Monday, January 27, 2020

He's Dead Because Mommy Killed Him

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Today's episode of our "Great Moments in Horror Actressing" series over at The Film Experience is taking us to the street that is Elm and the family that is Thompson -- that's right we're talking about Wes Craven's original A Nightmare on Elm Street since we got to see it on the big screen for the very first time yesterday afternoon. Grab yourself a big bottle of nondescript booze and click on over to read my thoughts on the mother of all nightmares herself...


Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:


Reverand Austen: If a woman happens to have a particular superiority, for example, a profound mind, it is best kept a profound secret. Humour is liked more, but wit?. No. It is the most treacherous talent of them all.

When I close my eyes and try to recall Becoming Jane I picture... Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice. Does that happen to anybody else? Keira Knightley swaps out Anne Hathaway, Matthew Macfadyen for James McAvoy, and James Cromwell for Donald Sutherland... I mean if I tested you to say which one of those actors was in which one of these two films could you answer them all correctly? I sure couldn't. I think that's probably by design, to some degree. Wright's film was by my recollection the far superior film, but Becoming Jane did have James McAvoy's shirtless boxing scene... 

... so perhaps it's ultimately a wash. I don't know. What I do know is it's James Cromwell's 80th birthday today and this celebratory post was either going to be this or him saying "That'll do, pig" in Babe, and this one allowed me to post shirtless James McAvoy. You can see how I fell.
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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Good grief, I've been staring at this scene all weekend and no, no it's impact has not been lessened. Justin Kurzel's True History of the Kelly Gang was released on Australia's online streamer Stan over the weekend, meaning basically that the film was released worldwide as long as one knows how to go about such things. Which means I, and now you, didn't have to wait any longer to see the infamous "Nichols Hoult wearing nothing but sock garters" scene that we've been hearing about since the film debuted in Toronto. And my friends...

... it did not disappoint. Not only is Nicky looking the best he's ever looked on screen right now, but this scene is loaded with homoeroticism between him and George Mackay, who are talking sexy things, smoking sexy pipes, and so close on that sofa that one might slip inside the other without even realizing. It's a gift I will never forget or get over, truly. Hit the jump for several more gifs...

Friday, January 24, 2020

Do Dump or Marry: These Three Gentlemen

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Besides the little bit I had to say this morning about the gay panic of it all I don't really have that much of an opinion on Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen out in theaters today -- for all of the screaming "cunts" and running and such it's a weirdly flat movie that thinks it's far more clever and way more funny than it ever actually is. I mean the entire thing leads to two third-act "reveals" that are both obvious from the furthest reaches of outer space ten minutes in, and it just sort of spins around them for two hours and then is over. But, just like Ritchie's similarly just-fine Man From UNCLE movie, it does have a great looking cast in great looking costumes and sometimes that can carry one through the patchier parts.

Which brings me to today's edition of our "Do Dump or Marry" series! Gentlemen stars Henry Golding (above), with Colin Farrell and Charlie Hunnam (below) -- you get one night with one (Do), a lifetime of nights with another (Marry) or zero zip nada nights with the last (Dump). So go'n give us your bloody answers in the comments, ya buncha geezahs!
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Making Love (1982)

Zach: It's something you don't have any control over. I mean, whether you're born with it or acquire it, who knows? But there's something in me that needs to be with a man.
Claire: My God!
Zach: Maybe it's his strength, his attitude. Maybe he's everything I'm not, I don't know. Maybe it's brotherhood, bonding, release. Maybe it's just the need for another man's approval. But it's that feeling...

A happy 74th birthday to Michael Ontkean today! I was sad that he'd retired and refused to do Twin Peaks: The Return but now that Robert Forster passed away I don't feel so bad -- Forster's work on that show ended up being a career-capping highlight. Now Lynch can do another season and Sheriff Harry S. Truman can show for that one, how about that?

Anyway maybe I should finally sit down and watch Making Love for the first time in his honor? It's insane that I've never seen it -- it's one of the very first "gay" things I remember ever being aware of; they had a VHS copy at the local video store and I remember staring at the case forbiddingly as a young one. But it kept getting lost in the shuffle. By the time I was old enough to rent the gay stuff myself I wanted Gregg Araki, not a soapy and confused throwback that was by most accounts problematic.

Did y'all see the interview with Harry Hamlin this week where he said playing gay in this movie essentially destroyed his career? He's not wrong -- this movie was held up as a big blinking warning sign for awhile, not just for playing gay but for being gay. And that's sure changed, hasn't it? Sigh.
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Penn Badgley Eight Times

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The last time I posted a Penn Badgley photoshoot was almost a year ago, right here, and I prefer that one to this one because that one let his chest hair fly. But ya can't knock that beard either, so I'll accept these. I accept! Anyway I still haven't watched Penn's show You even though I know it's become somewhat of a phenom -- I just haven't had the time y'all. It's either that or watch David Lynch's monkey movie fifty times from my sick-bed and I think y'all know where I fall. Hit the jump for the rest of this shoot...
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Quote of the Day

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Now that Luca Guadagnino is done hanging out with Synonyms stud Tom Mercier in Paris for their Fashion Week -- Mercier stars in Luca's forthcoming HBO series We Are What We Are, talked about previously here -- he's headed over to Sundance for a doc about truffle farmers that he produced (sure why not). Deadline chatted with him there (thx Mac) and asked him what he's planning on this year, and he came up with lots:

"“I’m putting all my focus and concentration into We Are Who We Are and Born To Be Murdered,” he says. He is producing the latter, a Greece-set thriller about a vacationing couple, played by John David Washington and Alicia Vikander, who fall trap to a violent conspiracy. “I’m very enthusiastic about the film. It’s going to be a wonderful, passionate surprise.”

The Suspiria and I Am Love director says a busy schedule has left less time for writing over the past two years, but that the sequel to Call Me By Your Name remains on the agenda. “I’ve spoken about my ideas to Timothée [Chalamet] and Armie [Hammer] and we’re all eager.”

Blood On The Tracks, a project inspired by Bob Dylan’s seminal 1975 album, and Warner Bros’ Lord Of The Flies update, are two of the movies that could come together in 2020, he says. The writing process is starting on the latter, and the former is still being put together, he explains.

I previously posted about that Born To Be Murdered project right here -- this is being directed by Luca's partner Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, who's also a director. And you can read my post on Luca's possible Lord of the Flies movie here. Hey speaking of Luca & Flies remember all of the flies in Call Me By Your Name?

There was a fly in that scene that that gif doesn't get across, you'll just have to believe me. (Nobody's thinking about flies anymore, are they?) Anyway I was just recently saying (here) that I'd embraced my status as one of the last true believers that a CMBYN sequel would still happen so it's good to see I share that space with, you know, the director himself.
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Ask & Jake Ye Shall Receive

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I heard a sudden cry in the Jake Force yesterday afternoon and realized I hadn't checked in on My man in awhile ("awhile" in me terms probably means two week, by the way) but when I went to look there was nothing, no news. I thought to myself, "Oh Jake where have you gone to? Are you hiding under my bed waiting for me to get home?" But then, I swear to you not even half an hour later, Jake appeared. No, he wasn't under my bed, sigh. He was with another homosexual -- how he taunts me. He was singing a pretty song with Rufus Wainwright on stage.
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I used to listen to Rufus religiously a long time ago but it's been awhile, so I thought it was weird when I briefly about a month ago considered getting tickets to see him at Lincoln Center this week. Why don't I listen to my alarm bells? My tingly Jake sense KNOWS. Alas I wasn't there and then Jake stepped in to cover for somebody who had to cancel. Crawled right out from under my bed to do it too, I bet. Dammit! (via)
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Five Frames From ?

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What movie is this?
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Good Morning, World

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Guy Ritchie's film The Gentlemen is out in theaters today and watching it earlier this week I thought a lot about Tom Hardy's openly gay gangster character in RockNRolla -- somebody who cares about Guy Ritchie (i.e. not me) should probably write a piece about homosexuality in Ritchie's glam-butch testosterone world of tough-talkers who're are to a tee absolutely obsessed with faggotry. The Gentlemen has Hugh Grant leering and groping at Charlie Hunnam for most of its run-time, which, I mean, I feel that. I do. But at times I think the movie flirts with making Grant's sexuality a defect in itself? It's hard to tell sometimes where the aggressiveness of the character's world ends and the point of view of the filmmaker ends, is my point. Even when Grant's not on screen there's an air, a mist, a miasma, of gay panic about. I do suppose all y'all who go to see the movie this weekend can tell me what you think on that subject. I will say that Charlie looks mighty grab-able in the role though... 


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Johnny Flynn Nine Times

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Well I guess the powers that be weren't keen on my suggestion that I, legendary trained actor of the stage and screen, take on the role of "Dickie" in  Ripley, the new Showtime take on Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley opposite Andrew Scott, who got cast as Ripley way back in September. This is of course the role that made Jude Law famous in Anthony Minghella's 1999 film... although one might reasonably argue that Jude Law's Face Etc made Jude Law famous, role be damned. 

Anyway they have instead hired this guy here who goes by the name of Johnny Flynn for the role. His name's been around a bunch as of late -- he's in the Emma re-do coming out next month, and he is playing David Bowie in a movie called Stardust. That said he's actually been bouncing around for awhile, including hey look a little role in Olivier Assayas' wonderful Clouds of Sils Maria...

He's got a great, interesting look -- I love a good facial scar -- but it's a different direction to take the character than Jude Law in his prime was. If any of you have seen Flynn in things -- and he's also a musician I guess so perhaps you know his music? -- maybe you can let us know if he's got the, you know, It Factor that the role demands. Jude, besides that stunning beauty, did bring a necessary cruelness to it -- Dickie just needs to be infuriatingly unobtainable. We need to want to rip the world apart along with Ripley for being denied him. That said I won't deny you Mr. Flynn right now, as I've got a few more photos after the jump...

So I Stayed in the Darkness With You

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What does Cancer look like? If I told you to close your eyes and picture it, what would you see? If someone you know and love or knew and loved suffers or suffered with the disease then I imagine you're thinking of and picturing them and their suffering. But I mean Cancer. Cancer itself. If you could rip it out of a person and stand it up in front of you, what would you see standing there, blinking back?

It's sort of Lovecraftian, isn't it? It's black tar and tentacled, tipped like the end of a lit cigarette. Somewhat amorphous like gaseous clouds, the rainbow slicks on oily outer space, shapeless and yet thick, dark, present. It reflects a vast nothingness, shimmering oblivion, scorched touch. It is an awfulness made tangible -- sentient nightmare stuff, a devourer of worlds. What Richard Stanley's new Lovecraft adaptation Color Out of Space, in theaters tomorrow, does best and does smartest is take the unknowable stuff of the Shoggoth and give it a human face. 

The Gardner family consists of father Nathan (Nicolas Cage) and mother Theresa (Joely Richardson) -- whose name, radiating as it does selflessness and good, eventually in this context comes to feel awfully pointed -- with their two teenage kids Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur) and Benny (Brendan Meyer) and then the big-eyed youngest called Jack (Julian Hilliard). They are dealing with sickness. Theresa has breast cancer, she's just had a mastectomy, and everybody as we meet them is in their various stages of shock. They each are searching for ways to cope.

Theresa is disgusted by her scarred body, even as Nathan does what he can to impress upon her that his love hasn't changed. Meanwhile the kids escape into their own bubbles -- Lavinia's in particular conjures a strangeness, literally, since she's immersed in peaceable witchcraft, looking towards otherworldly ways of securing some sort of healing for her mom. It just turns out, to nobody's benefit, that in this particular world, the world of Lovecraft where the blackness blinks back, a trespassing of those borders isn't the best of schemes.

I don't know if there is any horror in this world more tangible to all of us than there is the one of helplessly watching a loved one die. It's happening every day in hospitals and homes, to hundreds of thousands of people right this second. And yet, as close as that experience is to so many of us, as many of us that have lived through it and emerged scarred ourselves on its other side, there's something beyond words and science about it -- something, whether one is religious or not, darkly metaphysical, tinged with the unknowable unknown. Because no matter what we do we can't stand that Cancer up in front of us and give it a good look. It slips away the second you catch sight of it.

Color Out of Space seems to understand this, and in its best moments (most specifically its second half) weds and winds these sticky threads together -- the intellectual and emotional apocalypse that bursts, fiery and catastrophic, off our closest brushes with actual lived-in oblivion. It stares into horror's face and it sees horror staring right back -- wet, hard, shell-backed and slippery, ornate rows of sausage-like anatomy squirreling around itself, a wheezing festering squeal of agony pressed from the burned lips of those we love dearly; all too entirely awful to contemplate. It's got guts, I'll give it that.


7 Off My Head: France In My Pants

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First and foremost everybody say hello to the actor Thimotée Robart -- another Thimotée, who knew? Anyway while I don't particularly consider myself a Francophile -- I don't speak French, and I don't really have much desire to visit France, except maybe their portion of the Alps -- I always question that stance when this time of year comes around. This time of year is when FLC here in New York announces their annual "Rendez-vous with French Cinema" series  -- which will run from March 5th to March 15th this year -- and I inevitably find myself wanting to see a dozen at least of the titles they're premiering. You can see 2020's entire line-up at this link, including New Thimotée's movie which looks interesting and is called Burning Ghost. Below I'm going to share several I'm personally jonesing for.

(dir. Christophe Honoré)

I literally just posted about my love for Honoré's previous film, the gay love story Sorry Angel with Vincent Lacoste, so it shouldn't be surprising that I'm fairly psyched to see Honoré's new film, which also stars Lacoste. I've even posted about this one before

(dir. Alice Winocour)

Winocour's last film was the marvelous Disorder with Matthias Schoenaerts (my review) -- already I'm sold on the strength of that. But this movie stars my beloved Eva Green! Eva Green, so brutally under-appreciated, playing an astronaut! Eva in Space! Bring it on! 

(dir. Safy Nebbou / Hirokazu Kore-eda)

A Juliette Binoche double-feature! The Truth is the opening night movie and is from Shoplifters director Kore-eda -- I didn't love that movie quite as much as most people did (I love me some melodrama, but that movie was a little soppy for me) but with a cast that also includes Catherine Deneuve and Ethan Hawke and Ludivine Sagnier I'm curious. 

I'm admittedly a little more curious about Binoche's other movie at the fest (and PS she'll be there for both of these movies!) though, which has the greatest actress in the world creating a cat-fishing profile on Facebook. The movie co-stars François Civil -- we are definitely fans, as this gratuitous post attests -- and Nebbou's last movie In the Forests of Siberia with Raphaël Personnaz had this scene in it (cue Tex Avery bulging eyeball effect) so yes please, we want to see this. 

(dir. Quentin Dupieux)

Quentin Dupieux once made a movie about a murderous car tire, and I've followed him ever since. (Read my review of his last film Keep An Eye Out here, which I saw thanks to this series last year.) Anyway I thought that Dupieux working with his new leading man The Artist Jean Dujardin would be plenty to get me excited, and it was, but then I saw that their leading lady is Portrait of a Lady on Fire marvel Adèle Haenel, and I really rocketed right over the moon on this one. Per usual with a Dupieux movie I really have no idea what to expect from this thing's plot summary, which has Dujardin becoming obsessed with a new deer-skin jacket.

(dir. Lucie Borleteau)

This sounds basically like an upscale re-do of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and I am a sucker for that shit. Will it probably be a little classier? Maybe. Who cares? Bring on the crazy nanny! It also co-stars Antoine Reinartz from BPM as the bedeviled daddy.
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(dir. Bruno Dumont)

John Waters had this movie on his best of 2019 list.
I mean so did Cahiers du Cinéma but really... John said.

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Tickets for this year's "Rendez-vous With French Cinema" series go on sale on February 20th -- again you can see the entire line-up at FLC's website and I recommend you do, there are even more titles I didn't even get to that look exciting. I mean I didn't even talk about the Vincent Cassel movie, or director Claude Lelouche doing a sequel to his 1966 classic A Man and a Woman with original stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimée. Imagine the nerve.


Happy For Sorry Angel and Such

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Oh wait, in the words of Master Yoda -- there is another! No sooner should I just share with you a link to the Team Experience Awards for 2019 over at The Film Experience (which I voted on) should another thing I voted on pop right up. This time it's the 2019 Jim Ridley Film Poll at the Nashville Scene, which is run by MNPP friend Jason Shawhan -- Jason gathers up an assortment of dare-I-say excellent critical voices (I see you, Final Girl Stacie Ponder!) and asks us a bunch of questions, and if you click on over you'll see our answers as well as our Top 25 films of 2019. Another excellent batch, I think. Among several subjects I also got to talk a little about Sorry Angel, pictured here, which I'll take any opportunity to do.


Welcome to the Team, Rob

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These are a couple of days ancient now -- the internet turns over so fast! -- but Monday night brought us our Team Experience Awards over at The Film Experience, where all of us who contribute to that site -- save our dear leader Nathaniel -- vote on our faves of the previous year. We did real good, I think! I also think you can see my influence for a change in them, which is nice -- we're a small enough group (unlike the Dorians, which I also voted for) that things I advocate vociferously for like Robert Pattinson for Best Actor for The Lighthouse can slip through. 

(You can slip through anytime, Rob.) But not small enough that somehow Rob's co-star Willem Dafoe couldn't? I don't know. Anyway our prizes are way better than the Oscar nominations -- just look at that director line-up and admit it, we rule. Anyway let us celebrate Rob's Best Actor nomination with these new Dior photos that popped up this week whilst I was off coughing myself to death, shall we? Hooray! (See more back here.)