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Entries in Vanity Fair (5)

Wednesday
Feb052014

Link Mommy, Link!

Vanity Fair interviews director John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Road) on his controversial Superbowl ad for Coke. I personally loved it. The right-wingers hate its reminder of America as melting pot.
NPR Jehane Noujaim's The Square, nominated for Best Documentary, is having trouble getting screened at home in Egypt 
Theater Mania interviews the great Charles Busch (Die Mommy, Die!) about his career and new play "The Tribute Artist" in which he does impressions of Marilyn, Bette Davis, and Katharine Hepburn among others. (I met Mr Busch at the anniversary Cabaret screening last year and he was so sweet)

Gothamist Alfonso Cuarón's Oscar campaign hits Lincoln Center soon for screenings and discussions of Children of Men and Gravity here in NYC. Ah c'mon Lincoln Center. Throw in Y Tu Mama Tambíen (still his best picture) and we'll totally be talking!
Pajiba on the whitewashing of Egyptian mythology on screen. Why not cast people of color. Joel Edgerton as Ramses? Gerard Butler as an Egyptian god? Ummmm
LA Times Spike Jonze acceptance speech at the WGA's for Her 

Coming Soon.
Mookie provides us with a list of the most exciting Chinese films coming this year. Lots of auteur epics and stars: Chang Chen, Tang Wei, Gong Li, and Takeshi Kaneshiro
Empire Russell Crowe's next drama Fathers and Daughters is from Italian director Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness) is loading up on starpower.Also cast: Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Quvenzhane Wallis, Octavia Spencer and Diane Kruger. 
THR Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe will costar in Gus Van Sant's Sea of Trees about two suicidal men
Empire Alicia Vikander (yaaaasss) and Kit Harrington (well, he pretty) to co-star in World War I drama The Testament of Youth directed by James Kent. Incidentally Kent has had a long career in TV films but this will be his first feature.
Deadline an update on Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) and his third film The Lobster 

 Finally...
You have undoubtedly read in several places that Jonah Hill & Leonardo DiCaprio are both now attached to a film about the Olympics bombings of 1996. This time Hill will play Lead and Leo supports. It's based on this Vanity Fair article American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell so we assume it will be called American Nightmare in release (or something else) since that's more generic and that they'll pretend it's not based on anything if the Original Screenplay category looks like an easy get in 2015. (Why am I so cynical?). Certainly the two worked well together in WoWS. Can they recapture the magic and double Oscar nods again? The Wire wonders which movie duo they're aiming to be. 

And in case you missed it at Funny or Die... here is "Jesse Eisenberg's" leaked audition tape for Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman. I LOL'ed the most at the little pantomime of breaking Batma... well, I'll let you watch it.  

 

Tuesday
Feb042014

Vanity Fair 2014 "The Hollywood Issue" (Part 2)

Part 1 ICYMI, the cover with Chiwetel, Julia, Idris and George

The Vanity Fair "Hollywood Issue" tradition with its glorious and glam pull out cover is our favorite among annuals. In this 3 or 4 part series we'll investigate the full issue, generally just as enticing as the cover, starting with the cover itself (parts 1 and 2). Before we get to each star individually we must praise VF for fashioning Lupita just like a living erect golden Oscar -- get that statue, girl! -- instead of just dropping her, subserviently, on the floor like The Hollywood Reporter did! [more]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb042014

Vanity Fair 2014 "The Hollywood Issue" (Part 1)

Ah, our favorite magazine tradition. Vanity Fair's 20th Annual Hollywood Issue is upon us and the dozen stars selected they've selected are very carefully placed (they've read their own reviews). Instead of an all white lineup with a person of color shoved onto the back fold, this is an extremely careful, as if everything has been weighed on a scale: 12 actors, exactly equally split between both men and women, and skin color.

Of course both of those 50/50 visual situations are grossly unreflective of the actual business of Hollywood movies but we're not here to complain but to praise, it's fun to see the cover shaken up ever so slightly. If we were here to complain we'd probably say something about the lack of Asian actors (they never get their due here in America) but no one has ever asked The Film Experience to guest art-direct a cover. 

If they did ask me I would pitch things that wouldn't move copies (which is reason #203 why no one would ever ask me) but which would definitely be fun one-offs: An all senior lineup (Dernsy!, Shirley and all the Dames), an all instantly recognizable supporting/character actor lineup (Like... I dunno Margo Martindale, John Goodman, Jacki Weaver on the cover with Judy Greer sprawled out on the floor on the gatefold with Celia Weston and Bob Balaban and Irrfan Khan behind her... I could go on and on. Someone stop me). An all foreign language imported legends lineup (Bardem, Binoche, Leung, Deneuve, Loren, etcetera), and my personal ultimate fantasy cover, which we'd call "always a bridesmaid" devoted to people who always lose the Oscars they're up for: Amy Adams, Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close, Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes, Annette Bening, Sigourney Weaver, Ed Harris, Julianne Moore, Marsha Mason, Jane Alexander, and Joan Allen. GOOD LUCK DECIDING WHO GETS THE ACTUAL COVER ON THAT FOLDOUT LINEUP OF TWELVE!

In other words I wouldn't go with people who are always on magazine covers like Julia Roberts and George Clooney. But enough about fantasies. On to reality.  Let's take a closer look, starting with the actual cover

Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor whose film debut was in Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997), is finally getting his due after steadily-rising film work. That's thanks to his incredibly haunted and well judged work in 12 Years a Slave. But we've loved him since Serenity (2005... which incidentally also featured his 12 Years co-star Sarah Paulson) in which his screen presence was impossible to deny.
Stats: 25 Films. 36 Years Old. 1 Oscar Nomination.
Previous Essentials: Dirty Pretty Things, Talk To Me, Children of Men
Next Up for Chiwetel: Z for Zachariah, a sci-fi drama with Margot Robbie (also on this cover) and Chris Pine

Julia Roberts, "America's (Former) Sweetheart", is Oscar resurgent for her "Supporting" [cough] role in August: Osage County wherein she swiped 'Best in Show' reviews from Meryl Streep. Of all the stars gathered for this cover she looks the happiest to be there. But wouldn't you if you were sitting on Idris Elba's lap? 
Stats: 41 Films. 46 Years Old. 4 Oscar Nominations, 1 win.
Previous Essentials: Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, Erin Brockovich
Next Up for Julia: She's doing Ellen Barkin's angry screaming doctor/Tony winning role in the TV adaptation of the seminal AIDS play The Normal Heart 

Idris Elba, another British import, recently headlined Mandela which won him a Golden Globe nomination, his fourth. After two major critically acclaimed successes on television, he's on many a casting director's list for the movies. 
Stats: 24 Films + A Lot of Television. 41 Years Old. Not Yet Oscar-Nominated. 
Previous Essentials: Luther (TV Series), The Wire (TV Series) 
Next Up For Idris: Three movies in the can coming soon which are No Good Deed, a thriller with Taraji P Henson, The Gunman, a crime drama with Sean Penn and Javier Bardem, and Second Coming a British family drama

George Clooney, who surely needs no recapping as to his profile. Though, as great as he looks in a tux, I was hoping for a fresher choice of a cover subject since he's been so ubiquitous for so long.
Stats: 36ish(?) Films and Lots of TV, 52 Years Old. 8 Oscar Nominations (Directing/Acting/Producing/Writing), 2 wins (Producing/Acting)
Previous Essentials: Out of Sight, Oceans 11, Good Night and Good Luck, Up in the Air
Next Up for Clooney: Monuments Men which he directed and stars in, is about to open, which probably explains the cover. In 2015 he headlines Brad Bird's Disney scifi film Tomorrowland about a former boy-genius inventor.

Do you like the new cover? Here's PART TWO of the closeup breakdown

 

Tuesday
Jan312012

Vanity Fair 2012 'Thoroughly Modern Actresses'

The "Hollywood Issue" cover is here! You can't see me but I'm totally throwing confetti. It's one of the ten greatest Oscar season traditions (do I feel a list coming on? Maybe later).

 

Mario Testino took over photography duties for the first time. The girl's with the hardest working teams behind them (how do you think anybody lands the front cover?) are, from left to right, Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jennifer Lawrence, and Miss Ubiquity 2011 Jessica Chastain. On the inside folds we get from left to right: Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins and Brit Marling.

A zoom in for a closer look... 

Lisbeth, Katniss, "Mia Vashivovkoska" (thanks Meryl), and Miss Ubiquity

RuPaul's Drag Race premiered again last night so you'll forgive this outburst... 

GAG ON THE ELEGANZA!"

Not that any of these beauties look like drag queens... though Shailene Woodley wins the awards for "looking the least like herself" and Rooney Mara is still working the most easily duplicated look should you want her as your new style icon. 

more zoom-ins, reader questions, and fun trivia after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb012011

Vanity Fair 2011: "The Young and Beautiful"

Cover shot by Norma Jean Roy

The annual Hollywood Issue cover of Vanity Fair has been revealed with. It's called "The Young and Beautiful"

After the jump I've broken it down into sections so you can see it more clearly... still waiting for a super hi-res version though you can see a fairly good image at Vanity Fair's site. But nothing hi-res enough to print or see faces beautifully large. VF's site links are  malfunctioning so you can't yet read about the making of the cover just yet.

But here's blown up images for you... I'm a giver.

 

Click to read more ...