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Entries in The Wizard of Oz (23)

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. 

 

Thursday
May222014

Tim's Toons: Oz well that ends well

Tim here. By now, you've undoubtedly all heard the biggest news of the summer movie season so far: there’s a conspiracy by Big Hollywood to bury the little cartoon indie that could, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return.

“Legends of which, now?” I can already hear some of you asking.

Exactly the point!  As producer-fundraiser Greg Centineo so sagely put it:

We’re nobodies in this industry. And we stepped into a deep, deep ocean with some very, very big sharks. Some of those mainstream critics have not just trashed the movie, but literally tried to crush it… You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out something is wrong there.”

Damn straight!

It's a well-established fact that critics and audiences tend to agree about 100% of everything, and the movies with the best reviews always make the most money. Surely only a shadowy cabal of self-sabotaging distributors and bought-and-paid for critics could be responsible for the film’s box office failure, and I am disgusted that you might even think it’'s because a handful of con artists fleeced a whole bunch of rich idiots out of their investments on a movie whose reported $70 million budget is clearly nowhere to be seen onscreen, obvious even from the trailer.

More...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec212013

Film on Film: 5 Classics That Deserve a Film of Their Own

[Editor's Note: Here's abstew with 5 Hollywood on Hollywood pitches. Co-sign!]

It's no secret that one of Film's favorite subject matters is, well, itself. The past two Best Picture winners (The Artist and Argo) have had Hollywood and the art of film-making at their core. And this weekend another film-on-film, Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney's decades long struggle to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen expands across the country in its quest to join those previous films in Oscar glory. The story seems ready-made for the movies - beloved source material, larger-than-life characters/personalities, and, just because it can, a hard-knock-life childhood back-story thrown into the mix. (If the old Hollywood angle doesn't win them over why not add the Academy's other irresistible allure: the biopic. It's two films for the price of one!)

I'm sure many people were unaware what went into trying to convince author P.L.Travers to sign over the rights to Disney and I'm sure even fewer people knew about Travers' back-story. But so many classic films have equally fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that would make just as compelling films. In honor of Saving Mr. Banks, here are 5 other classic films that deserve their own film treatment. So, quiet on the set...Action! 

The Wizard of Oz 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep222013

Box Office: The Family Prisoners of Oz

Jake Gyllenhaal sure needed it. Hugh Jackman's still got it. Prisoners, their tense new child abduction thriller had a strong opening weekend. It shouldn't come as a surprise, really. Hugh hasn't had anything like a true "flop" since Deception (2008) and The Fountain (2006). Even Australia, which people remember as a flop, would have been a hit all told with its solid global gross had it not had such a steroid-humongous budget. We'll discuss Prisoners in depth tomorrow (it's the type of movie that people will unfortunately "spoil" while discussing it enthusiastically so let's give it another night before we dive in) once we're past Emmy weekend.

marketed largely on Hugh Jackman, Prisoners turns out to be a true ensemble piece

WIDE RELEASE
01 Prisoners $21.4 
02 Insidious Chapter 2 $14.5 
03 The Family $7
04 Instructions Not Included $5.7
05 Battle of the Year $5
06 We're The Millers $4.6 
07 Lee Daniels' The Butler $4.3 REVIEWED 
08 Riddick $3.6 
09 Planes  $2.8
10 Percy Jackson 2 $1.8 

I ran into Joe Reid at the movies on Thursday and we talked about the tiny short shelf life of some movies. We were joking that people won't even remember that The Family ever came out by Friday. But here it is for the second week in a row in the top three grossers. So perhaps we were wrong. I haven't had the time (or, more pointedly, the heart) to write up the movie. I will say that Pfeiffer, DeNiro and Jones are good enough with the material but none inspired by it. What prompted them to make it beyond the paycheck? The fault lies with Luc Besson and the writing since it's such an unwieldy and even ugly mix of tones, swerving from heartfelt drama to black comedy to slapstick to god-only-knows what in nearly every scene with none of the dramatic empathy or comic inspiration that it would need to survive its indecisiveness and total mediocrity.

Mother & Robot. After school.

P.S. The only moments of joy I felt watching the movie was a couple shots of an endearing beautiful dog (named "Malavita" - ha!) and every shot of La Pfeiffer as it came with tiny flashes of nostalgia from the 80s classic Married to the Mob wherein the goddess was also comically cavorting with gangsters.

P.P.S. Dianna Agron is awful but I actually think she has the film's most impossible role and I can't believe I'm saying this but it needed someone of Chloe Moretz's total "f*** you" adolescent confidence and technical skill - she can fake human-like responses when she has to. Agron can (sort of) "act" confidence but she's like a robot when it comes to emotions; they do not compute.

LIMITED or STILL PLATFORMING
01 Wizard of Oz IMAX 3-D $3
02 Thanks For Sharing $.6
03 Enough Said $.2
04 Rush $.2 REVIEWED
05 Short Term 12 $.1 REVIEWED (cum $.7)

Having recently rewatched The Wizard of Oz for the millionth time for Hit Me With Your Best Shot I didn't feel the need to see it on the big screen again (I've done that several times, too). But did you? In other news, I fear that Short Term 12 is not long for this world, encountering its first dip during its gutsy and beautiful weekly expansion... so get out there and see it, people. Support movies that are crafted with everything BUT box office on their minds, and we'll get better movies!

What did you see this weekend? And was it money well spent?

Friday
Sep202013

This Link Goes to 11

Movie City News Gurus of Gold update post TIFF/Telluride
Mind of a Suspicious Kind Jordan on Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners
AV Club Joss Whedon airlifted in to punch up Thor: The Dark World. (awesome photoshop) 
Deadline Matt Bomer set to play Montgomery Clift... hmmm. But I have to say this article sounds like it was written by someone who has a very vague inkling of Clift, like a Wikipedia inkling. Seriously read it. It reads that generic. 

In Contention Cate Blanchett to make her directorial debut with The Dinner, based on Herman Koch's bestseller
/Film that Labor Day poster I was talking 'bout the other day finally made it online
Variety four people will be honored by the Cinematography guild including Kris Tapley. Congrats, Kris 
Awards Daily the US trailer for Blue is the Warmest Colour 
i09 8 ways to make a female led superhero movie work 
Slant Magazine excellent piece on "the IMAX cancer" and the rerelease of The Wizard of Oz... only not the one you know. 
Happy Nice Time People Embarassing Person Glenn Beck is really upset about the possible movie about Woodrow Wilson that Leonardo DiCaprio might possibly be starring in