Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tuesday Top Ten: Horseplay

In honor of the Indiana Colts (I seriously don't know what the hell I'm talking about but I guess they won some sporting event this weekend ?) ... some equine lovin' on this week's list.

10 Horse-Related Movie/Pop Things You Should Love
Oy, that's an unwieldy list title, forgive. Have you ever ridden a horse? I did once. Just once. It absolutely terrified me, this monstrous thundering beast between my legs. I was completely sore the next day. God, I hated being a Boy Scout.

Anyway, the list...

10. Daniel Radcliffe on stage in Equus. I'm sure you've seen the photos making the rounds. I personally think the uproar is hilarious. He is legal after all (in the UK at least) and you can bet that if it were Hermione in her birthday suit the tongues would still be wagging but for an entirely different reason. Double standards and all.

09. The Last Unicorn. There's a 25th anniversary edition DVD that just came out. The movie is probably a cheesy artifact from the 80s --I haven't seen it since I was a kid sitting in the movie theater so I can't be sure, but I do remember it had an all star voice cast (Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges) long before that was required, expected, exorbitantly well paid.

08. Scarlett Johansson. Because she got famous whispering to horses. And because her name is fun for me to type. Shut Up. I'm nerdy like that.

07. The Godfather. Because it's a great movie and because that scene --oh god, that scene --is hella disturbing.

06. "Madonna Rides Again". It's a double jointed entry. Those who hate Madonna can pretend she made the list because she fell off a horse. Those who love Madonna can pretend that she made it due to her famed ability to turn every situation into another success... like that accident becoming a famous equestrian themed photoshoot in W magazine. [cue ancient Madonna song: "I get up again over and over"] It's a totally flexible #6!

05. That scene in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers where Legolas flips himself backwards up onto the back of a horse. Mmmm, Legolas

04. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is a classic. I've sung its praises before. Have you rented it yet? It actually has nothing to do with horses but I refuse to include any sappy horse movies like the one that stars Spider-Man or the one with Dakota Fanning or the one with Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter from White Oleander as Tim McGraw's daughter.

03. Christie, Independent Filmmaker. Does anyone remember this child prodigy and IFC spokeswoman? So funny.

02. National Velvet because Elizabeth Taylor is one of the great movie stars of all time. She was a champ right from the very beginning. And she's still surprising us today.

01. Pegasus. Because horses should be able to fly and not just in bad 80s movies

Previous Tuesday Top Tens:
Christian Bale from Newsies to American Psycho
Oscar Nominations Talking Points
Alexander(s) The Great
Best 2006 Movies from The Departed (sure) to Marie Antoinette (you heard me)
Movies by Three Amigos Best of Cuarón, González Iñárritu & Del Toro

Tags: Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Taylor,, Equus, Madonna, horses, cinema, Film, pegasus

14 comments:

Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, I'm surprised you mentioned the flip from LOTR but not the chase sequence from the first one (Ring Wraiths chasing Arwen). It's arguably the best sequence from the trilogy, and that's high praise indeed.

aaron said...

Isn't there also some kind of movie Jeff Wells was talking about a week or two ago about a man who dies while being fucked by a horse? I know it isn't the nicest of images, but I can't help being intrigued.

You are so right about They Shoot Horses, too. Jane Fonda in that movie, my god. The sadness is immeasurable.

daveylow said...

Mentioning that Legolas flip scene makes me want to watch it immediately but I don't have the patience to try to find the scene on my LOTR extended cut. Orlando please make a good film again. Or maybe you need to dye your hair blond for your next acting role.

I think They Shoot Horses Don't They is brilliant but I've avoided watching it lately because it is also one of the most depressing films ever made. Maybe when it gets less wintry outside I'll be more in the mood.

the boyfriend said...

I hate children. That said, the Christie bit was absolutely hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Danny....

lol. I'm british, so he's legal to me.

Not for you till July 23rd. Then you can oggle him without the cops sowing up.

adam k. said...

Hmm. I thought that since HE'S British, he's legal everywhere. I guess now no Americans can see him in Equus.

Dammit, I'm jealous of you Brits.

Anonymous said...

Radcliffe does absolutely nothing for me, but barely legal has never been my thing thankfully.

Speaking of that famous scene from 'The Godfather,' I was in a waiting room last Friday with a fellow Lasik patient who kept erupting in sudden, bizarre outbursts that sounded just like that mobster when he found the horse's head in his bed. Strange but true.

SamuraiFrog said...

Aw, The Last Unicorn still holds up. Great novel, too. 25th anniversary? Damn, that means I saw that movie when I was five....

Kamikaze Camel said...

The images of Radcliffe don't, er, excite me at all. But I give him points for being brave and doing Equus.

And, yeah, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?... brilliant/

NATHANIEL R said...

they dont excite me either. i just think it's funny that people are so upset. i mean, why?

i also think it's funny that I keep hearing him described as "fit" because he's just a skinny 17 year old. I guess skinny = fit?

and on Equus. I saw the film when I was 18 or so I think and remember finding it very disturbing (rented it due to the Oscar nominations) but I have no idea if it's really any good as a film. Don't remember it well.

sassenach said...

Come on, now, I think the reaction to Emma Watson going naked onstage would be a million times worse. Has the general public ever really reacted favorably to under-18 actresses taking their clothes and going full frontal for a role? And instead of the enthusiam from the Harry Potter fangirls, there would be that level of outrage about "Hermione" for relying on her "talents" instead of skill to be taken seriously as an actress. There's a loud and not-small segment who have hated the girl for years, for allgedly making the character too much like herself to the drinking photos to the possible romantic involvement with Daniel Radcliffe (and what impact that has on the chemistry she's supposed to have with the Ron kid onscreen).

Sure, Daniel is typecast because of Harry Potter and the resemblance to Elijah Wood, but isn't his acting so far part of why he'll have trouble being taken seriously? Before tackling Equus shouldn't you try, I don't know, mastering a crying scene first? I mean, he was better in Goblet of Fire than Prisoner of Azkaban but that bit in the snow was totally laughable, it's hard to do worse.

Nick M. said...

"i also think it's funny that I keep hearing him described as "fit" because he's just a skinny 17 year old. I guess skinny = fit?"

"Fit" is British slang. It doesn't mean muscular and in-shape like it does in America; Brits use it to describe a good-looking person.

If you recall the scene by the train tracks in Notes on a Scandal, Blanchett's young lover calls her "fit" (to which she responds, "and my gosh, don't you know it," alluding to a song by The streets, which -- of course -- is meant to signify her character's "youthful" spirit).

Nonetheless, I will be in London while this is being performed. The concept intrigues me very much, so I may try and attain tickets somehow. I swear it's just the concept.

NATHANIEL R said...

Nick M --thanks for that. good to know.

sassenach I respectfully disagree. At least in America there is a long history of media drooling over young actresses being exploited for the sexuality --i mean, they do cover photos for major publications naked, you never see that for men. There was a lot of sick fetishizing by major media about the Olsen Twins turning 18. You get Britney Spears pre-legal sexing it up on Rolling Stone cover to the delight of millions.

Can you imagine American Beauty for example with a boy in the Mena Suvari role? Would NEVER happen. It would never be winning awards. People would never find the relationship charming or touching. Generally speaking people are way more comfortable with young women being sexualized.

sassenach said...

Nathaniel, there's a difference between titillation that doesn't show the "naughty bits" and actual nudity, especially for very young and mainstream female stars. People leered at Britney when she was young, but it's not like there wasn't also a ton of hand-wringing about exploitation, the negative impact of sexy stars on little girls, the scolding of her older male admirers as pervs, etc. There were countdowns for the Olsens, but that didn't come without comment that such attention was more than a little unsavory. After she was treated for anorexia, there was speculation that being the subject of widespread "twincest" fantasies might have been a contributing factor in Mary-Kate's issues. American Beauty was well-received by critics and audiences, but when Conrad Hall admitted in his Oscar acceptance speech that he lusted after his teenage daughter's friends like Lester, the public reaction wasn't so much, "Well, who doesn't?" as "Ewwwwww!"

I think a famous teenage girl will always get more flack for aggressively pursuing the sexy/naked route to legitimacy than a guy at the same age (ditto whites vs. minorities, but that's another whole issue). Girl celebrities are more likely to be sexualized, but they will also more easily become part of a larger commentary about feminism/sexism/the patriarchal hierarchy/what happened to the women's movement/what's wrong with our little girls/etc. So you'll get People Magazine running pics of "Harry Hotter", but would they print photos of a under-18 Emma Watson teasing the goods, under a "Oh My, Hermione!" headline, with quotes from the producer about everyone in the room being floored by how sexy her body was the first time they saw her naked? Unless there was also some sort of accompanying moral debate, I really doubt it.

On a shallower note, I'm with those not seeing the hotness in Radcliffe. Hopefully, he'll prove he can really act before the Potter movies are done, otherwise, it is not going to be pretty when he starts competing for the same roles with Freddie Highmore, Nicholas Hoult or Max Pirkis, not to mention everyone else in that age range from outside of England, too.