After all the (well-deserved) awards and praise, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is still a film about the end of the world. Hushpuppy is racing to find a way to save her father and the Bathtub from the impending Aurochs, floods and events that could destroy everything she knows. That’s one way to look at it — but we’ve recently been treating all the possible global catastrophes with an air of “meh.” So here are a few ways to better appreciate the end of days on film, especially if you think killer robots and giant planets are blasé.
Article: Top 10 standout historical women
There’s nothing we love more than a woman who is willing to take a chance and do something frigging unbelievable. The following list examines women in history who’ve had gigantic lady-balls big enough to spar with even the toughest of men — and win. They’ve done everything from rule nations to fly planes to question authority at the risk of losing their lives. These women have faced adversity greater than some of us may ever know, but they’ve always come out on top and they continue to inspire. And if Aung San Suu Kyi or Indira Gandhi are any sort of example, maybe one day we’ll actually see our first female American president. Or maybe we’ll have to keep fighting for that one until that mythical glass ceiling shatters into a million tiny pieces. Feeling moved by these daring women? You’ll be just as amazed watching four new daring women in history on PUSH GIRLS, where disabilities stop no woman.
It’s July, which means we are all hot, tired and pretty much superheroed out. We’ve weathered the explosive onslaught of THE AVENGERS and now (another) AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and still have a certain DARK KNIGHT to go. All this hoopla gets us thinking: Are graphic novels and comic books responsible for classic fanboy superheroes, and nothing more? Of course not! This rich literary (yes, literary) genre has inspired a wealth of other cinematic material, from dystopian yarns to biting black comedies, some of which you may not have even guessed had comic connection.
Making movies costs lots and lots of money. Dependency is the name of the game in the studio system and the cliché of the executive producer coming to set and scaring everybody straight is surely based on actual events. ‘Indies’ used to be the alternative to that system, but that movement is now so big, such an institution in its own right, that ‘Independent’ may no longer be the most accurate nomenclature. ‘Indie’ is one of the haziest terms in the film industry; in the era of Steven Soderbergh’s watershed indie hit SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, things were more cut and dry, you were either in or outside of the studio system.
Article: Top 10 scenes from bare America
In honor of the birth of our nation, we’re collecting the top 10 classic birthday-suit scenes from American movies with American themes. The fact that only a minority of them are healthy depictions of sex reflects our puritanical country’s fucked-up relationship with the topic. Feel free to light a sparkler and disrobe in patriotic solidarity — maybe you can make American sex a little more positive.
Article: Top 10 national sex scandals
Sex scandals are as American as (sticking your wiener in an) apple pie — or should we say your Anthony Weiner? The really unforgettable scandals leave us with a particular phrase or image burned into our brains. We could be a hundred years old and senile and we will still be able to recall Lorena Bobbitt tossing her husband’s penis out the car window; Clarence Thomas asking Anita Hill about a pubic hair on a coke can; and an astronaut driving hundreds of miles in a diaper to confront the lover who spurned her. Here are our nominations for the top ten sex scandals in this nation’s glorious history, organized by the categories in which these events most often seem to occur. God bless (or should we say God save) America!
Article: Top 10 women changing the world
Famous people aren’t all bad. In fact, some of them, despite their shortage of time and debilitating desire to be caught on film doing weird, immoral things, actually dedicate their time to helping other people instead of themselves. The trend of celebrities getting involved in charity work seemed to spin out of control once Angelina became such a saint, and now it seems like it’s another Hollywood trend to get involved in making the world a better place. But what can we say? If they’re doing it, they’re doing it – who cares if it’s all for good press?
Article: Top 10 WTF sex scenes
All top ten lists are, by their nature, subjective, but this one is especially so — because one person’s “WTF” sex scene is another person’s monkey spanking material. (Exhibit A: we’d qualify a lot of porn as WTF.)
A few qualifications: David Lynch probably deserves a place in this list (okay, David Lynch definitely deserves a place in this list!), but because we already wrote an entire post dedicated to his effed up sex scenes (you can read it here: Top 10 Effed Up Sex Scenes), we left him off this time. And LAST TANGO IN PARIS should probably be on here, but we are just so damn sick of talking about that freakin’ butter scene. The SHOWGIRLS pool scene is hilarious and weird and WTF hall of fame-worthy, but we already covered that one.
In a busy world, it can be tough to make time to find a partner. That’s why some genius invented speed dating, and some people are really pushing the limits when it comes to creativity in that department. Goodbye gongs, hello rare culinary ingredients. This is speed dating for the 21st century.
10. Edwardian-themed Football Speed Dating
Say that ten times fast, and pick a suitable pseudonym so you can prepare to play table football with a random mate, all while living in the Golden Age (without the hideously restrictive bathing suits). Beware: Small talk is strictly banned, but at least you can work out nerves with your competitive streak.
Article: Top 10 wars won by women
In this, the year of the War on Women, it seems important to take a look back on all the hard-won battles women have poured their blood, sweat and tears into over the past 150 years. Seeing how far we’ve come makes it hard to understand why there are so many people across the country right now working to roll back our reproductive rights, restrict our access to birth control, and allow employers to pay us less than men. It’s like they want to erase the ’70s! Let this top 10 list light a fire under your ass so you make sure that doesn’t happen this election year.
Article: Top 10 who's who in gay America
Gay culture has been having its time under the klieg lights in Washington, and all around the country, with plenty of accomplishments to be proud of. From homosexuals being allowed to serve openly in the military, to the advancement of marriage rights in some states (losses in others), to President Obama sharing his new and improved, we mean evolved, view on the matter.
Article: Top 10 actors to go gay for
In honor of Gay Pride month, we’re bringing you some of the sexiest actors at work that, if anything, will make you look at your respective genders in a new light. Here are the top ten actors from our selection of films in June we’re betting you’ll be willing to walk on the wild side with it.
Article: Top 10 secretly feminist films
No filmmaker in their right mind would advertise the fact that their film has feminist ambitions — we’re pretty sure that’s box office suicide (sad, but true). Despite that, some films have pretty obvious feminist heroes — think THELMA AND LOUISE, G.I. JANE, Jodie Foster’s character in THE ACCUSED, and ERIN BROCKOVICH. And then there are the stealth feminist films — movies that advance the feminist cause without anyone driving off a cliff or shaving their head or or fighting against rape or giving an Oscar-winning, stick-it-to-the-man performance. These movies take feminism for granted and act like it’s no big deal — in fact, they’re so stealth that sometimes maybe even the filmmakers and stars didn’t know what was going on. Here are ten of our favorites:
Spider-who? Bat-who? Bourne-who? Forget the summer action blockbusters. This season we’re much more interested in the softer, sassier, saucier flicks. Instead of aliens, action and adventure, sex, love, family and friendship are the big themes with these movies. Women make up a majority of the lead roles (for a change). Most are indie. And for some reason they all come out this month. Guess it makes sense to get your summer love on early.
Article: Top 10 closet cases in cinema
Ahoy! Pride Month 2012 is upon us (already??) and to that end, we are rolling out some notable films that feature the sometimes painful journey toward a proud, authentic existence – a journey that often involves years in the closet. In a time when “it gets better”, when coming out may feel like a redundant, strategic or long-overdue (ahem, Anderson Cooper) tactic, it’s important to remember that on the individual level, this is still a huge milestone in a queer person’s life, a brutally honest moment when each person claims a little more of his or her true self.
Article: Top 10 girls who pushed back
Inspired by the new docu-series PUSH GIRLS, which features four outspoken women rollin’ large, we decided to write about ten women under 40 who push back in their own way. To help us narrow down the list (and not totally lose our minds), we kept it contemporary, which is why you won’t find Joan of Arc, Anne Frank or Rosa Parks below. Even so, it was near impossible to choose just ten young women who embody empowerment. Who else should have been on this list? Let us know in the comments section!
Article: Em & Lo on The Interview Show
Yep, we just referred to ourselves in the third person…again. Remember a few weeks ago we told you we were going to be on The Interview Show in Brooklyn? No? Well, here’s the video of us on Chicago comedian and humor columnist Mark Bazer’s show anyway. We thought he was going to be asking us things like “What’s the weirdest advice question you’ve ever gotten?” or “What’s the best/worst thing about writing about sex?” You know, the fun cocktail conversations we never seem to have in real life. Instead, Mark asked us real, honest-to-God sex advice questions. The nerve! It was like work, except without the benefit of us being able to pick and choose the questions we want to answer and spending hours polishing our responses to make ourselves seem effortlessly witty. The veil has been lifted:
Thanks to the Hays Code, gay characters were largely missing from the movies up until 1968. And even more recently than that, it was considered career suicide for a male actor to “play gay.” These days, it’s not hard to find gay characters in mainstream Hollywood films — the gay best friend has become a rom-com staple. But the gay side kick, as Hollywood portrays him, tends to be much more interested in shopping and gossiping with his straight female friends than in having sex.
Article: Top 10 f'd up fairytales
Now that virtually every comic book hero and even a few 80s cartoons have become fodder for large-scale blockbuster treatment (we’re still waiting for THUNDERCATS: THE MOVIE), Hollywood is in the process of pillaging yet another trove of storybook treasures, namely old-school fairytales. Aside from this week’s much-anticipated Charlize Theron-Kristen Stewart vehicle SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, there was this winter’s other Snow White abomination MIRROR MIRROR (shame on you, Julia Roberts), as well as a slew of upcoming updates: Bryan Singer’s JACK THE GIANT KILLER, due next month, and next year’s update of HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS starring Jeremy Renner (behold the birth of a new genre: the action fairytale). Of course, this is territory Hollywood has trod before, always trying to update the classic fables and find twisted new angles. Behold our list of the Top 10 f’d up fairytale films to herald this next (and hopefully not too derivative) influx into the category.
Article: Top 10 Wes Anderson influences
As if you needed a reminder, the latest film from the always-stylized, super-quirky-in-a-good-way Wes Anderson is out this weekend, and in honor of MOONRISE KINGDOM’s release we’re hitting the books to bring you some of the outlandish, esoteric and intellectual films that are most definitely in Anderson’s canon of influences. Even Wes Anderson detractors would have to recognize that this auteur is desperately in love with his wood-paneled and wallpapered, vinyl record playing, ornate but slightly decrepit universe, and it shows. It’s a testament to Anderson’s considerable talent that although his style is supremely nostalgic, it is by no means derivative (it’s impossible to say he is the new “____”), and his influences therefore only represent slight nuances. So now to begin (cue the Futura title card, bearing the words “Chapter 1:”)
Mother’s Day might be upon us, but no, we are not going the cheap route and talking about the MILFs you’re used to (although we do love Jennifer Coolidge in everything she does; even AMERICAN PIE). This list is dedicated to a far more select—and somewhat more matronly—group, namely Moms In Legendary Films. Absolutely everyone out there has something to say about how to be the best mom (as evidenced by the
Article: Top 10 transgender films
In honor of TRANSGENERATION airing Tuesdays at 10p on Sundance Channel, we wanted to curate a screening list of the best transgender-themed flicks out there. In order to make our list, the films in question had to feature a sympathetic portrayal of a transgendered character in a leading role — hence PSYCHO and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS did not make the cut. No, the following films are all thoughtful, moving depictions of people struggling through life — people who are human first, transgendered second.
Article: Top 10 pickup lines for 2012
Most of the contributions to the recent Twitter hashtag #2012PickUpLines were pretty uninspiring. (Exhibit A: “I’d like to buy a new router for you and your friend. And ‘Route Her’ and yourself into my bedroom tonight.” Er, okay, Beavis.) But we were inspired by Rainn Wilson (@rainnwilson) of THE OFFICE, who tweeted, “Can I piggy-back on your WiFi?” Okay, we didn’t exactly pee our pants laughing, but something about imagining Dwight delivering that line worked for us. So here are our best attempts at 2012 pickup lines:
Article: Top 10 dictator movies
Sacha Baron Cohen, aka the Baron of Questionable Taste, is releasing his third opus in far-flung tomfoolery this week. THE DICTATOR follows the USA-bound travels of a heavily-bearded, thoroughly misogynistic tyrant modeled after… take your pick. You most probably have heard about this by now – what with Cohen’s shenanigans at the Oscars and a trailer featuring Megan Fox in bed, it’s hard not to be aware of him even if you’d really, really like to be. The question, however, is this: is THE DICTATOR coming to us a few years too late? Remember – the downfall of both Hussein and Gaddafi are history, especially when we have things like [insert name of favorite reality TV show here] to care about. Or, is this movie going to be just plain awesome?
Article: Top 10 pop culture gender-benders
We’re not going to focus on the negative portrayals of transsexuality, like in PSYCHO, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and the, thankfully cancelled, sitcom Work It. And we’re not focusing on the history of transitioning stories that takes us all the way back to the 1930s when an intersexed, Bohemia-born Zdenka Koubkova went from female running/jumping champion to male cabaret performer. Nor are we going to look at transgender issues in the news, like when the Girls Scouts of Colorado let their first transgender girl into the organization last year or when, two years ago, a federal court ruled in favor of a woman who was fired from her job after coming out as trangender. Nope. In honor of TRANSGENERATION coming back to the Sundance Channel, we’re looking at the top ten positively positive, purely pop-culture gender-bending movies, moments and movers & shakers of the past few decades: