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Entries in vampires (60)

Sunday
Jan262014

Sundance: This Girl Walks Alone Into Greatness

From the Sundance Film Festival here is Glenn on 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night'

Despite the high profile of vampire movies in the past decade, very few of them have been strong enough to justify their budgets and mainstream success, let alone done enough to warrant any sort of long-term attention. Buffy the Vampire Slayer concluded in 2003 and since then TV series True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have attempted to pick up where Joss Whedon left off. On the big screen, however, the only vampire property to strike any form of sustained reverence is Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish take on vampire lore, Let the Right One In – and, depending on who you ask, the American remake, Let Me In, too – although I did enjoy the Spierig Brothers’ high-concept Daybreakers as well (I didn’t care for Stake Land, but I hear people like that one, too). So it’s not only a surprise, but an genuine delight to report that Ana Lily Amirpour’s stark beauty, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, is not just great movie, but should be considered an instant entry into the cannon of vampires on cinema.

With perhaps the most literal title of the festival, Amirpour’s American-made yet Iran-set film takes place in the fictional town of Bad City. A lawless wasteland of a location where a local pit is home to the rising number of dumped, abandoned corpses, and where thugs and pimps undertake their criminal enterprises is broad daylight. Oil drills chug and churn on the city outskirts sucking the land's resources even more than Bad City's low life residents, and a teenage boy takes advantage of a local drug dealer’s death by stealing his stash and moving in on his territory. Bad City, undoubtedly inspired at least in part by Sin City, is a town that both literally and figuratively is being drained of blood; where people don’t so much live and merely exist. It exists in a seemingly parallel world, a twilight zone of evil and it's the perfect place to go unnoticed. 

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Monday
Aug262013

Jessica + Cate, Mary Music, and Other Linkables

Awards Circuit I guest starred on their podcast Power Hour this week. We talk Oscar's actress categories and Ben Affleck
Film School Rejects Diana gets a November release date
HuffPo interviews Eric Bana (Closed Circuit) who does not like Hulk
Final Girl lists the 5 best vampires of all time. This list LOL'ed me up good
Gothamist Patton Oswalt and Joss Whedon defend Ben Affleck's casting as Batman
Bad Ass Digest chooses the 11 best movies of the summer. Amidst all the fanboy titles are Short Term 12 and Blue Jasmine so well done. 

Jessica Chastain ♥ Cate Blanchett 
This was posted on the Actress's facebook page yesterday.

Sweet. And generous. And culturally aware just as we've come to expect from Chastain who by all accounts is a lovely person and real film enthusiast as well as one of the most important actors to emerge this decade.

Exit Music
Since we've been on a Mary Poppins kick this year what with that Best Shot steppin' time party and Saving Mr Banks coming out here's a music videdo that uses only sounds from Mary Poppins for its beats and melodies... 

Sunday
Aug182013

"The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint" Begins Filming

I've bitched about millionaires crowdfunding their projects already but I do want to say that of the three most egregious recent examples on Kickstarter, I'm most interested in Spike Lee's. I like that he's taken to social media with such enthusiasm, which negates some of the ickiness of crowdfunding by focusing on the its first syllable.

The film already has a promotional poster...

...and is about human addicted to blood because the vampire genre is so woefully underrepresented in current cinema.

Anyway, Lee reached his $1.25 million fundraising goal two days ago (a few days early) and by the time people were blogging about its success, the director had already started shooting and that kind of enthusiasm and commitment is as infectious as bloodlust in the movies!

Today he instagrammed this photo with the caption: "Shooting Opening Credit Sequence For The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint."

anyone know who these guys are? None are Spike's regular DP Barry Alexander Brown

Spike Lee makes great opening credit sequences -- Do the Right Thing did the right thing. And that's the truth, Ruth -- but this shot cracks me up because of the years I've spent searching for First & Last images. That series taught me that the biggest filmmaking cliche for opening shots is non-descript images of the sky or sea. 

Still... we can probably trust Spike Lee & team to mix it up. He makes fine title sequences and that's the truth, Ruth. Remember Do The Right Thing

I (will always) ♥ Rosie Perez.

Thursday
May092013

I Link You and Link You and Link You

You Should Be in Sweden attends the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA. It ends in June so go see it!
JazzT here's another enticing image from the exhibit. Oh Nicole. Any mask you'd like me to wear is fine
Pitchfork Another new David Bowie video starring an Oscar winning actress. Marion Cotillard instead of Tilda this time 
Mother Jones a 17 year old coder invents a program to block spoilers on Twitter
NY Post Producer Scott Rudin lashes back at NYT critic. These stories always embarrass me for the showbiz people - (remember when James Cameron wanted someone fired for the thumbs down on Titanic?). Being criticized is just part of show business. You always look silly when you freak out about it. It's an honor to be so well employed / watched that you are even susceptible to bad reviews, don'cha think? 

Empire Dominic Cooper joins the cast of the new Dracula starring MNPP's favorite punching bag lust object Noted Homosexual Luke Evans. I'd be excited for this since I like looking at both of them but I'm so worn out on vampires. Which I never thought I'd say but here we are post the Aughts when vampires are more ubiquitous than they've ever been as if they're still trying to wrestle back the Ubiquity Crown from the hordes of brain-dead zombies who don't even know that they won some pop culture battle.
Electric has an infographic comparing The Great Gatsby to the wealth of the stars of the movie
Pajiba on Netflix's current strengths and weaknesses as it attempts to become both a distribution platform and a content creator 
Observations on Film Art Kristin wonders whether or not studios understand the power of fanbases and direct access to filmmakers they can get via Twitter and set visits and the like
In Contention Ben Affleck's follow up to Argo doesn't betray any steroided auteurly confidence. It's just another Denis Lehane adaptation of the novel "Live By Night". It's almost like something he woulda signed on for before Argo.
MNPP Today's mood via Barbara Stanwyck and Clark Gable 

Oh and Also... James McAvoy on the set of X-Men Days of Future Past via Bryan Singer's active picture-snapping Twitter account. He tweeted this one with a Pacino-style "Serpico!" descriptor. When last we left the X-Men they were in the swinging sixties and Professor X had just been paralyzed and hate yet to go bald. Here we are in the seventies I suppose though it's probably not worth getting hung up on time periods since Days of Future Past (one of the great X-men arcs) is all about messing with them.

 

 

P.S.
And if you still can't get enough of our "Greatest Best Actress Losers" poll, check it out: Tim, Michael and Glenn shared their individual ballots on their fine blogs Antagony & Ecstasy, Serious Film and Stale Popcorn.

Wednesday
May082013

I Dreamed of Gatsby

Last night I had the wildest dream (with spoilers). Baz Luhrmann had delivered a Moulin Rouge! remake with vampire characters set in the world of F Scott's Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". No matter what happened to the characters -- whether they were shot, or run down by custom cars, or what have you -- they just kept getting back up good as new like genetically modified super soldiers or like, well, vampires.

One should never say that 'this = that', emphatically, with dreams since they're often inscrutable but the last three movies I watched were Kiss of the Damned, Iron Man Three and The Great Gatsby so perhaps this nightmare was inevitable.

When I woke up I knew it was only a dream... except for the part about Baz sucking Moulin Rouge!'s blood.

 

Tuesday
Apr232013

Burning Questions: Can You Really Separate A Performance From The Film?  

Hey everybody. Michael C. here. Growing up in the dark days before Twitter, back before I could get my Oscar gripe on 24/7, I had to focus all that emotion on Siskel and Ebert’s annual "Memo to the Academy" special. Watching year after year, one of the refrains the duo drilled into my head was that the Academy should expand their idea of what constitutes an Oscar-worthy performance. Don’t lazily jot down the names of those appearing in best picture contenders. Evaluate each performance on its own merits, apart from the film that contains it. They were adamant on the subject. 

Or at least they were, until the 1998/99 episode when Gene found the limits of Roger’s open-mindedness by suggesting James Woods receive a Best Actor nod for John Carpenter’s Vampires. After Gene went on for a bit about Woods’ talent for commanding the screen, Roger demurred, “Yeah, but if you’re gonna nominate someone for Best Actor you kinda want them to be in a little better movie, don’t you think?”

Gene wasn’t having it: “No. I want the performance. I don’t care about the movie.” 

This altercation zeroed in on a question that has always nagged at me. If even a harsh critic of stodgy thinking like Ebert has to draw the line somewhere, is the issue that cut and dry? Is it really possible to separate the performance from the film? [more]

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