Friday, October 20, 2017

35 Days Until You Can Call Me By Your Name

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This is my first weekend post-NYFF and I am planning on taking it super, super easy. True, NewFest is happening and I will post some more about that but thanks to the magic of screeners I don't have to leave the house to do that, thank god. I have nothing planned! Nothing! You have no idea how sweet that prospect is to my ears.

That said the abysmal reviews for The Snowman have actually made me want to see it more than I did before the abysmal reviews, and speaking of disasters I fucking love Disaster Movies so I might have to go see Geostorm too...
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Truth. All that plus it's 11 days until Halloween and I haven't done much of anything to get myself in the mood for my favorite season of all the seasons - I gotta watch some scary movies! if y'all see anything interesting over the weekend give it a shout in the comments; otherwise just have a warm one...


Meet Your Unmaker

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I don't know what to make out of the world anymore. Maybe nobody ever did - maybe it's always been nonsense. But the world seems on fire at the edges and burning inward, and all I see in most people's eyes is exhaustion, panic. Once upon a time we tried to make sense of the chaos by putting it inside a story - there were myths and legends and fables that sorted us into types and archetypes, heroes and villains. Once upon a time there were Once Upon A Times.

There was for example Iphigenia and her father Agamemnon, a girl sacrificed by (or sometimes saved from) the deadly grasp of a vengeful goddess; and there was Job, sad Job, the man whose everything was snuffed out to masturbate the brains of bored deities. Those stories taught us a lesson about who we were, who we are - they offered us answers opposite the absurd. But the world is absurd, our age is deplorable, and so along comes something brilliant and horrible (in the awesome Old-Testament sense) like The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which blocks the exits and lights the match. Burn, Yorgos, burn.

In Yorgos Lanthimos' previous film The Lobster actress Olivia Colman lays out the rules of that romantic dystopia in a hysterically funny little speech perched beside Colin Farrell's hotel room bed, each staccato comic swerve only adding to the WTF humor. It is funny business and just like business it is quickly put to bed - gotten out of the way. 

The What's What in Sacred Deer comes at about the mid-point and it's delivered even quicker - an expulsion from Barry Keoghan delivered furiously in between breaths, as if the Hand of God (perhaps with the gleaming bearded visage of Michael Haneke) will swing down from the sky -- trying to make sense of anything for longer than the slightest of milliseconds is the ultimate sin, the harbinger of a quick brimstone slap.

No one will warm to A Sacred Deer like they did The Lobster. Humor exists now only in its absence. The numbness of post-apocalypse - a generally anesthetic aesthetic. It isn't here for you - it won't get your heart beating again. Lanthimos is pushing his asymmetrical thinking into off-putting nooks and crannies, purposefully, clinical corners of our current modern nightmare and existential crisis - all there is left to do is spin, and spin, and spin some more, big bangs trailing. Picked off, one at a time, our plates picked clean, we stride valiantly through the molasses sludge, quacking drones slowed down to disharmonic chords, cross streams. The violin wires strain and slice our tendons. Art will be the death of us all.


Quote of the Day

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“It’s another version, not a remake. It’s important to say it because we are ardent admirers of the film of Dario Argento, and it is impossible to [remake] this film. I accepted [it] because it will be a completely different movie! It’s inspired by the same story, but it goes in different directions…. It’s semantics, of course, but I think people really have to understand that this is not a remake, because the word “remake” gives the impression that we want to erase the original, and the opposite is what [we’re trying to do]. It’s going to sound a bit grandiloquent, but it’s like when Francis Bacon [painted] ‘Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X.’ This is not a remake of Velázquez. It’s the biggest compliment, because it’s like saying to the original: ‘You inspired us with these ideas, not because you failed, but because it was strong enough [that we can take it away] and work in a different space.’"

--- That's Tilda Swinton talking to AlloCinè (translated from French by fine folks at The Playlist)  about Luca Guadagnino's remake not a remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria, which will be out sometime next year. If you don't know what she's talking about with those paintings here they are side by side:

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Scientist: Beware! Beware of the big green dragon that sits on your doorstep. He eats little boys... Puppy dog tails, and BIG FAT SNAILS... Beware... Take care... Beware! 

Bela Lugosi was born 135 years ago today!
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Larger Than Bartsch

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The 2007 edition of NewFest, New York's premiere LGBT film festival, opened up last night with the premiere of the documentary Susanne Bartsch: On Top, about the legendary party artist and club queen -- if you want to know just how un-hip I am (as if you don't know that already, in spades) just hear this: until I started watching the doc I had no idea who Bartsch was. Now here after watching the doc I feel ashamed of that fact - not for reasons of hipness, but for reasons of cultural legacy and gay history. Okay I suppose hipness too, but not entirely. 

The heyday of the whole "club kid" scene slightly pre-dates my time in NYC - I didn't move here until the year 2000. I remember seeing them on shows like Donahue in my teen years and gawking in dumbstruck awe, but once I moved here (which was in a post Michael Alig Murder World) that whole scene had gone back underground. 

Susanne Bartsch was, and is, still going though, and the doc makes a terrific case for her icon status - she's beautifully strange and tough as nails; she's like a limb of the New York City body now. Integral. We'd bleed out without her. It's not just the party scene - the doc shows how she channeled her anger and agony from the AIDS Crisis, watching her friends drop dead all around her, into real activism, throwing the first major benefit for AIDS research in 1989 and getting all the big names on board.

The film takes great delight in capturing this over-the-top woman in the most normal of situations - making a chicken in a pot! Literally cleaning out her gutters! - and the frisson works, even though it's an obvious choice, just because of what a big personality she is. It's also gorgeously lensed by Michael Beach Nichols, whose name I made a note of catching - he shoots the city and its night-life in rich blacks bursting with spontaneous neon. Keep an eye out for this if this sounds up your alley at all; here's the trailer:
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NewFest continues over the weekend -- check out their whole line-up here. And see our previous posts on the highlights of this year's fest right here. I'll be reviewing a couple more of these titles as it goes, so stay tuned. Tonight's big film is Trudie Styler's film Freak Show with Bette Midler tonight - see our post on that right here. And tomorrow night they're showing God's Own Country...

... which we've been clamoring for months for, and whose stars Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu were just photographed really lovingly for Out magazine. GOC actually opens up in theaters next week here in NYC. Hello there, Alec!


Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Rise With Radcliffe

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I had no idea until director Greg McLean just tweeted this - his new movie, the survival drama Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe and Thomas Kretschmann and Alex Russell that we've told you about several times (watch the trailer here), is out on demand here in the US today! Here's a link to the Apple Store, which is the only one I can find - that will open iTunes, so be prepared for that. Anyway I should've been paying more attention - McLean's been posting links to reviews of the film all week long and somehow I missed all of that noise. I hope it's good - I liked McLean's last movie (the nihilist corporate melee of The Belko Experiment) quite a bit so it'd be nice to have him on an upswing.


Timothée Chalamet Three Times

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I already posted the first shot from this shoot for Vogue over on the Tumblr the other day - click right here for it - but these other three are worth sharing, I wager. Even if the clothes might be a little goofy. I can't with turtlenecks under open dress shirts, you guys. I CAN'T. (click to embiggen; thx Mac)

ETA Oh and there's also this news -- the official track-list for the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack has been released:

Hallelujah Junction - 1st movement - - John Adams
M.A.Y. in the Backyard - Ryuichi Sakamoto
J'adore Venise - Loredana Bertè
Paris latino - Bandolero
Sonatine bureaucratique - Frank Glazer
Zion hört die Wächter singen - Alessio Bax
Lady Lady Lady - Giorgio Moroder & Joe Esposito
Une barque sur l'océan from Miroirs - Andre Laplante
Futile Devices (Doveman Remix) - Sufjan Stevens
Germination - Ryuichi Sakamoto
Words - F.R. David
È la vita - Marco Armani
Mystery of Love - Sufjan Stevens
Radio Varsavia - Franco Battiato
Love My Way - The Psychedelic Furs
Le jardin féerique from Ma mère l'Oye - Valeria Szervánszky & Ronald Cavaye
Visions of Gideon - Sufjan Stevens

It's still not showing up on the US version of Amazon but it's on the UK version right here - they have a release date of November 17th, which is much later than we'd heard before. When I posted it before I linked to this website, which still says they're releasing it on October 27th. Anyway I will keep y'all abreast of news on that!

ETA Oh wait I should also share this. The other day we were wondering what the actor Bill Paxton's connection to CMBYN was, since he was photographed on set before he passed away and the film is dedicated to him -- well now we got our answer via the film's producer Peter Spears:
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Good Morning, Alessandro

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I don't think I ever actually reviewed the movie One Hundred Percent Humid when it played at Tribeca last spring (back then it was called One Hundred Percent Humidity, big change) but it's a pretty good little drama about two college age girls (Juno Temple and Julia Garner) reunited for the summer dealing with the death of a friend - Alessandro Nivola, who plays Temple's advisor and eventual (spoiler, although obviously) schtup-friend, actually won Best Actor at the fest for it and as I did say at the time... 

... and I quote, "he's somewhat naked in it too." Anyway the movie is out on demand now so you can see all that for yourself. I went and did what I do and made a few gifs of Alessandro doing the latter part (not the acting part, the naked part) after the jump...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's Ya Boy, Lil' Timmy Tim

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Oh my god, 
what did I just watch?
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Pic of the Day

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If you've been to my Twitter today then you know I've been popping over to the set of the new Woody Allen movie (which was shooting around the corner from my office) all day long trying to catch a glimpse of Call Me By Your Name star and new obsession Timothée Chalamet - well as you can see here...
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... I did. I caught a quick glimpse! I'm the worst stalker in the world though - I wasn't at all prepared in the fifteen seconds between him popping out of the make-up truck and into the van taking him off and so that's the only picture I managed to take. Oh well. Fun fact: he is pretty tall! Not as tall as me (and not as tall as Armie Hammer of course) but actor-wise, tall.

This is my second time being in Timmy's presence, to my knowledge - see the previous instance here. That was before I saw CMBYN though so I didn't properly recognize the gravity of that situation; if I had I would've gotten a proper picture then, as I had more than enough chance. Someday!

ETA there were paparazzi about capturing this moment better than I managed, so here are a couple of shots from seconds later when Tim had evaded me and climbed into the van (I'm literally a couple of feet to the left outside the frame & so so glad you can't see me):

Those boots are nice!
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Theresa: Everybody's taking something 
or they'd never make it till morning. 

Looking For Mr. Goodbar, which contains the legend Diane Keaton's greatest performance (not to mention Richard Gere dancing in a jockstrap), was released in New York City 40 years ago today. Have you seen it? It's difficult to find (it's out of print because of music rights) but if you've seen it you never forget it. (And I don't just mean Richard Gere in a jockstrap although that's true too.) You can see some of our previous posts on it right here.
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Greta The Great's Lady Bird Faves

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Did you read my review of Greta Gerwig's directorial debut Lady Bird from the NYFF? If you missed it it's right here. The movie is wonderful, and when it's out on November 3rd you'd be wise to go see it. And if you're in New York you can make a whole big fun week out of it because The Quad theater here in Manhattan is letting Greta program over a whole week's worth of screenings! From November 1st thru 9th they're running "Origin Stories: Greta Gerwig's Footnotes to Lady Bird" which will screen 11 films she's found inspiration from and as surely as the woman's projected intelligence and curiosity in her every moment in front of and behind the screen this series is full of wonder and delight. Here's the list of films:

American Graffiti 
All That Jazz 
Fat City 
Flirting 
The 400 Blows 
Grey Gardens 
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles 
Original Cast Album: Company 
Pretty in Pink 
Say Anything… 
Secrets & Lies 

Greta will be there for a few of the screenings too!
Stay tuned to The Quad's website for more details.

Take Lunch With Chris Hemsworth

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I've been meaning to post these pictures of Chris Hemsworth promoting the new Thor movie at the beach last week since they showed up to my front door and slapped me viciously about the face and other parts but it's been a crazy week, so I'm just now getting to it. And what better time than lunch-time - we can all order a salad and pretend we'll one day look like this if we do that, ha ha. Sigh. Anyway there are over 40 more after the jump so hit the jump...

Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Quotes of the Day

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Although you might think otherwise given some of the (frankly ridiculous) arguments being bandied about on Twitter lately, Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is not a shy man. And so, un-shy man that he be, he always gives a good interview - he says what he says when he says it. See what he said last week for another example - he's not playing your games. And take for instance this brand new interview with the Irish Times in which he hits back at some of those same (frankly ridiculous) arguments that have been going around lately. They asked him about Rich Juzwiak's piece at Jezebel... which I gave up on pretty early when Rich proved he hadn't been paying attention:
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.Anyway here's what Luca has to say to that:

“Whatever you do you have complaints,” says Guadagnino with a shrug. “The truth of the matter is I had absolute control and I made the movie the way I wanted. There’s a great song by Prefab Sprout that says: ‘All the world loves lovers/All the world loves people in love.’ It does not say: all the world loves lovers’ cocks and all the world loves people’s cocks in love. Why do people want to see other people’s penises?"

Now obviously, I know the answer to that. I was very happy to see Matthias Schoenaerts' penis in A Bigger Splash, for example. But he's on the defensive here, which is understandable because I've been there for the past week and a half myself, just because this argument, given the sexy film we've been given, is so deeply dumb. CMBYN is not a shy movie; it is not a chaste movie.
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From there Luca talks a little bit more about that (click over to read) and then he's asked about why he cast straight actors in the roles, and he gives good quote on that too:

"This is a jarring question. Are you going to have a serial killer playing a serial killer? Are you going to cast only astronauts in Apollo 13? The idea that you have to cast only someone who has a certain set of skills, and worse, a certain gender identity in any role: that’s oppressive to me.

And by the way, I don’t ask my cast: are you gay or not? Yes, Armie is married and he’s wonderful husband and father. But who knows where his desires lie? I’m not going to be the one to question him. Imagine if Rock Hudson was not cast as a love interest? I love those movies and I love and believe in the romance between him and his leading ladies.” 

I go back and forth on this subject, but when it comes to Call Me By Your Name it keeps coming down to one thing and one thing alone: would I be willing to give up Timothee Chalamet's performance in this film? NO NO I WOULD NOT NOT IN A MILLION YEARS. And so the argument's won this round. Cast whoever!

But wait, there is more! They also ask him about his upcoming remake of Suspiria! He makes a great point about the sexist idea of "the muse" which you can click over to read (really read the whole interview, it's got a few good things I'm not sharing in this infernally long post) and then he talks about how important Horror is, which is one of the most succinct answers I've seen a filmmaker give:

"I think of horror movie in the context of Freud’s unheimlich: the uncanny cannot be separated from the familiar. They go hand in hand. And for me, horror is the best vehicle to display the psychology of who we are as people. It is the truest idea of us.”

Meet Your Mormon

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We knew that Russell Tovey wasn't doing the new revival Angels in America when it transferred from London to Broadway next year because he was busy with Quantico duties - well the folks behind the revival, which stars Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane, just went and snagged a pretty great get to replace him. Lee Pace, star of Pushing Daisies (sigh) and Halt and Catch Fire (also sigh), is going to play Joe Pitt, the closeted Mormon law-clerk aka the role that Patrick Wilson let it all hang out for in Mike Nichols' movie. As did Tovey on stage...

It's one of them parts. I hadn't been planning on going to see the production because I saw the National Theater Live screenings earlier this summer, which were wonderful but seemed like plenty, but now... with Lee Pace up there in Joe Pitt's magic underpants? Now I don't know how I could miss it. 
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Good Morning, World

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A post shared by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on
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Hey where's Harrison?
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Goof Grief

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Just a quick heads-up that my review of the Joan Didion documantary which screened at the NYFF is up at The Film Experience -- click on over to read my thoughts!
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I Am (Brief) Link

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--- Early Shudders - Our pal Joe Reid has written up a couple of horror stories acutely attuned to our interests this week at Decider - first up he shared some of the very first horror movies he ever saw, focusing on the actresses they starred and the long-term love affairs they started; how he talked about Dead Calm so much without sharing a picture of Billy Zane I will never understand, so I had to right that here (see left). And second he gave good love to PJ Soles' character in Carrie, with her iconic red hat. But while I have nothing but love for PJ Soles and that character I really can't co-sign Norma being the Camp Queen of that movie - not with Piper Laurie flailing about.
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--- Small Screen Scares - Alfonso Cuaron is now shopping around a horror-tinged television series to a bunch of networks - it's being kept under wraps plot-wise (we don't even have a title) but it's apparently about a cult, and it will probably star Casey Affleck. You know, if they can get away with that in our current environment. Which they will, because Casey Affleck is not going away any time soon. Hopefully he will decide to use his platform to espouse less shittiness. Everybody's watching, Casey.

--- Double Director - Still not sure when Francois Ozon's L'amant Double is being released here in the US but that's no reason to skip this conversation with the man over at The Film Stage, where they talk about the movie, working with Jeremie Renier (who in this movie has a threesome... with himself!) for the rest of his life, and how Xavier Dolan felt "destroyed" by critics but criticvs are still worth listening to.

--- Snow Job - This is a rare and surprising case of a director (semi) disavowing his movie several days before it's come out, but The Snowman director Tomas Alfredson seems to want to hedge his bets with the movie and so he's spilling the beans on the shitty high-pressure shoot beforehand. (thanks Mac) Given how great everything he's turned out before has been - Let the Right One In and Tinker Tailor, I mean - I think we're all fine with allowing him this misfire. Meanwhile Michael Fassbender has just gone and skipped town altogether...
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