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TWO OPINIONS ON MAPS TO THE STARS
Nathaniel's Julianne Spazzing & Glenn's Cronenberg Finger Wagging 

"There is a great movie in Maps of the Stars and that is the one Moore stars in, not the one the screenplay insists in bringing to the front." - Mr Goodbar

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Entries in Steven Soderbergh (30)

Thursday
Aug212014

Throwback Thursday FYC: sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

Our 1989 25th anniversary celebration continues...

Have you ever seen sex, lies and videotape? Steven Sodebergh won the Palme D'Or at Cannes for his very first film and somehow it wasn't all downhill from there. The film, which was a minor box office hit, was crucial in planting the seeds for the American indie boom of the 1990s but when Oscar nominations rolled around the Academy played it very safe largely shunning both of the year's most provocative critical darlings (the other being Do the Right Thing which we honored earlier this summer in a post just like this one). I spotted these FYC ads on eBay and thought I'd share them.

Andie MacDowell has won a lot of harsh criticism over the years for various performances, most notably Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (for which she was dubbed over by Glenn Close) and Four Weddings and a Funeral but she's really wonderful in this picture and in Short Cuts. Blame Steven Soderbergh and Altman if you must but don't even try to deny it! 

More...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar122014

Linksy

IndieWire the winners at SXSW Fort Tilden (narrative) and The Great Invisible (doc). You may recall that Short Term 12 was the big discovery last year so let's hope Fort Tilden hits theaters soon. But mostly I'm leading with this because the still released has kittens in it. Kittens!

But mostly I led with that because the first still released has kittens in it. Three. Kittens. Kittens, I say.

KITTENS

Ahem. Some links...
LA Review of Books Charles Taylor on Meryl Streep's recent string of gorgon roles and particularly August: Osage County. Really interesting article but Streep fanatics should steer clear since it is merciless. (Slightly confused about what this essay is doing at a 'Review of Books' since none are mentioned.) 
Golden Globe I hadn't seen this before - celebrities fav movies. Turns out Robin Wright loves Werner Herzog, Carey Mulligan loves Steven Spielberg, Emile Hirsch has very Oscar-bait taste, and Julia Roberts loves The Mexican most of her own ???
MNPP [NSFW] Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Everest
The Playlist on Steven Soderbergh's King of the Hill Criterion release and his dissatisfaction with his post Sex, Lies and Videotape pre Out of Sight period 

Towleroad "Hodor" (Kristian Nairn) on Game of Thrones comes out in an interview 
Movie City News on "popcorn time" and piracy
The Wrap supposedly four actors fighting for the Doctor Doom role in The Fantastic Four: Eddie Redmayne, Sam Riley, Domnhall Gleeson, and Toby Kebbell. I'd say that wasn't a great get considering the face will be covered with a metal mask... but then origin stories, you know, they'll have some time before the face plate.
Variety uh-oh chest thumping Celine Dion could be back at the Oscars again in an Original Song performance. She gets a duet with Miss Piggy "Something So Right" in the new Muppets film 

Finally...
I don't normally post any fundraiser things beyond the site's own need for funding, detailed here. For instance, I had to make a ruling on no campaigns for indie movies simply because I get so many requests every week it'd be a part time job just putting up those posts with no added value for you the reader. But for movie theaters I'll make an exception. Brooklyn is home to so many cinephiles it'd be a pity if they lost another old theater. So if you want to help save the Brooklyn Heights Cinema -- which needs to update its equipment or be shut down -- here's the info!

Friday
Feb142014

Linkers Dozen

TFE Mrs de Winters or Danvers? So little time to vote for these ladies without first names. It's Beauty vs. Beast
Google has Valentine's stories today, with simple line animations and audio, and they're just adorbs 
NY Times film restoration isn't only for old hollywood. They also do porn!
/Film Black Widow film still being considered by Marvel Studios. But then, what isn't?
Coming Soon Ron Howard replacing Alejandro González Iñárritu in the director's chair on a new Jungle Book. Because a) they're so interchangeable! and b) we need another Jungle Book for some reason I guess.
LA Times what are the most memorable clips for the lead nominees. How to choose a key moment?

 

Extension 765 features a must-read list by Steven Soderbergh of everything he's watched last year. All I can say about this is that I LOVE THAT HE WATCHED ALL THE EPISODES OF "SMASH"
All Things Considered on the friendship between Shirley Temple and Bojangles
Cinema Blend The Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn romance may get its own biopic. Take that one millionth, Liz Taylor movie!
Variety with her remake of Murder She Wrote no longer happening, Octavia Spencer picks "Red Band Society" as her TV series
Awards Daily "Meet the Academy" a pie chart
VF Leonardo DiCaprio on why he didn't star in Moulin Rouge!

To be honest, I’m not really prepared to do a musical, simply because I think I have a pretty atrocious voice 

Bye!

 

P.S. Right after I posted this news update, Ellen Page came out. What timing.

Saturday
Aug242013

Una Noche, Kill Your Darlings and the Problem with Gay Films at the Box Office

Glenn here. I read an article the other day at IndieWire asking "why don't LGBT movies make money at the box office anymore?" It's a worthy question to ask since I know I'd love for films focusing on "our" stories to be more prominent in cinemas and the only way to get that is to receive the backing of Hollywood and audiences. What I don't think is that there's anything insidious going on in the seeming rapid decline in mainstream representations of LGBT characters on the big screen. It's not like film audiences have gotten more homophobic with time, right?

My biggest theory is one that the article only flirts with: that gay culture itself has become so mainstream that the idea of paying $15 for a dash of it is rather unnecessary. And as the article wisely states, television has been more than willing to take up the baton of telling complex, romantic, tragic, funny, and unique stories about gay characters. And it's cheaper, too. That medium has certainly come a long way from the days of advertisers cancelling their marketing on Ellen less than 20 years ago!

Is LGBT the new black... on TV?

Gay TV and two new gay-centric films after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May262013

Review: "Behind the Candelabra"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

Too much of a good thing is wonderful."

That was a signature catchphrase of Liberace, the classical pianist who became a household name as a flamboyant nightclub entertainer. Liberace was born Vladziu Valentino Liberace but known by "Walter" or "Lee" to his intimates -- even the names were too many… too much! He didn't just popularize the catchphrase but lived it maintaining his most unlikely monster career for roughly four decades -- which is, what, a century in showbiz years?

The new biopic BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, premiering tonight on HBO, is smart enough to adopt it as tagline. But is it too much? Is it wonderful? Hollywood studios thought so, at least in regards to the first question. Director Steven Soderbergh hasn't been shy about telling the press that the story was too gay for the movie studios and while we can't know the ins and outs of how true this is or to what extent he tried to make it happen as a theatrical feature before going to television, it sounds trueish. Hollywood has been curiously reluctant to relive the mainstream success of Brokeback Mountain (a major hit grossing nearly $100 million in domestic release) even though they're usually downright shameless about cashing in on any success with quick imitation.

But bless Soderbergh for pushing it forward even if he's a weird fit for the material...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May252013

Cannes Endeth. Who Picks Up The Laurels?

Mr & Mrs Polanski hit the red carpet for the premiere of their picture VENUS IN FUREach year round about this time I find it greatly amusing that people think they have even the slightest idea who will win the Cannes prizes. It's a mystery - though Guy Lodge does a beautiful job of summing up the possibilities here.

You can tie yourself into absolute knots coming up with scenarios and discarding them. But buzzy frontrunners there are so watch out for the sapphic Blue is the Warmest Color, the Italian entry The Great Beauty, Asghar Farhadi's latest The Past (like his masterpiece A Separation, it's said to be an intricately scripted divorce drama), and the Coen Bros - who have great luck at Cannes -  for Inside Llewyn Davis... and watch for someone french-speaking to win Best Actress: Cotillard (The Immigrant), Bejo (The Past), Seigner (Venus in Fur), Seydoux and Exarchopoulis (Blue is the Warmest Color)

Do you have any hunches? I'm too busy fantasizing about what Nicole Kidman thinks of the competition films to make any guesses but I will admit to great curiousity as to whether the jury will feel any sentimental pull to give Soderbergh something for his final film Behind the Candelabra considering that he began his career with a Palme for sex, lies and videotape (1989). What a story that would be, right?