Today at Flavorpill, we realized the uncanny similarities between the Cathy comic series and Requiem for a Dream. We looked at 37 minimalist superhero and villain posters. We wondered what Milla Jovovich will be wearing when she hosts the Scientific And Technical Awards at this year’s Oscars. We said … Read More
Forty years ago today, a terrifying dystopian science-fiction film/pitch-black comedy hit American cinemas and changed movies forever. The film was A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick’s ultra-controversial adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel. Though widely acknowledged today as one of the great films of the ‘70s, initial critical response to the picture was mixed; Roger Ebert called it “talky and boring,” as well as “an ideological mess, a paranoid right-wing fantasy masquerading as an Orwellian warning,” while Pauline Kael criticized its “leering, portentous style” and accused its director of “sucking up to the thugs in the audience.” But The New York Times’ Vincent Canby set the tone for most critical responses, writing that Orange “makes real and important the kind of fears simply exploited by other, much lesser films.”
Audiences seemed to agree — the film grossed something like ten times its original budget in the States, its transformation into cult classic here and in England given an extra boost by its lengthy exile from availability in the UK. (Kubrick withdrew the film from circulation himself in the wake of possible copycat crimes.) Moreover, the picture’s iconic imagery and distinctive visual style made it a frequent touchstone for other filmmakers, musicians, and pop culture figures looking to inject a little droog mojo into their projects. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few of the more memorable Clockwork Orange shout-outs in popular culture. … Read More
Well, TV fans, the die is cast. Last week, The CW green-lighted The Carrie Diaries, that Sex and the City prequel network television has been threatening to inflict on us for years. Set in the ’80s, the show will follow Carrie Bradshaw’s high-school years in Connecticut, where we’re sure she’ll be asking a whole new, teen-focused slew of pseudo-profound questions (“What does ‘going steady’ really mean?”) and lusting over shoes at Contempo Casuals. But forgive us if we don’t intend to watch the show for long enough to find out. Like Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon, we’ve had our fill of Carrie. In fact, the only good thing we can imagine coming from the prequel is that it inspired us brainstorm some adult TV characters who already have kid equivalents on other shows. Find out who Zack Morris grew up to be, and which kid reminds us of Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess, after the jump. … Read More
Whether or not you buy into the whole idea of New Year’s resolutions, sticking a new calendar up on the wall does provide a convenient starting point for new endeavors. We’ve probably all got something in our lives we’d like to do more or less of (in our case, it’s less drinking, especially with today’s monster hangover). Plenty of musicians have committed similar feelings to song over the years, which probably isn’t surprising considering that the music industry isn’t exactly a place whose denizens are known for their restraint or self-control. So let us aid your transition to the new year with a selection of songs about making changes — hopefully, for the better. … Read More
[Editor's note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we'll spend the next two weekends revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published October 7, 2011.] Cartoon creators don’t always borrow personalities from live action film and TV, but when they do, it sometimes isn’t as obvious as we’d think. Have you ever noticed that Milhouse is a flawless animated rendition of The Wonder Years’ Paul Pfeiffer? And Doug Funnie’s retired neighbor? Y’know, that Dink guy who hangs around giving Doug strange advice? He’s most certainly an homage to Home Improvement‘s Mr. Wilson, the wisest man on the other side of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s fence. Check out some quirky cartoons and their live equivalents after the jump, and hit the comments to let us know the others you’ve found. They’re everywhere. … Read More
Shame, a candid and powerful look at sexual addiction from director Steve McQueen (no, another Steve McQueen) is out in limited release tomorrow, and as we reported last month, it’s going out with the NC-17 rating—no children under 17 admitted, under any circumstances. The rating, many have surmised, is due to the film’s copious male nudity, and that’s how the American ratings system works: all the naked ladies you want, but the erect male member= automatic NC-17.
The rating was initiated by the MPAA back in 1990, and was intended to be an alternative to the porn-stained (if you’ll pardon the pun) X rating; NC-17 movies, like Henry & June (the inaugural film to carry the rating), Bad Lieutenant, The Dreamers, and Lust, Caution would be for adults, by adults. But it quickly became the kiss of death for filmmakers and distributors. Just as with the X rating before it, newspapers and television outlets wouldn’t carry ads for NC-17 films, while larger theatrical chains and home video outlets refused to carry them. Smaller films would take the mark or (as Kids and Happiness did) go out unrated, while the editing process for big releases became something of a con game: if a film was rated NC-17, the distributor would make the trims necessary for an R-rating, enjoy the publicity, and then restore the cut material for the inevitable “unrated” DVD release (frequently carried by the very chains that refused to stock NC-17 films). By the late 1990s, studios wouldn’t even bother with the first step, cranking out unrated versions of raunchy comedies and adult thrillers as a standard step in their home video release plans.
While the politics of who gets an R and who doesn’t are shady at best (check out the terrific documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated), we can’t help but wonder about what would have happened if the NC-17 could have been what its creators wanted it to be. Fox Searchlight’s decision to release Shame with the scarlet letters/numbers has prompted another round of “will the NC-17 finally become respectable?” questions (answer: dubious), but what if that question weren’t necessary, because the NC-17 had never been stigmatized? Had that been the case, we might have seen the uncut movies we’ve assembled after the jump. … Read More
There’s something particularly enjoyable about the awkward superhero equivalents of our favorite, otherwise unheroic TV characters. These alter egos’ bizarre get-ups and peculiar antics are often so far removed from their shows’ realities that we can’t help but chuckle. But, then again — why wouldn’t Conan O’Brien’s tall, beefy superhero cartoon use an oven mitt and a jai alai glove to save a school bus? And of course Jack Donaghy’s animated superhero self would use his powers to taunt a nine-year-old Brian Williams. Regardless of the strange “gifts” these TV characters might instill in their fictional superhuman equivalents, we’d still feel safe with Super Ray or the occasional Quailman patrolling our neighborhood. Check out some makeshift masks, capes, kitchenware, and tighty-whiteys after the jump. … Read More
Ever since it was revealed that Zooey Deschanel had written and recorded the theme for her new hit sitcom, New Girl, the admittedly lackluster song has attracted more than its fair share of derision. But it’s not always the case that TV themes sung by the show’s cast are terrible. After the jump, we’ve collected some of the best theme songs sung by actors over the years, from Jason Schwartzman to The Muppets to the cast of That ’70s Show. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we wondered if the world is really ready for an Aqua comeback. We laughed out loud over some of these Masterpiece Theater “missed connections” from David Hart at McSweeney’s — particularly “MY HEART SAYS YES BUT MY STATION SAYS NO.” We checked some emotional baggage. We got… Read More