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Entries in RIP (111)

Wednesday
Sep212016

Curtis Hanson (1945-2016)

Director Curtis Hanson passed away yesterday at the age of 71. Word is that Alzheimer had forced a retirement five years ago.

Eminem won a Song Oscar for his collaboration with Curtis Hanson in "8 Mile"

Hanson's brush with A list "prestige" was brief (3 Oscar nominations for producing, co-writing, and directing the much-admired LA Confidential) but his career was a fine example of versatile craftsmanship. He served as an important reminder that there's more to directing than auteurial stamps...

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Sunday
Sep112016

Alexis Arquette (1969-2016)

Alexis Arquette, the youngest sister of the Arquette acting family, passed away today at the age of 47 after a lengthy illness. She was the fourth of the five Arquette kids, all of whom became actors, with Rosanna Arquette leading the way to fame in the early 80s. Alexis was surrounded by all her siblings when she died as they listened to her favorite songs. She passed during David Bowie's "Starman." (So many sad goodbyes in 2016.)

Born Robert, she took the name Alexis early on, long before coming out officially as transgendered. Onscreen her first appearance was uncredited in the Bette Midler comedy Down & Out in Beverly Hills  (1986).

as "Georgette" in Last Exit to Brooklyn

Her official debut though was as the trans prostitute "Georgette" in one of Jennifer Jason Leigh's most critically acclaimed showcases Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)... 

 

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Monday
Aug292016

RIP Gene Wilder (1933 - 2016)

Comedy legend Gene Wilder has passed away, after complications with Alzheimer's disease. He served as Mel Brooks's leading player, producing such classics as Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein. After those films, he also frequently starred opposite Richard Pryor. But to many he will always be remembered for the hilarious sly cruelty of his Willy Wonka, a performance that seen from a childhood gaze is awe-inspiring and warm only to become more delectably rotten in adulthood.

After the passing of his wife Gilda Radner (Wilder also had his own battle with cancer), he mostly stepped out of the spotlight, leaving those mentioned behemoths to speak for his legacy. For me, his Frederic Frankensteen is the one that sticks - all barking neuroses and feigned composure while lampooning the heightened acting styles of Universal horror classics. The performance is so physical and modulated to extremes that his comedy becomes like a set piece, a spectacle worth coming back to again and again.

What are your favorite Gene Wilder memories?

Thursday
Aug182016

Arthur Hiller (1923-2016) and "Making Love"

Arthur Hiller with his Jean Hersholt Huminatarian AwardOscar nominated Canadian born Hollywood director Arthur Hiller died yesterday at 92 years of age. Though he's best remembered for the 1970 mega-hit Love Story  -- so popular in its day it would have been equivalent to a Jurassic World at the box office today (no really) -- his career was actually quite varied. He did dramas, romances, buddy comedies, period pieces, you name it.

Among his best known films which is your favorite?

  • The Americanization of Emily (1964)
  • The Out of Towners (1970)
  • Love Story (1970)
  • Plaza Suite (1971)
  • Man of La Mancha (1972)
  • Silver Streak (1976)
  • The In-Laws (1979)
  • Making Love (1982)
  • Author! Author! (1982)
  • Outrageous Fortune (1987)
  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) 

Outrageous Fortune was probably my favorite of his films - Bette Midler & Shelley Long were so funny together --  but the film that's the most interesting, historically, is Making Love as it was the very first mainstream LGBT film...

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Tuesday
Aug162016

Monty (1998-2016)

Our first photo together in December 1998, before The Film Experience existed. I lost my furbaby today (apologies that scheduled blog events are delayed). You knew him as a highly elusive cat pundit (he was most active in the prediction game from 2010-2012) but he was never easy to pin down on movies and Oscars.

Some of his classic posts:
Bridesmaids
127 Hours, Conviction, and Never Let Me Go
Hitchcock 
Olaf from Frozen 
Jennifer Aniston in Cake 

He did love a few movies unreservedly including Microcosmos (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000), and Paddington (2014) but mostly he ignored them, preferring to imagine he was my only love. I already miss him terribly.

Saturday
Aug132016

RIP Kenny Baker (1934 - 2016)

Kenny Baker, the actor inside R2-D2 in each of the Star Wars films, has passed away at 81. Share your favorite R2-D2 moments and insights in the comments.