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Entries in racial politics (96)

Friday
Jun232017

i've got good news. that link you like is going to come back in style.

Guardian Great interview with Holly Hunter about The Big Sick and her career. (People are already mentioning "Oscar nom!" in regards to her supporting work as Zoe Kazan's mother in the romantic comedy)

Pajiba on what the new Defenders posters might remind you of

Playbill Adorable John Benjamin Hickey, fresh off the revival of Six Degrees of Separation, thinks there should be a fine for people who leave their cel phones on in theaters. Agreed! 

Screen Crush picks the 25 best LGBT films of the past 25 years. Happy to see Pariah and Bound mixed in with the usual titles like Brokeback Mountain and such. And the past few years have been so good for LGBT cinema. I mean: Carol, The Handmaiden, Moonlight, Tangerine. #Blessed

Esquire Fun article by Tyler Coates on how he finally learned to love RuPaul's Drag Race which he had avoided for years and even bad-mouthed in print

Theater Mania you don't see this often but there's an actual age restriction on the Broadway adaptation of George Orwell's "1984". No one under 13 will be admitted due to its intensity. The show stars Tom Sturridge, Reed Birney, Olivia Wilde, and TFE fav Cara Seymour (who previously did that lovely guest spot for us). I'm seeing it soon so will report back.

IndieWire has issues with the "orientalism" of the new Twin Peaks. Add this to the onling Sofia Coppola controversy and... well... People I don't know what to do with all the outrage anymore at everything. There's got to be a line where, as an adult, you're just okay with what you're seeing and discarding the parts that irk you, or filing them under "I don't know about that but whatever" if they're not harmfully intended. Artists will always have their own peculiar obsessions and they'll always draw from a wide variety of influences (at least the good ones will) to craft their own stories and nobody really owns history; pop culture and the arts are giant beautiful melting pots of ideas and aesthetics from all over the world. Oh and also the Laura Dern hairstyle is not proprietarily Asian as the article seems to imply. I know this because I was obsessed with silent film star Louise Brooks as a teenager (Pandora's Box Diary of a Lost Girl 4ever!). It was originally called the 'Castle Bob,' because Irene Castle (a famous NY dancer) debuted the then-shocking look in 1915. It was a very controversial look but became a sensation in the 1920s with flappers and silent film stars. Hollywood's first popular Asian American actress Anna May Wong, who the article references as an influence on Dern's look, actually had to get her hair cut like that because it was so popular.

This is Not Porn great photo of Oscar winner Kim Hunter in makeup chair on The Planet of the Apes (1968)

Hilarious Reads and I Personally Needed the Laughs. You?

The New Yorker "Tennessee Williams with Air Conditioning"... *fans self* I was cackling so loud by the end of this. Best article in forever.

• McSweeneys "11 Ways That I, a White Man, Am Not Privileged" Oops. Hee!

Buzzfeed "25 Gay Pride signs that will make you laugh harder than you should" - so many of these are so wonderful I just want to hug all gay people for being funny and able to spell

McSweeneys "An Oral History of Quentin Tarantino as Told to Me By Men I've Dated" 

What places are delivering right now? So, in the early ’90s, right around when Pulp Fiction came out, Quentin Tarantino and Mira Sorvino were dating. I always thought Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion was a dumb chick flick, but I caught part of it on cable the other day and there was an ad for Red Apple cigarettes in the background of one of the shots! Do you know about Red Apple cigarettes?

Tuesday
Jun202017

Daniel Day-Links

• Vanity Fair the interrupted erupted into crazed outrage early today over fake news regarding Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman payday. Katey clears up the confusion

Time has a gorgeously written profile of Sofia Coppola by Stephanie Zacharek as The Beguiled heads to theaters.

• Meanwhile, though, not everyone is happy with the film. Our own Murtada thinks the film lacks tension and should've switched its setting away from the Civil War. Slate details the whitewashing of the source novel that happened in both the 1971 movie and to an even larger degree in the current film. I think a couple of the Slate article complaints are overdoing it particularly when it comes to the dialogue addressing the absence of slaves -- that feels absolutely authentic as to how that particular character (Nicole Kidman's stone-faced self-serving Miss Martha) would dismiss the topic but there are enough valid ones that now I'd love to see a third version that is actually more faithful to the book because it sounds, at least in this article, like its more fascinating than either movie version. I guess we should read it.

• THR Young Han Solo loses/fires (?) its hot directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller under the typical "creative visions" disagreements. The worrying part is that they're already several months into production. Deadline follows up with the bad news that they want Ron Howard to finish the film

• GQ Joel Schumacher looks back on the reviled camp of Batman & Robin. Has no regret about the Bat Nipples.

• Village Voice Transformers: The Last Knight wrecks Bilge Ebiri. Perfect. This review is perfect. 

 • And you have probably heard that Daniel Day-Lewis is retiring...
The Wrap reminds us that he's announced his retirement before but Variety goes with the sensational misleading "Shocker!" headline even though Daniel Day-Lewis hardly ever works by his own choice and thus it was only a matter of time before he did this. Letters of Note shares a cool story about how hard he fought for his breakout role in My Beautiful Laundrette. I personally think it's fine that he's retiring. He's clearly not a "hungry" actor anymore and actors are better when they really want it (just as people in all professions are). Also Lucy Prebble, Clarisse Loughrey, and Teo Bugbee had amusing notes to comfort us on this topic on twitter.

Naturally this means that Phantom Thread, his next Paul Thomas Anderson picture opening in December, would theoretically be his last. Cynics will tell you -- and have already told you online surely -- that this means he's a lock for the Oscar yet again. But let's not get carried away. People will have to at least really like the movie and Oscar voters will have to really want him to tie Katharine Hepburn's record for that to happen. Will they? We'll see.

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...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May102017

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Robert here! It's a day that ends in a Y which means it's time for another Hollywood whitewashing scandal. This time around we've got the announcement that famously white actor Zach McGowan, of "Shameless" and "Black Sails" fame, will be playing the part of real-life native Hawaiian decorated World War II hero Benehakaka "Ben" Kanahele in an upcoming film called Ni’ihau. Below are pictures of McGowan and Kanahele for comparison.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr272017

Familiar Faces: The Jonathan Demme Players

by Nathaniel R

Dearest reader, as you've probably heard by now the director Jonathan Demme has passed away at 73. He died due to esophageal cancer. I had run into him at a screening of La La Land  this past September and I took the opportunity to tell him how much Rachel Getting Married  meant to me (he joked about being first with interracial weddings for Rosemarie deWitt onscreen). Then we talked Swing Shift for a little bit as we had just discussed it on this very site. I was so saddened by this yesterday that I couldn't do much but tweet my farewells. The words wouldn't come out for a lengthy piece but then, surprise, I remembered I'd written the following piece that was never published (oops) to coincide with the release of Ricki and the Flash (2015). I filled in a few of the blank spots and adjusted some verbs to reflect the past tense but this surprisingly doubles as what I probably wanted to say about Jonathan Demme yesterday and couldn't. It's about his favorite actors but looking back, it's a fitting tribute because what American director was more curious about literally any kind of person he might find with his camera?

Jonathan Demme was one of America's most interesting and surprising directors. Though he's now best remembered for the modern classic The Silence of the Lambs (1991) it was actually something of an oddity in his filmography being the only horror film and, in some ways, the most classically controlled. In other ways though it's a traditional Demme picture. It features actors doing unexpected or suddenly signature electric work, weird musician cameos (what the hell is one of the members of 80s synth pop band Book of Love doing in there?), and diverse casting where most films would go with the default heavily male white cast. In fact, Silence might be his most white/male movie but that's part of its plot...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar302017

Power Linkers

Mashable the 8 main excuses Hollywood uses for whitewashing, and why they're all bunk in this day and age
Film Doctor 5 amusing notes on "Evil Disney Hegemony" and Emma Watson as Belle
The Muse Rich Juzwiak on the recent LGBT scraps thrown in mainstream Hollywood movies. Frankly I've been insulted, rather than thankful, by both of them. I just saw Power Rangers and I cannot believe people are crediting this movie with being LGBT inclusive. The Yellow Ranger never even admits she's queer. She just stays literally silent (and you know what silence equals) when someone asks if she has a girlfriend.

 

David Poland distributors are considering shrinking the theatrical release window again. Is this just suicide? (I hate to be an alarmist but I totally agree with David Poland's thinking here
Women in Hollywood interviews The Zookeeper's Wife author Diane Ackerman
Time lists the 50 best podcasts right now. I almost never listen to podcasts. Probably because I have no commute. I should get on that.
Pajiba on the costs of running independent film sites - ugh this hurts to read. It's so hard and we dont even do half as well as they do!
IndieWire Paul Thomas Anderson's fashion drama gets a Christmas day release 
World of Reel the early reactions to the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales are actually positive 
Awards Daily talks to composer Trevor Morris (as much as I hated Iron Fist, I liked his work on it!) 
Broadway Blog Bette Midler's super gracious moment with an understudy on Hello Dolly! 

Finally, Two Directing Offers of Note
Joss Whedon might write & direct a Batgirl movie. The deal is supposedly close to happening but he had such a terrible experience with Warner Bros on his Wonder Woman screenplay (and such a difficult time with Marvel on Avengers: Age of Ultron) that this is quite a surprise. The money must be really good but we keep hoping he'll create an original television series again soon rather than reshaping other people's brands. 

Jordan Peele is being considered to direct both Akira and The Flash at Warner Bros thanks to the huge success of his directorial debut Get Out. But both those projects seem so troubled. The first because every iteration Hollywood has dreamt up for Akira includes removing its very Asianness (goddamnit Hollywood, just stop. Asia is an enormous enormous market for movies. You make no sense!) and the second from DC's habitual superhero and filmmaker interference problems. Wouldn't it be better if Peele follows his own muse? That worked pretty damn well for him the first time.