Wednesday, September 23, 2009

it's only rock n roll.



today the rock and roll hall of fame announced their longlist of potential 2010 inductees:
  • abba
  • kiss
  • the stooges
  • the hollies
  • the chantels
  • darlene love
  • laura nyro
  • red hot chilli peppers
  • jimmy cliff
  • ll cool j
  • genesis
  • donna summer
it should be:
  • kiss (surprised they aren't already in there)
  • the stooges (ditto)
  • laura nyro (amazing songwriter - long overdue)
  • abba (obviously)
  • darlene love (ditto)
it will probably be:
  • kiss
  • the stooges
  • red hot chilli peppers (ridiculous)
  • ll cool j (laughable)
  • genesis (laughable-est)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

patrick swayze (1952-2009).

johnny castle.
sam wheat.
vida boheme.

no more.

babe of the day.

lori petty
(october 14, 1963 - )

why she's great
  • tank girl
  • a league of their own
  • point break
  • cult icon
  • underrated
  • 1990's
  • tank girl
  • graphic designer, pre hollywood
  • fashion designer, post hollywood
  • tank girl
  • faux lesbian
  • vegetarian
  • criminal
  • tank girl
  • kissed naomi watts
  • director
  • tank girl
  • better actor than most of her co-stars who were probably paid more (rosie o'donnell, andy dick, ice-t, madonna, benjamin bratt, keanu reeves, pauly shore, janet jackson, richard greico, gina gershon, willy)
why she's a babe
  • did i mention tank girl?

Monday, September 21, 2009

babe of the day.

gloria swanson
(march 27, 1899 - april 4, 1983)

why she's great:
  • a vegetarian since 1928, she would pack her own lunches and bring them to set
  • made her first appearance on film in 1914
  • successfully transitioned from silent pictures to talkies in the late 1920's
  • nominated for 3 academy awards, all best actress
  • has two stars on the hollywood walk of fame
  • considered one of the nicest and most cooperative actresses in the business, at the time
  • rumored to have slept with rudolph valentino
  • she was born in the nineteenth century and lived well into her eighties
  • ranked #1 on steelmagnolias' greatest performances that never won an oscar list
why she's a babe:
  • her earliest film stills. like the one above. hello?

#1. gloria swanson in sunset boulevard

are you kidding me?
gloria swanson as norma desmond is THE greatest performance of all time.

i don't want to give a lame summary of the picture, or opine about the beauty and intrigue and facial features responsible for carrying the reclusive actress into an over-the-top psychopathic superstar. i merely wish to bow down to gloria swanson, one of the greatest actors who ever lived. this is how it's done, boys and girls. respect.

nominated for 1950 best actress oscar;
lost to judy holliday in born yesterday

greatest moment:
see below

#2. barbara stanwyck in double indemnity

the only actor with two entries on this list, barbara stanwyck's performance as phyllis dietrichson, arguably one of cinema's greatest femme fatales, is absolutely perfect. ravishing and beautiful, with a steamy and sexy, smoky voice, phyllis traps a travelling insurance salesman (fred macmurray) in her web, seducing him in an effort to kill her husband and cash in on his life insurance policy, which includes a double indemnity clause. meaning: if her husband's death is ruled an accident, the bereaved widow receives twice the normal amount. phyllis' powers of manipulation lead her dumbstruck lover to commit the deed, which ensures her financial expectations, leaving him "holding the gun." when the web is unraveled, walter realizes that phyllis' actions were not out of genuine love for him, simply another obstacle in the way of her pure, unadulterated greed. stanwyck is as beautiful as ever in this role. she never won an oscar in her entire career, despite four nominations. she was given an honorary award in 1982. she died in 1990.

*nominated for 1945 best actress oscar
lost to ingrid bergman in gaslight

greatest moment: see below

tg tiff io (thank god tiff is over)

i have so neglected my countdown of the 100 greatest performances that never won an oscar. it was to coincide with the opening (and then the closing) of the toronto international film festival.but since that shit-show has come and gone (precious with mo-nique and mariah carey won the people's choice award -- it actually looks good), i will now present to you the final two performances. they are pretty fucking epic.

and then no more talk about movies for a while.

Monday, September 14, 2009

babe of the day.

taylor swift
(december 13, 1989 - )

i don't even particularly like her music, but no child deserves to be bullied on national television, whilst accepting an award voted for her by her fans. let alone by some ignorant, egomaniacal prick who stopped being interesting in 2004. you have to wonder if his mother truly raised him to act like that. mind you, if he wasn't famous, his mother would still be alive. ironic.

she's sweet.
she's cute.
she's 19.
and she's no ho.

she was probably told to do it by her puppet-master father, but i now enjoy beyonce for the reasons below:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

#3. maria falconetti in la passion de jeanne d'arc

she would have been eligible for the very first best actress oscar in 1928 (won by janet gaynor) had hollywood actually acknowledged foreign films at the time. instead, maria falconetti's silent performance as joan of arc has gone down in history, in what every legitimate film critic has termed, as the single greatest performance ever captured on film. skeptical at first, i was fortunate enough to catch the passion of joan of arc in it's entirety on youtube, and cried throughout the whole thing. not a single word is uttered, yet falconetti manages to transcend vocal communication and instead use the most beautiful eyes i have ever seen on an actress to dramatize her character's final hours. falconetti, ironically, was famed throughout france as a comedic stage performer prior to her breakthrough role. she never made another picture after joan, dying in 1946. 

i have posted the first three clips of the passion of joan of arc
do yourself a favor and find the rest.

greatest moment: see below

babe of the day.

sandy powell
(april 7, 1960 - )
famed cinema costume designer
attendee of the prestigious st. martins school of art, london

why she's great
nominated for seven oscars for costume design:
  • 1994 - orlando
  • 1998 - the wings of the dove
  • 1999 - velvet goldmine
  • 1999 - shakespeare in love (won)
  • 2003 - gangs of new york
  • 2005 - the aviator (won)
  • 2006 - mrs. henderson presents
she also dressed: 
  • julianne moore in far from heaven and the end of the affair
  • emily watson and rachel griffiths in hilary and jackie
  • julia roberts in michael collins
  • kirsten dunst in interview with the vampire
  • tilda swinton in the last of england and edward II
  • sally dexter in wittgenstein
  • saffron burrows in miss julie
  • jessica lange in rob roy
  • vivian wu in shadow of china
  • miranda richardson in the crying game and the young victoria
  • gwyneth paltrow in sylvia
  • scarlett johansson and natalie portman in the other boleyn girl
why she's a babe
her 2005 oscar dress, fearlessly accentuated with green nail-polish

#4. peter o'toole in lawrence of arabia

peter o'toole has been nominated for 8 oscars throughout his long and prolific career. he has never won. t.e. lawrence, though a real man who served as a military officer / liaison in the arab revolt of 1916-1918,  is also one of cinema's greatest characters, due primarily to the portrayal given by o'toole. the david lean-directed epic is often considered one of the greatest pictures ever, but little is said about the snub to end all snubs at the 1962 oscars. i watched lawrence of arabia for the first time in about ten years last week, and the performance is still as raw as ever. 

*nominated for 1963 best actor oscar:
lost to gregory peck in to kill a mockingbird

greatest moment: see below

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

#5. robert de niro in taxi driver

a gritty, unflinching look into the diseased mind of a psychopathic vietnam war veteran who, surrounded by the bright lights and seedy underbelly of new york, is fueled to commit various acts of violence, all while trying to protect a teenage prostitute (jodie foster). de niro is excellent as travis bickle, a performance i think far superior to his oscar-winning role in godfather part II.

nominated for 1977 best actor oscar;
lost to peter finch in network

greatest moment:
see below

#6. bette davis in all about eve

this one's simple:
what would hollywood be without bette davis? the same thing that cinema would be without margo channing: nothing!

*nomniated for 1950 best actress oscar;
lost to judy holliday in born yesterday

greatest line: "bill's thirty-two. he looks thirty-two. he looked it five years ago, he'll look it in twenty years. i hate men"

greatest moment: see below (with the phenomenal thelma ritter)

#7. gary oldman in sid and nancy

the greatest performance by an actor to never receive an oscar nomination was given, without a doubt, by gary oldman in alex cox's sid and nancy, the spellbinding biopic of punk rocker sid vicious. oldman is spot-on in one of those deliveries that come along once in a while (since 1987, i have seen maybe 5 male performances of near-equal quality). needless to say, i love this man. i can forgive him for lost in space. anyway, to prepare for his role, oldman maintained a strict, unconventional diet to mimic that pale, emaciated heroin-addict's body. you really can tell when an actor has done their homework. his mannerisms, accent, idiosyncrasies -- all matched. i always thought that the sex pistols' bassist was a smarmy bastard with no discernible talent, but oldman manages to draw sympathy and provide a deeply affecting human side to an otherwise despicable individual. i cannot say enough about my love for gary oldman. had he been nominated for an oscar in 1987, he would have been up against a lot of mediocre / shit performances, all of which pale in comparison: 
  • michael douglas wall street (winner)
  • robin williams good morning, vietnam
  • william hurt broadcast news
  • marcello mastroianni in dark eyes
  • jack nicholson in ironweed
the subject matter must have been too intense for stuffy academy voters. there is no excuse as to why gary oldman was not nominated. he is awesome. i love him.

greatest moment: see below

#8. orson welles in the third man

i love the original radio broadcast of graham greene's the third man. when i first saw the 1949 film, with its unique cinematography and eerie score, i became immediately enamored not only with carol reed, but the film noir genre. as the mysterious harry lime, welles' creepy, to-the-point vocal delivery alone should have won him an oscar. his sinister ruthlessness, delivered in an iconically villainous performance is what should have definitely won him an oscar. 

greatest moment: see below

babe of the day.

cindy wilson.
(february 28, 1957 - )
sole heterosexual member of the b-52's.
and all around hot piece.

why she's great:
  • 2x grammy nominee
  • 2x mtv video music award winner
  • #47 on vh1's 100 greatest women in rock n' roll list
  • debut album, the b-52's (1979), ranked #152 on rolling stone magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time
  • rumored to be included on the 2010 ballot for induction into the rock and roll hall of fame

why she's a babe:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

#9. anthony perkins in psycho

norman bates is one of those characters that live beyond their associated film. alfred hitchcock, henceforth, made it so that women would think twice before ever stepping foot into a motel room shower -- well, alfred hitchcock and anthony perkins. the titular character in this 1960 classic, perkins is creepy to the max as the innkeeper of the last resort 'bates motel,' whose ominous neon sign attracts the sweet and genteel secretary-on-the-lam-with-$40,000-in-her-purse marion crane (janet leigh). an innocent conversation ensues: philosophy, taxidermy, institutions (you know, the usual), but it isn't before too long that the sporadic line of questioning hits a little too close to home. perkins is, theoretically, perfect for the role with his disarming good looks and friendly demeanor, ideal for luring his audience in, enlisting them to hang on his every word... but make a disparaging remark about 'mother' and you are dead meat. leigh was fantastic as marion, and received her only oscar nomination for her performance. how perkins did not, is a mystery to us all.

greatest moment: see below

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#10. jack lemmon in some like it hot

no other performance in lemmon's prolific and exceptional catalogue of film is as side-splittingly hilarious and effortlessly acted than his role as jerry / daphne in billy wilder's classic "some like it hot." after witnessing a mob hit, jerry and joe (tony curtis) flee chicago for sunny florida, under the guise of new identities: daphne and josephine. the two musicians take to drag in order to travel with an all-female musical troupe, where they meet sugar kowalczyk (marilyn monroe). an hilarious idea, the two are surprisingly convincing as beautiful (if not large) women, vying for the affection of the clueless sugar. lemmon however brings something extra to the table: his portrayal of daphne is intended more for slapstick entertainment, compared to curtis' serious attempt at finding romance. with two oscars on his shelf, lemmon was no stranger to critical acclaim. for this film, he definitely should have won a third.

*nominated for 1959 best actor oscar;

lost to charlton heston in

greatest moment:
see below

...and the oscar should have gone to...(part II)

so, the toronto international film festival starts on september 10th.
and to coincide with the kick-off, i have decided to finish off my top 10 list of the 100 greatest performances that never won an oscar.