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Entries in Stephen Sondheim (18)

Wednesday
Mar302016

Q&A: Artists in Movies and Uninspiring Best Pic Lineups

For this weeks Q&A I asked for an art theme to celebrate the joint birthday of Vincent Van Gogh and Francisco de Goya on this very day! So we'll start with a few art-focused topics before venturing to rando questions.

TOM: Which film about an artist (in any field of the Arts) that you were not particularly knowledgeable about made you want to see/hear the real work by that artist? 

I vastly prefer non-traditional biopics so I'm susceptible to stuff that piques curiosity rather than gives you a greatest hits. So I like bios like Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). I have some problems with I'm Not There (2007) which is my least favorite Todd Haynes film but I respect the hell out of it conceptually. In terms of movies about painters I definitely became more interested in Francis Bacon after Love is the Devil (1998) and not just because of Daniel Craig in the bathtub! I already cared about Caravaggio before seeing Derek Jarman's Caravaggio but I hope people see that one, too. 

BRIAN: If you had to recommend a budding Cinephile a movie based on an artist, a work of art, or has artistic themes what would it be?

Hmmm. A lot of movies about painting aren't very good (Watching someone paint being only a notch more interesting than watching someone write). So let's do "artistic" theme and the answer there is easily Amadeus (1984). It's such a useful movie to reference in ways both commonplace ("too many notes!") and contemplative (what makes the difference between competent journeyman skill and true genius?). One of my other favorite "art" movies is High Art (1998)...

8 more questions after the jump

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Saturday
Mar122016

10 Linksfield Lane

Playbill Danny Boyle may direct the film version of the Broadway musical Miss Saigon
First Impressions a deep dive revisit of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring "Sofia Coppola is a great filmmaker, in every way the equal of anyone of her generation"
Daily News
sad story about the disappearance of Richard Simmons. Fans think he's being controlled and held in his mansion against his will like the second half of the Love & Mercy plot

Film Doctor "the pleasure of withholding information" on 10 Cloverfield Lane
Awards Daily
have you watched the trailer for A Hologram for the King? How will it adapt the book?
AV Club thinks Zootopia is the inversion of Wreck It Ralph. Spoilers
EW Paramount has dumped The Little Prince animated movie just a week before its intended release. What is going on with that picture?
YouTube Anna Kendrick and Stephen Colbert are huge Stephen Sondheim fans
E! Adorable photo of the Malia and Sasha Obama w/ Ryan Reynolds
Vogue Lourdes Leon (aka Spawn of Madonna) makes her modelling debut for Stella McCartney

Showtune to go
It's Liza Minelli's birthday. Do your best Fosse in her honor... 

Wednesday
Jan062016

HBO’s LGBT History: Six by Sondheim (2013)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at the utterly forgettable doc The Out List which mistakes sometimes compelling interviews spliced together as enough of a premise for an entire film. While that film celebrated the visibility of coming out, implicitly praising those who wear their sexuality on their sleeves, presenting them as necessary for political activism, we focus today on a towering figure of the American musical stage whose sexuality is both an acknowledged fact but also rarely a rallying point.

You’d never refer to Stephen Sondheim as a “gay songwriter and lyricist” both because in many ways he predates that type of taxonomy but also because he exceeds it. Not that his sexuality hasn’t informed his work. He has, after all, written some of the most complex characters of the American musical theater tradition, all of whom wrestle with their own vexing and at times explicitly transgressive desires.

James Lapine’s Six By Sondheim is structured as a close study of six of the composer’s most famed songs, and only addresses his sexuality when they discuss Company a show that has long felt like a melancholy queer anthem. Perhaps that’s what one reviewer caught when he first saw the show: “As it stands now, it’s for ladies’ matinees, homos and misogynists,” wrote Variety. What emerges in Lapine’s documentary is a celebration of Sondheim — so many interviews with the composer over the years show he’s perhaps the most eloquent commentator of musical theater of the past century — but also a rather touching portrait of an older gay man looking back on his life, his relationship with his mother, and even his failed desire to be a father (“Art is the other way of having children,” he muses).

more...

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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

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