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Everybody Wants to be Us

Graduate Student at Loyola University Chicago. Check out the blog for what I'm currently obsessed with in film and culture. Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet, Christian Bale, Jesse Eisenberg, David Lynch, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Daniel Radcliffe are regulars here.


Hooray for the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue

With everything going digital there’s something about Vanity Fair Hollywood issue that makes it a necessary purchase. Every February I wait in anticipation for that tri-fold cover, wondering which icons and newcomers will grace the cover.  This year’s selection did not disappoint.  Many of my favorite actresses are glitzed and glammed including Jennifer Lawrence, Rooney Mara, Paula Patton, Mia Wasikowska, and Elizabeth Olsen. 

This year I have to say the cover belongs to the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain and the surprising Shailene Woodley.  Chastain embodies that Old Hollywood glamour while standing out from the rest with her flaming red tresses. Her slight smirk reminds me of the pin-ups.  Woodley steals the other panels.  I hardly recognized “The Descendants” star in her starlet finery.  Her train takes up much of the frame, almost as if she’s ascending out of a pink cloud. Woodley seems to be standing in her personal spotlight demanding your attention. 

The magazine is full of wonderful Hollywood substance and puffery.  I particularly enjoyed S.L. Price’s profile of the making and influence of Barry Levinson’s “Diner.”  The piece convincingly argues Levinson’s film about Baltimore bros inspired writers to think differently about dialogue and make movies that sounded more like how people actually talk.  Price finds traces of “Diner” in TV shows like “Seinfeld” and “Entourage” and the movies “Reservoir Dogs”, “Swingers”, and everything by Judd Apatow. Making a movie about guys talking to each other about nothing was novel then, but connected with so many artists.  Price included funny antidotes from filming, including Mickey Rourke giving Steve Gutenberg acting advice (stop wanking off to be in constant tension).

Judd Apatow also gets mentioned in James Wolcott’s piece on male nudity in cinema.  Apparently, Apatow vowed to show a penis in every one of his films after test audiences shrieked at a visible member in “Walk Hard.”  Wolcott waxes lyrically on Michael Fassbender’s anatomy and unpacks why male full frontal isn’t often shown on screen.  He makes just about every penis pun known to man, while making me feel the tiniest bit sorry for the guys.

Tucked away is a wonderful little piece on Angelica Huston and her role as matriarch to a whole new clan of Huston talent.  I’m excited to see her in a new role in “Smash” and audibly gasped when I read she’s the aunt of Jack Huston; the laconic and brilliant Richard on “Boardwalk Empire.”  No wonder he’s so talented, he’s got genius genes.

            I salute you Hollywood issue, the highlight of my magazine loving year. 

Christopher Nolan IMMORTALIZED

Writer, Director, Producer, and Perfect Human Being Christopher Nolan will be honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre tomorrow.  Nolan’s work has made him immortal, this star is just making it official. Congratulations Christopher Nolan.

"I find it obscene when gun enthusiasts rail against pop culture’s evil influence while continuing to pretend that the easy availability of assault weapons and ammunition deserves to be an enshrined right. So let’s not cede custody of the conversation about pop culture to people who evince not a shred of moral seriousness about our national disease. If we are all parents, and Hollywood is so often asked to serve as the babysitter, then we need to begin a conversation among responsible people about the fact that, in an era when an American is killed by a gun every 15 minutes, the nonstop attempt to take the edge off that horror by reprocessing it into something painless and pleasurable, though it is not the problem, certainly takes us no closer to a solution. Even while we fight this out in Congress and in the courts, shouldn’t we hold ourselves to a higher standard? Shouldn’t we do better? For the people who make entertainment, for the people who consume it, and for those of us who write about it, that should haunt our sleep, and trouble our souls."

-Mark Harris in Entertainment Weekly

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