1. “Christina Hendricks: ’My agency dropped me when I first agreed to play Joan in Mad Men.’” Eight years later, Hendricks is recognised by millions. Here she talks about being bullied at school, working with Philip Seymour Hoffman and her new film role as a grieving mother.
“From the start, Hendricks was bullied. ’We had a locker bay, and every time I went down there to get books out of my locker people would sit on top and spit at me. So I had to have my locker moved because I couldn’t go in there…I felt scared in high school. It was like Lord of the Flies. There was always some kid getting pummelled and people cheering.” Hendricks found refuge in the drama department. Acting provided an outlet for a feeling of impotent rage. She became a goth, dying her hair black and purple, shaving it at the back and wearing leather jackets and knee-high Doc Marten boots. Were her clothes a type of armour against what she was experiencing? ’Yeah, exactly,’ she says, nodding. ’My parents would say, ’You’re just alienating everyone. You’ll never make any friends looking like that.’ And I would say, ’I don’t want those people to be my friends. I’m never going to be friends with the people who beat up a kid while everyone is cheering them on. I hate them.’”
2. “Perfume Genius.” Following two albums of stark singer/songwriter fare, Mike Hadreas displays a more in-your-face style of darkness on his upcoming third record, Too Bright.
“More so than ever, anger marks the general mood of Too Bright, especially in lead single ’Queen,’ which addresses the concept of gay panic and how it feels to know that the very fiber of your being makes others feel threatened. ’My boyfriend is always like, ’Why are you still going on about this stuff? Things might not be perfect, but can we start getting on with everything else?’’ he laughs. ’I’m glad things are getting better, but I’m going to push and be pissed off until they’re perfect. That will probably never happen, but I feel some weird duty nonetheless. Even though I can get married in Seattle, I could go to another country and get the death penalty just for being myself—I’m not making music just for fiancés in Seattle.’”
3. ”Get on Up: From Rhythm to Richness.” Armond White on the James Brown biopic, and the poverty-porn doc Rich Hill.
“Although Get on Up is unsubtle and has an artificial look, its understanding of Brown’s bootstrap struggle has more social relevance and political realism than the new poverty-porn flick, Rich Hill. This documentary look at poor and deprived white teens in Missouri is way too estheticized, with music and images designed to make poetry out of misery. It’s another film where the makers, Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, exploit suffering from behind an emotionally distant digital camera.”
4. “Podcast: A Smackdown Companion w/ Dana Delany.” Over at The Film Experience, a companion podcast to “Smackdown 1973: Candy, Madeline, Linda, Sylvia, and Tatum O’Neal.”
“On this special episode of the podcast—meant to enhance and extend the current Supporting Actress Smackdown conversation to include the films themselves—Nathaniel welcomes two time Emmy winner Dana Delany (China Beach, Desperate Housewives, Body of Proof), as well as EW editor at large and Five Came Back author Mark Harris, ’You Must Remember This’ podcast goddess Karina Longworth, Bill Chambers from Film Freak Central, and Kyle Turner from The Movie Scene. You’ll want to listen to this one. Trust me on this: your week will not be complete until you hear Dana’s Sylvia Sidney impression and Mark’s childhood Exorcist story.”
5. ”Cobra Verde’s Last Stand.” For Fandor, Chuck Bowen introduces us to Fitzcarraldo’s bleak, brilliant brother.
“Cobra Verde now plays, retrospectively, as an inadvertent correction of Fitzcarraldo. It’s one of Herzog’s bleakest and most disturbing films, and the director seems emboldened by the alienating challenge of the material. This is a film in which the dreamer is understood—in the spirit of the great Aguirre, the Wrath of God—to be a vitally complete bastard. Francisco Manoel da Silva (Kinski) doesn’t have any ideals that allow for transcendent platitudes that can paper over the human and ecological cost of said ideals. Lope de Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo pursued boy’s definitions of glory and power; they’re tyrants, but they had just enough naïveté to allow for a perversely fatalistic sort of adventure-film wish-fulfillment. Da Silva doesn’t. A 19th-century Brazilian rancher turned miner-turned-outlaw, the man’s an aggressively debased embodiment of survival as its own reward. Chillingly, Herzog and Kinski display that da Silva isn’t a bastard because he’s in dire straits, but a bastard with a constitution that requires him to be forever in dire straits (this is his closest approximation of possessing a ’dream’). Masochism appears to be eating him alive, and he’s more than willing to spread the wealth.”
Video of the Day: The official international trailer for Birdman:
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