Friday, December 15, 2017

Call Me By Your Quotes of the Day

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First off ahhh look at that picture of Luca Guadagnino on the Suspiria set! Ahh! Second off, a little movie you have maybe heard about called Call Me By Your Name is opening in something like a dozen more theaters around the country today - places like D.C. and Chicago, oh and a couple cities in Canada too, I think. I know how irritable many of you have grown with impatience and believe you me if I hadn't had the opportunity to see the film once by now (much less nine fucking times) I'd probably have gone on a murder spree. I get it. Anyway I'm glad it's finally gaining more theaters and soon enough y'all will have the chance to luxuriate in its wonder. (Here's my first review.)

Since it is opening in new markets there are new interviews and stuff happening, so allow me to luxuriate in some new stuff of that sort. First off I want to share an exchange between Guadagnino and the Chicago Tribune in a just-dropped chat:

Tribune: In light of the current scandals about sexual harassment and sexual abuse of minors, how do you respond to the discomfort with your film's central relationship?
Guadagnino: The percentage of criticism that has come from those who have seen the film, related to what you just said, I would say is 1 percent. The best answer I can give is: Go and see the film, and judge for yourself whether the sexuality is uncomfortable. Having said that, there was a great review of the film by Anthony Lane in the New Yorker that said, in effect, that this movie is the antidote to the climate in which we are living, a climate in which power is a weapon used to crush other people and to exert the violence of your impulses. "Call Me by Your Name" is about consensual desire, discovery and a completely un-power-related relationship.

I highlight that passage because I think it fits very fine with the piece I wrote earlier this week about the film's avoidance of the nitty-gritty of sexual roles between gay men - the whole top and bottom thing and how that would've added a conversation about power that the film was purposefully attempting to side-step. 

Also what Luca says there about Lane's review, about CMBYN being the "antidote to the climate in which we are living," that reminds me of another piece on the film that I shared on Twitter yesterday that I thought was just wonderful - Seventh Row has been doing pieces on the film all week long that have been out of this world good, but I really think you should read this wonderful essay on how the film fits into the canon of "Queer Movies That Some (Straight) People Are Reading As Cold" alongside Carol and Moonlight - movies where the repressed characters are falling in love through coded behavior because they can't outwardly, publicly express their affection. 

I have firsthand experience with this with Call Me By Your Name - I've had two different (straight) friends say they didn't get at all why these two fell for each other, that they didn't see any connection happening between Oliver & Elio. I don't get it - their sparks are flying off the screen at me, but I guess this is a thing. Anyway that's the point of this piece but it's not the point of the specific passage I want to highlight - I want to highlight a passage that speaks to my earlier piece on the film at The Film Experience that talked about how the film is less of an idyll than has been discussed; that the film lives in a willful suspension of The Bad Stuff.

"It’s not that the external forces that haunt gay cinema don’t exist in Call Me By Your Name. It’s that for this one summer, for this one couple, they don’t draw blood. But they’re there. They’re why Oliver pushes Elio against a wall in the town square and says he wishes he could kiss him but can’t. They’re why, as Elio says when they finally do get together, “We wasted so many days.” If only they could have been as open about their feelings as Elio and his girlfriend Marzia (Esther Garrel) are allowed to be. Repression, actually, is all around."

A good part of the film's power, besides its intricate enumerations of First Love, comes from its decision to set itself askance of AIDS and The Closet for the briefest of beautiful and pure moments. Those things are there - we know they are there, hovering outside the theater, just like we know an Infuriating Racist Donald Trump Tweet will be waiting for us outside the theater - and they're giving this thing its shape, pressing in from the outside. How generous to be allowed in this somewhere kind for just a time, then.

Oh and a third bit of news -- did y'all see that interview with Sufjan Stevens where he said that he and Luca had talked about him having an even more prominent role in the movie at first? Talking about an early script he said:

"They had retained the monologue from the older Elio, and he initially asked me to be the voice of the older Elio; to contribute that voiceover. He also asked if I wanted to appear in the movie as a bard, performing the song, almost as a break in the narrative. I got back to him and I said, “I think this voiceover is a mistake, and I think the interruption of me singing the song is a mistake.” I think he was just thinking out loud. I don’t know if he was really committed to the idea. So I said, “I’ll write you some songs, but that’s all I think you need from me.” And he agreed. When I saw the first edit, he said, “You were right, this doesn’t need a monologue or an interruption.”

If you've been following the many many interviews that Luca's given over the past several months for this movie then you know he says a lot of things, A LOT, and I don't think we should think every single one if the gospel of where he's going. We've heard about a dozen sequels and Elio going straight and all sorts of things - I think he's just blessedly unfiltered, and for a constant news-cycle like ours that's worked in his favor, and kept him and the movie bathed in headlines. But I think, just judging by the actual finished movies that he's put out into the world, we can trust that when he actually sits down and makes the thing he knows what works and what doesn't.

Okay last thing and this has nothing to do with CMBYN - a clip from Hostiles, the Christian Bale Western that has what I have heard is an itty bitty role for Timothée in it, has released a clip with Timothée in it, so here is that below. This movie is out next week:
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Good Morning, World

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Let's welcome the last week before Holiday Break with memories of warmer clothing-optional days via this batch of photographs that Mark Ruffalo shared on his Instagram earlier this week. Hit the jump for four more...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Wild Hearted & Weird Topped

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If you're even one percent as in love with Laura Dern as I am then I recommend you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram (if you don't already) tonight because I'm off to stare at our beloved in person for a couple of hours at The Film Society of Lincoln Center,  no doubt entirely enraptured, probably with this expression on my face the whole time:

They're feting her for her fete-worthy career, taking a look back at all she's done to amaze and astonish over the years. They actually screened a couple of her movies earlier today making it a day-long thing - damn my day job for keeping me from seeing Citizen Ruth on a big screen. Anyway stay tuned to those other places for no doubt thorough updates!
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Who Wore It Best?

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Some little outer space movie is out in a few theaters tonight and I have heard a couple of people mention it here and there so I figured I'd take stock of the total nobodies who are trying their hands at acting in it since they showed up in ratty tuxedos looking like hobos at its microscopic garbage party the other night, just cuz.
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Screw it

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I know I already posted that shot last week (along with a gif of her molesting Jake Gyllenhaal) but let's focus on the woman in the picture this time -- that is the director Floria Sigismondi, who made the kick-ass rock bio-pic The Runaways with Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart back in 2010 and since then has been doing music videos and TV (she recently directed an episode of American Gods). She was with Jake because she directed all of the New York Times' horror-themed "Great Performances" videos this year. 

Aaaanyway today her next project's been announced and it sounds promising! She's making a new movie version of Henry James' classic ghost story The Turning of the Screw, which in itself is nice (it's a classic story for a reason) but also dangerous -- it's already been turned into a great movie, The Innocents with Deborah Kerr. What pushes me from skeptically enthusiastic to full-on Yes Please is that her star will be the great Mackenzie Davis.

Mackenzie Davis who has yet to be anything less than great in anything I have ever seen her in - I did not like the Blade Runner sequel this summer but man oh man would I have watched a movie that took off with her character instead of all the dopey Ryan Gosling shit. Davis will play the Deborah Kerr role of the governess at a haunted country estate taking care of two creepy kids. 

Also starring in The Turning (which is what they're calling this movie, although I wish they'd just add the Screw part back because "The Turning" sounds like they're making a movie about making sure both sides of the toast is evenly browned) is Finn Wolfhard, an actor who is really named that, that you know from Stranger Things and It. One assumes he'll be playing the older son. It's a shame they're casting the role with a 14 year old - if they aged the kids down they could hire Timothée Chalamet as the childrens' father; we already saw him all gothed up for Floria in his "Great Performances" video last week and I'd watch a full-length movie of that!


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Mom : I know it's hard, but try to look on the bright side.
You may not be the smartest person in the world, but you're...
handsome from certain angles and you're... More importantly,
you've got dreams inside of you and dreams make you special.
And no matter what the world, um, throws at you, uh, they -
it can never take your dreams away.
Ronnie : What are you talking about, Mom?
Mom : I don't know, I'm drunk.

A very happy 66 to the great Celia Weston! (This side-note is for my boyfriend - she is from Spartanburg, South Carolina! I have been there.) I saw her waiting in line for a movie at The Quad theater a couple of months ago here in New York and I was so excited and yet even though I know her name I can never remember what I know her from - know how that one goes? She'll show up for a couple scenes in the most random of places and be reliably delightful though. Do you have a role you immediately think of when you see her?

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?

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Good Morning, Scoot

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I've been sitting on this one for a couple weeks but I keep forgetting - so who's watched Godless on Netflix? Any series that starts with Scoot McNairy's Butt in its first ten minutes should probably be a friend of mine but I haven't actually gotten a chance to watch it proper-like yet. The first review I saw of the show complained that for a show supposedly about a town without any men it sure does spend a ton of time with men, and so I was skeptical, but then I saw Scoot's Butt and became Less Skeptical. I will probably give it a whirl during the holidays. The show, I mean - Scoot's Butt itself will presumably remain unavailable, for the time being at least. I just like saying that. Scoot's Butt! Hit the jump for Scoot's Butt!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Great Moments in Movie Shelves #120

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"We were very thorough when we 
divided the books, that I remember."

"I've been looking for this edition."

"You've lived without it for 30 years 
- I think you can manage."

"You can take it if you want, Harold.
I've mostly stopped reading fiction."

This is such a wonderful scene in The Meyerowtiz Stories, isn't it? Bless Noah Baumbach for putting some Candice Bergen into the world. The world needs more Candice Bergen.
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Arnaud Valois Seven Times

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Hey look I am doing a post about a gay movie not called Call Me By Your Name, do I get a cookie? (Ha ha I still managed to make this about CMBYN, joke's on you.) Thank goodness we live in a world with room for Call Me By Your Name and God's Own Country and Beach Rats and Moonlight and A Fantastic Woman and Princess Cyd and indeed also the tremendous BPM, which Arnaud here starred in, despite what the silly ol' awards nominations tell us - all of these movies still exist and are tremendous accomplishments even if they don't win awards for it. What a magical wonderful world full of great art we inhabit. Hit the jump for more Arnaud...

A Bigger Burial

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On another (less interesting) movie site they would share this news with a picture of Gorgeous Movie Star Jennifer Lawrence, but we are blessedly not some other (lesser) movie site, we are MNPP, and so there is a picture of Italian Director Luca Guadagnino holding a bowl of soup. YOU ARE WELCOME. 

Luca is teaming up with JLaw to make a movie called Burial Rites, which is an adaptation of a 2013 book by Hannah Kent of the same title - anyone read it? Here what the book is about:

"A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard. Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question: How can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?"

One's first reaction is that sure sounds different from what Luca's done before - a period piece set in 19th century Iceland about execution - but that last bit, about the book really evoking a sense of time and place and especially lyricism, well then it starts to sound a lot like Luca. As for Lawrence I think she's swell and I love how she keeps pushing herself - you can't look at something like mother! and come away not seeing an actress taking risks.

Anyway Luca's got his remake of Suspiria somewhat finished at this point from what I hear, it'll presumably be out in 2018, and then he's all set to make Rio with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams (Brokeback in the house) and Benedict Cumberbatch - I haven't heard anything about when that's filming but I suppose Burial Rites will come after that.
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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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I've got a screening this morning -- no it isn't of Call Me By Your Name for a tenth time, although I wouldn't be mad if it was. But to keep you guys company until I am back in the afternoon here's a new (and exciting!) image of Timothee Chalamet playing Elio in that movie. This is one of those "funny" scenes I was telling you abut! Anyway good luck to Timmy, Michael, Armie, Esther & Amira with this morning's SAG nominations! Chalamet won the Chicago Critics Best Actor award last night - he's racked up quite the tally. Did you guys see this terrific piece specifically about the physicality of his performance? Read it.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Nightmare Maker

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So how many of you have seen 1947's carny noir Nightmare Alley? It stars Tyrone Power as a grifter mind-reader alongside Joan Blondell - I don't remember a ton about it save Tyrone looking good in a greasy kind of way. Well today comes news that Guillermo Del Toro wants to remake it! It's not his next project but he is lining it up for down the road - enticingly writing the script is Kim Morgan, whose site Sunset Gun here on this internet thing has been the standard for swoony online writing for well over a decade. That is a thrill! Of course one's mind turns to casting - Power was 33 when he made this movie. Who could replace him? Any ideas?


Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... contemplating with Paul.
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10 Off My Head: Siri Says 2000

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Time for this week's weekly installment of "Siri Says When" wherein the voice from our telephone commands us what to do by choosing a number between 1 and 100, which we then use to select a favorite batch of films from the corresponding year. Today Siri gave us one I wasn't totally sure her software allowed for - the number 100. And so we'll be looking at The Movies of 2000. While maybe not quite as good as the year before it - 1999 is one for the record books - the year 2000 is an excellent one too. 

Lots of filmmakers that I've come to worship and adore in the 17 years since were just finding their footing - people like Michael Haneke and Darren Aronofsky and Park Chan-wook and Sofia Coppola weren't necessarily making their first films but they were making films that would come to define them or give us a good look at what they were capable of. Indeed this is another instance where the year's good enough to force my hand - we're doing a Top 10.

My 10 Favorite Movies of 2000

(dir. Mary Harron)
-- released on Aril 14th 2000 --

(dir. Peyton Reed)
-- released on August 25th 2000 --
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(dir. E. Elias Merhige)
-- released on ?December 29th 2000 --

(dir. Darren Aronofsky)
-- released on December 15th 2000 --

(dir. Christopher Guest)
-- released on October 20th 2000 --

(dir. Curtis Hanson)
-- released on February 25th 2000 --

(dir. Sofia Coppola)
-- released on May 19th 2000 --

(dir. Lars von Trier)
-- released on October 6th 2000 --

(dir. Wong Kar-wai)
-- released onSeptember 29th 2000 --

(dir. Ang Lee)
-- released on December 8th 2000 --

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Runners-up: Memento (dir. Nolan), Battle Royale (dir. Kinji Fukasaku), Unbreakable (dir. Shyamalan), Pitch Black (dir. Twohy), Final Destination (dir. James Wong),  The Gift (dir. Sam Raimi), Nurse Betty (dir. LaBute), JSA: Joint Security Area (dir. Park Chan-wook),  The Cell  (dir. Tarsem Singh)...

... What Lies Beneath (dir. Robert Zemeckis), Ginger Snaps (dir. John Fawcett), Sexy Beast (dir. Jonathan Glazer), You Can Count on Me (dir. Lonergan), Tigerland (dir. Schumacher), Scream 3 (dir. Craven), Chopper (dir. Andrew Dominik), Code Unknown (dir. Haneke), Before Night Falls (dir. Schnabel), Erin Brockovitch (dir. Soderbergh), Chicken Run (dir. Peter Lord)

Never seen: O Brother Where Art Thou? (dir. Coens), The Beach (dir. Danny Boyle), Chocolat (dir. Lasse Hallström), Amores Perros (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu), Billy Elliot (dir. Daldry)

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What are your favorite movies of 2000?
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