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Soundtracking:Southland Tales

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Entries in Inside Llewyn Davis (20)

Wednesday
May 16 2018

Soundtracking: "Inside Llewyn Davis"

byChris Feil

"I don't see a lot of money here."

With that cold,unfeeling line,F.Murray Abraham's notorious club owner dismisses Oscar Isaac's Llewyn Davis after a crucial impromptu audition.In so few words,he communicates that both Llewyn's hard times and the commodification of his art form are here to stay.

After a taxing hitchhike from New York City on the promise of this gamechanger opportunity,the forever beleaguered Llewyn finagles his way into this audition and performs "The Death of Queen Jane".The bitterness ofInside Llewyn Daviscalms for Isaac's crystalline vocals...

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Monday
May 30 2016

On this Day in history as it relates to the movies...

Happy Memorial Day my peoples.Let's have another history lesson via showbiz

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1431Joan of Arc is burned at the stake.If you've never seenThe Passion of Joan of Arc(1928),one of the best movies of all time containing hugely powerful actressing by Falconetti you must repent.Save your soul and watch it.
1536King Henry VIII,whose wives all tended to die prematurely (funny how that happens) marries Jane Seymour (not to be confused with theDr Quinn Medicine Woman&Somewhere in Timeactress).477 years later Oscar Isaac sings about Queen Jane's tragic life inInside Llewyn Davis's very best scene.
1896Howard Hawks is born.Makes so many great films but my favorites are:Bringing Up Baby(1938),Red River(1948) andGentlemen Prefer Blondes(1953)

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): The Death Of Queen Jane (The Movie Title Song)fromdky6dcnQbL dky6dcnQbLonVimeo.

1899Movie titan Irving Thalberg is born.The craziest actressexuals (*raises hand*) know him as Mr.Norma Shearer but mostly people think of him as "another name for an Honorary Oscar"though the prize is actually a bust of the man himself.39 people have won this at the Oscars for亚博主页bodies of work that "reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production".All 39 of them have been men.
1920Franklin J Schaffner is born in Tokyo to American missionary parents.He'll eventually direct motion pictures likeThe Stripper,Boys from Brazil,andPlanet of the Apesand win the Oscar forPatton(1970).
1928International treasure Agnès Varda is born in Belgium. Anne Mariewrote about her work last yearso check that out.
1941Blood and Sand,Tyrone Power's matador pic,is released.Wins Best Cinematography at the Oscars.亚博主页Happy 75th Anniversary!
1971"Adele Dazeem"is born,shatters the ear drum of the doctor who spanks her newborn tush.
2003Finding Nemoopens in movie theaters.Begins its gargantuan box office swim through movie theaters
2014Maleficentopens in theaters,desecreating the beautiful wickedness of one of the all time great screen villains by making her a misunderstood victim.

Will you be making history today?What's your plan?

Thursday
Jan 21 2016

Throwback Thursday: Still ended up in outer space...

Lynn Lee here,with a little "before they were in Star Wars"trip down memory lane...
Remember when Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren did a novelty song with Justin Timberlake?

Does this mean JT will be joining them at some point in our favorite outer space saga?  Maybe there can be a truce trio - or even a quartet with Daisy Ridley...

Inside Llewyn Davis(2013) is one of those films that I didn't love when I first saw it but gradually burrowed its way into my soul.I now think it's one of the Coen brothers' best.  Of course,a lot of credit goes to the gorgeous musical performances,especially Oscar Isaac's solo turns,even if they're continually punctuated (and punctured) by the complete lack of on-screen audience appreciation.Or maybe all the more because of that: you feel like you're making a private discovery,whether of the character or the actor,or both.  Definitely worth revisiting,if nothing else as the sad-mask companion piece to "O Brother,Where Art Thou?"or for the always-welcome reminder that Oscar Isaac cansang.

Tuesday
Dec 30 2014

Interview: Oscar Isaac on "A Most Violent Year"And His Alien Future

Oscar Isaac was not an overnight success.He made sporadic appearances in movies from the mid 90s onward and the roles and films grew,slowly but surely.Moviegoers have discovered him piece by brilliant piece each time.There wasn't even one particular year that made him a star thoughInside Llewyn Davis(2013) is to date "the signature role".In contrast,his new character Abel Morales' rise to power isn't half as slow and steady.It's all compressed into one dramatic make-or-break year in J.C.Chandor's moody gripping 1981-set dramaA Most Violent Year.

I spoke to Oscar about burrowing inside this guarded businessman,working with his schoolmate Jessica Chastain,what casting directors think of him,and his obsession with the mutant supervillain he'll be playing inX-Men: Apocalypse(2016).Our conversation isafter the jump...

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Wednesday
Mar 12 2014

There Are No Small Parts.Beauty from the Margins

One of my favorite activities each year is compiling a list of actors who really nailed their brief but not necessarily coveted roles.Oh sure sometimes a small part is a true get and key to the narrative.There's no way to watch12 Years a Slave,for example,and miss the importance of "Mistress Shaw",so perfectly rendered by Alfre Woodard.And some tiny parts are designed as cameos for stars: think Jean DuJardin and Matthew McConaughey inThe Wolf of Wall Street. But the bulk of small roles each year in any actor's medium,go unnoticed with the actors adding depth to the ensemble and colors to the director or writer or showrunner's palette.Me,I love looking at the peripheries and seeing which actors are hungry,which find ways to maximize their tertiary characters or simply inhabit them so well that you get everything you need in that one scene or,if they're lucky,two scenes.

There are few things more unexpectedly satisfying than feeling like you could follow a minor character off into their own movie just this side of the screen.It makes the movie you're watching that much richer.

ConsiderDavid Dastmalchianwho plays the key suspect "Bob Taylor"inPrisoners.The actor pops up from time to time in sinister roles (he recently played a serial killer on "Almost Human").I suspect this is the result of lazy amateurphysiognomy happening in casting offices: Angular Face = EVIL!But he was so weirdly sympathetic but "off"and damaged in this role that I kept wanting to recast the movie in my head,and give him Paul Dano's role instead.More please.

Sometimes the face is more familiar but as far from ubiquitous as its possible to be.There's a lot to be said for casting directors that don't rely on whichever character actors happens to be all the rage to plug in to any movie here or there.

RememberPolly Draperfromthirtysomething?I was happy to see her pop up in Steven Soderbergh'sSide Effectsbut I figured it would be a disposable part.In lesser hands,maybe.All aspiring actors should watch roles like this.Lead roles are very hard to come by but there are no small parts.If you get one,texture it.Serve the narrative but give it enough specificity that we could follow you right out of the scene.

It was difficult to narrow down my"Best Limited Role / Cameo"categorythis year.Eventually I settled on ten players ranging from little known talents like Hilary Baack (The East),to sitcom stars Kaitlyn Olson (I can't tell you how much I love that "Tatiana"scene inThe Heat) and treasured characters actors like Robin Bartlett and F Murray Abraham (both fromInside Llewyn Davis) and yes,even movie stars.They're much less shy about doing "small parts"than they once were.

And,no,you're not even safe from the McConaissance here...

Begin your chest-thumping chantsand read on...

Tuesday
Jan 14 2014

The 2nd Annual Team Experience Award Goes To...

Amirhere,to bring you the results of the 2nd annual Team Experience Awards,a poll of the year's best in film by the international group of writers who contribute regularly to this website.Inour inaugural edition,Leos Carax's off-kilter French fantasy,Holy Motors,won the top prize.This year,our 14 voters are more in synch with the American awards season tune.I think it's fair to say we all like12 Years a Slave.Like,really,really like12 Years a Slave.If Steve McQueen's film were Sally Field,we'd be the Academy circa 1985.

BEST PICTURE
12 Years a Slave
(Steve McQueen)
Runner-up: Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach)

BEST DIRECTOR
Steve McQueen
(12 Years a Slave)
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

However,the consensus and the number of categories topped bySlavedon't quite reflect the intense competition behind the scenes.In fact,only two categories were landslides: Best Picture and Best Visual Effects.Elsewhere,the competition was intense and never really took shape until the last ballot was in.In the best supporting actress category,for example,five women were within an inch of each other,and Emma Watson (The Bling Ring) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives) missed out on the runner-up spot by a hair.The nitty-gritty of our votes further downbut now the winners of the 2nd Team Experience Awards...

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