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The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '89 arrives on Sunday August 31st, two weeks from now. We'll be celebrating 1989 here and there until then as "the year of the month". You need to get your votes in, too, (instructions at the end of the post). If you've wandered in from elsewhere and are like, "What's a Smackdown?," here's how it started and here's last month's entry on 1973 with its companion podcast. The year in question this time is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
no, these ladies are not the panelists
The Smackdown Panel for August
Without further ado let's meet the voices who will be watching and discussing the '89 hits Steel Magnolias and Parenthood. They'll also be sounding off on the Oscar-winning bio My Left Foot and the underseen actressy curio Enemies: A Love Story. Stay tuned.
Kevin B Lee
Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker, film critic and »
- NATHANIEL R
Hattie is judging you. Stop with your fiddle-dees and choose a 'Best Shot' alreadyI'm like one of those horrible teachers that gives you endless homework. But I hope in the end when you graduate you'll be all 'he was the best. O Captain My Captain' and whatnot. But here's what you should be watching for maximum participatory glee here at The Film Experience as the summer draws to a close.
Retro: To close out "Best Shot" we'll be celebrating Gone With the Wind in two parts for its 75th anniversary year on August 19th (pre-intermission) & August 26th (post-intermission) and The Matrix on September 2nd (if you've always wanted to participate, why not now?); Anne Marie will look at Long Days Journey Into Night and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner as she hits the glorious 1960s in "A Year With Kate". And we'll be celebrating a few films from 1989 leading up »
- NATHANIEL R
The world is just, quite simply, not nearly as funny a place now as it was just a few hours ago, before the tragic death of legendary comedian and actor Robin Williams. For nearly 40 years, the man kept us in stitches in ways only he could, with an impeccable delivery and an unmistakable charm that is often mimicked but never equaled.
As the world mourns this comedy legend, we take a look back at our 16 favorite Robin Williams performances, some in classics that are beloved the world over, and some in overlooked and/or underrated gems that deserve to be noticed.
While some actors spend years paying their dues in thankless guest starring or supporting roles on film and TV, it didn't take Robin Williams long to find a foothold in Hollywood. His appearance as the alien Mork on one episode of Happy Days was so popular it lead »
Since I spent the last week completely absorbed in Supporting Actress Smackdown '73 (with a side of Into the Woods spazzing) I didn't have as much time to write. I'm super proud of this month's two part event (written & podcasted) and I'm so tempted to make Dana Delany's impression of Sylvia Sidney my new ringtone. I thank StinkyLulu for letting me be the Whitney to his Dolly. But here's a handful of other highlights you may have missed if you too had a busy week where one project stole your life. The team jumped in since I was smackdowning.
A Dame to Shill For cosign Jason's bigscreen/smallscreen lust for Eva Green's talent
Bergman's Ghosts Cries and Whispers is the greatest haunted house movie. But who or what is doing the haunting?
Is Lucy racist? Matthew refuses to see it
Hepburn's Hair Anne Marie shares a hairography theory »
- NATHANIEL R
Family: You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em - so you might as well make a movie about them. That's exactly what Ron Howard did with Parenthood, which hit theaters on August 2, 1989. The story of four siblings working to raise their children right and keep their sanity at the same time, this movie was (and still is) relatable to moms and dads of all generations. Since its release, Parenthood has gone on to inspire two different TV shows, and it serves as an adorable archive of big stars in their early years. In fact, one of Bryce Dallas Howard »
- Kelli Bender
Paula Pell is a "SNL" legend who's written for the show since the mid '90s. She helped developed the Spartan cheerleaders, Debbie Downer, and plenty more classic characters, but on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" last night she proved she's a hilarious comedic presence as a talk show gabber too. Watch as Pell arrives onstage in a questionable outfit and continues to slay throughout the interview. And in part two of her interview, Pell discusses the movie she wrote that stars (get ready) Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Dianne Wiest, and Kate McKinnon. Let's start squealing for it now. »
- Louis Virtel
Nostalgia and the lingering sting of eras lost to the sands of time have cropped up in a number of Woody Allen’s lengthy list of features, but never with such heartfelt remembrance of his own childhood as he portrays so entertainingly in Radio Days. Constructed as a sort of anthology of aurally recalled memories centered around a middle class family in Rockaway Beach and the radio celebrities of the day, Allen’s Cannes preemed and Oscar nominated 1987 film (Best Original Screenplay & Art Direction) celebrates the golden age of radio with the sharp-witted auteur’s signature neuroticism, an unusual visual pizzazz and a surprisingly melancholic air that lingers long after the credits roll.
It’s said that smell is the sense most intensely tethered to memory, but Allen seems keen to argue that point by organizing the film around an outstanding set of songs and faux radio shows from the »
- Jordan M. Smith
The 71st Venice Film Festival announced its lineup this morning, highlighted by films from American directors, including David Gordon Green, Barry Levinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Andrew Niccol, and James Franco. As had been previously announced, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and many others, will be the opening film when the festival begins on Aug. 27.
Click below for the entire list of 55 films playing in Venice.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Andersson
Starring Holger Andersson, »
- Jeff Labrecque
I’m lucky here at JustPressPlay, I only get the best comedies to review, it seems. Blazing Saddles, The Birdcage, both are incredible and two of the funniest flicks ever. I was obsessed with The Birdcage as a kid, thought it was amazing, with brilliant performances and even better giggles to be had.
All these years later and the movie holds up. It’s still a remarkably funny and witty film about the restructuring of family and relationships. Robin Williams and Nathan Lane play a gay couple who, after their son reveals that he’s engaged to a right-wing politician’s daughter, are faced with the reality of hiding who they truly are in order to protect their son’s love. The politician and his wife are played by Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest, who are both also outstanding.
- Robert Ottone
Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are: The Humbling (Directed by Barry Levinson) starring Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dianne Wiest, and Greta Gerwig. The Keeping Room (Directed by Daniel Barber) starring Sam Worthington, Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Muna Otaru, and Kyle Soller. The Last Five Years (Directed by Richard Lagravenese) starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Learning to Drive (Directed by Isabel Coixet) starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley. Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 - 14th. Via Tiff. The Humbling The Humbling tells the story of a legendary stage actor who has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age at a secluded country house in Connecticut. Based on Philip Roth’s final novel, it is a tragic »
- Matt Goldberg
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.
- Jeff Labrecque
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.
World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the »
- Jennie Punter
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You »
- Gregory Ellwood
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's vision for a "Dune" movie was beyond remarkable; it was truly epic. Pink Floyd, H. R. Giger, and Mick Jagger were just a few of the names attached to the film - until it imploded. This is a documentary about a sci-fi film that was ahead of its time and the visionary behind it.
Why We're In: Tons of interviews, behind-the-scenes details, storyboards, and more make this a must-see for art house, midnight movie, and film history fiends.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson star in this cool crime drama about a thief who's out for revenge on the dude who double-crossed him. Mel Gibson's "Payback" was based on the same novel, "The Hunter" by Donald E. Westlake, but that shouldn't deter you. »
- Jenni Miller
Blu-ray Release Date: July 8, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Twilight Time
Writer-director Woody Allen’s (Broadway Danny Rose) tenderly nostalgic 1987 comedy Radio Days makes its Blu-ray debut from Twilight Time as the label continues to mine Woody’s catalog for high-definition release.
Radio Days is a vignette-packed memory piece about growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s and it’s lovingly obsessed with the music, entertainment, and news of the wide world brought into every household via the magic of radio.
A young Allen surrogate (played by a teeny red-headed Seth Green) lives with his parents (Julie Kavner and Michael Tucker) and extended family in the wind-swept Rockaway neighborhood, their daily routines spiced by the glamour, excitement, thrills, and even occasional doses of grim reality coming to them over the airwaves.
An Oscar-winning actress is an exceptional artist no matter what shade, race or ethnicity she represents. For the sake of this written piece we will concentrate on those actresses of color whose achievement in cinema (and ultimate success of capturing the golden statuette) has made them revered commodities in the motion picture industry.
For some of these minority Oscar-winning actresses being spotlighted they have either excelled at their craft early in their careers or may have enjoyed limited success in the aftermath of their glory. Whatever the case it remains certain that these feminine recipients of Academy Award distinction left a legacy on the big screen in a capacity that cannot be taken away or dismissed.
The You’re in the Minority: Top 10 Oscar-Winning Actresses of Color are (in alphabetical order according to film titles):
Won the Academy Award for »
- Frank Ochieng
New York — While the New Group has always been a magnet for top talent, the Off Broadway company has assembled a particularly impressive roster of names for its 20th anniversary season, including Holly Hunter, Bill Pullman, Cynthia Nixon, Dianne Wiest and Jesse Eisenberg. Hunter and Pullman will star in the first New York revival of David Rabe's Tony-winning 1971 play Sticks and Bones, a savage comedy that parodies the idealized American sitcom family through the story of a blind Vietnam vet's return home to his folks and their struggle to understand him. New Group artistic director Scott Elliott
- David Rooney
Back in the summer of 1989, Rick Moranis had three films in the Us top 20 - each going on to be a $100m+ hit....
On August 4th 1989, the film Parenthood opened at number one in the Us, taking $10.5m on its opening weekend. It knocked Turner & Hooch off the top spot down to second, with Lethal Weapon 2 rounding out the top three.
Parenthood is lots of things. It's a very strong comedy. It's a film that boasts one of the finest comedic ensembles brought together in one movie in the last 25 years. And it's a movie that's spun off two really quite different television series.
But if you look at that top 20 box office chart for the weekend of August 4th-6th 1989, then you might just notice a pretty impressive achievement on top of all of that. For one actor had three films in the top 20, at the same time. »
As we anticipate a potential Part III, catch up on the major stars' exploits since - and compare how they looked then and now:
Steve Martin - already an established Hollywood name before Father of the Bride - plays hapless patriarch George Banks, who suffers a series of ridiculous misfortunes (and a mild breakdown - the too-plentiful pack of hotdogs springs to mind) after his daughter announces that she's getting married. »
• Patrick Wilson (Jack Strong), Jessica Biel (The Truth About Emanuel), Imogen Poots (Need for Speed), and Toby Jones (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) have joined the cast of Andy Goddard’s (Set Fire to the Stars) upcoming untitled Patricia Highsmith film. The upcoming thriller is based off Highslith’s novel The Blunderer. Set in 1960s New York, the novel follows Walter Stackhouse (Wilson), a successful architect who lives the perfect life with his wife, Clara (Biel). Stackhouse’s life slips into chaos, however, when he becomes fascinated with an unsolved murder that forces him into contact with a killer (Jones) and an ambitious detective. »
- Pamela Gocobachi
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