Anatomy of a Scene: Battle of the Sexes

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I love the “Anatomy of a Scene” series at the New York Times, where filmmakers explain what went into creating a moment in a movie. Here, Valerie Dayton and Jonathan Faris talk about something most filmgoers never consciously notice, the “soundscape” and how that affects our sense of what is happening. I was very intrigued to hear their reference to AMSR because I actually thought of that when I was watching the film.

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But Did You Watch the Simpsons Version of Planet of the Apes?

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To no one’s surprise, the critically acclaimed “War for the Planet of the Apes” was a big hit at the box office in its opening weekend. Vulture was inspired by this last of the rebooted trilogy to revisit one of its offshoots, the musical version in a “Simpsons” episode.

The bit has so many disparate parts — ’80s Austrian-pop parody, old-school-musical homage, Planet of the Apes, break-dancing, old vaudeville-style jokes — but in the hands of The Simpsons and its writers, it works. Or as Bill Oakley, one of the two showrunners at the time, told Vulture, “ was just a magic visit from the joke fairy.”

One of my favorite details: “The person running the room had never seen it, yet was able to concoct a beloved parody of it just through pop-culture osmosis.”

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Bond Villains at the Spy Museum

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I had a lot of fun visiting the Spy Museum to see their fabulous exhibit about the villains in the series of James Bond films based on the books by Ian Fleming. Aptly titled “Exquisitely Evil,” the exhibit includes props and costumes and fascinating behind-the-scenes details about the films and the culture they reflected and influenced over half a century.

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Godfather Cast and Director Reunion

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The cast and director of “The Godfather” got together to talk about the making of the film in honor of its 45th anniversary on the last night of the Tribeca Film Festival, founded by “Godfather 2” star Robert de Niro.

The Guardian reports:

According to Coppola, he ran into roadblocks at every turn, as studio Paramount looked simply to cash in with a quickie movie based on Mario Puzo’s runaway bestselling novel.

“Without Francis, where would I be?” said Pacino, remembering how Paramount fought to cast someone else as the infamous Michael Corleone, a career-defining role for which Pacino would eventually collect two Oscar nominations.

“Once I called after he had tested six times,” Coppola remembered. “His girlfriend came on the phone and I said, ‘I just need Al to come in one more time’ and she said, ‘What are you doing to him? You’re torturing him!’ She yelled at me and berated me.”

When Pacino got the part, he considered it at length. “I used to live 90th and Broadway and used to walk to the Village and back everyday and I did it thinking about this role,” he said. “I was trying to figure out where I could go with it.”

Even casting Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone, the Godfather himself, was a headache. Executives were adamant that casting Brando wouldn’t be “commercially beneficial”, at one point even forbidding Coppola from even bringing up Brando’s name….Despite the incredible success of the two films – academy awards, status as one of the highest grossing movies in Hollywood history, a lasting cultural impact – Coppola issued a warning.

“Today it wouldn’t get a go-ahead,” he said. “The first Godfather cost $6.5m and the second cost about $11m or $12m. If you convert that, it would take a major studio (to make it), but it would never get through the process of getting an OK.

“Nothing can get a green light unless it’s a movie that they can have a whole series of, or a Marvel comic.”

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