Oh, my. It has been a while. The cinetrix went to Ladies' Rock Camp, then graded a gazillion midterms, the same number of shot description/analyses, etc., and now she really needs to write the conference paper she's delivering at the end of the week at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies conference in New Orleans.
Which should explain the tab closing/throat clearing. I'm convinced that procrastination is actually the last refuge of scoundrels.
Via Clothes on Film, the super-creepy oil paintings of Cathy Lomax. Above, one of the 56 costume changes in Rosemary's Baby Lomax painted, which is captioned "Rosemary Woodhouse’s Wardrobe, Outfit 3: Yellow floral print, sleeveless swing dress. (Moving into the apartment)." Look at those spindly legs! My favorite caption, however, would have to be this one: "Rosemary Woodhouse’s Wardrobe, Outfit 21: Short white towelling dressing gown and big fluffy blue slippers. (In kitchen the morning after being raped by the devil)" (Fun fact: The younger cinetrix once dressed as post-rape/knocked-up Rosemary for Halloween.)
The sublime Joanne McNeil shares the name for anacronistic audio: sound skeuomorphism.
Hilobrow points to a genius blog: Deface Value. Who doesn't love a little freestyle détournement? I agree with Josh: "This idea is so straightforward, elegant, and endlessly amusing and enlightening. DEFACE VALUE should be a book published by Princeton Architectural Press."
Via Terry Teachout: "An extremely rare kinescope of film noir actress Lizabeth Scott singing "He Is a Man" on TV in 1958." Sultry!
Don't you love it when shitty movies induce spleen-fueled arias? For example, Wesley Morris on Drive Angry:
This is the rare major release that permits – in swampy, criminally expensive 3D – the study of how some effects are too cruddy to achieve specialness, how not all stuntpeople, dancing extras, and men playing State Trooper Numbers Two and Three are created equal. You can also truly appreciate how not every burning car that's piloted over a camp of dancing cultists is awesome, which goes double for fake breasts – even in the aforementioned 3D format. This is a movie that began at the bottom of the barrel and saw no reason to climb out.
But there is William Fichtner, who plows along as an agent of death. He looks hale and self-amused in a decent suit, his skin as tight as a pair of Spanx. David Morse and the horror veteran Tom Atkins show up here and there. And Billy Burke, better known as Bella's dad in the "Twilight" saga, plays the bayou cult leader. He looks terrible (like the lead singer in a Train cover band) and his southern accent sounds worse (like the songs such a band might sing). Burke's dialogue often sound as if it's been achieved by a line generator combining HBO's "True Blood," the Coens's "True Grit," and the unpublished sermons of Quentin Tarantino: "He is the blight and we are the rain. Go forth and pour your anger upon him!" That line and everything else are actually more "True Rhymes with Grit."
Amber Heard, a pert Texan, rides shotgun with Cage. She wears the requisite Daisy Duke shorts and a white tank top that refuses to stain and seems only to tighten around her chest as the minutes drain away. She's the bridge between Scarlett Johansson and Kristen Stewart, but I wouldn't feel safe crossing it. Shooting guns and screaming, Heard has the look here of an actress whose greatest ambition is to survive the opening hour of a slasher film. Cage manages to treat her better than the other men in this film: like a daughter.
Like the leader singer in a Train cover band! Comedy gold, people.
Speaking of Mr. Morris, let me wind this up with some Oscar leftovers, starting with one of his many excellent tweets that evening:
Not content to phone in the Oscar hosting gig, pretty-boy polymath James Franco apparently found time to trifle with power gays like Gus Van Sant and Michael Stipe in his latest provocation, My Own Private River. Whatever, brah.
Getting much less attention not far from the Kodak theatre, in Beverly Hills, was a gallery exhibition called Unfinished, where just two days prior to Oscar night Franco had presided over the rebirth of another fallen star. Working with director Gus van Sant, Franco launched a powerful installation of video art, cutting a 100-minute film full of unseen footage of River Phoenix from the dailies of Van Sant's modern day classic My Own Private Idaho.
Showing alongside a series of watercolours by Van Sant designed to recall the colourful cast of hip and troubled teenagers that populated the 1991 release, which also starred Keanu Reeves, Franco's film is by far the more interesting work. Through thick, ragged curtains, which hang from the gallery's high ceilings, the film's viewing space is dotted with threadbare sofas, folding chairs and an instant coffee dispenser.
It's decidedly more support group than cinema, but as Franco's piece, set to a score by REM's Michael Stipe, plays on a loop on the wall, there's something rather comforting about the oddly therapeutic setting.
Finally, I look forward to wasting hours playing Famous Objects from Classic Movies after the conference, when, no doubt, I'll be all jazzed and buzzing and wondering how I could relate it to Bill Brown's "Thing Theory."
- Manic Pixie Straw Girl
- Related: A.S. Hamrah's recent n+1 Oscar preview. "You know it’s a feel-bad movie when your first thought when it’s over is, “She should have had the abortion.” She doesn’t have the abortion for the same reason John Ford said the Cavalry doesn’t kill the Indians in the first reel: if they did, there wouldn’t be a movie. That may explain a lot about the way abortion is treated in American movies these days." [I just wish there was some sort of podcast version, so you too could have the added pleasure of hearing Scott's voice in your head as you read his words.]
- David Thomson interviews Walter Murch. In The Believer, which is always a good idea in theory and a burden in practice.