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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 short films (97)


NYFF: Shorts (Animated & International)

Part of the joy of film festivals (I’m told) is discovery, and so, this being Manuel's first full New York Film Festival, he figured he’d give its various Shorts Programs a chance.

It’s not a form I watch often though you’d think it’d be growing in popularity given our ever-shrinking attention spans. And with that in mind, rather than review all thirteen shorts I watched, I’ve singled out highlights from the programs screening at the festival, which include Pixar’s latest and a dazzling black and white queer short from Argentina. More...

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Tim's Toons: Three Animated Oddities of 1954

Tim returning to duty.

August has been 1954 Month here at the Film Experience, and it now falls upon me to share with you the animation of that year. And man, it was a weird 'un. The important place to start is noting that in '54, Walt Disney - the man, not the multinational entertainment corporation - was massively obsessed with the creation of his brand-new theme park out in California, and the brand-new television show on ABC that shared its name and served as the new funnel for all his creative and commercial instincts.

With Disney - the multinational entertainment corporation, not the man - thus a bit rudderless, there was a void in American animation like there hadn't been since Mickey Mouse's 1928 debut, basically. Disney itself was beginning to experiment with form in ways that Walt did not approve of, since Walt wasn't paying attention anymore, and the result was things like the Oscar-nominated short Pigs Is Pigs, one of the very weirdest shorts in the studio's history.


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Tim's Toons: In celebration of Bugs Bunny's 75th birthday

Tim here. We're coming hard upon one of the most important birthdays in animation: Bugs Bunny is turning 75 this week. It was on July 27, 1940, that the world first got to see the Merrie Melodies short A Wild Hare, written by Rich Hogan and directed by the legendary Tex Avery. And it was in this short that the unnamed comic rabbit character that the cartoonists at Warner Bros. had been noodling around with for a few years reached the final form of his personality. Though not, in fairness, anything close to his final design.

An ever-changing face notwithstanding, it was here that voice actor Mel Blanc premiered the sarcastic Bronx accent and the instant catchphrase, "Eh, what's up, Doc?", that separated the one true Bugs from the Bugs-like characters tormenting the primitive form of Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd in a few cartoons up to that point. And while refinements were still to be made – he wasn't yet an effortless in-command wit, but still a manic slapstick creation; it would also be five years before he'd take his first wrong turn at Albuquerque – it's remarkable how stable the character has been through all of the intervening decades.

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Can't Buy Me Link

The Movie Scene weighs in on the twitter vitriol for Pixar's Lava
NYT on famed movie producer Jerry Weintraub (1937-2015)
Film Stage Penélope Cruz returns (finally) in Spanish drama Ma Ma about a teacher with breast cancer - I'd expect fall festivals
AV Club impressive mashup of Ant-Man trailer as 50s weird science type movie, complete with Vincent Price narration
/Film in very against-type casting news, Michael Fassbender will play The Big Lebowski's "Dude" in one of Jason Reitman's live-read events

Pajiba Your first look at Pedro Pascal in Netflix's new drama Narcos -- will it be Netflix's next big hit?
Kenneth in the (212) Seems that Amanda Peterson of the 80s youth hits Explorers and Can't Buy Me Love has died at only 43. No cause of death yet 
Playbill this sounds like a bad idea: Ian Fleming's James Bond aiming for a stage musical adaptation in 2017 or 2018
i09 every Justic League hero in one montage - yes, Batman v. Superman is trying to boost excitement via Comic Con -- including many so lame they'll surely never make the big screen
Comics Alliance Guardians of the Galaxy promos its new animated series with poster, etcetera 
Playbill have you heard this awful 'what are audiences coming to?' story? Some guy tried to charge his phone in on the stage (in a fake electrical socket) at the hit comedy Hand to God

Magic Mike XXL keeping the interwebs talking...
Peter Labuza on 35mm "whiteness" and filming black blodies in Magic Mike XXL
Pajiba unanswered questions about Mike's furniture career. You know, the important stuff
Salon on XXL's dedication to a thematic taboo: Failure 
Cosmopolitan has Disney princes reimagined as strippers -- hasn't this erotic Disney trend reached its sell by date yet? I mean the craze started, what, 11 years ago or something

Showtune to Go
In addition to Magic Mike being in the pop culture air lately, during channel flipping this week I caught Hugh Jackman's filmed stage show of Oklahoma! again and remembered how much I loved Patrick Wilson in it on Broadway and began wondering why he doesn't do musicals anymore? To be frank, I don't understand his career choices at all but he should definitely do another stage musical. It's a no brainer. So let's combine the two threads with a Tony clip of Patrick Wilson's stripper musical based on the 1997 Best Picture nominee which predated Magic Mike by a lot. (Lots of fun star cameos in this Tony clip including some we've lost -- Anne Bancroft. *sniffle*)


Rose's Turn

Remember Rose McGowan?

We haven't seen much of her on the big screen in the past few years (her most recent feature was the Jason Momoa led reboot of Conan the Barbarian in 2011, which is unfortunate since we would have much rather seen her proposed reboot of Red Sonja). But the Charmed actress, who broke out in the mid 90s with memorable turns in The Doom Generation and Scream, is in the news again.

A recent twitter comment about her former agent and Hollywood sexism has pushed several buttons but more importantly she's been out promoting her new role behind the camera. She is developing a feature and she's also made a short film.

Here's her short Dawn that's hitting Oscar-qualifying festivals and is available in full on YouTube. 


Tim's Toons: The state of animation in 1948

Tim here. We're talking about 1948 this week at the Film Experience, and it's my turn to take you back to the world of American animation in the aftermath of World War II. It was a fertile period: of the three studios that had dominated the medium prior to the war, Fleischer had been absorbed into Paramount and disappeared, while Disney had been badly damaged by an animators strike in 1941 and the loss of overseas markets, and spent the second half of the decade in desperate survival mode. That left a vacuum, which was filled by a sprawling variety of competitors that thrived even after Disney managed to find its footing again.

Pictured: Disney in 1948. Literally: it's from their film Melody Time.

In tribute to this unusually diverse marketplace, arguably not matched again in theatrical animation until the early 2000s, may I present three of the most unique and important animated milestones of 1948 after the jump... 

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Tim's Toons: Soviet Propaganda Sampler Platter

Tim here. It's the first of May, and of course that can only mean one thing! ...oh, right, the new Avengers opens. Yeah, it means that too. But the thing is, the whole internet is going to be around to talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron, all weekend and probably all next week, and by then it will be time to talk about its sequels and spin-offs till the heat death of the universe.

So for right now, it's May Day, or International Workers Day for the anarcho-socialists in the crowd. Sort of like Labor Day's burlier, more aggressively political sibling, it's the kind of holiday that can only be celebrated in one way: animated Soviet propaganda! So please, won't you join me on a brief tour of some of the best - or at least, the most interesting - snippets of propagandistic Soviet cartoons? I promise that it's fascinatingly weird...

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