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"I collect spores, molds, and fungus."

"Hollywood's pathological fear of being political has made them blind to the changes that women's friendships have undergone over the last forty years. We're so far past women's relationships revolving around men that no one is even offended by the suggestion that women have relationships that don't revolve around men. Bridesmaids was a smash among women AND men, and so was [Paul] Feig's follow-up, The Heat, another female driven, non-romantic comedy." (Hat-tip: Mick LaSalle) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 25, 2014 - 47 comments

In the horror community, the guy who gets all the other guys together

Director, writer, and producer Mick Garris releases videos of his interviews with people in the horror and sci-fi entertainment industry at his new website, Mick Garris Interviews. There is also a YouTube channel. An introduction can be found at the about page. According to The Nerdist, interviews will be released at the rate of one per week. Interviews already uploaded: a four-parter with Director John Carpenter (here's Part 1 YT), and one segment with John Badham, director of Dracula (1979) and, incidentally, Saturday Night Fever (1977).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 18, 2014 - 3 comments

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch

"DISCLAIMER TIME! 50 is a very small number. I make no claims to any of these lists being either comprehensive or some sort of objective analysis of the 'best' films directed by women. I make selections based on on what I've seen, what I like, and the position of the stars. One film per director. Ready? Let's go." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 31, 2014 - 65 comments

Don't think 'What's Hot?'

Jason Blum—producer of Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, The Bay, and Oculus—participated in an interesting interview at SXSW Film 2014 about his model of producing high-quality low-budget horror films for wide release. The video is almost an hour long, but worth watching if you're interested in contemporary mainstream horror.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jul 25, 2014 - 3 comments

Brief film noir reviews: 290 and counting

Some guy has reviewed 290 film noir flicks and is still going.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 11, 2014 - 15 comments

"You've never seen anything like it!"

Bill and Coo Plot: The feathered residents of Chirpendale are terrorized by an evil black crow by the name of "The Black Menace". But to the citizen's rescue comes a brave young taxi puller named Bill! [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 31, 2014 - 7 comments

Why were the nineties so preoccupied with fatherhood?

The Dadliest Decade
posted by valkane on Apr 17, 2014 - 13 comments

This shot, and one more.

The legendary TV production manager and inspiration for the film set term "Abby Singer Shot" has passed away at 96. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Mar 13, 2014 - 21 comments

Digital obsolescence is more deadly than degrading film stock ever was.

Film preservation 2.0 Unless the unique challenges of digital preservation are met, we run the risk of a future in which a film from 1894 printed on card stock has a better chance of surviving than a digital film from 2014.
posted by mediareport on Mar 2, 2014 - 109 comments

But who is the Best Boy?

Assembling a Film's Billing Block. The blurb at the bottom of a movie poster is called the "billing block." And while it might look like a bar code of haphazardly packed type, it is in fact the product of detailed legal agreements and intense contract negotiation. Below is the the billing block for a fictional film and an explanation of how it was constructed. (via kottke.org.)
posted by xingcat on Feb 24, 2014 - 28 comments

Death of a Playmate

Here is a 1981 Pulitzer Prize winning article about the death of Playboy Playmate and rising star Dorothy Stratten.
posted by reenum on Feb 8, 2014 - 22 comments

Still trying to make fetch happen

10 years later, the director of 'Mean Girls' shares a few stories from the shoot
posted by The Whelk on Feb 7, 2014 - 70 comments

Balls

How the Golden Globes definition of "musical or comedy" has been stretched to the limit and why that matters
posted by Artw on Jan 5, 2014 - 67 comments

The 2013 Black List

The 2013 Black List has been released.  For those unfamiliar, the “Black List” is a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, as voted on by over 250 film executives, and past Black List scripts include The Social Network, Saving Mr. Banks, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2013 - 124 comments

Specifically, cunnilingus

Why is Hollywood so afraid of oral sex? Why is oral sex hard for Hollywood? Evan Rachel Wood slams MPAA for censoring sex scene in her new film.
posted by crossoverman on Dec 1, 2013 - 82 comments

One plus two plus two plus one.

“Something Terrible Has Happened Here”: The Crazy Story Of How “Clue” Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph. (previously)
posted by crossoverman on Sep 2, 2013 - 210 comments

The Implosion of Hollywood

The American film industry is in trouble. Does this mean the end of the blockbuster as we know it?
posted by rcraniac on Aug 25, 2013 - 342 comments

Hedwig? Hedy? Hedly?

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Ecstasy of Hedy Lamarr - Science! Fascists! Orgasms! Libel! Escapes From Literal Castles! (SoCH previously and Anne Helen Petersen previously)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 8, 2013 - 18 comments

Orson, you're behaving like an asshole.

In the early eighties, Orson Welles was a fixture at L.A.’s Ma Maison, where Wolfgang Puck was the chef before he moved on to Spago. Nearing 70, and 40-plus years removed from Citizen Kane, which he made when he was just 25, Welles was fat and famously difficult, no longer a viable star but still a sort of Hollywood royalty—a very certain sort. The younger director Henry Jaglom was one of many aspiring auteurs who admired him but possibly the only one who taped their conversations. These took place in 1983 over lunch at the restaurant.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 25, 2013 - 67 comments

A cursed superhero never sells as well as a guardian superhero

The same kind of numbers analysis that has reshaped areas like politics and online marketing is increasingly being used by the entertainment industry. "A chain-smoking former statistics professor named Vinny Bruzzese – "the reigning mad scientist of Hollywood", in the words of one studio customer – has started to aggressively pitch a service he calls "script new evaluation". For as much as $US20,000 per script, Bruzzese and a team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success." His research has lead to conclusions like "If it's a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it's summoned. So get rid of that ouija board scene." and "Bowling scenes tend to pop up in films that fizzle"
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 6, 2013 - 74 comments

Soderbergh on Cinema

The problem is that cinema, as I define it and as something that inspired me, is under assault by the studios and, from what I can tell, with the full support of the audience. The reasons for this, in my opinion, are more economic than philosophical, but when you add an ample amount of fear and lack of vision and a lack of leadership you’ve got a trajectory that is pretty difficult to reverse. - "Retired" director Steven Soderbergh speaks to the San Francisco International Film Festival about the state of cinema - (summary, full audio at bottom of page 2)
posted by Artw on Apr 29, 2013 - 49 comments

Prequels! Hunh! Yeah! What are they good for? Absolutely...something

Having mixed feelings about the new movie prequel to The Wizard of Oz? [previously] Well how about new prequels to other film classics such as Gone with the Wind and Dr. Strangelove? Or, try to imagine Casablanca: The College Years. [more inside]
posted by fuse theorem on Mar 8, 2013 - 51 comments

It Wasn't Just Spielberg

"The members of TVTV (Top Value Television), the 1970s guerrilla video group I cofounded, were among the first to exploit the then brand-new portable video camera. We took them to big events and turned the cameras away from the spectacle and on to the people; almost no one had seen one before, and there were no rules about how to use them, or act in front of them..." Behind the Scenes With Jack Nicholson, Lily Tomlin and Michael Douglas at the 1976 Academy Awards.
posted by timsteil on Feb 24, 2013 - 9 comments

Red Carpet, Green Screen

Without visual effects the average blockbuster movie would look like this. However as Hollywood comes under financial pressure they are putting the squeeze on the VFX industry that they rely on, who are in turn passing the pressure onto workers. Now VFX workers are organizing a protest in time for the Oscars, which will be celebrating visual effects as the companies responsible for them close down. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Feb 24, 2013 - 73 comments

Schmucks with Underwoods

Vanity fair on the rise and fall and possible rise again of the spec script.
posted by Artw on Feb 11, 2013 - 44 comments

Screenwriters on screenwriting

The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith is an irregularly released podcast where Mr. Goldsmith interviews, at length (each episode runs an hour or more), working Hollywood and foreign screenwriters. The most recent episode is a panel conversation with the year's Oscar-nominated screenwriters. You can listen to the podcasts on his site or subscribe in iTunes or on Android.

Goldsmith is also the publisher of the terrific screenwriting magazine Backstory--currently only available for the iPad but coming (eventually) to the web and Android. You can download the first issue (which is wonderful, and contains full length scripts along with the interviews and stories) for free.
posted by dobbs on Feb 7, 2013 - 5 comments

The Rules Of The Game

Anne Helen Petersen, the voice behind "Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" (previously) and "doctor of celebrity gossip" gives us an academic rundown of the hows and whys of the last hundred years of Hollywood Star Making, celebrity, PR, marketing, fandom, and scandal management.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 24, 2013 - 7 comments

Lost in The Canyons

Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie. The movie in question is The Canyons, the Kickstarter-funded erotic thriller written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader. There's no release date yet, but the film does have several retro-themed trailers.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 10, 2013 - 155 comments

"If we could build a fourteen-foot-tall alien queen, we’d be able to build a twenty-foot-tall T-rex"

Sculpting a Full-Size Dinosaur at Stan Winston Studio‬
posted by cthuljew on Dec 21, 2012 - 8 comments

"...the first decade of the 21st century can be viewed as a singularly male-dominated era in American cinema."

New York Times Magazine "Hollywood Issue": Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship. Accompanied by an online web series of 13 original, short films: Wide Awake, each starring an actress whose performance helped 'define the year in film.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 10, 2012 - 16 comments

Bitchslaps of Hollywood

Bitchslaps of Hollywood in thirty-six parts.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Nov 28, 2012 - 13 comments

THR & The Blacklist

After 65 Years The Hollywood Reporter addresses its role in the hollywood blacklist, including an apology from W.R. Wilkerson III, son of THR founder Billy Wilkerson whose "A Vote For Joe Stalin" editorial named writers such as Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Howard Koch and John Howard Lawson as communist sympathisers.
posted by Artw on Nov 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Menace(s) to Society

During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 15, 2012 - 30 comments

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

How Philip K Dick transformed Hollywood, who could be Hollywood's next PKD and how PKD could change your life.
posted by Artw on Oct 3, 2012 - 74 comments

Greta Garbo: "arguably the quintessential embodiment of Hollywood's Golden Age"

The Flick Chick - 11 Days of Garbo: "I recently bought the Greta Garbo Signature Collection...I've been enjoying the collection so much that I've decided to dedicate the next 11 days to looking at the 11 films included in the collection: three silents, the pre-code films which helped establish her as a star who could continue into the sound age, the films made towards the end of her film career for which she is perhaps best known, and a documentary feature produced by Turner Classic Movies." [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Sep 5, 2012 - 10 comments

Hollywood - Celebration of the American Silent Film

The wonderful, and fairly rare, 13-part documentary series from 1980 - Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film - is narrated by James Mason for Thames Television. Episode One - The Pioneers - [52 mins] [the rest are linked inside] shows:-
"the evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.*"
[more inside]
posted by peacay on Jun 18, 2012 - 19 comments

"A nightmare from top to bottom"

Brad Pitt's Zombie Nightmare: Inside the Troubled 'World War Z' Production The Hollywood Reporter sorts through the problems causing the release of the film version of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic UN report to be delayed until next June. Via the A.V. Club, which adds links to previous stories about the filming.
posted by mediareport on Jun 13, 2012 - 114 comments

The idea of hiding behind a secret identity was something I found terribly attractive.

A very long interview with screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Single link to text on a page but it's a wonderful interview and those who love film, culture, the arts... will dig it I think.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on May 4, 2012 - 8 comments

Restoring Stanley Kramer's "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"

What you see here is a prime example of what happens to film that is neglected and improperly stored. This is an original reel from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that is now untouchable. The film has turned acidic, sporting the strongest and most foul vinegar-like odor I have ever smelled. In fact, Robert Harris told me a story of how his contact lenses were singed by the fumes the film produced, causing temporary retinal damage to his eye. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 27, 2012 - 37 comments

The Sword Fights of Errol Flynn

The Sword Fights of Errol Flynn (previously)
posted by Trurl on Apr 26, 2012 - 18 comments

"Oooh, you son of a bitch."

Classic Hollywood Guide on how to react when you screw up a scene. Movie bloopers with Bogie, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Kay Francis, Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, George Brent, Merle Oberon, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney and more.
posted by Wonton Cruelty on Mar 16, 2012 - 26 comments

"The future for digital storage is constant migration."

"Most of the filmmakers surveyed...were not aware of the perishable nature of digital content or how short its unmanaged lifespan is." After the Motion Picture Academy's release last month of "The Digital Dilemma 2," a warning aimed at independent filmmakers and nonprofit archives, cinematographer John Bailey talks with one of the report's authors about the perils of data migration ("It’s not unreasonable to say that the term "digital preservation" is an oxymoron") and the need to educate filmmakers who are so "enamored with the perceived benefits of digital image capture and workflow" that they fail to realize preservation concerns start to appear almost immediately after their work is completed. Film professor David Bordwell covers the report in a detailed post about preserving "born-digital" films, sixth in his "Pandora's Digital Box" series about the worldwide conversion to digital projection, with lots of good links at the bottom.
posted by mediareport on Feb 20, 2012 - 87 comments

New video magazine about cinema

The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Feb 10, 2012 - 1 comment

Music, Movies, Microcode, and High-Speed Pizza Delivery

Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
posted by netbros on Jan 31, 2012 - 7 comments

Roger Ebert On Why Movie Theatre Revenues Are Falling

"I'll tell you why movie revenue is dropping" SLREP
posted by everichon on Dec 29, 2011 - 238 comments

Barbara Stanwyck

Yet by 1944 the IRS named Barbara Stanwyck the highest-paid woman in America. From 1930-57, she did a minimum of two pictures a year, sometimes even four or five. Yet it wasn't workaholism, according to the actress: "I was afraid they'd get somebody better, frankly. I never really thought I had any clout. For a lot of years I was free-lancing, by choice, but I think discipline stays with you. It's this fear that maybe somebody can come in and take over. Maybe a Redford or a Streep can take the luxury of a year off, but I never thought I could. Of course, we were more workable in those days. And they make more money now. Anyway, I never had self-assurance about leaving."
posted by Trurl on Nov 27, 2011 - 41 comments

Blog 'em, Dano!

Director, writer, and raconteur, Peter Bogdanovich has a blog where he talks movies -- and you better believe it's called BLOGDANOVICH. [more inside]
posted by villanelles at dawn on Oct 13, 2011 - 26 comments

Pages and Pages of Hollywood History

Will Your Favorite Star Survive Color? This article from a 1935 issue of the Hollywood fan magazine Photoplay breathlessly anticipates a new standard of screen beauty due to the spread of Technicolor motion pictures. You can read or download the whole magazine, for free, legally, at the Media History Digital Library. [more inside]
posted by theatro on Sep 19, 2011 - 32 comments

"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free: On Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes And The Help"

"You know something very bizarre is going on in Hollywood when the movie Rise of Planet of the Apes tells more about the black experience in America than The Help." Max Gordon reflects on the truths that Hollywood can't talk about openly, and the dangers involved in sugarcoating the past.
posted by invitapriore on Sep 12, 2011 - 158 comments

Rita Hayworth in "Gilda"

Leonard Michaels' "The Zipper": Rita Hayworth is never seen disrobed in the movie, though it is threatened more than once. The atmosphere of dark repression and mysterious forces – the mood or feeling of the movie – might be destroyed by the revelation of her body. It scared me as she began her striptease dance in the nightclub. I didn’t want everybody to see her body, or even to see that Rita Hayworth had a body. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 5, 2011 - 14 comments

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