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"My favorite movie about the theater is ALL ABOUT EVE, but then again that movie is my favorite movie about everything about movies and love and lust and life itself." - Jay
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This is not going to be one of those interviews where I describe what the actress is wearing. This is not going to be one of those interviews where I talk about what the actress was eating. This is not the kind of interview that The Film Experience does which is just fine with Brie Larson. As it turns out we're completely sympatico on the subject of actresses and fame. She loves the work and prefers retaining her mystery to indulging in her celebrity. Or as she puts it.
I enjoy being confusing."
But here's the catch. When you do consistently great work as an actor as Brie Larson has done in roles large (United States of Tara) medium (21 Jump Street, The Spectacular Now) and small (Scott Pilgrim, Rampart), and then you hit a new peak with a revelatory personal best (Short Term 12) celebrity will often follow.
Brie frames this rising stardom predicament more memorably than I could while munching on a very green salad in a very blue dress (oops) in a day full of interviews. Morning Joe and Sirius XM were also on the docket that day:
I think with my age and gender -- it gets very easy for the conversation to go in the direction of 'What is your summer salad?’ It doesn’t matter. It’s not important. If we’re going to talk about stuff, let’s talk about stuff."
Which is exactly what we did from her Short Term 12 triumph to the chameleon wonders of United States of Tara to her feelings about Best Actress Oscar buzz. We'll skip ahead past my incoherent gushing about how Short Term 12 is the besty-best to the rest of the interview after the jump.
You're only as sick as your secrets! I'll start...
I confess: I don't quite know how it happened -- maybe someone linked up purchasable mermaid tails on their facebook and one thing led to another? if so I blame them -- but somehow I watched 7 episodes of the Australian kids show Mako Mermaids this week. The acting is terrible (except for an baby Emma Stone type who is pretty good at physical comedy) and one thing happens every episode. ONE THING. Is that how kids shows are, plotwise?
YOUR TURN. What have you been watching that filled you with guilt? I mean you could've caught up on a classic or three you missed with those hours!
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!
Gay TV and two new gay-centric films after the jump
Housekeeping Note: I'm running very late today so if you're planning to join us for tonight's "Hit Me" on The Bad and the Beautiful, you have extra time. My post probably won't go up until tomorrrow at noon.
EW First look at Kit Harington in Pompeii. Someone's been working out in their off duty moments on that dull wintry wall.
The Dissolve remembers the great writer Elmore Leonard (RIP) with an indepth conversation about his rich cinematic legacy
CHUD first look at Steve Carell in Foxcatcher - i can't wait to see this movie. He's such a strong dramatic actor despite his comedic fame
IndieWire lists the 4 million films showing at TIFF this year
Vulture on the exciting young world of TV criticism
Cinema Blend rumors suggest that it's Elizabeth Olsen who'll get the Scarlet Witch role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm proprietary about Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch and this idea doesn't upset me so... good news!
MNPP puckers up for Tom Sturridge -On the Road is now on DVD and Olivier Assayas Sils Maria is next
Empire Beautiful cast lining up for the adaptation of the best-seller Dark Places, a drama about a woman who survived a Satanic massacre, with Charlize Theron headlining and Nicholas Hoult, Corey Stoll and Christina Hendricks supporting
i09 has a Fall Movie Guide for 20 upcoming genre films. Summer is forever.
Huffington Post Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner may marry after 42 years together
/Film on the tight focus of Edgar Wright's Ant Man. In other words: yet another origin story. Does no one believe in 'In Media Res' anymore? Did the world learn nothing from 1977's Star Wars? Skip to chapter 4 people! Let the audience catch up. The last thing the world needs is another origin story. In this way the superhero genre is just as dull as the biopic, with their obsession with This Caused This! How Things Came To Be
Exit Video ...here's a cute video of iconic and funny t-shirts from the movies! Which bring back the most memories?
I couldn't make out the book Eric Northman was reading on the season finale of True Blood so I just decided it was a book by someone I know. I couldn't resist the GIFing...
Congratulations to all my published author friends and frienquaintances! Not all of them are just-published but lately it seems like there's been a wave of such happenings and I am so happy and proud for them. Writing a book is no easy task. It's like scaling a Swedish mountain in the snow. Naked.
Speaking of -- back to Alexander Skarsgård. It's nice for him to finally bring his penis to work with him but that final "cliffhanger" was DUMB in all caps. Everyone knows they're not going to kill off Eric. The showrunners have already said they didn't because they're terrified of change and constantly fandering. I'd say that that's the whole problem with True Blood except that implying it only has one is even dumber.
Glenn here. Can I talk a little bit more about Alfred Hitchcock? After all, he was born on this day 114 years ago and it's pretty astounding that his works are still being mimicked, adapted and homaged to this day. So few classic directors can be spoken about in this day and age and still have new and interesting things to be said. My personal favourite is Psycho (1960), but then I've always had a softer spot for his more pulpy work. Think of others like The Birds (1963) and The 39 Steps (1935) for instance. He's known for refined, classy, adult thrillers, the likes of which are barely made today, but it was his embrace of genre that continues to impress me the most. He supposedly hated horror movies and wanted to go about reinventing them. It's hard to deny he succeeded.
Several sequels followed, including Psycho II, which is actually quite impressive if still nowhere near the genius of Hitchcock's original. That one was directed by Richard Franklin who, much like Brian DePalma, frequently lifts Hitchcock wholesale for his own movies to sometimes incredible effect (see Road Games with Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis for a rather fantastic open road retelling of Rear Window). I'm also a huge, huge fan of Gus Van Sant's much-maligned 1998 remake starring Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore and Viggo Mortensen. It's the last mainstream experimental film and the very reason people hate it is why I think it works so well.
And now in 2013 Psycho has been reinvented once more in the form of A&E's Bates Motel.
A preposterously absurd, but wickedly entertaining series that reposits Norma and Norman Bates to the modern day and surrounds them in all sorts of wacky, grisly, mysterious events. It's a prequel and it's fun watching the writers insert little bits and pieces from the movie into the plot: Norman learns taxidermy! Norma fights city planners to keep a bypass from being constructed! Norman has "blackouts"! It's not subtle, but I was entertained so much by the first season that I can't wait to see how the show weaves its way towards the ultimate conclusion. Mother won't be happy. As Gawker succinctly put it:
[Like] Jessica Lange on the first season of American Horror Story... there's something about macabre television that brings the best-worst out of its women."
What's curious about Bates Motel, however, is that despite its origins as a riff on Psycho, it is David Lynch's Twin Peaks that the show most resembles. And deliberately so. Bates Motel is like the unofficial sequel to that groundbreaking prime time murder mystery soap opera of the early 1990s that we never knew was coming. The action of Bates Motel has been moved from California to the same region as Twin Peaks, it's set in a small town where murders and drug dealing and all sorts of illegal activity take place below the surface just like Twin Peaks, and there's a secret diary of sorts that the high school kids try to solve just like Twin Peaks. The series even utilised Twin Peaks iconography in its marketing, not to mention favoured Lynchian directorial trademarks like buzzing neon and car accidents.
I recently returned from Twin Peaks Fest, a fan convention held in the town where Peaks and its cinematic prequel were films. It was basically one of the greatest weekends of my life, but while I was there I asked if any of the other Twin Peaks obsessives had watched the show. They hadn't, but I hope they do. I can't imagine Alfred Hitchcock would have liked it all that much, but it stands as one of the zanier and more entertaining ways that the Master of Suspence's legacy lives on.