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Great Moments in Horror Actressing: Margot Kidder

"This genre gives actresses some really juicy lines and roles,but denies them the acclaim that comes from more 'serious' roles.Kidder was a gifted actress who was indelible in a few films."-Lady Edith

"She won a Genie for it - because Canadians have great taste!"-Mike in Canada

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Entries in Catherine O'Hara (8)

Friday
Jun 14 2019

Links: Madame X,King Richard,and Book Club 2?

IndieWirethe problem of too much television for Emmy voters
Vanity FairBook Clubis getting a sequel with its quartet of stars returning.VF wants Andy Garcia back as well and we concur.
Varietyan ouch ouch pan review of Nicolas Winding Refn's new TV series (which he keeps saying is a movie)
Varietythis seems like a bad-omen move.Amazon is only giving their chief Oscar hopefulThe Report(starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening) a two week theatrical window before it streams...

[More after the jump including Madonna's Madame X,Daredevil's longshot fight sequences,news on King Richard,and Catherine O'Hara visiting Broadway...]

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Monday
Feb 04 2019

DGA: The Spikes (Jonze & Lee),Bradley Cooper's Loss,and the Gowns (yes,the gowns)

by Nathaniel R

The big news coming out of the weekend's DGA ceremony was not Alfonso Cuarón's second win from the Director's Guild (he previously took the DGA forGravityand had won nearly every award of note forRoma,making a repeat a foregone deal).Instead it was Bradley Cooper's surprise loss for First Time FeatureA Star is Bornand Spike Lee's speeches,which inevitably have a way of shaking up a room because Spike Lee always says what he has to say,unapologetically.The best element of the non-televised DGA ceremony is that they make a big deal of the nominees and not just the winner,giving all 5 top nominees a moment at the mic and a presentation of their nomination in medal form...

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Wednesday
Jul 05 2017

Soundtracking: "A Mighty Wind"

HEY WHA HAPPENED?!It'sChris Feil's weekly soundtrack series!

Christopher Guest'sA Mighty Windbegins with the death of a music producer,so it makes sense that the film ruminates on a supposedly dead musical genre.Folk music is a fit for Guest's idiosyncratic eye,with the nuances in musicality or artistic personalities making easy fodder for his world of self-serious oddballs.Windexplores the breadth of the folk genre in three distinct groups: the narrative-based acoustics of The Folksmen,the chearfully disposed harmonies of The New Main Street Singers,and the placid romanticism of duo Mitch and Mickey.Though the film plays these characters with typical Guest behavioral farce,it does take their music seriously...

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Thursday
Oct 13 2016

This Is The Day Before The Show, Y'all

by Daniel Crooke

In honor of Christopher Guest's long overdue return to the mockumentary – the costumed cheerleader sagaMascots,hit Netflix at midnight – let's take a moment to celebrate some of the most indelible characters in his filmography.This collection of ordinary folks in extraordinarily amusing niches – small town actors with big city dreams,obsessive dog owners,outdated folk musicians,awards show hopefuls – could easily be milked for laughs through condescending jabs.Instead Guest and his repertory cohort of improvisational comics imbue their creations with rich empathy and heartfelt humor,no matter how ludicrous their worlds.This marks theirs as a distinctly humanist cinema that revels in personal idiosyncrasies rather than repelling from them,and chooses ironic optimism over sarcastic defeat.While refreshingly full-bodied,they're,above all else,very funny.

For me,all roads lead back to Libby Mae Brown,the spirited,slack-jawed (low-fat or non-fat) Blizzard queen fromWaiting for Guffman,the first of Parker Posey's slamdunk soul-searchers in Guest's company films.Who among us wouldn't like to meet some guys,some Italian guys,and watch TV and stuff?But the competition is stiff and the runners up are numerous;the distant loss of Catherine O'Hara's Mickey Crabbe inA Mighty Windtugs at the heartstrings between laughs while (runner-up at the 2001 National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actor) Fred Willard's class clown motor-mouth inBest In Showsurely pioneered the archetype of lucid and silly sports announcers for performers such as Jason Bateman or Elizabeth Banks.And then there's always Guest's own restless dreamer Corky St.Clair,the community theater iconoclast who pops up inMascotsfor a second time.

Of all the peculiar characters in the Christopher Guest universe,which is your favorite?The one that most fuels your stool boom,if you will.

Friday
Oct 31 2014

The Honoraries: Harry Belafonte,Beetlejuice (1988)...and Selma (2014)?

In our miniseries "The Honoraries"we're celebrating the four talents that'll be honored by the Academy at the Governor's Awards this year.Here'sNathaniel...

Or,rather,here's soon to be Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Harry Belafonte's immeasurable contribution to Tim Burton'sBeetlejuice(1988) - included below since it seemed appropriate for Halloween.When I was a kid these Belafonte songs weren't new to me since my parents had a few of his records but I imagine for a whole swath of young moviegoers in the 1980s this was quite an introduction.Two of the movie's key scenes were basically handed over to his joyful voice and catchy songs.

"Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)"was originally from Harry Belafonte's "Calypso"album,his third,in 1956.The song was a top five hit but the album was an even bigger sensation spending over half a year as the #1 selling LP in the country."Jump in the Line"the Belafonte number that closes the film through Noni's floating dance was a cover recorded for his 1961 album "Jump Up Calypso".

Beetlejuice(1988) and political activismafter the jump...

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Saturday
Apr 26 2014

ICYMI,A Smackdown Addendum

Busy busy week but that was mostly the team running around catchingTribeca Screenings.(We'll finish the write-ups very soon).But other than the film festival,I hope you didn't miss these five key posts from the week that was.

A Year With Katereaches the Spencer Tracy years
Podcast Gets Under the Skinthe gang's all back to discussNoahandUnder the Skin
Looking Back atPocahontasDisney's ambitious epic
April Showers:The PianoHolly Hunter was the surprise star of the week because we also finally got to...
2003 Supporting Actress SmackdownRenée vs.Shohreh vs Holly vs Patty vs.Marcia Marcia Marcia.(What a strange Oscar year that was)

Film Bitch Addendum
For those of you wondering which actresses I voted for back in 2003 (many of you weren't around these parts in those early early days),here was my ballot which only had a little Oscar overlap.FWIW,David Cronenberg'sSpidergot a one week qualifier in 2002 but back then I went only by NYC release since I wasn't privvy to Academy screeners.Of course AMPAS ignored it as they do most one week qualifiers but Miranda Richardson was all kinds of haunting in it x 3.Curiously my finalists list suggests that I thought The Lovely Laura Linney was equal to Marcia back then within the confines ofMystic River.No more.The only part of the movie that's aged well for me at all is Harden's performance.

Today's Retro Watch
Given the 2003 Smackdown discussion,it's a great time to look back at this classicCold Mountainsketch from French & Saunders as they poke fun at Nicole Kidman's whispering & posing and the Zeéeeee's overacting in theCold TurkeyDVD commentary track