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Entries in Robin Williams (15)

Wednesday
May222019

Aladdin Pt 3: Free at last! A 'Whole New World' awaits.

In Part 1 Ben introduced us to the romantic heroes and their evil nemesis. In Part 2 of our re-watch of Disney's Aladdin (1992) Timothy took us into the Cave of Wonders where our 'diamond in the rough' met the whirlwind vocal performance of Robin Williams as the Genie. He discussed stylistic, color palette, and comic choices in the storytelling on the fantastical journey. We return to the film just as Aladdin has dropped his pompous prince pretenses and admitted that the Princess is not a prize to be won and promptly jumps off her balcony just as she requested.

Part 3 by Nathaniel R

- Startled by his sudden humility and agreement, as well as the not so mundane matter of magical carpets, Jasmine drops her own defenses and becomes curious about this new prince. She can't shake the feeling that she knows him.

- Does Jasmine have facial blindness that she can't remember the only man she ever almost kissed in her life? The one from the day before no less!

-Aladdin moves at quite a clip but we know it's been no more than two days due to the plot business because she has only three days to get married by the laws of both Agrabah and childlike-attention-spans-of-target audiences. 

- Tim spoke of Aladdin's intuition and it is a beautifully realized aspect of his character. He's not aware of it, per se, the way he is in regards to his other physical and mental skills, so he's more of an idiot savant when it comes to emotional intelligence. He instinctively gets the Genie's pride / Jafar's competitiveness / and Jasmine's need to roam. He harnesses all three in the course of the plot, the latter not to manipulate her like the other two but to free her spiritually/romantically though he isn't thinking of all this when he asks...

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Tuesday
May212019

Aladdin Pt 2: Manic Magical Improv, Sight Gags, and "Prince Ali"

In Part 1 of our re-watch of Disney's Aladdin (the proper one, from 1992, not the live-action thing coming out this weekend) Ben got us through the introductions to good-hearted "street rat" Aladdin, frustrated princess Jasmine, and up to the mouth of the Cave of Wonders. We enter as Aladdin takes his first step into a whole new world…

 

Part 2 by Tim Brayton

0:28:04 – Let's take just a minute to appreciate the atmospheric concision of this descent into the cave. First, we had a shot of Aladdin stepping over the tiger-god's teeth, dissolving into this beautiful wide shot of him (below) at the top of an impossible flight of stairs, a tiny bright dot in the overall gloom that shifts from cold blue to hot, threatening red as our eye glides down the lines of the composition.

Then another dissolve takes us to the foot of stairs, with Aladdin about to step into the heart of the cave. It's a swift, visually-driven way of taking us down into… Hell? It's hard to say just yet, but it creates a terrific sense of mystery, both promising and foreboding...

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Monday
May202019

Aladdin Pt 1: The 'street rat' and the princess with an edge

Three-Part Mini-Series
Occasionally we'll take a movie and baton pass it around the team and really dive in. If you missed past installments we've gone long and deep on RebeccaSilence of the LambsThelma & LouiseWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A League of Their Own, and Rosemary's Baby in the past.  -Editor


Part 1 by Ben Miller

Welcome to Team Film Experience's Aladdin Retrospective.  This film was a big part of my childhood and I’m proud to join in on the fun to revisit it with you before the live-action remake hits.  Disney in the 1990s might have been the animated studio's peak.  They were coming off the surprise success of The Little Mermaid in 1989 follwed by the monster hit and then-historic Best Picture nominee of Beauty and the Beast in 1991.  The massive success of Aladdin the very next year felt like a commercial/critical apex (at least until The Lion King arrived two years later).

0:00:26 – Alan Menken probably does not get enough credit for the score he put together.  Yes, he won an Oscar for it, but it doesn’t get put into the conversation enough for GREAT animated scores.

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Thursday
May022019

Not exactly maternal

Let's drink to Senator Keeley's daughter and our Val. I'm afraid I haven't done much for him in these last 20 years...

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Monday
Dec182017

The Furniture: Revisiting the Surreal Spaces of Toys

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Barry Levinson’s Toys, a film you don’t hear about very much anymore. It wasn’t exactly beloved at the time, certainly, and wound up with a Razzie nomination for Worst Director. However, it also showed up at the Oscars, receiving nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. At the very least, it remains a pleasant reminder that sometimes even flops are given a fair shake by the Academy’s craft branches.

And now, in the dramatically different context of 2017, it deserves some renewed attention. Its critique of militarism and toxic masculinity has aged surprisingly well, as have the more committed of the performances. Joan Cusack’s absurd turn as the eternally childlike Alsatia is at the top of the list.

 

But the best elements are still those that were recognized at the time.The work of production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti, art director Edward Richardson and set decorator Linna DeScenna is beyond...

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Sunday
Dec142014

"As You Wisssssssh" - Missi's Favorites

Favorite Movie

-by Missi Pyle

I have seen The Princess Bride about 200 times. I remember I saw it in the theater as a Double Feature with my friend Christy Brown in the 8th grade. It was playing with Dirty Dancing randomly. And when both movies were over. My friend Christy was totally floored by Dirty Dancing and I thought she was an idiot. I was like - wait the Princess Bride is the Best Movie ever Made. And she was like - no- Dirty Dancing.

The friendship didn't last.

But I just kept watching that movie over and over. I think it's where I developed most of my sense of humor. I have gotten to meet several people from that movie: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn. I never know what to say. I just can't even handle it.

I know its a lot of people's favorite movie. I don't care. If there is a heaven that movie will be playing on a loop in the background.  

Favorite actors?
There are zillions but a random top 5...

Christoph Waltz -Fuck me. He is so good. I kind of think I should just quit. He blows me away

Robin Williams -Pure magic. Good Morning Vietnam? What? Who can do that? Again. I should just quit. I got to work with him on The Crazy Ones. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. 

Judy Davis -Her performances in Barton Fink and Husbands and Wives just slaughtered me. 

Ryan Gosling - I did a table read with him once. A table read. That is all. He looked at me across the table and... no he looked INTO me. Yes. he's hot. But that wasn't it. All the sudden there was this moment happening. It was some of the best acting I have ever done. What is it they say about acting? It's all about the other person? Anyway. That was what he did. He made it all about me. And all the sudden it was real.

(sigh)

Madeline Kahn- Genius. I bow down to and sometimes talk to now that she is in the spirit world. I often get into a character and think WWMKD? And that is how I go about the character.

 

Editor's Note: We hope you're enjoying today's celebrity guest blogger Missi Pyle. She'll be back tomorrow afternoon for two final and truly awesome posts (after a brief interruption for awards business and Critics Choice Award Nominations). Are her favorites also dear to you?