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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Entries in The Wizard of Oz (27)

Friday
Jan222016

Ranking All 80 Winners of Best Original Song (Plus Where This Year's Contenders Would Place)

Glenn here with a look at everybody’s favourite category – best original song! Okay, so, sure, even if this year’s roster for best original song doesn’t look like a vintage one for the category, there’s actually some fun to be had when you consider who will win.

  • Will Diane Warren finally win an Oscar on her eighth nomination? And how strange will it be to see her win for a song from a documentary about sexual abuse alongside Lady Gaga rather than one of the chart-busting hit-singles that her first six nominations were for (lest we forget, Beyond the Lights’ “Grateful” didn’t chart because, well, Rita Ora).
  • Will an opera tune win for the first time? No work of opera has ever been nominated if my research is correct, which is kinda neat even though I think the song is dirge (albeit appropriately so for the film).
  • Will all the talk of diversity in cinema this year give us a winner that is either black (The Weeknd), transgender (Antony Hegarty), or gay (Sam Smith)?
  • It’s been 18 years since the last occurrence of a movie winning both a Razzie and an Oscar. Plenty of films have been nominated for both of the awards, but neither has won an award from each since Wall Street in 1988. Could Fifty Shades of Grey break a very unique drought?

Now, naturally because we all love lists so I thought it would be fun to rank every winner of Oscar’s best original song category and see where this year’s contenders would fit in when they take home that golden statue. What could possible go wrong with a completely subjective ranking of over 80 songs?!? Oh dear. You’ve been warned, I guess. Two things to note: I have not included "The Last Time I Saw Paris" from Lady Be Good since even the writer of that 1941 song was angry it was given an award when it wasn't written for the movie (it was subsequently the impetus for the category's rule change). Secondly, I have tried to rank as close to original film versions as possible so some songs that were improved upon in later recordings (like Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa”) may not rank as high. And, yes, before you ask, I am the person that hates Mary Poppins and who has never seen much of the appeal of the overtly twee “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.

Go over the rainbow after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan082016

Link Linker Linkiest Linking Links 

New York Post has wise words for Netflix on their strange feet dragging for Season 2 of Jessica Jones
Slate Movie Club 2015 closes I'm assuming you read all 18 entries. They were A-MA-ZING. My favorite Movie Club by Slate ever I think. Mark Harris, Dana Stevens, Amy Nicholson, David Ehrlich, and Dan Kois outdid themselves. 
Decider great piece by Joe on the rise of the bad seen as villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and other blockbusters 
Decider Joe also counts down the 10 times Globes were more fun than Oscars (10? This list could go to 1000) but there's a massive typo in his post because it says "7." [sic] by the part about Elizabeth Taylor slurring "GLADIAAAAATOR"  

 

THR excerpt of a new interesting book  "Starflacker" from a longtime PR pro Dick Guttman
The Guardian Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen remade the Oscar nominated film The Dresser (1983) for the BBC in 2015- how did I miss this news? 
The Wrap Annihilation, a female led sci-fi picture from Alex Garland (Ex Machina) may star Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez
Variety 33 people will be honored at the Academy's annual Scientific and Technical Awards

Towleroad So John Boyega is just a wee bit shy of how fun he seems so far in public. He's already put the kabosh on the gay Star Wars rumor saying that it's all in Oscar Isaac's head  
The Envelope a video chat with Michael B Jordan about Creed
Vanity Fair Ryan Coogler would be just the guy to direct the Hamilton movie adaptation. Make it happen world.
Tracking Board looks at series orders from various TV distributors (we don't call them networks anymore, right, since they're are so many ways to get tv?). Netflix has a series called Gypsy. Unfortunately it's not a musical about the stripper. 
Pajiba pays tribute to Brie Larson's social media game  

 

 

Top Tens & Best Of Lists
Yes, they're still going on. Check out: John Oursler's which has Phoenix and Tangerine and The Tribe; Kyle Turner takes a more holistic 'best of' approach of with all sorts of personal notes and thus personal obsessions like Noah Baumbach, Spectre, and such; David Poland published his but without commentary of any kind. I don't even know if they're in order

Oscar Confusions
Voting has closed. I love how utterly perplexed almost every professional and amateur pundit is this year. The guilds and precursors have been all over the place. Kris Tapley tracks the events that happened while balloting was going on. This is an absolute joy if you like the unpredictable AND you don't have a particular film you can't live wihtout. Unfortunately I have two masterpieces to worry (which is more than usual!) so I'm having trouble enjoying the will they or won't they nerves.  But I'll start doing final predictions this very weekend so bear with me! If you need to think about this RIGHT NOW though check out Fisti's thoughts (he predicts that both my masterpieces will be shut out. Thanks, man. Argh). Glenn Whipp still thinks that Mad Max Fury Road will lead nominations. I've never been that bullish on it but still crossing my fingers. There's also a Gurus of Gold update. Though honestly I think some of my numbers are from the previous week because I definitely haven't been confident in Redmayne or Mara lately.Hmmm

Video of the Week
It's beautiful that the week Anne Marie began her Judy Garland series another Judy Garland spectacle made the rounds. Obsessed with this Wizard of Oz video am I. It recuts the film to be in alphabetical order by word (post credits though the credits themselves per title card are also quite a trip). I've only watched through to the "home" which took 45 minutes lol... the time flew by. But only two moments I was expecting to be favorites were "because" and "Dorothy." The other best parts aren't at all the parts you'd be expecting. I'm especially fond of "arf" and "back" and "dead" and "doing" and "frightened" and "ha". It really is mesmerizing how the video just naturally gives you these weirdly gorgeous breathing moments between its hyper edited assaults as with "Boo!" and "bye" or even "hhh" -- Judy Garland is a heavy breather, don'cha know!  Or how words that are only used once feel weirdly crystalline in this new context like "billowing" and "delicately" or how some super fast strings of words appear to be in conversation with each other like "heroes" "heroine" "herself" 

Of Oz the Wizard from Matt Bucy on Vimeo.

 

I'll stop talking now and leave you with a song, in this format...

a a And are blue come do dream dreams heard high.
I in land lullaby of Once
Over over rainbow rainbow Really skies
Somewhere Somewhere that that the the the
there's true up way you 

 

 

Friday
Apr032015

Cast This: NBC's "The Wiz Live" 

Margaret here. Earlier this week, NBC announced that this December they will be following the surprise ratings smash that was The Sound of Music Live and the more modestly-rated Peter Pan Live with a third simulcast musical: The Wiz! Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (fresh off their third and likely final Oscar ceremony) are returning, with Harvey Fierstein on board to augment William F. Brown's original book. The team is also partnering with Cirque du Soleil for the production, with plans to later move it to Broadway.

The 1975 "Super Soul Musical" is, for many reasons, an excellent choice. Because it's a pop musical, the network heads' desire to stunt cast with big stars will actually serve the material. And it's become a staple in high school productions because of its generosity with its musical parts- it requires a deep cast, with 9 characters who have their own show-stoppable numbers.

Like with most pop music, the score to The Wiz is only as strong as the people performing it, and the right actor can take even the least crucial number and make it into a sensation. That makes casting especially crucial. We owe it to the good people of NBC to make their jobs easy!

Here's my dream cast:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar312015

Top Ten: Movie Shoes

The new Cinderella really goes all out in fetishisizing the glass in glass slippers, in a way that few renditions of Cinderella have, from their translucency to their refracting beauty, to the way one of them shatters when Cate Blanchett's wicked Lady Tremaine has had it with the talk of them.

She will cut you!

It reminded me of an anecdote I shared a few years back about a brunch conversation with a friend's daughter when I asked her who her favorite Disney Princess was:

The question rendered her completely shy. I had given up hope of an answer, reverting my attention to the food when she shouted "CINDERELLA" at the top of her lungs over her waffles. "But why" I say? This answer came much more swiftly, like it was the silliest question any adult had ever asked her. "The glass slippers."  She didn't add "...duh" but it was right there, loud and clear, in her squeal of laughter

So for today's top ten let's celebrate the best of movie footwear from slippers of ruby or glass to fake legs to super boots. What lurks beyond the jump? Do they come in your size?

Be as curious as rollerskating Kira and find out... 

TOP TEN
BEST MOVIE FOOTWEAR

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep192014

Advice on Life and Movies - The Best of RuPaul's Reddit AMA

 

RuPaul Charles, Supermodel of the World and the mad genius behind the reality TV phenomenon RuPaul's Drag Race, took some time away from myriad hosting/singing/writing/producing commitments to host an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") on Reddit, with predictably delightful results. 

Along with discussing his career and favorite works of art, RuPaul also dispensed words of advice on fashion, confidence, and battling personal demons. Here are some of the best parts:

Why did you decide to go by your real name, RuPaul, instead of taking on a drag name?

Because I was stupid. It's important to use a stage name so that your real name doesn't appear on public records.

What's the fondest childhood memory you have?

The time my sister Renetta took me to the Canyon with a paper bag of cookies and a blanket, and told me "Ru-ru- this is a pic-nic." I was 5 years old. That's when I first learned about magic. Because to anyone else, it would be a paper bag and a blanket. But Renetta turned it into a magical event by calling it a pic-nic.

What makes a gay icon?


What makes a gay icon is someone who possesses both masculine and feminine qualities simultaneously. Someone with the power of Judy Garland and the vulnerability of Judy Garland is a shoe-in. The world we live in is made up of polar opposites, black/white, male/female, night/day, and a human being who possesses both masculine and feminine - vulnerability and strength - is intriguing to us, whether they be a singer or actor or dancer, intrigues us, because THAT Is who we really are. We are this world, all of it, and when we recognize it in other people - that person gets our attention. That person becomes the representation of your own potential.

If you had to pick one movie for the whole world to watch, what would it be?

The Wizard of Oz. It says everything you need to know about what we are doing on this planet.

Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?

I love A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. And I love a Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. I also love the Tom Perrotta books The Leftovers, and my all-time favorite book is Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Who is your comedy icon?

Joan Rivers!

I loved you in But I'm A Cheerleader. What was your favorite part of working on that film?

It would be watching Eddie Cibrian's booty in those cutoff jeans.

Dealing with anxiety I have repeated many of your quotes to myself, to keep going, to stop judging myself, etc. But sometimes the saboteur seems to be screaming so loud that I can't avoid it. When the saboteur gets too loud, how do you deal with it?

You have to nurture another voice that counteracts the saboteur. And you have to also ask yourself - are you willing to give up the payoff you get from succumbing to the saboteur?

What would you say is your most important piece of fashion advice?

Be yourself. Know your proportions. And have a good tailor.

I've got an artesian well on my property and the water pressure is lousy. Any suggestions?

HAHAHA. Sissy that water!

 

Monday
Jul142014

Aarrrr, matey. It's Captain Link!

John August Gregory Maguire (author of the novel "Wicked") looks at the original screenplay of The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Tom Huller look at this amazing commissioned poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Erik Lundegaard the first "Best Shot" entry elsewhere is up for tomorrow's Any Batman Movie fest. I love this article. Erik is so right about Adam West
Black Maria the nuance of silence in Ida  

Stage Buddy reviews the cast album of the Tony Winning "Lady Day"... won't someone please make it into a movie so Audra McDonald can have an Oscar?
Cinema Blend Stan Lee getting greedy in his old age - wants to cameo in DC movies, too 
The Film Stage Kurt Russell who starred in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof thinks The Hateful Eight will be going before cameras early in 2015 
The Playlist ranks all eight Planet of the Apes movies. Predictably Tim Burton's box office hit is dead last.
Previously TV 'disparate things' pits Parks and Recreation's party machine up against "that brief window when we thought Smash might be good." I trust you'll all vote for Smash. Do as your told!

Boyhood
Awards Daily thinks Boyhood leads the Best Picture race but I'd be surprised to see it even nominated myself. IFC doesn't really try for these things you know. I think there last nomination was in 2009 or something.
Guardian quibbling with Boyhood  

The Struggle
Film School Rejects has a think piece on the toxic culture of movie rumors as movie news. I've talked about this a lot myself as a way of describing what I don't want The Film Experience to be (just another site that cares more about movies that don't yet exist than movies that do) versus what it is (a movie site that cares about real movies from all eras and long after their opening weekend). As a generul rule we restrict ourselves when it comes to rumors (beyond quite often in these link roundups) much to the detriment of traffic since "future movies" is big business. I don't mean to pat myself on the back but I think it's a real problem for healthy film culture (which needs to be about actual films) and I'm always to curious to read articles like this from bigger sites which are news-focused on their feelings. It's a tough line to walk. I don't think we cover news enough at TFE but you have to be so careful that you're not just feeding into the meaningless of what's-next-what's-next at the expense of appreciating what there already is. Imagine if everyone in the US stopped reading every article about upcoming movies for an entire year. They'd have enough time left over to see a big group of classics and contemporary cinema and discuss them, too.

Christopher Walken in Pennies From Heaven (1981)

FINALLY...
You'd probably heard that Christopher Walken will be playing Captain Hook in the "Peter Pan Live!" event we should see sometime next year. "The Sound of Music Live!" set off a bunch of new plans for networks since live events are one of the only ways to get people to watch a program as its broadcast and thereby force them to sit through commercials. Walken is so amazing in musical roles which he almost never gets to do (see "Weapon of Choice" and "Pennies From Heaven" for starters). I don't remember this musical at all though I think my parents took us to a touring company when I was itty bitty to see it. Hopefully Hook gets to do some elaborate pirate jigs.  

Unfortunately it looks like they're looking for a female actress to play Peter Pan (Kristen Bell was an original choice) which is disappointing. Yes, that's the stage and film tradition but wasn't it originally the tradition only because of wirework technical issues and women being smaller and lighter. It's decades later now, time to get a real boy who won't grow up for the role.