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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

Racism, Sexism, and Hannibal: Eat the Rude

Hettienne Park writes a thoughtful response to recent events in Brian Fuller's Hannibal (link to Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast), specifically the most recent episode, Takiawase (link to AV Club Review). Spoilers ahoy in all links.
posted by PussKillian on Mar 25, 2014 - 620 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

YOU IN THE HUGE DRESS GET OUT OF THE FUCKING SHOT

So, what's it like to go to the Oscars with Jennifer Lawrence?
posted by The Whelk on Mar 8, 2014 - 99 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

Before Blazing Saddles, America had not come to terms with the fart.

In 1975, Mel Brooks was riding high on the back-to-back successes of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, and he became the first person to be interviewed twice by Playboy Magazine.
posted by Faint of Butt on Feb 16, 2014 - 26 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

La-La Land

Vintage Los Angeles is Alison Martino's YouTube channel featuring a look back at Los Angeles during the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. There's an accompanying blog and a facebook page, too.
posted by Room 641-A on Feb 5, 2014 - 10 comments

Making Up Hollywood

Cinema tends to make beautiful people look more beautiful, but it wasn’t always so.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 6, 2014 - 47 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

Animals Were Harmed

Animals Were Harmed On the American Humane Association's relationship with Hollywood.
posted by turbid dahlia on Nov 26, 2013 - 28 comments

How would Lubitsch do it?

These movies offer not just a twist, but a twist atop a twist, and a joke atop the joke: the “superjoke,” as Billy Wilder called it. Those themes repeat: the lively, often-painful love triangle, the sexual and romantic jealousy, the thrill of sex, and in this case, the carnal kicks co-mingling with the art of stealing, an act more erotic than gold-digging. (Gold-fleecing is much more penetrating.) And then—important during one of the worst economic times in America’s history—there’s Lily and Gaston’s hard, artful work, something to respect.

Ernst Lubitsch’s charming pre-Code transgressions
posted by timshel on Nov 19, 2013 - 10 comments

"Oh yeah, another big red-letter day for the Baileys!"

In the tradition of A Christmas Story 2 and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure comes the latest news out of Hollywood: Variety reports 'It's A Wonderful Life' Sequel in the Works!

"Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter 'Zuzu' in the original, will return for the 'Wonderful Life' sequel as an angel who shows Bailey’s unlikeable grandson (also named George Bailey) how much better off the world would have been had he never been born." [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Nov 18, 2013 - 68 comments

"For heaven’s sake don’t let them tame you into an uninteresting woman."

Femme fatale. Vamp. Ballerina. Consumptive. Drama queen. Nazi film star? Mummy bait. Valentino's lover. Chaplin's girl. Rival of Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson. [more inside]
posted by mynameisluka on Nov 15, 2013 - 12 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

Happy 114, Mr Hitchcock!

The Hitchcock Infographic
posted by crossoverman on Aug 13, 2013 - 18 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

How Hollywood Helped Hitler.

"Throughout the 1930s, the term "collaboration" was used repeatedly to describe dealings that took place in Hollywood." -- The story of how Hollywood censored movies around the world so they could earn more money in Nazi Germany.
posted by empath on Aug 5, 2013 - 31 comments

They are called RANDOM patrols for a reason!

That's not a plot hole. Allow me to explain. Scott Nye discusses a movie trend that, once seen, cannot be unseen.
posted by The Deej on Jul 26, 2013 - 263 comments

"Oh, no, we can't get that. Doesn't have a jingle."

Pining for Audrey Hepburn's unfulfilled destiny as a flight attendant? Ever wanted to hear Judy Garland sing the Cream of Wheat jingle, or appear on Hollywood Hoarder, or go to the Piggly Wiggly with her daughter? The Punchy Players are here to answer your prayers! Meet co-creators Chris and Jeff, who have been goofily re-imagining Old Hollywood icons since 2009.
posted by mykescipark on Jul 15, 2013 - 12 comments

Monster Smash

“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.” - Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist. Designer Wayne Barlowe talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film before it has even opened?
posted by Artw on Jul 8, 2013 - 387 comments

[disposable]

"If I had to conduct an experiment that would give an insight into neorealism, I'd build a time machine and travel to Italy, circa 1952. I'd ask Vittorio De Sica to make a film using Hollywood actors like Montgomery Clift and Jennifer Jones. I'd then team De Sica up with a Hollywood producer, the kind that liked to impose his will and sensibility onto a film—someone like David O Selznick. In bringing these two worlds of cinema together, I'd hope for a clash of sensibilities so great that it would result in two cuts of the same film, one by De Sica and the other by Selznick. I would run these two films side by side and examine each cut, and in the difference I would find something to say about the essence of neorealism."
Sight & Sound magazine's excellent video essay 'What is neorealism?' compares Terminal Station to Indiscretion of an American Wife.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jun 25, 2013 - 4 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

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a messiah figure!

Although the new Superman movie by Zack Snyder (previously) has put off critics with its appropriation of 9/11 imagery and riled fans with its revision of the superhero's moral code, Warner Bros. Studios is hoping Man of Steel will win over the Christian market. In interviews, Snyder is talking up "Christ-like parallels" in his reboot of the character created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel. For those who'd like something more theologically grounded, the studio's marketing department is offering sermon notes entitled "JESUS - THE ORIGINAL SUPERHERO" [PDF] by Dr. Craig Detweiler, M. Div., and organizing free pastor screenings through faith-based PR firm Grace Hill Media. They aren't the first, however, to notice similarities between Jesus and Superman (among other popular cultural figures).
posted by Doktor Zed on Jun 14, 2013 - 220 comments

If actors are cattle, then child actors are veal.

7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider's Perspective). Mara Wilson (previously) explains, and is interviewed by NPR on the subject.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 12, 2013 - 33 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

Holocaust Denial Goes Hollywood

Until a few weeks ago, David Stein was known mainly as a maker of documentaries on the Holocaust for schools and as the man behind Republican Party Animals, a social club for conservatives in film and television. Then it was revealed that Stein is actually David Cole, who achieved notoriety in the 1990s for arguing that the Holocaust wasn't as horrible as it is claimed to have been. Moreover, while Stein's documentaries have reflected the consensus position on the Holocaust, he says he still has doubts: "The best guess is yes, there were gas chambers. But there is still a lot of murkiness about the camps." His former associates, meanwhile, are distancing themselves from him as fast as possible: "The reason we were all so pissed at him," according to one of them, "is it plays into every horrible stereotype about the right."
posted by Cash4Lead on May 6, 2013 - 93 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

"Sexism is over!"

An Orange Prize nominee speaks out about her experience as a woman in literature: weakened titles, pink covers, snubbed for reviews. [more inside]
posted by Andrhia on Apr 10, 2013 - 62 comments

Using the F-word in PG-13/12A movies

Den of Geek looks at the MPAA rule that a PG-13 movie can contain only one utterance of the word "fuck".
posted by reenum on Mar 24, 2013 - 57 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 is not a true story

"If nothing else, "Argo" is an exercise in American exceptionalism - perhaps the most dangerous fiction that permeates our entire society and sense of identity. It reinvents history in order to mine a tale of triumph from an unmitigated defeat. The hostage crisis, which lasted 444 days and destroyed an American presidency, was a failure and an embarrassment for Americans. The United States government and media has spent the last three decades tirelessly exacting revenge on Iran for what happened." -- Nima Shirazi explains what's wrong with Argo's depiction of the Iranian hostage crisis.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 2, 2013 - 110 comments

Every building is made out of rocket launchers.

6 Insane Stereotypes That Movies Can't Seem to Get Over. Cracked.com list of overused, tired and offensive stereotypes of Africa, Asians, women, and more that frequently pop up in mainstream films. "Imagine if every single movie set in America was filmed in Alaska and focused on gang violence -- that's how Africans feel every time they watch a Hollywood movie about warlords fighting in the desert. Which is a problem for their tourism industry: A board member for the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa even takes the time to explain that there are "middle class people in every African country commuting to work every day, complaining about taxes and watching their kids play soccer every weekend." That's right: Instead of focusing on the rich wildlife and history, the tourism industry actually has to remind people that coming to their country isn't a fucking death warrant."
posted by sweetkid on Feb 27, 2013 - 147 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

The Channing Tatum America Didn't Know It Needed

Performers who project relatability but have nothing elusive about them do better as network-television stars, or maybe morning-show anchormen. (Exception: Hanks.) On the other hand, if all you're capable of projecting is mystery and you're a quart low on relatability, you are probably a douchebag. (Exception: Fassbender.)
Just in time for the Oscars, GQ ruminates on what makes a leading man today.
posted by psoas on Feb 24, 2013 - 82 comments

When Nikita met Marilyn

Khrushchev Tours America - His shoe banging incident at the UN and the the Kitchen Debates with Nixon are well known but less attention has been given to the time Nikita Khrushchev went to Hollywood. He met Marilyn Monroe and other film luminaries but he was denied a trip to Disneyland (previously). [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 19, 2013 - 16 comments

Name 5 female directors. Go!

I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?
posted by crossoverman on Feb 12, 2013 - 93 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

The world is a better place with you in it, Clarice

At last night's Golden Globe Awards, actress Jodie Foster was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award. During her speech, the notoriously private actress touched on the very notion of privacy, her sexuality, and the difficulty of being a public person with a normal life. Reactions have been mixed. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jan 14, 2013 - 205 comments

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