Film Fatale Archive for October, 2006

Mrs. Moviefone Wants To Paint Your Pubic Hair

Does your carpet match your drapes?
Now you can be sure it always will.

Cue the clip from Paul Verhoeven’s WWII thriller BLACK BOOK, in which the brunette heroine mixes up a peroxide rinse to go undercover–way undercover–as an Aryan princess. (“What a perfectionist,” leers her Dutch resistance boyfriend, before diving in for a closer inspection.) That Verhoeven, what scamp! But darn it if he ain’t a visionary, too.
From Radar Online, the resurrected magazine that ought to be on your essential reading list:
“New York socialite Nancy Jarecki (who’s married to Moviefone man and CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS director Andrew Jarecki) has launced a line of pubic hair dyes called Betty.” For $20, those unhappy with their hair-hue can “safely” dye their nether tresses Black, Brown, Auburn, Blonde, and Fun – which appears to be pink.
Nancy Jarecki would like “Betty” to become a cute and socially acceptable name for “mons pubis” — because all the other words are so clinical, ugly or dirty.

Mrs. J gamely answers a key question: how permanent is the dye? A lot of people ask, “If I’m having oral sex with my girlfriend, will it come off on my face?'”

The answer, she swears, is no. The Betty dye will hold.
So go on! Have sex all the sex you want. Swim. Play tennis. Ride horses on the beach. Fool those Nazis, BLACK BOOK heroine. The Betty dye will hold fast.

Newsweek: The Top Boston Movies

How I love to see my adopted hometown in the movies. Even though THE DEPARTED is a remake of a Hong Kong film, INFERNAL AFFAIRS, screenwriter William Monahan and director Martin Scorsese give this cops-and-gangstah thriller the vicious-to-the-ears accent that I grew up making fun of, but miss whenever I’m a way.
Newsweek picks the best films ever shot — or at least set — in Boston
Some picks are predictable: Geography is destiny in both THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE and MYSTIC RIVER, two decent movies. But some of Newsweek’s movies seem like list-filler.

I’d put MONUMENT AVENUE, directed by the late Ted Demme, on the list and raise JAWS out of the honorable mentions. Around 1982, Cambridge-based independent filmmaker Jan Egleson made a superior coming of age drama called THE DARK END OF THE STREET, which I still have on VHS somewhere. It holds up better than the incredibly dated THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR.

While GOOD WILL HUNTING may not have amounted to much more than an after school special with razor-sharp dialogue, the MattandBen breakthrough movie did give a real sense of how working class white Boston guys live and speak. (Remember the almost wordless scene of Affleck’s character showing up, styrofoam cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in hand, at his buddies’ houses to drive them to work–wicked early, way too tired for small talk? Grow up in Greater Boston, you know those guys. But until Good Will Hunting, I’d never seen them on film.)

A friend reminds me that I was, as a kid, absolutely terrified by COMA, which gave anaesthesia — and the Xerox building on Rte. 95, Waltham — a bad name.

At least LOVE STORY didn’t get on there. Ewwww.

INFAMOUS 'In Cold Blood' With Hot Prison Sex

INFAMOUS-the second movie in two years about the genesis of Truman Capote’s IN COLD BLOOD-arrives in theatres a year after the critically acclaimed CAPOTE. This film, too, boasts a career-making performance from its leading man. In place of a physically transformed Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Infamous is carried by a less well known lookalike, the highly regarded stage actor Toby Jones, and his best pal Harper Lee is portrayed this time, with warmth and appealing shyness, by Sandra Bullock.
The key scene, for me, is when Jones’ Capote is on the phone to his society and literary friends, revising and sweetening one of the most indelible lines in his true crime novel, Perry Smith’s remark that he had admired Mr. Clutter “right up until the moment I slit his throat.”
I really enjoyed speaking with Jones for the New York Daily News. The actor’s well known as a playwright and monologist (he’s a great admirer of the late Spalding Gray).

Read the full article »

Apocalyptic Christian Videogame Smites New York

Feeling righteous? Want to wreck stuff?
Fans of the LEFT BEHIND books–the pulp thrillers that envision a post-Rapture America–can now enjoy the videogame ETERNAL FORCES, set in battleground Manhattan, where good and evil forces will fight it out. New York magazine reviews the game and meets its makers. Players of this First person shooter game won’t have to worry about much collateral damage. Those who’ve been Saved have been carried up in the Rapture. The Left Behind characters–there are 300 to choose from–must join either the Tribulation Force (good guys) or the army of the Anti-Christ (bad).

The game arrives in stores just in time for Christmas–and the same week that Korea’s joined the nuclear club.

The Next "It' Brit TV Guy: Actor David Tennant

There ought to be a special Emmy award for whoever casts the leading men for PBS’ MASTERPIECE THEATRE and MYSTERY. They’ve found yet another floppy haired, skinny-sexy actor to make thegirls go crazy and turn sexually ambiguous young men into lifelong Anglophiles. He’s David Tennant, a 35 year old Scots-born actor who’ll be all over TV this fall. Tennant plays the lead role in CASANOVA (on PBS Masterpiece Theatre, beginning Sunday Oct. 8) and he is the new incarnation of the SciFi network’s DR. WHO (Fridays at 9pm).
The Los Angeles Times has a look at Tennant in both series. Reporter Robert Lloyd describes Tennant’s cut-glass facial structure as “vulpine,” which is one of those writerly ways of saying that the actor both looks like a wolf and is rather foxy. Without sounding all gay about it. On DR. WHO, his sci fi pal Rose (Billie Piper) describes the hero as Rose characterizes him as “a big old punk with a bit of rockabilly tthrown in.”

Read the full article »

Village Voice Critical Slams: Lim, Atkinson Out

If you’ve been reading the Village Voice lately, perhaps you’ve noticed that the film review section for New York City’s alternative weekly is much the same as the film review section for Los Angeles’ alternative weekly. Ever since the New Times company bought the Voice, there’s been a whole lot of sameness — bad news for everyone interested in arthouse film.
Writer Anthony Kaufman over at IFC confirms that there’s more bad news

This week, the new Voice editor got rid of two more film section staffers: editor Dennis Lim and critic Michael Atkinson and announced the hiring of Nathan Lee, who’s written for the New York Times. J. Hoberman remains, yet the Voice’s film sections offers hardly any local local voices. For past few months, most of the criticism has come from New Times’ freelancers, scattered across the country, or from reprints of reviews by LA Weekly’s Ella Taylor and Scott Foundas. Taylor and Foundas are top knotch writers, but every movie deserves more than one review.

I’ve already heard executive from a small distribution company complain about the doubling-up. “The arthouse market market is review-driven,” he said. “We have limited numbers of prints and a limited advertising budget–we can’t always afford to open a film in both New York and LA on the same date.”

“If we open the film in LA, and we get killed in the LA Weekly (review), that’s it–we already know what the review will be in the Village Voice three weeks later: the same damn thing. What’s the use of buying an ad in the print edition? We’ll take our chances and buy bigger ads in Time Out New York or New York magazine. Who knows what their critics will say, but at least the movie will have a chance.”


Gunnery Sgt Speaks! R. Lee Ermey On Kubrick, Cruise, Kissing Menfolk

Radar, the magazine that would not die, has fighting spirit Q&A with Marine-turned-actor R. Lee Ermey, who bitchslapped some sense (and a little psychosis) into the recruits of FULL METAL JACKET. He’ll be playing yet another wacko authority figure in the sequel to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, which opens this weekend.
I’m never sure if the hard-driving Ermey, who hosts a military doc show on The Discovery Channel, is putting us on, or not. But in the Radar interview, he says that director Stanley Kubrick rang him up during the making of EYES WIDE SHUT to say he’d been bossed around by stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and that the movie would turn out to be a “piece of shit

What did Kubrick mean by this? Ermey’s answer dispels any notion of Kubrick as overbearing control freak. “He was kind of a shy little timid guy,” says Ermey. “He wasn’t real forceful. That’s why he didn’t appreciate working with big, high-powered actors. They would have their way with him, he would lose control, and his movie would turn to shit.”

Read it all–nobody gives good quote like a Marine.


Making Movies Monahan-Style, With A Boston Irish Accent

Screenwriter William Monahan‘s name has been all over the trades for the past couple of years, but he’s a relative newcomer to the film industry. The Boston-born journalist and novelist wrote for the New York Press in the early 1990s, penning a weekly column on politics and current affairs. Now he’s better know as the screenwriter for Martin Scorsese’s THE DEPARTED, which opens Friday.
Suddenly it seemed that Monahan became the go-to guy for brash, brutal dialogue–a new Mamet–or the man with historical obsessions (knights, the crusades, the shores of Tripoli) that clicked with director Ridley Scott. First he wrote the long, literate screenplay for KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, but it’s his adaptation of the Hong Kong cop thriller INFERNAL AFFAIRS that’ll let you understand Monahan-speak.

Read all about him in a Boston Globe interview with Sam Alllis.

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Great Scott! BFI Expands Online Film Archive

The British Film Institute has placed short films by Stephen Frears (THE QUEEN), Ridley Scott, Tony Scott and the late John Schleschinger online and available for download–for a fee. Six feature films will be online, including PRESSURE (1974), which is regarded as one of Britain’s first black feature films.
The BFI archive houses 230,000 movies and 675,000 television programmes. Curators are putting films online so that these titles-many of which are rarely screened outside of arthouses, film festivals, and academia–can reach a broad audience.

Many clips are are free — like this guide to British Film, hosted by Malcolm McDowell.
For more information, visit the British Film Insititute’s website or the BFI’s magazine, Screen Online.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon