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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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Entries in RuPaul's Drag Race (20)


Shanté, Link, You Stay.

The Playlist shares what is supposedly the first poster for Silencio -- which makes it look like a lesbian drama -- but it looks incomplete since it's not regular poster size and even looks a little square for the European quad size. Or do my eyes deceive me?
Interview talks to Gal Gadot the new Wonder Woman, with photos by Chris Colls. Let's hope Gal has some screen charisma to go with the beauty since her body type is so teensy-tiny for that Amazon princess.
Vogue and Nicole Kidman are really getting along, huh? Now she's talking about Fashion and Film at the Met. Plus she this bit about her Galliano/Dior at the Oscars that one time...

Madonna came up to me at the after-party saying ‘Best dressed, best dressed!"


AV Club comic book artist Annie Wu has created a superhero for all of us "General Dread."  This is, in a word, awesome
Rope of Silicon Miles Ahead to close NYFF this year - will it generate any Oscar heat?
Buzz Feed looks at that controversial doc Open Secret which has had a rough road to theaters
Cosmopolitan gets on the set stories from 5 extras in Magic Mike XXL
Film Stage new trailer and poster for The Assassin starring Shu Qi and Chang Chen
Forbes wonders whether Terminator Genisys and Mad Max Fury Road have been labelled "flop" and "hit" respectively despite the same box office tally and budget. Interesting observations about media power and biases but this ignores a fundamental... when it comes to previous grosses from their own franchises there's no other way to label them. 

This story is a week old but I hadn't seen it and WTF?!? According to Variety, silent film genius FW Murnau's (Nosferatu, Sunrise) head was stolen from his grave early this month. Creepy!   


Cast Them Queens!
RuPaul has announced the second RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars season. He's even asked that people chime in on twitter with their dream lineups, so I did. Assuming they're only drawing from the three seasons that came after All Stars (though perhaps they'll go older than that) what would your picks be among these queens?  Will it be a coronation for Katya, Adore, Alaska Thunderf**k or someone else entirely? 


FYC: RuPaul's Drag Race for Best Reality Competition

We're almost at the end of our FYCs. Team Experience was asked to share their individual dream picks for Emmy nominations. Here's Manuel ...

I don’t even have to tell you how stale this relatively new Emmy category is (The Amazing Race has won 10 out of 12 times the statuette has been awarded with only 12 shows ever nominated) before I get to vocalize my frustration - if not surprise - at the fact that RuPaul’s Drag Race has even yet to be nominated.

I mean, is that okay?

Drag Race is that rare show that can sport an arched eyebrow that tells you we should take everything in good fun while offering a shoulder to cry on because the struggle is real, y’all. Its greatest strength as a television show is that its sentimentality isn't framed in opposition to its campy exterior or its ironic posturing, it's actually endemic to them. This, of course, wouldn't be possible without RuPaul, who can stage a heart to heart while sharing a tic tac for lunch. It's a show that can take a seeming contradiction ("I want to see the REAL you by having it come out through layers of make up and various wigs and affectations and gif-ready reaction shots") and improbably enough, make it werk.

Even after seven seasons, Drag Race remains a fascinating experiment in reality TV competition which doesn't just explicitly admit the strangeness of its own genre trappings but uses them to create the most cogent oral history of the trials of drag queen herstory since Paris is Burning. Think about it: this season alone dealt with the palliative powers of drag when it comes to dealing with addiction (Katya & Fame), trauma (Pearl, Kennedy), rejection (Jaidynn, Trixie), aging (Tempest, Mrs Kasha Davis), storylines that have become so familiar to the show only because they have become intrinsic to understanding the very nature of drag. That Logo and Ru can accomplish that while giving good gif, well, that's Emmyworthy.


Can I get an Amen up in here?


Q&A Pt. 1: The Queens (by which we mean RuPaul, Helen Mirren, Best Actresses)

Ask Nathaniel column time. You ask. I answer. Herewith seven recent reader questions. Since last night was the finale of RuPaul's Drag Race, we'll end with two similar questions about that show but first, more typical actor questions. You're always asking them. Not a complaint. Just a fact.

PAUL OUTLAW: Which directors would you most like to see work ASAP with these performers (it can be someone new or a former collaborator): Tilda Swinton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Fassbender & Tom Hardy?

Tilda: Anyone. I'd even watch her in a Michael Bay movie though I'd prefer her in an Olivier Assayas. Oh wait, that's my answer.

Gugu: Anyone. She's new enough that we don't know what we have yet other than GREAT POTENTIAL.

Fassbender: We know he can do intense heightened drama and various masculine genres with the best of them, but I'm wondering if he has something more low-key naturalistic in him or how he'd fare in more typically feminine genres. One of my favorite performances of his is Inglourious Basterds which I know is neither of those things but I like how arch and cerebral he seemed as opposed to physical. It was a different mode for him. So a little more of that. I'd be curious to see him in an Alexander Payne style dramedy or Joe Wright in swoony romance mode.

Tom Hardy: It's time for something really erotic. Filmmakers keep covering up his beautiful face and this must stop. We know from Bronson that he's completey unafraid of gratuitous nudity so I wanna say Jane Campion and/or another A lister who is ready to dabble in an erotic drama, their own Ang Lee Lust, Caution type detour if you will.

TYLER: There are four women who are winners of the Cannes Best Actress prize twice over: Barbara Hershey (USA), Isabelle Huppert (France), Helen Mirren (UK), and Vanessa Redgrave (UK). What do you think of this group? Your favorite performance from each?

To  help readers catch up if they didn't know this statistic, those women won for the following films

Vanessa Redgrave - Morgan! in 1966 and Isadora in 1969
Isabelle Huppert - Violette Noziere in 1978 and The Piano Teacher in 2001
Helen Mirren - Cal in 1984 and The Madness of King George in 1995
Barbara Hershey - Shy People in 1987 and A World Apart (shared with co-stars) in 1988

More Questions after the jump...

Click to read more ...


RPDR: Season 8 Audition


Drag Race: "Divine" John Waters Inspiration

Manuel here to talk about that wonderful Drag Race episode this week which was dedicated to, as Ru called him, “the Sultan of Sleaze, the Baron of Bad Taste,” Mr John Waters! Seeing RuPaul and legendary auteur John Waters together judging drag queens on their “ugly dresses” was many a gay cinephile’s wet dream.

How does she manage to look this AMAZING every week?

John Waters: She was not afraid to play not glamorous. A lot of drag queens I know, they’re afraid to do that.
RuPaul: You were looking at me when you said that!

And, can you blame him?

RuPaul, the drag superstar par excellence is glamor (or, her latest incarnation is, as “No RuPaulogies” taught us back in season 5). Even when she camps it up (look at that dress!) she is glamor incarnate. Now in its seventh season, RuPaul’s Drag Race has, for better or for worse, created a seemingly new kind of drag, one that insists on glamor above all else (or in addition to everything else): how many times have we heard Santino, Michelle Visage, Ru herself or any of the rotating cast of guest judges complaining that a certain girl’s look wasn’t “couture enough," "not high fashion" or that “it didn’t look polished enough”? Even when challenges call for camp, humor, and/or stylized aesthetics, glamor has remained the requirement on the runway. It’s not for nothing Ru has coined the term Glamazon to refer to her queens.

Not this time, though...

Click to read more ...


Linking & Housekeeping

Pajiba Strange news. Johnny Depp did not report to work as planned. Work being continued cashing in of his 2003 brilliance as Jack Sparrow. What is afoot?
Interview on the evolution of Chlöe Sevigny
Comics Alliance tiny Ant-Man billboards. Here's to clever marketing !
Cleo have any of you seen Adventure Time? Thinkpieces on this animated show intrigue
Attitude Giorgio Armani urges you to not dress so "gay"!
The Kenneth in the (212) was The Former Bruce Jenner inspired by Belinda Carlisle?
Instagram meet Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's son
Towleroad RuPaul recap. Conjoined twins extravaganza

All the FUN of a serious and rare medical condition without the humanity and decency that even American Horror Story provided

Cool Projects
Cinematic Corner is hosting a "White Swan Black Swan" blog-a-thon -- now through the end of the month - which looks at dual personae. 
Nick's Flick Picks has gathered his own secret TBA jury for a screening/retrospective of the entire Cannes Competition lineup of 1995 from the utterly gorgeous Shanghai Triad through the Palme D'Or winner Emir Kusturica's Underground to the provocation that was Kids. Ambitious! 
Antagony & Ecstasy continues reviewing reader requested films (this time it's Evita) for a donation to the American Cancer Society. I urge you to all do this. It's a great cause and Tim is a great critic. He's doing a few reviews for fellow TFE staff (including me) in June.

True Story
Sunday night I dreamt that Meryl Streep had died suddenly and unexpectedly. The nightmare was so real that when I woke up Monday morning i was in an absolute panic wondering how I could possibly write about such a loss and feeling bad about every time I complained that she said yes to everything rather than carefully picking her projects. The nightmare was so real that I immediately googled Meryl Streep and was greeted by happy news instead of sad. La Streep was actually in the news that very morning but for funding a screenwriting workshop for women over 40.  Whew and Awesome. And what The Dissolve said...

Whatever we did to deserve this woman, it wasn't enough.

71 Days Until Magic Mike Matt XXL
More character posters keep emerging.. so here's Matt Bomer. With Horn, Pettyfer, and McConaughey absent this time around, does he get an expanded role? In addition to being ridiculously pretty, he's said to be a very nice fellow in real life as told to us by actress and co-star Kathy Deitch.

TFE News
Apologies  that 'April Showers' never got off the ground this month as a returning blog feature, though they definitely fell from the sky. Overplanning, TFE's great sin! But that won't stop up from committing it again and again. 

TO CLOSE OUT APRIL: Sci-Fi / Artificial Intelligence theme week, Broadway stuff (Tony nominations in just one week), 9 to 5 party (tomorrow night - join us for some mowie wowie) a couple of Campions (In the Cut Bright Star) and the completion of the April Foolish Oscar Prediction charts. No really. Stay tuned.

COMING IN MAY: The Orson Welles Centennial, 1979 Smackdown and Sidebars, and finally some 2015 movies to be excited about, discuss, and get us back to the movie theaters including: Mad Max Fury Road, Avengers Age of Ultron, Far From The Madding Crowd, Hot Pursuit, Saint Laurent, The D Train, Pitch Perfect 2, Aloha, and Tomorrowland.


The Story of My Link

Regan Writes has a great recap of RuPaul's Drag Race's upsetting episode this week (Trixie Mattel - Nooooooooo) and since I haven't been covering it, read this instead
The Vagenda on why we need to stop asking celebrities "are you a feminist?"
Dissolve EXCITING news. Gillian Flynn, who did such an Oscar nomination worthy job of screenwriting her own novel (stupid Academy!) will be co-writing Steve McQueen's next movie. That's a team with potential.
Pajiba awesome Gillian Anderson is on the market, ready for "the one" (gender irrelevant)

I turned down one of the big young adult franchises. I know the guy who took the part is buying his Hollywood mansion in the hills now, that he has secure work for three years. But you have to work yourself into a place where you’re respected
-Douglas Booth 

The Guardian has a good interview with the full lipped, exquisitely jawed Douglas Booth (who doesn't like that people talking about his looks so much... awww, be grateful for them, man. It's how you get/got in the door) who says he's choosing his films based almost solely on who is in the director's chair. 
CHUD the creative team behind 50 Shades of Grey are dropping like flies for the sequels. And the stars want raises and the producers aren't budging. What the hell is going on? Just pay them. They helped make it a hit. Greed sure can ruin a good thing. Or in this case a dumb thing.
Coming Soon Julia Louis-Dreyfus is considering the American remake of Force Majeure. She'd be great but why is no one considering not remaking it? 
Lainey Gossip I don't normally share (or even pay much attention to) gossip stuff but apparently Jeremy Renner is getting divorced and it's already quite messy
Yahoo! Movies an oral history of Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), now thirty years old (gulp). Great quotes 
Towleroad Tom Ford is looking at Amy Adams, George Clooney, and Jake Gyllenhaal for his new film Nocturnal Animals. Way to be original with your casting he said facetiously

Franchise Madness. The End is Nigh
i09 Transformers is aiming to become a "connected universe" a la Marvel movies. The end is truly nigh. If all movies want to be is ongoing big budget television series, what's the point of having them? Just watch more tv.
AV Club looks at the latest tv spot for Terminator Genisys. Yes, I know this one's got both old and young Ahnuld but without James Cameron & Linda Hamilton who cares? Time to move on.
/Film apparently they're also starting over with The Smurfs for 2017. 

Almodóvar with his new star Emma Suarez, in preproduction of "Silencio"

Spanish Wonders
El Pais talks about the new Pedro Almodóvar movie (called Silencio)
El Pais also profiles the two actresses who star Emma Suárez & Adrian Ugarte neither of whom have worked with Pedro before. I know he said none of his normal women work work for this one (and he has quite a large repertory company now essentially) so I thought we'd be seeing totally different looks or body types but no. So now I'm curious as to why he didn't stick with his regulars. I suppose we shall see.
El Confidencial first images from Penélope Cruz's new film ma ma (about a teacher diagnosed with breast cancer). I miss her so much! She vanished once she had that baby

Today's Long Read
"How One Direction Helped Me Find My Girls" - this article on buzzfeed is about refusing to feel guilty for the things you love. While I've personally never understood boy band obsessions I get obsessive fandom because I relate... only with actresses and film directors. While I can't say I agree with every word therein -- I don't think all fandom is good for people (sometimes it's just about conformity and not seeking you own aesthetic interests) and I was quite disturbed by one drawing that says "Remember nobody's feelings are more important than your own" because that is a straight up terrible thing to teach people (other people's feelings are very much important and we need to respect them and be generous and kind to each other) but the central premise that boy band obsessions are deemed silly because they are also considered feminine is spot on truth. The writer wisely condemns the double standard: adult men are encouraged to go bonkers over everything to do with whatever sports teams they follow as well as superhero movies but women are deemed silly if they partake in more "girlish" fandoms like boy bands or YA novels.