Tuesday, September 19, 2017

NYFF Diaries: Day 1

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Okay so I start attending NYFF press screenings today, which means for you people that big chunks of my day, mostly every day, for the next couple of weeks, will be eaten up by me not being here but being inside a theater unable to provide you with your minute to minute updates on what pants Jake Gyllenhaal is wearing today. Oh noes, says the cat hanging off a stick. But instead of just leaving you hanging, which is what I usually do, instead I'm going to share What I Am Seeing Today. (Or try to. We'll see if I manage doing this day in day out.)

I won't actually be reviewing the movies here since I am covering the fest for The Film Experience, and those reviews won't be going up until the fest starts (NYFF runs from September 28th until October 15th). But maybe something I'm seeing will sound good to you and you can try to score tickets to the festival's public screenings if you're in town. Let's share the wisdom...

September 19th 
Before We Vanish (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is the director of the 2001 film Pulse (we just posted about that movie when the new fancy blu-ray came out) which ushered in the J-Horror boom as much as Ringu or any other titles from that era. He went off and became a fancy man for a few years with movies like Tokyo Sonata but he's been trending back towards his genre roots again lately (last year's Creepy, for example, although I wasn't a fan of that). Before We Vanish is a sci-fi horror film that sounds a lot like an update on Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Lifeforce - three aliens come down from space and start draining humans of their essences.

Before We Vanish screens on September 30th at 9pm and October 1st at 6pm. Right now both screenings are "Standby Only" but NYFF often releases new batches of tickets at random times or even schedules new screenings later in the fest for movies that sell well so follow the fest on Twitter to keep appraised of that.

And follow me on Twitter
and on Instagram for off-blog updates!
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Roland: There would not even the possibility of nuclear war, or any war, if millions of men had been prepared to stand up against authority, as I did, and refuse to join the army - refuse to take orders. It's mindless obedience that's the killer. I've broken the rules. All the rules. Because someone has to say no. 

I was just going to wish the director Sally Potter a happy birthday today but then our so-called President went and threatened to blow up the world and now this quote seems terrifyingly purposeful. So happy birthday, Sally Potter... may we all make it to see your next.
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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A happy 33rd birthday to Kevin Zegers today - his Instagram is mostly pictures of his kids these days with the random "LGBT ally" stuff sprinkled in (there's some nice trolling of Kirk Cameron too) so I had to go aways back through to find these two shots, but they were worth the effort I think. Kevin still works plenty but I do think he should've gotten more and better work post-Transamerica, don't you? He showed a lot of promise in that movie, for the adult post-Air-Bud portion of his career.


Monday, September 18, 2017

We Love You James Marsden

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Although he has yet to post a Birthday Suit Selfie on his Instagram today, it is indeed James Marsden's birthday - we're waiting, James. Tick tock. TICK TOCK. Until then we'll entertain ourselves with 1) today's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" over at The Film Experience, which is hitting up Jimmy's role in the much-beloved 2007 movie Enchanted (can you believe it turns 10 in another month?) and 2) a dozen or so sexy adorable pictures of James after the jump...

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Donnie Darko (2001)

Rose Darko: Kitty, do you even know 
who Graham Greene is? 
Kitty Farmer: I think we've all seen Bonanza

A very happy birthday to the divine Beth Grant today!
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The Emmys That Weren't

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I had a friend's birthday party yo attend last night so I wasn't able to watch the Emmys -- somebody tell me the most important things I missed so I can seek them out, please. What happened? I know that Laura Dern won but I am waiting to watch her speech until the Internet dubs her so it sounds like she says "Enlightened" instead of "Big Little Lies." Also I think I might be bad luck now because so many awesome people won last night - maybe we watching awards shows is a jinx? In summation, here's some extra gay:


Which is Hotter?

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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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A quick howdy to y'all from myself and Russell Tovey plus pups here before I scamper off for maybe a bit to try and get a couple last minute chores done before NYFF screenings start this week. I'll be back in a few! Ish. Fewish.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Set Aside Some Time For Mother This Weekend

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Well it's time for the weekend, meaning it's time for new movies, and this weekend's got a fine pair. This weekend's big offerings says me are Darren Aronofsky's mother!, which will be the big conversation piece even if it doesn't make a ton of money (which it probably won't, which is probably fine because this isn't a movie most people are going to want to grapple with) and which I reviewed right here yesterday. Watching the movie I flip-flopped from second to second whether it's Too Much Too Much or Just The Right Amount Of Too Much, but I have also spent the past two days not wanting to think about anything else and seriously contemplating going to see it a second time, so it's a sticker... and then some.

The other movie out this weekend is Mike White's movie Brad's Status, which stars Ben Stiller as a dude having a crisis of self when confronted with some old friends' successes - I'm seeing that tonight I think, so stay tuned for my thoughts on it next week. If you see anything of interest tell me in the comments, of if you want to scream about mother! do that in the comments. Next week screenings for NYFF start so things might get a bit quiet, but I'll be here Monday, and until then have a nice weekend, everybody.
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I Wanna Hear About Stewpot

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Okay so most of you probably know that I don't know musicals from a hole in the floor, so it shouldn't surprise you that I have never seen and am nearly 100% unfamiliar with the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein WWII musical South Pacific. Honestly... everything I know about South Pacific I just wrote in that sentence. Rodgers and Hammerstein! World War II! The end! But today, I don't even remember how, I stumbled upon these pictures of the actor Ken Clark playing the role of "Stewpot" and... well, I hear music. I feel dancing. And I want you people to tell me what you know. Is this movie nothing but an obscenely bulging gay sailor speedo fantasia? How did I not know this before? Tell me more and you can see some a dozen plus more pictures after the jump...

The Return of Laurie Strode

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Just yesterday I mentioned what a delightful nerd director David Gordon Green is and how he is trying to get John Carpenter to do the score for his new Halloween movie. Well today, like an atomic bomb of nerdiness aimed straight at my heart, comes the above news. Jamie Lee Curtis is returning to the role that gave her the title of Queen of the Scream Queens forty years ago, and me, I'm all...


Who Wore It Best?

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Pictures and video of Rami Malek performing as Freddie Mercury in a recreation of Queen's legendary Live Aid performance for the upcoming movie Bryan Singer is making have shown up on this here internet thing - you can much more over at DH, but for now let's just get the most relevant question off our furry chests...
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5 Off My Head: Tom Hardy at Forty

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One of the two finest actors born the same year as me is celebrating his 40th today - Edward Thomas Hardy was born in Hammersmith, England on this day in the year 1977, the son of a painter mother and a writer father. His father is named Chips Hardy! I want to be named Chips Hardy! Maybe if I marry Tom Hardy I can have him call me Chips. I don't care if that's weird, it's now my fantasy, and I'll do all within my ability to make it happen.

Anyway! Tom is 40 today and he's in the thick of his career glory, getting praise lavished across those lascivious lips at every turn. Ahead he's got a new movie from The Assassination of Jesse James' director Andrew Dominik, he's probably got another Mad Max movie, there'll be another season of the great fun Taboo, and he's playing another big brawny superhero bad guy in the Venom movie. But what about what's behind Tom Hardy?

No no not that. I mean career-wise. He's already accomplished quite a bit in the decade since his artistic breakthrough with Nicolas Winding Refn (they should really work together again), and surprisingly I haven't done a list of my favorite performances from Tom before this. So let's do just that right this minute!

(Oh and sidenote: if you know me then you might be surprised by a couple of these choices since the actual movies that two of these good performances come from I do not like. But Tom's the best thing about them both. Can you guess which ones I mean?)

My 5 Favorite Tom Hardy Performances

Charles Bronson, Bronson (2008)
"You shouldn't mess with boys that are bigger than you."

Eames, Inception (2010)
"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."

Bane, The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
"The shadows betray you,
because they belong to me!"

John Fitzgerald, The Revenant (2015)
"God giveth, God taketh away."

James Delaney, Taboo (2017)
" I witnessed and participated in darkness
that you cannot conceive."

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What are your favorite Tom Hardy performances?
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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I'm Not Just the President of the Loser's Club...

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I was born in the year 1977. That means I was 12-years-old in 1989, slapping me right in the center of the new It's timeline. I too had a secret stash of New Kids on the Block memorabilia that I kept hidden in a box in my bedroom. (Jordan was my favorite, obviously.) And like these self-proclaimed Losers (oh that I had the initiative to self-brand myself back then) I had no friends. One day that winter just as I left school, my arms full of books, an older boy pulled my wool hat down over my head and pushed me into traffic.

But I actually didn't get physically bullied too much - an early growth spurt that stuck took care of that. It was emotional violence my classmates wielded. I might've been big but I was gangly, clumsy, and I had terror written all over my every inch. The weird thing is I don't remember anybody bullying me for being gay -  I don't remember the word "Fag" being thrown directly at me once in my life. I certainly wasn't anything but closeted in the deepest darkest terms, but I have no recollection of that being their "in" on me. (And if it had happened I would remember it because I have to this day a mental checklist of all my grudges over all my 40 years.)

No, what they bullied me for was my being poor. I've talked before about how poor we were when I grew up, I don't really feel like deep-diving into that again, but I do want to express what an insidious poisonous ear-worm being bullied for your sneakers being cheap and your haircut being home-grown can be. You stop going out of your room. You stop showering. You start resenting your single mother who isn't working hard enough to buy you these things. You're nasty to her. The air fills thick with resentment.

I didn't read Stephen King's It until I was in high school but those always seemed to be the most knowing passages of the book - the places where nastiness chip chip chips away and the second it breaks through it rushes and crowds in through the little hole like poisonous gas, filling up every corner. An entire town built upon it, that poison leaking up through the sewer grates and sink pipes, whispering evil thoughts in every single person's ears and spreading like an infection, one to another to another, a hard meanness.

I wish that It the movie had gotten that feeling across a little better. The kids are almost to a tee terrific (I did think one of the kid actors was kind of weak, but these are kid actors so I'm not going to name names) and the sequence where Pennywise -- and speaking of mad props to Bill Skarsgard for shuffling his monster out of Tim Curry's honk honk shadow and finding his own space in which to play -- the sequence where he visits and terrorizes each of the kids over the course of a day is pretty expertly deployed - it goes a long way towards shaping how inescapable this Old Evil's influence is in Derry.

And at over two hours long I am sure that extraneous stories had to be sliced down. (And maybe the just announced "Director's Cut" will insert some of this stuff back in.) But the atmosphere lacks for want of them. All of those glorious side-tales that turn It into a 1200 page opus aren't just filler - they are what inform the story's very essence of inter-personal emotional corruption. It's the perversion of "Pay it forward" when what you're paying forward is hatred. That's what makes It resonate - not our culture's trumped-up coulrophobia (which is the pumpkin spice gluten allergy of fad fears). 

Still the movie's solid. I loved the abundance of practical effects (that headless monster in the library basement was a trip) and I loved the movie's absence of fear towards seeming goofy - I have seen some shade tossed at the moment where the gigantic Pennywise pops out of the slide projector screen but I absolutely adored that shot; the way his body sproings with a rubberiness straight out of a Wile E. Coyote cartoon gets quick to the twisted heart of that foul creature, putrefying innocence one goofy gag at a time.
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Good Morning, World

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A happy 30 to the actor Christian Cooke, who we randomly just posted a couple dozen pictures of last week even though we didn't actually see him in anything to bring about that post. Well besides the dozens of pictures, which were plenty, obviously. These shots are from his time on that show Magic City, which was filled with unbelievably attractive men - see also all the Steven Strait that was on display. That thing got canceled too damn soon!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Taron Egerton Puppy Time

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Alright time for me to run for the night... to run home and collapse after an exhausting couple of days, that is. About all my brain can handle at the moment is Taron Egerton holding puppies, so it's a good thing we got a photo-shoot of Taron Egerton with puppies this week. See the pictures on the new Tumblr!
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I Am Link

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--- Truth Hurts - I haven't bothered watching this myself because the trailer is in French without subtitles but the first trailer for Roman Polanski's new movie has been released, and seeing as how his new movie is an erotic update on Single White Female (or given the fact that Single White Female was already a bit erotic you can call this one "erotic-er") starring Emmanuelle Seigner and EVA GREEN then maybe you don't care it's in French, maybe you just wanna look anyway. The movie's called Based on a True Story and it's out in France in November but we don't have a date here yet. Gimme!

--- Pickles Fever - Liking Jim Carrey has become a dangerous proposition lately due to real-world crazy-person circumstances but I fear I won't be able to help myself now that he's making a TV series with his Eternal Sunshine director Michel Gondry. It'll be called Kidding, it'll air on Showtime, and it's about Mr. Pickles, a kiddie show icon (think Mr. Rogers) whose entire personal and eventually professional life implodes around him. Which, you know, sounds very much like a role the current iteration of Jim Carrey can play.

--- Goodbye Dougie Jones - This week's banner friend David Lynch was asked about the possibility of more Twin Peaks at an event in Belgrade this week and he said it is possible but we shouldn't hold our breath because such a thing would take several years and if we hold our breath for several years that isn't called Transcendental Meditation it is called Dead. Oh and he also tweeted out the news that the blu-rays of the latest mind-fuck of a season will be out in December, just in time for stocking stuffers! (I love that David Lynch uses Twitter, btw.)

--- White Knight - I pointed you to one fantastic Mike White interview yesterday, but can we really have too many Mike White interviews? No, no we cannot. So here is one for Slate, and then over here is one for Backstage magazine (thx Mac). And I'm glad to hear from some commenters that his new movie Brad's Status, the one he's giving all these interviews for, is good and the bad trailer is not at all indicative of the movie's quality. I didn't really ever doubt that, but personal confirmation is peachy keen. Now let's all go see it this weekend together and make sure a Mike White movie does well, okay?

--- Horror Orchestras - David Gordon Green is a nerd just like you and me (well okay he's a nerd with an extraordinary amount of talent and success, so maybe there are some differences) and so he's determined when he makes his horror movie remake it will have music from the person whose iconic music made the original work in the first place. We heard it when he was re-doing Suspiria and he was going to get Goblin to do the music, and now that he's moved from that project (leaving it to Luca Guadagnino) onto the reboot of Halloween he is saying that he's trying his damndest to get John Carpenter to do the music for that.

--- After Dentata - Hey remember Teeth? Of course you do, Teeth was wonderful. (And also it had Hale Appleman in it, who I think of often.) But Teeth was also ten fucking years ago. Where oh where has its director Mitchell Lichtenstein been all that time? Well he made a movie in 2009 called Happy Tears with Parker Posey that I missed (anybody see it?) and he made another movie in 2015, it just hasn't been released... until now. It is called Angelica and it 's a gothic horror movie starring Jena Malone and Janet McTeer and it's getting dropped onto VOD on November 17th and you can watch the trailer right over here. Good things fall through the cracks sometimes so maybe this is one of them, fingers crossed.

--- Mutants United - This news is several days old but still worth a heads-up - Drew Goddard, the talented Buffy alum who hasn't directed another movie since he directed the still wonderful movie The Cabin in the Woods five whole years ago, has signed on to make X-Force, the X-Men and Deadpool spin-off that will apparently put Deadpool 2's upcoming Josh Brolin character of Cable more front and center as the lead dude of a gang of militant mutants. I don't read the comics so I don't care about the geek side to this - I'm just happy that Goddard's finally taking another spin in the director's seat. (He was supposed to make a Spider-man spin-off a couple of years ago but that all fell apart.) (Sidenote: Josh Brolin has gotten enormous for the role of Cable and his Instagram account has become a love letter to his own muscles, so you should probably be following him.)

--- And Finally Radiohead has teamed up with BRAMMMM artist Hans Zimmer to re-do their song "Bloom" off of The King of Limbs album for the soundtrack to the upcoming BBC nature doc series Blue Planet II - the remix is oh so cleverly called "(ocean) bloom" and it'll be attached to a short prequel for the series proper, I guess. Apparently the original version of the song was inspired by the first Blue Planet, so this was meant to be. Oh and speaking of Radiohead if you haven't seen their latest music video for their old song "Lift" (which finally got a proper release, twenty years later, on the anniversary reissue of OK Computer you should, it's lovely and it's below. Pitchfork talked to its director who gave a bunch of behind-the-scenes dirt and Easter Eggs, if you're a Thom Yorke Nerd like me. (thx Mac)
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