Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beautiful Things

I love a juicy bit of celebrity nostalgia. I love an interesting "behind the scenes" look. I love a great poster. I love Madonna. Add all these together and you can just guess how much I loved reading this article at My Life as a Blog (link via The Film Experience) about the making of the poster for Desperately Seeking Susan in the the mid-80s.

It's written by a man who worked on PR for the somewhat iconic 1985 film and the creation of the actually very iconic poster. It's an ode to the world of celebrity in the 1980s (Madonna catching taxis!) as well as the lost art of poster design that Susan a perfect example of. You know, when actors had to be in the same room rather than Photoshopped from opposite sides of the globe. The piece explains the story behind costume designer Santo Loquasto's duel jackets of the film, has multiple amazing Madonna quotes (even if, naturally, she comes of as a bit of a bitch) and features a cameo by Andre Leon Talley so delicious that I'm positively salivating.

At one point, Ritts was shooting some sultry glamour shots of Rosanna posing against a cloth backdrop, when Madonna came over. After gaping at Rosanna for a minute she said, “You look so good I’d like to fuck you myself.” It was funny, but you could almost hear the air—sssssss!—slipping out of Rosanna’s confidence, as her moment was stolen, and it became all about Madonna. And come on! This was Rosanna Arquette, after all—a true fantasy figure for a good portion of the men in America! Moments later, Madonna grabbed the backdrop, commandeered the same pose… and Herb shot an image that became a famous poster.

I suggest y'all check the piece out, it's fascinating from so many different points of view.

Want more beautiful things?

How about this list of the 50 best title sequences from IFC Film. It's an exhausting list - get prepared to lose at least an hour of your day with it - that includes video of all the films with some great discussion going on, too. I think this moment from the article's introduction is quite truthful, although even serious films seem to have jettisoned the art of opening title sequences, haven't they?

Of course, the current fashion in big blockbusters is to skip the opening credits entirely: a studio name, the film's title, and that's it. That decision says a lot about these big blockbusters' priorities: screw mood and tone! Who cares about characters and themes? Let's get to the action!

I've included some of my favourites below.

The Naked Gun | Do the Right Thing

Charade | Taxi Driver

Seconds | Goldfinger

Warriors | Vertigo

If you asked me to pick a favourite, I would have to go with Taxi Driver, and it's a shame they didn't include any David Lynch intro's since his are always so good with their creation of mood through imagery and music. I actually think Gasper Noe's Enter the Void managed to trump every single one on the list - although I may be jumping the gun - just this past year. I didn't care for the movie, but those opening (and closing, which feature at the beginning?) is a "tour de force"

If, for a moment there, this entry was becoming a piece of "the lost art of something-something" then let me change that by noting that giant floating heads are still alive and thriving. The Book of Siberia has assembled a whole bunch of them together and, I'm sad to say, there are quite a few Australian films featured. I don't think any of these posters are anything, although I'd say my favourite was Breaking the Waves, since the way the images are illustrated has some lovely texture to it. Make sure to click on over for the entire compilation of giant floating heads!

The music branch at the Academy lost any chance they may have mad to make audiences care about the musical numbers when they failed to nominated the Diane Warren penned, Cher performed, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" for Best Original Song. The music branch hasn't had "taste" in a very long time, so why choose now to get some. I say that, of course, even though I think the film and the song are both legitimately very excellent, but even I can't deny that the general aura around the film is "omgsocamp!itmustbebad!!", which is a shame. Still, the film was one of only a few to actually insert its original songs into the film in the form of musical numbers and they still don't nominate it? And for "If I Rise"? A song that is, I think quite literally, air. There is nothing there to even be considered a song, right?

Oh well, how's this for... well, whatever it is? James Franco rehearsing a "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" number for the Academy Awards that will, unfortunately, never see the light of day. Yet another reason to think the Academy's music branch deserves a punch in the face for their incompetence.

It's still better than either of the four songs actually nominated thought (give or take "Coming Home" from Country Strong).

Let's end this with some more "beautiful things" that this entry originally started out as. I went to see "Hairspray" last night at the Princess Theatre. I had originally decided not to see it because, well, the movie is so good that I didn't feel like spending over $100 on seeing it performed on stage, and especially since I'd heard the production used LED screen sets rather than actually, ya know, sets. However, I purchased a couple of tickets at OnyaAid and, ya know, it was for charity!

I really liked it, of course, as one does with "Hairspray". It's hard to dislike, truly. I was a bit disappointed we had the understudy for Seaweed since "Can We Talk" hitmaker Tevin Campbell would've been a trip to see! Remember "Can We Talk"?


Still, my favourite part of the show was getting to watch Jack Chambers on stage for a couple of hours. Is this guy not just one of the most adorkable guys you've ever laid eyes on? Okay, well, for me he is. He was most definitely my favourite from the one season of So You Think You Can Dance that I watched. Why doesn't he realise we're meant to be together? Gosh, how rude! Naturally, I took a few cute screencaps from an interview he did with Undercover. It's what I do.

Okay, so more than a few. We're made for each other, can't you tell?

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