Monday, June 21, 2010

Long Winded Link

Steve on Broadway Australian readers take note: The original cast of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is heading to Sydney in August for one last go at the roles they've perfected over the years. Don't miss it.

The Cost of Going to the Movies This is an interesting chart on moviegoing vs. home theater costs. There's an agenda as this is a business site but it's still interesting. I find myself siding with stay home options so much lately from a moral perspective which is so sad because I think the in theater experience is so magical. But like Broadway and the music industry, corporations are all too willing to gouge their audiences price-wise until the audience dwindles. Nobody ever thinks longterm.

Serious Film treats the IMDB Top 250 list very seriously indeed. This rundown has a lot of interesting anecdotes but I just can't stomach looking at it (the list, not this article). I have no time for any list that preferences anything with a super power in it over anything with an actress in the lead role. Plus a list of 250 films which has rooms for films as mediocre as Big Fish and Kick-Ass but no room for anything by Altman, Surges, Sirk or Almodovar? I mean, get real or, rather, FAIL in the popular vernacular. It should be called "IMDB's Subsection of A Certain Type of Hetero Males With Extremely Limited Palettes Between 15-30 Years of Age Top 250." That's a little unwieldy but this list needs a subtitle before it needs anything else. Just for you know the sanity of anyone who chances to look upon it.

Margot Channing. She's sour for good reason

For the record the only movies that are about a female protagonist number 15 of 250 or, 6% of the 'greats'. They are #45 Amélie, #54 Aliens, #55 Spirited Away, #69 Pan's Labyrinth, #88 All About Eve, #96 Rebecca, #121 The Wizard of Oz, #134 Kill Bill Vol 1, #157 Gone With the Wind, #180 Diabolique, #198 Rosemary's Baby, #203 A Streetcar Named Desire, #206 Kill Bill Vol 2, #231 Changeling, #239 Mulholland Dr. (give or take a handful more where you can argue it's actually about a man even though the woman is remembered as the lead -- Fargo, Silence of the Lambs, Double Indemnity, Psycho, Annie Hall, Sunset Blvd). So according to IMDB voters, movies about women are almost never worthy of attention but Changeling is one of the best ever made! 'Screw Mildred Pierce, Joan of Arc, Sally Bowles and the lot of them! Girls. Who needs 'em!?!'

Queerty By now I assume you've read that Warren Beatty and Annette Bening's eldest daughter Kathlyn is rumored to be transgendered and wants to transition to being their son Stephen. I figured I should mention it given TFE's frequent love for the Bening/Beattys. But since no official statement has been released by the family, we figure they deserve more privacy in this matter than they're getting and that's all we have to say.

Vulture Star Market: What is Megan Fox worth? Okay end of long-winded 'click here' comments. I have nothing to say about this other than that it's kind of interesting.

Meanwhile in Russia...

The Moscow Times has details on the Moscow Film Festival which will close with Luc Besson's latest The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc Sec (pictured above) starring Louise Bourgoin. I heard from a reader yesterday that the costumes by Olivier Béirot are something and might catch Oscar's eye if it gets an stateside release. Here's a few clips from the film. Another hot ticket will be the explicit Cannes-shunned Emmanuelle Béart film, It Begins With The End. The festival director isn't shy about his love for her...
We welcome it to Moscow with open arms. Emmanuelle Béart is my favorite actress, and she is doing all these indecencies with her husband, and I enjoyed it a lot.
Hey, just let it all hang out. Why be shy about loving an actress? Particularly one as jolie as Béart.

Any readers follow Russian cinema? What film do you think they'll submit this year for the Oscars given the poor reception of Burnt By the Sun 2 thus far?


billybil said...

I want to go to Australia!! I can't believe I missed this original cast!!

YES - I love your subtitle for that damn list! Jesus I hate the 15-30 hetero male movie going public sometimes!

But I love you, Nate. xxo


well i'm not trying to diss hetero males. some of them are great (and trust that there are just as many homo males with terrible taste) which is why i said "with extremely limited palettes"

it's an important distinction.

James T said...

Nathaniel, imdb's top 250 is in the spirit of the MTV Movies Awards. No need to pay much attention :p

TomS said...

Great post. It is a shame that a site like IMDB has been coopted by a those with limited exposure, or appreciation, for the wealth of films produced before, say, 1990.
Otherwise, the site provides so much good information about films past and present.
I became a fan of yours when you mentioned Sally Bowles.

Anonymous said...

the rateyourmovie list is a little better than the imdb top250:

billybil said...

That's also why I wrote "sometimes". There are certainly a number of 15-30 hetero males who see movies who are very much worth their contributions - I would never discount that entire population - good lord, I'd lost so many daydreams that way!

It's just that I do get tired that such a large percentage of films get made for that particilar audience which just means the rest of us need to get off our duffs and go pay to see more movies!

Unknown said...

Has anyone ever come up w/ a better Top 250, by limiting it to smart moviegoing types? I know they have the Sight & Sound poll, but it's SO neophobic. I wonder if you could construct a better list by using IMDB, adding points for age, being in a foreign language, subtracting points for Oscars, familiarity, and box office. Little known fact: the list is already weighted to punish films with fewer votes.

Obviously, films like Chapter Two and Only WHen I Laugh would be at the very top, but it would be interesting to see how the entire top 250 shook out.

Michael said...

I know what you're getting at with the aggravation of looking over the 250. Reading it over is a lot like reading over box office results - You cheer when something deserving is rewarded, but mostly it's infuriating. Still as a cinephile and compulsive list maker its lure is too much for me to resist.

(By the way - just noticed your Alice grade and it made my afternoon. I thought I was the only one driven round the bend by that film after most of the reviews for it were unfathomably kind.)


marsha -- i like your reasoning. i do think weighting the fimls with more votes is problematic. Now, one could argue that a small amount of votes could be easily tampered with. But it's still strikes me as unecessarily favoring blockbusters.

crossoverman -- well, okay. i realized that was the strangest call which is why i still listed it. But it is also very much about hannibal lecter and i was excluding two lead films.

IslandLiberal said...

"It is a shame that a site like IMDB has been coopted by a those with limited exposure, or appreciation, for the wealth of films produced before, say, 1990."

6 of the top 10 are from before 1990 (1980 or earlier, even), including three of the top five.

The IMDB's top 250 is a fairly straightforward endeavour: it gives you what IMDB users have rated the most highly (accounting for thresholds of how many votes a movie has, since theoretically otherwise you'd get a film with 50 votes at the top of the list).

Andrew David said...

I seem to remember Cate Blanchett came under some flak last year for her decision to bring over the original cast of August: Osage County. It caused a little stir within the industry because Melbourne Theatre Company had just put on a very successful run of the show with an Australian cast.

To be honest, as great as I'm sure the original cast were, I would prefer Australian actors to get jobs. But it doesn't really affect me since I probably won't be in Sydney anytime soon.

vg21 said...

My problem with the IMDb rating is that no matter what, the arithmetic mean of votes is always higher than the final rating of a film. I know there is some policy behind it with incomprehensible algorythms but I could never understand why some voters' opinion matters more than others'.

By the way, I was wondering how in these link posts one link always becomes dominant and gets the most feedback in comments - and it doesn't even have to be the first or most prominent one:). (Although in this case it is.)


vg21 -- i don't understand that either actually. but it seems to happen with regularity (the one link dominating thing).

It's also almost never the link i expect it will be ;)

Glenn said...

Toy Story 3 is already in the top 10!

verninino said...

Nat, I so share you disdain for the lack of female-oriented protagonists in the canon.

So I had to revel in I Am Love this afternoon. The plotting and pacing were so traditional and yet ethereal that I really don't so how it can garner traction embedding itself in the canon. Though I hope its impressions are deep enough for engravings come awards' time.

It was certainly the most captivating new film I've seen in years. It even exceeded expectations I'd developed after reading favorable reviews from my favorite critics.

Tilda's quiet transformation was such a revelation. I cannot wait to own this on DVD so that I can canonize it in my collection.