The Grand Budapest Hotel
As much as "The Grand Budapest Hotel" takes on the aspect of a cinematic confection, it does so to grapple with the very raw and,…
Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program.
She writes film reviews and essays on actors for Capital New York, Fandor, Press Play, Noir of the Week, and the House Next Door. Her work has appeared in Salon.com and The Sewanee Review, where her essay about her father was featured in an Irish Literature issue.
O'Malley has performed her one-woman show "74 Facts and One Lie" all over Manhattan. She has read her personal essays at the prestigious Cornelia Street Cafe Writers Read series. O'Malley writes about actors, movies, books, and Elvis Presley at her popular personal site, The Sheila Variations.
Her first play, July and Half of August, recently had public readings at Theatre Wit in Chicago, and The Vineyard Theatre in New York. She is currently working on her second play, as well as a book about Elvis Presley in Hollywood.
Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here.
Sheila writes: I came across the photography/dioramas of Lori Nix in my wanderings through the Web and wanted to share some of it with you all, in particular her latest project called "The City". Nix writes of the project: "In my newest body of work 'The City' I have imagined a city of our future, where something either natural or as the result of mankind, has emptied the city of it's human inhabitants. Art museums, Broadway theaters, laundromats and bars no longer function. The walls are deteriorating, the ceilings are falling in, the structures barely stand, yet Mother Nature is slowly taking them over. These spaces are filled with flora, fauna and insects, reclaiming what was theirs before man's encroachment." You can check out the full project here, at her website, as well as take a look at some of her other projects.
Sheila writes: Film noir is one of the richest topics in cinema, and audiences and critics alike have thrilled to its stylistic signatures and deeply ambiguous view of human nature. The site Open Culture just had a piece up on film noir, specifically on Roger Ebert's various words on the subject. Eddie Muller recently published a piece there as well on the 25 noir films that will stand the test of time. Back in 1995, Ebert published a piece that was, essentially, a guide to the film noir genre. Some of my favorite films are film noirs. What are your favorites?
Sheila writes: Sports fans and ice dance enthusiasts are all focused on Sochi right now for the Winter Olympics. The Olympics always comes with some strain of controversy, and Sochi has been more intense than most. I came across a post about Sochi's well-known history as the "Florida of Russia", where Stalin himself would summer. His vacation home still stands. Messy Nessy Chic has a post with a lot of great images of that vacation home as well as vintage photographs of the holiday resort in its heyday: Postcards from Sochi: Summering with Stalin.
Sheila writes: Nothing says "Life is awesome" like coming across behind-the-scenes photos of the various "Godzilla" movies from the 1950s and 1960s. Look at the costumes, the giant claws on the feet, the guy in the suit just hanging out in between takes. Check them all out here.
Sheila writes: It's been such a sad week, with the shocking news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's passing. I am still struggling to get my head around it, and I know so many others feel the same, not to mention his colleagues, friends, and family, all of whom must be heartbroken. There is a roundup of tributes to him below in the newsletter. With so much darkness in the world, and so much pain, I wanted to lead off this week with a funny and silly photo gallery I came across, of a couple who re-enact famous movie scenes with their baby. Here they are, in "Apollo 13".
Sheila writes: The Sundance Film Festival of 2014 is over, and it's been thrilling to keep up with the dispatches and reviews coming out of Park City, Utah. So many films, so little time! The Rogerebert.com correspondents Sam Fragoso and Simon Abrams have been filing reviews at a breathtaking speed. We have a roundup of all of their coverage on Rogerebert.com. Please do check it out! And for those who enjoy parodies, the video below has been making the rounds of film sites so I thought I would share it. The humor site Funny or Die has put together a fake trailer filled with "Sundance Film Cliches", all in one place.
Sheila writes: The polar vortex has been on everyone's minds, for obvious reasons, and I came across a site with startling gorgeous shots of Chicago in a deep freeze. I used to live in Chicago and became accustomed to the brutal winters, and the lake freezing over, but I never saw anything like this during my time there. These pictures are amazing!
Sheila writes: David Bowie was born on January 8, 1947 (he shares the day with Elvis Presley, two of the biggest RCA artists in their respective generations), and to celebrate Bowie here's a fun "info graphic" on the evolution of the artist through his various ages.
Sheila writes: Pardis Parker's “The Dance” is a 10-minute short film that just won the Best Comedy from the National Screen Institute of Canada. Parker is the lead actor as well as the director and writer here, and the entire thing is done silent movie style. I love the detail he has written on his own calendar: "She loves matching outfits", which then explains his get-ups. It is a touching and funny short film, and I am so happy to pass it on!
Sheila writes: The cinema has always been a pioneering artform, with innovations piling upon innovations, directors and producers and artists pushing that envelope, trying to make movies better, more exciting, more appealing to more people. Enough already, right? But it's interesting to take a look back at some of the "new things" that came and went. I really enjoyed the following article on Dark Roasted Blend about the "Cinerama", seen as "next big thing": "The Cinerama technique wasn’t completely new when it first appeared and a similar method had been used to film the silent epic Napoleon back in 1927. Cinerama’s widescreen movies were created using three cameras at the same time. In theatres, three synchronized 35mm projectors were employed, with the images shown on three large wraparound screens, which created an illusion of a panoramic view for the members of the audience." Read the whole thing here. And a very happy New Year to all!