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

 

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Entries in zoology (54)

Tuesday
Jul282015

Curio: Evanimals

Alexa here. I was thrilled to see the announcement today that Evan Yarbrough is having his own solo show at Gallery 1988.  I've posted about Evan's prints before; among other things, he specializes in letterpress portraits of pop culture animals (hence his Twitter handle).   The show continues this theme, and opens this Friday.

Evan has been offering some tantalizing sneak peaks on his Intagram, making for a fun game of guess-the-film... After the jump, some peeks at a few 'Evanimals'. Which do you recognize?

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Thursday
Jul232015

Tim's Toons: In celebration of Bugs Bunny's 75th birthday

Tim here. We're coming hard upon one of the most important birthdays in animation: Bugs Bunny is turning 75 this week. It was on July 27, 1940, that the world first got to see the Merrie Melodies short A Wild Hare, written by Rich Hogan and directed by the legendary Tex Avery. And it was in this short that the unnamed comic rabbit character that the cartoonists at Warner Bros. had been noodling around with for a few years reached the final form of his personality. Though not, in fairness, anything close to his final design.

An ever-changing face notwithstanding, it was here that voice actor Mel Blanc premiered the sarcastic Bronx accent and the instant catchphrase, "Eh, what's up, Doc?", that separated the one true Bugs from the Bugs-like characters tormenting the primitive form of Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd in a few cartoons up to that point. And while refinements were still to be made – he wasn't yet an effortless in-command wit, but still a manic slapstick creation; it would also be five years before he'd take his first wrong turn at Albuquerque – it's remarkable how stable the character has been through all of the intervening decades.

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Wednesday
Jul082015

Halfway Menagerie: Ten Best Screen Animals 2015

½way mark - part 8 of 9 
Did you find yourself wishing that the Maloja Snake wasn't just the movement of the Clouds of Sils Maria but an actual snake? Did Channing Tatum still turn you on in dog-human hybrid form in Jupiter Ascending? Did you cringe when that cute double-headed mutant lizard met such an ignoble end in Mad Max Fury Road's first scene?

If you answered yes to any of those questions you might be an animal person and this list is for you!

TOP TEN ANIMALS FROM 2015 MOVIES
(THUS FAR)
Because Nathaniel R is a crazy cat lady

10 Paddington in Paddington
His fur may be too mangy (who needs photo realism?) but he sure is a polite amiable fellow and his movie is mostly a treat. 

 09 Cat Stevens in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I get that this movie is probably making fun of me Greg's dad's love for his cat, Cat Stevens, but I don't care because screen time for cats always improves movies. And this one needed the help. Injustice: the cat actor playing Cat Stevens is not credited.  

8 more furry friends after the jump... 

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Sunday
Jun212015

Sydney Film Festival: Unconventional Creature Features

Glenn here offering some final thoughts on films at the Sydney Film Festival...

Let's talk about a couple of new documentaries and a horror-romance hybrid. 

The Russian Woodpecker
Chad Garcia’s The Russian Woodpecker is fascinating. It’s a wholly unexpected surprise from this debut director that not only presents an involving story that links the nuclear devastation of Chernobyl to the modern day revolution of Ukraine with plenty of conspiracy theory intrigue, but also presents it in a formally adventurous way. The film’s central figure is the eccentric artist Fedor Alexandrovich and he’s the sort of man that would drift through a party before promptly leaving and making everybody turn to each other and say, “Well he was a character!” If this wasn’t a documentary he would almost be too hard to believe as he rattles off his (as it turns out, not entirely absurd) theory that the Chernobyl nuclear disaster was a planned plot by the Russian government to disguise the failure of a nearby Soviet-built radar tower that emitted a persistent clicking sound known as “the Russian woodpecker”.

Alexandrovich’s amateur sleuth skills are hardly credible, but his growing unease at his proposed discoveries – his interviews with former workers of the radar tower seethe with barely contained tension – leads brilliantly into a navigation of the current political unrest on the streets of Kiev and his growing unease with choosing to bring these Russian grievances to light. Visually arresting, Garcia’s film is an uncomfortable must-see.

Oscar? I'd like to think it can find a general release and compete for Oscar. After a few years of music and sport films winning, perhaps last year's win for Citizenfour will turn them back to politics. Barring The Look of Silence, nothing has emerged out of the festival circuit looking like a winner so it's an open playing field.

Horror on the Italian seaside and an elephant in Hawaii after the jump...

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Saturday
May232015

Palm Dog. The Tradition Continues. "Woof Woof"

We're working on collecting fashions and awardage for two final big Cannes posts before tomorrow's closing ceremony awards but this one deserved it own special bone post as appetizer. The most famous recipient of the Palm Dog prize at Cannes is still Uggie from The Artist (2011) but the tradition continues each year and the lucky dogs were honored at the UK Film Centre this year, which is apparently the 15th year of the award.

Palm Dog "Dixie" from Arabian Nights (Portugal). The Canine actor's name is "Lucky" who is a Maltese terrier and poodle mix. Apparently she steals the show in the second half of the six hour (gulp) movie. You can read more about this picture in our We Can't Wait 2015 preview

Grand Jury Prize: "Bob the Dog" from The Lobster (Greece). Bob is played by father and son canine team "Jaro" and "Ryac". It's fitting that two dogs played this role since apparently Bob is a reincarnation of a man's brother in the film!? That film sounds wackier and wackier the more we hear of it though I actually don't want to hear any more before seeing what is surely one of 2015's oddest film experience. This movie from the director of the Oscar-nominated Dogtooth was also featured in our We Can't Wait preview.

Je Suis En Soldat

Palm DogManitarian Award: This special prize went to France's Je Suis En Soldat, which stars Louise Bourgoin and Jean Hugues-Anglade, and is is about dog trafficking in Eastern Europe. The award was given to the film as a way 

...to celebrate the fostering of relations between the human race and men, women, and children's best friend."

THR was mixed on this Un Certain Regard entry 

Other dogs people were rooting for this year that came up empty-handed were the sheepdog from Iceland's Rams, the labrador from China's Mountains May Depart and the rottweiler from Green Room. Congratulations to all the doggies and their trainers.

Previous Cannes-related news

 

Saturday
May162015

1979: Revisiting The Black Stallion

In honor of the Year of the Month (1979) and horse racing’s most exciting month – with the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, being run today – Lynn Lee revisits a childhood favorite movie, The Black Stallion.

As a little girl, I didn’t ride horses but I loved reading about them, from Black Beauty to Misty of Chincoteague to just about every book in the Black Stallion series.  Naturally I loved the Black Stallion movie and watched it multiple times in my pre-teen years.  I recently decided to watch it again and see how I felt about it over two decades later.  Here are the five things that struck me most strongly this time around:

1. How quiet the film is.
There’s barely any dialogue.  That makes sense for the first half, most of which takes place on a desert island where the two shipwrecked protagonists, the boy Alec and the Black Stallion, slowly earn each other’s trust.  But even after they’re rescued and return to society and enter a big honking horse race, the quiet remains.  Most of the human characters have only a handful of lines... [More]

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