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Entries in Valerie Perrine (2)

Wednesday
Apr022014

Can't Stop The Glitter. Or the Best Shots. 

glitter attack!True story. In the late 1990s after graduating college, before New York City and The Film Experience years, I was working as an artist at a company that specialized in parties and events. Every day in a big warehouse I was a hot mess of glue guns, paint rollers, foam shavings, and glitter. Glitter above all else. Three years later in New York City I was still finding glitter in the weirdest of places; that shit lasts forever.

I thought about this as soon as the opening credits of Allan Carr and Nancy Walker's Village People origin comedy, Can't Stop the Music (1980), our "HMWYBS" April Fools Selection. It was like the movie was blowing its glitter load in the first frame. Turns out there was no refractory period. The glitter just keeps on coming and not just over animated fonts. Dancers actually FLING physical glitter at each other and in the final scene it RAINS glitter. David Hodo (the construction worker) falls victim to the glitter the earliest in his introductory song, the ghastly "I Love You To Death" (pictured left). Hodo is now 66 years old and only stopped performing with the group last year. I bet you anything that he still finds glitter in the retirement home.

Surprisingly my choice for Best Shot is glitter free. But it's still really gay, don't worry. But no it's not this one...

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Wednesday
Aug242011

Q&A: Hitting the Wall, Moving to France, Dreaming of Sofia 

You asked so I'm answering. Not all the weekly questions of course. If I did that I'd be typing for a whole week with only your questions to guide me. I've selected a dozen questions to answer and here they are. 

Tyler: Do you think Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet give good performances in Titanic?
Nathaniel: Hmmm. Define "good". I didn't expect this question to give me pause but it did. I'll try to keep this short. I adore Titanic (1997) and not ironically. I have a certain level of teary devotion to instantly iconic performances like those, to movie-movie performances that maybe aren't nuanced or perfect but serve their movie in a seismic way. I think of Leo's floppy bangs or Kate's fiery curled tresses and I go all mushy inside and have a sudden desire to draw hearts all over notebook folders with a ball point pen. *Ahem*. So, I love Leo & Kate in Titanic, especially as a unit, but I think they both have kind of rough moments in it. (Seriously. That was the best take?). Still, if I'm on the ship and in charge of divvying up the lifeboats, Leo & Kate get one first. Women and children can fend for themselves. " Ladies Movie stars first!"

Kin: Pick a country to live in besides America, but base your reasons only on movies.
Nathaniel: France, bien sûr. Do I even need to explain? It's the birthplace of cinema and the auteur theory, the Eiffel Tower is key to a million famous movie scenes, the French New Wave still fascinates, and the list goes on. Also they have Deneuve so this win be landslide.

Matthew: How do you feel about acclaimed actresses who seemingly play themselves or variations of the same character in every film? I'm thinking of, in particular, Mary-Louise Parker and Zooey Deschanel, among other actresses whose overall versatility leaves something to be desired. Do you think they are deserving of accolades for their overall body of works when compared to say an actress like Kate Winslet or Julianne Moore.
Nathaniel: Many of the most beloved actors of all time did just this, particularly before The Method took over. Cary Grant is genius but always Cary Grant. Mae West wouldn't be Mae West if she wasn't Mae West. And so on. So as long as we like that core person they're playing and they're versatile enough to spin it or smear it or mess with it in small ways a little from role to role, we're good. That said, Mary Louise Parker needs to get the hell off of Weeds.  WHAT IS SHE STILL DOING THAT SHOW FOR? She's calcifying. That is way too long to play the same character when said character is already so close to who you've always played. 

SoSueMe: Which actors have hit a wall creatively and have pretty much shown us all that they can do?
Nathaniel: Ding. Ding. Ding. Other than Mary Louise Parker. I am pretty sure that Johnny Depp has misplaced his entire once-prodigious well of creativity and is on perma-auto-pilot for the past six years.

I worry a little bit about Leonardo DiCaprio, too. I'm willing to be proven wrong in J. Edgar but I absolutely don't believe that directors challenge or control him enough. He's so talented but I think his career has been too easy for him. If you never have to struggle -- and his struggling ended abruptly when he was only 23 --  don't you lose the hunger that leads people to ravenously attack their role as if this is the one, the best chance to prove their gift? His performances feel too samey and not just because of the furrowed brow and The Dead Wives Club. But when he's "on" he's really something (see The Departed, key passages in The Aviator and ⅔ of his pre Titanic output.)

Manuel: IF Winona Ryder was not burned out at the time and did The Godfather III, do you think the movie would have been better with her?

my answers and the Question(s) of the week after the jump

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