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Entries in politics (244)

Tuesday
Jun132017

Pride Month Doc Corner: 'Political Animals'

We are continuing this Pride Month series of documentaries about queer issues. After last week's look at the life of Armistead Maupin, we detour into politics with Political Animals.

It’s just a matter of fact that men are the predominant voice of cinematic history. This is hardly surprising given that men are the predominant voice of history in general, but this of course means that the stories of women make up a frustratingly small portion of those told on the silver screen (even if we may curate our own viewing experiences to counteract this). The same can sadly be said about queer cinema where films about LGBTIQ women and by women (gay or otherwise) are without a doubt outnumbered by those by and about men.

It’s wonderful then to see Political Animals, a film that seeks to take a side-step away from the more famous names of gay politicians and activists like Harvey Milk, Larry Kramer, Cleve Jones and Barney Frank and focuses on the openly gay women from the halls of American politics. In particular, four women from California whose long and exhausting efforts in the face of bigotry across generations (although, quite telling, almost exclusively from older white men) slowly yet surely chipped away at government homophobia.

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Saturday
Jun032017

Wonder Women: Tracey Flick

This week is all about female heroes. Here’s Jorge with a cupcake early in the morning…

One of the (many) beautiful things about Alexander Payne’s Election is that, by immersing the audience into the different points of view the main characters, there’s never really anyone who’s unequivocally right or wrong. There are no heroes or villains; the truth lies somewhere in the murky puddle of ethics, ambition, and torn down posters. Everyone had their part on the catastrophic school election events. It’s just that some came out better off than others.

But Tracey Flick would not hesitate one second in calling herself a heroine.

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Friday
May192017

Tweetweek: Lotsa Cannes Action, Political LOLs, Sarandon x 2

A roundup as we do. It's so hard to keep up during Cannes! 

More tweets after the jump including Cannes mania, White House exorcisms, Netflix divisiveness, and beautiful actresses of course. They're kind of a staple here, okay?...

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Wednesday
May172017

Stage Door: The Pulitzer winning "Sweat"

Stage Door bringing you intermittent theater reviews when we manage to get there. Here's Nathaniel R

Awards have a way of hyping certain creations, especially the modest kind, to a point where disappointment is an obvious risk. The gifted playwright Lynn Nottage is only 52 but Sweat is already her second Pulitzer winner for Drama (the first was for Ruined). This places her in the rather astonishing company of prolific geniuses Tennessee Williams and August Wilson, and just one prize away from Edward Albee (!) and marks her as the most awarded living playwright and the most awarded female playwright, living or dead. As a result I spent the first act of Sweat wondering what the fuss was about. The Fuss does not identify itself in the second act but by then you can meet the play halfway with its likeable flawed characters and appreciate Nottage's earnest thematic thrust as the play mourns the loss of intersectional solidarity, without clumsily naming it as such...

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Wednesday
May172017

Linkbug

Before we get to the links please click on this photo to your left, the teaser poster for Yorgos Lanthimos's The Killing of a Sacred Deer. (Lanthimos last brought us the incredible The Lobster so we hope he's on a roll.) The poster is so beautiful we don't even mind that Nicole Kidman isn't on it! That's high praise if you haven't been paying attention.

Links 
Los Angeles Times Jimmy Kimmel will return to host the Oscars again in March. Same team this year, producers too.
Interview Ethan Hawke talks to his friend Alessandro Nivola (easily one of the best stars among the under-famous and under-celebrated division) about his current hot streak
Fathom Events will broadcast the current London production of Angels in America to select US movie theaters in late July. Click there for ticket sales in your area
Awards Daily keeping Oscar buzz alive all year for Cannes contenders is a tricky feat - I agree with most of this but disagree with the example of Midnight in Paris. I'd argue it wasn't the Cannes launch that made that film an instant Oscar contender but its big box office at home (for Woody) the month after the festival --another reminder that it can be really advantageous to strike while the iron is hot though few films dare and instead let their Cannes hype dwindle into nothingness before theater launches half a year or longer later. 
Playbill ABC will air a live Little Mermaid special on October 3rd which combines the 1989 classic with live celebrity performances with "cutting edge technology." What the what now? This sounds potentially awful and disastrous but also, because of that, a 'must see'

Script Notes, a writing podcast, talks to Chris McQuarrie about moving from being a writer to a writer-director and the difficulties of moving from indies to tentpoles
Criterion Corner David Hudson aunched his new column "The Daily" which I will surely be stealing links from at some point for these roundups unless I got to them first. Let's start now with these two...
Reverse Shot has a new series called Executive Order which takes a deep dive into the individual  T****'s EOs and fuses them with a film that is in conversation with those ostensible ideas or power plays. This link is about the Muslim ban and segueways into a discussion of the fine gay drama Henry Gamble's Birthday Party
NYT how action roles have changed for women (with Theron, Jovovich, Yeoh & Rodriguez)

I object!
/Film "Why Marvel Can't Fail" I'm linking this piece not because I like it but because I have to take issue with it. There has literally never been a long-running franchise or a single studio that has never failed. James Bond had flops. Tarzan had flops. Disney was once dying! Superman eventually fell out of the sky (though he's flying again). Marvel and Pixar, the current studios who inspire this type of article/argument, will not change that. It is an impossibility to always succeed. It's wiser to understand this because one of the quickest ways to insure failure is to assume infallibility. (Also I take issue with the use of "stickiness" here. Sticky as a concept in business may be morphing but it didn't mean 'traps you into brand loyalty' originally. I know because I bought a whole book on the concept when "sticky" became a thing ten years ago.

TV
New York Magazine (classic link since Roseanne is topical again) Roseanne Barr on the addiction of fame, her eponymous show, Hollywood sexism and Charlie Sheen
Esquire Corey Atad ranks every episode of Twin Peaks. This brought back so many memories and it's true that the show's quality varied wildly
Coming Soon Netflix is adapting the fantasy novels The Witchers Saga to series 

Off Screen
The Atlantic "My Family's Slave" incredible long read about slavery, shame, family demons, cultural norms, and more

Saturday
May132017

Tweetweek: Pink Typography and Tough Pizza

Tweets of the Week. If we couldn't joke about movies the current political climate would be enough to drive us all off the ledge wouldn't it? So here are two tweets that most helped me get through the week by LOL'ing instead of crying.

After the jump: Depp's "technique", ongoing Kidmania, Jessica Chastain, Isabelle Huppert, flat earth, fun photos... and Dick

Click to read more ...