Oscar History

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Entries in Bonnie & Clyde (9)


Bonnie & Clyde's 50th Anniversary

by Eric Blume

It’s difficult to believe that it’s fifty years this month that Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic Bonnie & Clyde debuted in theaters.  On one hand, it’s been part of the American film imagination for so long, that it’s been colossally influential on many other movies.  Yet every time you watch it, it feels as fresh, vital, and new as if it were just shot.

Surprisingly, the movie starts with Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie behind bars… holding onto the bars of the headboard of her bed...

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Today's 5: Slim Shady and Bruce Almighty (among others)

Have you seen the newest picture of Mera (Amber Heard) from Aquaman? There it is to your left. This is remarkably colorful -- Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin level saturation on the color wheel -- though they'll surely fiddle with the color in post (sigh) since we can't have bright things. (Speaking of DC -- with Wonder Woman getting good advance buzz, should we be hopeful about Aquaman now?) 

Anyway, Amber Heard was on the brain as one of today's curated 'anniversaries to use as mood boosters'  today. Ready? Let's go... 

May 23rd Anniversaries

2016 Amber Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp one year ago today.

In honor of this event: Take a step toward getting out of that toxic situation / relationship / job / whatever that's no good for you. 

2004 The 57th annual Cannes Film Festival wraps up...

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Beauty vs Beast: Bonnie & Clyde's Last Stand

Jason from MNPP here continuing the talk of last night's big events - specifically the biggest, the corker, the one for the ages, when Warren Beatty rammed the wrong envelope into Faye Dunaway's hands and just made her deal with it. (Something tells me Annette Bening is the one who calls the plumber and writes the checks in that household.) Or was Warren just too scared of Faye to speak up? Don't fuck with her, fellas - if Faye was eyeballing me like that I might crumble to dust too.

Or perhaps it was a Russian conspiracy that will be solved when we finally see Donald Trump's tax returns? So many possibilities, and it's clearly a bit rude to lay any real blame for a dumb mistake at the feet of Faye & Warren, who were after all standing there in the hot glare of two billion eyeballs with a ticking little paper time-bomb in their hands.... but here we are.

PREVIOUSLY For Valentine's Day we wiped our brains clean with the quirky romance of Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine, and of course Kate Winslet won but I'm proud of you guys for making it closer than it could have been - she only took 58% of the vote. Said Scott:

"Clementine. In real life she would drive you insane. Onscreen you can't tear your eyes away."


4 Days Until Oscar. Come Low or High Trivia  

Today's magic number is four. Since we have no brilliant angle on the number four, a random collection of Fab Four situations after the jump...

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Curio: Cine with your Wine

Alexa here.  I recently got my husband an anniversary gift of Will Ferrell's mug on a wine glass; romantic, I know, but it met with so much success (and an endless stream of Anchorman quotes over our bottle) that I thought I should post a plug for its maker.  Tara Hamlin specializes in painting celebrities on wine goblets, and she is talented enough to pull off what seems at first like a silly concept.  The selection in her shop is immense, but she will also do custom work: I spied that she is completing a custom Tom Hardy goblet for a lucky someone.  Here is a sampling of her more interesting film stars.  Drink up; they're only $20 each!

Dunaway and Beatty as Bonnie and ClydeA glass Gosling

Click for Tracy and Hepburn, Richard Dreyfuss and more...

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Bonnie & Clyde"

This week's episode of 'Best Shot' features one of my all time favorite films Bonnie & Clyde (1967). Even if you just want to look at one scene and stop you're pulled in, right into the cramped cars and you're along for the whole ride. It never stops until it's so bullet-riddled it can't get back up again. Few films have ever felt as alive as this classic. The most impressive thing about Bonnie & Clyde nearly a half century later is that it still feels electric. Is it the way it fuses 30s and 60s and in so doing transcends anything to do with "dates" of production? Is it how completely adult it is in tone despite the youthful abandon?

Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) meets Clyde (Warren Beatty) in the first scene and by the eight minute mark she's lept in his car for good. Because the movie moves so quickly we're doing the same. My choice for best shot comes right before this crucial decision. The couple have been flirting for roughly eight minutes of real time, and Bonnie is so hot for the beautiful thief that she's practically felating her coke bottle while staring at him. Bonnie expresses doubt that Clyde's a real criminal, essentially daring him to prove it, and he pulls out his gun.

But you wouldn't have the gumption to use it."

Naturally she, uh, strokes it. Such a perfect image for a movie about a love affair that's consummated through crime.

Their horny paired reaction shots to the gun stroking...

This movie is dirty.

Rather shockingly, they do not immediately tear each other's clothes off. It's not for lack of trying on Bonnie's part but Clyde is quicker to whip out his gun than his cock so a substitute it'll have to be.

In the casting alone the movie achieves greatness. It's hard to believe that the infamous loverboy Warren Beatty is an impotent charmer and Bonnie (Faye Dunaway, utterly brilliant) can't believe it either. She's angry and devastated. Bonnie and Clyde's unfulfilling sexual life paired with Faye & Warren's undeniable chemistry eroticizes the entire movie even when "sex" is not the subject.

The early gun stroking shot finds a brilliant counterpoint later in the film when Clyde can't get it up in a love scene and Bonnie roll over, away from him. Clyde isn't even in frame but his "gun" is.

The French call an orgasm "the little death" and this 1967 masterpiece channeling the French New Wave for America makes the same connections. From the minute Bonnie leaps in Clyde's stolen car, desperate to sex him up, she's a goner. In one terrific seemingly incongruous scene, the Barrow gang pick up a married couple and tease and taunt them until the man reveals that he's an undertaker. Bonnie clouds over, instantly demanding their rejection from the car. She knows that death is imminent. For her it's right there in the car.

The Best Shot Gang.
(Wanted in five states)

Antagony and Ecstasy has a smart post on the film's synthesizing of '60s pop culture.
Serious Film has a wonderful post that's more than just Bonnie & Clyde. It's that moment when you know it's coming.
The Film's The Thing looks at the people in the pictures, Depression era style.
Film Actually  Bonnie seeks solace in the oddest places
Pussy Goes Grrrr  "lust blossoming from small town tedium."

Next on "Hit Me..."
04/04 Easter Parade (1948)
04/11 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) 


"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" Season 3 

Ready for Season 3 of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"? 

Newbies take note: each week we pick a movie and we all pick our favorite shots. Consider it a mini blog-a-thon. If you've seen the movie you might already have an idea of the image if you'd choose. If you've never seen it, here's a nudge to do so! Your "best shot" might be the image that most reminds you of the film, the one you think of as the most beautiful, the shot that's the most resonant in terms of the movies theme... anything really since "Best" is in the eye of the beholder. You can post yours and why you chose it on any of your web homes and let me know and we'll link up when we publish on Wednesday evenings at 10 PM. 

Films we've already covered in this series 
1920s The Circus (1928), Pandora's Box (1929); 1930s Tarzan the Ape Man (1932); 1940s The Woman in the Window (1944), Black Narcissus (1947); 1950s A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Night of the Hunter (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), A Face in the Crowd (1957); 1960s Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Psycho (1960), La Dolce Vita (1960); 1970s Eraserhead (1977); 1980s Aliens (1986), Law of Desire and Matador (1986/1987), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986); 1990s Beauty & the Beast (1991), Heavenly Creatures (1994), Se7en (1995), Showgirls (1995); 2000s Bring it On (2000), Requiem for a Dream (2000), X-Men (2000), Moulin Rouge! (2001), Memento (2001), Angels in America (2003), Mean Girls (2004).



March 21st Ladyhawke (1985)
It's Matthew Broderick's 50th birthday and we thought this would be a fun feature to look back on visually. And not just for all the Pfeifferisms but can you believe we've never done a Pfeiffer Pfilm here?
March 28th Bonnie & Clyde (1967) March 26th-30th is WARREN WEEK 
Warren Beatty turns 75 on the 30th. We'll celebrate one of the greatest stars in the Hollywood firmament all week. Which films should we revisit?
April 4th Easter Parade (1948)
We love a musical and this one's timed for the holidays.


Will you join us this year? If so, spread the word.
This series thrives on several pairs of eyes. 


Theadora Van Runkle (1929-2011)

Take off those berets and fedoras and pay your respects. The great costume designer Theadora Van Runkle, a three time Oscar nominee, passed away this past Friday of lung cancer at 83 years of age [src]. For those who don't immediately connect her name to her movies, know that her work was seismic. 

Her most famous creations were actually those done on her very first feature Bonnie & Clyde (1967). She was able to do the picture only after Warren Beatty and the costume designers guild president screamed at each other for half an hour (she was not a guild member then) according to Mark Harris's invaluable tome Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and The Birth of New Hollywood.  She had never done a film and at one tense point admitted to Warren Beatty that she had no idea what she was doing. 

After Beatty vetoed her first period-specific ideas, she came up with the now legendary out of time ensembles that nodded to both the 1930s (when the story takes place) and contemporary 60s French New Wave that the project had always hoped to emulate (Beatty had originally wanted François Truffaut himself to direct).

You see people who are great beauties and never get anywhere. This was style."
-Theadora Van Runkle on Dunaway as Bonnie. 

Van Runkle even claims that she was the one who brought the unknown Faye Dunaway to Beatty & director Arthur Penn's attention. "There's the girl you should cast!" though there are competing legends as to how Dunaway first came up in the long search for the girl.

Because of the tight budget, many of the costumes worn by other characters weren't actually Van Runkle's designs but costuming the titular pair was enough to win her a permanent place in movie history and her first Oscar nomination. She was later nominated for both The Godfather Part Two (1974) and Peggy Sue Got Married (1986).

Those Oscar nominated movies were hardly the only memorable gigs. Other showy movies included the infamously delirious transgendered farce Myra Breckenridge (1970), the ill-fated Mame (1974), the post-war romantic drama New York New York (1977) and the bawdy gaudy musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).

I'll always have a special place in my heart for her work on Peggy Sue Got Married. I love that too-shiny / too-tight gown that Peggy Sue is proud she can still fit into at her 25th reunion. Like Bonnie, Peggy Sue is straddling two eras, this time literally; a lovely mirage of the past clinging to a totally contemporary soul.

Good night and thank you, Theadora.