"For the third anniversary of Film Independent at LACMA's Live Read, we have a story about a boy and his pet." Critic and LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell typically introduces the semi-regular Live Read with a wry bon mot describing the film he and filmmaker Jason Reitman have selected, and this is how Mitchell prepared a packed house for the first film of the new season, Boogie Nights. (For more on how the unrecorded, one-night-only Live Read events work, see here.)
Boogie Nights, of course, has only grown in stature since it was first released 16 years ago. It is an uncommonly ambitious, devastating, absurd Scorsese-esque look at the rise and fall of a small enclave of pornographers living in the San Fernando Valley in the late '70s and early '80s. I've always thought of it as a hilarious tragedy. Last night may have inverted that idea.
We're now waist-deep in awards season, and the Grantland staff would like to take this opportunity to remind all the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Collar nominees out there that should they have to step up to that podium and take that mic on national television, they owe it to themselves to study up beforehand and see how the pros handle it. Here are our favorite awards show acceptance (and unacceptance) speeches from all corners of the entertainment world.
It can be argued that Paul Thomas Anderson is America's greatest living director. That particular argument is not one we're about to undertake, because we're not looking to incite a cineaste melee in which various Criterion Collection Blu-rays are hurled to and fro like so many phosphorescent Tron death-Frisbees, but here is the short yet significant filmography of the man a certain excitable segment of the population likes to shorthand as "PTA": Hard Eight. Boogie Nights. Magnolia. Punch-Drunk Love. There Will Be Blood. And now, arriving with roughly the same level of anticipation in the film-obsessed community as behind-the-scenes footage of a drunk Orson Welles test-sledding six dozen Rosebud prototypes, The Master.
Anderson's latest divisive masterpiece was released on a handful of screens in New York and Los Angeles last week, shattering per-theater records in the process. Today, it expands to 788 locations, giving moviegoers in the rest of the country their first opportunity to partake in the Mastermania gripping artisanal-torpedo-juice-sipping coastal elites. But should you part with your hard-earned entertainment dollar on a movie that, at this moment, is a mere nine points higher on the Tomatometer than Dredd 3D? We once again are committed to answering the questions that will guide our readers to the best possible ticket-buying decision.
This week, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master gets a limited release, effectively kicking off Oscar season. There are many reasons to be excited about this movie, but chief among them is the chance to watch powerhouse thespians Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix act the living daylights out of one another. In anticipation of this battle for the ages, we've put together this pregame highlight reel and asked our staff: Are you Team Hoffman or Team Phoenix?
Almost Famous, "Stairway to Heaven" Boogie Nights, "Porn Awards" Bill Simmons: Here's what I want from my "greatest deleted scene ever." It needs to stand on its own as an entertainingly rewatchable YouTube clip. It needs to come from an iconic movie, or at the very least, an iconic movie to me. It needs to take some of the characters from that movie to another level, OR, it needs to cement why I liked those characters in the first place. And it needs to make me think, "I can't believe they left that scene out of the movie, it's inexplicable."
It was 1993’s Short Cuts that made Julianne Moore famous — both for her acting chops and the definitive proof she’s as naturally red as Che Guevara. But her role in that film — as the saucy, pants-averse Marian Wyman — was also a clue. The gist of Moore’s memorable scene was a pre-party fight with husband Matthew Modine. The argument? That Moore had potentially kissed another man. And thus began in earnest Moore’s two-tracked career: critically acclaimed performer and Hollywood’s go-to, gold star adulteress.