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Entries in Tony Kushner (7)

Thursday
Apr142016

Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance's Shotgun Wedding

After two consecutive casting announcements from Amblin Entertainment, it’s official: Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance are, like, totally BFFs! As if collaborating their way to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and finally bringing the Roald Dahl classic The BFG to the big screen weren’t enough, it looks like this dynamic duo – what are we calling them - Stark? Ryberg? Spylance? – are gonna shack up for two more big screen ventures. You won’t see us complaining. If Bridge of Spies was any indication, this fusing of sensibilities has the makings of a director-actor partnership for the ages.

While we’re on the subject of theatre and film titans merging, the plot thickens. As spilled on Twitter by Mark Harris, the entertainment industry’s atom-splitter emeritus, Lincoln’s dream team of Spielberg and Pulitzer Prize (and, in a just world, Oscar) winner Tony Kushner is triangulating with Rylance to bring The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara to theaters in 2017. Rylance will portray Pope Pius IX in this custody tale of a young Jewish yet baptized boy torn from his Italian family and thrust into a life in the Vatican. Giving Francis a run for his money in the saying a lot with a little department, one can expect Rylance to cheekily intone conflicts of dogma and birthright with a little more papal pomp and circumstance than his Academy Award-winning role. While the pedigrees will likely be polarized, one can’t help but think of the captor or savior complex of John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane …but with much more silver-tongued, gold-hatted gravitas, to be sure.

And then yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter filled us in on the fact that Rylance is set to join Spielberg’s sci-fi actioner Ready Player One as an “enigmatic figure with shades of Howard Hughes and Steve Jobs.” Get a room, you two! Per the chronological tradition of Indiana Jones, by the time the credits for Ready Player One are about to roll – this, the fourth in their series – expect the pair to tie the knot with guest Shia LaBoeuf awkwardly linking arms on the side. This fistful of rice is about to explode.

As Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance prepare to team up in cinemas again and again and again, what are some of your favorite director-actor combos in film history?

Wednesday
Mar302016

Links: The Beguiled, Real O'Neals, Celebrity Politics, and More

Let's try to cover everything we haven't mentioned lately (whew). The biggest and most obvious is that Sofia Coppola, whose plans to follow up Bling Ring with a live action Little Mermaid are no more, is now supposedly working on a remake of the Clint Eastwood romantic drama The Beguiled (1971). The film will star two darlings of TFE Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. Plus Elle Fanning so Coppola already sold all the tickets to our crowd. The Clint role is as yet uncast.  They're said to be looking for a 'Chris Pratt' type but what this surely calls for is a watch of the original film to familiarize ourselves.

Let's do it together shall we? It's available on Amazon and iTunes so let's all watch it by April 8th or so and we'll discuss. Deal? 

Other News
Playbill Julie Andrews will direct a 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady this fall at the Sydney Opera House. Tell us how it is Aussie readers!
Tracking Board Julia Roberts lines up another thriller Fool Me Once. Can she step off the thriller train please. She's always screaming. How about a romantic comedy revival?
• Coming Soon Naomi Watts joining Brie Larson in Destin Cretton's (Short Term 12) Glass Castle.  

Coming Soon Kristen Wiig replaces Reese Witherspoon in Alexander Payne's next satire Downsizing
Guardian Woody Allen's Cafe Society will open Cannes this year but what other premieres might we see there? 
Comics Alliance First i'm hearing this but apparently April 26th is "Aliens day" and a bunch companies are going to be selling Aliens stuff, including Reebook who will be releasing replicas of Sigourney's hideous red white and black velcroed shoes from that 1986 classic
Broadway Blog Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men getting the live TV treatment in early 2017 -- it's not just for musicals anymore
/Film Channing Tatum's Gambit delayed yet again. Hopefully he'll realize soon he doesn't need to do it at all. I mean it'd be nice if ANYONE other than Leonardo DiCaprio stayed away from the superhero genre. Just for you know some variety in our top male stars
BBC Hans Zimmer officially retiring from scoring superhero pictures after Batman v Superman 
• Cinematic Corner Speaking of. If you're not done hating on that movie read Sati's righteous fury about it. She points out something I didn't notice: Zach Snyder can't even do cameos right. He uses THREE of his Watchmen actors (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino) and I didn't realize that any of them were involved! 

i couldn't find a good video of this gay date scene but its adorbs

Recommended Reads 
• Towleroad an interview with Noah Galvin, the talented funny star of The Real O'Neals. Try this show if you haven't. It's a delight.
MNPP Which is Hotter: Ed Skrein or Ed Skrein
Mike's Movie Projector shares an excerpt from an old Joan Fontaine autobiography
Film School Rejects on Superheroes needing a dash of silliness even in their "dark" outings 
• Interview talks to Sophie Okonedo about Broadway's revival of The Crucible. She plays Goody Proctor
MNPP loved seeing Benjamin Walker in tighty whities for over an hour as Patrick Bateman in the Broadway musical version of  American Psycho and since Jason hates musicals that is more than enough recommendation for me who loves them. I hadn't yet realized that 

Can This Election Be Over Instead of 8 Months Away?
Boy Culture agree with Matthew in this piece on Susan Sarandon's recent irresponsible political comments. I'm so ready for this election to be over and it's still 8 months away!
Towleroad and icymi the genius Tony Kushner was a guest on MSNBC and discussed how baffling Sarandon has been about this (They're both heroes of my youth. I don't like it when mommy & daddy fight!)
The New Yorker suggests that maybe Superman is Republicans and Batman is Democrats and now I just want to die rather than think about Batman v Superman for a second longer. DEATH TO INTERNET THINK PIECES ABOUT SUPERHERO MOVIES! (I'm suddenly dreading Captain America: Civil War and dreading a Captain America movie is not something I feel comfortable doing... at all. In other words: stop it internet!)

Wednesday
Aug192015

HMWYBS: Angels in America (2003)

What follows is a republishing of a piece I'm proud of from our very first season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot (you can see the index of all six seasons here) when I was somehow far more concise with "Best Shot" despite feeling like I was overdoing it. I've added in notes and links for contributions from other Best Shot participants and I'd like to thank Manuel heartily before we begin for his fascinating contextual work on HBO's long history of LGBT films and series this summer and for sharing this week's HBO LGBT episode with us for our redo episode of this Great Work. Read that piece before you read this. Ready? Let's begin...

Tony Kushner's extraordinary two part stage epic Angels in America centers around two overlapping young couples in the mid 80s, struggling married Mormons, pill popping Harper and her closeted husband Joe and the gay couple Louis and Prior they become connected spiritually (Harper befriends Prior... in her dreams) and physically (Joe becomes Louis's other lover). But it's also about politics, immigration, religion, identity, and evolution and encompasses multiple other characters from Louis's outspoken gay friend Belize, to Joe's mother, to the evil lawyer Roy Cohn, the dead Communist Ethel Rosenberg, and a frequently orgasmic Angel who descends on many of the players. This masterpiece was adapted for the screen in 2003 by Oscar winner Mike Nichols. Along its journey it won 7 Tonys, The Pulitzer, and later 5 Golden Globes and 11 Emmys and here's the thing: it deserved every single prize. If you haven't seen it drop everything (seriously everything) because it is unmissable. I've seen it performed on stage three times in three different states with wildly different budgets and casts and seen the miniseries a few times too... and every single time it's a fascinating prismatic living thing, like it will always be teaching you, entertaining you, and provoking you.

Rather than limit myself to one shot I'm picking one from each of its chapter. This I can manage!

Chapter 1 "Bad News"

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr182014

The Linkae

After Ellen "Return of the Lesbian Villain"
/Film Sharon Stone does Mrs Robinson at The Graduate live-read
KCRW Tilda Swinton guest DJ special. She's a fan of Marilyn Manson, Björk & Bowie. We could have guessed as much!
Vanity Fair Daniel Radcliffe does the Proust Questionnaire 

What is your greatest regret? I’m 24! I think it’s a little early for all that

Pajiba Cameron Diaz vs Kiki Dunst in the battle of the vapid remarks
AV Club Tony Kushner working on another Steven Spielberg project The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. Sounds intriguing but anything that keeps Tony away from writing that Viola Davis as a politician movie is a problem for me
Judgmental Maps NYC by stereotype
Variety a new memoir on Ethel Merman. When is she getting a biopic for chrissakes?
i09 Why were there so many giant insect movies in the 1950s? 
/Film on potential superhero crossover movies. Only when the mega-corporations are out of ideas/money 

Today's Watch
The Normal Heart trailer. Will this be yet another TV movie that we have to wonder how it would have fared at the Oscars had it been released theatrically? At the very least the doctor role would've resulted in a nomination no matter who played it. That's the part once slated for Barbra Streisand decades ago with Julia Roberts taking over for Ellen Barkin who won the Tony on Broadway (why wasn't she asked to reprise it given her connections to Ryan Murphy?) so expect Julia at least to be up for the Emmy.

 

Exit Question: Is it just me or does the type here inadvertently imply or perhaps subliminally predict that Matt Bomer and Taylor Kitsch will one day be Oscar nominated actors?

Monday
Jan072013

Screenplays of '12. Pg 12. "Lincoln" 

I didn't forget about my page 12 sharing in honor of 2012 but the year slipped away from me. Let's resume, at least in brief, for a moment from LINCOLN as scripted by Tony Kushner based in part on two chapters from "A Team of Rivals" (a book I'm continually hearing great things about).

Tony Kushner speaking about Lincoln at Harvard

Two soldiers fasten a flag to the halyards. Lincoln moves into places; as the crowd applauds, he takes a sheet of paper from inside his hat and glances at it. Then he looks up.

        LINCOLN
The part assigned to me is to raise
the flag, which, if there be no
fault in the machinery, I will do,
and when up, it will be for the
people to keep it up.

He puts the paper away. The audience waits, expecting more.

        LINCOLN (CONT'D)
That's my speech.

He smiles at them. They applaud, some laughing.  As Lincoln turns the crank, hoisting the flag, a solo trumpet plays "We Are Coming Father Abra'am" and the audience joins in.

That's a really short scene in Lincoln but a telling one since it gives Daniel Day-Lewis one of many opportunities to demonstrate the President's refreshing sense of humor. A good sense of humor goes a long way in sweeping out the cobwebs from the Great Man Hagiography that so many biographical films become.

three more celebrated screenplays I'm also celebrating today

I too love this screenplay and it's one of my own nominees for BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY just posted! My ballot for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY is also up for this year's Film Bitch Awards kick off. Click over and see what's nominated from soulful indie dramas like Aya DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere and curios like Sean Baker's Starlet through to big budget superhero epics like The Avengers (no really) and certain Oscar players like that controversial Zero Dark screenplay we already talked about

Thursday
Nov152012

The Man With the Golden Link

Natasha VC Melancholiay Kiki was right. Noooooo....
MovieLine on Sam Raimi's purchase of Angelfall, the YA series that's meant to be the next Hunger Games. The only thing getting me through the endless repetitiveness of today's cinema culture is that most of these series have an end date. So once Hunger Games ends, people will be looking for the next Angelfall instead. (Can you tell I'm so excited that Twilight is over!!!?)
HitFix talks to Matthew McConaughey about a Magic Mike sequel and all that weight he's lost for The Dallas Buyers Club.  
Movies Now profiles GKids, that winning animated indie distributor who should be taken seriously in each year's Oscar race 

Awards Daily on the ever present narrative of Oscar's Difficulty with Race. Which, to be fair if you ask me, is not so much Oscar's problem as Hollywood's difficulties; Oscar is only a prism. 
Hollywood Elsewhere Newsflash: Jeffrey Wells apparently takes Armond White seriously (suggesting his partly negative Lincoln review matters)! Who does that?!? (White just takes whatever position is contrarian. That's why his reviews always come out later than everyone else's.)
Gawker thinks Joe Wright's artistic gamble with Anna Karenina pays off. I'm noticing enough positive reviews to wonder if the worm is turning on this thing in terms of Oscar (people were so weirdly and prematurely down on it post Toronto from the lack of consensus I suppose) but maybe that's just wishful thinking since I liked it and thought Keira Knightley was truly fab in her divisive gutsy jaw-first way.
i09 Five minutes of the new Star Trek film to play in select IMAX theaters before The Hobbit. Because I am not a Trekkie and don't pay close attention I had somehow missed that this film is called Star Trek Into Darkness and now I am embarrassed for everyone involved. Sounds SO hokey and jokey and pretentious all at the same time! A feat you might say.
Vulture Sigourney Weaver pretended she was doing Shakespeare while acting in Alien (1979) "I was such a snob" 

Today's Must Watch
Tom O'Neill at Gold Derby talks to Tony Kushner about Abraham Lincoln's much-speculated upon sexuality and why there's precious little of it in Spielberg's Lincoln.

Thursday
Mar102011

Link Tease

Streep Tease in which male actors do Meryl Streep monologues is back in Los Angeles every Saturday night. I must hear from you Los Angelenos if you go.
Cinephilia and Sass starts an Eyre-a-thon. Have you watched any of the movies or read the book to prep for the new Jane Eyre opening tomorrow?
Towleroad a few notes on new releases.
Blog Stage
a conversation between Tony Kushner and Stephen Sondheim, two giants of American theater.
Filmdrunk a man with 82 Julia Roberts tattoos. How is there room for so many. Her mouth alone...
Vulture Chris Meloni, learns how to direct and gives acting tips.