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Entries by Manuel Betancourt (297)

Tuesday
Oct 10 2017

NYFF: Arthur Miller: Writer

ByManuel Betancourt

There may not be a more towering figure of the American stage than Arthur Miller.FromA View from the BridgeandDeath of a SalesmantoThe CrucibleandThe Price,his plays remain some of the most performed / discussed / dissected dramas of the twentieth century.Capturing men (for they were so often men) caught adrift in an ever-changing world,Miller's protagonists laid bare the most insidious aspects of American society.12 years after his death,Arthur Miller: Writer(a riff on what he once said he hoped his obituary would read like),comes to offer a humanizing portrait of the New York City-born dramatist.That it comes courtesy of his daughter,Rebecca (yes,Mrs Day-Lewis,The Meyerowitz Stories' bit part player,andMaggie's Planhelmer) means that there's a level of access and intimacy that we may not otherwise have gotten...

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Friday
Sep 29 2017

NYFF: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Team Experience is at the New York Film Festival.Here'sManuel Betancourton Noah Baumbach's new film,coming to Netflix on October 13th.

If the title hadn't clued you in just yet,Noah Baumbach's latest frames itself as a collection of short stories.Explaining this structure at a press screening during the New York Film Festival,theFrances HaandThe Squid and the Whaledirector said it had helped him create these discrete "stories"that together would tell a larger narrative about this (you guessed it) dysfunctional family.

We first meet Danny (Adam Sandler in fullPunch Drunk Lovemode),a middle-aged man who can't help but get needlessly irritated at the parking situation in New York as he heads to visit his father with his college-bound daughter in tow (Grace Van Patten,a revelation).Harold (Dustin Hoffman),who now lives with Maureen (Emma Thompson,having a ball in a much broader comedy than the melancholy film around her),is a sculptor who's made a modest name for himself.Jaded by the world,full of himself,self-assured of his scathing opinions about other people's work,Harold is an oppressive force,the kind of man whose ego all but fills the room...

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Sunday
Mar 12 2017

5 x 5: Buffy's 20th,Instagram Edition

Manuelhere.One Ms Buffy Summers celebrated 20 years this past week (in her televised incarnation,at least) and I'd be remiss if I didn't add to the celebrations.That plucky Slayer and lover vampires remains my most cherished pop culture icon,infecting and influencing how I think,quip,and write.She even got to me to try my hand at video essays ("The Key to the Hellmouth") and was why I so warmed up to Stephen Dunn's wonderfulCloset Monsterwhich is aqueer descendent of Joss Whedon's show(a character is,after all,named after her).

Back inJuly 2014,for reasons I can't even remember now,I began a silly Instagram project wherein I'd caption all the photos I'd upload on that social channel solely with episode titles from Whedon's show.It became a daily challenge (yes,there was a spreadsheet) and one which only a crazy fan could concoct.Buffy,you see,cannot help but inspire those of us who love her in sometimes absurdly enjoyable ways.

Echoing our (second) favorite slayer and in keeping with Nat's 5x5 theme,I went ahead and chose 5 (out of 140!) Instagram posts to give you a taste of how crazy us Whedonites can be...

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Friday
Feb 10 2017

Laura Dern Week: "Enlightened" (2011-2013)

Manuelhere capping off Laura Dern Week on her 50th birthday.

Enlightened's Amy Jellicoe is one of the most indelible television characters of the 21st century.And while that sounds like hyperbole,it may very well be an understatement.Pitched as a show "about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakthrough"(gotta love that wordplay) Mike White's two-season wonder of a show was a quiet meditation on low-key Cali self-empowerment in the age of bitter cynicism.The HBO production was also a great performance showcase for co-creator Laura Dern who rightly won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Amy,a woman whom we first meet while having a full-on breakdown at work.And it's a thing of beauty...

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Monday
Feb 06 2017

Baywatch Superbowl Ad

Manuelhere bringing you the one gif from theBaywatchSuper Bowl ad sure to make your Monday all that brighter...

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Monday
Jan 16 2017

The Next La La Land?

Manuelhere catching us up on a project that is primed to be billed as "The nextLa La Land."Not only is Michael Gracey's upcoming musicalThe Great Showmanscheduled for release next Christmas (just in time for the holidays and awards season) but it features music byLa La Landduo Benj Pasek & Justin Paul,who'll soon no doubt be credited with single-handedly bringing the original movie musical back to life.

Focused on the life of P.T.Barnum,the film has suffered through a long development period but is finally shooting here in New York...

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