Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thursday's Ways Not To Die

To the person who recommended I watch Julian Sands in the 1989 flick Warlock during quarantine I would just like to say... uhh, thanks I guess? I mean it was fine, it has its moments, but like most things I watched while in actual lockdown last spring / summer (before I was going back into my office) it's a bit of a blur now, I have to admit. Of course this scene here at least certainly stands the test of pandemic distraction. But I'm now ahead of myself. The rest of this scene here is right on after the jump...

Pics of the Day

While I am finding it somewhat difficult to get myself terribly excited about my favorite actor Jake Gyllenhaal staring in a film directed by my least favorite director Michael Bay these photos (via, thx Mac) of Jake arriving on the Los Angeles set of Ambulance -- the movie is about an ambulance -- with his last-seen-long hair nicely trimmed, wearing a perfectly fit in all the right places polo not to mention a face-mask proving a decency above many of his peers, and then even more he's kinda popping the bicep for us too?

Well Jake always knows how to make me feel better. The film also stars Eiza González (previously known for Baby Driver she's in that Rosamund Pike movie I Care a Lot that I posted the trailer for the other day) and forthcoming Candyman hunk Yahya Abdul-Mateen, and... ya know what Michael Bay, here's how you make up for [insert everything you have ever directed] -- Jake and  Yahya's ambulance is a'rockin, your camera comes a'kockin. Think about it. Meanwhile let's hit the jump for more...

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Personal Shopper (2016)

Maureen: I mean there are invisible... presences... around us. Always. I mean whether or not they're the souls of the dead, I don't know, but... You know when you're a medium you just are attuned to some sort of... vibe.
Ingo: What do you mean by- by vibe?
Maureen: It's an intuition thing; it's a feeling. You... You see this door... That's only like slightly, ajar.

An actor I always want to talk more about but never find the time to is the great German actor Lars Eidinger, who's been in so many things over the past dozen years that I've been a fan of -- besides the above-mentioned one he's also got a vital role in Olivier Assasyas' Clouds of Sils Maria; he was on both Sense8 and Babylon Berlin (!!!) and in Claire Denis' sci-fi wackery High Life; then in just the past few months he had a lovely turn opposite Eva Green in Alice Winocour's lovely lady astronaut flick Proxima. He's really become somebody I perk up at whenever he shows up on-screen...

... oh and I'm absolutely dyyyyying to see My Little Sister, the Swiss film starring him and the queen Nina Hoss that's currently playing virtually, but haven't gotten around to it yet. You can already tell that Eidinger is one of the greats. All we need is one great fearless director (somebody like Lars von Trier or Nicolas Winding Refn maybe?) to give him a great fearless role, because he's also...

... I must add, because of course I must, a wildly underrated hot piece and total exhibitionist super-freak who's proven to be wildly unreserved when it comes to nudity. (There's some stuff even I couldn't post down below.) Gosh bless the Europeans! For example just two days ago a NSFW short art-film in which he's turned into a nude human paint-brush was brought to my attention, and...

... you see what I mean? You see what I mean. Anyway today is Lars' 45th birthday and I have this big folder on my computer of Lars Photos that I haven't found an excuse to post before, so what better time than the present? Hit the jump, it's a little NSFW but also totally worth losing your job over, believe me...

Quote of the Day

"When I was 22, I came to Rome without a penny. And I was helping a photographer, and one day a friend of his who was a photographer from De Laurentiis studios asked to take close-ups of me. Those photos ended up on the desk of John Huston. He asked me to meet him in this hotel […] and he looks at me and says, ‘Now undress!’ He wanted to see my body because I was playing Abel (in the Bible) and he needed to see. He looked at me very carefully and then said I could go."

Oh what a delightful surprise for a Thursday -- the website Little White Lies has a new chat with the actor and eternally gorgeous movie legend Franco Nero up where he talks about his 60-plus year career, including that beautiful and precious nugget of information there about its auspicious beginnings, and... I didn't know you had it in you, John Huston. Nero also talks about working with Fassbinder on Querelle -- he says Rainer came up to him in a bar and told him he was going to be in his next three movies -- as well as Tarantino, I recommend checking it out sooner rather than not sooner!

King of Candy

Did you hear the rumor going around earlier this week that the folks at WB are thinking about making a Willy Wonka prequel movie -- meaning they would like to tell the story of Lil' Willy and how he came to be the King of Chocolate... not to mention the slaver of untold Oompa Loompa millions -- and that the two names in contention for the lead-role are the Spider-twink Tom Holland and the peach-fucker Timothee Chalamet? Before I get to my logic in my own choice between those names I will just ask you to choose...

free polls

As for me I personally think, out of those two names, that Timmy's the better pick. I love Tom but there's something unabashedly normal and practical about him, which works well for his Peter Parker, grounding him inside the MCU's big flights of fancy. Hhe brings a ton of heart to the films, which is why the end of Infinity War is such a gut-punch. But as great as that is I don't think any of those qualities are what you want from a Young Wonka? Timmy's got the boyish enthusiasm but at an angle -- a little wacky, off-center, too much. He'd be a better fit, in my own humble pie opinion. Although it must be said...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

It's a blessed new world, one nearly as stuffed with possibility as are Joel Kinnaman's Bjorn Borg underpants in these new photographs (via).Are these the best ones? I think these might be the best shots, but I'm going to have to spend some time this morning poring over the entire line as seen at this link in order to truly make my decision. PS in related news Mr. Kinnaman has a new movie out this weekend called Brothers By Blood with Matthias Schoenaerts, I reviewed it earlier this week right here. But that's so serious. Who can be so serious today? I'm still in celebration mode. Let's hit the jump and celebrate Joel's pants right off some more...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Dream King

You'd think I'd be better prepared for the 75th birthday of the man I consider the greatest living filmmaker, but as I keep saying today -- my mind has been awfully elsewhere! I mean I also forgot to mark the 20th anniversary of Donnie Darko yesterday, but you can see the tweet-thread linked below for a little about that though, at least...

Anyway we love you, Mr. David Lynch! Happy 75! And we can't wait to find out what that super-secret project is that you're supposedly at work on. (More Twin Peaks? Laura Dern just screaming in a loop? Ten more hours of that talking monkey? I'll take any of it.) Y'all can wander though MNPP's David Lynch Archives if you want more, there's plenty, but here on this very happy 75th of his I ask you...

What's David Lynch's Best Movie?

You Should Listen To Luca Guadagnino

I know that me telling you that you should listen to Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino might blow your minds, but it's true, you oughta listen when he tells you that newcomer Dea Kulumbegashvili's debut film Beginning is "a revelation." I said as much in my review of the movie from NYFF last fall -- I called it "" -- and that was before I'd even heard that Guadagnino liked it...

... so you can't say I was poisoned by his opinion because I'm such a Luca fanboy. I might be that (I definitely am that), but I am now a Dea Kulumbegashvili fanboy too dammit! This movie is real good, y'all. But I've said that several times at this point, so I'm saying it again here today because it has a trailer now! Watch!

The film is being released onto the streaming service MUBI on January 29th -- that's only nine days from now! You can totally remember me telling you to watch this movie for nine days. And if not me then you can totally remember Luca Guadagnino telling you to watch this movie for nine days. But if neither of those things are true well, one, go see a doctor, your brain's broken. 

But two -- Beginning is literally available to stream right this very minute if you are a member of the Museum of Modern Art, over as a part of their amazing annual "The Contenders" series. So maybe you can remember it long enough to click over to MoMA's website and become a member if you're not and then press play. I don't think that's asking too much, for god's sake.

Riz All In

Here's one more photo, the all-important cover one, for Riz Ahmed's THR shoot -- see the ones we posted yesterday at this link. This reminds me I still haven't read his interview, whoopsie. I mean there has been a lot distracting me from reading interviews over the past 24 hours, and by "a lot" I clearly mean "Riz's arms." What -- did something else happen? Huh.

Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... pulling Seb up.

Paul Mescal Down Under

What a happy day this day has turned out to be! America sent Donald Trump packing, and almost as importantly ballet dancer slash Natalie Portman's husband Benjamin Millepied filmed scenes of Normal People break-out Paul Mescal dancing on the beaches of Australia in just his underwear! I thought just one of those things would have been asking for too much from this world, but both? Both on the same day? Maybe we will make it through this after all, everybody.

Millepied (who's hotness himself) isn't a first-time director but he's pretty close to one, and yet he's still managed to gather a pretty hot cast for his movie adaptation of the opera Carmen here -- Mescal, In the Heights and Scream (excuse me 5cream) about-to-be breakout Melissa Barrera, Chris Hemsworth's wife Elsa Pataky, Almodóvar queen Rossy De Palma. Mescal replaced Jamie Dornan in the leading man role -- I told you when Dornan got cast but I hadn't heard about the switch until now. And what a way to be told! This is how all casting news should be delivered -- Paul Mescal in underwear. Even if Mescal's not involved. I want him and those world class gams of his to deliver all the news to me in his underwear. Hit the jump for more...

This House is (Almost) Clean

Let's just be real -- I'm probably not going to post much today! There are other things going on. Maybe you noticed? I mean maybe later this afternoon once the blessed inauguration of our 46th President and Vice President is finished and we've all had some time to scrub ourselves clean-ish of the past four years, watched the terrible demons evaporate into the mist, and barfed ourselves raw, then maybe I will post some later. I make no promises -- there's a chance the second Biden becomes President that I might immediately keel over into a month-long sleep of the dead, from which I will emerge come late February in my next higher form. (Really hoping for wings this time.) I am keeping my options open! Now you, you, and the other guy, go find a TV or a computer and let's all watch the United States of America actually do something Great again. It's been so goddamned long I just wanna know what it feels like...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Why are there so few gratuitous Manish Dayal photos? I always go a'looking, and there's always so little to be found. It's been a very hard thing, for me. Anyway Manish was kind enough to Instagram this photo himself last night from the set of his TV show The Resident, so we should thank him. Encourage him! Go comment on his Instagram and tell him this is what he should be doing, please! Go harrass the producers of his TV show to write more nude scenes! A nude episode! Operating in the nude! It's 2021, man -- nude is possible!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Receive Me Brother, With Your Faithless Kiss

A note to everybody in the business of casting and making movies -- hire Matthias Schoenaerts. His specific mixture of sweet, sad, and bulkily intimidating always brings a heap of bang for its buck, to my eye -- I have yet to see a movie that wasn't made a little to a lot better just by Matthias being in it. (Okay maybe A Little Chaos, but that was one hundred percent that terrible wig's fault.) And so it goes for Brothers By Blood,(formerly titled The Sound of Philadelphia), director Jérémie Guez's languorous dissection of crime-family dynamics, set to strike VOD and some theaters this week. (Watch the trailer here.) A textbook case in "Hire Matthias Schoenaerts" if ever there was.

Schoenaerts plays Peter, another one of the introspective boxer-types that he could play in his sleep at this point. But Matthias, bless his bulk, never sleeps, even when he's called on again to be oh-so world-weary -- he remains keenly watchable even at his most somnambulistic, monosyllabic; he resonates like a quiet little bull in the corner of the china-shop standing on its tippy-toes trying so hard to not smash the world. By now Matthias can virtuoso out the tension of that un-smashing -- he's forever the lean-back to a punch, one that doesn't always come. One that might morph into a hug, a big bear one, given the correct alignment of hugging circumstances.

Peter specifically seems to just want to box and blend into the Philadelphia night shadows, but he's unfortunately for him cousins with an erratic and mildly-deranged small-time crime-boss Michael (Joel Kinnaman, hobbling and viper-eyed), who exploits Peter's meat-packing presence to his constant advantage. When the menu calls for intimidation, Michael calls up Peter to his side. Kinnaman, leaning on a cane, somehow inverts his own hulking presence, seeming more like a rat blown up to human-size; scraggly and feral under baggy person clothes. He limps in all the senses.

But besides their violent business relationship Peter and Michael are more than just cousins -- when the movie starts they do seem like friends, semi-confidantes, and at that maybe even the brothers of blood referenced in the title; that final note even moreso as the film metes out their family story in scattered flashback. The boys' crime-history, sordid and sad, becomes their crime-present with overlapping lines of betrayal, all tied and twisted into a crime-future of who knows. No good though. That's for certain in these sorts of stories. Hugs be damned.   

Meanwhile there's also Paul Schneider playing their in-over-his-head old friend, and Maika Monroe as his sister visiting town who quickly becomes The Girl caught in between the cousin-brothers. And in flashback we have a whiskey-faced Ryan Phillippe playing Peter's father, distraught with grief and plotting stupid revenge that will probably cause the whole house, multiple houses even, to crumble. Every past has its moments, some more than most.

But side-characters aside it's mainly the Schoenaerts & Kinnaman Show. And while Brothers By Blood might not be something I've never seen before -- even if Guez does have a great eye for wet city shadows and sad plastered walls, giving this place the sort of dilapidated sense you can smell -- those two actors do manage to make something often worth watching out of some pretty familiar scraps. Are they totally believable as Irish-Americans? That, my friends, is a stretch best forgetting. But they're both immensely watchable all the same, and Schoenaerts in particular, man, the dude just bear-hugs out wonders time and again with whatever you hand him. He fills the screen on his own.

Pics of the Day

I think this is a thing I've said here on the site before but all I want, all I truly want, is for somebody to paint me a painting of The Three Wise Men as portrayed by John Waters, Vincent Price, and Pee-wee Herman. I have the painting in my head but I also have absolutely no artistic skill whatsoever, so for now there it must remain. Anyway today I can satisfy a hint of my cravings with John Waters being this month's cover man for L'Uomo Vogue! Spectacular spectacular! I don't have the interview in English (it's in Italian here, and yes you should read the word "Italian" the way Mary Vivian Pearce pronounces it in Female Trouble -- "I couldn't possibly eat spaghetti -- do I look Eye-tally-in???") but I do have a shot of John standing in front of his bookshelves which is more porn than my body can handle in one sitting. I'm gonna be zooming in on that shot for weeks. Oh and there's some video from his apartment over here too. Lots of close-ups on his outrageous art artifacts. John's living the dream.

Riz Ahmed Three Times

These shots are coming at us via The Hollywood Reporter (shot by David Needleman, an old friend of mine -- a lucky old friend of mine, given the fact that he's taken photographs of Riz right now) where there's also a lengthy interview befitting his status as the front-runner for a Best Actor nomination, if not win, this year. That'd be for his work in Sound of Metal, of course, which is very good and probably deserving, says me. I haven't read THR's chat yet though -- it's set aside for my lunchtime reading. Please let me know if you read it earlier than lunchtime and there's something demanding my immediate attention, though.