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Entries in Sir Ian McKellen (37)

Friday
Jul192019

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Cats" (and personal "Cats" histories)

by Nathaniel R

All longform discussions of the trailer to Cats must be prefaced with one's own history with the Andrew Lloyd Webber megahit. It's the law. This is why no matter how insane the movie may appear, no matter how much it be instantly mocked on the internet, it will have (at least) a gigantic box office opening. The megamusical has been a phenomenon since 1981, grossing literally billions of dollars on stage, winning awards and selling millions of albums (back when people actually bought such things) with the hit song "Memory" being covered by hundreds upon hundreds of musicians thereafter. 

Cats was my first Broadway touring show which I saw in Detroit (presumably at the Fox Theatre?) as a kid. My parents bought me the t-shirt and later for Christmas the Original Cast Recording. On my first ever trip to NYC in 1989 (?) it was then my first Broadway show. I know I know... I was once a typical tourist who saw something he'd already seen *shakes head at self* while in New York when other surely better and newer things were playing. I was so obsessed Cats that I learned "Memory" on the piano and named my next two kittens "Mistoffles" and "Rumpleteaser". How young and foolish and easily manipulated I was by splashy worldwide sensations as a child. And yet from the 1990s onward I've barely thought of it but for whenever discussions of a possible movie version would come up, most notably all the joking in Six Degrees of Separation (1993).

Okay that's my history. You must share yours (it's the law) and since Cats is such an event brand, we must do the Yes No Maybe So™ breakdown after the jump in real time screencaps rather than trifurcating with our yes, no maybe so headings. Ready?

To quote Judi Dench as "Old Deuteronomy"...

We're about to begin

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Friday
May312019

Who should receive an Honorary Oscar?

Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow in "Shame"Pete Hammond at Deadline revealed this morning that with all the dates moving earlier next Oscar season, the Academy is actually choosing the next Honorary Oscar winners THIS WEEKEND. It's too late then for an FYC but we feel the need to do one anyway. In the past we've made great suggestions like Albert Finney, Doris Day, Neil Simon, Michael Ballhaus, and Marni Nixon but they let all those people die without honoring them which is such bad form. At least they heard us on Maureen O'Hara, Harry Belafonte, and Angela Lansbury!

I have a suspicion that Caleb Deschanel, obviously a well-loved cinematographer given that surprise sixth nomination for the German film Never Look Away last season, will be named this year. He's 74 years old. For some reason I don't think they'll go with Glenn Close quite yet though she's a common prediction. She's 72 but working a lot right now and still in her prime.

 

TWELVE SUGGESTIONS...

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Monday
Nov122018

Sir Ian prepares for "Cats"

Sir Ian McKellen was just on Graham Norton discussing his preparation for his role in Cats. As usual just when you think you couldn't love this man any more than you already do, he proves you wrong yet again.

P.S. Tom Hooper is still casting his adaptation of the phenomenally successful 80s stage musical. The household name stars have been announced for some times but they've been adding new-to-the-big-screen talents including two principal dancers from the Royal Ballet.

Monday
Nov052018

A look back at Gods and Monsters (1998)

Please welcome guest contributor Anna to discuss Gods and Monsters for its 20th anniversary. You can follow her on Twitter @MovieNut14

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Based on Christopher Bram’s novel "Father of Frankenstein," Gods and Monsters – which references a line from Bride of Frankenstein – focuses on the final months of retired film director James Whale (Ian McKellen). Recovering from a series of minor strokes, he lives alone with his housemaid Hanna (Lynn Redgrave) and memories of his past. Because of his weakening state, he slips into a depression and contemplates suicide (which he would ultimately follow through in 1957). But the presence of gardener Clay Boone (Brendan Fraser) gives the aging man something to live for...

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Tuesday
Sep252018

Beauty Break: Celebrity Portraiture by Damon Baker

Glenn ClosePhotographer Damon Baker took that insanely great photo of Glenn Close while they rocked out to Janis Joplin recently together in his studio. Though he just barely turned 27, he's been a famous celebrity photographer for years now, first signing when he was just 18. He prefers black and white but lately has been experimenting with color. His favorite subjects appear to be Cole Sprouse (from Riverdale), singer Rita Ora, and a Swedish model named Simon J Loof.

Amazing portraits of Sir Ian McKellen, Tilda Swinton, Rami Malek, Zachary Quinto and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul252018

Still shook about "Cats" becoming a movie

by Nathaniel R

Betty Buckley in her Tony-winning role as "Grizabella, the glamour cat"By now you've heard the comic news (oh no wait, they're serious!) that "Cats" is being turned into a movie. The news took me so off guard that I was silent for five days. Cats got my tongue. (I'm sorry). The Andrew Lloyd Webber megahit from the 1980s was based on T.S. Elliott poems and as such it has no real story to speak of. It's basically a very successful song cycle (albeit with only one famous song "Memory") elevated by utter nonrealism in the form of humans pretending to be cats in campy makeup, tights, and acrobatic dancing. It's so hard to imagine as a movie that they made the potential of the making of one into a running joke in the play turned movie Six Degrees of Separation (1993). 

Grizabella the glamour cat is the marquee role but, in fact, it's a "featured" role since it's truly an ensemble show...

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