Thursday, July 29, 2021

Good Day To Dev Young

These three snaps of Dev Patel come at us via The New York Times (maybe you heard of it) where our pal Kyle chatted with the actor about a movie called The Green Knight (maybe you heard of it) which is out in theaters tomorrow. If you have not heard of The Green Knight well then you probably shouldn't read my review of the movie just yet, which i posted this afternoon -- actually like all these things I recommend reading my reviews after you've seen the movie either way, even though I don't get too bad into spoilers with this one. 

As I hate regurgitating plot in my reviews if not forced to by an outside editor I never do that, so reading my reviews here at MNPP without seeing the movie first is probably always a bewildering experience. Hell it's probably bewildering whether you've seen the film or not. I'm a lotta nonsense! Anyway! Dev and his big mean green machine aside I'm here to wish y'all a nice weekend, as I'm still rocking the three-day weekends though the rest of the summer. So until Monday, then. Bye!

I Am Gonna Eat Nicholas Hoult Right Up

Just a real quick update on a project I've posted about before -- quick but necessary! Back in June I told you of The Menu, a horror-sounding movie that will star Ralph Fiennes as a famous chef who invites an unsuspecting couple to his mysterious island, dun dun dun (it's definitely gonna be about eating people, even though they haven't admitted that in any plot descriptions yet) -- anyway also included in the cast was Anya Taylor-Joy as half of the couple invited, and we love her, we love Ralph, we love possible-cannibalism. We was sold! Well today comes word that the other half of the couple is going to be played by Nicholas Hoult and, well, that's news we like too. As you can imagine. Thrilled, we is! The Menu just went from FUCK YES to FUCKKK YESSS. See all the extra letters? Those are called "emphasis."

Oh and in other important Nicky news, I never posted this!

Joshua Jackson Eight Times

Is anybody watching that Dr. Death show that Joshua Jackson here (via) is currently on? I have to admit I haven't totally figured out how the hell Peacock works -- it's free, but with commercials? -- so I haven't. But it's got a fun cast with Pacey excuse me Joshua playing an evil doctor opposite Alec Baldwin who, in this context, is totally making me remember the 1993 movie Malice -- remember Malice? Alec as an evil doctor opposite Nicole Kidman. I don't remember if I even actually saw that movie or if I just saw the trailer with Alec saying "I am god" like a billion times, but I remember Malice.

("I Remember Malice" would make a great t-shirt.) Anyway also on Dr. Death is Christian Slater and Grace Gummer and Dominic Burgess -- MNPP loves Dominic Burgess! He was so good on Feud. And I actually think I saw it is Dominic Burgess' birthday today too, so a happy birthday to him! Anyway Pacey has a show (I really should refer to Pacey more as his character Peter from Fringe since I didn't even watch Dawson's Creek) (or maybe I should refer to him as whatever his name was on that Reese Witherspoon show since that show was smart enough to put him in tighty-whities) so, uhh, anyway if you're watching Pacey's show, lemme know! Curious how it is. And here are six more new photos of him, after the jump...

Smells Like Jake

I literally almost sent out an irritable tweet just yesterday whinging where has my baby Jake been, when lo what should appear but a brand new photo of him modeling for Prada of all places. Prada Frangrances actually, as he lets on in his Insta-stories where I first saw the image -- he says there that he's "been working on a project" with them and we should "stay tuned." Oh I will, Jake! I will. But if it's not your actual literal sweat bottled and sold at Macy's counters everywhere I will feel cheated, know that. 

How Green Was My Valet

At the heart of David Lowery's 2017 film A Ghost Story a hipster interloper (played by musician and sometime-actor Will Oldham) attending a party in the home of our sheet-headed protagonist delivers a long speech about personal and cultural legacy -- about how it doesn't matter what one accomplishes in life, because all of our monuments will eventually crumble due to the inexorable march of time, cruel time. We all have those little cartoon brooms from The Sorcerer's Apprentice scurrying behind us, sweeping away every mark we've left; even Beethoven's 9th will one day dissipate in the ether, never to be heard again. 

That's a concern that's come up time and again in Lowery's work, whether it's by disappearing dragon or the movie star Robert Redford, and so it makes a world of sense that the filmmaker would be drawn to the mysterious 14th century tale called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which has been confounding and delighting scholars and storytellers for seven full centuries and yet somehow, in all its glorious anonymity, still stands today, as weird and wonderful and malleable to shifting modernity as ever.

Lowery's staggering and mysterious film (finally out tomorrow) drops the front half of the full title, punning itself hard on just being The Green Knight -- the devilishly handsome and charismatic Dev Patel fills in the Gawain part but Lowery's more concerned with how green this Knight, and the other Knight in its other way, be. When we meet him Gawain is green in the way of youth. A shoot not yet nicked by time, he's playful and dashed with innocence, eager to prove himself -- as goes the way of men whose skin is yet untroubled by scars or much sadness. 

But beware what you ask for, the saying's gone for a thousand thousand years, and with good reason. Invited to a Christmas party by his uncle, the good King called Arthur (a divinely desiccated Sean Harris, playing the legend halfway to skeleton-town), Gawain laments his adventure-less life, and before the syllables can even cool in the air the doors to the Castle have been blasted open and a gauntlet's been thrown down literally at his feet -- the life and death kind, full of superstitious riddles and bounteous hazards galore; tis a good yarn that's lasted all of these years!

And in Lowery's hands it's magic. Magick? Magicks. People far smarter than I have been teasing out the mysteries of Anonymous' epic poem, which is on its surface actually straightforwardly told, with long passages describing feasts and the passages of seasons in exquisite detail, but which only gets richer and stranger the further you telescope out. The Green Knight who comes a'knockin' at King Arthur's Court, his skin and horse all an otherworldly emeraldian tone, could mean anything, and has come to mean all of the anythings across the centuries. And Lowery, a filmmaker who loves slowing time down to a crawl and existing inside of such strangeness, who always has time for enigma, relishes the riddles, the neither here nor there and also here and also there too, at once, of it.

He's basically the perfect filmmaker for this material, leading us into a labyrinth of essential questions about the nature of time, of purpose, of existence, in an unhurried but visually dynamic (and then some) way. Gawain's adventures are episodic but Lowery makes each feel prismatic off a single piece, as if Gawain is standing still at the center of a maze while all the doorways and possibilites spin and present themselves. Here is where we are robbed and left for dead; here is where a headless specter in a gothic constant night asks our assistance; here is where our future bends back to our past. The finer plot details -- so where's that axe come from once it's already been disappeared? -- cease to matter in the storm of telling and retelling; on-screen titles remind us we're living inside a story that's been told so many times its particulars turn to sand. 

And so actors play different characters, as with Alicia Vikander who plays two very important ladies in Gawain's life -- but are they different? And is that her voice coming out of the talking fox that's been following our young hero about? And do the giants Gawain comes across at one point, enigmatic weirdos a hundred stories tall who howl and evaporate like fog across stone plateaus stretched to the forever horizon, do they maybe even resemble her a bit as well? Romantic notions of the old-fashioned chivalric type, twisted by history's endless variations, become queer inscrutable monumental things -- actually queer at one point too, as Joel Edgerton appears for an entertaining portion to tease out the poem's legendary gay kissy-kissy moments with a wash of bloody and beady-eyed glee. 

Lowery even rewrites the Ghost Story speech I mentioned at review's start and let's one of Vikander's characters rip into those same ideas and notions, on how green is life and life is moss and moss will find its way into every nook and cranny and render us bones in a snap, a snap so fast our bones spin. The camera spins once and Gawain is bones, then back again -- an entire act side-swiped from Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ gives us the false floors of alternate timelines and happy endings, happy endings that go on for too long to stay that way for long.

The Green Knight is after all a Christmas movie, and the hangover of presents unwrapped hangs heavy -- now what? We put away the things we got, the books back on the shelves, and we keep on living, and another Christmas comes, and we keep on living, books up and bones over, and on. Along the way we make choices and they take us one way, another way, a thousand paths and a half-thousand years all leading to the same place. Do our adventures matter? We chant our stories like snaps of light, firework sparks in dark caverns briefly illuminating the walls, beautiful and warm but for so short too short a moment. Accept the kisses and the beard strokes while they're offered, because aggressive green is coming, at the door, inside the door, the door itself, the walls of the chapel and the spill of the light, bruises belted across our deepest beings. Unknowable giants lumbering unto nowhere, and gone, not a mark in their wake.

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

When I saw that today was the 100th anniversary of actor Richard Egan's birth I racked my brain trying to remember what it was that I'd just watched recently that had him in it -- it took me a minute (probably because I still haven't finished watching the movie) but turns out the film was called The Revolt of Mamie Stover (yeah that's a lotta title, I agree) from 1956 from director Raoul Walsh, and it stars Egan alongside Jane Russell in a tale of complicated Hawaiian romance set alongside the Pearl Harbor bombing. (It is currently on Criterion Channel, which is where I stumbled upon it.)

Yeah it's basically just a rip-off of From Here to Eternity, but the half I have watched is slightly nastier, more like Eternity as a beach noir. That makes it sound more interesting than it was, though! Hence me not finishing it. But I do like Richard Egan as an actor well enough whenever I see him in things -- it's just whenever I see him in things they're usually a little junky. See also the science-fiction robot attack flick Gog from 1954, memorable for its wacky robot designs and Egan wearing an incredibly well-tailored jumpsuit

Anyway weirdly Richard Egan just last night came up in the book I'm currently reading about the somewhat forgotten 1950s / 60s gay Hollywood gossip columnist Mike Connolly -- Egan and his wife are mentioned repeatedly as being good friends of Connolly, which makes one wonder... by the way I'm only about 40 pages into the book so far but I can already highly recommend it (you can buy it here). 

You hear about Connolly's female contemporaries Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons all the time, but Connolly seems to me even more fascinating -- he spoke in coded terms about all the gay gossip in town, actively inned and vaguely outed people constantly, lived openly with his male partner (who became his "assistant" wink wink) but was never seen at functions without a female escort, and apparently (I haven't gotten to this part) had a big role in the Blacklist era. Doesn't this sound like someone who should get their own limited series?

Anyway I'm by no means a Richard Egan expert so if any of y'all wanna chime in with what his best movies or performances are I'd love to hear -- I've only seen a couple and I'm sure there are better more important films within his filmography than Gog, for god's sake. (Although I will once again give good praise to that jumpsuit he wears in that, because my god.) 

Oh and I guess I should add that I have already done a great big "Gratuitous Richard Egan" post previously here on the site in 2019, right after seeing Gog and that jumpsuit for the first time actually, and you can check that post out right here. It's worth checking, believe me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Eli Brown Ten Times

Another round of snaps of the new Gossip Girl actor Eli Brown -- see the previous ones I posted way back before the show began airing on HBO right here. These news snaps are for Flaunt magazine, and there's a chat with him on their site. Gosh he's adorable. The interview was conducted after the show premiered and the bit where he talks about the huge change from one day to the next is one of those things I can never wrap my head around. Fame is weird, and I hope I never have it! (I don't think I need to worry at this point.) Anyway hit the jump for the rest of the photos along with a video from the shoot...

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

My Name, It's Being Called

I didn't really expect to burst into tears at some movie news this morning, but so it goes with anything Call Me By Your Name related yes even here four years on -- and if you missed MNPP's thorough CMBYN coverage well here's a good place to get started. Anyway no it's not news about the film's once-rumored sequel, which, well, I can't imagine that happening any time soon. It's something much simpler and much much more selfish, with regards to me in particular -- the movie is going to be screening here in New York again next month. And not just any ol' place -- it's going to be screening at The Paris Theater, where I saw it definitely more than half the 20 times I saw the film in the theater during its run.

Yes one of those times Timmy was there in person, totally swamped by groupies (which I suppose I was one of) -- you can read my account of that night along with video from the Q&A, right here. Aaaaanyway back to my point The Paris was screening the film right in the thick of Moviepass being a thing so it cost me nothing to go see the film there a dozen times, and a dozen times give or take I went, straight to my prime seat in the front row center. The Paris closed up last year when its lease expired, which was very sad, but then Netflix bought it, which was the opposite. The first movie I saw in the theater once things started re-opening this year was I got to see my number one movie of 2020, Charlie Kaufman's I'm Thinking of Ending Things, thanks to the Paris. (I posted about that here.) 

Anyway Netflix bought the theater but they're turning it into a real repertory theater now -- it won't just be Netflix movies, and today they announced their official plans for the next month or so, which marks their official official reopening. The first week is programmed by The Forty-Year-Old Version creator Radha Blank and is absolutely stellar, including The Apartment, Dog Day Afternoon, Fish Tank, Waiting For Guffman -- just a stunning and killer line-up. And then after that they have a month-long series called "Paris is For Lovers" which will showcase films that had their premiere at the Paris Theater and also were love stories...

... which is where Call Me By Your Name rears its luscious head. But it's not just that fave of mine -- oh no. Other titles include Maurice, Carol, Metropolitan, Amelie, Belle du Jour, Howard's End, The House of Mirth... I could keep listing and listing, but how about I just put the theater's press release here on the site and let them do their own talking. Hit the jump for it...

Good Morning, World

Don't ask me how Tumblr got ahold of that shot of Pablo Schreiber in the movie Lorelei to make a gif with it (I found it here), since the movie's not out until Friday, but they did and I am here to share this development. Anyway Lorelei I reviewed right here when it screened at Tribeca -- it stars Pablo and the always-welcome Jena Malone as a pair of past-their-prime folks reconnecting years after they dated circa high school; he's just gotten out of prison, she's a dead-end mom with a pile of kids. The movie sounds like a depressing chore but as I say in my review the performances and writing elevate it out of poverty porn, and that third act is chef's kiss. I really recommend checking it out. I also posted the trailer right here. It hits all the usual places -- theaters apparently as well as on demand -- on Friday. Oh here's a clip they released as well:

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Like a Something to the Slaughter

There were a lot of jokes on Twitter this week about the Nicolas Cage flick called Pig coming out only to a few days later have the news of a movie called Lamb coming from the studio known as A24 -- I mean with that studio's already well-established menagerie of animal iconography (the goat from The Witch, the gull from The Lighthouse, the cow from First Cow, et cetera) this seemed like poking the beast! But then Pig turned out to be absolutely stellar -- I really hope I find time to review it this week, but if not I recommend heartily -- and the trailer for Lamb, which stars Noomi Rapace and is from first-time director Valdimar Jóhannsson looks smashing, so maybe I guess the joke's on us. Animal movie renaissance!

I mean yes Lamb is one that looks so A24 pre-branded it's difficult to believe the film actually got made by a human person and not by a studio-appointed committee who decreed the number of sheep hides and flower crowns to the nearest ounce. But I'll take it since I do love and am such a ripe damn sucker for the A24 brand. Lamb is out on October 8th.

Today's Fanboy Delusion

 Today I'd rather be...

... barebacking with Adam Driver.

Burberry didn't put a saddle on that horse 
precisely so we could make that joke, I know it.

ETA oh wait there is video too; I've added it 
and one more new photo after the jump...

Aaron Pierre Five Times

Jiminy Crickets, where did Aaron Pierre even come from? I guess he was on that show Krypton, but all of a sudden this year he's gone and wham-bammed us with the two-fer of Barry Jenkins' masterpiece of a series The Underground Railroad (which I just shared some new news on yesterday) as well as playing the immediately iconically named character "Mid Sized Sedan" in M. Night Shyamalan's film Old (reviewed here). Quality-wise one of these things is not like the other, but that's still a high profile year and then some... and I sure ain't complaining given what a pleasure it is to look at Aaron Pierre. So let's! Hit the jump for more...

Bloody Bloody Oscar Isaac

The trailer for Paul Schrader's forthcoming film The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac as a you-guessed-it man who counts cards, alongside Willem Dafoe, Tiffany Haddish, and Tye Sheridan, has arrived this morning -- I told you about this movie back in June of 2020 when I was excited about that cast, and then Paul Schrader got real shitty about restrictions being put on filming because of a fucking pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of people, and I will admit -- I got a little less enthusiastic about the movie. But the trailer...

... well it maybe reinvigorated some of my interest. Okay I'll just admit it, this cast is gonna make it impossible for me to stay away. But you're on notice, Paul Schrader. Here's the trailer!

 The Card Counter is being released on September 10th.

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Hannibal (2013)

Dr. Lecter: I've always found the idea of death comforting. The thought that my life could end at any moment frees me to fully appreciate the beauty and art and horror of everything this world has to offer.

A gratuitously happy birthday to the mad genius (and friend of MNPP) Bryan Fuller today! Knowing Bryan somewhat in the real world as I do I think I can say that the above quote from his stellar serial killer series feels beamed straight out from his gooey squishy delicious heart-meat -- he is a man that enjoys living, in the best of sense(s), and does probably a better job at it than anybody else I know. While we count down the days until we get to see his directorial debut -- a new movie version of Stephen King's killer-car book book Christine which I told you about last month -- let's take this one, this day here, to wish Mr. Fuller the best of birthdays and the best of luck for all the awesomeness ahead! MNPP hearts Bryan!

Five Frames From ?

What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Yesterday I devoted our "Good Morning" post to Jake Lacy (and his bum!) on Mike White's glorious new show The White Lotus, and that was great, truly great, and all, but I'd be remiss not to also devote a moment to model and actor Kekoa Kekumano. He plays the local dude who works at the hotel and who hooks up with one of the teenagers -- you might also recognize him from his stint playing Young Jason Momoa in the first Aquaman. Anyway his Instagram is a lovely treat, I recommend you follow him, and for a few more treats (including that glimpse of his bum also out of this week's truly bum-full episode) you can hit the jump...