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Entries in Star Wars (24)

Wednesday
Apr022014

Curio: The Storied Career of Alec Guinness

Alexa here to wish a Happy Centennial to Alec Guinness. Born 100 years ago today to a single mother in London, Guinness' theatre career began in his 20s. It wasn't until after he served in the Royal Navy in World War II that his film career began in earnest, and soon he was playing eight roles in one movie (Kind Hearts and Coronets).  One of his six famously tempestuous collaborations with David Lean, The Bridge on the River Kwai, got him his Oscar for Best Actor, although he was nominated four other times (even for Best Screenplay) and he received an honorary Oscar in 1980. The geeks know him as Obi-Wan, but for me he will forever be Professor Marcus from The Ladykillers (a little obsession of mine).

Here are some vintage curios to celebrate his career in film

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Tuesday
Mar112014

Curio: Matryoshka Movie Night

Alexa here. The other night, as I watched my daughter play with a set of nesting dolls while watching Ponyo, I realized that it would be great to have a set inspired by the film (with all the characters inside Granmamare, naturally), and the artist to make them would be Irene Hwang.  Irene lives in Queensland, Australia (lucky lady) and spends her free time painting extremely detailed matryoshka dolls with a pop culture theme.  She is also something of a film buff, as these eclectic selections reveal. What makes these so special is her attention to detail, how she includes appropriate accessories for the characters. It is unsurprising that she is Wes Anderson acolyte. You can buy some here; she even accepts custom orders.

Click for more including Audition and The Princess Bride...

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Tuesday
Jan282014

boy, you should know what you're linking for ♫

AV Club Sad Keanu Doll 
Empire JJ Abrams on the secrecy of his Star Wars sequels
Empire 25 different covers celebrating X-Men: Days of Future Past. I hate the cinematic interpretation of Quicksilver already... but they never do right by my favorite characters (see also Storm). And I didn't realize Sunspot was in this but they cast a Mexican actor to play an African-Brazilian? 
Playbill Brokeback Mountain: The Opera debuts today in Madrid

US Magazine Charlize Theron & Sean Penn holding hands. The rumors are true. So that's a good excuse to relisten to...
That Film Experience Podcast in which we fantasized about same-year Oscar couples
Variety The Great Gatsby sweeps the technical prizes at the first half of the Australian Oscars. They announce the headline categories Thursday
Guardian Johnny Depp receiving an award from the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild 

Post Script Sundance Sales
Ah, Sundance. My wrap up index post is coming late tonight but I enjoyed reading Vulture's takeaways and loved talking up the Sundance favorites with Guy Lodge on the podcast. I was also reading this piece about the non-spectular but steady sales at Sundance and a list of titles from the festival which now have distributors via Sound on Sight and I found both frustrating. I don't know if the latter list is 100% accurate (it's tough to keep track and did they ignore pre-sold films? If you know of a 100% complete list let me know) but it's frustrating. Only 20 deals were made? So naturally the great majority of films didn't sell. Some of them have easily saleable elements -- like oh, Anne Hathaway! --and in some cases are much stronger than some on the films that sold. I'm aware that in this day and age of DIY  distribution, VOD, and [insert latest trend here] not selling to a major distributor is not a death knell, just as being picked up is not always a godsend (some films that have distribution curiously never make it to screens or arrive years later when the buzz has gone ice cold). The three films I most wish had been picked up are:

  • Blind -Norwegian films rarely make a dent at the arthouse but it's so good
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night -Glenn loved it and it sounds like a must-see curio
  • Appropriate Behavior -in the comic subgenre of sexually impulsive twentysomething New York lady in a tailspin it's superior to Obvious Child which did sell.

Exit Music
Here's Vin Diesel dancing to Katy Perry (!) and grabbing his crotch a lot. Two things that are worth doing when one tops
                the dvd charts.

He would be in big trouble if he was asked to "lipsynch for your life"... but wouldn't he be an awesome guest on RuPaul's Drag Race? Make it happen, Ru. 

Thursday
Jan022014

Links (AKA Ways To Kill Even More Time on the Internet)

Vulture Battle of the Long Island Blondes in Wolf of Wall Street, Don Jon and American Hustle. My favorite among them is definitely ScarJo
The Playlist shares the new Electro teaser from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (aka Spider-Man 5) and is it just me or does Electro wielding his powers with a pointy all fingers twitch seem like a really bad cheap imitation of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi ?


Les InRocks [for French speaking readers] interviews director Alain Guiraudie on his critical breakthrough Stranger by the Lake. Please let us know the most interesting lines because I love the portrait of Guiraudie in the bushes
Awards Daily Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio to be honored at Santa Barbara Film Festival. (But in what order are the 48 or so honorees being feted? No one speaks of this!)
Thompson on Hollywood icymi here's a long piece on the very complicated voting process for Oscar's Best Picture. I feel like you have to a higher education math degree or just have a very finely tuned stay-patient stay-focused button, to understand this. Since I have neither, I'm (partially) lost. I have too many questions once you hit step #7... But the theory presented is that we will have a smaller pool of nominees due to the large number of films with broad support, rather than the more common sense 'more beloved films means more nominated pictures' feeling.
Variety SPC picks up the Hungarian future Oscar nominee The Notebook
Cinema Blend a new Ralph Fiennes clip from Grand Budapest Hotel 

Top Ten Mania
Towleroad my piece on the best queer characters of cinema this year from Kill Your Darlings through Blue is the Warmest Color
Towleroad best LGBT moments in television this year
Yahoo top grossing Broadway shows of 2013, The Lion King back on top despite Wicked continuing to rack in literally millions every week despite being several years old (Producers just burning money dawdilng about getting that movie mounted  as we've bitched about a lot). I read so many articles about this and NONE list all ten even though they're referring to a mythical top ten... so you gotta check...
Broadway World ...for that
Pajiba the "brotastic" list of most pirated movies of 2013 from The Hangover Part 3 to Gangster Squad
Frontiers LA has an amazing top ten from the always hilarious and hip "Chloe Sevigny" (aka Drew Droege). Here are the actressy entries though the whole thing is worth a read...

6. The bowel-shaking rhythms of Jodie Foster’s Elysium timbre.
3. Actresses without teeth. Or anyone but Anne Hathaway. 

LOL

Monday
Apr292013

Burning Questions: Why Get Excited For More Star Wars?

Hey everybody. Michael C. here.

Leia & Han will return. Will it still be TLA?Isn’t it always the way that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone? I didn’t really appreciate as it was happening, but for a hot second there wasn’t any urgent need to talk about Star Wars.

Sure there was always the dull murmur  - this is the Internet, after all – but it seemed like every obsessive fan tribute had run its course from Robot Chicken to Family Guy to an entire documentary about obsessive Star Wars fandom. It even felt like folks had started to have their fill of beating up on the prequels, especially after the team over at Red Letter Media had picked all the meat off those particular bones with their epic series of takedown videos.

But it was not to be. Lucas sold off the rights, and that was that. It was like the scene in Jedi where they open the gates at Jabba’s Palace to unleash the horrible monster, only there would be nothing to stop the beast this time. Who would get his or her own spin-off franchise? Boba Fett? The Millennium Falcon? Princess Leia’s hair buns? No speculation was too crazy or unfounded.

Since this looks to be the new reality, at least until the Sun explodes destroying the Earth, and with it the Star Wars franchise, once and for all, maybe some of you can help me by explaining why the prospect of more sequels is a good thing. What is there left to say with Star Wars?

Star Wars wraps it up with tidy finales.

 

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