Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Julian Morris Two Times

I made mention of this earlier but (as long as the weather cooperates!) I am heading out of town for the rest of the week, so you'll just have to make due with these photographs of ever beautiful Julian Morris (via) until I am back. Oh and all the other nonsense I have posted today, yesterday, and every yesterday before that... I think you'll manage! We're back Monday. Enjoy the silence!

Hold This Thread As I Walk Away

Unsane is, as far as I'm concerned, the perfect gaslighting movie. It out gaslights Gaslight. It just boils the entire idea of gaslighting down to its most perfect essence. Unsane tells the story of a girl with the unlikely name of Sawyer Valentini and who is played by Claire Foy, who has the feeling of Ellen Page if someone left Ellen Page bleaching in the tub for too long. That is, obviously, a compliment. She is unraveling and she should not be believable - how better to distrust our possibly crazy narrator? She feels like sticky paste on our hands.

Sawyer Valentini hasn't been feeling herself lately - or rather she's been feeling like her old, crazy self, something she's been on the run from, turns out. So Sawyer tries to get some help, and as anybody watching a gaslighting picture knows -- Ya done for, girly. As soon as you admit weakness the vultures and the maggots are all gonna come crawling around. Snack snack!

The gimmicky "shot on an iPhone" stuff adds a perfect dash of paranoia - we feel as if we're spying on someone; as if we've uncovered this video on a stranger's phone that was tossed in garbage behind a run-down diner on the wrong side of the tracks. It's all so spectacularly frustrating from the first scene - one long slow-motion NOOOOOOOOO that you want to scream at the screen in between gasps, sobs, et cetera. It is just tasty and delicious.

Great Moments in Movie Shelves #139

Bill Murray making faces is always great, 
no matter the context. (Shelves though.)

Anyway today is the 20th anniversary of John McNaughton's trash-classic Wild Things - I wasn't sure if I was going to get around to marking it but our pal Louis at BuzzFeed wrote up a delicious little ode to the film's queerness and I wanted to reply to him with a gif and then... I couldn't stop making gifs. And here we are. For the record this was the original gif I was set to make:

God this movie is wonderful.

My one issue with it - and I know this isn't a problem everyone shares - is I find the sight of Kevin Bacon whatever the opposite of sexy is. I don't mind him as an actor, but as sex object... nothing, not a twitch. And so the movie's barely skirted homoerotic tendencies have always fallen a little flat for me - no matter how much he flings his big dick around I just can't think of Kevin Bacon that way!

Matt Dillon, on the other hand...

Until Louis mentioned it I had forgotten how gleefully the movie ogles Dillon alongside Neve & Denise. And then I started going through the movie and like I said...

... here we are. I have a bunch of gifs but not really anything to say! Do you guys have anything to say? Well I guess go read Louis' piece and then come ogle my gifs (100% Bacon-free btw). They're right after the jump...

13 Off My Head: Siri Says 2009

I kind of hate it when I ask Siri to give me a number between 1 and 100 for our "Siri Says" series and she gives me a number that corresponds to a year I already did a humungous list for at the time it happened - like say today she gave me the number "9" and so I looked through our awards for the year 2009 and man I was thorough. I did a Top 20; I gave five runners-up even. 

But funny enough, unlike other recent years that we've looked back on there is actually a lot I might change now? There are several movies that have stood the test of time but there are also several I haven't seen in a decade and then there are several I haven't shown any interest in revisiting, is what I mean. Oh and there are a couple of 2009 movies I didn't see until a year or two later that mess everything up. So let's make a new Top 13 (this was a great year) of The Movies of 2009 then, according to current whims...

My 13 Favorite Movies of 2009
(in no particular order)

(dir. Wes Anderson)
-- released on November 25th 2009 --

(dir. Jane Campion)
-- released on October 9th 2009 --

(dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)
-- released on March 13th 2009 --

(dir. Park Chan-wook)
-- released on April 30th 2009 --

(dir. Spike Jonze)
-- released on October 16th 2009 --

(dir. Lars von Trier)
-- released on October 23rd 2009 --

(dir. Erick Zonca)
-- released on May 8th 2009 --

(dir. Coens)
-- released on November 6th 2009 --

(dir. Sam Raimi)
-- released on May 29th 2009 --

(dir. Pascal Laguier)
-- released on April 28th 2009 --

(dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)
-- released on November 11th 2009 --

(dir. Steven Soderbergh)
-- released on September 18th 2009 --

(dir. Quentin Tarantino)
-- released on August 21st 2009 --


Runners-up: Coraline (dir. Henry Selick), Orphan (dir. Jaume Collet-Serra), A Single Man (dir. Tom Ford), Jennifer's Body (dir. Karyn Kusama), The White Ribbon (dir. Heneke), Observe & Report (dir. Jody Hill), Summer Hours (dir. Assayas), Ponyo (dir. Miyazaki), Sin Nombre (dir. Cary Fukunaga), Avatar (dir. James Cameron), Broken Embraces (dir. Perdo Almodovar)...

... Best Worst Movie (dir. Michael Stephenson), Precious (dir. Lee Daniels), My Son My Son What Have Ye Done (dir. Werner Herzog), Watchmen (dir. Zack Snyder), The Headless Woman (dir. Lucrecia Martel), In The Loop (dir. Armondo Ianucci), The Final Destination (dir. David R. Ellis), Splice (dir. Vincenzo Natali), The House of the Devil (dir. Ti West), Trick r' Treat (dir. Michael Dougherty), Taxidermia (dir. Gyrgy Plfi), Mary & Max (dir. Adam Elliot)

What are your favorite movies of 2009?

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Shanna: Momma, isn't it true that only a certain amount
of people are allowed in heaven, and we're saved, right?
Wanda: Uh huh. That's 'cause we're Missionary Baptists
as opposed to the other kind of Baptists who if they make
a mistake, they have to start all over again. But
Missionary Baptists - once saved, always saved.
Your grandma and grandpa were real smart.
They chose a sect that has guarantees.
I have never seen this, can you believe it? I suppose I was in High School at the time it came out and missed it and back then when you missed things you often just... missed them, ya know? That was a thing that used to happen, kids. Anyway I missed it and then time forgot it and now it is Holly Hunter's 60th birthday and I want to see it right now. Anybody remember it? Or seen it lately? it is available on DVD, surprisingly. Here's the trailer:

Anyway a very happy birthday to one of our greatest actresses.
What's your favorite Holly Hunter performance? Mine will always
be Living Out Loud but there are loads of #2 contenders...


Today's Fanboy Delusion

Today I'd rather be...

... keeping warm with Alex.

Whoops somehow I fell behind on stalking Alex Pettyfer's Instagram for a week, and dude went to Miami with his good friend male model Jules Horn, yadda yadda, lots to share. Especially with the endless cold weather here in New York -- and the fact that, heads up, I'm headed further north for a few days starting tomorrow -- these sunshiney snaps are really hitting the warm spot. Hit the jump to have your own sundry spots warmed...

Five Frames From ?


What movie is this?

I Am Still Calling Your Name, Yo

Guess what? Call Me By Your Name Fever hasn't broken yet! Aren't you excited? Lord knows I am. We might already have the blu-ray of 2017's best film sitting in permanent status in our blu-ray players at home here in America (and shh don't tell anybody but I haven't watched the movie with the audio commentary by Timmy & Stuhlbarg yet) but it turns out that the film is opening up in theaters in South Korea this week! And Sony has gone and dropped a few never-before-seen on-set photographs (via, thanks Mac) of Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer for those folks and by extension us folks here on the world wide web who will never ever let go. You may now hit the jump for all of them...

Good Morning, World

Have you guys heard of The Lodgers? It's been available on demand for a few weeks now so I think maybe you have by now - it's an Gothic Irish horror movie from last year about a pair of orphaned twins (but what else) who are too close in the Gothic tradition, nudge nudge, and the big spooky house they inhabit (but what else) - recognizable faces include David Bradley (the mean old caretaker from Harry Potter and Walder Frey from A Game of Thrones) as the mean old, uh, caretaker? And also Eugene Simon, who you see here, who is also from Game of Thrones -  he plays Lancel Lannister, aka the douchebro cousin of Cersei who suddenly finds religion and goes psycho with it, tormenting his cousin in the process.

Here in The Lodgers Eugene plays the cute boy just returned from war (hence the half-leg you'll see below, rendered with shockingly beautiful special effects) who gets drawn into the twins supernatural drama. As one does. Anyway the movie is thick with tar black atmosphere and really not bad, not bad at all. If you're in the mood for exactly what you think this movie is, this movie is exactly that. Oh and Eugene shows his surprisingly plump bum, which I'll show you right now right here after the jump...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Good Afternoon, Gratuitous Sam Claflin

It's the great actress Marie Dressler who's credited with the quote "You're only as good as your last picture," and it is that quote springs to mind when I think of Sam Claflin today - I had basically given up on him after the miscasting debacle that was Finnick in the Hunger Games films, but then the last thing I saw him in was Their Finest, Lone Scherfig's tremendously lovely and old-fashioned WWII movie (easily the best of the Dunkirk Triad that came out last year) - have you guys seen it? - and now I suddenly care enough to pay attention again? (His shirtless scenes in My Cousin Rachel didn't hurt either.)

Which is good because his next movie out this year might be The Nightingale, director Jennifer Kent's long-awaited follow-up to The Babadook. (Follow-up as in second movie, not a sequel, alas!) Okay okay I would have cared about this film no matter how crappy Claflin's career was going, it's true. But it's good to think maybe! Anyway after that Sam has a few things lined up, like that boating movie with Shaileene Woodley called Adrift...

... which just got a trailer last week which you can watch right here. We previously took notice of his shirtless Instagram moments on the set of that. And just today he just lined up a crime-thriller called The Corrupted that's got a pretty fine cast.
Anyway that's all preamble to the fact that I just noticed a big pile of over forty Sam Claflin pictures sitting in a folder on my computer that I haven't gotten around to posting before (although if you look through our archives there is plenty to be had from several years back, before that Hunger Games mess) so let's go ahead and post 'em after the jump...

Paint Me Like One of Your Gay Boys

Artist biopics usually work a bit of a thematic rut - they show the Mad Genius, unencumbered by society's restraints, sleeping with multiple people and doing the hot drugs of the day, burning bright and fast and mean and so on. You know that story. These movies don't often have much interest in the actual minutia of creating - day to day, minute to minute, the struggle with carving something beautiful out of thin air and some mud maybe.

That's what makes Final Portrait, Stanely Tucci's new film on painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti (played by a constantly distracted Geoffrey Rush), so refreshing - Giacometti had a lot of those old asshole qualities; yes he's a cad to his wife, flaunting an affair with his muse left and right. But mostly he's just an old man walking into the office every day, sitting down, and trying to get some damn work done.

Final Portrait revels in the mundaneness of creation - the practicality of sticking one's hands in clay, wrapping one's hand around a brush, mixing paint, and scratching everything out and starting over again. (Especially that last part.) Of whittling something awful down into something that is not quite so awful. It's terribly undramatic, and I mean that as the highest compliment. It's not the way these stories are usually over-told to us, and in its under-telling I was absolutely captivated.

Would I have been less captivated if the subject of Alberto's brush had been someone other than Armie Hammer? Who's to tell, and better yet I don't have to tell, because it is Armie Hammer after all. Armie plays James Lord, also a real-life person, a gay (yes that again, good for Armie) writer who traveled around getting his portrait done by all the Mid-century artists who mattered. Besides a couple of books on Giacometti James Lord also wrote one about Picasso, and he was also drawn and photographed by Balthus, Jean Cocteau, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Lucien Freud, among many others. (I recommend his book Plausible Portraits, which shows all of these portraits through the years alongside his reminiscences and thoughts on the works.)

L-R: James Lord, "Portrait of James Lord" (1964) and Armie
So Final Portrait isn't a barn-burner - we don't see the artist tormented and falling apart, besides by some of the same indecision and self-doubt that any artist knows only too well. But in its ordinariness, in its bemused honesty about the very real business of having the nerve to plunk one's self down and think anybody cares enough to eventually look and then making something from start to finish, it's better than what we're used to.

It tries to show us how to be capable. How to survive as an artist, as a life-long goal, as a living, and not as a psychosis. How to survive these terrible creative impulses of ours somewhat intact. You can see what the appeal would be to that for a journeyman turned name like Stanley Tucci. He gets it across.
Final Portrait opens in New York and LA this weekend.