The LA Times‘ "Holiday Movie Sneaks" special section is so massive we decided we’d take the time to tell you what’s actually interesting in it. Worth reading:
Though [producer-director Merian C.] Cooper had been dreaming of a giant-ape movie for years and even thought of pitting his ape against other species after reading W. Douglas Burden’s "Dragon Lizards of Komodo," others had put gorillas in movies before him. These included the 1932 jungle documentary "Congorilla" as well as the infamous and eventually banned 1931 exploitation film "Ingagi," a fake documentary described by Thomas Doherty in "Pre-Code Hollywood" as dealing with "the racially and sexually charged promise of a carnal union between African women and jungle apes."
Cultures in conflict: Don’t actually read the piece, but know that the only interesting thing to surface about Spielberg‘s "Munich" as of yet comes from Tom O’Neil over in "The Envelope": that the film is cutting it awfully close when it comes to being finished in time for award consideration.
Sayuri, the lead character, wears a warm, golden kimono embroidered with maple leaves for a pivotal encounter with the great love of her life. The neckline dips gracefully away from the back of her neck, revealing a smooth, serene expanse of flesh between the shoulder blades, an underexposed area fashion designers may be inspired to highlight in future collections.
Children’s movies push the boundaries of PG: Rachel Abramowitz and Mary McNamara take on a story that’s been gathering steam on the news wires: has there been a "ratings creep" when it comes to children’s releases? "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" is the focus (Voldemort! WooooOOOOoooo!). Def worth a read, particularly for angles like this:
Others suggest that the intense new films are a reflection of the tough times in which we live and can provide a safe empowerment fantasy for children. Quoting "Narnia" author [CS] Lewis, the film’s producer, Mark Johnson, said: "Since it is likely they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least hear of brave knights and heroic courage; otherwise, you’re making their destiny not brighter but darker."
Watts’ ‘little’ holiday-season movie: "Ellie Parker" (which opens in NY this Friday) is a serendipitous blip, a film spun from a short director/writer Scott Coffey made with his friend when they were both struggling actors who met on the set of "Tank Girl." His friend: Naomi Watts. And suddenly you have a movie.
The age of discovery: 15-year-old Q’Orianka Kilcher‘s love scenes with Colin Farrell in Terrence Malick‘s "The New World" reportedly almost gave the producers of the film a heart attack. We think that in their unfortunate photo she bears a slight resemblance to Jocelyne Wildenstein, but, you know, in a good way.
"I’ll never tell Joaquin [Phoenix] this â€” and he won’t read this article, and that’s fine because he’s very humble â€” but he was the top person I wanted to act with. I have been a fan since [1986’s] ‘SpaceCamp.’"