I think I may have to attend STREEPSHOW!, a play featuring 14 iconic Meryl Streep characters (played by 12 actors) living together in the East Village.
From a press release:
This is the true story of 14 characters once played by Meryl Streep, picked to live in a house, and have their lives filmed to find out what happens when people stop being, oh I don't know, direct and start getting, well, breathy. The characters in STREEPSHOW! have no knowledge of the actress Meryl Streep and think of themselves as real people with uncannily similar, tragic biographies. But when the winner of STREEPSHOW! is promised the opportunity to rewrite her tragedy, it's every Streep for her exquisitely-poised self. This is theater in reality TV drag, actors in Meryl drag, and America's pop music canon in cabaret drag.
Jonathan Demme: February 22, 1944—April 26, 2017 (Image via handout)
Jonathan Demme, who won the Oscar for directing The Silence of the Lambs (1991), has died of cancer at 73, Variety reports.
After a string of edgy, critically acclaimed films like the offbeat Howard Hughes buddy movie Melvin and Howard (1980), the much-loved Talking Heads doc Stop Making Sense (1984), the Melanie Griffith road movie Something Wild (1986) and the Michelle Pfeiffer mobster comedy Married to the Mob (1988), Demme broke into A-list director territory with Lambs, which became a rare film to win all of the Top 5 awards at the Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay.
Lambs, for which then-closeted actress Jodie Foster won the Oscar (giving a speech that obliquely referenced her choice to be a private person), contains — along with fine acting and memorable suspense — an arguably exploitative representation of a serial killer who is described as someone who thinks he is, and wants to be, “transsexual.” The script includes dialogue that attempts to argue that actual trans people are not prone to murder, but scenes of Buffalo Bill with his penis tucked between his legs and mugging in female garb seem unmistakably designed to creep out the audience.
It could be argued that Demme hadn't completely shaken off his early years working on unapologetically exploitative films for Roger Corman, including his directorial debut, Caged Heat (1974).
Buffalo Bill's shock value (Image via Orion)
Nonetheless, The Silence of the Lambs has since been called one of the 100 Greatest Films Ever Made by the AFI, and was an enormous international success.
In Demme's follow-up to Lambs, he took on the topic of AIDS in Philadelphia (1993), which won Tom Hanks his first Oscar. The film grossed nearly $80 million in the U.S., thanks to Demme's efforts to get it made, and thanks to his casting of movie stars Hanks and Denzel Washington.
His career took a swift dive thereafter, with the Oprah Winfrey-starring bomb Beloved (1998) and the poorly received remakes The Truth About Charlie (2002) and The Manchurian Candidate (2004).
Rachel Getting Married (2008), starring Anne Hathaway, represented a return to Demme's roots. His final narrative films, A Master Builder (2013) and the Meryl Streep vehicle Ricki and the Flash (2015) did not make a big impact.
In 2016, Demme directed Justin Timberlake's concert feature, Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids, for Netflix.
Demme had been battling cancer at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Joanne Howard and their three children.
First of all, you MUST watch Meryl Streep's passionate speech against Trump — never named — in accepting her Cecil B. DeMille Award at tonight's Golden Globes. This is why I will always resist when people who should and sometimes do know better complain about artists and actors voicing their political views. Why should this insightful and articulate a voice be silent?
And she gave the speech with her voice going in and out, following all her grieving for her late buddy Carrie Fisher.
Instantly iconic. #standwithstreep
Trump's response? He called her a “Hillary lover.” Gee, what other phrase was he covertly echoing?
Moonlight (Image via A24)
The best news for LGBTQ filmmakers and audiences is that the little (gay) drama that could, Moonlight, took home the evening's top honor, Best Motion Picture - Drama. You will recall that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (and everyone else but the Oscars) honored the gay drama Brokeback Mountain over 10 years ago, too.
La La Land won big, taking home Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and taking awards for its stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, too. It also won for Score and Song, not to mention Director.
To enter, comment this blog with your favorite bad singer. I'll choose 5 of you at random 1 week from tonight at 5 p.m. ET to win a prize pack with a tank top, a hand fan, a hair wrap and a mini-poster. (U.S. only, please.)
Every voice deserves to be heard!
Paramount Pictures presents
Florence Foster Jenkins
Starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Nina Arianda.
Set in 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her "husband" and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.
Enter to win a Florence Foster Jenkins Prize Pack including one tank top, one hand fan, one hair wrap, and one mini-poster.
Paramount Pictures and their affiliates accept no responsibility or liability in connection with any loss or accident incurred in connection with use of a prize. Prizes cannot be exchanged, transferred or redeemed for cash, in whole or in part. We are not responsible if, for any reason, recipient is unable to use his/her prize in whole or in part. Participating sponsors, their employees, and family members and their agencies are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the U.S., 18 years of age and older. Winners will be randomly selected. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.
Oh, gosh. To me, I mean, Angels [in America] is such an important piece of history, and I felt really lucky to be part of that because I don't think there was anything like it before. It really felt like being at the Democratic National Convention in the moment that Hillary shattered the glass ceiling—a big deal. The Hours was important, too. And of course I got to kiss Allison Janney, which was a perk! [Laughs]
On when people lovingly imitate her:
I love it when they do other people! [Laughs] I don't know. I'm sure it would tickle me, but I'm just not—I don't have a distance on myself yet that I probably should have. It's like when my kids imitate me. I laugh but I kind of don't like it. [Laughs]
On her connection with LGBTQ people:
I just can't remember when LGBT people were not in my life.
On whether the queen of biopics wants one made of her own life:
I hope that doesn't happen! You know, I treasure my life and the fact that it's not on Facebook, and I really love my solitude and privacy - all these old-fashioned concepts. In a job where I'm with hundreds of people all the time and going on these press things, I just really love to get away and not be in the chattering world. That's really important to me. So, I hope I fade into oblivion.