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Entries in Reds (4)

Wednesday
Dec052018

81 days til Oscar

by Nathaniel R

Diane & Warren / Don & Meryl at the 1981 Oscars

You know what I feel is tragic about online Oscar history, dear readers? It's the lack of abundance of Oscar night photos before, say, 2000. Oh sure you can usually find photos of the winners holding their Oscars but try finding complete gowns of all the Best Actress nominees if you (hypothetically) wanna fantasize about ordering custom doll sets of every vintage. You're out of luck for any year prior to the explosion of 24/7 media coverage and constant Oscar coverage. Take the 1981 Oscars for example...

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Tuesday
Jun062017

The Dramas of Diane Keaton


“It’s not a good idea to be identifiable, though it’s reassuring. It feels safe in most ways, and that’s bad, because it means that you’re accepted, and once that happens that’s where you stay. You have to watch yourself. I’d like a life like Katharine Hepburn’s in terms of work. She matured. She made the changes. Like Martha Graham.”

Diane Keaton,  New Yorker, 1978

Diane Keaton is to receive the American Film Institure Lifetime Achievement award on June 8th. We should be pleased, not only deserved because Keaton is a true legend, but also because highly accomplished comic actors are so often overlooked by awards bodies. Think of Keaton and Annie Hall comes immediately to mind along with other Woody Allen films, as well as comedies like The First Wives Club, Father of the Bride and Something's Gotta Give. But few actresses have a dramatic filmography that can match Keaton's. For all her fluffy breeziness, her dramatic skill is equally sharp and coldly acerbic, with films like Shoot the Moon, Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Reds capturing this dichotomy. And we can't forget the entire Godfather trilogy.

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Sunday
Apr222012

Jack Attack

Jack Nicholson is 75 years old today. He has only made 3 movies in the past eight years and his last great performance (About Schmidt) was a full decade past. His frequent absences would be a much greater loss to cinema if his current taste didn't lean more Bucket List and less Schmidt. But he has meant so much to so many moviegoers for so many decades that his big day is definitely worth celebrating.

So herewith ten random things off the top of my head that I love about Jack Nicholson... and it shouldn't surprise you that most of them involve his actress co-stars. That's not just because you're reading this at The Film Experience but because, for all of Jack's showboating style, he regularly ups the game of his leading ladies (and vice versa)

• "Dear Ndugu..." (About Schmidt)

• the fascinating and atypical restraint of his character work as Eugene O'Neill in Reds (1981). He lets Warren Beatty & Diane Keaton lead (which they do spectacularly well -- what a great movie) but manages to leave an indelible searing impression all the same. I sometimes wonder if it's his best performance.

• That it took him a good  long while to become JACK NICHOLSON -- he started in 1956 and he wasn't really JACK til 1969's Five Easy Pieces, and those slow burn rises to superstardom really ought to inspire all great actors who are looking for a defining breakthrough.

• The electric but very different push/pulls of his beastly seductions of Michelle Pfeiffer in Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Wolf (1994). They had great chemistry together. 

• Chinatown (1974) in general and in its entirety. Also specifically in just about every scene. Let's simplify...

 Chinatown (1974) !!!!

• "Do I ice her? Do I marry her? Which one of dese?" Dumb pussy-whipped Jack in Prizzi's Honor (1985) who is talking about Irene (Kathleen Turner) but might just as well be describing his topsy turvy relationship with his ex (Anjelica Huston) too. 

...His women keep pulling the rug out from under him, the Oriental rug to be precise.

 Right there on the Oriental. With all the lights on. 

Everything about The Jack & Shirley Show within Terms of Endearment (1983)

His long friendship with Warren Beatty, also newly 75. Imagine the influence and power they've wielded in their time on American cinema.

• "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" My favorite Jack Nicholson moments are rarely the iconic ones that everyone knows (in which I always find myself feeling "pull it back!") but his literally splintering-crazy work in The Shining is the best of his YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH style screen beats. 

Your turn!

What's your favorite Jack Nicholson performance? Which screen moments from his long history stick with you.

Monday
Feb142011

Contest Winners: Warren Beatty "STAR"

Warren & Natalie at the April 1962 Oscars.While Hollywood is busy celebrating Annette Bening's latest big screen triumph, we thought we'd celebrate her husband Warren Beatty with a giveaway of the biography "Star. How Warren Beatty Seduced America" . It's out on paperback finally. I asked contestants to tell me about their favorite Warren Beatty film and I was actually surprised at the breakdown (I expected Bonnie & Clyde to capsize the competition but it did not.) In fact, the contest entries were pretty evenly spread among the top three.

The Holy Trinity...er, Quadrilogy
1. Splendor in the Grass (1961)
2. Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
3. [tie] Shampoo (1975) & Heaven Can Wait (1978)

Reds, Dick Tracy, McCabe and Mrs Miller, The Parallax View and Bulworth, in that order, lagged behind. Those nine films are a pretty smart snapshot of the cream of his crop reminding us once again that Film Experience readers are awesome. (Duh!) The rest of Beatty's thin but substantial filmography wasn't mentioned; Beatty only made 22 movies over his 40 year career. Of the 13 that weren't name-checked the most interesting is probably Lilith (1964) about an institutionalized woman (Jean Seberg) and the most infamous is undoubtedly the adventure comedy Ishtar (1987) with Dustin Hoffman.

The classic Bonnie & Clyde (1967) with Beatty & Dunaway

Contest winners and notes on Bonnie & Clyde, Reds and Dick Tracy with Madonna after the jump.

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