In the new issue of Shock Cinema, House contributor Jeremiah Kipp interviews unconventional leading man Ron Perlman. Topics include Perlman’s collaborations with Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro (City of Lost Children), Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Hellboy) and Larry Fessenden (Wendigo); his experience playing a romantic lead under heavy makeup in CBS’ Beauty and the Beast; his decision to go on the lam to avoid $5000 in parking tickets, and his strange interlude working with Marlon Brando on The Island of Dr. Moreau:
You ever watch The Honeymooners? You ever see Ralph Kramden when he gets into a situation where he’s a little over his head. ’Hummana-hummana-hummana-hummana!’ And every moment I was in Brando’s presence it was like that. I know there’s a lot of people like me who have an unhealthy fascination with Brando, and I say unhealthy because it’s completely over the top, it dwarfs all rationality. The fact that I was just going to be in his presence meant so much to me. What he was able to achieve as an actor during those certain parts of his career where he decided to apply himself—which was only three performances, really, as far as I’m concerned—he accomplished things that no one else will ever be able to touch, unquestionably. To me, he’s a God. What do you do when you get near a God? You just watch them. I spent so much time observing Marlon on that movie that I kept missing my own lines. I would hear him say (Brando imitation), “It’s your line.” And I said, “I wonder who he’s talking to.” Then he’d say, “Hey you, the blind guy, it’s your line.” I went, “Oh shit, it’s me!”…
Best of all is Perlman’s workaday summing-up of Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels:
You and I wouldn’t be having this conversation if cinema wasn’t as important as it is. We go to these movies and learn about whatever’s inside of us: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Whoever invented this art form should be canonized. When I get off the phone with you, I’m gonna go watch Sullivan’s Travels and cry at the scene where he’s amidst all these homeless guys and a cartoon comes on and they’re laughing. And he has this epiphany that he’s been running away from being a comedy director. It’s the greatest contribution he could make in this piece of shit fucked up world—if you can laugh five or ten minutes a day that’s reason to go on until tomorrow.
The entire article isn’t available online—Shock Cinema is an old-fashioned print mag—but for info on how to find it, click here.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.
On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)
Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.
As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.
Will Win: Green Book
Could Win: The Favourite
Should Win: First Reformed
Watch: Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, Gets First Trailer
Joanna Hogg has been flying under the radar for some time, but that’s poised to change in a big way.
British film director and screenwriter Joanna Hogg, whose impeccably crafted 2013 film Exhibition we praised on these pages for its “disarming mixture of the remarkable and the banal,” has been flying under the radar for the better part of her career. But that’s poised to change in a big way with the release of her latest film, The Souvenir, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the film’s world premiere at the festival, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired its U.S. and U.K. distribution rights, respectively. Below is the official description of the film:
A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
And below is the film’s first trailer:
A24 will release The Souvenir on May 17.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing
For appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.
Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, it’s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each other’s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, it’s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les Misérables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, there’s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.
Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Could Win: A Star Is Born
Should Win: First Man