Welcome to our very first podcast! Melinda Newman and I have been talking about this seemingly forever, and we finally bit the bullet and yapped with GarageBand rolling. We hope you like it, and if you don't, we hope you will at least be kind to our newbie effort.
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In a perfect world Ezra Miller would be getting ready to attend the Academy Awards later this month. The 20-year-old actor would be celebrating his first best supporting actor nomination for his role in Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being A Wallflower." Unfortunately, awards season is a far from perfect animal and Miller joins co-star Logan Lerman, Michael Pena ("End of Watch") and Bruce Willis ("Moonrise Kingdom") as actors who should have received more attention (thank god for the Independent Spirit Awards). That fact will be increasingly apparent to moviegoers who catch up with "Perks" after its release on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download this week.
Hey, have you heard about the Michael Haneke Twitter account? No, of course the "Amour" director hasn't set up a bit of social networking self-promotion, but someone with a sense of humor sure has.
Yes, in this "Catfish" world of cyber fakery, anybody can be anybody. But I guess it can be particularly hilarious when there isn't much pretending going on, as is the case with the @Michael_Haneke handle.
Throwing around web verbiage you might attribute to a 12-year-old girl obsessed with Hello Kitty (or something) rather than an astute, multi-Palme-d'Or-winning practitioner of the filmmaking form, the account has amassed some 25,000 followers since it was set up on November 12. And it's that very aspect that has the REAL Haneke so bewildered.
Pink’s “The Truth About Love” got off to a high-flying start at Phoenix's US Airways Arena last night, but not without a few hitches.
[More after the jump...]
David Fincher got back in the music video saddle specifically for his "Social Network" compadre Justin Timberlake and his new jam "Suit & Tie" featuring Jay-Z. The result is the two superstars all dressed up in black in white -- meaning, their clothes and the shades of the video -- in a gorgeous Old Hollywood setup.
Timberlake appears in scenes from his hotel bedroom to the big stage, with the best scenery taken from the latter as he's flanked by dancers and a horn orchestra.
Let him show you a few things:
HOLLYWOOD - Being in sound mixer Greg P. Russell's shoes at the Oscars must be an interesting experience. He's been 14 times, you see (double nominated in 1998). But he's never heard his name called. He's watched his work on high-octane action hits like "The Rock," "Spider-Man" and the "Transformers" films lose to overall Academy favorites like "The English Patient," "Chicago" "The Hurt Locker" and "Hugo." He's been in the mix (so to speak) consistently since his first nomination, for "Black Rain" in 1989, but hasn't found himself on a project that the Academy at large -- which, whether they know from good sound mixing or not, votes collectively on the Oscar winners each year -- could warm to as worthy of their vote.
That could change this year, however. Nominated for the James Bond extravaganza "Skyfall," Russell finds himself on a production that has clear industry support and sentiment. At the same time, he's staring down Academy favorites once again in "Argo," "Les Misérables," "Life of Pi" and "Lincoln." But that's familiar territory for him.
(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)
The staggering number of quality documentary features this year has been well-covered here and elsewhere. When the Academy made its inevitable cuts in the finalists stage, as usual, a great many gems were left off. But one couldn't argue with that slate of 15, a truly monumental set of contenders for the most part. And yet, one film has stood out as the frontrunner since it bowed at Sundance over a year ago.
The documentary features were sent to the entire voting membership of the Academy this year, along with the live action and animated shorts. That wider pool could change how one typically picks this race, but it really just means that popularity will reign supreme. And the film leading the charge this year is nothing if not popular.
The nominees are…
"No mass cultural event has the capacity to infuriate like the Oscars." A truer line was never written, and so Grantland writer Mark Lisanti launches a "tournament" to determine the most egregious Oscar travesty of all time, rounding up any number of supposed outrages from past Academy Awards ceremonies that people still love to bitch about, and pitting them against each other for you to vote on. Nominees range from contentious winners to infamous onstage moments, many of which I still don't understand the fuss about. I, for one, think it's nice that Angelina Jolie is close to her brother. And I'll never get why it must be a cast-iron fact that "Saving Private Ryan" is a better film than the perfectly delightful "Shakespeare in Love." Then again, I still feel less than sanguine about "Crash": everyone has their Oscar sore points. Perhaps the better question would be: what Oscar "travesties" are you totally okay with? [Grantland]
Last week, in praising this season of "Scandal," I complimented the show's creator Shonda Rhimes for pivoting directly into the craziness of the show in its second season.
But when I spoke to Rhimes earlier this week, she disagreed with the idea that there had been any significant change at all — that the only difference between seasons has been the length of them, and that seven episodes last spring wasn't enough to do things right.
Last week, the show concluded its first major arc of season 2, in which our every more morally ambiguous heroine Olivia Pope found out who had attempted to murder President Fitzgerald Grant, while Fitz in turn found out that Olivia and several other allies had conspired to rig the election in his favor — and, as a result, spurned Olivia to go back to his crazy wife Mellie.
The series kicks off the second big movement of the season tonight at 10, and I spoke with Rhimes about the changes (or lack thereof) in the new season, where the story will go from here (in the vaguest possible terms), why Olivia and Fitz should not be compared to any of the couples from Rhimes' "Grey's Anatomy," and more.
BERLIN - Looking at the list of seen films I have yet to write up out of the Berlinale, I'm finding it harder than usual to forge connections between them that would make for a satisfying review roundup. Some have been good. More have been bad. That's about the extent of the narrative at a festival that, while enjoyable as ever, hasn't so far maintained the standard of last year's "Tabu"-"Sister"-"Barbara"-"War Witch"-"A Royal Affair" mini-feast. Only Sebastian Lelio's wonderful "Gloria," meanwhile, seems to have buyers buzzing along with the critics; it'll be a major shock if it doesn't take a significant prize from Wong Kar-wai's jury on Saturday.
So forgive this rather randomly paired duo of reviews, which have little in common beyond their presence in lineup and... well, they're both vaguely Valentine's Day-friendly. I thought I'd at least couch bad news with good, which wouldn't have been the case if I'd opted to pair up two former Best Foreign Language Film winners instead. (More on Danis Tanovic's drab Competition entry "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker" -- surely a candidate for the most parodic-sounding arthouse movie title of all time -- at a later stage.)