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Posts Tagged ‘Quentin Tarantino’

David Denby Looks Back at the Future of Movies

At age 69, New Yorker film critic David Denby owns at least two marks of modern media distinction. He is not on Twitter, and he still gets to mete out erudite, long-form print media movie critiques. A collection of his magazine essays spanning 1999 to 2011 make up his latest book Do the Movies Have a Future?, out next week from Simon & Schuster.

At the New Yorker, Denby famously alternates on the cinematic beat with Cambridge, UK based professor Anthony Lane. Part Six of the book is also about “Two Critics” – iconic predecessors James Agee and Pauline Kael. In the piece about Kael (an amalgamation of 2001 and 2003 articles), Denby recalls how she delivered a death blow in the early 1970s via telephone, informing him that he was simply not cut out to be a film critic.

“I was a graduate student in California going nowhere fast,” Denby tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “And if Pauline Kael hadn’t taken an interest in me – and she took an interest in many, many people, particularly young people – I probably would have become a professor of film, which is of course not bad. But this has been a lot more fun.”

“When she said, ‘This is not really for you,’ of course it was a blow and I was very upset,” he continues. “But she wound up hurting my feelings and not my career. In fact, in some ways it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Because if I had stayed within that circle, I don’t think I would have ever grown up. She was so powerful that you wanted her approval. Internally, you conformed to her opinions… It was sort of like, ‘What would Pauline think?’ And I think that’s a bad habit for anyone to get into, particularly a critic. So in a way, by being kicked out, I was forced to be my own man.”

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Joaquin Phoenix’s Monumental Montgomery Clift Mash-Up

When Quentin Tarantino was doing press for Inglorious Basterds, he was asked by a reporter what films or filmmaker would inspire him today if he was just starting out in the business. He answered Paul Thomas Anderson, writer-director of The Master, opening Friday in LA and New York:

“We’re really good friends and we have a very kind of artist romantic relationship. I feel I’m Marlon Brando to his Montgomery Clift. But there is a reality. Brando was better because Clift was out there. Same thing, Clift was better because he knew f*ckin’ Brando was already there, all right?”

In Anderson’s The Master, Joaquin Phoenix is one part Brando and four parts Clift. The actor’s colossal portrayal of Freddie Quell, a man who quite literally is fighting at every moment to quell his personal demons, ranks as the first performance in a very long time to recall the on-screen syncopated beats and off-screen tortured genius of an actor who had his own fair share of “The” titled films (The Search, The Heiress, The Defector).

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For Your Consideration: Leonardo DiCaprio Dropping N-Bombs

Based on reports coming out of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival sneak peak at Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, it’s going to be a very schizophrenic Christmas at the movies for perennial Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio.

Arriving in theaters December 25 together with Baz Luhrmann’s remake of The Great Gatsby will be a DiCaprio we’ve never seen or heard before. Per Kyle Buchanan’s Vulture dispatch on the seven minutes of footage shown:

The big surprise? How funny this potentially controversial Western has turned out to be. In particular, Leonardo DiCaprio seems to be having the time of his life dropping N-bombs and smiling rotted teeth as plantation owner Calvin Candie, whom freed slave Jamie Foxx and bounty hunter Christoph Waltz must defeat in order to save Foxx’s wife Kerry Washington.

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Deadline’s Mike Fleming Takes Another Playboy Detour

Although Mike Fleming’s deadline.com duties keep him very busy, he still finds the time to continue one longstanding freelance tradition. The Playboy interview.

Beginning with Robert Downey Jr. in the 1990s, Fleming has contributed around two dozen centerpiece Q&As to the publication, chatting with everyone from Denzel Washington to Harrison Ford to Quentin Tarantino. For the June issue, the A-lister across the tape recorder is Tom Cruise. Towards the end of the conversation, Fleming asks Cruise what he learned from that whole Matt Lauer-Oprah Winfrey train wreck:

“When I go back and look at it, I find myself thinking, I don’t feel that way. I get how it came across, but I don’t feel that way, and I never have. Telling people how to live their lives? I saw how that came across and how pieces were edited.”

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Downey Patriot in the Middle of Bastards Sports Bar Brouhaha

Should an establishment coming to the heart of an upstanding SoCal community be allowed to call itself Bastards? Even if the name is inspired by the “Magnificent Bastards” nickname of a 2nd Battaltion 4th Marines infantry unit?

Eric Pierce, a blogger for the Downey Patriot, revisits that topic today in light of Thursday’s official statement from the city about the imminent arrival of the B-named sports bar. It would seem that this will remain a contentious issue, as Downey has decreed that it cannot force owner Nick Velez to change the shingle. Per Pierce:

This newspaper has published several letters on the subject and this week we even received a petition signed by more than 20 local residents in opposition to the Bastards name.

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Panel Debates ‘Shifting Landscape’ of Independent Film

FishbowlLA was in attendance Thursday as Whitewater Films kicked off its third year of bi-monthly back patio panels in Santa Monica with a sunny lunch hour discussion of “The Shifting Landscape of Independent Film.” Manning the barbecue as usual was company founder Rick Rosenthal, while Indiewire editor-in-chief Dana Harris returned for another rotating stint as panel moderator.

Dustin Smith, vp of acquisitions and business affairs for Roadside Attractions, kept things lively with a number of jokes and direct exchanges with the other panelists. He recalled for example that by flying in Jennifer Lawrence from London for a Q&A, he was able to keep Winter’s Bone screening at the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood for a critical early third week. He also had lots to say about the state of “S-VOD” dealmaking with Netlifx; as the streaming service focuses more on episodic TV assets, he recently encountered his first outright rights renewal rejection (Goodbye Solo).

Deborah McIntosh, a member of William Morris Endeavor’s global finance and distribution group, addressed the exciting new distribution arm of client Tim League, co-founder of Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse. She also touched on the agency’s imminent plans to release an independent feature exclusively on Facebook.

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New Health Drink Conjures Up Tarantino and a Porn Place

The name of LA’s latest health and wellness beverage, Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink, has a certain retro-ring. That’s because long before Boardwalk Empire, actor Steve Buscemi was of course Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino‘s feature debut Reservoir Dogs. “Why am I Mr. Pink? Why can’t we pick our own colors?” he complained in the film.

At the other end of the mental trigger scale for this new product is, less fortunately, porn website MrPink.com. But… in today’s mainstreamed society of titillation, it could be argued that any associative publicity is good associative publicity.

Further compounding the circa-1992 flavor is the last name of one of the drink company execs. Seriously, if you’re a hardcore QT fan, this may have to be your spring 2012 beverage of choice:

“We are happy to offer Mr. Pink to discerning Hollywood consumers,” says Marty Brown, COO of Mr. Pink Beverages. “Its ginseng-based formula is designed to support healthy, pure vitality and does more than simply energize – it promotes well-being.”

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Jason Reitman’s Reservoir Dogs Rocks the LACMA House

Jason Reitman’s Reservoir Dogs Rocks the LACMA House

One of the great things about Jason Reitman‘s “Live Read” series for Film Independent at LACMA is that the all-star sessions are never filmed or recorded for Internet posterity. It’s all about the audience surrendering to a live-performance moment. To bring that point home last night, curator Elvis Mitchell donned a pair of sunglasses and jokingly warned that anyone caught using a Smartphone in the audience would get a painful, personal visit from Laurence Fishburne.

Fishburne (pictured), seated center stage, was riveting as Mr. White, cranking out the first pair of Reservoir Dogs reading highlights: the injured-partner-in-the-car scene with Mr. Orange (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and the soulful significant-others discussion with jewelry store heist organizer Joe (Chi McBride). Bookending the all-black cast last night was Reitman, stage-left, who reads the script scene set-up info, and his Young Adult co-star Patton Oswalt, stage-right, who donned several comic relief hats as a radio DJ, policeman and more.

Terrence Howard put his own, seductive spin on the role of psychopath Mr. Blonde, played so memorably in the film by Michael Madsen. He also got one of the biggest laughs of the night when he came to page 59 and, in response to Reitman’s stage direction, told the audience, “I wasn’t ready to die yet.” Reitman quickly adjusted, expanding Quentin Tarantino‘s words to indicate a longer, drawn out death scene.

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‘Sundance Skippy’ Set for Another Celebrity-Filled Festival

Orem, Utah celebrity fan Scott Jessop has already triumphed in a way that Sundance Film Festival cognoscenti can appreciate: he was the star of his very own indie documentary. But that was 2010 and this is now.

Tomorrow, Jessop, a.k.a. “Sundance Skippy,” will descend on Park City to begin his eighth year of attempting to be photographed alongside as many celebrities as possible. He hopes one day to turn the hanging-with-famous-people thing into a full-time journalism career, and tells a student reporter at Brigham Young University he boned up for 2012 via an unlikely source:

When asked how he is able to spot the celebrities so well, Jessop said he watches a lot of TV and watches TMZ every day. He also suggests going through the [Sundance] film guide and knowing what celebrities are going to be there so one can keep a lookout for them.

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Critics Chime in with Possible Django Taglines

The Twitter account for Quentin Tarantino‘s next movie threw out a casual query this afternoon, asking for possible Django Unchained taglines. Faster than you can type “Duck, You Sucker!”, the first round of suggestions is in.

The winner at this early stage is venerable Hollywood Reporter journo Gregg Kilday. His proposed tagline is, “Makes Mandingo Look Like Uncle F*cking Tom.”

Second prize for Round One goes to Jim Vejoda of IGN, thanks to “Django: It’s Belgian Gypsy for Bad Muthaf****r.”

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