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Entries in Q&A (49)

Monday
May082017

Q&A: Pretty Boys and the best of Tomei / Collette

It's part two of this week's Reader Questions. If you missed the first installment in which we covered topics like Cynthia Erivo's film future and Star Wars favorites, click here.

Six more reader questions? YES PLEASE. Let's go... 

BHURAY: What are your 5 favorite Toni Collette performances?

I love her so much I have to do a top ten. Hers is surely the star career with the single biggest disparity between how much talent she provides versus how often and well deployed she is by Hollywood. My favorite performances are hard to rank as I think she's the same amount of wonderful consistently but it might go something like this...

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Saturday
May062017

Q&A: The Force is With Reader Questions

by Nathaniel R

I got a little verbosely carried away whilst answering reader questions so you get two Q & A columns from your last batch of questions. Thanks for playing. This week I asked for a few Star Wars Questions but that's just three of the six questions answered here. Ready, let's go! 

TROY: Within the past year Cynthia Erivo has won a Tony, Grammy, and Daytime Emmy for her work in the recent Broadway revival of The Color Purple, making her only one step away from completing the EGOT. Which type of project do you think would giver her her best chance at winning an Oscar?

NATHANIEL: I hate to get nitpicky but technically should Daytime Emmys even count with the EGOT? If you count any old Emmy as towards the EGOT than about 100,000 people you've never heard of who have local Emmies (seriously they give those statues out like candy) are 1/4th of the way to that showbiz goal. It's only Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Lopez, and their fans that would argue that Daytime Emmys count. No shade!

Anyway my dream for Erivo is that they give her either the film version of The Color Purple musical, though I fear they'd just hand it to a bigger less worthy star (like, oh, Jennifer Hudson, who she and Danielle Brooks, the other Tony nominee from that show, both ran circles around onstage) or a film version of Caroline or Change (if they won't rehire the incredible Tonya Pinkins) as those two roles are powerhouse vehicles for a black woman with giant pipes. But any musical role would be dreamy. That voice!

 PEDRO: What is your favorite Star Wars character? And your favorite Star Wars actor?

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Tuesday
Apr252017

Q&A: JLaw at the Top, Chris Pine's Future, Trans Characters in Cinema

Bob Fosse on the set of LennyApologies dearest readers about the slow rollout of various columns this month. April is such a weird month, isn't it? What can you do. So you recently asked a bunch of questions and here's 11 answers!  I hope you'll speak out on these same topics in the comments to make this more conversational. I do actually love to hear your opinions, too! xoxo

EDWARD: Have you ever wanted to make a movie?

NATHANIEL: The short answer is "no". The medium answer is I think it might be fun to work on one once, to have the experience (the areas that most interest me in terms of my own potential skills are casting and editing). But my basic feeling is that I love movies too much to commit to one only for years on end as so many filmmakers seem to have to do. The long answer is that I have fantasized about it but usually only in the context of becoming a great director of modern movie musicals since Hollywood so desperately needs someone who is inspired by / committed to that genre specifically. We need a new Fosse/Minnelli/Berkeley/Donen  roughly a billion times more than we need a new Scorsese/Spielberg/Tarantino/Malick/Kubrick/Whomever. There are always people trying to be that latter group of guys!

MARK: If you could bring back any movie star deceased back in a Peter Cushing Rogue One style cameo who would you choose.

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Tuesday
Feb072017

Q&A: Overhyped Loveables, Depression Coping Tactics, and Best Foreign Film 

Happy Hump Day Almost! Why do some weeks feel so much like surviving itself is the only goal / triumph? I have let the Q&A column go but we're getting back on the horse and will try to do them more regularly. Here are seven questions from last week and two from a long time ago.

Ready? Let's go! Questions about awards seasons calendar, Brie Larson, director/cinematographer teams, and coping with depression after the jump...

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Sunday
Jul172016

Q&A: Magnani, Cameos, Oscar Ties, and Homoeroticism

I promised a second round of Q&A this week so here we go. Seven more reader questions answered...

Mr W: Do you have any thoughts on Anna Magnani? She's one of my Top 10 Actresses of all time, but I don't think I've ever read anything on her from you.

I do not. Embarrassing to admit but I've only seen her in The Rose Tattoo (1955) which she was wonderful in. Any suggestions as to where to start?

/3rtful: Is there one unsung veteran actress you would like to see get an award season career boost through Ryan Murphy?

There's very few veterans I wouldn't want to see good a career boost. But i'll just name a dozen (and anyone reading should know I could list another 5 dozen with ease -- I shoulda been a casting director). Given that Murphy usually pulls from the 80s and 90s actressing packs (which, one assumes, reflects his formative fandoms) I wish he would throw a bone to Shelley Duvall (though maybe given her rumored mental health this isn't a good idea), Ally Sheedy, Daryl Hannah, Holly Hunter, or Lesley Ann Warren any of whom might be brilliant within his unusually creepy heightened worlds...

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Tuesday
Jul122016

Q&A: Oscar-Free Dames, Supporting Shortlists, Disney Renaissance

Just answering six reader questions this afternoon for time constraints so we'll do another handful later in the week. Thanks for all the great Qs, readers! Here we go.

GSHAQ: Do you feel the gap is widening between the stories told in mainstream movies and contemporary issues? Oops, that might be an essay. 

NATHANIEL: This question hurts my brain but I'll try. I do fear for the health of cinema which directly addresses contemporary issues. For a long time the movies have preferred past-tense filters for social and political issues, once it's safer since history has sorted out consensus. The best of those past-tense films also address the here and now through their resonant power (see: Selma). And there's something to be said for the facility that good genre films have in addressing the way we live via metaphor (The Babadook, Bridesmaids, and Melancholia are MUCH better films about depression than some earnest dramas that directly take it on) Even superhero films can be reflective of the here and now in spite of (or maybe because of) all their mixed messages and contradictory 'have it both ways' politics. I don't think it's an accident that Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War, whatever their disparate qualities, are asking the same questions about Might Equalling Right and whether we have the right checks and balances in place for those in power. These are issues that we're facing in very real ways all over the world. But, that said, we do need a reenergized contemporary cinema. If we can only think about tough issues through metaphor or by dwelling on the past, we have some maturation to do as a society!

It's true that movies made in the right-now about the right-now can age quickly (see movies we've recently discussed like Working Girl)  but if they're any good -- and sometimes even when they aren't -- they make great time capsules about the way we were, the things we valued, and the issues that laid claim to our collective mental real estate.  

BVR: Rank the animated movies from the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999). Extra: which is the most underrated?

NATHANIEL: This is cheating and asking for a top ten list but here's a NON commital answer after the jump...

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Saturday
May142016

Q&A: Everybody Wants Drop Dead Gorgeous Editing & Combative Personalities

It's the time again: Reader Questions hooray. I picked 8 to answer this week. Thanks to everyone who asked. I can't answer all but who knows - the unanswered might well inspire something down the road, conciously or otherwise. You never know...

MARSHA: Are people like Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump just so evil and insane that they are beyond parody, or are there actors and directors you can think of who could convey their humanity and worldview?

NATHANIEL: Marsha, I promised I wasn't going to talk about politics until September, remember?!? Don't tempt me.  All I will say is that a great actor can perform magic even under impossible circumstances. Remember how deep Julianne Moore was able to go with Sarah Palin?

JB: Can we discuss Drop Dead Gorgeous. In spite of having all the right ingredients, it's never quite hit cult (gay) status like I always assumed it would. Why do you think that is?

lots more after the jump...

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Wednesday
Mar302016

Q&A: Artists in Movies and Uninspiring Best Pic Lineups

For this weeks Q&A I asked for an art theme to celebrate the joint birthday of Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya on this very day! So we'll start with a few art-focused topics before venturing to rando questions.

TOM: Which film about an artist (in any field of the Arts) that you were not particularly knowledgeable about made you want to see/hear the real work by that artist? 

I vastly prefer non-traditional biopics so I'm susceptible to stuff that piques curiosity rather than gives you a greatest hits. So I like bios like Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). I have some problems with I'm Not There (2007) which is my least favorite Todd Haynes film but I respect the hell out of it conceptually. In terms of movies about painters I definitely became more interested in Francis Bacon after Love is the Devil (1998) and not just because of Daniel Craig in the bathtub! I already cared about Caravaggio before seeing Derek Jarman's Caravaggio but I hope people see that one, too. 

BRIAN: If you had to recommend a budding Cinephile a movie based on an artist, a work of art, or has artistic themes what would it be?

Hmmm. A lot of movies about painting aren't very good (Watching someone paint being only a notch more interesting than watching someone write). So let's do "artistic" theme and the answer there is easily Amadeus (1984). It's such a useful movie to reference in ways both commonplace ("too many notes!") and contemplative (what makes the difference between competent journeyman skill and true genius?). One of my other favorite "art" movies is High Art (1998)...

8 more questions after the jump

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