Face front, true believers! It’s time for a fourth fulsome frolic through the fascinating fresh features lurking in my open browser tabs. Have at thee!
Michael Shannon is great. That isn't up for discussion. It’s an unassailable fact. He turns out totally committed and utterly compelling performances Every Single Time. He’s the kind of actor that gets called “intense” a lot. It might be the jawline. Or the eyes. Or maybe just a lack of imagination on the part of journalists. Take your pick. (He’s also the only reason I persisted with the turgid, unfocused Boardwalk Empire for as long as I did). Turns out that he’s a damn fine and very funny interviewee too. Here he is waxing deadpan on the promotional circuit for The Iceman, firstly talking to Kase Wickman at Film.com (in which he mentions the woefully-underseen and entirely wonderful Grand Theft Parsons, which You Absolutely Must See) and then with Andrew Goldman for the New York Times.
Sticking with the New York Times, next up is the awkwardly-titled Brook Barnes article "Solving Equation of a Hit Film Script, With Data", the depressing tale of Vinny Bruzzese, his company Worldwide Motion Picture Group and the script evaluation work they do in Hollywood - applying flaky statistical data and analysis to calculate the likelihood that a script can become a successful movie. If you want to know why so much Hollywood “product” is increasingly bland, you really need to read this. Here’s an Orwellian taster, as laughably absurd as it is ever-so-slightly chilling: "Bowling scenes tend to pop up in films that fizzle...Therefore it is statistically unwise to include one in your script."
2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of my beloved Doctor Who. To celebrate the good Doctor’s adventures in Time and Space, the BFI are holding a yearlong season of monthly events, commemorating a Doctor a month. In April, it was the turn of the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker, an actor who didn't actually seem to play the Doctor. He just was the Doctor. The on-stage Q&A alongside Louise Jameson and Philip Hinchcliffe (following a screening of The Robots of Death), was just as rambling, odd, charming and witty as you would expect from both him and his Doctor. Click through for over half an hour of glorious video from the event.
Daffy Duck, Barney Rubble, Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzales, Yosemite Sam. Mel Blanc's voice was a fundamental part of all of them. But one of them was a fundamental part of Mel Blanc more than any of the others - the wascally wabbit who always forgot to take that left turn at Albuquerque. Which is why, one day in 1961, Bugs Bunny saved Mel Blanc's life. And if you want to know how, you're going to have to click through to this article at Open Culture.