Friday, December 14, 2018

Kitty Smut & Other Fine Stuffs

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Welp, it's Friday already! How does this keep happening? Every week it seems. Well as long as it's Friday let's take a look at the movies that're out today; be helpful and shit. First things first to my fellow New Yorkers, two of this month's big retrospectives are starting -- the Quad Cinema is running "Rated X" a really rather unbelievable series of films that all got slapped with that rating. The series runs from the expected (like the Swedish art-house smut I Am Curious Yellow, co-starring the handsome Börje Ahlstedt, seen above) to John Waters movies to a grand cavalcade of horror flicks like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Evil Dead and Dawn of the Dead and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Oh and then there is...

... Salon Kitty, a truly insane looking 1976 movie from Tinto Brass, the director of Caligula, about a Nazi Brothel starring Helmut Berger and Ingrid Thulin. HOW have I never seen this??? I am seeing this. Oh and besides that also opening at the Quad today is their restoration of Visconti's Death in Venice, which I mentioned before...

... and speaking of "things I have mentioned before" the second series premiering today here in NYC is FSLC's retrospective of the director Jacques Tourneur; see my original take on this series right here. They are screening both Cat People and I Walked With a Zombie this very evening!!! Ya can't go wrong.

Okay so those aside for the rest of us schmucks in wide release there is Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse - I didn't write a full review but I mentioned this morning that this thing is fantastic and funny enough my opinion hasn't changed since then - it is still fantastic. Go see it. Also opening today -- Barry Jenkins' gorgeous If Beale Street Could Talk (read my review here) and then of course there is ROMA, which I finally wrote up yesterday and which is on your Netflix machines right now -- it is the year's best film. See it in the theater if at all possible, but see it whatever way you can.


Kate Schtups Saoirse By the Seashore

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I didn't know we'd be getting Kate Winslet Movie News when I tweeted the above yesterday but here we are and it's today and we have Kate Winslet Movie News! And it ain't dumb either! Deadline is reporting that Francis Lee, the man who made last year's glorious little gay romance God's Own Country (read my review right here) has got no less than Kate and Saoirse freaking Ronan on-board his next movie, which is called Ammonite (as in "the extinct relatives of sea creatures such as the modern Nautilus") and will be, take a deep breath, a lesbian romance. My god, can you even? Says they:

"Set in a UK coastal town in the 1820s, the drama will follow the unlikely romance between palaeontologist Mary Anning and a London woman of means to whom she must unexpectedly play nursemaid. Production is due to start in March 2019."

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Thirst (2009)

Priest Sang-hyeon: Grant me the following in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like a leper rotting in flesh, let all avoid me. Like a cripple without limbs, let me not move freely. Remove my cheeks, that tears may not roll down them. Crush my lips and tongue, that I may not sin with them. Pull out my nails, that I may not grasp nothing. Let my shoulders & back be bent, that I may carry nothing. Like a man with tumor in the head let me lack judgment. Ravage my body sworn to chastity leave me with no pride & have me live in shame. Let no one pray for me. But only the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.

Park Chan-wook's gloriously perverse vampire flick Thirst is turning 10 next year if you can believe that. It was my 6th favorite scary movie of 2009, although I feel in retrospect that I might've under-valued it? Still, looking at that list of Horror Movies that came out in 2009 - Drag Me to Hell, Jennifer's Body, Orphan, The House of the Devil, and motherfucking Martyrs among many others - it strikes me that 2009 was truly an astonishing year for scares. 

Anyway several of Park's movies remain tough to scrounge up in quality editions here in the US - you can't even find I'm a Cyborg But That's OK in a US format - but we've got good news on that front, as Kino's just announced (thx Mac) that Thirst is getting upgraded to blu-ray for us here in the States sometime "soon," is all they say; I'll make sure to keep my eyes out for more info. Add that to the blu-ray boxed-set of Park's "Vengeance Trilogy" that I'm just right now seeing exists and you'll be halfway to having a good start on one of the world's greatest working directors. (Now excuse me while I go stream The Handmaiden for the one thousandth time.)
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this/
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Chris Hemsworth Two Times

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(via, thx Mac)
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It's Like An Angel Sighing

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Now that I have seen Vox Lux, Brady Corbet's fatalistic rumination on the pop circus that is modern living starring Natalie Portman as a vulgar train-wreck in sparkly spandex, I... I don't get what's got the other critics so upset? Full disclosure: I'm waiting until after I write this review to go read their reviews proper, so I don't too pollute my own perspective. But without trying I have been aware ever since the film premiered that it's been divisive, to put it mildly, and now that I have seen the film I can't really wrap my head around what it is that's got people angry. 

Brady Corbet might not like me saying that - it's not hard to imagine that he enjoys the "provocateur" label - but Vox Lux went down easy as a wine cooler on a hot wet afternoon for me, and knowing its rep going into it I really expected more, well, provoking. (I mean I did just watch Lars von Trier's latest a week ago.) As is I think Vox Lux ties together our culture of violence with our culture of surface pleasures in a smart, sharp, and memorable fashion, with shifting notions of identity, presentation, baked right into the spackle-painted pretty girl face of it.

It oohs and ahhs via murky compositions busted up by neon interruptions, bursts of stage flame, a flick of Natalie Portman's glittery fingernails. There's the occasional Fassbenderian flourish I dug. The Uzi of Damocles hovers over its every Chatty Cathy moment - paparazzi flashbulbs burst with ultraviolence against the dull tin casing of a movie-set city diner. It announces itself god here, a sci-fi something or other, and then just drones on and on, just like our culture do. It's a weird and aggressive little pop art tart, this Vox Lux, and I liked it well enough. Have I got a bullet lodged in my spine because of it? I wouldn't say that much. I'm not bleeding on the beach or anything. I am curious what got everybody's panties so tangled though. My panties are fine, thank you very much.


Good Morning, World

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The absolutely fantastic new animated superhero flick Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse is out in theaters today -- I highly recommend you go see it, you will not have a bad time, it's visually stunning and emotionally risky and has the freedom to play with superhero tropes that feels fresh outside the Marvel Juggernaut -- and so I figured we'd allow ourselves a little bit of Jake Johnson this morning, as it's he who voices my new 2nd favorite animated lust object...
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For real. Reason enough alone, that.
Right, Jake? (Jake says right.)


Thursday, December 13, 2018

But I Don't Know If You Know Who I Am

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You can hear the sound of the impromptu parade before you see it, but just subconsciously - you don't even notice the insidious sound of the horns and marching until it's cutting through the tender goodbye scene at the narrative's center. But once you see them, with their trumpets and cool hand batons, you realize they have always been there, will always be there, smacking their feet and sounds up and down this street or many a street just like this street, pah-rum-pum-pum-ing blessings bestowed, prayers whispered, cruel jokes twisting in the twists of fate and crowd scenes. 

That's the magic of ROMA, magical ROMA, Alfonso Cuarón's sneaky everything - a sleight of cinematic hand, making you look one way while the card you thought you had your eye on got shuffled up a sleeve, behind an ear, only to then pop out in the most unexpected of places. It's a reordering of expectations, as effortless as foot-falls starting at one place and ending at another - life itself works like this, and it isn't until Cuarón shows it to you so plainly, so magnificently, that you feel it, ache it, life death and everything on both sides, sky and night. Animals baying at parked big cars.

Every time the characters step out onto that street it's something - dog shit, student protests and bloodshed, cigarettes sucked during the pause of a stop-light - chaos and chatter, sweet 70s glamour and dust clouds clotting the sun like snow. Lines of Americans shooting their guns, fireworks setting the world on fire, tidal waves as tall as three children stacked tall. The memory places of ROMA run deep, unforgettable - I feel I lived these lives, caressed Cleo's cheek, clicked my heels across the hard stone coming home from drunken stumblings. ROMA is a part of me now, as here as my thumb - another person's experiences tucked under my toenails, shaved into my scalp. Alfonso Cuarón just tattooed his childhood, my childhood, inside my eyelids, and it hummed as warm as soft white honey.


Great Moments In Movie Shelves #173

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I just re-watched the trailer for Can You Ever Forgive Me? here at my desk to perk up my mood -- I do this a lot lately, along with the first Godzilla trailer, and it totally works, I recommend it -- and I realized that part of my adoration for CYEFM has got to go to the fact that it's a movie where a full 75% of its scenes (and that might be low-balling it) are set beside and among bookshelves. 

It's a great New York City movie, but even more precisely it's a great New York City Bibliophile movie - there are multiple scenes set in tucked away little bookshops that I've spent my twenty years here in the city wandering the aisles of; this movie literally feels like home to me because it literally is home. Cheers to that, Lee Israel & Co.


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Ghost World (2001)

Enid: I think only stupid people
have good relationships.
Seymour: That's the spirit.

A happy 61 to Steve Buscemi today!
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Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... getting sand in my shorts with Noah Centineo.


Stephan James Eight Times

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It's been a helluva year for Stephan James with the one two punch of his series Homecoming with Julia Roberts and his movie If Beale Street Could Talk from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. I haven't talked much about Homecoming but I loved it, I flew right through the whole thing over Thanksgiving, and Stephan was one of the best things about it - did any of you watch? Anyway Beale Street's finally hitting the streets this tomorrow, and it's very much worth seeking out - here is my review from way back at the New York Film Festival. I'm looking forward to seeing what Stephan does next (which will probably be big since he just signed with CAA this very day.) You can hit the jump for the rest of this fine photo-shoot...
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Pic of the Day

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Ooh look a picture of Greta Gerwig, film director, with her Little Women cast! This comes via Emma Watson (one-time friend of boy wizards and schtupper of beasts) seen at the left, alongside Saoirse Ronan (queen) and Florence Pugh (recent Skarsgard enthusiast) and Eliza Scanlen (tooth collectress) and uh some peach called Timmy something-or-other. (click to embiggen)
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They're Just Like Us

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Anybody else getting a Freddy Kreuger vibe from that new poster for Jordan Peele's forthcoming follow-up to Get Out, called Us? The leather glove, the use of the phrase "New Nightmare"... anyway I know that some plot details for the movie appeared online this week, but I am one hundred percent avoiding all that I can in order to be baby fresh when the movie comes out on March 15th. (Hey I literally just posted about a different movie coming out that same day - it's getting crowded already!) What I do know is Us stars Elisabeth Moss and Lupita Nyong'o and Black Panther's breakout Winston Duke...

... and that's plenty.
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Which is Hotter?

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find bike trails
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Ho ho ho hound-dog.
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May We All Nuzzle Matthias Schoenaerts Once

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Last year was too quiet on the Matthias Schoenaerts front - his reunion with his Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam called Racer and the Jailbird didn't make much of an impression (I still haven't seen it yet, to my chagrin) and Red Sparrow wasn't well received (although I kind of adored it myself). But 2019 looks to be as massive as his shoulders are - he's got a Steven Soderbergh movie, a Justin Kurzel movie, a Thomas Vinterberg submarine movie (watch that trailer here), a Terence Malick movie (!), a movie with Scoot McNairy and Garrett Hedlund (!!!), and he's got a horse movie called The Mustang, which is why we're here right now...

It's about a convict turned horse lover - I already told you about it in October - it's from an actress turned director named Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, it's premiering at Sundance next month, and we now have a trailer. The film co-stars Connie Britton and Bruce Dern. Watch:
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The film is out in theaters on March 15th.


Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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She Has Danced Into the Danger Zone

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One of the year's very best and very bonkers films, Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria, announced its blu-ray release earlier this week -- it's hitting home on January 29th, 2019, click on over to Amazon to pre-order it right now please. In case you missed my review read that here. The film's theatrical run was strange and abbreviated so I'm not sure how many of you got to see it that way, which is a shame seeing as how its visually resplendent and sensorially overwhelming and funny and sad and sexy and Tilda Swinton eats a chicken leg while wearing a caftan and oh my god it's the best I love it so. Anyhow you should see it, is my point.
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Good Morning, World

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I have a mystery! When I was doing this week's "Siri Says" series for the year 1964 (check the post out here) I came across a 1964 film called The System (also known as The Girl-Getters) from director Michael Winner that stars Oliver Reed, leading me to stumble upon that photo there, which the internet has labeled as a picture of Oliver Reed in The System. I don't think that's Oliver Reed though, is it? I mean it's a weird angle, darkly lit, and runs deep through the uncanny valley - I suppose it could be? I don't fucking know. Help me! Is that him, or do you know who that is? Save my sanity, please, I beg of you! (Editor's Note: My sanity hinges on much more than this single photograph, so don't bother.) Here is another picture of Oliver in the film which is definitely Oliver:


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Richard Madden Fifteen Times

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I started today with a question about whether I ought to watch a television program just because it has a hot dude on it, so why not end the day with the same question, aimed at a different hot dude -- should I watch Richard Madden on Bodyguard? Unlike the aforementioned Eric Bana I already know for a fact that Dick here does waltz around in boxer-briefs (and less)...

... so Dick's out ahead! 

Anyway these here are a few shots from his recent British GQ photoshoot slash Bond Audition that I somehow didn't get around to posting before - see the ones I did post here. That's what I get for speeding ahead impatiently. You don't mess with Dick, y'all. And now you should hit the jump for the rest...