Sunday, December 18, 2011
This Week's Links
2011's Biggest Movie Controversies
We film folk can get worked up pretty easily, so while we found plenty of things to get all a-tizzy about in 2011, the assembled list of 2011's film controversies doesn't exactly read like end-of-the-world, stop-the-presses stuff. But these things are important to us! We're easily excitable! Thus, ratings and posters and Oscars and Darth Vader's scream were well worth talking about—then, and now. Join us after the jump to relive some of the year's very big deals.
From The Village Voice:
Sex in a Coma: Not So Dreamy
Lee Breuer’s production of Sex in a Coma at Here is almost unbearably pretentious—a cacophony of whispers, fog, and stilted proclamations—but that’s not the problem. The problem is the utter tonal schizophrenia on display within the production, which veers uneasily from magic realism to broad comedy with little evidence of method or design. I haven’t the faintest idea how it was meant to make me feel, and unfortunately, its creators appear equally clueless.
Open Thread: Can You Separate the Film from the Filmmaker?
Taking a gander at this week’s new releases, I see that the time has come for Carnage to open—a good thing, because it’s a crisp, disruptive dark comedy of manners with stellar performances from an ace ensemble (Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly), and a bad thing, because it’s directed by Roman Polanksi, so now we’re going to have to talk about Roman Polanski again, which is, well, a dicey proposition. It forces us to ask the question that we had to ask when The Ghost Writer came out, and The Pianist, and Death and the Maiden, and pretty much everything he’s done since he was arrested for (and later pleaded guilty to) unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old back in 1977. It’s the same question we’ve had to ask with every Woody Allen film that’s come out since his affair with companion (and mother to his biological child) Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn—30 years his junior—was revealed. It’s the same question we had to ask when Melancholia came out earlier this fall, after Lars von Trier’s notorious “O.K., I’m a Nazi” press conference at Cannes.
That question: Can you separate the film from the filmmaker?
The Year in Film: 2011′s Best Performances
For all the remakes and reboots and 3-D blockbusters, 2011 was a great year for film actors, with a wealth of terrific performances for us to choose from. What’s more, in sharp contrast to most years in recent memory, there was a bumper crop of terrific roles for great actresses—a trend that we’d like to see stick around for a while. After the jump, we’ll tell you about some of the best performances we saw this year, and why we’re still talking about them.
10 Essential ‘Community’ Episodes to Watch Over Holiday Break
Well, it’s Thursday, but there won’t be a new episode of Community tonight. Apparently, there won’t be a new episode of Community for many more Thursday nights… excuse me…
Okay, I’m back. Nothing wrong with a good morning cry. As I was saying, last week’s Christmas episode marked the final new episode until the series’ undetermined spring return to the NBC schedule, as room is cleared in the Thursday night line-up for 30 Rock’s return and various other shufflings. NBC promises (promises!) that the innovative ensemble comedy isn’t cancelled, it’s just going on a little break, but their assurances have the subtle air of a parent’s earnest insistence that no, Sir Barksalot just went to a farm in the country where he can run and play, not that he was… put to… sorry, be right back…
Right-o. Our worries about Community’s future aside, its distressing exile—along with the rerun cycle that has already taken over prime-time—and the recent addition of the entire three-season run to Hulu Plus means that the holidays are a fine time for you Greendale novices out there to catch up on what is, I believe, the finest comedy program on network television. After the jump, we’ll give you the ten episodes most worth your time.
Trailer Park: Coming Soon — Next Summer’s Blockbusters!
Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. This week’s ten trailers include several peeks at next summer’s blockbusters, which are presumably rolling out in front of the big holiday releases. But there are some smaller (and stranger) titles hiding in there as well; check ‘em all out after the jump.