Saturday, December 05, 2009

Link Pit(t)

I'll be spending most of the weekend at the movies (I hope). Posting may be light unless I am unusually speedy in the digestion of these big movie meals... which would be a first. I wish there were four of me every December (one to enjoy the holidays, one to earn money, one to see all the movies I missed and all the movies Hollywood withheld simultaneously and one to write about all of that.) Herewith some links to keep you buzzy.

Ed Norton and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999)

Nerve "Class of 99" This is a neat angle: How did the breakout directors of 1999 fare in the cinematic decade that followed?
Indiewire Oscar's potential Live Action Short nominees
Final Girl Have you seen this series, inspired by my own (20:07). Fun for horror fans though most of it is lost on me, I'll admit. Still I have an affinity for stopping movies at odd places so I like to look at it anyway.
Low Resolution Sandra Bullock: Human Being of the Year

DListed Brad & Angie, sculpturally speaking
New Yorker David Denby's top ten list, with an Inglourious Basterds takedown preface. I love what he says about Up in the Air and you've heard me say virtually the same thing about The Last Station (only I called "without a trace of stiffness" 'unfussy' instead)
In Contention Morgan Freeman IS Nelson Mandela. My god, here we go aga...zzzzzz. When will people finally get tired of each new biopic performance being deemed 'not an impersonation but an incarnation'. Someone says it about someone every damn year.
popbytes "the color of crazy: Brittany Murphy"
A Socialite's Life the Nine premiere in London -- I keep missing pretty things because my schedule is merciless
Movie|Line How big will the numbers for It's Complicated be? Is there no stopping Meryl's box office muscle?


Jude said...

It's my birthday! Sorry, but since your birthday suit series is gone, I have to post on this! Good links, by the way.

Meme said...

It's my birthday too :-D. Whii!

Arkaan said...

Do you think we should read your reviews and discover what you say "every damn year" Nathaniel? Seriously?

Robert said...

There have been some really great biopic performances in the past several years (Hoffman, Whitaker, etc) and I'm sure Morgan Freeman is great and really IS Nelson Mandela.

But I think Nathaniel's complaint is more about the already tire sound bites used to describe biopic performances. And with this I agree.

Janice said...

I also agree that the terms used to described biopic performances is boring - but I was fully expecting this complaint to be lodged about Julia and Julia's reviews. So, while I consider myself a devoted (daily) reader Nat, I don't think I particularly trust you anymore on this subject. It's only boring when the performance/actor is one you're not particularly interested in?

Chris Na Taraja said...

Though Nelson Mandella's story is interesting and needs to be told.

What is that bird on Angelina's shoulder?! It doesn't even look like them!

MRRIPLEY said...


Robert Hamer said...

You get *bored* watching Fight Club? I must have seen that film a hundred times and still find it exhilarating from the first frame to the last.

You meet someone new everyday...


Janice... I never claimed that MERYL STREEP IS Julia Child or that I appreciated it when people said that. I H-A-T-E that soundbite no matter who it's applied to and in no matter which film. It's just so generic and every year people act like it's the biggest compliment.I challenge anyone to find even one biopic performance that is not described by at least a few critics/pundits/media types in this way each and every year. that's all.

I like Meryl as Julia because i think they (as celebrities) share the same roughly rare joie de vivre. that's what's interesting about that performance. watching meryl love acting while playing julia who loves cooking.

but even so it's no a revelatory performance or anything.

and for the record my favorite performance of somebody being someone else in recent years is Tina Fey as Sarah Palin because it makes me laugh so hard.

arkaan why the hostility? i'm sure i repeat myself... who doesn't that writes every day of the year for public consumption?

but i should probably never talk about biopics because when i do people always get mad at me.

and i guess each year I learn that i can't stop obsessing on the genre so maybe i love it somewhere underneath all the loathing. there has to be some explanation for how much i notice the biopic genre ;)



Alex said...

I do think that the "they BECOME the person they're playing" gets really old, even though I tend to think it a lot. Actually, I sort of assume it from an actor and it only stands out to me when someone doesn't (ie Hilary Swank in AMELIA)

Arkaan said...

The comment that "such and such BECOMES such and such" isn't unfair. It may be tired, but it's not an unfair comment (whereas I think your criticism of it is). The thing is with public figures, especially ones that we have memories/recordings of (or, in the case of Nelson Mandela, still exist), we're matching the cinematic depictions of said person with our own memories. If they match, or come close, is the comment really unfair? It's a descriptor. Are you gonna really criticize that tired-/triteness of it all on a website that discussed the oscars 365 days a year? Or if someone else says it about a non-biopic performance, is it gonna rankle just as much? Or what about lists? Aren't lists a tired, trite summaries? I enjoy them because they're fun. I have major issues with biopics (life's not so easily condensed to a dramatic structure; those you want to make biopics about aren't always the best screen subjects because you're tempted to sanctify or demonise - hell, the best biopic of recent years was HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, which I think was a biopic despite the fact that it's not based on anyone), but is that really worth a "well, of course you're gonna say that. Someone ALWAYS says that?"

Nathaniel, is there a soundbyte you don't find tired?


it's just a personal pet peeve is all.

i realize that i'm in the minority and most people love the idea of someone they know becoming someone else they know and I'm happy that so many people find so much to enjoy in these types of performances... but i've always been more impressed with people who create characters that feel like full people we know that we haven't ever known. the idea of an actor's imagination being that vast is so dreamy / rewarding for me. maybe if more people valued that (or maybe if the Oscars did) than i wouldn't have such a hangup about this.

but anyway. BLARGH. never mind.

I'm bored of myself when it comes to this issue so i shouldn't have brought it up. BLAH BLAH BLAH.


Alex said...

I will say I loved that Article on the Class of '99, though I was pretty surprised to see most of the choices, simply because 1999 wasn't really their breakout year (ie PT Anderson was really 1997).

Some breakout directors I would've liked to see an examination of post-1999 careers:

Julie Taymor, TITUS
Kimberly Pierce, BOYS DON'T CRY (what happened to her?)


alex... i was thinking the same thing (especially in regards to PTA) and it's very annoying how little kimberly pierce has done since Boys Don't Cry.

Guy Lodge said...

Just wanted to clarify to readers that the InContention link isn't ME saying Freeman IS Mandela, blah, blah ... just quoting an NYT article (about which I'm quite sceptical, too).

Anonymous said...

I'm a Brad+Angelina fan, and even I find that sculpture disturbing. It's another unknown wannabe trying to get famous by using Brad+Angelina's images and names.

Glenn Dunks said...

Nathaniel, I believe the correct line is "omgmorganfreemanISnelsonmandela!" to represent the frenzied-can't-even-breathe-i'm-so-excited-to-watch-an-actor-actually-do-their-job hyperventilation reaction that so often arises.

Criticlasm said...

Thanks for posting that link about Basterds. I keep trying to figure out what infuriates me about that film, probably Tarantino's insounciance about it. It's still a real historical event, and he seems like the obnoxious kid at a bar-mitzvah.