Category Archives: Film and TV

Film and TV: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of my favorite actors. He is one of the rare few actors where I will watch their entire filmography, just for their performance. His death is such a great loss for the art of filmmaking and of theater. I had expected to be able to watch him in films for years and years to come. I can’t even voice how much my heart hurts thinking of the artistic loss. And the loss of a human life, a flawed and beautiful human life.

I think of all celebrity deaths recently, or in my recent memory, this one is hitting me the hardest. And the only thing I can really do is gather together my opinions, and the things I have read on the internet, into a blog post.

A great article on his acting style and his career in general is from the Monkey See pop culture blog on NPR: Philip Seymour Hoffman And The Blessings Of Friction. It’s where I got the following quote:

“His career never peaked; it just rang out over and over, and the pain of it for selfish admirers is that the peak might still have been coming. We lost at least 30 years of work yesterday; and 30 years before yesterday, he hadn’t even been onscreen yet. He was then seven years away from his screen debut […] More than half, in all likelihood, that’s what we lost. And it’s so sad.” – Linda Holmes, Monkey See Blog, NPR

You can see all the movies he has been in on his IMDB page.

My favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances (that I have seen so far) are

  1. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  2. Pirate Radio
  3. Doubt
  4. Almost Famous
  5. Capote

One of my facebook friends posted this great New York Times article about him from 2008: A Higher Calling

A great companion piece on addiction is Russell Brand: my life without drugs.

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Fashion: SAG Awards 2014

My favorite looks, in no particular order.

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o

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Fashion: Golden Globes 2014

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren

You should know the drill by now. These are my favorites.

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Film: Short Film “A Relationship in 5 Minutes”

Absolutely brilliant.

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Film: Netflix Instant + Horror

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Which means it’s time to watch some horror movies! And stress eat candy from the fear, like you do.
Here are some movies you can watch Right Now.

Horror on Netflix Watch Instantly

My favorites from that list (in the order they appear):

  1. Cabin in the Woods
  2. Scream
  3. Rosemary’s Baby
  4. Session 9
  5. Let the Right One In (the Swedish original)

Other favorites available on Instant:

  1. Resident Evil
  2. Scream 2 & 3
  3. American Horror Story Season 1

On my To Watch list:

  1. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
  2. The Ward
  3. The Awakening
  4. The Moth Diaries
  5. The Hole
  6. Nosferatu (1922)

Mini reviews

Other list List:
Cabin in the Woods has unexpected twists, and some really funny moments. Mind bending in an enjoyable way.
Scream is so meta, and so good, this is the one horror movies I have seen umpteen number of times.
Rosemary’s Baby is a classic for a reason. Mia Farrow is great.
Session 9 is eerie and scary as hell. I agree with the linked mini review that it is ridiculously well acted. And haunted insane asylums are always really messed up.
Let the Right One In is subtle and really gets to you without the blood and guts.

Other faves List:
Resident Evil is fun to watch, I love the ass kicking main character.
Scream 2 is good, not as good as the original, but I enjoy the entire series.
American Horror Story is truly a long form horror movie, scary as hell. And the cast is AH-MAZING.

MISC.:
I have seen Event Horizon, and it’s not listed because it was so scary I didn’t like it. SPOILER ALERT I don’t remember what happened but I vaguely remember someone getting skinned alive. And it has a great cast, with some really good acting.
Silent Hill Revelation is on Netflix, the first one is the single scariest thing I have ever seen. So if you’re into horror, watch it.
Giallo was just gross, and not that great.

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Film: Short Film of an Empty Paris

This makes me miss Paris a whole hell of a lot.

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TV: Favorite TV Show Intros/Opening Credits (Part 2)

Best:

  1. Orphan Black
  2. Broadchurch
  3. Sherlock
  4. Henning Mankell’s Wallander
  5. Friday Night Lights
  6. The Walking Dead
  7. American Horror Story
  8. Endeavour
  9. The Americans

Worst:

  1. Orange is the New Black
  2. Parenthood

Meh:

  1. Torchwood
  2. Sleepy Hollow
  3. Continuum
  4. Life on Mars

Commentary:

Broadchurch: I love that each one is different and obscenely well done. That show is just such a masterpiece, in every possible way.
Orphan Black: one of the all time best, absolutely mesmerizing.
Friday Night Lights: perfect song
American Horror Story: all 3 seasons’ opening credits are good, but I like season 1 best of all.
Orange is the New Black: I like the pictures, I hate hate hate the song; I cringe everytime it starts and I don’t fast forward quick enough. Same thing happens with Parenthood. this version is much better.
Life on Mars: I don’t hate it, and I’m not sure I would change anything about it, I just don’t love watching the title sequence.

Part 1 TV: Favorite TV Show Intros/Opening Credits

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TV: Twenties

 

This should be on my tv so I can watch it.

Up-and-Comer Lena Waithe Is More Than Just the ‘Black Lena Dunham’

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TV: Jack Gleeson on Playing a Villain

Jack Gleeson GQ Interview

He is an excellent actor.
And I didn’t know that he is Irish.
Also, it’s a nicely filmed interview by GQ.

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Film: Movie Stars and What the Face of Cinema Looks Like

  1. Festival de Cannes : anatomie des héros de cinéma
  2. France vs. US – What Do Movie Stars Looks Like?

Article number 1 is the original article, in French, with the infographic shown below. It was published in honor of Cannes.
Article number 2 is how I found the original article. It includes a brief summary translation and then in the comments there are some good translations of the infographic.
Nothing surprising about the data. My summary below the infographic.

My summary (mostly by translating the comment bubbles):

  1. In the US there are almost twice as many leading actors as there are leading actresses
  2. In France the leading actress is 10 years junior to the leading actor and in the US the leading actress is 15 years junior
  3. The career of actresses in the US drops off drastically at age 40, contrarily this is the ideal age for an actor.
  4. Looks graphic The Actress: France is marginally worse at diversity on screen for actresses. Both are crap at overall diversity.
  5. Looks graphic The Actor: France is marginally better at diversity on screen for actors, especially those from Northern Africa (Maghreb = Northwest Africa, west of Egypt). Both are crap at overall diversity.

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Film: Girl Rising

Women and Hollywood coverage: “Regal Cinemas Bringing Girl Rising to Theaters

There is this amazing documentary coming to theaters.
And it’s about educating girls.
It’s called Girl Rising.

The best way to improve the status of women in the world is through access in education.
And there are many places in the world where girls cannot get an education.
This movie tells the stories of 9 girls from 9 countries.
Education can change the world.
And it is one of the tools to help women reach full equality worldwide.

Overall it looks like an incredibly powerful movie.
And it’s amazing how many wonderful actresses are behind this project.

The Trailer:

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Film: The Door by Ava DuVernay

So I’ve seen this circulating a bunch of places.
Most recently on Racialicious.
Basically Miu Miu has put out, in support of the clothing brand, a series of short films directed by various women.
And the most recent one is called The Door.
It’s an absolutely lushly gorgeous short film.

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Film: Oz and Women and Baum

Why ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Is A Major Step Back For Witches and Women

This was a really interesting article, I didn’t realize what a feminist Baum was. And I didn’t know he wrote so many books.
And the trailer for “Oz the Great and Powerful” is not compelling to me.
It bothers me that the wizard is the center of this movie, and a lot of the points made in the above article are things I was thinking while watching the trailer.
Plus it just seems like more of James Franco being egotistical.
Blah.

EDIT:
From the article on Jezebel: Why Is Michelle Williams in Redface?
Wow, I didn’t realize what a racist Baum was.

So thoroughly disturbing that I can’t process this statement:

“The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are.” – L. Frank Baum

I will not be supporting his legacy with my money.

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Music: JT Suit and Tie

Justin Timberlake – Suit and Tie (feat Jay Z)

A well done song, just kind of boring.
So this video makes this song much better.
Someone get Justin Timberlake a Fred Astaire inspired movie STAT! 

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Misc.: Tumblr

I created a Tumblr!

http://clareminnies.tumblr.com/

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Fashion: Emmys 2012

Jezebel summary

So many people looked amazing! To me, this was the best dressed award show in a long while.

My faves:

Tina Fey

Leslie Mann

Julie Bowen

Jessica Paré

Melissa McCarthy

Kelly Osbourne

Portia and Ellen!

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Fashion: Somerset by Alice Temperley Short Film

Absolutely beautiful; and it’s starting to feel like fall!

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TV: Favorite TV Show Intros/Opening Credits

Best:
  1. The Killing 
  2. Luther
  3. Downton Abbey
  4. Skins (UK, of course)
  5. Lost (iconic)
  6. Doctor Who
  7. True Blood
  8. Fringe
Worst:
  1. White Collar Season 3
  2. So You Think You Can Dance
  3. Grimm Season 2
  4. Covert Affairs

Meh, but not bad, aka sometimes I don’t mind sitting through them:

  1. Misfits
  2. Awake (similar, not the real intro)
  3. New Girl
  4. Smash
  5. Missing
  6. Scandal
  7. Once Upon a Time
  8. Being Erica
Current or recent TV shows only.
Also, these are only picked from shows I actually watch.
Some of which have been canceled, LAME (specifically Awake).
I found this YouTube channel of “The Best Openings”. Relative/subjective use of “best”, but interesting, and lots of intros in one place to peruse.

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Film: Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron has died.

The NYT did a tribute.

Jezebel put together some clips and movie choices for a Nora Ephron movie marathon:

  1. Silkwood
  2. Heartburn
  3. When Harry Met Sally
  4. Sleepless in Seattle
  5. You’ve Got Mail
  6. Julie and Julia

I have never seen Silkwood, and it looks like I would really like it, so I am going to watch that, When Harry Met Sally and possibly Julie and Julia in the near future. Sigh.

Nora Ephron was a fellow Wellesley grad and she gave the commencement speech in 1996.

Also, Nora Ephron “left clues about dying in her final book”. She wrote two lists, (excerpts) that I love:

What I Won’t Miss:
Dry skin
Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
Bras

What I Will Miss:
Waffles
The concept of waffles
Bacon
A walk in the park
The idea of a walk in the park
Reading in Bed

When Nora was chosen by the Class of 1996 to deliver commencement remarks, she challenged Wellesley’s graduating seniors: “Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. I also hope you will choose to make some trouble on behalf of women.” And when she returned to receive the 2006 Alumnae Achievement Award, Wellesley’s highest honor, she told students, “Prepare yourself for a life of confusion, and embrace it.” Nora embraced the world with a fierce and generous spirit.”

Nora Ephron Alumnae Achievement Awards 2006

“Never one to mince words, she is remembered by her friends at Wellesley as a quintessential truth teller—courageous, imaginative, tough, hilarious, smart, and compassionate. ”
Wellesley Remembers Nora Ephron

We have lost a great talent today, and it saddens me. 2012 has been a rough year for the talented elite.

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Film: Tim Burton and Dark Shadows

So I read this article on Deadspin, and it made me think about Tim Burton, as I am wont to do, especially after the fiasco that was his Alice in Wonderland. Ironically the best part about Alice was the “real world” part. Sigh.

Tim Burton and Dark Shadows

Tim Burton and Dark Shadows

My thoughts on Tim Burton:

I totally agree with the article about Tim Burton, this was the whole problem with Alice, there was nothing truly original in it, it just fell completely short, besides the sometimes great costumes I was bored the whole time. what a waste. I disagree about Edward Scissorhands, I think it succeeded in that it became basically a creepy John Hughes movie. I know I won’t like Dark Shadows, it looks awful. And a perceived and possibly great talent goes to waste and ultimately to seed, sad. I thought for a long time that the beauty that is Nightmare Before Christmas was enough, that that would come out in his other movies, but ultimately, I think it was a masterpiece in spite of Tim Burton, given how all the rest of his movies just never lived up to it, ever, even kind of. And I am no longer a fan, and I’m sad about it.
He was poised to be one of my favorite film makers of all time, but he just never lived up to his reputation. Damn.

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