WEIRDLAND

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sexually broken people: Silver Linings Playbook, Marilyn Monroe (Don't Bother to Knock)

Silver Linings Playbook (SLP) is a story about human sexuality, and more specifically, how we come to understand our sexuality through experience. Amazingly, this idea of experience at the heart of SLP is also at the heart of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body (TOB). Primarily, this story is about two sexually broken people. For Pat, this comes in the form of infidelity, a broken marriage and perversion. In Tiffany’s case, lack of sexual desire and her husband’s death while trying to spark something meaningful contributes to a frustration which manifests itself sexually.

In both cases, what the characters think is love is radically transformed by the end of the film. Pat drives one of Tiffany’s flings off of her porch. In disgust, Pat tells the guy that girls like Tiffany need to be protected, cared for, and respected. This episode is a turning point. First, Pat is acknowledging Tiffany’s personhood and her need for respect. Second, Pat shows a deeper understanding of Tiffany’s needs, as well as taking on the role of a protecting figure. It also displays an embracing of his masculinity in light of Tiffany’s femininity, pointing to the fact that “it is only through the duality of the ‘masculine’ and the ‘feminine’ that the ‘human’ finds full realization”. Third, Pat shows that his views on human sexuality and its utility have changed.

Eventually, Pat professes his love for Tiffany. The next scene is at Tiffany’s house where the camera pans onto Tiffany’s lone pair of shoes. This scene, which you may well have missed if you blinked, is Pat and Tiffany’s experience fully realized. Like other films, one would expect Tiffany’s shoes to be accompanied by Pat’s, signifying that they slept together. But no; they realize that their sexual brokenness cannot be fixed by sexual promiscuity, but can only be properly understood and healed by giving themselves first in friendship as their commitment to each other grows. In pursuing a chaste relationship based on self-gift, both Pat and Tiffany learn how to love authentically. Source: www.patheos.com

With her cute pixie cut and her chic girl about town outfit, Jennifer Lawrence sure knows how to rock Hollywood glamour. As she stepped out of the Greenwich Hotel in New York on March 21, the actress wore her short blonde locks in loose Marilyn-Monroe like waves. Jennifer appeared poised in a black and white sweater, sophisticated black A-line mini skirt, and simple black pumps. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Marilyn Monroe built an impressive library of works on psychology and physiology, keeping copies of Mabel Elsworth Todd’s The Thinking Body, as well as an edition of Freud’s letters on her bedside table. When she remained focused, she created an extraordinary range of performances: from the introvert in Bus Stop to the extrovert in The Prince and the Showgirl. Watch just those two films, and you will see why she is a great actress. Each performance is a de novo creation built through a vocabulary of gesture and movement that is inimitable. In her major roles, Marilyn Monroe did not repeat herself.

Zanuck had insisted Monroe take a screen test for Don’t Bother To Knock to confirm her suitability for the role of Nell Forbes, a young woman recently released from a mental institution. Traumatized by her fiancé’s wartime death in a plane crash, Nell has a grasp on reality that is tenuous at best, as she shifts deliriously between past and present, confusing an airline pilot she meets in a hotel room with her dead lover. Monroe found preparing for the test an ordeal, although her work with Lytess secured Zanuck’s approval. Barbara Leaming reports that Zanuck thought Monroe’s own instability heightened her performance of a mentally disturbed character. She had told stories about how she had thrown herself on Johnny Hyde’s coffin in a hysterical scene that suggested she could not come to terms with his death. Other rumors alleged that she had exhausted Hyde with her needs and was “sexually dangerous and not a little mad.” It seems improbable that a shrewd businessman like Zanuck would put a production at risk because his leading actress shared some of her character’s mental defects.

But Don’t Bother to Knock emerged out of a postwar period during which certain psychiatrists promulgated the idea that women deprived of the conventional support of husbands and families were prone to deviant behavior. Without a “healthy, happy home,” the postwar family was in crisis, argued William Menninger in Psychiatry in a Troubled World: Yesterday’s War and Today’s Challenge (1948). In Modern Women: The Lost Sex (1947), Ferdinand Lundberg, a sociologist, and Marynia Farnham, a psychoanalyst, characterized women without strong male protectors as “neurotic and maladjusted.” -"Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress" (Revised and Updated, 2014) by Carl Rollyson

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence (You've Got Love) video

"For some reason, I don’t know how it is, we have great chemistry. I feel completely safe with her, from the minute I met her.” - Bradley Cooper


Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence (You've Got Love) video.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

"Southpaw" trailer, "Nocturn Animals", "American Hustle" Ditzy lawsuit, "Serena" (solid drama)

Thanks to tremendous work in films like "Prisoners," "Enemy" and last year's "Nightcrawler," Jake Gyllenhaal has become one of the more reliable dramatic actors currently working in Hollywood. After hitting a career peak in the shoes of Lou Bloom, Gyllenhaal has a handful of intriguing projects lined up for 2015, including adventure-drama "Everest," Jean-Marc Vallée relationship drama "Demolition" and gritty boxing drama "Southpaw," the latter of which just premiered a bruised and bloody trailer.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day") and co-written by Kurt Sutter ("Sons of Anarchy"), "Southpaw" stars Gyllenhaal as Billy "The Great" Hope, Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion of the World. When a family tragedy strikes and he loses custody of his daughter, Billy enters the battle of his life as he struggles to become a contender once again and win back those he loves. Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Rita Ora, Naomie Harris and Victor Ortiz also star.

The intense trailer above guarantees yet another highly physical performance from Gyllenhaal both inside and outside of the ring. The Weinstein Company will release "Southpaw" on July 31. Source: www.indiewire.com


From acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) and starring Academy Award® nominated Jake Gyllenhaal (NIGHTCRAWLER, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN) comes a story of tragedy, loss and the painful road to redemption… Billy “The Great” Hope (Gyllenhaal) is the reigning Junior Middleweight Champion whose unorthodox stance, the so-called “Southpaw,” consists of an ineloquent, though brutal, display of offensive fighting… one fueled by his own feelings of inadequacy and a desperate need for love, money and fame. With a beautiful family, home and financial security, Billy is on top both in and out of the ring until a tragic accident leaves his wife dead and sends him into a downward spiral. His days now an endless haze of alcohol and prescription drugs, his daughter taken by Child Services and his home repossessed by the bank, Billy’s fate is all but sealed until a washed up former boxer named Tick agrees to take the bereaved pugilist under his wing so long as he agrees to his strict ethos. Relentless and utterly committed to a fighter that thinks as much as he throws punches, Tick rebuilds Billy into a new man: one that is agile, fearsome and uncompromising in the ring while thoughtful, loving and disciplined outside of it. Now, as he works to regain custody of his daughter and mounts a professional comeback, Billy must face his demons head-on as he learns that, sometimes, your greatest opponent can be yourself.

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal are circling Nocturnal Animals, the thriller that's marking the return of fashion designer Tom Ford to the director's chair for the first time since 2009's A Single Man. Adams is in talks to star while sources say Gyllenhaal is attached to star as the male lead. Insiders also say that Joaquin Phoenix and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are also being sought for leading roles. Source: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper, co-stars in "American Hustle" (2013)

Producers of the semi-fictional 'American Hustle' are asking a judge to kill a lawsuit by paying attention to a character of "unreliable nature." Motion pictures like American Hustle are unquestionably expressive speech, so the judge will likely focus whether there was an issue of public interest implicated. The film loosely depicts the FBI's late '70s, early '80s "Abscam" sting operation, which resulted in convictions of prominent politicians and gained media focus. "Clearly, the statement attributed to Mr. Brodeur concerning microwave ovens has no relation whatever to the claimed protected activity of public interest," argues Brodeur's side, attempting to put the focus on part of the movie rather than the whole of the movie. Source: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are great in a micro-indie film set 80 years ago in the Great Smoky Mountains. Lawrence is the hottest actress in Hollywood and she and Cooper share six Oscar nominations, and one win, between them. But “Serena” uses muscles the costars of “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” stars don’t often get to flex.

Though Cooper’s Southern accent wavers, he uses his handsome, often flummoxed demeanor to tremendous effect, stomping around the woods to demand respect. Lawrence is superb and on ground familiar from her debut in “Winter’s Bone.” She makes Serena’s damaged inner life an obstacle to the respectability she clings to. Plus, she looks fantastic with a falcon on her arm.

The atmosphere surrounding them both is enveloping. While the story falls a bit into melodrama, that can’t chop away at the solid drama the stars and director build beautifully. Source: nydailynews.com


Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence ("Pale Blue Eyes") video.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bradley Cooper: A Director Is Born

A director is born. Bradley Cooper is in talks to make his directorial debut with Warner Bros.' long-gestating remake of the musical A Star Is Born. The film, based on the 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, centers on a movie star who helps an aspiring young actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral. Warner Bros. has been working on a remake of A Star Is Born for years.


A young and pretty waitress learns to know a famous, but alcohol-addicted actor at a Hollywood party, who falls in love with right away with the pretty girl. He recognizes her great talent and promotes her. She quickly rises to stardom in Hollywood, while the alcohol completely destroys him.

Cooper's American Sniper director, Clint Eastwood, has been attached to the project since 2011. At one time, Beyonce was attached to star, but things stalled when she got pregnant and Eastwood moved on to Jersey Boys. There already have been two remakes of the 1937 film, which was directed by William A. Wellman and garnered eight Academy Award nominations.


The first remake came out in 1954 and starred Judy Garland and James Mason. It was nominated for a slew of awards, and Garland and Mason won best actress and actor Golden Globes for their work. The second remake, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, was directed by Frank Pierson. It won five Golden Globe Awards including best motion picture - musical/comedy, as well as the Academy Award for best original song for "Evergreen."

Bradley Cooper starred in last year's breakout hit American Sniper, which became the top-grossing U.S movie of the year, earning $528.2 million worldwide. Cooper's upcoming films include David O. Russell’s Joy, John Wells’ Adam Jones and Cameron Crowe’s Aloha. Source: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Note from Weirdland: If Beyoncé is not available for the role of Vicki Lester, I am sure Bradley could make a call to his work-wife Jennifer Lawrence!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper: Power Couple in "Serena"


Watch Serena - Jennifer Lawrence in Drama  

Adapted from Ron Rash’s novel by Christopher Kyle, Serena re-teamed Lawrence and Cooper before Silver Linings Playbook even opened, two-and-a-half years ago. Since then it has been through at least three different edits on the search for distribution and it still has its problems, which is not to say that it is a mess. The glamorous stars are compelling and look dreamy in their period duds and out of them, in perhaps a few more sizzling sex scenes by firelight than are strictly necessary, and the landscapes are breathtaking.

We have great expectations of Lawrence and she does not disappoint, her Serena a fearless beauty in the Carole Lombard line who commands the respect of rough-hewn labourers in the logging camp, tames an eagle (literally and metaphorically) and is as irresistible as she is manipulative, cunning and dangerously jealous in her voracious love and desires. When she goes crazy you believe it.

Cooper achieves the near-impossible, making an entitled, macho man — who intends to hunt down the last of the panthers in the Carolinas— a resilient, striving figure rather to be admired and a sympathetic, classically flawed, tragic hero type. But you cannot possibly root for anyone (unless it’s that elusive cougar). They have fibre but lack morals. Instead you watch an inexorable spiral of awfulness the same involuntarily fascinated way you might peek through your fingers at a crash. Source: www.empireonline.com

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have become an onscreen power couple. The twosome kicked off their working relationship in "Silver Linings Playbook" and then re-teamed for "American Hustle." Now, the dynamic acting duo is paired in the new period piece "Serena" and will join forces once again in "Joy," out Christmas Day.

Jennifer spoke about the comfort level she has formed with her co-star: "That's why we did 'Serena.' We were doing 'Silver Linings' – that was our first movie together – and we just loved it," she told Access Hollywood at the "Serena" premiere on Saturday in New York City. "He makes me better and we just collaborate so well. It's very easy and amazing, so we were just like, 'We gotta do this again' and then it just hasn't stopped."

Bradley and Jennifer first hit the dance floor onscreen in 'Silver Linings Playbook' and return to the ballroom in "Serena." The actor credited that experience for helping to knock down any barriers between the two. "We had just done a pretty serious movie together and [when] you're dance partners, I think that broke the ice more than anything. Once we did that dance," he said. "I don't think we even thought about the sex scene… Cause there's nothing sexy about it."

His beautiful actress sarcastically teased him in response, "We get it. You didn't think I was sexy."

"Serena" is now available On Demand and on iTunes. The movie opens in theaters on March 27. Source: www.accesshollywood.com

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Joan Crawford!

Happy Anniversary, Joan Crawford! (Born: Lucille Fay LeSueur March 23, 1905 in San Antonio, Texas - Died: May 10, 1977 in New York City)

Joan Crawford’s first appearance in front of a movie camera —unbilled— was in Lady of the Night (1925), in which star Norma Shearer played a dual role. When Shearer was playing one part, Joan would double for the other one, shot from behind or in profile from a distance.

Whether or not Joan had fallen in love with Clark Gable, her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was probably doomed from the start. In many ways Doug was a spoiled, isolated child of privilege who had married a comparatively sophisticated older woman who had pulled herself up by her bootstraps. For all his charm and levity, Fairbanks was, emotionally speaking, a boy who’d had everything handed to him at birth —by contrast, Joan had had to struggle for the same things. “Looking back,” Joan remembered, “it would probably be unfair of me to say Doug was superficial and I was so worldweary." Doug was old-fashioned, suggesting that Joan give up her career and let him be the sole bread-winner —a sure sign that he never really understood his wife at all. Then there was the lack of children. “I didn’t need another child,” Joan said, “I already had one in Doug.” In her autobiography, Joan mentioned several miscarriages; privately she admitted that on at least one occasion she had had an abortion. She hid this fact from Doug, just as she hid her affair with Gable.

Clark Gable and Joan Crawford in "Strange Cargo" (1940) directed by Frank Borzage

Joan’s performance in A Woman’s Face (along with her Oscar-winning turn in the later Mildred Pierce) has stuck even in the minds of people who weren’t necessarily big fans of hers —and in strange ways. Premier special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen was thinking of Joan in A Woman’s Face when he created his Medusa for the fantasy film Clash of the Titans in 1981.

Joan wanted to star in the film version of Mildred Pierce very badly. Warner Bros. queen Bette Davis had turned it down, and the front-runner for the role was Barbara Stanwyck (who had already triumphed in another James M. Cain adaptation, Double Indemnity).

Mildred Pierce was the first film Joan did for producer Jerry Wald, who would produce six more films with Joan from 1946 to 1959. “Jerry always had faith in me,” Joan was to say years later. Mildred Pierce is almost perfect moviemaking. The picture is imbued with real cinematic knowhow (albeit in a style not as showy as Hitchcock’s), and the dialogue is often priceless. Michael Curtiz’s direction is crisp, smooth and highly efficient, his handling of both players and props taut and assured. Curtiz and the brilliant cinematographer Ernest Haller ensure that Mildred Pierce is filled with expert camerawork, interesting angles, and evocative lighting schemes. Max Steiner may have recycled some music from his score for Now, Voyager but his opening theme for Mildred Pierce is excellent.

Joan is wonderful in Mildred Pierce, although there were critics of the time who suggested that she didn’t have the requisite emotion in certain sequences. Joan does seem to hold back a bit after the death of Mildred’s other, younger daughter; she was afraid that if she overplayed the hysteria and abject grief most mothers would feel at such a moment, she would be accused of chewing the scenery. Curtiz felt strongly that she should underplay the scene to emphasize her character’s obsession with Veda. “Please, God, don’t let anything happen to Veda,” Mildred says significantly at the end of the scene.

Henry Hart of Films in Review wasn’t the only one to suggest that there were many elements of Joan in Mildred Pierce. “Crawford gave Mildred Pierce a reality it might have otherwise lacked,” said Hart, “because it was her own life in some ways, a strong woman struggling against misfortune and the wrong men.” Because of this, Joan made her Mildred Pierce seem real despite the melodramatic and even farfetched aspects of the plot (one suspects that the more “naturalistic” approach of a 21st century actress wouldn’t be nearly as interesting). -"Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography" (2002) by Lawrence J. Quirk and William Schoell

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence at 'Serena' screening in N.Y.C.

Actors Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence attend a screening of 'Serena' hosted by Magnolia Pictures and The Cinema Society with Dior Beauty on March 21, 2015 in New York City.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence attend the after party of a screening of 'Serena' hosted by Magnolia Pictures And The Cinema Society With Dior Beauty on March 21, 2015 in New York City.


When asked if shooting sex scenes with each other is more comfortable because of their friendship, Lawrence was quick to say, "No." "I guess it's more comfortable than not knowing the other person? I don't know," she added. "They're just awkward." "You never know how it's going to be," Cooper chimed in. "But for us, we laughed most of the time." "I pointed and laughed," Lawrence added, laughing hard. Source: etonline.com