WEIRDLAND

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"American Honey" (Shia Labeouf), "That Awkward Moment" (Miles Teller)


Andrea Arnold’s first US feature, American Honey (2016), a meandering road trip film about a ragtag crew of traveling teens selling magazine subscriptions. Centering all of this is a quiet, but impressively commanding performance from Sasha Lane as Star, who manages a complex emotional range as a young woman with nothing to lose, tagging alone mostly due to an attraction and fascination with Shia LaBeouf’s showboating lead ‘salesman.’ They have a believable chemistry together, and LaBeouf’s frequent rages gives the intense performer a believable palette, even if his presence automatically marks the film as a target for easy derision. Source: www.ioncinema.com

Shia Labeouf: "I come from hippies. My generation will actually be the first generation that is tamer than the one that came before it, and it will probably be poorer; less fun and less money. It's ridiculous. In my parents' generation, rebellion was pop culture. It's not anymore."

When Star (Sasha Lane) meets a gaggle of similarly disaffected young misfits at the aforementioned Walmart, she’s immediately drawn to their smirkingly charismatic leader Jake (Shia LaBeouf, sporting his own ratty braid and facial piercings), a kind of enigmatic Pied Piper for the douche-bro generation. Despite the apparent stunt casting of LaBeouf — who easily delivers his best performance here, bleeding the eccentricities of his own celebrity persona into the character to fascinating, oddly moving effect — the film never slips away from Star’s evolving point of view, or Lane’s electric presence. Source: variety.com

That Awkward Moment plays with the cliché of pricks being princes in need of a princess. The movie is going for a kind of Taming of the Douche. Miles Teller plays the most maladroit of the three characters. He softens the misogyny by treating it as something less galling. When a gentleman comes on to the friend (Mackenzie Davis) his character will spend the rest of the movie secretly sleeping with, he says, “You can tame her with tequila and compliments.” Teller is also unusual looking yet happens to be a better, handsomer actor who can give the offensiveness a psychological changeup. Rogen and Hill project. Teller performs. Source: grantland.com

Miles Teller is glad he didn't end up like Shia LaBeouf. "People tell me I've had a quick ascension into this business. But for me, when I was in college, I was looking at Shia LaBeouf," the 27-year-old actor told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I used to say that I needed to get a 'Disturbia' and then I'll be in the biz and I'll kind of be 'the other Shia' - the next guy. But I'm glad it went the way it's went. I've been able to work on some studio films and some really good independent films."

Teller once again insisted that he makes no money doing indies. Teller is determined to build a strong movie-making resume, he explained. "At the end of the day, I just feel like I want to be a step ahead of... not the critics, the perception. I have a pretty wide taste," the "Whiplash" star said. Source: www.designntrend.com

Tom Gormican: -I feel like that’s just been ingrained in our American, Teddy Rooseveltian mindset, where you’re not supposed to talk about your emotions. Maybe it’s a product of our English heritage or something, but it has made it’s way into popular culture. What I wanted to do was a romantic comedy where the guys are actually normal dudes, and they have conversations about what to do in their relationships with women, especially when they really like them. It vibes like this intentional jack-assery by these guys, and I just wanted it to be about guys who are making bad decisions because they're not fully adults yet.

AIC: I think the big reveal here in "That Awkward Moment" is that men are just as susceptible to emotional attachment as women, whether they admit it or not. That’s something of a revelation in the movie world. Was that one of the things you dug about the film was that it revealed that horribly kept secret?

Miles Teller: I think that guys will appreciate it. In your 20s, really this movie is a heightened focus on the moment that’s between college and when you get married, and it’s that time is one of self discovery. If you don’t have kids and you don’t have a wife, these are really times when you can put yourself first. And you do see these guys struggling with that, with not wanting to necessarily be occupied with a relationship. But when your heart is leading you in a certain way, you can't fight it. I know I’ve had experiences where I was fighting it because I knew the girl was really right for me. I knew she might be the one that I really end up with. So, I think you see three guys grappling with that. Source: www.aintitcool.com

Miles Teller: "I still have feelings for all of my ex-girlfriends. In different parts of my life, I would miss that person. There's something that drew me to that person, and I shared something with them."

An emerging body of research has recently demonstrated that romantic-partner ideals are important within established romantic relationships. For example, romantic partners who idealize one another are less likely to break up, and participants report greater satisfaction with their present relationship to the extent that their partner matches their ideals. Although the present report casts some doubt on the notion that mate preferences serve the function of mate selection, this extant research on ideals suggests that mate preferences may instead serve the function of mate retention. Although this selection/retention distinction is surely not a strict dichotomy, it allows for the possibility that at moments of deliberative choice during the course of one’s relationship (e.g., whether to marry one’s partner), an individual might compare his or her partner to a set of ideal preferences and decide whether or not the relationship is worth continuing. First, studies that have examined the role of partner ideals in established romantic relationships typically assess participants’ ideals after they are already in a relationship. Although it would certainly be difficult to assess ideals before participants meet a long-term romantic partner, such a procedure would avoid the problem of participants’ ideals becoming “contaminated” by the characteristics of a current partner. In fact, one recent study indeed found that participants changed their ideals such that they placed more importance on the positive characteristics of their current romantic partner, even after dating for only a few months. Source: faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Happy Anniversary, Judy Holliday! Tom Hiddlestone's thirsty sexiness

Happy Anniversary, Judy Holliday!

Jack Lemmon and Judy Holliday in "It Should Happen to You" (1954) directed by George Cukor


"The theme of It Should Happen to You is marvelous. If you look carefully you see the whole mechanism of celebrity against a background of the absurd. The moral of the story is that it is easier to find glory than to justify it, and that such glory has little meaning since it is acquired within a society that is unconscious of its absurdity. Cukor, the director, and Garson Kanin, the writer, have invented a curious, eccentric, even absurd, character for the actress. If we laugh at her countless blunders, she inspires enough sympathy to keep us going during the "dead" times that are necessary to set up Kanin's gags... It Should Happen to You is a masterpiece. To keep up the rhythm for ninety minutes with no letup, to keep the smiles constant even between laughs, to direct people that way... that takes a master." Francois Truffaut, The Films in My Life.

"This Garson Kanin satire on American publicity methods is brilliantly directed by George Cukor and contains one of Judy Holliday's best roles." Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films.

Gladys Glover (Judy Holliday): "The way it looks to me, Mr. Adams, there are two kinds of people - the ones who will do anything to make a name for themselves, and the ones who will do almost anything."

I do know that I cringed. It’s one thing to do a shirtless photoshoot for an artsy magazine. It’s quite another to strip down to your tight, white boxers and let everyone see the specifics of your bulge. I mean… Tom. Please. Don’t do this.

W Magazine posted these photos with an article called “Everything You Need to Know About Tom Hiddleston, Taylor Swift Boyfriend.” Obvious PR is Obvious. Even though I think Tom seemed a bit surly and overwhelmed, maybe he’s not. Maybe this is exactly what he wanted. He does tell W Magazine: “I’d make a terrible spy, because everybody knows who I am.” O RLY? A lot of people knew Tom Hiddleston, but now that he’s with Taylor Swift, everybody will know his name. And maybe that was his goal in the first place. But the thing about it is… he just seems super-thirsty. Like, “please, look at me, I’ll wear white boxers and everything!!” Source: www.celebitchy.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Social Anxiety, Alcoholism, Bad Boy Myth: "The Spectacular Now" (Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley)

Social anxiety is normal and, add to that, about 11 per cent of the population suffer social phobia. Common as social anxiety is – in its varying degrees – it is also very common for people to use alcohol to dull or cope with the symptoms. Whether they use it before they go out or while they're out, many people think it will make them more sociable and less shy. For about 28 per cent of those with social anxiety, they'll end up drinking to excess in an attempt to manage their feelings. "The socially anxious individual may be better off seeking some counselling aimed at replacing drinking with some other strategy to help him or her cope with that anxiety," says psychologist, Joseph Nowinski. "There are many proven therapeutic strategies for doing this, such as role-playing, cognitive role-playing, and cognitive-behavioural therapy, which involves changing thoughts, perceptions, and expectations." Source: www.shm.com.au

Sutter’s a good guy who drinks too much and misses his dad; the movie opens with Sutter sitting in front of his computer, attempting to write what could only be a college application essay: “Describe a challenge, hardship or misfortune in your life. What have you learned from this and how has it prepared you for the future?” He takes one long swig of his beer and begins telling the dean of admissions (and us) about his breakup with the “best fucking girlfriend in the world.” This is also where casting is king, because as actor Miles Teller plays him, we like Sutter right off the bat.

Aimee (Shailene Woodley) reads a series of sci-fi books called Bright Planet in the novel; in the movie it’s changed to Gleaming Planet. I think Ponsoldt just wanted a less generic sounding name to avoid any copyright disputes from similar titles, like this out-of-print 2004 book from Australia. He even commissioned an original six page Gleaming Planet story segment to use as a prop in the film.

In the novel, Sutter maintains the lie that his Dad is an office executive working in the Chase Building downtown, but in the movie his pretend job is changed to an airline pilot. It’s certainly more exciting and romantic, if slightly less believable. It also explains better why he wouldn’t be around a lot. Aimee leaves Oklahoma for school in Philadelphia, not St. Louis like in the book. The biggest change from novel to film is in the relationship between Sutter and his mom. In the book, she’s a minor character without any real influence (or even a name). Sutter sees her as a shallow woman worried more about her second husband and trips to the beauty salon than she is to him.

And so we arrive at the ending. Sutter hits rock bottom, but after a heart to heart with his mom, he applies to college (again sitting in front his computer screen, but with new resolve), and even reconciles with Aimee. His future in the book, by contrast, is more bleak. Sutter is left alone with only his whisky and Seven for company, having been disappointed by, or driven away, the people closest to him. You often wonder, in young adult stories such as this, how different things could be if only our protagonist had received the love and reassurance he craved from a parent. The movie answers that, and it’s not unsatisfying. Both novel and film compliment one another, examining the devastating and saving power of influence—that of alcohol and the people in your life. Source: www.anovelfilm.com

In an interview with Pop Sugar, Shailene Woodley revealed her affection for Miles Teller, saying her first impression of her co-star was quite favorable. "I was, like, oh my god, Miles is hilarious. He is so hot," she said, also noting they have their differences. "We're polar opposites… [but] Miles has one of the biggest hearts in somebody I've ever met. I know that sounds so cliche, but it's true." Source: www.popsugar.com

“Nice guys finish last” is one of the most widely believed maxims of dating. Fleshed out, the idea goes something like this: heterosexual women might say they want nice characteristics in a partner, but in reality what they want is the challenge that comes with dating a “bad boy”. But, for the most part, the evidence suggests that both women and men prefer nice partners and are turned off by jerks.

Of course, sometimes we do find “bad” people attractive. Narcissists – people who show high levels of self-importance, superiority, entitlement, arrogance and a willingness to exploit others – are often perceived as very attractive in initial encounters. This may be because they put a lot of effort into their appearance and how they come across. Studies have shown that female narcissists tend to wear more make-up and show more cleavage than women who score lower on narcissism, whereas male narcissists spend more time building up their muscle mass. In the very short term, narcissists can even seem more well-adjusted, entertaining and generally nicer. But over the long term, narcissists find it difficult to maintain a favourable impression and tend to be perceived as less adjusted, less warm, and more hostile and arrogant. Source: theconversation.com

Aimee is taken by Sutter, who has an undeniable and easy charm, but instead of becoming a typical good-girl-falls-for-bad-boy story, director James Ponsoldt (Smashed) dives into their relationship deeper, showing their conversations and how a connection slowly but surely develops between them. The film is at it’s best during these moments, played with honesty and relatability by Teller and Woodley. Source: filmschoolrejects.com

Neither Miles Teller nor Shailene Woodley is Hollywood glamorous, but both have talent and charisma to spare. Together, they find a convincing and exquisite intimacy that skips many of the standard-issue coming-of-age tropes and instead focuses on complex self-acceptance. Sutter, despite his charms, is not only adrift, he’s self-destructive, and his ability to overcome those instincts is never a given. Aimee is intensely vulnerable, lacking the confidence to take control of her life. There’s something sad and genuine about this bright young woman hanging on Sutter’s every romantic gesture. From their delicate first kiss to the first time they have sex, the actors navigate their characters’ emotions, rationalizations and disappointments with such unbearable authenticity. Source: www.metrotimes.com

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Maladaptive daydreaming: Rami Malek in Mr. Robot, Blade Runner (Unicorn Dream)

Rami Malek says he’s more cognizant of how technology is harming the ways we socialize and relate to one another. And as his star continues to rise, the 35-year-old is retreating inward. It’s a consequence of spending so much time in the hoodie and shoes of a cynical cybersecurity engineer who hacks at night and suffers from social anxiety and clinical depression.

“It’s a very vulnerable process being in Elliot’s shoes because I can’t help but ask the same questions of myself that he poses in the show,” Malek says, two weeks into production on the second season. “Sometimes that can be quite devastating.” He adds, “But there’s something very comforting, sadly, about putting that dark wardrobe back on. It draws a lot from me as a human being and an actor. Once we started shooting again, there was a sigh of relief that came over me, even though I knew I was going into some pretty dark waters.” Source: www.vulture.com

Mr. Robot, Elliot’s deceased father, Edward, is unmasked as a projection of Elliot’s subconscious. The relationship between Elliot and his father is arguably the most contentious, ranging from friendly to outright dangerous. Such a violent shift in behavior is rooted in Elliot’s childhood, and has informed his relationships with men as an adult. This is perhaps best realized in Elliot’s vigilante hacks, all of which have targeted men.

Though raised by an emotionally and physically abusive mother, who undoubtedly worked in tandem with Edward to support Elliot’s maladaptive schemas, she does not seem to be as influential a factor in Elliot’s relationships with women. In fact, those are the healthiest relationships he engages in. Despite trauma and abuse, Elliot managed to make and keep a childhood friend, develop sexually, and exercise a general concern for those in his life, allowing him to act as a source of support and protection for others.

Sam Esmail has made a statement on the inability of the individual to address what is corrupted within them on their own. In fact, when Elliot’s memory is stitched back together, and the fabric of his hyper-reality is torn again, he finds himself angrier and more anxious than before—for the program that is his mind, these traits are not bugs, but features. Elliot is incapable of deleting these files no matter how corrupted they may be because they are essential. 

“Maladaptive daydreaming naturally necessitates isolation from others and is almost always accompanied by repetitive body motions, such as pacing or rocking,” Professor Somer said. “About a quarter of these individuals had endured childhood trauma and many suffered from social anxiety.” “People with this disorder have developed an extraordinary ability to become completely immersed in daydreaming, to such an extent that their daydreams can make them laugh or cry,” Somer explains. “This ability to feel fully present in a self-directed imaginary plot is not only a powerful source of the attraction, but it also makes it difficult to disengage from it, creating a mental addiction.” Source: nocamels.com


In the director’s cut of Blade Runner, there’s a short scene where Deckard daydreams about a unicorn; later, near the end of the film, Gaff (Edward James Olmos) leaves an origami unicorn for Deckard to find. “The unicorn that’s used in Deckard’s daydream tells me that Deckard wouldn’t normally talk about such a thing to anyone,” Scott explained to WIRED in 2007. “If Gaff knew about that, [the origami unicorn] is Gaff’s message to say, ‘I’ve basically read your file, mate.’” He knows about Deckard’s private daydreams because those daydreams were implanted in his (bionic) brain.

Actress Mackenzie Davis has joined Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford and Robin Wright in the Denis Villeneuve-directed sequel to Ridley Scott‘s 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner.” Davis made notable turns in the 2015 Matt Damon hit “The Martian” and in “That Awkward Moment” (see above with Miles Teller). “Blade Runner 2” is slated to open opposite a Marvel-related event film from 20th Century Fox, which previously had “Gambit” opening on that date. Source: www.thewrap.com

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Masculine Polarity in Hollywood

Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry were seen enjoying some music and drinks as they partied away at the first day of the Bottlerock Music Festival on Friday. Miles strolled around barefoot carrying a drink in one hand whilst vaping with the other. His girlfriend Keleigh looked casual but chic in her double denim outfit a she donned a pair of mini jean shorts, a khaki bodysuit and a denim jacket.

Miles has a very busy year ahead of him. He's just finished production on Thank You for Your Service which is due to come out later this year. The film looks at how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects American servicemen and women returning home from war.

Also this year Miles will star in the biography Bleed for This, which is the inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza. Katey Sagal, Aaron Eckhart join him for this sport drama.

Then next year Miles will reprise his famous role as Peter in the Divergent series, Ascendant. In this latest installment Tris and Four fight to end the Bureau of Genetic Welfare's authoritarian reign over the US. He will join Shailene Woodley, Naomi Watts, Zoë Kravitz, Theo James and Ansel Elgort in the sci-fi adventure. Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Few have explicated sexual polarity more eloquently than David Deida in his masterpiece work “Way of the Superior Man.” Deida explains polarity as: “Sexual attraction is based upon sexual polarity, which is the force of passion that arcs between the masculine and feminine poles. It is this force of attraction that is the dynamism that often disappears in the modern relationship. The sexual polarity fades unless in moments of intimacy one partner is willing to play the masculine role and one partner is willing to play the feminine. You have to animate the masculine and the feminine differences if you want to play in the field of sexual passion.” Just as with electromagnetic polarity, sexual polarity requires two polar entities to create the energy between them: the masculine and the feminine. This ratio of masculine vs. feminine traits Deida describes as a person’s “sexual essence.” 


There are also people that lie right in the middle of the scale at 50% masculine and 50% feminine. They have balanced or neutral sexual essences and are often described as androgynous - Still, these people are in the minority as most people have either a dominant masculine or feminine essence. The greater the polarization, the greater the attraction and passion; you are most attracted to those whose sexual essences are the equal opposite pole on the scale: your sexual reciprocal. If you are a man with a masculine essence that is at 70%, you will find yourself most attracted to women whose essences sit right around 70% on the feminine side of the scale. 

This is the reason you find highly feminine women in relationships with ultra masculine, perhaps even dangerous or violent men. It is also the reason why you will see people who are more balanced, perhaps even androgynous be attracted to people much like themselves. Source: evolutionmale.wordpress.com

Ryan Gosling in "The Nice Boys" (2016)

Eva Mendes' significant other also admitted that he feels it's time for America to be led by a woman. Ryan Gosling opened up about the fairer sex, and why he'll never lose touch with his feminine side: "I think women are better than men. They are stronger. More evolved. You can tell especially when you have daughters and you see their early stages, they are just leaps and bounds beyond boys immediately," he told the mag. And when asked what percent woman he'd claim to be, he replied, "I'd say 49 percent, sometimes 47 percent, it depends on what day you catch me." Source: www.eonline.com

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Spectacular Now, Creation of Memories

Miles Teller on his character Sutter Keely in "The Spectacular Now": "The script was so good. I knew that I could play this part because I knew that I was very similar to Sutter. If you strip away our differences—I always knew I would be successful and go to college and my parents are still married—I could understand him. There's always stuff you deal with that no one knows you're going through. Shailene and I just talked about what felt right in the scenes. We'd go hang out, walk around, get food, and go thrift-shopping. Shailene is certainly different from a lot of actresses that I’ve met and that I've worked with. I think The Spectacular Now is one of the first movies to deal with teenagers honestly in a long time. There's no escapism. It's real and in your face."

The Spectacular Now never once feels like a cautionary tale. The Spectacular Now is not a light movie, and it never veers into easy sentimentality. Although Sutter’s fidelity to the present moment often seems like superficial evasion, the movie makes it clear that it’s not that simple. Sutter’s presence of mind is, after all, what led him to notice Aimee Finicky in the first place. Source: observer.com

"Lately, my hangovers have started to take on a mean streak. It’s the opposite of that fine redemption feeling—a vague, weird guilt instead. Maybe it’s just a chemical thing, the old brain misfiring, the wiring shortcircuiting. For some reason, as soon as my eyes open, I start in worrying about Aimee. I didn’t do anything but try to build the girl up. She liked the kissing. There’s no doubt about that. I would’ve laid another one on her when I took her home, but I ended up having to hold her hair while she puked off the side of the porch instead.

But what happened between the time we left the pier and when we said good night is a little sketchy. I keep trying to remember what all we talked about on the drive home, but my memory is like a broken watch that you can’t find all the pieces to. I know we talked about doing something else together, but I’m not sure what it was. There’s a gnawing feeling that I might have told her I’d take her to the prom, but that might just be a trick the hangover’s playing on me. I mean, why would I do that?"—"The Spectacular Now" (2013) by Tim Tharp 

"Until now, neuroscientists have focused on how the brain creates and stores single memories," said principal investigator Alcino Silva, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We wanted to explore how the brain links two memories and whether the passage of time affects the strength of the connection."

"In the real world, memories don't happen in isolation," said first author Denise Cai, a researcher in Silva's lab. "Our past experiences influence the creation of new memories and help us predict what to expect and make informed decisions in the future." "The memories became interrelated in how they were encoded and stored by the brain, such that the recall of one memory triggered the recall of another memory related in time," says Silva. Source: medicalxpress.com

Miles Teller (Whiplash) was already an accomplished drummer after spending his high school years playing drums in a band he started in his Pennsylvania church youth group. "I played piano, saxophone, drums, and guitar, but for me, drumming was something that came more naturally and if I was better at it, I would have loved being a musician. But I just wasn't good enough." 

He’s a surprisingly ordinary-­looking baby-faced guy who charmed his way out of the manatee-infested Confederate backwater of Citrus County, Florida, where his dad worked for a nuclear-power plant (until it recently cracked and shut down after being deemed too expensive to fix) and his mother sold real estate (until the market crashed). Teller played baseball, saxophone, and drums—in a church youth-group band (“Hard-rocking for Jesus”)—while acting in school plays. Teller worked at a restaurant called Crackers and was into the Grateful Dead. His best friend is still a guy from high school, who’s now a Navy SEAL. What they had in common was ambition: “We’re not content with just being a part of a bigger collective,” he says. Source: www.vulture.com

"I didn't know necessarily if I would have an opportunity to play the lead character because I realise, at times, it's a very superficial business," Teller says bluntly. "For a while, I would go into an audition and the casting director would say, 'Oh, Miles, very good actor, but it doesn't make sense for the character to have scars' because they used to be a lot worse before I had a bunch of laser surgery. It took a little bit for me to understand the severity of the accident and how lucky I was to survive. I had the doctors tell me that 99.9% of the time when you get in a car accident like that, you are dead or paralyzed. For a couple years, it was very significant to me, but at this point I don't even notice the scars. Source: www.harpersbazaar.com

The Spectacular Now is gorgeously shot—on 35mm—rich with warm, full tones. There’s one really beautiful Steadicam two-shot, a long take set at a riverside keg party, in which the chemistry between these two characters is almost palpable—you can just about see them falling in love in front of your eyes. If it weren’t for prominent appearances on the soundtrack by the likes of Washed Out, Kurt Vile, and others, this story could easily have been set any time between the early ’70s and now, so effortlessly hazy is its mood. Discounting Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippets’ deceptively simple documentary Only the Young, no film since Gregg Mottola’s Adventureland has so affectionately portrayed the fumbling and attendant foibles of late adolescence as this.  Source: www.listener.co.nz

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in "Adventureland" (2009)

Jesse Eisenberg and Amber Heard in "Zombieland" (2009)

Lex Luthor will be present in the big DC team-up, with Jesse Eisenberg revealing at MCM Comic Con that he’ll be reprising his role from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Justice League will reunite stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Mamoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor alongside J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard (The Danish Girl) as Mera and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) in an as-yet-unrevealed role. Part One is set for release on November 17th 2017, with Part Two following on June 14th 2019. Source: www.flickeringmyth.com