Thursday, June 30, 2005

talking points

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the second half of the year. Which means, it's time for the Oscar race to begin. Start already! So far the competition is determinedly unexciting. Cinderella Man has pros (determined studio -watch for a revival, middlebrow triumph of human spirit appeal, Oscar-good-luck-charms Crowe & Zellweger) and cons (perceived as a flop, too typical, trying too hard, too early). Crash has pros (unexpected hit status, topical drama, the cast) and cons (early in year, unsubtle).

Over in the limited/platform world The Upside of Anger has pros (Joan Allen giving the year's best performance so far, two other films to bolster her appeal) and cons (might be forgotten without significant critical or preseason push, does the studio realize she's arguably the first half of the year's easiest acting nomination shot with the right campaign? whew, that was a long sentence). In Blockbuster land War of the Worlds and Batman Begins are the big shots for tech prizes... but both of those could lose out to other upcoming smashes and Christmas spectacles.

So how many nominees (any category) do you think we've seen so far? one? two? five?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

once more into the beach

Movie Deprived pt. 2

Soooo...Cabo was lovely but, having excessively pale skin, I was slathered in sunblock 30-45 the whole time and I only got a little color ---you can see in the pic in my profile but then, there's kind of an orange tint going on there which is more of the Mi Casa restaurant candle vibe than my own melatonin-challenged skin.

And last week I'm at Jones (less sunscreen) and this weekend maybe Sandy Hook as part of the 4th of July festivities. So, lots of sun this summer. Movie theater darkness, not so much. Drat! Yes I have my free will but it's hard to resist friends, weekend getaways, sun, sand, beaches, etc... Hopefully the movies will still love me when I get back to them. I've been so unfaithful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Movie Deprived

So depressed tonight. Just can't seem to find the time for cinema these past couple of months. There is so much out there I haven't seen.

On my "need to see" list (and why I want to see them) and currently playing in Manhattan:
Me You and Everyone We Know, (the prizes), Elevator to the Gallows (58) (Jeanne Moreau) , War of the Worlds (I'm a masochist... i don't know) , Herbie: Fully Loaded (La Lohan), Slutty Summer (i am so very gay), Monster in Law (Fonda), Layer Cake (love me some Daniel Craig), Lords of Dogtown (loved Catherine Hardwicke's last feature, thirteen), Crash (it got way more attention than I figured it would), Cinderella Man (Oscarbait masochism.)

On my "why didn't you see that dumbass!?!" list and no longer around by the time I make it to the theater:
The Holy Girl, Or, Dallas 362and Mysterious Skin(Which I felt like I should give a second chance to)

I feel like a smoker who kicked the habit but still thinks about lighting up constantly. DVDs are a different kind of fix but maybe I'll watch one.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Gregory "Atticus" Peck

Just watched To Kill a Mockingbird and, my oh my, that Gregory Peck sure was terrific in his most famous role as Atticus Finch. While many movie fans dream of voting on the Oscars sometimes it would be a real bitch; Imagine having to choose between Peck, who won the Oscar, and Peter O'Toole's towering title role in Lawrence of Arabia. Don't you just wish that sometimes they could hand out two statues? It must be excruciating to vote when there are two or more performances deserving of a spot in the history books. I would've checked O'Toole's name personally... but not without a lump in my throat for old Atticus.

Statler & Waldorf

Thanks to ModFab for pointing me towards this juicy movie news. Just this weekend I was wondering aloud about what happened to so many great Muppets character. As if in answer to my question, Waldorf and Statler (those two grumpy wise-cracking Muppets in the balcony)are back to terrorize filmmakers and stars as their films premiere. Check it out in the link above.

Howl's Somewhat Moving Castle

After a whirlwind party weekend with friends we closed out the weekend low-key style with a trip to The Sunshine (hadn't been there since moving way uptown but I love that theater). Went to see Howl's Moving Castle. Fans of Spirited Away and Princess Mononokewill find much to enjoy here. (I haven't seen Hayao Miyazaki's earlier work but it's all on my Netflix queue). He is such an enchanting filmmaker that it's easy to forgive this film's less forceful and less moving narrative. Castle is always involving but it loses steam in its last third and suffers from a deus ex machina forcing it suddenly until the realm of the improbably joyous ending.

When discussing any great filmmaker it's easy to say "this one is not as good as some others" but keep in mind that that's misleading ~obviously the bar is pretty high to begin with. True to Miyazaki form, there are huge helpings of glittering, oozing, hopping, magical images in Howl's Moving Castle. That's more than enough to recommend any movie. There is also that lovely and peculiar sense of shifting loyalties, a rare treat for animated features, which comes from Miyazaki's gift at rounding out characters. Never what they first appear to be, the villains are never 100% evil and the heroes never come without considerable flaws.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

They Want You

Over at OscarWatch there's an interesting list up of 115 people who've been asked to join the Academy. It's by invitation only that film industry professional join the ranks of the voting body of the Oscars. Some interesting choices this year --one hopes that one day changing membership will learn to move away from middlebrow pap into the realms of mainstream pictures that might actually be worth something 20 years later. Bitch all you want about Sideways being overrated, for example, but people will still be watching Sideways many years hence. Can we say the same about Seabiscuit or Finding Neverland

On the actor front they're going for diversity --Excluding the diverse lineup of new nominees based on nominations they received last year --you already know about them --The Academy wants the following folks to fill out ballots each year: Jennifer Coolidge (great choice), Will Ferrell & Ziyi Zhang (for ubiquity's sake? perhaps), Gael Garcia Bernal & Paul Giamatti (it's a new way for making up for past slights -invite them to join!), Charlotte Rampling, Jean Reno, and Stellan Skarsgard (mighty, talented, oft-employed foreigners)

My favorite choice other than hilarious Coolidge and lusty Bernal is Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo and Wes Anderson filmography fame) being asked to join the music branch. Good on the Academy. They're too boring to nominate him but maybe he can add one interesting voice to one of their least aesthetically adventurous branches. Change comes slowly.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

La Lohan Returns

She wants to come first! [insert off-key pop warbling here]

OK, fess up. Who is gonna see Herbie this weekend? Or already saw it? And why is no one entering my Movie Car contest? This contest actually has a prize!

But back to La Lohan. As for the blond mane, come back to the five and dime Lindsay Lohan, Lindsay Lohan. Blonde is for losers like Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging: Monty and Friends

This is my baby Montgomery. Originally I had typed up a withering screed about how much I hated 50% of America's population but with that political venting out of my system I thought it best to not post it officially --Instead I'll just show you my surly, absolutely cherished kitten. Er, cat as the case may be. He's grown a lot in the time he's been with me, which would be approximately all of his life don'cha know. So here is my fuzzy baby presented for your indifference (if you come here for movies) enjoyment (if you're a cat person) or annoyance (if you're not --And if you're not... I have no time for you anyway.)

This is Pride week in Manhattan and friends are arriving soon to celebrate. Monty hates people as a matter of cat principle though he will, if the mood strikes him, cuddle up. If two friends arrive he will plop down in the center of the room for appropriate objectification and worship. If more than, say, four arrive he will disappear until the last soul has departed. Tonight we suspect he will make several appearances as there is fish on the dinner menu. I'm not proud of it but he's a total beggar.

More on Monty next Friday.

too many things

Today I'm feeling like Amber Waves in Boogie Nights in that scene with Rollergirl (minus the cocaine binge) "Too many things too many things too many things... I wanna go for a walk. Let's go for a walk."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

3 Coins

So, my stack of Netflix and Classic Flicks began to weigh so heavily on my television last night that I figured it was finally time to get through them. Why pay $40 a month for subscription services unless I actually start watching DVDs?

I started with Three Coins in the Fountain(1954), part of my ongoing project to give out retrospective awards. You may be like "what project?" but that's because so far it's unposted and private. I started with 1954 on a whim and have seen a lot of interesting time-capsule appropriate stuff. Sometimes these days I'll wake up and feel like Dwight D Eisenhower is still president, McCarthyism is in full swing, Our Miss Brooks is on television, and shoulderpads with fullskirts are appropriate daywear for the office.

Three Coins is one of those 50s comedies about husband hunting. You know the type: Think How to Marry a Millionaire which had the same director, Jean Negulesco. Unfortunately for this travelogue-style picture (top tourist attractions in Rome and Venice are pimped throughout) the starpower here is much dimmer than in that earlier picture, making Fountain more of a curiousity than a must-see.

Beyond the hokey but hugely popular theme song, and it's popularity-pushed Best Picture nomination, there are things to recommend the picture. Dorothy McGuire and Clifton Webb as the oldest of the lovebird couples make the most of their screentime even though their story doesn't kick in until 1/2 way through the picture. There's eye-candy galore in the pretty vistas and as was and still is their habit the Academy went for the lush landscapes to the tune of a cinematography Oscar. The dresses (costume design by Dorothy Jeakins) are also beautiful.

Finally, there's surprisingly hot (hey, for 54 it's steamy) mashing between Jean Peters and Rossano Brazzi as initially unfortunate office lovers. Jean Peters would later marry the infamous Howard Hughes (about 10 years after the events told in last year's The Aviator). Rossano Brazzi is even prettier. In 1954 he also played Ava Gardner's true love match in The Barefoot Contessa and a few years later he played his most memorable role, the lead in South Pacific.

I always find it fascinating to note which pictures struck the public's fancy in which era and if this romantic comedy is any indication, 1950s audience dug corny theme songs, considered European travel glamorous, were hypocritical about sex, and loved the idea of rich and successful men saving working women.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Goodbye Dorothy. Hello Mary Louise

Two questions today for everyone marked by two historic events.

Today marks the 36th anniversary of Judy Garland's death. Being a 'friend of Dorothy' I am stereotypically just a touch fonder of the Garland mythos than your average cinephile might be. But it goes deeper than blind raving fandom. I genuinely respect what she brought to the cinema as an actress and a musician. Unquestionably one of the great entertainers on screen, stage, and disc. Garland's career was before my lifetime so I developed this fandom over many years of movie watching. The movie related deaths that really upset me in my lifetime were those of Natalie Wood and River Phoenix.

Which celebrity passing has most affected you?

Today also marks the 56th birthday of Mary Louise Streep, also known as Meryl. She's often referred to in print and soundbite as the 'Greatest Living American Film Actress' or other similarly impressive sounding descriptors. Whether or not you agree with those assessments...

Which Meryl Streep performance really gets to you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

TomKat & Brangelina

y'know, I feel somehow as if I have been remiss in my duties as a starf***er since I rarely indulge in gossip. Used to be that I lived for it. Sorry to be so late for the party but I figured I oughta say something given that I already ignored Rascal Crowe and the phone incident...


Oh sure it's kind of perversely hilarious to watch InTouch's increasingly misogynistic headlines each week as they follow their own manufactured Angelina vs. Jennifer wars in the wake of the Pitt split. But it's also disheartening and does a disservice to all parties involved. Brad, is after all something of a refined guy, into architecture and nesting, etc... Angelina and Jennifer also are both far removed from the trailer trash persona realm of, say, Britney Spears. My hunch is that neither Angie nor Jen, richer than we civilians could ever imagine being, don't need Brad to support them. Just a hunch. And correct me if I'm wrong but neither of them have let themselves go. Are they really in need of "sexy makeovers" to win back any man? It is to laugh. This is more Ricki Lake or Jerry Springer in print than it could ever possibly be in reality.


The other ongoing celeb-watching story is the mad courtship and instant-true-love of Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes. Now, many of us have known/suspected for years that Cruise was nutso. I would be inclined to ignore the current fiasco on the "told ya so" level except for that it's making me rethink Nicole Kidman all over again. And, I do not want to do that.

You may be asking: How is Kidman hurt by this? After all, on the surface she ends up looking like a rose. But that's just for now. Let me explain. Everyone is kind of laughing at Cruise for his rapid descent in taste; Nicole Kidman to Penelope Cruz to Katie Holmes? The talent or beauty level dropping each time. (Not that Penelope and Katie are without talent or beauty. But in comparison to Kidman who has proven herself a true and probably enduring movie star, it just doesn't cast a flattering light on the spoils) So, initially, Kidman can still bask in her own earned glow. But the more suspicious the general public gets about Cruise's affairs, the more they may begin to remember that that relationship also seemed a little bizarre during its time.

If you'll recall Kidman was a veritable unknown in the stateswhen she hooked up with Cruise and became, with the release of her first American feature, Days of Thunder, an above-title star. It's not like she toiled away for years working for that status. She either had sensational management or the good fortune to be ambitious, in the right place at the right time, and eager to replace Mimi Rogers as Mrs. Tom Cruise just when the Cruise camp needed a replacement bride. Pronto. It's also no secret, though semi-forgotten as her star has dimmed, that Mimi Rogers is one of the rare Hollywood folks not intimidated by the Cruise machine. She has publicly dissed him issuing hilarious bon mots from time to time particularly in the early days of the mad courtship and instant-true-love of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

OK, now I have to wash my hands. I feel dirty just thinking about all of this...

You can read some great/scary/hilarious/freaky things about publicity tour/nightmare relationships fromDefamer & of course Defamer, Secrets and Lies, roger friedman, and Free Katie, Conversation About...,Pop Culture Junkies, The Answer Bitch, Chortler, FametrackerRainbow Networkand New York Daily News. Thanks to Towleroad and Low Resolution for some of these links.

Welcome to Summer

It's June 21st, the official first day of summer. For those lucky bastards who recently lounged beachside in Mexico --oh wait that's me!-- summer began already. But welcome to the rest of you.

Which film screams "SUMMERTIME!" to you? Share with all of us by posting a comment.

Monday, June 20, 2005

a prescient film

Maybe this movie was 14 years ahead of its time? I've been thinking a lot about The Rapture lately (the film not the mythical upcoming event). The 1991 Michael Tolkin movie starred Mimi Rogers as a swinger who gets born again and glassy-eyed with tragic results. It feels like essential viewing right about now, given what's happening all around this country.

Everywhere you look, fundamentalism and feverish religiosity seems to be rearing their non-rational heads. It's scaring the bejeezus out of me. For those of you out there who haven't seen it and are also feeling scared of the American Taliban (aka: the Christian Right) and their theocratic plans for the country, prepare to see the scariest horror movie ever. For those of you who aren't much concerned about the pattern of fundamentalism as the downfall of civilization but who like watching movies, you should still see it. Mimi Rogers is aces in it. She should've been nominated for an Oscar.

And, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe she had a lot to draw on as she was involved in Scientology for many years (don't know about her current status) and was previously married to both a Scientology counsellor and to the Scientology Missionary Man, Tom Cruise. Not that Scientology is Christian fundamentalism. But it all boils down to the same thing, doesn't it? Any idealogy that is taken to extremes... that controls your life, blocks out rational thinking, that disables critical thinking skills and the ability to see multiple perspectives or embrace diverse choices is not good for you and not healthy for the society either. Civilization requires its citizenry to have these very crucial skills in order to live peacefully with those around them.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

music makes the people come together

Similar to that Book thing a week ago--here's a music meme. Can you tell I'm procrastinating other things? (I started writing an actual film review but I'm so woefully out of practice.) For young music lovers out there: Please forgive the 80s intensity of the following list. They say the music from your adolescence is always more resonant for you and many of these questions are of the "life forming" variety.

1. Total Number of CDs/Albums I Own:
400ish I think. I still long for my missing vinyl though. It was lost somewhere in my frequently moving college years *sob*
2. Last Album I Bought:
THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZAoriginal Broadway cast recording. It's just great. Adam Guettel is, sadly, never going to make the mark people think he will. He's too damn unprolific to be the next Sondheim or Hammerstein (as the case may be). The next purchase I'm definitely making is Missy Elliott THE COOK BOOK. I have everything else. As long as Missy keeps on dropping, I'm snatching them up.
3. Last Album I Listened To:
Antony and the Johnsons I AM A BIRD NOW --just weird and gorgeous. Rufus Wainwright and Boy George both have guest spots. That's how gay and theatrical it is, god bless.

4. Currently Listening To:
5. Lyrics or Beats?:
Lyrics. I'm all about the dialogue. even when that s*** is bananas. b-a-n-a-n-a-s
6. First Album You Fell in Love With:
That would be Olivia Newton John GREATEST HITS VOL. 2--many people are embarrassed by their first love. But not I. Do not be dissin' on Olivia anywhere near me. Ever. Not even under your breath while reading this blog.

7. Biggest Impact:
Madonna. period. All of 'em. She gives good soundtrack to life.
8. Favorite Album:
Kate Bush THE HOUNDS OF LOVE crazy, pretensious, spooky-girlie, and essential for any record collection
3 runners up in no particular order
George Michael LISTEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE Vol. 1 a perfect pop record -too bad he lost it.
Yaz UPSTAIRS AT ERICSVince Clark also brought the world Erasure and Depeche Mode but Yaz has it all over any other new wave band because it's got the magic combo. Vince AND Alison Moyet.
Eurythmics SAVAGE this one is mine I loved it way before the rest of the world began to realize how awesome it is/was/will continue to be.
9. Most Listened To:
Probably Madonna's RAY OF LIGHTthough I never kept count ;)

10. Sexiest Album:
Björk VESPERTINE has to be way up there.
11. Biggest Disappointment:
Annie Lennox BARE I just can't get into it ~too monotonous. I weep that she takes so long between albums.
12. Five Albums That Mean the Most to You:
Other than those mentioned in the other 11 questions I have to go with...Rufus WainwrightPOSES , Cyndi LauperSHE'S SO UNUSUAL, John Cameron Mitchell & Stephen TraskHEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, Jason Robert BrownTHE LAST FIVE YEARSand Tori Amos BOYS FOR PELE

Joan, Russell, and Glenn

Fans of my site will be happy to know that Oscar-watching will continue. 'round about July 1st the Halfway Mark Oscar updates will happen. Though I must say that I don't have that much confidence that we've seen any significant contenders yet with the possible exceptions of Joan Allen if the campaign is handled well in terms of revival of The Upside of Anger and Russell Crowe if he can overcome his sociopathic bully tendencies and the middling box office for Cinderella Man.

Meanwhile fans of the Best Actress races in general should check out 80s superstar diva Glenn Close in her new filmThe Heights. Fans should do this immediately. It's not a great film but it is involving, the characters are well drawn and you may marvel again, watching it, at how Hollywood could have possibly ever lost interest in Ms. Close.

Joy Rides

So, since I am officially back and the summer movie season is in full swing. Let's accelerate. Enter the new contest over at the the Film Experience. The June calendar is also updated. Reviews? Articles? Etc... More on the way as the summer heats up.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Ideal Screening (pt 2)

The Ideal Screening does not include...
...watching a movie in your native tongue with foreign subtitles on. No Comprendo!

Brad & Angie w/ Subtitlar!
I saw Mr & Mrs. Smith in Cabo for only $2! Can you imagine? In Manhattan we now pay over $10. Happily I did not break the piggy bank for this Pitt & Jolie fest. I cannot say that I thought it was anything close to a great movie but I entertained myself throughout with impure thoughts for both of the über-luscious stars. Whatever one might say about this movie, my guess is it wouldn't be "gee, those two sure are homely." The boyfriend remarked to me afterwords "that's too much lips for one movie!" But with Brad & Angie's on display I heartily disagreed. The saying “never too much of a good thing” instantly came to mind.

Experience the fullness.

No seriously --experience it. Puckered to perfection these two.

Still, if total genetic perfection turns you off there’s still the gorgeous lippage of Vince Vaughn, Adam Brody, and Kerry Washington on the sidelines.

Now, I realize that to suggest that the welcome sight of one Kerry Washington is short of perfection is a waste of time but I was doing a lead / supporting thing so please ignore the time wastage. (And a note to all Kerry-lovers out there: I saw her first. So back off!)

Yet, despite the maximization of kissability on display --or maybe because of it since the abundant sexuality is servicing a movie with domestic violence played for big laughs -- I much preferred this movie when it was called War of the Roses . That film was deliciously nasty as well. But it understood that black comedy cannot usually contain audience coddling happy endings or underlying thematic incongruities like ”true love conquers all” when people are onscreen beating the s*** out of each other.

Oh but I almost forgot --the subtitles. English is my native tongue but somehow, while watching this film in Mexico I found that I was absolutely unable to not read the subtitles, even though I understood almost nothing I read. Pardonnez moi but I studied French in high school. Somehow reading Spanish made the English I was hearing seem foreign as well. I'm sure I missed a good quip here or there. But the movie was more "Clever" than clever anyway. So, I'm OK with that.

The Ideal Screening (part 1)

The Ideal Screening does not include...
...watching a film from the backseat of a small car at the drive in. Obstructed View!

@ The Drive-In
The first time I went to the drive-in it was to see Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. I don't know why I remember this since that was also the summer of the original Star Warsand, surely, Star Wars should have taken up all the cells available to my hippocampus at the time. But remember it I do. Well, not the film so much as being at the drive-in. The second time I went to the drive-in was sometime in the 80s and I don't remember what I saw. I do recall that we were listening to Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts" on the way there though. The third time was in the 90s when I saw a double feature of Casper and something else -can't remember what. And now I've gone a fourth time. This time it was the oddly conjoined Madagascarand The Ring Two. I guess the theory is that the kids will fall asleep after the first feature so that they aren't permanently scarred by seeing a mommy trying to kill her only child in the second?

If you like your movies to look like this....

instead of this...

~than I strongly suggest that you attend the drive-in with more than two people and in something other than a convertible. For such was my view of Madasgascar. By the time we got to the second feature I had successfully become something of a contortionist in order to see the full screen. My back did not thank me later. Nor did my cinephilia. Passable entertainments both but nothing worth getting bent out of shape over (ha ha).

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm baa--aaack

Hi kids! Miss me? Before I dive back in to the site, my real job, and this here blog I must express my immediate and most shocking "did you know?" about Mexico: A MOVIE TICKET ONLY COSTS TWO DOLLARS!

Friday, June 10, 2005


...decided to unplug for a bit. No phone, internet. Etcetera. Off to Cabo. My apologies for those who need more postings. But I need sun, sand, and the water. Immediately. Have a nice day.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

jet plane

I will be on a plane in about 21 hours for some much needed r&r and I have this feeling that these 21 hours are going to be lengthy ones.

Verse & Twang

Just a reminder of an earlier post.This reading is happening tonight if you're in Manhattan and so inclined.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Empty Shelves

Nick hit me up with this book questionnaire. And you know I always perk up when someone says "you're it !!!" (see previous post) --even if they don't mean it in the flattering Clara Bow fashion. I wasn't expecting to be tagged here... you see, Me and Books? We've and off-and-on again relationship. But it's less a passionate Liz & Dick thing and more a f*** buddy situation; we have hot times but we both know we're not in love. Our downfall? Well, I need more visual stimulus. And, as for my buddy Books...She needs a partner with more stamina / less attention deficit disorder.

1. Total Number of Books I Own
I'm guessing close to 200ish. I recently purged before a big move and some things are still in boxes currently, sooooo, an exact # I no give.

2. Last Book I Bought
Bite Club a West Hollywood vampire novel. I know. I know. But I was on a short vacation and I wanted something to read, light and easy, on the plane.

3. Last Book I Read
That'd be To Kill a Mockingbird (loved!) which was part of a series of intermittent attempts to bone up on things that everyone else knows by heart. The DVD of the Oscar-winning film version is atop my TV currently because I also haven't seen that incarnation. I've been Mockingbird-less my whole life.

4. Book I Am Currently Reading
Bite Club. I just started it. On the plane (see question #2) I read about the tabloid-ready adventures of Angelina & Brad instead --then fell fast asleep.

5. Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction of course. I'm the same way with films. I know it's hip to love the documentary. But it's just not me.

6. The First Book I Read
I can't remember. But as a child my absolutely favorite book was One Monster After Another by Mercer Mayer. And my parents read aloud to us a lot on family road trips so I vaguely remember Lord of the Rings (which I did not love) and The Chronicles of Narnia (which I did).

7. Largest Impact
The Little Prince I've read it multiple times and in three languages and it gets to me every damn time. Resonant, imaginative, profound, and plain ole perfect.

8. Favorite Scholarly Book
Desperately Seeking Madonna: In Search of the Meaning of the World's Most Famous Woman

9. Most Read Book
I'm copying Nick's answer here only because it's true: Inside Oscar --there are a multitude of books covering this topic but only this one is indispensable. The rest blur together.

10. Sexiest Book
I don't think I'm reading the right things.

11. Biggest Disappointments
I'm not disappointed in books so much as disappointed in myself for never reading them. My number one disappointment is that I've never read Another Country by James Baldwin which numerous people close to me swear by. I am so non-bookish that I thought it was the book that that 1984 Rupert Everett flick was based on.

12. Five Books that Mean Something to Me
05 Germinal because it, along with Cabaret (the movie) were important signposts to me in my adolescence that aesthetically, morally, politically, I was not my parents' son. The parents were horrified that I loved both.
04Beloved most particularly because it takes such a major dive into the glorious land of artistic gamble/risk and elevates itself to pure genius.
03The Uncanny X-Men (The Claremont/Byrne years)I know these are comic books and probably should be technically ineligible for this survey but to me they were everything at the time; Art, literature, mythology, and family.
02Queer in America by Michelangelo Signorile because it helped me to be strong, proud, and to fight the good fight.
01The Great Gatsby because I get all -well, simply put, I love it.

13. Tag
You are it. Answer any of the questions above herein if you don't have a blog. If you do, answer it there and direct us on over.

Monday, June 06, 2005

enough about you...'s MY birthday. Express your love through comments or gifts.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Antoinette Perry

So, the Tony Awards have come and gone. Much happiness have I in regards to the Bill Irwin win for Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. And, though it pained me to see Kathleen Turner lose for the same show, one can't argue with the estimable Cherry Jones taking another trophy. She is a divine gift to the theater. My other favorite show of the season The Light in the Piazza also managed to take home the most awards for a musical (five in all) though it lost the big prize to the blockbuster Monty Python's Spamalot which won only three.

In other stage-ish news, check out the new trailer to the film version ofRent. (thanks to ModFab for the headsup) Props to this films marketing team for not hiding the fact that it's a real musical. That's nice to see given the way Chicago and Moulin Rouge! were half-assed about actually showing people sing in their promotional materials.


OK, well the glorious day of my birth is actually tomorrow. But I've started thinking about it in full force today...and I tend to celebrate for several days in either direction. Since I am equal parts greedy and-- I'm sure you'll agree-- deservingof a massive onslaught of gifts to celebrate the birth of me, I thought I'd be so generous as to share my Amazon Wish List.

Also over on the site, the June Calendar (what there is of it so far) is up...and I have actually been to the movies and hope to begin writing again soon. Los Cabos next week may interfere of course. Lucky, lucky me.

Tonight I'll be watching the TONY Awards...but they may prove to be boring since, just like awards in movieland, the precursors and the actual thing tend to always agree. Can't wait to hear those speeches for the umpteenth time (sigh) from the same exact people --some deserving, some not.

Friday, June 03, 2005

please excuse our mess

technical problems with site and --well, the whole deal. please excuse. be back soon...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

bad but unsurprising news a not altogether unexpected move, Michelle Pfeiffer has pulled out of Robert Altman's Praire Home Companion film.

This is sent in from a reader (thanks) by way of the St. Paul Pioneer Press...

"...the movie's start date — beginning right after the PHC cast returns from a July 2 show in Massachusetts — is firm.

Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin will play sisters who are performers on "Companion," Lohan is slated to play Streep's sexpot daughter. Michelle Pfeiffer, who had been in talks to play a mysterious "angel of death," is no longer participating in the film."

Breathe, Nathaniel, breathe.

Now, I don't have the time to investigate but I'm really hoping we get an industry-insider expose at some point from some source as to what exactly is going on in Pfeiffer-dom. She hasn't been in front of the ol' movie camera since 2001 when she filmed White Oleander. Since then there's been one botched Oscar campaign, one major awards show appearance, one voiceover job, two agent switches, one Armani tribute, one move (out of Brentwood), and several films that were announced and then died in development or were abandoned by the beautiful one herself.

I'd really like to know what is happening.

Does she totally hate to act --and thus the forever stalled or skittish deals? Does she just have horrid representation --and thus the forever stalled or skittish deals? Has she not seen M*A*S*H, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Gosford Park, Three Women, or The Player? Who would be dumb enough to turn Altman down? Maybe she only saw Dr. T & The Women?And if she really wants to retire (as she threatened in 99) than why all the stalled and skittish deals? Why not just retire?