds Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Henry Jekyll (Shazad Latif). Other guest stars include Screen Actors Guild® Award nominee Christian Camargo (DEXTER®, The Hurt Locker) as Dr. Alexander Sweet, a zoologist who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vanessa; Sam Barnett (2012, Jupiter Ascending) as Dr. Seward’s mysterious young secretary; and Jessica Barden (The Outcast, Far from the Madding Crowd) as Justine, a young acolyte to Lily (Billie Piper) and Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), and Perdita Weeks (THE TUDORS), as Catriona Hartdegan, a scholar with expert knowledge of the supernatural. Simon Russell Beale returns as Dr. Ferdinand Lyle. Rory Kinnear (as The Creature) and Harry Treadaway (as Dr. Frankenstein) also star.

 

Wednesday
Apr062016

HBO’s LGBT History: Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (2016)

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

Last week we talked about race in HBO’s LGBT properties while briefly discussing Dee Rees’s Bessie. If there’s one thing media in general (but gay media in particular) needs to work on is intersectionality: ay attempt, for example, at framing the gay rights movement as “the new civil rights” movement not only suggests the plight of black people in America has been “won” but it refuses to understand how they intersect in sometimes very troubling ways. This week we're jumping on HBO's most recent release, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, which aired just this past Monday and which I got to see last week in the big screen. Not only is the doc wonderful, featuring candid interviews with those who knew (and posed for!) him, but it dovetails nicely with these issues of sex and race that we keep discussing.

The film borrows its subtitle from the famous words Jesse Helms used during a congressional hearing about Mapplethorpe's "pornographic" pictures: "Look at the pictures!" he implored, arguing that one couldn't deny the fact that they were not art. Cannily, this HBO documentary lets us admire plenty of Mapplethorpe's pictures—I didn’t count but the doc is exhaustive, showing us hundreds of photographs, scanned and offered up to us for close inspection. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar302016

Links: The Beguiled, Real O'Neals, Celebrity Politics, and More

Let's try to cover everything we haven't mentioned lately (whew). The biggest and most obvious is that Sofia Coppola, whose plans to follow up Bling Ring with a live action Little Mermaid are no more, is now supposedly working on a remake of the Clint Eastwood romantic drama The Beguiled (1971). The film will star two darlings of TFE Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. Plus Elle Fanning so Coppola already sold all the tickets to our crowd. The Clint role is as yet uncast.  They're said to be looking for a 'Chris Pratt' type but what this surely calls for is a watch of the original film to familiarize ourselves.

Let's do it together shall we? It's available on Amazon and iTunes so let's all watch it by April 8th or so and we'll discuss. Deal? 

Other News
Playbill Julie Andrews will direct a 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady this fall at the Sydney Opera House. Tell us how it is Aussie readers!
Tracking Board Julia Roberts lines up another thriller Fool Me Once. Can she step off the thriller train please. She's always screaming. How about a romantic comedy revival?
• Coming Soon Naomi Watts joining Brie Larson in Destin Cretton's (Short Term 12) Glass Castle.  

Coming Soon Kristen Wiig replaces Reese Witherspoon in Alexander Payne's next satire Downsizing
Guardian Woody Allen's Cafe Society will open Cannes this year but what other premieres might we see there? 
Comics Alliance First i'm hearing this but apparently April 26th is "Aliens day" and a bunch companies are going to be selling Aliens stuff, including Reebook who will be releasing replicas of Sigourney's hideous red white and black velcroed shoes from that 1986 classic
Broadway Blog Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men getting the live TV treatment in early 2017 -- it's not just for musicals anymore
/Film Channing Tatum's Gambit delayed yet again. Hopefully he'll realize soon he doesn't need to do it at all. I mean it'd be nice if ANYONE other than Leonardo DiCaprio stayed away from the superhero genre. Just for you know some variety in our top male stars
BBC Hans Zimmer officially retiring from scoring superhero pictures after Batman v Superman 
• Cinematic Corner Speaking of. If you're not done hating on that movie read Sati's righteous fury about it. She points out something I didn't notice: Zach Snyder can't even do cameos right. He uses THREE of his Watchmen actors (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino) and I didn't realize that any of them were involved! 

i couldn't find a good video of this gay date scene but its adorbs

Recommended Reads 
• Towleroad an interview with Noah Galvin, the talented funny star of The Real O'Neals. Try this show if you haven't. It's a delight.
MNPP Which is Hotter: Ed Skrein or Ed Skrein
Mike's Movie Projector shares an excerpt from an old Joan Fontaine autobiography
Film School Rejects on Superheroes needing a dash of silliness even in their "dark" outings 
• Interview talks to Sophie Okonedo about Broadway's revival of The Crucible. She plays Goody Proctor
MNPP loved seeing Benjamin Walker in tighty whities for over an hour as Patrick Bateman in the Broadway musical version of  American Psycho and since Jason hates musicals that is more than enough recommendation for me who loves them. I hadn't yet realized that 

Can This Election Be Over Instead of 8 Months Away?
Boy Culture agree with Matthew in this piece on Susan Sarandon's recent irresponsible political comments. I'm so ready for this election to be over and it's still 8 months away!
Towleroad and icymi the genius Tony Kushner was a guest on MSNBC and discussed how baffling Sarandon has been about this (They're both heroes of my youth. I don't like it when mommy & daddy fight!)
The New Yorker suggests that maybe Superman is Republicans and Batman is Democrats and now I just want to die rather than think about Batman v Superman for a second longer. DEATH TO INTERNET THINK PIECES ABOUT SUPERHERO MOVIES! (I'm suddenly dreading Captain America: Civil War and dreading a Captain America movie is not something I feel comfortable doing... at all. In other words: stop it internet!)

Wednesday
Mar232016

Links

Fistful of Film Fisti is sharing 100 reasons why Xavier Dolan's Mommy is his all time favorite film
Buzzfeed has an extensive interesting essay on Jennifer Garner's transformation from promising actress to magazine-celebrity mom
Tracking Board Bong Joon-Ho (Snowpiercer, Mother) is doing a monster movie for Netflix that will star the Gyllenhaal, Tilda, Kelly Macdonald and Lily Collins. Somehow they chose the only boring cast member in that list for the photo


Pajiba 11 examples of terrible singing in movie musicals - fine list except for including Christian Bale & Ewan McGregor - love both of those performances and I'm a total nitpicker with movie musicals
Demanders great piece on The Flash's vision of masculinity (so different than other superheroes, thank god)
Ali Benz "Reasons why Nicole Kidman is a legend"
Towleroad wide ranging Sir Ian McKellen interview with Owen Jones
Playbill The Fosters had a musical Romeo & Juliet episode
AV Club an archive of unsold TV pilots
Variety Jenna Dewan Tatum (Mrs Channing Tatum) will host a new dance competition series for ABC
The Russo Brothers show "Chris Evans" the finished Captain America: Civil War and get his reaction. What's his favorite part?
Guardian has a very oddly timed screed against the mediocrity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Oddly timed because a certain DC behemoth is opening right now and...
Rotten Tomatoes... reviews are abysmal for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Titles / Release Dates:
Woody Allen's 2016 picture (starring Steve Carell, Kristen Stewart, Parker Posey and more) takes place in the 1930s and is called Cafe Society. It might debut at CannesBen Affleck's next Oscar hopeful as a director, the Prohibition era drama Live by Night (which he also stars in) will open October 20th, 2017 

OffScreen For Fun
Cracked 10 Facts to make you feel better about the upcoming presidential election
Kenneth in the (212) a catty meme
The Gaily Grind  Easter Egg Butts (nsfw)

Important!
Goldie Hawn has joined Instagram.

 

My happy hour cocktail 🍸#greenjuice

A video posted by Goldie Hawn (@officialgoldiehawn) on Mar 9, 2016 at 6:37pm PST