1998 is right in the middle of an era in cinema that I have great affection for. The success of former video store employee Quentin Tarantino had been hugely influential and motivated a general expanded interest in independent film and in the value of both movie trivia and the expertise of your local hole-in-the-wall movie rental clerk. Many of the bigger studios had scrambled to put together projects and promote filmmakers who would help to bolster their street credibility and make them seem in tune with the times. While at moments this resulted in some movies that only had the markers associated with the sort of stuff they thought we wanted to see, but none of the genuine connection with the material that had made it interesting to begin with, I’d say the overall result was positive. Creative and idiosyncratic efforts were more likely to get the green light, and I consider that to be a good thing. At the same time, we were still getting a lot of very mainstream movies with pretty varied results, which served to remind us both of the value of earlier studio approaches and of the corporate malaise that independent films were in part a reaction against. It was a fine time to be a movie fan.
Join us here at LeBlog over the next couple of weeks as we take a look back at the film landscape of twenty years ago and help us decide which of our pre-selected movies from 1998 is the best of the bunch. Is it a smaller independent film, a highly-touted prestige film, or one of those aforementioned big dumb action flicks?
Read the rest of this entry
Today is hereby decreed to be Irish Singers Day at Le Blog (plus, we have a lot of other music world birthdays).
Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, generally known as Enya, is turning 56 today. She began her music career by spending a few years with the traditional Celtic band Clannad, which consists of her three elder siblings and their two uncles. In the mid-eighties she started to pursue a solo career. Her first album, Enya, was a selection of music she had recorded for a BBC documentary. With her second album, Watermark, she became an international success and one of the defining performers of new age music.
Here at Le Blog, we spend a lot of time looking back. When I started the site, it wasn’t my intent to traffic in nostalgia. But that’s a big part of what we do. Over the course of the next year, we will cover several varied subjects including contemporary pop culture. But we will also have a special focus on movies from twenty and thirty years ago. As has become our tradition, the first month of the new year is filled with brackets games filled with movies from that period. My friend and colleague, Daffy Stardust, has recently wrapped up his look back at 1986. Now it’s my turn to welcome you to the movies of 1996!
Here we are in the second round of our 1986 movies bracket and we’ve already given the boot to some well-loved films. As someone who has spent large portions of my life bringing stories to life on stage as an actor I have always been very interested in watching how a specific performer’s work develops for the better or worse over a span of many years. Lebeau’s “What the Hell Happened…” series appeals to me because of this. With quite a few chambers of our guns already empty I’m going to spend this round of the bracket game selecting one actor from each film and discussing some interesting factor in their work since 1986.
Just to be clear, you should still be voting based the movie, not on the actor.
Read the rest of this entry
Michael Biehn has starred in some classic science fiction/action movies. Even if you don’t know his name (and odds are you don’t) you know his characters from James Cameron’s early hit movies. If things had gone just a little bit differently, he would have been a household name. Instead, he’s doing voice work for video games.
What the hell happened?
Come with me if you want to know.