Myra Breckinridge (1970) - News Poster


Quick Take: Gore Vidal on Film

Variety recently announced that Kevin Spacey is to bring Gore Vidal to our screens in a Netflix original film. Directed by Michael Hoffman (dir. The Last Station), Spacey might be the most perfect casting, and judging by some coded, jovial remarks at the Tony Awards this year, may relish a role like this.

Vidal's life has previously been on screen in documentaries: Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia and Best of Enemies, about his combative relationship with William F. Buckley.

Vidal: Writer, bon vivant, public intellectual and unapologetic homosexual has a rich, albeit chequered history in cinema. Screenwriter for the frenzied Suddenly, Last Summer, debauched bloodbath Caligula and his own notorious novel Myra Breckinridge was adapted into X-rated 1970 film.

And as uncredited writer of Ben-Hur, he was responsible for those lingering glances between Stephen Boyd and Charlton Heston - not that Heston ever knew that...
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Jared Kushner’s New York Observer Lays Off Film Critic Rex Reed

Jared Kushner’s New York Observer Lays Off Film Critic Rex Reed
The New York Observer has laid off longtime film critic Rex Reed, in addition to several other members of its entertainment staff, in the latest cutbacks to the newspaper since owner Jared Kushner divested from the paper after the 2016 presidential election.

Reed was notified of the decision last week, he said, concluding a career at the paper that lasted more than 25 years. His last reviews, for “Alien: Covenant” and “Wakefield,” ran May 19. Reed’s editor at the Observer did not return a request for comment.

“The shocking truth is that the Observer has been going down the drain financially for quite some time,” Reed said via email, adding that he felt the future of the paper was thrown into doubt after investment banker Arthur Carter sold it to 25-year-old Kushner in 2006. The young mogul left the paper after his father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, was elected President of the United States last fall.
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L'Amant Double review – camp-classic status beckons for François Ozon's softcore silliness

The director of Jeune et Jolie returns with another slice of erotica-lite, in this tale of an ex-model in therapy who ends up with two lovers – who are twins

The softcore silliness and lite-erotic stylings of François Ozon’s horribly middleweight psycho-suspense thriller may yet give it camp classic status, like a super-porny version of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected.

There’s admittedly a cheeky wit to the opening visual gag, which converts a gynaecological image into a crying eye. And it has what future cultural historians may come to think of as the best female strap-on scene since Myra Breckinridge. Who knows?

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Valley of the Dolls

High camp or just plain trash? A cultural-cinematic swamp in perfectly rotten taste, this adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's supermarket 'dirty book' seeks out tawdry sleaze like no American movie had before. Junk beyond belief, and great entertainment if you're in a sick frame of mind. Valley of the Dolls Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 835 1967 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 123 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date September 27, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Paul Burke, Sharon Tate, Susan Hayward, Tony Scotti, Martin Milner, Charles Drake, Alexander Davion, Lee Grant, Naomi Stevens, Robert H. Harris, Jacqueline Susann, Robert Viharo, Joey Bishop, George Jessel, Dionne Warwick, Sherry Alberoni, Margaret Whiting, Richard Angarola, Richard Dreyfuss, Marvin Hamlisch, Judith Lowry. Cinematography William H. Daniels Film Editor Dorothy Spencer Conductor / Music Adaptor John Williams Written by Helen Deutsch, Dorothy Kingsley Jacqueline Susann Produced by Mark Robson, David Weisbart Directed by Mark Robson

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

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Directors Who Damaged Their Careers Part 4 – The One Who Completely Destroyed His

Graeme Robertson continues his series looking at directors who damaged their careers; next up is Michael Sarne (read the first part on Richard Kelly here, the second part on Michael Cimino here, and the third part on George Lucas here)…

It’s probably likely that a good number of you reading this will have never heard of Michael Sarne, and there is a good reason for that. That reason you ask? The reason is Myra Breckinridge (1970), a warning that you really should not give a onetime pop star complete creative control over a film when they haven’t the faintest idea how to make one.

Based on the best-selling novel by controversial writer Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge tells the story of a young attractive woman who heads to Hollywood to inherit the fortune of her late husband Myron’s uncle, all the while pushing various sexual and social boundaries, that
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady.
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The dirty book of the '60s became an all-star dirty movie with Brando, Burton, Starr, Coburn, Matthau, Astin, Aznavour and Huston all wanting a taste of the Swedish nymphet Ewa Aulin. Camerawork by Rotunno, designs by Dean Tavoularis, effects by Doug Trumbull -- and the best material is Marlon Brando making goofy faces as a sub-Sellers Indian guru. Candy Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1968 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 124 min. /Candy e il suo pazzo mondo / Street Date May 17, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Ewa Aulin, Charles Aznavour, Marlon Brando, James Coburn, Richard Burton, John Astin, John Huston, Walter Matthau, Ringo Starr, Anita Pallenberg, Elsa Martinelli. Cinematography Giuseppe Rotunno Production Designer Dean Tavoularis Opening and closing designed by Douglas Trumbull Film Editor Giancarlo Cappelli, Frank Santillo Original Music Dave Grusin Writing credits Buck Henry from the book by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg Produced by Robert Haggiag Directed by Christian Marquand

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Mae and Raquel! Myra Breckinridge Wednesday Night at Schlafly Bottleworks

“Well, the end of another busy day. I can’t wait till I get back to bed. If that don’t work I’ll try to sleep!”

Myra Breckinridge screens Wednesday night December 2nd at Schlafly Bottleworks at 8pm

You never know what’s brewing at Webster University’s Strange Brew Film series, and there’s nothing stranger than this month’s entry, Myra Breckinridge. Gore Vidal’s 1968 satirical novel Myra Breckinridge was considered un-filmable to begin with. That’s probably true. There’s no way that this story about a sex change operation could have ever become a classic mainstream movie. But the 1970 film version is not all that bad, In fact, thanks mostly to some really clever casting (bringing Mae West into the film was a stroke of genius and a young Farrah Fawcett is quite a sight) and a wonderful, bitingly funny and dead-on performance by a young Raquel Welch,
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Venice Film Review: ‘The Danish Girl’

Venice Film Review: ‘The Danish Girl’
A year after Eddie Redmayne proved his incredible capacity for reinvention in “The Theory of Everything,” the freckle-faced Brit pulls off the ultimate identity overhaul as “The Danish Girl,” portraying gender-reassignment trailblazer Lili Elbe, nee Einar Wegener, who was one of the first to make a “sex change” via surgery. For an actor, there can be few more enticing — or challenging — roles than this, in which the nature of identity, performance and transformation are all wrapped up in the very fabric of the character itself, and Redmayne gives the greatest performance of his career so far, infinitely more intimate — and far less technical — than the already stunning turn as Stephen Hawking that so recently won him the Oscar. Reuniting with “Les Miserables” director Tom Hooper in a return to the handsome, mostly interior style of the helmer’s Oscar-winning “The King’s Speech,” Redmayne finds himself at the heart — one shared by Alicia Vikander,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Take a Swig of Viper at The Hi-Pointe Midnights This Weekend – Street Trash

“I don’t need this. I already got trouble with my kids, my wife, my business, my secretary, the bums… the runaways, the roaches, prickly heat, and a homo dog. This just ain’t my day!”

Street Trash screens midnights this Friday and Saturday Night (August 7th and 8th) at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave, St. Louis) as part of Destroy the Brain’s monthly Late Night Grindhouse

Vintage Vinyl, the used record store on the Loop in U City, is housed in the same building that used to be the Varsity Theater. The Varsity is where The Rocky Horror Picture Show played midnights to sold-out crowds throughout much of the ‘70s and -80s. The theater definitely catered to the cult and college crowd, presenting counterculture film programming, mostly for the students at nearby Washington University and for years was the only place in town to catch 3-D movies.
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The Best Of Enemies: political feuding from the golden age of TV

The intense 1968 TV debates between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley are preserved forever in a film that shows up the moronic TV screamers of today

Outside in Grant Park, the Chicago Police Department’s “Blue Riot” at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention: an orgy of nightsticks and cracked student skulls, blood on the streets, and the effective demise of the Democratic party for a generation. Inside the sweltering convention hall, two nationally esteemed American public intellectuals – one right, one left – going at it hammer and tongs on national TV at prime time, trading homophobic insults (“Now listen, you queer...”) for accusations of fascism (“Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi...”) and threats of violence (“Or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face!”). As het-up moderator Howard J Smith said: “Now gentlemen, let’s not call names!”

Those words were snarled during live TV news coverage by William F Buckley, founder of postwar Us conservatism,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Enemy mine by Anne-Katrin Titze

Best Of Enemies dinner at Le Cirque celebrating directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

An invited screening of Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon's Best Of Enemies on William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal, hosted by Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures was followed by a dinner organised beautifully by Peggy Siegal at Le Cirque. I caught up with the Oscar winning director of 20 Feet From Stardom over wild mushroom risotto for a conversation on his latest documentary, Christopher Hitchens, Myra Breckinridge, Caligula, waltzes, and fact checking. Best Of Enemies features the off-camera voices of John Lithgow as Vidal and Kelsey Grammer as Buckley, with interviews of Dick Cavett, Noam Chomsky, Matt Tyrnauer, Brooke Gladstone, Sam Tanenhaus and Ginia Bellafante.

Morgan, when he heard the news on Albert Maysles, sent a tribute from the True/False Documentary Film Festival where he was presenting Best Of Enemies last month.
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Tom Selleck Recalls His Start in Fox Talent Program

Tom Selleck Recalls His Start in Fox Talent Program
With an acting resume that starts with such gem parts as “Stud” in the 1970 farce “Myra Breckinridge” and proceeds to his Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning work on the ’80s TV series “Magnum, P.I.,” Tom Selleck is marking his sixth decade in the biz. Currently co-starring in the fifth season of CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” Selleck recalls how United Airlines’ loss became American film and TV fans’ gain.

You were first mentioned in Variety when you were accepted into the 20th Century Fox “New Talent” program in 1967. Had you worked hard for this?

I was in my last semester of business school at USC. I was in management training for United Airlines. I had done a couple of commercials and was on “The Dating Game,” but I had never done a play in my life. My acting experience was zero.

But someone spotted your potential.

My commercials agent Don Schwartz sent me to Fox,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

RuPaul's Drag Race recap: season seven, episode four – Spoof!

This week RuPaul asked group to get ‘Punny or die’ when creating parody songs, one of which looked like ‘a camp impersonation of Myra Breckinridge casting a spell on a demon’

“It’s a new hole day!” proclaimed Ginger Minj, after last week’s Sturm and all the Drang of Jasmine Master’s elimination … which would’ve worked, except it became pick-your-own-team week, and Max, Violet Chachki and Jaidynn Diore Fierce ended up on a team together because everyone else had better ideas.

But if anyone has proven her ability to persevere over everyone else’s drama, it’s Max, who pulled off both a team and a personal win despite Jaidynn Diore Fierce’s onstage meltdown during last week’s team challenge. Meanwhile, you had Trixie Mattel, Pearl, Miss Fame and Katya sparring because there was no one in charge; and Ginger Minj, Ms Kasha Davis, Kandy Ho and
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Best of Enemies’

Sundance Film Review: ‘Best of Enemies’
It may be difficult to recall (or imagine) a time when an uncivil war of words between politically disparate intellectuals was sufficiently novel to generate massive media coverage and score impressive Nielsen numbers. It is very much to the credit of co-directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon that their “Best of Enemies,” a thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining documentary about the notorious 1968 televised clash between conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. and liberal gadfly Gore Vidal, is both fascinating as a glimpse at the not so distant past, and provocative as an account of what arguably was an early step in the decline of political discourse on television. After limited theatrical play and pubcast rotation, the film should enjoy a long shelf life as a teaching tool in broadcasting, political science and communications studies courses.

Ironically, the documakers emphasize early on, this epochal event was less a primetime innovation than a product of desperation.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Remembering Farrah Fawcett: Watch Our 5 Favorite Clips of the Charlie's Angels Star

Remembering Farrah Fawcett: Watch Our 5 Favorite Clips of the Charlie's Angels Star
It's been five years since Farrah Fawcett died of cancer at the age of 62, but the actress's memory remains with us. Fawcett's famous blond curls and Texas tan made her a '70s icon, but her glamour was truly timeless. Join us in remembering Fawcett's legacy through five of our favorite clips from her decades-long career. The Dating Game, 1969 One of Farrah's first TV appearances saw the former beauty queen take part in this late-'60s dating show. (If you're unfamiliar, it was essentially The Voice, but for making out.) Interestingly enough, the man she would choose bears a striking resemblance to her future partner,
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Cinema at the Margins

Wheeler Winston Dixon’s Cinema at the Margins is an enlightening collection of essays and interviews. Wearing his encyclopedic knowledge lightly, Dixon shares his expert insights and research in an eloquent, eminently readable style. I chose to review his new book because its reference to the ‘margins’ held the enticing promise of new discoveries, and a brief survey of its table of contents confirmed that, alongside well-known and much-loved names, there were also unfamiliar ones. The volume covers an early film by Peter Bogdanovich, the horror movies of Lucio Fulci, American 1930s and 40s science fiction serials, the TV series Dragnet, the brief career of Argentine director Fabián Bielinsky and the long one of Hollywood director Sam Newfield, Robert Bresson’s Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945), U.S. 1960s experimental cinema, Dixon’s own meditation on the shift to digital, and interviews with music video director Dale “Rage” Resteghini,
See full article at The Moving Arts Journal »

Alien 3: Assembly Cut redeems a dark and unforgetable nightmare

Alien 3

Directed by David Fincher

Written by Larry Ferguson, David Giler & Walter Hill

USA, 1992

It’s a classic chapter of Hollywood lore, one of those great cautionary tales of executive mismanagement and shattered dreams. With behind-the-scenes chaos in both the boardroom and editing suites following up on indecisive strategizing and constant creative overhauls, 20th Century Fox’s hotly anticipated third installment in the Alien franchise was always set up to fail. You could argue that the writing was on the wall when the marketing department jumped the gun by releasing an infamous teaser trailer with the quickly irrelevant tagline “On Earth, everybody can hear you scream”. Half of the industry’s writing population seemed to have a go on spec, from William Gibson (with what was ostensibly an Aliens screenplay) to David Twohy (featuring a Ripley-less premise), $7 million was wasted on rejected sets and the film spent a year in editing,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Wamg Interview: ‘A Conversation With Edith Head’ at the Sheldon December 6th and 7th

A Conversation with Edith Head will be held at The Sheldon Ballroom in St. Louis on December 6th and 7th

All About Eve, Roman Holiday, The Ten Commandments, A Place In The Sun, The Sting. These great films and hundreds more have one thing in common: costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). The small woman with the familiar straight bangs, black-rimmed saucer glasses, and unsmiling countenance racked up an unprecedented 35 Oscar nods and 400 film credits over the course of a sixty-year career. The golden age of Hollywood sparkled with extravagant cinematic productions and stars such as Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Mae West, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Redford were made even more glamorous by donning the costumes designed by incredibly talented Ms Head.

Theater director Susan Claassen, a New Jersey native got the idea for a project based on Edith Head several years ago after
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Wamg Interview – Susan Claassen: A Conversation with Edith Head – Sliff 2013

All About Eve, Roman Holiday, The Ten Commandments, A Place In The Sun, The Sting. These great films and hundreds more have one thing in common: costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981). The small woman with the familiar straight bangs, black-rimmed saucer glasses, and unsmiling countenance racked up an unprecedented 35 Oscar nods and 400 film credits over the course of a sixty-year career. The golden age of Hollywood sparkled with extravagant cinematic productions and stars such as Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, Mae West, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Redford were made even more glamorous by donning the costumes designed by the incredibly talented Mrs. Head.

Theater director Susan Claassen, a New Jersey native, got the idea for a project based on Edith Head several years ago after she watched a televised biography of the designer. She realized that her physical resemblance to the designer was uncanny,
See full article at »
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