Movies

Photo of the Day

Maneater: Theda Bara in a series of unconventional portraits. Her publicist claimed it was her lover and that not even the grave could separate them.

Theda Bara 

‘The Vamp’ of the Silent Screen

“A vampire is a good woman with a bad reputation, or rather a good woman who has had possibilities and wasted them”

 — Florenz Ziegfeld

The queen of the vamps was one of America’s most mysterious movie stars — Theda Bara. The magnetic actress, with her steely gaze and jet-black hair, was the prototype for a movie bad girl. She shook convention so dramatically that a critic called her a “flaming comet of the cinema firmament.”

Bara might be the most significant celebrity pioneer whose movies you’ve never seen. She was the movie industry’s first sex symbol; the first femme fatale; the first silent film actress to have a fictional identity invented for her by publicists and sold through a receptive media to a public who was happy to be conned; and she might have been America’s first homegrown goth.

According to the studio biography, Theda Bara (anagram of “Arab Death”) was born in the Sahara to a French artiste and his Egyptian concubine and possessed supernatural powers.

Progressive, liberated women were clearly so frightening one hundred years ago that equating them to undead, bloodthirsty creatures borne of Satan didn’t seem so unusual.

In the late 1910s, women were on the verge of winning the right to equal representation in the voting booth. Women were asserting power in unions, and, in the wake of disasters like the Triangle Factory Fire, those unions were influencing government policy. They were taking control of their destinies, their fortunes, even their sexuality (Margaret Sanger‘s first birth control clinic opened in 1916).

This surging independence came just as the entertainment industry heralded the female form as one of its primary attractions. Ziegfeld’s sassy, flesh-filled Follies — and its many imitators — defined the Broadway stage, mixing music, sex and glamour with a morality-shattering frankness.

But it was the birth of motion pictures that gave the allure of female bodies an unearthly, flickering glow, as nickelodeon shorts became feature-length films, and the first era of the movie siren was born.

Combine the power of liberation with the erotic potential of cinema, and in the late 1910s, you got the vampire (or as we would come to know, the ‘vamp’).

Read more »

Photo of the Day

On Frank Sinatra: “The poor guy was literally without a job. He said all he could do was play saloons and crappy night clubs. His ego and self-esteem was at its lowest ever. And mine was practically at its peak. So it was hell for him. He was such a proud man — to have a woman pay all his bills was a bitch.” AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Ava Gardner

I wish to live until 150 years old but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whisky in the other

Caution Bad Language

The screen goddess once said: “My vices and scandals are more interesting than anything anyone can make up.”

Ava Gardner knew how to pose for the camera. She’d slit her eyes, throw her head at an angle, and the photographer would somehow catch something about her — not elegance or grace, exactly, but something that was strong, sexual, and almost animal, as if she were zeroing in on you, weighing your merits, and readying to pounce. And for most of the ’40s and ’50s, she was Hollywood’s most alluring femme fatale, an image solidified both on and off the screen.

Once Hollywood’s most irresistible woman—wed to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra—by 1988 Ava Gardner was nearly broke, ravaged by illness, and intent on selling her memoirs. But the man she chose as her ghostwriter, Peter Evans, had his own problems, not least a legal war with Sinatra.

In The first week of January 1988, Ava Gardner asked Peter Evans to ghost her memoirs. Since Evans had never met Ava Gardner, the call, late on a Sunday evening, was clearly a hoax. “Sounds great, Ava,” Evans played along. “Does Frank approve? I don’t want to upset Frank.” There was a small silence, then a brief husky laugh.

“Everybody kisses everybody else in this crummy business all the time. It’s the kissiest business in the world.”

Read more »

Progressive feminist ideology tanks movie or was it the sexism and racism?

New Ghostbusters movie

New Ghostbusters movie

Both my children are eagerly looking forward to the new Ghostbusters movie.  I really enjoyed the original so went on to YouTube to look at the trailer. One of the main characters is an actress I really like, Melissa McCarthy so I had high hopes that it would be good.

DG13509_081315_DynamicCard_TheList_MelissaMcCarthy

DG13509_081315_DynamicCard_TheList_MelissaMcCarthy

What I soon discovered was that this movie trailer was incredibly unpopular. I have never seen so many dislikes before.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 8.45.24 AM

screenshot-whaleoil.co.nz

Read more »

Peter Jackson happy to put cinemas out of business sooner

Good to see Peter Jackson looking to help break the monopoly on cinema releases…though at fifty dollars per movie I’m not sure there would be many takers.

Sir Peter Jackson has thrown his support behind a proposed service that would allow people to watch movies at home the same day they are released at the cinema.

Subscribers to Screening Room would pay $50 per new release and have 48 hours to watch the film.

The Oscar-winning director says the service is an inevitable move in the industry.

Blockbuster movies like Batman Versus Superman are big business, and opening night at the cinema is usually a good pointer to success or failure.

But what if you can’t make the movie theatre; what if you could pay to watch the film at home?   Read more »

Tagged:

Guess: the only place women get to talk less than men

I bet you can’t guess where the only place is that women get to talk less than men.

Go on…bet you can’t.

Hollywood has been criticised for its lack of diversity this year, but a new study shows the issue goes beyond race.

A data study carried out by Polygraph’s Hannah Anderson and Matt Daniels found that based on dialogue, females played the lead role in just 22 per cent of movies.

Anderson and Daniels studied screenplays from 2000 films and discovered women delivered the majority of the dialogue (60 to 90 per cent) in just 166 films.

Gender parity was reached in 324 films, with men taking the lead in 1195 films.

Women occupied at least two out of the three top roles in 18 per cent of the films studied.   Read more »

Tagged:

Illegal downloading [ POLL ]

What do you think about illegal downloads of music, movies and TV series?   With music services such as the iTunes store, Spotify and Pandora, the music business is starting to meet market need, but movies and TV are lagging behind.   Read more »

Tagged:

Map of the Day

Top Rated Files on IMDB - Europe

Top rated files on IMDB set and shot in each European country

Tagged:

Financial movie magic to drive ongoing economic boost for New Zealand

Better to have a little of something rather than everything from nothing.  The Key government has found the balancing point where we can  keep our word leading talents at home, off the dole queue, and part of making a superior product that will continue to highlight New Zealand as a great filming destination.  Nick Perry at the Herald reports

Fuelled by politicians giving out generous tax breaks, film-making talent is migrating to where the money is. The race allows powerful studios with hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal to pick the best deals.

This month, James Cameron announced plans to shoot and produce the next threeAvatar sequels largely in New Zealand.

Cameron gets a 25 per cent rebate on production costs, as long as his company spends at least $500 million on the three films.

“There’s no place in the world that we could make these sequels more cost effectively,” says producer Jon Landau. It is neither the country’s volcanoes nor its glaciers that are attractive, because the Avatar movies will be shot indoors.

“We looked at other places,” said Landau. But in the end, “it was this rebate.”

The wreckers and haters on the left continue to say this is a bad idea.  Labour and the Unions apparently prefer people to not work to somehow retain some ideologically pure poverty that comes from not being able to find any work.

The logic escapes me.   Read more »

All I want for Christmas is…

via Imgur

via Imgur

I think I could hire this out for crowd control at Green Taliban protests.

Tagged:

How to fake a knife fight

Tagged: