Category Archives: Actors
by Lissy Lovett
Looking back over the plays I’ve seen this year, English Touring Theatre’s tour of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Anne Boleyn has been my stand out favourite. It’s just the kind of play I like – funny, well acted, tightly scripted, with moments of sadness and surprise, all woven around an historical story which by the end makes me feel like I might have learnt something – in this case a tiny bit of the events and philosophising that led England to become a Protestant country instead of a Catholic one. The writer, Howard Brenton, wears his historical research lightly, I’m sure it all must have been more complicated than is presented here on stage, but he gives a good flavour of the issues, illustrated nicely with details – the battle between the Jesuits and Puritans over altar rails is particularly good. The cast, containing some changes from those who performed the play at the Globe itself back in 2011, were superb. Due to my job, I was fortunate to see the play at many venues on its tour, like some kind of Tudor /Stuart groupie, and it was exciting to see them develop their performances more at each venue and respond to the different audience reactions in each place (2012’s best audience award by the way goes to the audience at Hall for Cornwall in Truro – they were amazing.)
Tags: Akram Khan, Anne Boleyn, Calendar Girls, DESH, English Touring Theatre, Globe to Globe Festival, Howard Brenton, Indhu Rubasingham, Latitude, Lolita Chakrabart, Loserville, Red Velvet, Shakespeare's globe
Ben Wheatley’s eagerly anticipated new film, Sightseers, is a black comedy about a couple on a caravanning holiday across England who start a killing spree. Written by its two stars, Steve Oram and Alice Lowe, the film is receiving regular comparisons to Mike Leigh and Natural Born Killers. What’s interesting is that, although he did not originate the project, the film is so clearly the work of the man who last directed Kill List.
In September, Mostly Film’s Gareth Negus attended a press conference with Ben Wheatley, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who talked about the creation of the film, its production and their choice of eccentric tourist spots.
There’s something very special about a great character actor. I don’t mean the Steve Buscemis or Phillip Seymour Hoffmans of this world, ugly film stars who coast along on mere talent and charisma, I mean the people playing third henchman in a DTV knock-off of Heat starring Andrew McCarthy in a rabbit mask (this is an actual film I once saw on a coach in Indonesia, and the guy who played Mr Pig was pretty good). I’m talking about Martin Kove, who parlayed appearing in the credits of Cagney and Lacey into an IMDB page listing 175 films including “War Wolves”, “Savage” and “Ballistica” – all in 2009.
So here is MostlyFilm’s tribute to the grunts in the trenches of cinema.
About a year ago – give or take – we ran a piece on beloved minor characters – those bit parts that somehow build a film into something more; that give colour, or background, or just plain WTF moments. Well, we’re back for more…
The Cowboy, Mulholland Dr.
Many, many words have been placed on the internet concerning Mulholland Dr. The meaning, the point, even the story, have been puzzled over to little effect at great length. What’s with the guy who doesn’t like the coffee? What’s in the box? Who’s the guy behind the burger bar? Do they do snacks in Club Silencio, or do you think you have to bring your own? Would sweet wrappers be too noisy, do you think? Well, I’m not here to answer, or even ask, any of those questions. I’m interested, primarily, in The Cowboy.
By Tindara Sidoti-McNary
Do you remember the acclaimed nineties BBC drama that brought actors Christopher Eccleston and Daniel Craig to popular attention? I recall it fondly as ‘Our Wigs in the North’. You see, friends, I have a problem with hair and make-up. The anachronistic mullet, the dreadful syrup, the misplaced pout; I cannot rest when it doesn’t work in a TV or film drama. Immune to the frustrated protestations of my viewing companions, I just can’t ignore it and be another brick in the fourth wall. The distraction of an obvious scratchy looking wig or time travelling bonce infuriates me deeply, often forcing me to shout obscenities about fringes at the telly.
by Jen Corcoran
Lena Dunham: if you don’t know her name already, you soon will. The 25 year-old Manhattan based film-maker is currently the focus of intense media attention from blogosphere to broadsheet as her Judd Apatow-sponsored TV series Girls debuts on HBO over in the US. Meanwhile, Dunham’s wildly acclaimed breakthrough feature Tiny Furniture (2010) finally gets a release in the UK this week, exporting her brand of naturalistic, female-led comedy across the Atlantic.
Lena Dunham’s accelerated rise through the Hollywood food chain has met with adulation and condemnation in equal measure. With a dozen YouTube shorts and one micro-budget feature, Creative Nonfiction, under her belt, Dunham was barely out of college when Tiny Furniture won the Best Narrative Feature prize at South by Southwest Festival. Starring the writer herself as Aura, a disillusioned graduate who returns to New York and moves back in with her mother and sister, the film is an unashamedly personal, self-parodying exploration of what it means to be young in the post-Millennial era.
by FIONA PLEASANCE
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve clicked on a link, and now there’s a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. “Oh no,” you sigh, “not another bloody article about those retro-juggernauts, The Artist (2011) and Hugo (2011) and what it all means for Hollywood. That’s so last month!”
Well, perhaps. But as a teacher of film history, I hope that I can offer a slightly different perspective on the films as far as their historical accuracy and their contemporary significance are concerned.
Let’s start with The Artist which, having fictional characters at its heart, brings fewer concerns with it. George Valentin, Peppy Miller and Kinograph Studios never existed, but the film takes place at one of the most interesting and extensively documented periods in cinema history. The conversion process from silent to sound cinema made – and, yes, broke – a number of careers, so it encompasses many elements which Hollywood itself loves so much, particularly meteoric rises and dramatic falls from grace.
Yesterday we brought you the icons of the silver screen from the Golden Age: one writer, one actress, one decade. You’ll have to imagine that a single person can represent an entire gender for an entire ten year span. Bear with us on that.
Today we move through Hollywood’s 1970s renaissance to the present day. How times have changed! Times have changed – right?
It’s the 101st International Women’s Day! To mark this hugely important milestone, we have dedicated the next two days to some of the most iconic, glorious females in Hollywood. One writer, one actress, one decade. You’ll have to imagine that a single person can represent an entire gender for an entire ten year span. Bear with us on that.
Of course, the limitations of the brief mean that some big names have been missed. No Elizabeth Taylor, Louise Brooks, Jane Russell? Huge names, but that’s fine, it’s not a competition. There’s no thesis presented here, just personal choice. Each writer chose an actress they felt represented their decade, from the 1920s to the 2000s. You may draw your own conclusions of the evolution of the role and perception of women in the movies, of course.
We did not set out to create a definitive list – that would be absurdly arrogant – and no doubt you will have your own views on who best represents each decade. That’s why we have a comment box…
Come back tomorrow to see who we thought represented the spirit of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s (Twice), but today we cover the classics – Golden Era Hollywood. The 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s start right after the jump.
It occurred to me the other day that in just about every new film I have seen recently the male lead has popped off his top at the first available opportunity. Then I thought about it some more and was forced to admit that no, that isn’t quite true. After all, at no point in True Grit does Jeff Bridges pause in the middle of the Choctaw nation and break out his chest, right there in front of an aghast Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld. Still, in a lot of new films I’ve watched, an awful lot of men find reasons to get themselves shirtless. Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love, Eric Bana in The Time Traveller’s Wife, Jim Sturgess in One Day, Justin Timberlake in Friends with Benefits, Chris Hemsworth in Thor and so on. It seems to have become a regular event. Of course, the king of the shirtless is Matthew McConaughey, a man who has long considered a moment on camera with anything obscuring his chest, including a co-star, to be an affront to everything he stands for. Where he has led, plenty now follow.
The film that really made me think there has been a deliberate shift towards getting some naked man action on screen was Crazy, Stupid, Love. Ryan Gosling sits there, with his face which is actually an unhappy collaboration of two halves of faces, the facial equivalent of Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing ‘Little Drummer Boy’, with his top off because Emma Stone asked him to take it off, and she comments on how spectacular his body is (“Seriously? You look like you’ve been photoshopped”). What an odd scene. It really is just, hey, look at Ryan Gosling’s body! And he sits there looking all yeah, it’s pretty good I know, smiling with his wonky, half and half, ‘Little Drummer Boy’ face. Continue reading this article ›
Continue reading this article ›