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Entries in RIP (67)

Wednesday
Jul022014

Bob & Carol & Depp & Tilda

The New Yorker on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice by Paul Mazursky. I love that movie so much
NYT RIP the influential filmmaker Paul Mazursky (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, An Unmarried Woman, Enemies: A Love Story
THR The Academy sues the estate of art director Joseph Wright. His family auctioned off his Oscar for My Gal Sal (1942) for $79,200. (God, imagine how much an Oscar for a famous movie or actor would get!) But auctioning off Oscars is a big big no-no. AMPAS freaks out every time.
Bryan Singer tweets a treament of X-Men: Apocalypse


Daily Mail Johnny Depp on the set of Black Mass. Lots of old age makeup
X-Finity Matt Bomer implies that his Montgomery Clift biopic is on indefinite delay
The Wire Joe talks that Eric/Jason sex scene on True Blood and what a failure the show has been in terms of the gay. Co-sign every word.
The Black Maria on the Hunger Games of the 70s, Roller Ball
The Dissolve in the greatest summer blockbusters
Comics Alliance revisits Batman to look at Vicki Vale, the 1989 version of "Strong Female Character". (I totally forgot Ms Vale was an acclaimed photojournalist - not that it matters)

The 1989 model had fluffier hair than her successors, but that’s really the only significant difference. She establishes her Totally Empowered cred early, makes eyes at the hero, then gets the hell out of the way... She ends the film in the hero’s arms, fulfilling her role as reward for his victory, with nary a whisper of the professional goals that drove her to him in the first place. She is pretty and in need of rescue and almost entirely in service to the male characters’ plot and characterization—but she gets to be vaguely spunky and is slapped with a typically male career, so it’s totally okay.

I can only imagine the interviews that took place upon the release of "Batman", touting her modernity, her break with the damsels of the past, her ineffable 1989-ness.

Towleroad Adore Delano continues to hit it hard in that tiny assured-media-interest window post RuPaul's Drag Race. Party!
Clothes on Film wonders what happens to contemporary costumes when the movie wraps. Featuring The DescendantsBrick and Silver Linings Playbook
Variety Tom Hardy reunites with Inception co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant 

Tilda = Best
Tilda Swinton has proclaimed that everyone should see Julia because Tilda has great taste. She's so extraordinary in that movie and she should've won her second Oscar for it. (Sorry Oscar nominees of 2009 but you just don't compare)

I made a film with Erick Zonca called JULIA of which I am extremely proud: in the United States it had a very small release by a great little and passionate distribution company called Magnolia.. but there was only so wide they could release it.. PLEASE look for that one.. it is something else.. and I LOVE it.

Her Reddit Q&A is often hilarious. Consider this response to whether or not she's a clone of David Bowie.

The laboratory gave me strict instructions to issue no comment

I'm so proud that I've been a fan of Tilda since Edward II (1991) so she's MINE. I am so proud to have given Tilda the gold medal right here for Julia. The Film Bitch Awards are awesome. *pats self on back* Should really watch that movie again.

Wednesday
Jun252014

Eli Wallach (1915-2014)

The great character actor Eli Wallach didn't quite make it to his centennial, dying at 98½ but at least he lived long enough to get an Honorary Oscar a few years back. The Academy honored him for "a lifetime's worth of indelible screen characters" even though they'd never nominated him.

I'm sure AMPAS didn't mean to include "Mr Freeze" on the Batman TV series as one of those characters but that's the one that's indelible for me. Is that wrong? When I was a child that show was always on through the magic of syndication. But Mr. Freeze was recast frequently (curiously enough two other Oscar favorites also played the chilly bad guy: three time nominee Otto Preminger and Oscar winner George Sanders). They rarely showed episodes in order so the memories of the faces get all jumbled up. 

He made a lot of career noise with his onscreen debut in Baby Doll (1956) for which he was Golden Globe nominated. But several fine characters and classics would follow like The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits, How the West Was Won, The Moon Spinners, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and The Godfather Pt. III.


What do you remember most about this actor?



Saturday
Jun142014

Two "Dracula" Actresses

The Los Angeles Times reports that one of the last remaining silent era actors has passed away. The actress in question, Carla Laemmle, had an easy in to the movies: her uncle Carl Laemmle founded Universal Studios and invited her family to live in a bungalow on the lot.  Carla only had a small part in the horror classic Dracula (1931) but a key one: she uttered the first line of dialogue. She didn't appear in many pictures in her long life, dying at 104 years of age, but she apparently just recently filmed a role in a new horror film Mansion of Blood (2014) starring Gary Busey.

In happier news - this is not a double RIP -  Lupita Tovar, a Mexican beauty who starred in the Spanish language version of Dracula that same year (in those early days of sound they made simultaneous alternative versions for other markets with the same sets and costumes) is still with us at 103 years of age. Lupita also comes from a movie family or, rather, began one. She is the mother of Oscar nominee Susan Kohner (Imitation of Life) and grandmother to the directors Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz (of About a Boy fame)

Related: Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note

Thursday
Jun122014

Ruby Dee (1922-2014)

We've lost another showbiz legend.

Ruby Dee photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1962

Ruby Dee, the showbiz legend and awards magnet -- the list is seriously long and includes an Emmy & Grammy -- rose to fame on stage and screen in the 1940s. Her feature debut was That Man of Mine (1946) but her best remembered roles came later with The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), the screen adaptation of the oft-revived play A Raisin in the Sun (1961, which just netted yet more Tony Awards) opposite Sidney Poitier, and the first Off Broadway production of "Boesman and Lena" with James Earl Jones on stage in 1970.

Ruby Dee during her victory lap of events honoring her in the Aughts. This one is from 2008Younger audiences undoubtedly know her best from her screen return in the classic Do The Right Thing (1989, with her longtime husband Ossie Davie who passed away nine years ago), her political activism, and that round of lifetime achievement prizes in the Aughts starting with SAG in 2001.

That victory lap arguably peaked when she gave Denzel Washington the slap he deserved in American Gangster (2007). The resulting Oscar nod was surely a recognition of a sturdy cross-media showbiz career that stretch all the way to 1939 (gasp) with a stage debut at 17. She died in her home at 91 yesterday after a full, vibrant and influential life. 

Thursday
Jun122014

Some Came Linking

Vulture dreams up sequels for The Fault In Our Stars. We'll obviously take the Laura Dern one
The Awl "The Tortured History of Entertainment Weekly" - god I was so in love with that magazine when it debuted in the 1990s. The first issue I remember buying was #5 with Jamie Lee Curtis on the cover for Kathryn Bigelow's Blue Steel
Pixar Times Pixar teases the first five minutes of Inside Out their June 2015 release
Theater Mania Laura Benanti auditions for Peter Pan Live

Boy Culture RIP supporting actress Martha Hyer, Oscar-nominated for Some Came Running (1958) 
Kenneth in the (212) teases a new stage production with the music of the The Go-Gos?
Comics Alliance a giant statue of Spider-Man in Korea is causing a stir thanks to its Spider-Manhood
Empire there's a new trailer for The Boxtrolls
Variety expects crazy ladies to dominate the Guest Actress race at the Emmys 
THR has a lengthy cover story on the suicide of the director of Searching For Sugar Man 

Foreign Film Oscar Watch
The Great Beauty, Italy's Oscar winner just lost its home-field Oscar race to a film called Human Capital which also won three acting gongs. Human Capital wasn't eligible for submission by Italy last year (since it hadn't yet opened by the cutoff date) so it could well be Italy's submission this year.

P.S.
I'm not sure how I missed this excellent interview with Lori Petty over at The Daily Beast on Sunday but it's a must read if you have any affection at all for Lori or the 1990s when she just kept doing her inimitable thing all over now classic movies like A League of Their Own, Point Break, and... well, the interview weirdly neglects Tank Girl but what can you do? She talks working with Jodie Foster, Madonna, discovering Jennifer Lawrence and how she got her cameo part in Orange is the New Black despite definitely being off the radar in recent years. 

Lori Petty & Naomi Watts in Tank Girl (1995)

Why do you think the roles started drying up after Tank Girl?

Well, because I was thirty-something and I hadn’t married my agent, married any guy co-stars, or gotten fake titties or Botox. I never wanted to be a bombshell; I wanted to be an actor. I would much prefer to be a woman than a man, but if I was a dude, maybe I’d have Johnny Depp’s island because women in this industry after a certain age definitely don’t get to do Pirates of the Caribbean. Poor Keira [Knightley], they even airbrushed huge tits on her on the poster, and she’s flawless! I was trying to play football with a baseball, and you can’t really do that.

Monday
May192014

RIP: Gordon Willis, cinematography of "The Godfather", "Manhattan", "All the President's Men"...

Here's one of my personal favorite critics, Tim Brayton, with a gracious crossposting of his lovely obituary for one of the greatest cinematographers who ever lived. - Nathaniel


It’s not tragic when an 82-year-old man, who had been happily retired for 17 years, following an incredibly strong and well-regarded career, dies. Any of us would be lucky and blessed to have that kind of live and that kind of death. But the loss of Gordon Willis on May 18 is heartbreaking anyway: it’s always heartbreaking when a true genius, visionary, and leader of his field passes away.

Willis was the most important cinematographer of the last 50 years of cinema. I don't know of any clearer or more concise way of putting it. If he'd only shot The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II, a pair of films that fundamentally altered the way people used lighting and focus and the peculiar film stock of '70s American filmmaking, he would be one of the great masters of his field, and his passing a day of mourning for all cinephiles.

A beauty break featuring some of his greatest achievements after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May142014

Gridlink

Big Screen
Comics Alliance reviews the new mutant twinkies inspired by X-Men Days of Future Past. No, really
Self Styled Siren Farran's first novel "The Missing Reel" is coming out this year. If you've ever read her site you know this is a big deal since she's a wonderful writer. She promises lots of film references in this romantic comedy set in the 1980s at a NYC revival house. 
The Dissolve Ridley Scott might direct The Martian starring Matt Damon. Mars movies always flop but Hollywood is eternally optimistic 

Why So Sad, Batman makes the only smart use of the first photo of Ben Affleck as Batman 
Out director Bryan Singer profiled, he declines to comment on the legal battles involving sexual assault claims but there's quite a lot of commenting on perceptions of his sexuality
AV Club Wolverine Remixed. 'Snikt' with a dance beat 
The Film Stage See a short film from Godzilla director Gareth Edwards 
Cinema Blend first look at Tom Hanks in another novel adaptation. This one is A Hologram for the King from Tom Tykwer 
Film School Rejects I was going to do a "posterized" on Godzilla but they beat me to it 

Small Screen
Variety love love love these motion posters for Orange is the New Black
My New Plaid Pants 'tell me how to feel about...' the latest development in the Greta Gerwig sitcom story
Vulture ABC Upfronts. Viola Davis's new show has a pretty awesome teaser but I'm still not happy the movie star thing didn't happen. *sniffle* 
Vulture NBC Upfronts. Nothing looks interesting to me here and Jesus that Katharine Heigl show looks derivative - like someone created it with a computer program that randomly mixed up elements of Homeland and Scandal scripts.
Vulture Fox Upfronts.  I'm sorry but this Gotham show looks so dumb. We just don't need this much Batman in the world. Also: Last Man on Earth. Intriguing ballsy teaser but how do you sustain that?


RIP
Reuters brilliant artist H.R. Giger, who gave us Ripley's acid-blooded enemies in the Aliens franchise, has passed away.
The Guardian tragic news. Documentarian Malik Benjelloul has apparently taken his own life, less than two years after winning an Oscar for Searching For Sugar Man (2012) 

Off Screen
Because sometimes you need to take a breather and read about regular life...
The New Yorker "The Woman Who Coined The Term White Privilege." Fascinating interview.
Outsports comments from Michael Sam's NFL-draft  ESPN kiss attached to photos of NFL players on camera with their lady friends. There have been so many fascinating and funny and ridiculous articles and TV talk meltdowns about this. All from a quick closed-lip kiss with a hug. Haha. Which is so... nothing. Standard business when someone hears great news. It never ceases to amaze me how many people can't see double standards from the fog of their hysteria. It is interesting, though, isn't it that very few people seem upset that it's a bi-racial relationship we're looking at? You'd think while people were trotting out their homophobia they'd toss in a little racism, too. Progress!
Time "30 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Horrible"  I know better but I still make some of these mistakes. (sigh)
The New Yorker Lynda Barry, my all time favorite cartoonist, sells all her art in the show "Everything: Part One." 

Whither Cannes Reporting?
As previously noted I've been super ill. There was a moment an hour ago where I felt vaguely human again so tomorrow I will hopefully be back to the mad blogger routine of frequent posting. Until then please enjoy this appropos sand carving on the beach in the south of France...