Tag Archive: steve mcqueen


 

scarface

Excited to hear Steve McQueen behind a 2Pac documentary.  The producers behind it have made some of the better music documentaries in recent years.  Not sure how much new information there is about Pac at this point, but I guess we’ll see.

That’s the segway to today’s song choice.

Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

 

haroldramis

Today’s post starts on a sad note as Harold Ramis passed away Monday morning.  All day, a generation that includes Aaron and myself has paid tribute to a fellow Midwestern who made his mark on this business.  Today’s post is about the directors; in that role alone he gave us Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day, and Analyze This just to name a few.  The vast majority of filmmakers who do comedy would be thrilled to have just one of those on their resume when they’re done.  He will be missed.

On to the task at hand.  Here are the nominees for Best Director:

American Hustle
Gravity
Nebraska
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Who Should Win
MALIK: A part of me twinges to say it, but the film I was most impressed with from a directing stand point was Gravity.
ART: I don’t twinge at all at saying that. I completely agree with the opinion. While the story itself was satisfying, yet paper thin, the visuals of Gravity – the Special effects, cinematography and physical camera movement/placement was top notch. From a directing standpoint, nothing else was as ambitious and attained more “wow” moments than Cuaron’s space thriller.
Who Will Win
MALIK: Cuaron or McQueen.  Two low key guys with great vision (which I naturally admire).  I think the Academy is going to lean toward Gravity here.
ART: Scorsese had fun making Wall Street and it shows. David O. Russell seems to be Hollywood’s darling. Alexander Payne and his low key Nebraska effort are the black horse candidates. But, I think Gravity takes it. To see the opening six minutes on Imax was one of the more memorable cinematic experiences of last year. Curaon should take this, and then take less than four years to make his next film.
Who We Want to Win
MALIK: Give it to my man McQueen!
ART: Cuaron. 12 Years had more emotional resonance than Gravity. No doubt. But, Cuaron’s effort was the only one I couldn’t see any of the other directors pulling off. Much respect.
Tomorrow, we cover the Supporting Actor & Actress categories.

Shame

So everyone knows I’m a Brando guy, and I’ve talked about how ‘Last Tango in Paris’ was a major influence on how I built the character I used in “Lady In My Life.” So when one of the first things I heard about ‘Shame’ was that it was on some ‘Last Tango’ type ish, I was instantly like “Oh Really?!?”  I wasn’t going to hold any film to that  standard but I was intrigued.  And, as fate would have it, when I literally went from the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood to the Arclight only a few blocks away to catch a screening, I was really in a “Method” mood.

So let’s start there.  By own scale of 1 to 10 for commitment to a role, Michael Fassbender went for the 10 here; all in surrender of his body and spirit for the character.  Full salute from me for that.  For those unfamiliar, ‘Shame’ is about a young bachelor in his 30s, not a bad looking dude, stable in his job and living situation, who, for reasons never explained, is both unable and frankly uninterested in building and sustaining an emotional relationship with a woman.

(Let me pause this review here because I can here a certain peanut gallery picking up their phones to text me.  To you I say, shut it.)

What the main character of this film does have a passion for is sex.  But as the title implies, his passion for sex is…off.  He doesn’t do it for social status, for pleasure, for procreation, or as noted, for emotional connection.  He just…does it.  As often as possible and in plenty of inappropriate ways and places.  One of the things that director Steve McQueen (a brother from across the pond) gets right in this film is showing you in the first 20 minutes, there is nothing glamorous in this sexual perversion.

Casey Mulligan shows up as the sister of our protagonist. Not as one of the ‘normal sweet, girl next door’ types she’s played in other films, but as a desperate, really desperate for attention seeking little sister.  It was certainly an interesting choice for the audience to get no backstory on these two siblings, one emotionally vacant and one in constant need for approval, but in my opinion at least, it kept the film from maybe reaching its true potential.  If “Last Tango” is the standard, in that film there are little moments here and there where, if you don’t know, you (as the audience) can at least infer “Oh that’s why he’s an asshole.”  The audience of “Shame” doesn’t get that luxury.  For shame. (See what I did there?)

All that said, I think it’s a good film.  And the performances by the two leads are really good.  The film is rated NC-17, which I guess is its own reference to the high degree of sexuality in the film.  But to me all that NC-17 does is remind me how with the US ratings boards you can blow off all the heads and chop off all the arms you want and get an R, but you have one too many penis shots in your film and it’s immediately X-rated.  Another debate for another day…