– The above comes from a Photoshop-fun post at TheShiznit.co.uk on literal-titled versions of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture. Others include the front-runners “Hey You Yanks Loved The Queen Right?” and “Turns Out the Guy Who Invented Facebook is Kind of a Major Douchebag.” [via Matt Zoller Seitz]
– Paul Brunick at the main indieWIRE site has declared “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” to be “More Important Than ‘The Social Network,'” at least as a “time capsule for our millennial moment.” And it’s hard to disagree with the argument if you’ve seen the film, which integrates a whole lot more social networking platforms yet a less corrupt regs-to-riches origin story (our times are certainly less wholesome in general than Bieber’s story). An excerpt:
Though it lacks obvious artistic ambition, “Never Say Never” is a genuinely groundbreaking experiment in convergence-media aesthetics: part concert documentary, part reality-TV contrivance, part social-media playspace. Though it never strives for social significance, it offers more inadvertent insights into our Newest Economy than “The Social Network,” a classically constructed tragedy that superficially touched on topical issues.
– By the way, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” is apparently getting an expanded Director’s Cut re-release before the movie even leaves theaters — on March 4. Okay, now I believe those who called the film a cash grab.
– “You know the lesbian scene in “Black Swan”? Well this movie is like two hours of that. With bowl cuts.” That’s testimonial praise from the parodic trailer for “The Bieber Movie: For Guys,” which does for “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” what an earlier chesty spoof did for “Twilight.” Specifically, it turns Bieber and Usher into hot chicks and remakes the song “Baby” into “Boobies.” Immature, but justifiably so. See the trailer parody from SecretSauce.tv after the jump. [via /Film]
– Have a favorite pair of siblings in cinema? Inspired by Aaron Katz’s “Cold Weather,” the L.A. Times compiled a slideshow including “The Fighter,” “Halloween,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Donnie Darko.” Surprisingly, the list has more than a couple examples of pseudo-incest: the “Star Wars” kiss, the off-screen romance of Jennifer Grey and Matthew Broderick of “Ferris,” the step-siblings of “Cruel Intentions” and of course “The Royal Tennenbaums”:
Richie and Margot Tenenbaum
Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson) is in love with his adopted sister Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow), but of course, he can’t act on his feelings. As family drama unfolds around them and Margot runs into marital problems, she has an affair with Richie’s best friend, Eli. Unable to cope with the news, Richie tries to commit suicide, and the truth about his love for Margot is revealed.
– Speaking of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” here’s another awesome piece (by Joey Spiotto) from the John Hughes tribute art show, still going on through March 4.
– Working off Barbara Creed’s gender analysis of “Aliens,” Josh Nelson of Philmology looks at maternal absence and abjection in “Sanctum”:
Sanctum, a film shot almost entirely within dark cavernous underwater spaces, provides a recent example in which the mise-en-scène can be interpreted through reference to the maternal abject. While the association of James Cameron (director of Aliens) to Sanctum – he’s credited as Executive Producer – is perhaps more by coincidence than design, both films provide an interesting point of comparison in the construction of gendered-space. However, unlike Aliens, which focuses on a conflict of ‘mothers’ (surrogate vs. alien), in Sanctum the maternal figure is noticeably absent.
– Filmmaker James Gunn (“Slither”) has a pictoral list of ‘The 20 Academy Award Winning Actresses We Most Want to Have Sex With.’ #1 is Grace Kelly. And now we know why he and Jenna Fischer divorced. She doesn’t have an Oscar. [via /Film]
– To make it up to Fischer, here’s a reader-provided excerpt from Pajiba’s list of ‘Nine Women (And One Man) That Make Men Melt.’ Never mind that it’s more about Fischer’s character on “The Office” than the actress. There site also includes an image of her in sexy lingerie from “Walk Hard.”
Pam’s radiant, and obviously shapely despite the best efforts of the season one costumers, but unafraid to compromise others’ perception of her if she thinks it’s the right thing to do. For me (and Pam), a great partnership is when you can find someone who knows exactly who they are, and present themselves as such, independent of an external locus. But to find someone who can use that charisma to improve your life and your character, on a daily basis? To make you laugh, to shock you every day with the depth of caring one can have for another, to make you realize how blah and colorless your life looked in comparison before you met them? That’s close to perfection. That’s what we should all be looking for, and striving towards. ~ Ian
– From a guest-blog entry at David Bordwell’s Observations on film art, psychological researcher Tim Smith shares a study of the audience’s gaze, using eye tracking technology with 11 participating viewers, during a long take from “There Will Be Blood.” The green circles represent where people were looking:
And here we see the same clip in which the circles have been replace with heatmap “peekthrough” highlights, blacking out everything not being focused on. Or, as Smith explains:
The gaze data from multiple viewers is used to create a “peekthrough” heatmap in which each gaze location shines a virtual spotlight on the film frame. Any part of the frame not attended is black, and the more viewers look in the same location, the hotter the color.
The benefit of using a single long shot is the illusion of volition. Viewers think they are free to look where they want but, due to the subtle influence of the director and actors, where they want to look is also where the director wants them to look. A single static long shot also creates a sense of space, clear relationship between the characters, and a calm, slow pace which is critical for the rest of the film. The same scene edited into close-ups would have left the viewer with a completely different interpretation of the scene.
Definitely see the whole blog entry for complete and further analysis of the scene, its blocking and the experiment.
– See how they pulled off Armie Hammer‘s double duty — and meet body fill-in Josh Pence — in this revealing effects-making-of piece on “The Social Network” from New York magazine:
I still think the movie deserved an Oscar nod for visual effects (and supporting actor) for this. Also, is it extra-textual commentary on the whole Facebook thing to have what’s basically a doppelganger in the movie? Twins are already one level of that concept, but a faked identical person goes even further.
– Cinemax (and owner HBO) is trying to rebrand itself away from the Skinemax reputation. Seriously, many of us would have never heard about nor cared about the channel if not for that nickname. I feel bad for the new generation of preteen boys.
– As for good “channel” news, Hulu Plus now has about 150 Criterion Collection titles available.
– I would definitely see this barely intelligible British crime film from the makers of “Sexy Beast,” the “Red Riding” trilogy and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” Titled “Don’ You Go Rounin’ Roun to Re Ro,” it’s a great parody from “SNL” in spite of its featuring Russell Brand, who’s sadly worse at being a humorous British character than Bill Hader and Fred Armisen.
– The “Spider-Man” reboot is now officially titled “The Amazing Spider-Man.” That still leaves “The Spectacular Spider-Man” for the next reboot, likely to come in another decade. It also frees up “Web of Spider-Man” for the porn parody.
– Producer David F. Friedman died of heart failure at the age of 87. Having given us such films as “Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS” and “Two Thousand Maniacs,” we might never have had Rob Zombie’s fake “Grindhouse” trailer for “Werewolf Women of the SS,” and Natalie Merchant would have had to embarrassingly name her old band something else instead of the erroneously inspired 10,000 Maniacs.
– Character and voice actor Kenneth Mars has died of pancreatic cancer. While most remember him with scenes from “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein,” here I share a clip from Woody Allen’s “Radio Days,” in which he plays Rabbi Baumel:
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