The Day of the Locust
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3 items from 2009

Best films of the noughties No 3: Mulholland Drive | Xan Brooks

30 December 2009 1:40 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Is David Lynch's 2001 spellbinder an exposé of Hollywood mores? Or is it a wild white rabbit chase into the mind of Lynch himself? Who knows, and what does it matter when the result is this entrancing

Mulholland Drive, like its namesake, twists and turns along the fringes of Hollywood, past misty vistas and discreet, gated secrets. The way ahead is slippery and treacherous, and halfway up even the most surefooted traveller risks losing their way. When the film was released back in 2001, director David Lynch helpfully provided a list of directions ("Notice appearance of the red lampshade. Where is Aunt Ruth?", etc). But were these road signs or red herrings? There are times when we wonder if even Lynch knows precisely where he is leading us.

I interviewed the director at the tail-end of 1999 when he told me about this TV pilot he'd been working on; how the network »

- Xan Brooks

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Birthday Suits: Cougar Town

16 November 2009 5:30 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Celebrating the birthdays cinematic: actors, actresses, and other filmtypes. If it's your big day, a happy one to you as well.

The Penguin and The Secretary

Today's B-Days 11/16

1908 Burgess Meredith two time Oscar nominee. But no, not for the Penguin in Batman: The Movie. Those honors came back to back in his late 60s for Rocky and The Day of the Locust.

1964 Harry Lennix best known for his TV work in shows like Dollhouse and Commander in Chief but he's cut an imposing figure in the movies too (Titus, the Matrix trilogy). But yes Dollhouse was cancelled last week. sigh.

1967 Lisa Bonet mostly retired actress, Huxtable, one of Marisa Tomei's besties

1970 Martha Plimpton. My friends have this thing where they cast the book they've just read for their book club each month. It's their tradition that they have to give 80s teen film star turned ubiquitous Broadway thespian a role in every film. »


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Villains We Love: William Atherton

28 October 2009 11:33 AM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

So there I was on the Twitter, conversing with a few friends and rambling aimlessly about some movie minutiae that was hopping through my head. One of those Tweets was this one, and it prompted an immediate response from several Twitter pals ... and Erik Davis. He insisted that my admiration for character actor William Atherton would make for an appropriate edition of "Villains We Love," and here's why: Mr. Atherton is at his best when he's playing a smug, smarmy, officious authority figure who exists mainly to give a movie's hero something fun to play off of.

Case in point: Val Kimer vs. William Atherton in Real Genius. Bill Murray vs. William Atherton in Ghostbusters. Bruce Willis (and Bonnie Bedelia) vs. William Atherton in Die Hard and Die Hard 2. Pauly Shore vs. William Atherton in Bio-Dome. Certainly no one-trick pony (you also know this actor from The Sugarland Express, »

- Scott Weinberg

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