‘Black Swan’ still the talk of the Lido

Posted by · 10:09 am · September 2nd, 2010

Two days into the Venice Film Festival, and still the only film I consistently hear people talking about is “Black Swan” — even as the film accrues its share of detractors, it seems Venice fest director Marco Müller has broken the traditional curse of festival curtain-raisers, kicking off this year’s Lido activity with a film […]

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REVIEW: “Black Swan” (****)

Posted by · 6:18 am · September 1st, 2010

Venice Film Festival It’s the juvenilization of the term “fairy tale” that has led many people to associate them inextricably with happy endings. At their most literary, fairy tales can be moral and often very unhappy narratives of yearning, obsession and eventual redemption, even if it comes with rather a large sacrifice attached; Hans Christian […]

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Aronofsky’s ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Wrestler’ started as one movie

Posted by · 3:57 pm · August 30th, 2010

It goes without saying one of the most anticipated films of the fall movie season is Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.” Going by the trailer, we’re in for a slice of genre goodness that taps many of the muscles the director has flexed early in his career. In an interview with MTV, Aronofsky offers an intriguing […]

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Wahlberg talks up ‘The Fighter’

Posted by · 4:25 pm · July 20th, 2010

When I remarked in a post yesterday that the upcoming awards season looks a little short on the high-profile biopic contenders so beloved of Academy voters, I had a feeling I was forgetting something obvious. And so I was: “The Fighter,” David O. Russell’s biopic of against-the-odds boxing champ “Irish” Micky Ward, starring Mark Wahlberg […]

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Steve Pond on Oscar’s “broken” song category

Posted by · 4:42 pm · January 12th, 2010

The Best Original Song race gets an awful lot of stick for its wonky voting system and sometimes questionable musical judgment — problems that have lately converged to scupper the hopes of many well-regarded contenders, with last year’s snub of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Wrestler” raising particularly widespread ire. I’ll start, however, by saying a few […]

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Grammy nods for ‘Basterds,’ Giacchino… and Steve Martin

Posted by · 6:34 am · December 3rd, 2009

I’m always interested to see what cinematic musical achievements the Grammy Awards single out for recognition each year, largely because their pop sensibilities are so different (and their eligibility criteria so much looser) from those of the Oscars that they may as well exist on different planets. Last year, for example, they selected “The Dark […]

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THE LONG SHOT: Post early for Christmas

Posted by · 1:35 pm · October 7th, 2009

London is in the midst of a postal strike. No mail, be it far-flung postcard or electricity bill, has popped through my front door for over a month. I recently had to stroll into Soho to pick up my London Film Festival accreditation pack by hand. And rather discouragingly, my local post office today put […]

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An evening with Clint Mansell

Posted by · 5:44 pm · July 20th, 2009

It has been a very long time since I sat myself down in a wooden pew, but I think it’s safe to say that the last church recital I attended didn’t begin with a speech by a rebel auteur from Brooklyn, didn’t involve any electric guitars, and it certainly wasn’t accompanied by video imagery of […]

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Clint Mansell on growing up through film music

Posted by · 9:37 am · July 17th, 2009

It’s no secret around these parts that I’m a pretty committed disciple of composer Clint Mansell.  I was absolutely beside myself — livid — when his work on Darren Aronofsky’s “The Fountain,” potentially the best score of the decade, was unceremoniously snubbed by the Academy two years ago.  So it was delightful to read through […]

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Aronofsky at Edinburgh

Posted by · 10:15 am · June 24th, 2009

As someone who prefers watching movies to listening to others talk about them, I probably haven’t attended as many of the In Person Q&A sessions at this year’s Edinburgh festival as I should have. Sam Mendes lost out in my priority scale to “The Red Shoes,” while the likes of Bill Forsyth and Brenda Blethyn […]

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6/8 Web Round-up

Posted by · 8:52 am · June 8th, 2009

• The “Oh yeah, what happened to her?” blurb of the week. [Associated Press] • Yours truly covers Grant Morrison’s latest monthly, “Batman and Robin.” [Batman on Film] • David Poland analyzes the brave new world of media ad buys. [The Hot Blog] • Tom O’Neil on Geoffrey Rush’s new acting triple crown with last […]

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I don’t want my MTV

Posted by · 4:01 pm · May 4th, 2009

What do Paramore, The Rock and Kate Winslet have in common? Why, they’re all nominees for the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, of course. Like, duh. I have no idea what the MTV Movie Awards are for. Nobody knows or cares who wins them. (Who took Best Actor laurels last year? I doubt Will Smith could […]

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Off to The Boss

Posted by · 4:34 pm · April 15th, 2009

I’m catching Bruce Springsteen tonight and tomorrow night over at the Sports Arena here in Los Angeles.  He hasn’t played my favorite tune on the tour yet — “Spirit in the Night” — so here’s hoping for a pleasant surprise.  “The Wrestler” has been a regular feature, however, and I’m sure he’ll play it either […]

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Rourke ringside at WrestleMania

Posted by · 5:02 pm · April 5th, 2009

Yeah, I shelled out the cash this evening to see WrestleMania 25, which might mark some skewed end to the 2008 Oscar season with Best Actor nominee Mickey Rourke’s decision to participate after all (news reported last month).  First pay-per-view in a decade.  Guilty. Anyway, I haven’t been keeping up with the WWE so forgive […]

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Stay cool

Posted by · 4:16 pm · March 27th, 2009

Over a month after Sean Penn defeated Mickey Rourke in what was possibly the tightest acting race in recent memory, Cinematical’s Jeffrey Anderson has come up with an interesting take on how the outcome may actually benefit Rourke, and indeed “The Wrestler.” In short, he says, losing the Oscar allows them to retain their edge: […]

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Mickey Rourke will be at WrestleMania after all?

Posted by · 5:47 pm · March 17th, 2009

I knew this would happen.  Back in January and February, the buzz was that Mickey Rourke would be spring-boarding from his success in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” to the real squared circle at the WWE’s WrestleMania on April 5.  But some shrewd publicist told Rourke to can it and, indeed, the denials started flowing soon […]

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Mike Leigh on Hollywood, Mickey and losing an Oscar

Posted by · 2:46 am · February 26th, 2009

If, like yours truly, you’re one of those who believe that British auteur Mike Leigh was robbed on Sunday night, you’ll thoroughly enjoy his Oscar diary. Ever the Hollywood outsider, Leigh attended the Academy Awards with his two adult sons as his guests, and he reflects on the ensuing madness with all the droll, dry […]

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Mickey’s Spirit speech

Posted by · 7:06 am · February 22nd, 2009

That’s seriously the manliest near cry I’ve ever seen in my life.

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