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Entries in Quentin Tarantino (27)

Saturday
Dec222012

Les Linkábles

Auteuse Theory has co-written a book on Mamma Mia! of all things "Mamma Mia! The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon"
Gawker Audrey Plaza has a nude painting of herself on full display in her home 
The Wrap the best and worst performances by the same actor this year. Interesting concept but SO annoying to pretend Anne Hathaway is anything less than stupendous in Les Misérables 
Badass Digest Here's something unexpected. A piece on the vineyards of France and drinking in the time of Les Miz.

My New Plaid Pants obsession with Amanda Seyfried's 'magical slutty powers' is one of my favorite things on the internet, month in and month out.  I know everyone was excited to read me interviewing my Nicole but I'd honestly pay good money to watch a sit down with JA & Amanda
ME Says is disappointed with Jessica Chastain in The Heiress. This seems to be going around! That won't hurt but can't possibly help her Best Actress bid in Zero...
Awards Daily Sasha crunches numbers on Best Director and predicts doom for Tom Hooper without the Globe nod. Which might well be the case. But the thing I don't quite get, from other pundits, is why everyone has such sudden enthusiasm for Quentin Tarantino's chances. Tarantino movies ALWAYS open with a flurry of people crying "masterpiece" but that's because critics and bloggers are big stans of Quentin (with good reason but I hope you here my point.) Is this "late surge" for Django Unchained real or just a product of Weinstein Co's goodwill with the Globes?

The Playlist The NRA is blaming the movies again for all these gun massacres. I'd LOL if it weren't so terrible. Way to hang on to your destructive agenda in the face of ever more damning proof that it's just that! They are seriously a hideous blight on America. Speaking of...
Penny Arcade has a fine comic about this

Click on the image for more of the comic...

List-Mania
Pop Matters I am embarrassed for all my film friends who love Cloud Atlas but I have to link to Matt Mazur's top ten anyway because otherwise it's interesting!
Critic Wire asks film critics to share the best pieces of film criticism they've read this year. Lots of articles name-checked worth checking out
AV Club best scenes of the year
Pajiba has a great list of enjoyable supporting performances that won't win any awards... let alone Oscars
Screen Crave on the most disappointing films of the year from Django Unchained to The Avengers
Slate ten best of 2012 from How To Survive a Plague through Zero Dark Thirty 

And here is Kevin B Lee's 12 Best of the Year Video Essay from Fandor. (I keep meaning to do more video work and never get around to it. Argh.)

Even most of my critic friends love Silver Linings Playbook. I just don't get the love! But at least it's not a hideous bloated blight on the good name of cinema like Cloud Atlas

Wednesday
Dec192012

National Link Registry

The Hollywood Reporter  A former sitcom writer "kvells and kvetches" about The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance starring Babs and Bette
PopWatch Mark Harris on Hollywood's love of gun violence. I highly recommend reading this but I highly caution NOT reading the comments because as per usual the gun crazies come out. They'd have us all packing and I so don't want to live in their preferred world.
Cinema Blend Katey & Eric on 12 Unfairly Overlooked Movies of 2012 from Hello I Must Be Going (Yay, Melanie!) through Cosmopolis

Awards Daily Whoa. Ann Dowd is footing the bill for her own Oscar campaign.
The Hollywood Reporter talks to Emayatzy Corinealdi on her breakthrough in Middle of Nowhere. You know. I've been trying not to talk about this because I can't figure out a way to say it that doesn't sound indelicate but in some ways I really hate falling in love with new black actresses in the same way that falling hard for new theater actors can be nerve-wracking. Chances are (unforgivably) strong that no one will give these gifted performers another plum opportunity after their breakthrough and that truly sucks. So I'm crossing my fingers for Corinealdi but I'm still waiting for something real to happen for Pariah star Adepero Oduye, last year's breakthrough actress of color. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around the non-career of the brilliant Kimberly Elise so... 

The Carpetbagger on screenwriter Lucy Alibar's (Beasts of the Southern Wild) crash course in cinema
The Onion "Top Movies of 2012"
David Poland gives himself a new nickname. Or adopts one given.
Vanity Fair Barbra Streisand talks about her legendary duet with Judy Garland in the 60s. Really interesting comment from Babs I think.  
MNPP joins the Zero Dark Thirty fan club 

Oooh, look Quentin Tarantino pays tribute to Pedro Almodóvar saying that his filmography is "the one to beat" -damn straight! Nobody else in the modern era compares.

Finally, I want to extend my annual congratulations to the 25 films that are newly announced for preservation by the National Film Registry. They are:

  • "3:10 to Yuma" (1957)
  • "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959)
  • "The Augustas" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Born Yesterday" (1950)
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)
  • "A Christmas Story" (1983)
  • "The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight" (1897)
  • "Dirty Harry" (1971)
  • "Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2" (1980-82)
  • "The Kidnappers Foil" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests" (1922)
  • "A League of Their Own" (1992)
  • "The Matrix" (1999)
  • "The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair" (1939)
  • "One Survivor Remembers" (1995)
  • "Parable" (1964)
  • "Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia" (1990)
  • "Slacker" (1991)
  • "Sons of the Desert" (1933)
  • "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1973)
  • "They Call It Pro Football" (1967)
  • "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984)
  • "Two-Lane Blacktop" (1971)
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1914)
  • "The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England" (1914)

As per usual that's a lot of titles that I know nothing about but I'm most thrilled by The Times of Harvey Milk which is one of the most moving and important documentaries ever made. And on a sillier note, can we talk about how ever-watchable the female baseball comedy A League of Their Own is? Sometimes I pine for the 1990s. It's tough to imagine that movie breaking $100 million now but the 90s were a good time for girlpower narratives.  

If you're a fan of A League of  Their Own (who isn't?) I want to know which scene just popped into your mind when you heard that it made the list!

 

Friday
Dec142012

Hats Off to Mr. Jackson

Michael C here to sound some trumpets for a fine actor's return from the wilderness. There are many pleasures to be found in Django Unchained, but for me the most satisfying was being able to unambiguously love a Samuel L. Jackson performance for the first time in what feels like forever. 

Let's be frank, Jackson has always been a guy who would cheerfully say yes to just about any script that was correctly formatted. But at least back in the 90’s he would throw in an Eve’s Bayou or a Jackie Brown every once in a while. Over the last decade, however, his time has been divided between coasting on his star presence in blockbusters or squandering his considerable talent in straight up dreck like The Man or The Spirit. What attempts he has made at meaningful work have largely been dumped directly in the straight-to-video bin. (Home of the Brave anyone?) The last performance of his that left any impression on me was 2000’s Unbreakable, although your mileage may vary. Black Snake Moan had its fans, as did The Caveman’s Valentine. Whatever the case, there’s no denying the internal compass he possesses for choosing projects is severely miscalibrated.

But now there is his work in Django and damn does it feels good to seem him nail it in a big way. Jackson gave what is basically one of my favorite performances ever in Pulp Fiction and Tarantino has handed him another winner. He plays Stephen, the most trusted slave of Leo’s malevolent plantation owner and the two of them share a terrific, twisted chemistry. In terms of thematic weight Stephen's importance to the story is second only to Foxx's Django, and Jackson makes a meal out of every second of screen time. It’s a devious, deceptively simple performance. A late in the film monologue in particular should have Oscar voters second guessing whether DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz, who were both Golden Globe nominated, are really the Django performances to unite behind in the awards game.

Jackson may very well turn around and follow this up with another decade of crapola (the XXX sequel listed on his IMDb page doesn’t bode well) but for now I’m pleased to see he has another performance that can stand proudly alongside Jules Winfield, Gator Purify and Sean Nelson’s alcoholic, chess playing father from Fresh (Rent it!)

Wednesday
Aug292012

Melanie Lynskey's Photos from the Set of "Teddy Bears"

[Editor's Note: The Film Experience is pleased to welcome Melanie Lynskey, star of Hello I Must Be Going (opening September 7th), as today's special guest blogger - Nathaniel R]

PHOTO TIME. I'm sharing photos! (Part 1)

Most of my old photos are at my parents house in New Zealand, but I did find one good oldie. So I will post one old one, and the rest are from four films I finished filming in the last year. That way I can totally plug those movies!

© Melanie Lynskey for The Film Experience

The first photo was taken at the Venice Film Festival in 1994. I want to tap myself on the shoulder and say, "hey, you're at the Venice Film Festival! Put some mascara on!" But I was going through a time in my life where I refused to wear makeup or high heels or anything form-fitted, partly to drive my mother crazy and partly because I was reading "The Beauty Myth" every few months and getting angrier every time. Also it would really delight Peter Jackson when I showed up to a premiere in Converse, and I love his little laugh, so I was happy enough. I love this picture because I am So. Excited. to be meeting the director of Reservoir Dogs. I love that Quentin Tarantino. (He literally would not stop talking long enough to get his picture taken, he's just carrying on with some amazing comprehensive story.) Sarah Pierse, who played my mother in Heavenly Creatures, is that gorgeous lady to my left. She's one of the greats, I think. An amazing actress. My beloved David Lynch was the head of the jury that year and I got to meet him. I cannot even tell you how into Twin Peaks I was at that point, not to mention the fact that I would re-watch one of his movies pretty much every weekend of my life. I started crying as soon as I was out of his sight. It was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me.

This next little group of photos is from the movie Teddy Bears, which we filmed in April. I'm posting these photos to say look at this cast, yo!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug192012

148 Days Til Oscar Nominations!

Do you ever marvel at the countdown clock in the lefthand sidebar and think "Wow, only ___ days until Oscar nominations!". I know I do. As of right now there are only 148 days and some hours left until Oscar nominations. 21 weeks! That means the universe has plenty of time to back me up on my current predictions or destroy them savagely. Either way is fun for me which is, I suppose, why I've never been able to quit predicting Hollywood's High Holy Night.

CHART UPDATES

Best Picture & Best Director - The Great Gatsby and Baz Luhrmann exit the charts, both moving to summer 2013. And though I never had faith in Gatsby as an actual finalist (the book is too perfect as a book) what can rush in to replace it on the charts? The race is still wide open as it should be.

Gatsby will sit this particular party out. He'll throw his own next Summer

But from where I sit though I'm sure some will disagree, the franchise hopefuls are toast. A lot of people still think that The Gidling of the Lord of the Rings Lily: Part 1 of 3 will factor in but Oscar is not Emmy and LotR is not The West Wing. Fantasy is still a novelty for Oscar voters and I can't imagine that handing the last one 11 Oscars won't feel like enough of a reward for Jackson & Middle Earth. Yes, they've had a decade long breather but I figure the only way The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is competing for the top prize is if people go crazier for it than the original trilogy. And that would be an unexpected journey. 

Meanwhile I suspect that The Avengers and The Dark Knight Concludes Divisively will have a rough time making it through the wild rapids of winter campaigning and I don't expect either of them in the big show beyond a few craft nods. I don't even have faith in the eagerly awaited Django Unchained as an Oscar hopeful. Quentin Tarantino, when he leans toward retro remixes of less prestigious film genres, is just not necessarily for them (see: Jackie Brown, Kill Bill). Yes,  he leans towards that.. always... and he has made two big Oscar hits. But Pulp Fiction was the kind of pop-cultural zeitgeist breakthrough that's impossible to ignore and Inglourious Basterds was a WW II fantasy and Oscar does his own share of fantasizing about that.

All of this nitpicking doubt leads me to believe that Beasts of the Southern Wild, a movie that doesn't look much like an Oscar film (yay!), is on its way to locked up status as an Oscar film. While it didn't become the crossover hit we'd hoped it would, it's done well enough financially to ride the "beloved indie / critical darling" into the mainstream competition for gold. (Think Winter's Bone.)

Best Actor - It's been 11 years since Denzel Washington won his second Oscar and in that whole time he hasn't done anything worth Oscar's time. Will they welcome him back if Flight is a big hit?

What's Denzel's poison? And was he drinking it before the Flight?

 

 

The way I see it mainstream dramas that become big hits are shoo in for Oscar play. Oscar likes drama best and when films without genre trappings that are intended for adults soar at the box office, they join in the applause. I'm feeling it'll hit. Just a feeling.

But the big question in Best Actor is whether the Weinstein's will try to convince AMPAS voters that Joaquin Phoenix is "supporting" Phillip Seymour Hoffman (or the other way around) in The Master. If they risk a double lead campaign and the film is the critical mega-success the internet seems to be expecting, could they be the first Actor Pair since *gulp* Amadeus (twenty-eight years ago) to hog 40% of the shortlist? It's hilarious (and depressing) to view Amadeus in retrospect and know that campaign teams would try to pretend that Salieri or Mozart were "supporting" players in their own riveting brutal musical duet. 

Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress -- We discussed these last week here

Best Supporting Actor - This category hasn't come into focus yet which should make the fall extra exciting. So for the moment, you can predict just about anything (at least here) and feel like a true psychic. You can feel like a psychic right up until the moment the films open and prove you wrong! But the foggy nature of the Supporting goods me wonder if I'm not underestimating those that have already arrived and delighted (like Matthew McConaughey and Michael Fassbender) despite the lowbrow nature of their roles... at least accordingi to Oscar's general aesthetics.

Ruth E Carter, two time Oscar nominees, doing retro-chic looks for Sparkle

Best Visuals and Best Aurals - UPDATES STILL IN PROGRESS -- THIS TAKES TIME.
The latest film to enter the ring visually and aurally is the Motown musical Sparkle (my review tomorrow) and while I don't expect Oscar play anywhere stranger things have happened in the below the line categories. 

Screenplay, Animated, Foreign Film and the Complete Prediction Chart. Check them out and report back.