Saturday, February 23, 2013


Okay, folks, the Saturday before this Sunday (known here in the global village as Oscar Day) means that the Muriels are getting ready to ramp up for a day-long party leading up to the big reveal of the best movie(s) of 2012, as chosen by the august panel of Muriel Awards voters. But before the winners begin trickling in, two more clean-up categories.

First up, four essays on actresses who didn't get enough vote support to make the top three-- Hedwig Van Driel on Michelle Williams in Take This Waltz, Matthew Lotti on Ann Dowd in Compliance, Kenji Fujishima on Anne Marsen in Girl Walk // All Day, Steve Carlson on Juno Temple in Killer Joe, and Yours Truly taking the stand for my annual off-the-wall pick, Katy Perry as Katy Perry and "Katy Perry" in Katy Perry: Part of Me. Here's a teaser:

“I don’t think anyone can ever be too cartoony!” the singer gleefully exclaims while putting herself together for the first performance of her first worldwide tour. It’s a moment that makes you want to stand up and salute, a sentiment that distills Perry’s perfectly calibrated self-awareness and places her mix of shiny, candy-colored pop extravagance and (unthreatening) Vargas-girl sexuality well within the tradition of beloved animated icons Sweet Polly Purebred and Jessica Rabbit, both of whose appeal Perry seems to aspire towards. The movie pays only lip service to the greater weight of crafting such an image, but even if KP: POM is meticulously manipulated to present exactly the picture Katy Perry wants disseminated, it’s still a fascinating appraisal of what such a heightened level of pinup performance art might still mean to the audience. I don’t recall ever seeing a movie about a pop singer whose artifice is so up front which is then also so relatively unafraid of presenting the star at her most vulnerable, whether she’s crawling out of bed after a exhausting leg of the tour or laying immobile on a massage table, crippled with grief over her crumbling marriage.
You can read the rest, if you care to, as well as all the other essays (and I highly recommend that you read these) by checking out Other Stuff We Like Pt. 2 (Actresses) at the Muriels blog, Our Science Is Too Tight. 

Also up this morning, Other Stuff We Like Pt. 3 (Miscellany), in which five of the Muriels' finest-- Simon Abrams, Luke Gorham, Jason Alley, Daniel Cook Johnson and Andrew Bemis-- wax ecstatic about Joseph Kahn and Mark Palermo's screenplay for Detention (seen above), Jon Brion's score for Paranorman, the brilliant ensemble gathered for Seven Psychopaths, Claudio Miranda's miraculous cinematography for Life of Pi,  and the hallucinogenic breakthrough of Panos Cosmatos with Beyond the Black Rainbow. 

Andrew Bemis says of the movie, "At its best, Beyond the Black Rainbow recalls the work of Jodorowsky in its ability to follow through with its own hallucinatory logic. Like an acid trip, it’s filled with moments of clarity and insight that are extremely difficult to verbalize to others without sounding ridiculous." 

I have seen neither Beyond the Black Rainbow nor Detention yet, but if I want to get ready for tomorrow's Muriels marathon, maybe getting strung out on a midnight double feature of these two would be just the ticket.

Next, Muriel gives up the gold for Best Picture, including a piece written by me on what I'm assuming will be one of the also-rans. Stay tuned!


1 comment:

Steve C. said...

Both Detention and Beyond the Black Rainbow were in my Top Ten for the year. They're fantastic.