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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Xanadu (5)

Tuesday
Mar122013

Top Ten 1980s

for discussion fun

Tootsie, one of the inarguably great American comedies

"The Tuesday Top Ten will get more article-like soon," he said (again). "It really will." But it was so much fun to discuss the 1930s and the 1970s, which are arguably the two most respected decades (critically speaking) of American cinema. So how about a decade that gets no respect? The 1980s. The '80s are tough for me to feel discerning about because I lived through them and was a) young and b) just falling in love with the movies and c) just falling hard for the movies so how could the cinema possibly have been hitting its nadir? I still have inordinate fondness for movies that might more safely be called guilty pleasures like Yentl, Superman II, Splash, Return of the Jedi, Clue, and about half of the filmography of John Hughes... and so on. I even like revisiting really bad movies from that decade. 

Off the top of my head my ten favorites of the decades. 

A Sean Young polaroid from the set of Blade Runner

  1. The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen)
  2. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
  3. A Room With a View (James Ivory)
  4. Tootsie (Sydney Pollack)
  5. Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears)
  6. Amadeus (Milos Forman)
  7. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  8. Aliens (James Cameron)
  9. Law of Desire (Pedro Almodovar)
  10. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg) 

 

With apologies too... Silkwood, Reds, Diva, The Empire Strikes Back, The Little Mermaid, The complete works of Michelle Pfeiffer, Moonstruck, Raging Bull, Jean de Florette, Manon of the Spring, The King of Comedy, Heathers, sex lies and videotape, The complete works of Kathleen Turner, The Shining, Victor/Victoria, The Right Stuff, Bull Durham, Little Shop of Horrors, The Terminator, Witness, Broadcast News, Running on Empty, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Raising Arizona. I could go on and on and on but I'd better stop before I start singing Xanadu again.

 

I'd love to hear your lists, both guilty pleasures and critically lauded efforts you think deserve their reputations.

Tuesday
Nov132012

Top Ten: Strange Golden Globe Musical Snubs

Glenn here with a tuesday top ten on a topic dear to my heart, and Nathaniel's too. We both have a strange fondness for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual Golden Globe Awards. Beyond the gif-ready celebrities-getting-drunk setting and the organisation’s occasional flurries of bonkers brilliance (too many to list), I think I like most of all that their splitting of films between drama and musical/comedy means so many very worthy films get big awards and nominations that they otherwise wouldn’t have. The general rule of thumb is that musicals have a much easier time getting a nomination because there are far fewer of them and, thus, stick out more. Sure, Burlesque, Across the Universe, Nine, and Mamma Mia are recent examples of none too acclaimed musicals landing big time best picture nominations.

Forgotten Awards Trivia: The Globes didn't consider "Dancer in the Dark" a musical (???) and Björk's awards show bird fetish didn't begin with the Oscar swan dress. Note that owl purse!

But what about those that didn’t? There’s more than you’d think!

11 with an Asterisk
Given the somewhat lax definition of “musical” by the HFPA – Ray? Coal Miner’s Daughter? Walk the Line? The Rose? – it’s a surprise that Robert Altman’s classic Nashville and Lars von Trier’s masterpiece Dancer in the Dark weren’t classified as such. The former because, well, it’s also pretty funny, right? The latter because it was a true, honest to god MUSICAL in the tradition sense. Altman’s ode to country garnered a whopping 11 nominations (including multiple for the now defunct “Best Acting Debut” category) and Dancer in the Dark snagged one for Bjork’s performance. Still, it’s about as dramatic as you can possibly get so we’ll let it slide.

TOP 10 MOST MYSTIFYING GOLDEN GLOBE MUSICAL SNUBS


10. Xanadu (1980)
Nominated instead: Airplane!, The Coal Miner’s Daughter (won), Fame, The Idolmaker, Melvin & Howard
Oh sure, laugh! Yes, this infamous movie was scorned upon release, but so was Burlesque and they had no trouble nominating that fabulosity twenty years later. Given the universal acclaim for, if nothing else, its soundtrack you’d think it could have at least gotten an original song citation for the title track. No, it’s not great art but who’s ever heard of Taylor Hackford’s The Idolmaker since?

Nine more increasingly acclaimed and tuneful snubbees after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug092012

Personal Canon #99: XANADU (1980)

From now until the end of August we'll be celebrating Gene Kelly for his Centennial (August 23rd to be exact) so let's revisit Xanadu, which opened 32 years ago last night! It's a member of my Personal Canon... also known as "The movies I think about when I think about the movies"


"A Movie That Nobody Dares To Love"

A Broadway version of this 1980 classic opened on Broadway a few years back marking yet another jokey acknowledgement of Xanadu's kitsch value. It was high timeto rediscover the film in all of its enduring time-capsule glory. For Xanadu, you see, is not the tongue-in-cheek comedy that it was reworked as. It's a completely sincere endeavor and, I'd argue, endearingly so. It's not one of those films that are so intentionally bad that it's subversively excellent (see: Showgirls). No, Xanadu is the real deal: a straight-faced musical. It just had the terrible misfortune to celebrate a number of things that would be out of style almost immediately thereafter: roller rinks, disco, legwarmers, greek mythology, album covers … and Olivia Newton-John.

The album art within "Xanadu" though not the movie's soundtrack album coverIt's easy to dismiss Xanadu for the very things it shamelessly loves but it's a shame to dismiss the shameless if they're also compulsively watchable. What other movie gives you a glimpse into the lost profession of album cover illustration? None that I know of. In what other movie will you see Greek muses come to life from a painting on a brick wall? Even Clash of the Titans didn't have that. What other movie has the wacky chutzpah to give you a pop star as A list as Olivia Newton-John (she is strangely disregarded now but don't be fooled: she was an enormous star with dozens of hit songs) and put her on rollerskates and in only one outfit for almost an entire film?

MORE...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb052012

Madonna Bowl

I was trying to make Sunday the ultimate day of productivity but finally I succumbed to laziness/excitement and just tweeted through the Superbowl. Or, well, half of it at any rate en route to Madonna's much awaited Half Time show.

So let's relive the whole experience right here (in case you aren't following me on Twitter and if you aren't, why the hell not?) since I am too lazy to write up a whole article and there are movie ads and movie references to discuss. Though strangely Madonna's whole Cleopatra inspired entrance didn't occur to me till just now. I was too excited to process anything (still reeling from meeting her).

Below are tweets from me and others. 

  • my entire adult life I've heard the Oscars referred to as "the gay superbowl"... so I'm trying to watch 'the straight Oscars for the 1st time
  • so far it's really boring. they didn't open w' a comedy routine. no beautiful gowns. you can't even see the celebrity faces. (Helmets. Boo!)
  • Tom Brady=the prettiest football star of all time! That's an assumption but a confident one.
  • I don't like 'The Straight Oscars' ... too many ugly old men, not ANY pretty actresses #GaySuperbowlOnly21DaysAway
  • @StevenMCuevas: If the Oscars at the Gay Superbowl and Rooney Mara's dad owns the Giants, does this mean Rooney wins an Oscar?

 

One of many incomprehensible Battleship images that could be Transformers cutouts

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan052012

The Link Menagerie

Stale Popcorn defines "Xanadusiasm" and we're all about it. Make it official, Websters.
Towleroad in which I make New Year's Resolutions for Hollywood since they keep having dumb ideas like remaking Carrie (1976) of all things. Just... NO.
Observer Rex Reed laments the many cultural departures of 2011 from La Liz to another Oz Munchkin.
Best Week Ever who knew that Michael Shannon had this much adorable cuteness in him?

THR Jessica Chastain coming to Broadway in 2012. I guess she wants the EGOT by 2017 or something. Over Achiever!
Some Came Running Glenn Kenny has a J. Hoberman top ten to mark the Village Voice's strange decision to dump their famous critic. 
Cinephilia & Sass has a letter to the fading James McAvoy... who does need his "Here I Am!" role surely. 
Acidemic If I were a TCM programmer... 

Your Movie Buddy shares his Oscar ballot. Kurt is also busy over at...
The House Next Door ...offering up Oscar prospects for The Tree of Life
Super Punch why your clothes don't look as good as in magazines (illustrated by Antonio Banderas)
Tom Shone wonders why Best Picture so rarely lands a Leading Acting Oscar to go with it anymore. Oddly, he seems to be complaining about it. Me, I love the spreading of wealth at the Oscars since the best film of any given year rarely has the best everything. 

Finally...
This week's most actressy event -- other than my interview with Charlize ;) -- is Nicks Flick Picks announcement of a Best Actress Birthday Party project. Here's the calendar and the first birthday party favor: Jane Wyman in The Glass Menagerie. Nick's been busy! In related news it's also Annie Hall's birthday today. Ms Diane Keaton turns 66. I'm itching for her to be in a good movie again so here's hoping one of her recently completed pictures works. It's not that she doesn't work.