Mel Gibson

10 Great Movies Based on Poems

We’re all pretty comfortable with the idea of movies based on books — fiction, nonfiction, and even self-help books — but what about books of poetry? Last week, Open Culture posted a fascinating film based on the poetry of Sylvia Plath. While it might seem surprising to see a film based on a poem, it’s actually probably a lot more common than you think. To prove it, find ten great films based on poetry after the jump. Don’t see your favorite? Add it to the list in the comments. … Read More

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10 Movies We Can’t Believe Have Merchandise Tie-Ins

In its first weekend of wide release, Harmony Korine’s hedonistic morality play Spring Breakers did a respectable $5 million and landed in the top ten — certainly a first for Korine, and an indication that newbie distributor A24 may have an indie hit on their hands. And when a movie is big, you know what comes next: merchandising! You wouldn’t think that Korine’s feverish vision of gun-toting, bikini-wearing babes would be a natural for tie-in products, but you’d be wrong; after the jump, we’ll take a look at your must-have Breakers merch, and nine other unlikely movies you won’t believe were merchandised. … Read More

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Hilarious Notes on Modern Classics From Clueless Studio Executives

The image of non-creative types mucking about with (and screwing up) movies and television shows is nothing new — we’ve seen it in everything from Barton Fink to The Player to The Larry Sanders Show — but we got a rare opportunity to observe a real-life example of it recently, when a memorandum of notes from the suits at Tandem Productions to the makers of Blade Runner started popping up online. Those hilarious criticisms and suggestions got us wondering about other classic movies that came close to ruin thanks to studio interference. We’ll take a look at Blade Runner and several other examples after the jump. … Read More

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Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Oscar-Winning Directors at Work

The Oscars are just around the corner, and we’re very much looking forward to sitting down this Sunday night and watching them unfold. (Much more excited than we were about the Grammys, anyway.) The point of interest, as ever, will be who walks away the Best Director award — even with the golden age of the auteur long behind us, the director’s chair continues to hold a certain mystique, as do the people who occupy it. It’s intriguing to watch directors at work, to see how differently they translate their ideas into reality, and in this vein, we’ve collected some fascinating behind-the-scenes photos of the most distinguished directors to receive the Best Director award over the years. And Mel Gibson. … Read More

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The All-Time Weirdest Guest Appearances on ‘The Simpsons’

So if you haven’t heard, Tom Waits was on The Simpsons last night, voicing “a gravelly voiced paranoiac” prepper and joining the long list of illustrious and not-so-illustrious guest stars who’ve graced the show since it started screening way back in 1989. His appearance got us thinking about some of the more unlikely guest stars and/or performances the show has seen over the years — and so we’ve amused ourselves after the jump selecting some of our favorites, from Johnny Cash playing a psychedelic coyote to Thomas Pynchon breaking a 40-year TV silence. Did we miss any of your favorites? Go ahead and let us know. (And advance apologies for the quality of a couple of the clips — Simpsons videos are like hen’s teeth on YouTube.) … Read More

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The Greatest Movie Speeches

Filmic moments of strength, weakness, and wisdom have inspired some of the most powerful speeches in cinema. With the arrival of Patton on Blu-ray tomorrow, we felt compelled to revisit a few memorable speeches in film history. George C. Scott starred in Franklin J. Schaffner’s 1970 war drama as General George S. Patton, and we first meet the actor during a stern opening address to the troops of the US 3rd Army, framed by a massive American flag. It’s a spare, bold moment that sets the tone for the film and introduces Patton as an uncompromising military leader ready to fight. It’s also a reminder that impressive, intense dialogue can outshine even the greatest of special effects. Click through for a look back at some quotable, emotional, and uplifting speeches that have graced the big screen. We’ve left plenty of room so you can share your favorites in the comments, below. … Read More

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1920s-Style Mugshots of Badly Behaved Celebrities

Another day, another sad celebrity mugshot. From the bedraggled hair to the mortified eyes to the general implication that the subject has been awake for days, these photos are all the same, and poring over them has begun to seem nearly as pathetic as starring in them. But Michael Jason Enriquez, an art director and advertising student, has found a way to make them aesthetically interesting again. For his Mugshot Doppelgänger series, Enriquez used what he calls the “eerie beauty” of 1920s Australian police photos as inspiration “to see what it would look like if you took modern day celebrity mugshots and turned them into something worth looking at.” Click through to see badly behaved celebrities like Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, and Phil Spector given the time-warp treatment, and follow the project on Tumblr for more. … Read More

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The Movies Hollywood Was Afraid to Make

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master opens Friday in limited release — his first film in five years, though we certainly could have been waiting longer. Anderson’s oh-so-thinly-veiled portrait of a cult leader who seems an awful lot like L. Ron Hubbard knocked around Hollywood for a good long while before the writer/director finally found outside financing (more on that later); it’s one of several films — most of them related to religion, the movie industry’s primary hot button — that had to go the indie route when the major studios were afraid to touch them. After the jump, a brief history of movies Hollywood was too scared to make. … Read More

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10 Movie Stars We’re Ready to See Retire

A few weeks back, we took a moment to lament the absence of several stars who, for whatever reason, had opted to retire from the silver screen. But what of the inverse? Who are the stars we’d like to encourage to go ahead and enjoy a life of leisure, spending time with their families and their money, rather than continuing to flaunt their tired wares in the local multiplex? It’s a question that, for us, was brought on by this week’s release of The Expendables 2, wherein Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Norris, et. al. get into their Rascals and make yet another play for ’80s action movie nostalgia. After the jump, some thoughts on those fellows, and a few more film stars who are due to retire. … Read More

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The Most Controversial Films About Religion

People have been meditating on the image of a nearly nude and bound Saint Sebastian for centuries. The martyr is usually depicted with arrows piercing his flesh, bearing a rapturous expression — the subtext of which has inspired numerous writings and artworks, depicting the saint as an icon of queer culture. Derek Jarman’s 1976 movie Sebastiane explored similar themes, focused on the sexual/spiritual agony and ecstasy between two Roman soldiers. Severus’ lustful obsession with Sebastiane provokes him to torture the unattainable man, and the intersection of longing, faith, and violence is lyrically captured by the director (translated in Vulgar Latin, even). The film’s homoeroticism and striking realism caused a controversy amongst religious groups. Since the film has arrived on Blu-ray, we wanted to explore other contentious studies of spirituality. Mention your favorites, below. … Read More

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