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My Gravity lawsuit & how it affects every writer who sells to Hollywood

Tess Gerritsen, author of the 1999 book "Gravity", on the dismissal of her lawsuit against Warner Bros., in which she claimed that “Gravity” is based on her novel of the same name, and that she should receive screen credit and a percentage of the profits. She will have 20 days to file an Amended Complaint. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 1, 2015 - 18 comments

Profile: Gene Hackman

"'I'm not that kind of guy. He was a physical man,' Hackman said of Popeye [Doyle] in the Ebert interview. 'We had to go back and re-shoot the first two days of scenes because I hadn't gotten into the character enough. I wasn't physical enough.'" (Steven Hyden's piece on actor Gene Hackman at Grantland.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 28, 2015 - 40 comments

I shot an arrow into the air It fell to earth I know not where...

Lars Andersen: a new level of archery (SLYT)
posted by blue_beetle on Jan 23, 2015 - 42 comments

no such thing as a cinema audience... It is a television audience

Ten o’clock on a grey, wintry morning and Mr David Niven marched up a deserted Champs-Elysées, some of the insolence of his erect Sandhurst carriage slightly curbed by a blinding hangover. 23 January 1965: David Niven on the golden days of Hollywood
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 23, 2015 - 8 comments

All hail the complicated woman: the 2015 Golden Globes

"As Maggie Gyllenhaal put it in accepting an award for her performance in 'The Honorable Woman': 'What I see, actually, are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not. And what I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual women in television and in film.'" The 'strong female character' is dead. All hail the complicated woman., by Alyssa Rosenberg for The Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 14, 2015 - 13 comments

Empire Zinc strike and Salt of the Earth: by Labor, for Labor

From October 1950 to January 1952, the Mexican American miners at the Empire Zinc mine in Bayard, New Mexico were on strike, protesting the racial discrimination between them and their Anglo counterparts in pay, safety standards, and quality of life in company housing. Two events make this particular strike stand out from similar strikes at other mines are the involvement of the miners' wives in both requesting better living conditions and later in taking to the picket lines themselves, and after the strike was over, the feminist and pro-labor docudrama made by blacklisted Hollywood film makers, Salt of the Earth (YouTube; lower quality on Archive.org; Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 11, 2015 - 6 comments

Kim Kardashian doesn't visit Versailles. She is Versailles.

"The work speaks volumes: She is her own best creation, a businesswoman, a brand, a socialite, a TV star, a wife, a mother, and the essential member of a sprawling family who are all getting rich under the umbrella of her fame. But most important, Kim Kardashian works full-time as professional metaphor. " - Rachel Syme on why Kim Kardashian's Hollywood was the most important game of 2014
posted by The Whelk on Dec 29, 2014 - 292 comments

It's a White Industry

It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Dec 26, 2014 - 220 comments

A dark reimagining of a Hollywood list

The 2014 Black List Has been announced - the top unproduced scripts of the year, according to Hollywood insiders. Excited film buffs will be scouring the list for overlooked gems and masterpieces that might have been, but why not go a different route? The Ten Worst Sounding Black List Scripts.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2014 - 136 comments

"The masturbatory call is a wank I have no time for"

The upside of the recent Sony hack is that we get to learn about how the Steve Jobs movie isn't getting made 1 ("You better shut Angie down before she makes it very hard for David (Fincher) to do Jobs"), how Kevin Hart would like to be paid extra for his social media savvy ("I'm not saying he's a whore, but he's a whore.") [more inside]
posted by FreezBoy on Dec 10, 2014 - 184 comments

Gritty, not glossy: 70s films

"Why were American movies so much better in the 1970s than in the decades since — and most of the decades before? Simple. Our movies then were not as inhibited by censorship (self-imposed) as they were prior to the '60s.

"And they were not as obsessed with huge box office grosses and commercial values as they became afterward — following the stunning financial success of those two '70s superhits, 'Jaws' (1975) and 'Star Wars' (1977). Instead, during most of the '60s and '70s — liberated both by the collapse of the old studio system strictures and by the greater acceptance of film as art from critics and audiences — American filmmakers of all generations, from Martin Scorsese ('Mean Streets') and Hal Ashby ('Harold and Maude') to Sidney Lumet ('Dog Day Afternoon') and Mike Nichols ('Carnal Knowledge') to Alfred Hitchcock ('Frenzy') and Billy Wilder ('Avanti'), tried things they wouldn't have dared in the decades past. More often than not, they succeeded." (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 5, 2014 - 285 comments

Mood music for movie viewing, from Cinespia's cemetery film viewings

If you're looking for a little mood music before and/or after watching a movie, you might enjoy the Cinespia experience at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Wikipedia). But if you're not likely to join the crowd in Los Angeles, you can recreate a part of that movie warm-up/cool-down experience with Cinespia's archive of mixes from various notable musicians. Their site currently lists 11 mixes from the likes of Cut Chemist, The Gaslamp Killer (previously), David Holmes and Carlos Niño, but if you dig into the Internet Archive, you can find 38 more mixes (including a good number of paired before-and-after mixes) from even more artists, set to a range of movies, classics both older (North by Northwest, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and newer (Bladerunner, The Big Lebowski).
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 26, 2014 - 1 comment

Hiding the Hollywood Sign through Garmin 'n Google

You're not really supposed to try to find this sign up-close in person, you're supposed to look at it from a distance. Arguments begin on how short that distance can be... [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Nov 24, 2014 - 43 comments

All I can say is euhhh...

But in addition, and to make the dub look as realistic as possible, she must also identify every instance of a character uttering a word with an m, p, or b in it in English, and find a word in French with the same consonant. And the replacement word has to fit into that sentence in exactly the same spot as where the American actor’s mouth makes the m, p, or b face. And you think your job is tedious! What It Takes to Be the French Jennifer Lawrence.
posted by Mrs. Rattery on Nov 19, 2014 - 34 comments

You wanna understand America, don't come here — go to the movies

Rich Hall’s How The West Was Lost (What started with Red River mostly ended with Blazing Saddles; from 20th C. cultural behemoth to object of satire; the Western genre and the archetype of the cowboy.)

There’s a tradition of Brits coming to the US to explain this young country and expose the folks back home to America. From Charles William Janson and Thomas Ashe on through Stephen Fry and Jeremy Clarkson, foreigners with funny accents and strange vocabulary have set foot on American soil in an effort to explore the place and its people. But for the Brits to truly understand America, two things might be necessary: an American expat and (more importantly) MOVIES! Because an insider’s take on Hollywood’s misportrayal, mythmaking, stereotypes, historical ignorance, misunderstanding, bullshit, and skewed lens through which we see (and are shown) ourselves as Americans can get pretty interesting as well as informative.

Stuff like: [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Nov 16, 2014 - 19 comments

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending Near for Orson Welles's Last Film. The Other Side of the Wind due in theaters next year.
posted by goatdog on Oct 29, 2014 - 26 comments

"The Odd Couple" at UCLA, 1971

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau speaking at UCLA 12/1/1971 (audio with rotating pictures, 45 min 25 sec) [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 2, 2014 - 5 comments

Everybody say, "Is he all right?" And everybody say, "What's he like?"

"Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift" by Anne Helen Petersen for Vanity Fair. (Warning: graphic description of car accident in the link.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 30, 2014 - 21 comments

"We haven’t found the right planet."

Alien 3 was flawed from its inception and it was certainly flawed—actually, pretty fucked up—well before we started shooting. So there you go. Take all of the responsibility, because you’re going to get all of the blame.” — David Fincher [previously]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 28, 2014 - 253 comments

Madonna as serious Classical Hollywood cinephile

The exhaustively researched Hollywood history podcast You Must Remember This (Previously) presents a two part episode focusing on Madonna's use of classic Hollywood imagery and references as a form of conceptual art and her early attempts to trade pop idol success for movie stardom within the context of two high-profile relationships with Sean Penn and Warren Beatty. Episode One. Episode Two. Meanwhile, Todd In The Shadows creates video reviews for every movie Madonna was ever in. So far he's done Desperately Seeking Susan, Shanghai Surprise, A Certain Sacrifice, and Who's That Girl.
posted by The Whelk on Sep 26, 2014 - 9 comments

Backed By The CDC

The Atlantic pulls back the partition on Hollywood, Health, and Society, a CDC-funded clearinghouse for popular media to better understand modern medicine - and modern medical legislation like the Affordable Care Act.
posted by NoxAeternum on Sep 22, 2014 - 5 comments

Rhymes with Curmudgeons and Cragons

Toward a Unified Theory of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Kim Kardashian—and maybe Kim Kardashian alone—has figured out how to make a fortune on the countless hours of emotional labor most women are expected to perform for free: smiling, looking pretty, being accommodating, being charming, being a good hostess.
posted by mandymanwasregistered on Sep 20, 2014 - 41 comments

Long live the fighters.

Tricia Sullivan writes for Charles Stross's blog on fighting and depictions thereof: Martial Arts and the Cycle of Bullshit, Wag that Puppy, Who let the dogs out, Going to the source.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 19, 2014 - 48 comments

Memorable cars of Hollywood

You may not agree with this list of memorable cars of Hollywood, but it sure is fun scrolling through it.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 9, 2014 - 41 comments

All that is needed is a rise and a fall

Ever wondered why your favourite movie star is now in straight-to-video hell? What the hell happened? is a series of articles about the career ups and (mostly) downs of contemporary actors, actresses and directors who were once Hollywood stars (but who stumbled at one point) or serious contenders for stardom (but who did not make it). While the articles are made of known material and rather-matter-of-fact ("...but it got terrible reviews and bombed at the box office"), they offer a singular perspective on what it takes to reach the A-list and stay on it. [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Aug 30, 2014 - 176 comments

"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

"That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery."

Things That Don't Suck, Some Notes on The Stand
I recently reread The Stand for no particular reason other than I felt like it. I'm honestly not sure how many time[s] I've read it at this point, more than three, less than a half dozen (though I can clearly remember my first visit to that horrifyingly stripped bare world as I can remember the first reading of all the truly great King stories). It's not my favorite of King's work, but it is arguably his most richly and completely imagined. It truly is the American Lord of The Rings, with the concerns of England (Pastorialism vs. Industrialism, Germany's tendency to try and blow it up every thirty years or so) replaced by those of America (Religion, the omnipresent struggle between our liberal and libertarian ideals, our fear of and dependence on the military, racial and gender tension) and given harrowing size.

I'm happy to say that The Stand holds up well past the bounds of nostalgia and revisiting the world and these characters was as pleasurable as ever. But you can't step in the same river twice, even when you're revisiting a favorite book. Even if the river hasn't changed you have. This isn't meant as any kind of comprehensive essay on The Stand. Just a couple of things I noticed upon dipping my toes in the river this time.

[Spoiler alert: assume everything, from the link above to those below, contains SPOILERS.] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 19, 2014 - 162 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

"Capturing scenes of others 'not making it' as well"

Hollywood Streets, 1979-1983 "I went to Hollywood to 'make it', but didn't, and ended up taking pictures of Hollywood, capturing scenes of others 'not making it' as well."
posted by scody on Jul 31, 2014 - 22 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

Not Unlike Gretchen Weiners' Hair

The Down and Dirty History of TMZ: Anne Helen Peterson (previously) recounts nine years of gossip site TMZ.
posted by almostmanda on Jul 25, 2014 - 9 comments

Just one more question

Columbo - that much loved TV show - might be the latest candidate for a Hollywood remake - confirmed by its proposed star Mark Ruffalo on twitter. The Guardian argues that this is an inherently poor idea. Meanwhile Empire says "this is a project that every right-thinking human being would like to see happen". [more inside]
posted by Chipeaux on Jul 21, 2014 - 221 comments

I’m really grateful that one of my first speakers was badass Jason Momoa

"I had been creating languages for 10 years. But everybody else applying was equally skilled. So I figured the edge that I had was pretty much an endless amount of time—I was unemployed. I just decided: Well, let's just try to create the whole thing. In those rounds of judging, I created about 90 percent of the grammar—which is ridiculous for two months. Then I created 1,700 words of vocabulary—which is equally ridiculous for two months. Overall, I produced about 300 total pages of material. I figure that was probably what put it over the top."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 10, 2014 - 23 comments

Hollywood Magic: impossibly young mothers, ageism against women

Hollywood is tough on older women -- it's like they're filed away in a folder simply marked "old" — and it’s a problem their male counterparts rarely have to contend with. To prove it, we’ve rounded up some recent examples of age-inappropriate casting, then imagined what would happen if some of these believability-busting pairings got a gender flip. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 7, 2014 - 162 comments

What Is The Most Asinine Topic You've Had To Talk About?

The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable video: Comedy Actresses. Stacey Wilson sits down with The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, New Girl's Zooey Deschanel, Nurse Jackie's Edie Falco,The Mindy Project's Mindy Kaling, Shameless' Emmy Rossum, and Orange Is the New Black's Taylor Schilling, to talk about stupid questions from the media, disastrous auditions, odd fan interactions, the crazy stuff people tell them, and the state of American TV. (1:03:14, highlight transcription available)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 19, 2014 - 18 comments

"Do you think I want people to know I greenlit 'Transendence'?"

Who really controls Hollywood? Now it can be told! (SLFOD)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 18, 2014 - 8 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

It's like The Oscars, but with just the good parts

In a world On May 30th the 15th Annual Golden Trailer Awards were handed out in Beverly Hills, CA. There are a total of 75 categories; the 17 top awards were handed out live at the sold-out show and are linked below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 4, 2014 - 11 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

Heard it through the grapevine

How the Father of Claymation Lost His Company
posted by fings on May 12, 2014 - 35 comments

All Heart, No Libido

Anne Helen Petersen of " Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" fame talks about Zac Efron, the impossible demands of movie masculinity, and the history of the Teen Idol Industry on BuzzReads
posted by The Whelk on May 4, 2014 - 25 comments

The Eternal Ingénue

SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 30, 2014 - 12 comments

Orson Wells' 1955 Podcast

The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 22, 2014 - 3 comments

15 famous landmarks, put into context

Sometimes, famous landmarks lose some of their draw when put in context, as seen in this Imgur gallery, which was expanded and modified slightly by Bored Panda. For more physical context, there are Google earth links below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 19, 2014 - 96 comments

Why were the nineties so preoccupied with fatherhood?

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

Pansy Club

Deviates, Inc is a tumblr devoted to exploring the visual culture of LGBT history ranging from Gilded Age drag queens, classic Hollywood lesbians, to militant gay activism.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 13, 2014 - 7 comments

“Hollywood wives have a tendency to go into my closet without asking,”

Enough About Me. Like My Portrait? [New York Times]
posted by Fizz on Apr 11, 2014 - 27 comments

RIP the Number One Box Office Draw from 1939 to 1940

Mickey Rooney the former child star, who made his stage debut at the age of 18 months and was in show business for over 8 decades, died Sunday, aged 93. He was known for his relationship with MGM where he played such roles as Andy Hardy and starred in several pictures with Judy Garland. For a period of two years, he was considered the top star in Hollywood. [more inside]
posted by inturnaround on Apr 6, 2014 - 83 comments

Katni$$ FTW

Do movies that pass the Bechdel Test make more money than movies that don't? Walt Hickey, writing for Nate Silver's new fivethirtyeight site, examines the data.
posted by Diablevert on Apr 2, 2014 - 162 comments

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