Friday, March 30, 2018

The Mendelsohn of God Rises

Okay so this week's apparently done? Gotcha. Time's not slipping through my fingers at all right now. Nope, no panic here. Anyway here's a picture of Ben Mendelsohn of Ready Player One, out in theaters right now, fame, to soothe us over the holiday weekend. I guess you can just pretend he's the Easter Bunny, or Jesus, or whatever... if you need that? I don't know what you people need. I don't even know what I'm saying at this point. On that exceedingly strange note if you haven't voted on our Ready Player One poll yet you can do that right here. I'm gone now! Bye. No, really. Bye.

"They know about us."

The sheer weight of that glance between Elio's parents, right after they've found out that Oliver's called to basically break their son's heart into a billion little pieces all over again, knocks the wind out of me every time I see Call Me By Your Name. As if I need the wind knocked out of me another time by that point in the film! I already can't breathe, dammit.

But the movie persists, and so should we. Watching the movie, over and over, I mean. I went my 18th time last night - yes even though it's been on blu-ray for two long weeks (say it like Annella) the film's still on the big screen here in New York, proving to me one more time that New York is the place to be. 

Finding out I went an 18th time probably doesn't surprise you, but you wanna hear something actually surprising? I haven't watched the blu-ray one time yet. I did watch the (scant) extras on the disc, save the commentary. But as long as I can still see the film in the theater, I'm going to go see it in the theater when the mood strikes me. It's a privilege to have the option, one I'm not going to be ignoring as long as I'm able. 

And honestly the second the opening credits come up a smile spreads across my face and I'm lost  anew, every time. I try to keep a mental checklist of "Things I should write about that I haven't written about yet" (such things do actually still exist, believe it or not) but I get so captivated by the movie still that I've usually forgotten the specifics of those thoughts by the time it's over, since they are all, at this point, littler things. Things like...

... the strange and surprising angles that Luca shoots Timothée and Armie at times - "they're all curved, sometimes impossibly curved, and so nonchalant... hence their ageless ambiguity, as if they're daring you to desire them." Timothée posing above actually takes place simultaneously with his father speaking those lines and it always shocks me, the effortless (one might say "nonchalant") way that Timmy transforms his body in one quick shift from subject (staring straight at us) to demure object (curling up fetal like). But then the shifting power balances in the film...
... are one of its most striking - and pretty specifically homosexual, I should add! - aspects. For all of Luca's talk of the universality of this story it still speaks plainly, furiously at times, to what it means for one man to fall in love with another man, and how unsettling that can be. How it requires a letting-go inside of us of the behaviors we've been taught; a shift in our inner balance. Something like the swap from "I thought you should know"...

...  to "I wanted you to know." There is of course power at play in male-female relationships, but it's a different dynamic usually (I'm speaking in generalities here, obviously). It wasn't that I found it uneasy to be a submissive or passive partner when the time came - it was more just a shock that that was even an option. It's not what little boys, even in the most open-minded of households, are generally taught about what it means to be "male." And we see Elio dealing with that same realization over the course of the film. In his interactions with Marzia we see...

... him much more confident and brash; he knows the role he is supposed to be playing with her. We never see him more aroused by her then when she explicitly states how much power he has over her. ("You're so hard!") But with Oliver Elio is unsure and awkward about what to do; who he even is. His sense of self sputters. But funny enough he finds himself...

... in and through that confusion.
Nature, and her cunning ways.

Great Moments in Movie Shelves #140

If you've got a fetish for bookshelves, 
or a fetish for Louis Garrel, or a fetish 
for bookshelves AND Louis Garrel, 
then have I got the film for you...

... Christophe Honoré's 2007 musical romance Love Songs 
has Louis swing-dancing both ways and 
being his usual incorrigibly endearing self the whole way. 

It's actually sort of shocking, skimming through 
the film just now, how much of its runtime sees him 
doing him set against a back-drop of bookshelves...

... it's as if Honoré fore-saw me coming and set 
the timer to eleven in anticipation.  All that...

... plus gay stuff! 
Will the swooning ever stop?

Scott Speedman Two Times

I just saw that Scott is going to be on Grey's Anatomy? Look at the video - it's him in scrubs! I don't watch that show - I have never watched that show, not even in its halcyon days of Doctor McDreamy - but they sure do just keep on keeping don't they? Hottest batch of TV Doctors ever, I think - they make the cast of E.R. look like a smattering of stump-necked Orcs.

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Martha: You sigh a lot, don't you? In nursing school
they taught us that people who sigh a lot are unstable.
Is that your problem?
Myrtle: No! I was just thinkin' about your brother;
and how handsome he looked in that toupee I gave him.
He lied to you.
Martha: I don't believe it, he never lies to me!
Myrtle: I think he's a little bit afraid of you,
that's probably why he never married before.
I think I'm gonna have to show him what to do!
Martha: You must think you're an authority!
Myrtle: Well I am pregnant!
Martha: Not only are you pregnant, you are disgusting!
You're the hottest bitch I've ever seen!
Shirley Stoler, so spectacular in this, one of my favorite films, was born on this day in the year 1929. Surprisingly this was her very first movie role! I mean... you can tell. She's not exactly elbowing Laurence Olivier outta the way with this performance. But she's transfixing all the same - she's got IT, know what I mean? I still haven't seen Lina Wertmüller's 1975 WWII film Seven Beauties, which just had a revival here in NYC recently, but she's apparently quite something in that too as a "repulsive, whip-carrying concentration camp commandant." And then of course...

... she played Mrs. Steve on Pee-wee's Playhouse, which was when I first fell in love. You should read through her bio at IMDb, although the very first line - "Her homely, pudding face was Laughtonesque in style, incapable of warmth much less a smile." - is a bit much! "Pudding Face"? Jeez. Anyway she had quite an astonishing career - one perfectly suited to my interests. I mean she chopped Alec Bladwin's fingers off with a machete in Miami Blues! She played the bartender in Frankenhooker, for god's sake...

In related news the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn 
is screening Frankenhooker next month!
They're doing a big Frank Henenlotter series! Brain Damage too!

Great Moments in Movie Staches

In honor of Warren Beatty's 81st birthday today I figured there had to be a movie he made while mustached, given the time he has made movies during (aka all of it), and the first thing that came up was that mega-swoony picture of Warren above in Mike Nichols' 1975 film The Fortune, co-starring Jack Nicholson and Stockard Channing. 

There's only one problem: I have literally never even heard of this movie before. Have you? Have you, dare I ask, seen it? It's Mike Nichols for goodness sake so it must have some worth, right? Tell me something! I might have to watch this this very weekend if it's supposed to be any good. I love me some Stockard.

Who Wore It Best?

When I saw this picture on Jay's Instagram last night I immediately had to google for a reason why Jay Hernandez and Garrett Hedlund might know each other and it turns out they were in the original Friday Night Lights movie together in 2004 (which I have never seen). I was hoping that Jay was a new addition to the cast of Triple Frontier, the film that Garrett's been "filming" in Hawaii for the past couple of weeks - "filming" is in quotes because all we've seen is him and Charlie Hunnam blowing each other in the sand not once but twice without cameras of the non-paparazzi type in sight.

Anyway if IMDb is telling the truth Jay isn't listed in the cast for Triple Frontier but he IS making a Magnum PI movie, hence him being in Hawaii I guess. I like Jay very much, have ever since Hostel (hell maybe even since crazy/beautiful with Kirsten Dunst... hey I wonder if Jay is the connection between Garrett and Kristen, who dated for a long time?) but where's the stache, Jay? You cannot play Thomas Magnum and not bring stache! Maybe that stubble is the start stache-ward? Better be. (There best at least be short shorts.) Anyway since Jay & Garrett wore the same hat I gotta ask...
survey services

Five Frames From ?


What movie is this?

Good Morning, World

Well this is a welcome surprise. If you saw Sweden's foreign film Oscar nominee The Square - and I do recommend it, it is terrific - then you got to know the pleasures of staring at the actor Claes Bang on screen. (He was not the titular role. That was a square. He played a museum director.) The pleasures, they are numerous. Claes has been acting for twenty years but I think The Square is the first time most audiences outside of Europe have met him? Anyway that will change soon since he's in the new Lisbeth Salander movie (The Girl in the Spider's Web, this one) with Claire Foy. 

And then there is this Danish short film called Hotel Boy here, which will hopefully put him on the map of the gay men who maybe haven't caught on yet. The whole thing is online over here; just one problem... no subtitles. Oh well. I watched the whole damn thing anyway! Even without knowing what the hell they're talking about.

You can basically get the gist enough to get through and even if you're gist-less Claes' hairy chest will make up the slack. So go watch and then hit the jump for a dozen plus gifs I made of Claes being friendly with his co-star Youssef Wayne Hvidtfeldt...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sebastian Stan's Beating It

Who's bought their tickets for Infinity War already? I bought mine the other day just because I randomly happened to be on the ticket buying website when they went on sale and also thankfully the movie opens after the Tribeca Film Festival is over - I'm sure I'll be blown out on movies about actors really feeling things by then and ready for something great big and dumb. Voila, thank you Marvel. 

Anyway we have Sebastian Stan news! He's teaming up with Gore Verbinski, director of The Ring remake and The Lone Ranger and last year's well received by people not named Me horror flick A Cure For Wellness, to make an action movie called Beat the Reaper. It's based on a book by Josh Bazell and it's about an ER doctor whose shady past as a mob hit-man comes back to haunt him. (thx Mac) Anybody read the book?

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Jerri: I cried when I had no shoes, until I met a man
who had no feet. And then I laughed really hard.

A happy 57 to the genius Amy Sedaris.
Did y'all watch her At Home show? High-larious!

Viva Panther

At this point I find it kind of impossible to write reviews of Marvel Superhero Movies - they are what they are, even when they're excellent, like I thought Thor: Ragnarok was (which I never really reviewed) and like Black Panther definitely is. (Marvel's had a good year!) I only finally saw Black Panther this past weekend and I immediately tweeted...
... but it still fits the mold of all the other films, ya know? I had a great time but even here a few days later a lot of the specifics have drifted away. What sticks is that Michael B. Jordan gave us Marvel's best villain by far - I actually cried during a Marvel movie, which is really quite something. I've always been mixed on him (I still don't like Creed) but he's fantastic as Killmonger; it doesn't hurt that the character's written with a beautiful and painful backstory and motives tied to the very heart of the film, and he is never an afterthought just there to loudly threaten the hero. 

That said everybody was great - these actors clearly came for their moment in a big fucking movie, and they owned the hell out of it. When the sequel comes out you better believe I'll get there quicker than I did with this one. Anybody have any leftover thoughts on the movie here several weeks out from when most sane people saw it? Or am I too late to this particular super party?

Great Moments In Movie Staches

Yesterday we polled y'all asking whether we should do a new series on Movie Mustaches and ever since the poll's been pretty much a blow-out saying that yes, yes we should do that series. But honestly I stopped caring what you people said about five minutes after putting the poll up when I went and made the series its own little link-button in the side-bar. We're all in! Stache ho!

Anyway the first mustache I thought of was Jameson Parker's blonde sex stache in John Carpenter's 1987 film Prince of Darkness, seen here - the funny thing is when I looked in our archives I discovered that in 2010 I posted about this stache and hated it, but four years later in a second post I had turned around and I suddenly loved it! What do you s'pose sort of pro-stache propaganda infected my brain in those four years to turn me around? [Insert your own double entendre about Jameson turning around here.]

Thursday's Ways Not To Die


Even though it's desperately redundant I had to include that series of last six shots above where the film cuts back and forth and back and forth between Annabella Sciorra and Rebecca De Mornay's faces because... well because it is so desperately redundant. That's the pleasure of it. Here, watch it sped up a tad:

There's something so Western about it, isn't there? The vanquished black hat, the family unit restored. (She dies via the white picket fence, for god's sake.) I never really thought about The Hand That Rocks the Cradle as a Western before but it totally makes sense now that I have - quick, somebody write up a term paper on that! I'll even give you a title: "The Good, the Bad, and the Nanny."

Click here to see our previous post on Julianne Moore's infamous death scene in this movie. This post is dedicated to Annabella Sciorra, who's celebrating her 58th birthday today -  I always loved her back in the day, in this and on The Sopranos and in Jungle Fever... god I was so hot for Wesley Snipes in Jungle Fever, you guys. That scene where they go at it on his drafting table...

... hot hot hot. Weird that that movie's never been dropped on blu-ray isn't it? I haven't seen it in a dozen years - I'm sure it's a fascinating time capsule with regards to race in 1991. Anyway Annabelle is betting on black again (that's a Wesley Snipes reference that probably only people my age will get) by just landing the role of a Crime Boss in the second season of Luke Cage - hooray for Annabella! Obviously it sucks what it took to get her in the news again but bless her for all the good she's done and bring on the renewed career, please. 

Hit the jump for links to the Previous Ways Not To Die...