Here’s The Trailer For Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman!

Earlier today, Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman was screened at the Cannes Film Festival to enthusiastic reviews and a ten minute standing ovation.

Not coincidentally, the first trailer was released today as well.  And here it is:

Amazingly enough, this film is based on a true story.  In Colorado, an African-American cop named Ron Stallworth really did manage to not only infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan but also eventually became the head of the chapter.  In the film, Stallworth is played by John David Washington, son of Denzel.  His partner is played by Adam Driver, who seems to be destined to get an Oscar nomination at some point in the near future.  And David Duke is played by Topher Grace, who has certainly come a long way since That 70s Show.

BlacKkKlansman is due to be released in August of this year.  Both Awards Watch and Awards Circuit currently have it listed as a probable Oscar contender and, going by the initial reaction for Cannes, it very well may be.


RIP, Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder was born in Yellowknife, a mining town in Northern Canada that was so remote that it didn’t even have a movie theater.  She didn’t see her first movie until she was 12, when she and her mother were visiting New York City.  Kidder later said, “I saw Bye Bye Birdie, with people singing and dancing, and that was it. I knew I had to go far away.”

Kidder started her career in her native Canada, appearing in 1968’s The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar and going on to appear in films like Black Christmas and Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx.  Even after Kidder found stardom in the United States, she continued to appear in Canadian films and won two Canadian Film Awards and one Genie Award for her performances.

In 1973, she played dual roles in Brian DePalma’s Sisters.  As detailed in Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, it was during this time that she and her Sisters co-star Jennifer Salt shared a Malibu beach house that became a gathering place for such up-and-coming Hollywood directors as DePalma, John Milius, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg.  Briefly, she and Spielberg even dated.


For a generation of filmgoers, though, Margot Kidder will always be Lois Lane!  In 1978, Kidder beat out over 100 other actresses for the role of Lois.  (Among the others who tested:  Anne Archer, Susan Blakely, Lesley Ann Warren, Deborah Raffin and Stockard Channing.)  Superman was the first great comic book film.  In the aftermath of both Watergate and Vietnam, Superman made audiences that a man could fly.  As important as Christopher Reeve was to the success of Superman, Margot Kidder was just as important.  In many ways, Kidder’s Lois was the audience surrogate.  We saw Superman through her eyes.  At the same time, Kidder gave such a lively performance that it was impossible not to join Superman in falling in love with Lois.  When Superman spun the world backwards to bring her back to life, nobody questioned it because they would have all done the same thing.

Kidder was even better in Superman II but, unfortunately, she was also forever typecast as Lois.  In her later years, she would be better known for her health struggles than her acting.  After having a widely publicized manic episode in 1996, Kidder became just as well-known as an outspoken mental health activist as an actress.  Though her acting career may have slowed down, Kidder never stopped working, appearing in movies and television shows up until her death.

Margot Kidder died yesterday in Montana, at the age of 69.  To many, she’ll always be Lois but she was so much more as well.  Rest in Peace, Margot Kidder.

Artist Profile: C.C. Beall (1892 — 1970)

Abraham Lincoln, by C.C. Beall

Born in Saratoga, Wyoming and trained at both the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League of New York, C.C. Beall was an illustrator who is best remembered for the patriotic posters that he was commissioned to design during World War II.  However, like many commercial illustrators, Beall also painted his share of pulp paperback covers.  Below are a few of his covers, along with some of the work he did while employed by the War Department.

Lisa Marie’s Too Early Oscar Predictions for May!

It’s time for me to post my monthly Oscar predictions!

As always, the usual caveats apply.  It’s way too early for me to try to make any predictions.  Most of the films listed below haven’t even been released (or screened) yet and it’s totally possible that a big contender might come out of nowhere in the fall.  That seems to happen almost every year.

So, take these predictions with a grain of salt.  These are my guesses.  Some of them are based on instinct.  Some of them are just there because I think it would be a really, really neat if that movie or performer was nominated.  However, I will say this: I do think that if a comic book movie is ever nominated for best picture, it will be Black Panther.

(I actually preferred Avengers: Infinity War to Black Panther — sorry, Ryan — but, much like Get Out, Black Panther has gone beyond being a movie.  It’s become a cultural signpost, in a way that Infinity War never will.)

The Cannes Film Festival is going on right now and one potential Oscar contender — Spike Lee’s BlackkKlansman — is due to make its debut in the upcoming days.  Right now, I don’t have BlackkKlansman listed in my predictions, mostly because the Academy hasn’t exactly embraced Lee in the past.  But I will be interested to see how Cannes reacts to the film.

(Check out my predictions for January, February, March, and April!)

Best Picture

At Eternity’s Gate

Black Panther

Boy Erased

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary, Queen of Scots

The Other Side of the Wind

A Quiet Place



Best Director

Damien Chazelle for First Man

Ryan Coogler for Black Panther

Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk

Steve McQueen for Widows

Josie Rourke for Mary, Queen of Scots

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy

Willem DaFoe in At Eternity’s Gate

Ryan Gosling in First Man

Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased

Robert Redford in Old Man and the Gun

Best Actress

Viola Davis in Widows

Felicity Jones in On The Basis of Sex

Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Saoirse Ronan in Mary. Queen of Scots

Kristen Stewart in JT LeRoy

Best Supporting Actor

Russell Crowe in Boy Erased

Sam Elliott in A Star Is Born

Oscar Isaac in At Eternity’s Gate

Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther

Forest Whitaker in Burden

Best Supporting Actress

Claire Foy in First Man

Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased

Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk

Margot Robie in Mary, Queen of Scots

Sissy Spacek in Old Man And The Gun



4 Shots From 4 Sofia Coppola Films: Lost In Translation, Marie Antoinette, Somewhere, The Beguiled

4 Shots from 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots from 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today is Sofia Coppola’s birthday!

Sofia Coppola has long been one of my favorite directors.  Unfortunately, she’s also a director who is frequently misunderstood and underestimated.  No one captures romantic ennui with quite the skill of Sofia Coppola.  At the same time, she’s also shown a rare ability to make films that feel at home in both an art house and a commercial theater.  If the MCU ever gets around to doing that Black Widow solo movie, I demand Sofia Coppola be hired to direct it.

This edition of 4 Shots From 4 Films is dedicated to her.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Lost in Translation (2003, dir by Sofia Coppola)

Marie Antoinette (2006, dir by Sofia Coppola)

Somewhere (2010, dir by Sofia Coppola)

The Beguiled (2017, dir by Sofia Coppola)

Music Video of the Day: Shine by Walt Mink (1993, dir by Sofia Coppola)

Happy birthday, Sofia Coppola!

Today’s music video of the day is the first music video to have been directed by Sofia Coppola.  In fact, this may be her first directorial credit.  While the song itself is a bit generic, the video is pure Sofia Coppola.  Watching it, it’s hard not to see the same vision that, a few years later, would give us The Virgin Suicides, Somewhere, and The Bling Ring.  This video was filmed at the Coppola vineyard in Rutherford, California.

Interesting to note that the film’s editor was Spike Jonze, who would later marry Coppola in 1999 (they would get divorced in 2003) and who is thought to have been the inspiration for Giovanni Ribisi’s character in Lost In Translation.