Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

As a longtime fan of the films of Terry Gilliam, and also one who was greatly aggrieved by the death of the tremendously talented Heath Ledger, I have been intensely anticipating the release of the film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

The film's wildly imaginative and bizarre storyline, as well as the rich imagery, resembles some of my all-time favorite Gilliam work (especially The Adventures of Baron Munchausen which was co-written by Charles McKeown who also co-wrote Parnassus). Aside from the draw of being Ledger's final film role, I am greatly enticed by the rest of the cast which includes Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Verne Troyer, and Tom Waits!

This film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009, with reviews praising its stunning visuals and calling Ledger "a marvel" in his role. The film was also released in Germany at the Munich Film Festival and has release dates secured for countries including Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy, etc.

Despite the huge publicity and big-name cast, negotiations with several prospective commercial partners are ongoing and no United States release date has been set. If Gilliam cannot find a distributor willing to pay the going rate for rights to screen it in cinemas, Heath Ledger’s final film, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus could go straight to DVD!

No! Keep your fingers crossed that this film gets a release in the States, otherwise all of us miss out on a golden opportunity to see a treasure trove of creative greatness on the big screen!

Michael Urie Should Ask Me Out: Reason Four

Reason #4: He is currently appearing in a highly acclaimed run of an Off-Broadway show entitled The Temperamentals. To date, he has not done any shows on Broadway.

I've never been in a Broadway show either! ... We have so much in common.

Hey, Michael! Let's get some coffee, go for a walk in Central Park, and talk about not being on Broadway.

That doesn't sound fun to you???

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Gay Moment: Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton

This Gay Moment is brought to you by a promotional still for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Tom: Have you been getting my messages?

Daniel: Yes... I don't want to admit it, but your YouTube videos are a bit irresistible.

Tom: So may we change our Facebook from "It's Complicated" back to "Relationship"?

Daniel: Shut up and kiss me.

R.I.P. Karl Malden

Academy Award, Emmy Award, and SAG Award winning actor Karl Malden passed away in his Brentwood home at the age of 97 on July 1.

Malden was a tremendous talent and made an extraordinarily successful film career for himself despite his plain looks. Beginning his film career in the early 1940s, his dedicated and memorable work quickly earned him large roles in what would become some of the most iconic films of the 20th century.

His resumé, consisting of 70 roles in films and television shows, included such classics as A Streetcar Named Desire (for which he won the Oscar), On the Waterfront (another Oscar nomination), One-Eyed Jacks, How the West Was Won, Patton, and the highly controversial Baby Doll which was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency for what was termed its “carnal suggestiveness.”

Malden was awarded an Emmy for what is probably his most widely memorable work as Detective Lt. Mike Stone on the hit series "The Streets of San Francisco" in which he starred with a young Michael Douglas.

Douglas said of him, "Karl ‘The Mentor’ Malden was a great actor, father and husband. I admired and loved him deeply."

Malden also appeared in 21 Broadway plays, was President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences from 1989-1992, was given a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Screen Actors Guild, was the spokesperson for American Express (being the first person to utter the famous slogan "Don't leave home without it"), and served on the United States Postal Service advisory committee on which he helped create the "Hollywood Legends" commemorative stamps.

I personally first became aware of Malden growing up watching the Disney film Pollyanna. This may seem inconsequential work compared to some of his other credits, but I still admire and love his performance as the over-zealous, fear-instilling, and conflicted reverend of the town Pollyanna comes to. His work in that film is genuinely one of a kind.

Malden and his wife, Mona, a fellow acting student of Chicago's Goodman Theater, had one of Hollywood’s longest marriages, having celebrated their 70th anniversary in December 2008.

“That was sort of the last goodbye,” said friend and actress Eva Marie Saint, who attended a party in the couple’s honor. “His wish was, ‘After I die, I don’t want you to do anything but have a party.’ So another party is coming up.”