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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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Entries in Stephen Sondheim (15)

Friday
Aug212015

i'm just a link machine... a bloggin' writin' fiend ♫ 

MNPP picks five favorite shots from his favorite movie Rosemary's Baby
Village Voice wonderful insightful review of Lily Tomlin as Grandma 
Comics Alliance did you know we almost got a Jurassic Park animated series before Spielberg changed his mind?  
Coming Soon Christian Bale to star in a biopic about Enzo Ferrari directed by Michael Mann
THR might we have another documentary theme nominated in the Original Song category? Lady Gaga & Diane Warren's "Till It Happens To You" from the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground is a buzzy one

Coming Soon speaking of Lady Gaga, here's our first look at her in American Horror Story: Hotel
Out Cheyenne Jackson talks about her, too. She's all up in my internet today!
Pajiba on the expanding cast for that Netflix Brad Pitt movie War Machine 
Playbill Carrie The Musical being revived again... in Los Angeles this time in October. It never truly dies
The Film Stage James Gray has begun production on Lost City of Z starring Charlie Hunman, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland. (They don't mention it in the article but this is the first time he's made a movie WITHOUT Joaquin Phoenix since his 1994 debut Little Odessa.)
The Film Stage also shares Bong Joon-Ho's 10 favorite films: Recent entries like Zodiac  appear alongside stone cold classics like Psycho and South Korean classics like The Housemaid (1960) which you might remember was recently remade.
Variety Hugh Jackman may make an Odyssey movie. 
Final Girl top 20 horror movies of the 21st century. I read stuff about horror by smart horror fans way way more often than I am willing to watch horror. Why is that? Don't know! But it's true.
Variety wonders why The Americans still can't catch a break with Emmy voters 
Variety is the Emmy race for Drama down to Game of Thrones versus Mad Men
i09 ewww Buffalo Bill's creepy house from Silence of the Lambs is for sale (basement not included which makes the news far less creepy)

Off Cinema For Fun
Bad Lip Reading takes on the First Republican Debate -heh
Zimbio "it turns out posing Nicki Minaj's wax figure on all fours was a bad idea" - ya think!? 

Showtune to go...
Congratulations to Tony winner Victoria Clark on her recent wedding! Beautiful wedding photos and if you've ever seen her perform you won't soon forget. Her acting and her gorgeous voice are ideally fused together and she gives splendid rich and nuanced musical performances. Lately she's been relegated to featured roles as mothers and grandmothers but she is one fine leading lady. Here she is doing Sondheim's classic "Losing My Mind" from the recent revival of Follies (Bernadette Peters played the role in NYC but Victoria took over for Los Angeles)

Photographed by Julia Wade 

Thursday
Jul092015

Aunt May and Link and the Dying World

Marisa Tomei earlier this year in LA. She is 50 years oldOnce the Rumor Spreads
I will not be linking to anything Marisa Tomei as "Aunt May" in Spider-Man related until it is "official" -- and with the internet nowadays that line is always blurred since people report "in talks" as official when in talks only means a role is being discussed and contracts might be signed. Until this is not official, though, I'll be over here weeping in the corner as this possible tragedy befalls one of my favorite actresses who should NOT be rushing her "last fuckable day" to play a famous part that has for 50 years in pop culture, or as long as Marisa Tomei has been alive, signalled grandmotherly love and worry. Marisa Tomei is as sexy as ever. When people say that anyone is aging well they might as well be saying "they look pretty good for their age. Not as good as Maria Tomei does at 50 but then who looks that good?!?" 

Links
429 terrific juicy interview with Jonathan Groff on Looking, celebrity, coming out, dating other actors, and more
Grantland Mark Harris on Jake Gyllenhaal's incredible artistic growth of late, really upping of his game as an actor
The Dissolve not sure why I didn't see this piece earlier but this a very heartfelt defense of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a film I did NOT respond well to, that is helping me see it a different light... though it sounds like the changes they made from the novel were unwisely reductive in terms of the film's reductive/protagonist's view
Matt Zoller Seitz says goodbye to The Dissolve. I love MZS
THR in terrible news Paramount and AMC collaborating on making theatrical window even shorter. It's like they want to kill moviegoing altogether 
i09 Elektra is official for Daredevil S2. The Greek assassin, easily the best of Daredevil related characters, will be played by Elodie Young who is of French & Cambodian descent 


Elodie Young is on twitter and while I type this she has 5,766 followers (or like 1,000 more than me to show you how unfamously few). By the time you read this her numbers have probably skyrocketed to god knows what.
Movie City News David Poland reacts with a partial history of the changes in the theatrical distribution model over the years
Matt McGorry wants to #FreetheNipple
PressPlay video essay on Shakespeare on the silver screen
Pajiba looks at Adrien Brody's strange filmography of late. Bet you you've only heard of like one or two of them!
NYT talks to Stephen Sondheim about Lin-Manuel Miranda's new Broadway musical Hamilton
Comics Alliance awesome 15" sculpture of Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman available for preorder -- sadly it's $270

Off Cinema
Slate fascinating disagreements out there on whether cats are domestic or wild animals

Finally...
I highly recommend checking out this tumblr "Every Single Word" which takes movies and reduces them only to lines of dialogue spoken by actors of color. I really hope they make more of these videos. Here are two examples: American Hustle and Enough Said... though I suppose Enough Said is more impactful if you've watched all of them.

Friday
Jun052015

Random List-Mania: 40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1990s

I can't let Dick Tracy go quite yet! All that discussion and no tremulous ode to Stephen Sondheim's brilliant song score? It won't stand! Every moment when Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) and 88 Keys (Mandy Patinkin) are in frame together is gold. 

(Eagle-eyed early 90s obsessiveness will know that Mandy Patinkin also pops up briefly in a celebrity-filled party scene in the Madonna documentary "Truth or Dare")

BEST ORIGINAL MOVIE SONGS OF THE 1990s
Beautiful Song Craft and/or Cheesy Epic Ballads For the Wins
* Oscar nominee ** Oscar winner 

  1. "Wise Up" -Magnolia (Aimee Mann)
    technically this song first showed up on the Jerry Maguire soundtrack which is why it wasn't eligible for the Oscars for Magnolia but let's make an exception
  2. "Sooner or Later"** - Dick Tracy (Stephen Sondheim)



  3. "Gangsta's Paradise" - Dangerous Minds (Coolio)
    deemed ineligible by Oscar due to sampling -- people were obsessed with the scary new "is this songwriting?" world of sampling back then. What to make of it? 
  4. "Stay" - Reality Bites (Lisa Loeb)
  5. "Be Our Guest" - Beauty & The Beast (Alan Menken & Howard Ashman)
  6. "More" - Dick Tracy (Stephen Sondheim)
  7. "You Must Love Me"** - Evita (Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice)
  8. "God Help the Outcasts" - Hunchback of Notre Dame (Alan Menken)

    32 more tunes after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun052015

Visual Index ~ The Bold Giddy Pop Art of "Dick Tracy" 

Hit Me With Your Best Shot S6.E11: DICK TRACY (1990)
Director: Warren Beatty; Cinematographer: Vittorio Storaro

 

Big Boy: YOU! How do you want it?

May I step on to the screen and interject and answer? Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) is at a very brief loss for words anyway since Big Boy Caprice (Oscar-nominated Al Pacino) just killed her gangster sugar daddy. I won't distract from the action. I'll wear something purple, designed by Oscar-nominated Milena Canonero, with a "Press" card sticking out my fedora so I fit right in to the six-color bluntly labelled production design schemes.

So how do I want my comic adaptations?

Nathaniel: [Excited... Breathless, really]. Want it Graphic. Want it Colorful

Breathless: ...Well I look good both ways. 

That you do, Madonna. That you do.

And as befitting your singular femme fatale position in the most absurdly colorful homage to the mostly black and white noir genre, you're the only person that the genius costume designer won't dress in colors.

Breathless: I'm wearing black underwear.

Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty's expensive primary-colored movie adaptation of the 1930s era Chester Gould comic strip celebrates its 25th Anniversary this month. Though the movie's loud blockbuster arrival in the summer of 1990 during the Blonde Ambition phase (and arguable peak) of Madonna's career, and its subsequent winning Oscar night (3 statues) guarantees that we'll always think of Madonna first and composer Stephen Sondheim second when thinking of this summer hit (you don't wanna know how often I listened to Madonna's "I'm Breathless" cassette tape that year!) I chose this image of Dick Tracy, solo, as the film's Best. 

Why this image?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar192015

You Link Something New Every Day

• Did you know that Debbie Harry was up for the part of "Pris" in Blade Runner? [Kenneth in the (212)]
• Will the general public love Crimson Peak as much as Stephen King does? [Cinemablend]
• Which SXSW movie buzz got you excited. I'm partial to the response to this Tab Hunter Confidential documentary, mostly because he starred with Natalie Wood so many times [The Playlist]
• Have you seen the list of SXSW winners? [SXSW]
• Have you heard Stephen Sondheim's comments on Lady Gaga's Sound of Music Oscars performance? [THR

• Do you think Disney will just put down permanent roots in mid March for Princess movies? Next up: Beauty & the Beast [Variety
• Are you excited that Sarah Polley will be doing the next remake of the oft remade Little Women? [Guardian]
• Have you been keeping up with all things Madonna this publicity round for Rebel Heart. So many stars, interviews, appearances, plus Ellen DeGeneres all week. Exhausting [Boy Culture]
• Isn't it weird how cinema is so much less horny than it was decades ago, 1976 to be precise? [NSFW -Deep Dish
• Did you know that The Sound of Music is coming back to movie theaters a month from now? That 50th Anniversary celebration just keeps on chugging along [Playbill]
• Which of Netflix's arrivals and departure's this next month have you cheering and weeping? Maybe we should do A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night for HMWYBS? [Dissolve]
• Were you aware that Timothy, one of the very best online film critics (this is why we recruited him!) is offering to review any movie of your choosing for a donation to the American Cancer Society? I just requested mine.  [Antagony & Ecstasy]  

• Finally, have you seen this supercut of actors waking up from nightmares? [Hat Tip: John August]  

It's such a movie trope but does it happen this way in real life. I've woken up like "noooo!" from an upsetting dream but generally more mumbled lethargically than the bolt upright wail. You?

 

Thursday
Dec252014

Interview: Anna Kendrick at the Palace and Summering in Ohio.

A holiday gift to you, an interview with the internet's collective girlfriend Anna Kendrick, our new Cinderella in Into the Woods which hits theaters today. Merry Christmas!

Kendrick lets me know right away that she isn't entirely comfortable with all the online fawning. When I compare her very modern kind of stardom to that of Benedict Cumberbatch she freezes "Oh god, don't say that!... It gives me anxiety. He probably can't leave his house!" Kendrick and I have both been herded into a chilly hotel suite after some scheduling confusion and me with my notes out for someone else entirely, someone far less Princess-like. It's a surprise switch but a welcome one, like expecting to remain in your pot scrubbing dress and suddenly you're at the ball in magic slippers. Excuse the analogy but I'm the one playing Cinderella this time since I've traded up. Kendrick wraps herself in the throw blanket on the couch and we immediately start taking musicals.  

Where else would we start? She's the unofficial face of the modern movie musical and the Film Experience has been waiting for someone to frame there.

NATHANIEL R: You’ve been musicals back to back to back. I imagine most managers would be like “don’t do that!” 

[more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep042014

"Happy now and happy hence and happy ever after"?

Manuel here, to discuss some news that got lost in the shuffle last week -in an interview with EW last week, Rob Marshall confirmed that that new Stephen Sondheim-penned number for Into The Woods was cut. [Gay gasp!] Yes, that song which Meryl was so effusive about last year and which Sondheim had penned just for her (seemingly in response to certain plot strands that were left dangling by, well, Disneyfied cuts to the fairy tale musical) has found itself on the cutting room floor. In Marshall's words,

“It was beautiful and spectacular, but it was very clear, as good as the song was, that [the movie] was stronger without.”
Rumblings on the web lead me to believe there's more to the story (isn't there always?) but rather than give credence to the rumor mill, we'll at least have something to look forward to in the film's DVD/Blu-Ray bonus features (they still have those, right? I feel as though I've been streaming so many films lately, I haven't sought out or outright explored these behind the scenes featurettes unless they become viral sensations). 

 

But rather than ask that obvious question ("will the song still be featured in some way in the film and thus be eligible for the Best Original Song?") I thought I'd open it up to a more interesting, if obscure, conversation. Writing new songs for existing musicals as they make their way to the silver screen is nothing new. Written either as an Oscar-grab or as a way to solve cinematic problems when adapting stage-primed material, these songs have been just as often outright hits as they've been unmistakable misses. For every serviceable number such as "Suddenly" (Les Mis) there is a head-scratcher like "Cinema Italiano" (Nine). For every tacked on song like "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (Grease) that nevertheless finds life outside of the musical film therein, there is "Mein Herr" which is now integral to stage mountings of Cabaret

I know I'm talking to the theatre queens in the audience, but I'm sure there's plenty of you out there: If you could choose one such number to nix it from a musical film adaptation, which one would it be? Or, conversely, which numbers written specifically for the screen do you think have captured the spirit of the show and made significant contributions to its sensibility?