Taking a Look Back at the Best of Barbet Schroeder on His Birthday

 

Born in Tehran in 1941, the son of a Swiss geologist and a German physician, Barbet Schroeder worked as a film critic with the influential French film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma and assisted New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard on the 1962 film Les Carabiniers before releasing his opera prima in 1969: More. You may have been one of the 1.78 million American television viewers who saw his most recent directorial outing: a season three episode of Mad Men, "The Grown-Ups", which aired in 2009. To mark his 72nd birthday, take a look back at Schroeder’s long and successful career in celluloid.

 

More (1969)

Schroeder’s psychedelic directorial debut told the story of a couple addicted to heroin on the island of Ibiza, starring the adorable Mimsy Farmer and featuring a soundtrack written and performed by Pink Floyd.

 

La Vallée (1972)

In 1972, Bulle Ogier made a splash in Luis Buñuel’s masterpiece The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Less known is her other appearance that same year in Schroeder’s La Vallée, in which she plays the wife of the French consul in Melbourne. She goes into the New Guinea bush searching for the feathers of a rare exotic bird and ends up…(wait for it)…discovering herself. Pink Floyd was enlisted again to provide a soundtrack, which they recorded as the album Obscured by Clouds. Footage from the film was later incorporated in the 1980 horror film Hell of the Living Dead.

 

 

Barfly (1987)

Talk about a labor of love. Schroeder commissioned the original screenplay of Barfly—in which Mickey Rourke plays of Henry Chinaski, the perpetually drunk and down-and-out alter ego of poet Charles Bukowski—and then, as Roger Ebert reported, "spent eight years trying to get it made." Ebert noted that the director even "threatened to cut off his fingers if Cannon Group president Menahem Golan did not finance it." Thankfully for Mickey Rourke fans—and Schroeder’s own digits—Golan did.

 

Reversal of Fortune (1990)

Jeremy Irons won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actor for his chilling portrayal of Claus von Bülow, the German-Danish socialite who was acquitted of murdering his wife, Sunny (played by Glenn Close). Schroeder was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director.

 

 

Single White Female (1992)

Ever since Jennifer Jason Leigh’s psychotic turn as Bridget Fonda’s new roommate suffering from Dependent Personality Disorder in Single White Female, looking for potential living partners through the want ads has been tinged with a wee bit of fear.

 

 

Kiss of Death (1995)

While David Caruso nabbed a Razzie Award nom for "Worst New Star" for his head-scratching turn as an ex-con trying to lead the straight life with his family in Queens, a muscle-bound Nicolas Cage (sporting a super-coiffed yet oddly sinister goattee) delivered the bizarro goods as a local crime boss/homicidal maniac. The Washington Post‘s Hal Hinson wrote that Cage "dominates the camera, stealing scenes by the sheer intensity of his inimitable strangeness."

Nicolas Cage In Talks For Christian End-Times Reboot ‘Left Behind’

Unless you have an evangelical Christian in your life, you probably did not see the Kirk Cameron-starring Left Behind films about "the   Rapture." But you might get your chance again with a big budget, mainstream remake starring Nicolas Cage. Same religious end-times message, with more action movie clichés — AKA Jesus Twilight.

The Left Behind books, written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, are an action-packed series of 16 novels that pits the Anti-Christ against all of humanity; total sales for the series have surpassed 65 million copies and spawned two spin-off series and a video game. In 2000, evanglical Christian Kirk Cameron starred in a film adaptation of the first Left Behind novel (which was sequalized as well) but The Hollywood Reporter reports Hollywood is eyeing a more mainstream remake "in the mold of a classic disaster film." Naturally this is where Nic Cage comes in.

Writers/producers Paul Lalonde and John Patus, who worked on the original film and its sequals, have penned the mainstream screenplay through the faith-oriented film company Cloud Ten and are seeking a $15 million budget. No word on whether Cage’s involvement with Left Behind will be anything more than "in talks," but something tells me Jesus Twilight will be right up his batshit crazypants alley. 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Watch a Supercut of Nicolas Cage Shouting

Possible vampire Nicolas Cage—who has a terrible new sequel in which everything is set on fire called Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence in theaters—has, like all actors, his very own, unique, signature acting style.  While some like Daniel Day Lewis go method, Ryan Gosling speaks very little, or Angelina Jolie looks seductive while kicking the shit out of things, Cage screams obscenities. A lot. Below is a supercut of 100 one-liners from over the course of his career, most in which he just yells the f-word and laughs weirdly. How can you not love this guy?

Nicolas Cage & Jean Dujardin Join Zooey Deschanel on SNL

The uber twee Zooey Deschanel brought her brand of quirkiness to SNL last night with some funny sketches, including one that lampoons her ukelele playing, sing-songy persona.  Nicolas Cage stopped by Weekend Update and Jean Dujardin brought his tap dancing skills.

Cage’s sketch was the best of the night.  He turned up alongside Andy Samberg’s version of himself to explain how cloning will allow him to appear in every film ever released instead of just 90%.  He also promoted his new flick Ghost Rider, which has all the element of a Cage movie: “1) all the dialogue is either whispered or screamed; 2) everything in the movie is on fire.”

 

Dujardin appeared in the recurring dance sketch Les Jeunes de Paris, which went black and white for The Artist star.

 

Zooey Deschanl took a jab at herself with Bein’ Quirky, a show where Michael Cera, Mary Kate Olsen and Bjork make an evening of doing quirky thing like pretending to fall off chairs and knitting to hula music.  “This is the part in the show where Mary Kate and I make our eyes real big while Mama Cass plays.”

 

The cast took on the Super Bowl halftime show and M.I.A.’s finger flip with interviews on Piers Morgan. While Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen might not have LMFAO’s crazy interview style down, they definitely rocked the outfits perfectly. Andy Samberg talks genitals as Tightrope Guy.

Listen to Nicolas Cage Do LMFAO’s ‘Sexy and I Know It”

Nicolas Cage owned a Bavarian castle, ingests animals according to their sexual habits, could possibly be a vampire and was once woken up by a naked, fudgiscle eating burglar. In short: everything about or relating to the actor is hilarious. Odd and eccentric, only he could take something actually intended to be funny and make it even more comedic by doing it in the most serious way possible. Click through to hear his rendition of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.”  C’mon, it’s Saturday.  I promise you’ll giggle.

Cage appeared on radio station Capital Breakfast this week as part of his promotional tour for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance when a caller requested he read the song lyrics. Check it out, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeah.

Links: China Boots Bob Dylan for the Greater Good; Nic Cage’s Bad Hair Day

● Bob Dylan’s shows in China were canceled. Some might say it’s political oppression, but God bless a place where the government knows best: no one needs to see a Bob Dylan show in 2010. [Popeater] ● Woman nearly suffocates lover with 40LL breasts; saves town from flooding. [News of the World] ● An interactive map shows the best corners in New York City to hail a cab depending on the time of day. Useless, maybe, but definitely if you’re a nice looking woman. [NYT]

● Nic Cage’s hair looks like Hulk Hogan’s on a bad day. In this ‘press conference,’ he runs down why. [Celebuzz] ● New York magazine’s engrossing new cover story is about women who are not quite prostitutes, but “VIP concierges” or “ambassadors of client desire.” Half-hooker probably sounds best, though, as mothers everywhere are proudly showing their friends what little Rachel has been up to. [NYM] ● Smart women drink more alcohol. Presumably, they also fight, spit and screw more, as well. [Runnin’ Scared]

Movie Reviews: Kick-Ass, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Greatest

I Love You Phillip Morris – “This really happened. It really did.” So read the subtitles at the beginning of I Love You Phillip Morris, informing the audience that the mind-boggling exploits of protagonist Steven Russell (Jim Carrey)—con man, embezzler, impersonator and frequent jail-breaker—are all true. But 15 minutes into the film, when the camera cuts away from Russell, a seemingly cheerful family man, dedicated Christian and potluck-frequenting police officer, to Russell euphorically sodomizing another man while chortling in voice-over, “I’m gay, gay, gay!” those subtitles take on new meaning. Forget the neutered “Will & Grace”. Forget the tortured Brokeback Mountain. This is a movie starring Hollywood heavies Carrey and Ewan McGregor (playing the love of Russell’s life, Phillip Morris) as unapologetic, unconflicted homosexuals who like to screw. This really happened. It really did. If neither Carrey nor the film is plausible in the more earnest moments, well, it’s the movie’s sexual politics, not its weaknesses, that will have everyone talking.—Willa Paskin

Kick-Ass – “How come nobody’s ever tried to be a superhero?” wonders Kick-Ass, and then spends two twisted and exhilarating hours answering: “Because it’s a bloody, dangerous, delusional occupation.” To break the monotony of high school mediocrity, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) turns to vigilantism, becoming the masked avenger of the film’s title. The problem is, Dave is Peter Parker without the IQ or the spider bite—the only ass getting kicked is his own. When Dave gets caught up in a war between some seriously skilled justice-seekers and a mob boss, we’re introduced to superheroes played by Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and, best of all, 12-year-old Chloe Moretz. As the pint-sized assassin Hit Girl, the foul-mouthed Moretz steals the movie from its lead and earns herself a spot in the superhero pantheon. The violence is visceral and real; the humor is R-rated. Needless to say, the movie kicks ass.—Ben Barna

The City of Your Final Destination – No one comes from a nuclear family anymore. The Gunds are no exception. Director James Ivory (Howard’s End, Le Divorce) follows aspiring biographer Omar (Omar Metwally) as he travels to a Uruguayan estancia to save his fledging academic career. Omar hopes to persuade the family of Jules Gund, a deceased and celebrated author, to give him permission to research the literary hero. The film follows the academic as he eases into the Gund family’s extraordinary, damaged lives. A talented cast—Laura Linney as the late writer’s wife, Charlotte Gainsbourg as his mistress and Anthony Hopkins as his brother—plays out a complex soap opera against an enchanting South American backdrop, rivaling the best Merchant- Ivory productions.—Eiseley Tauginas

The Thorn In The Heart – Michel Gondry’s latest, a documentary about his aunt Suzanne, a schoolteacher, never justifies its existence. Suzanne is a charming, lively, no-nonsense woman, but as Gondry takes her through places from her past, he never makes clear why hers is a story worth telling. The film’s meandering narrative torpedoes any chance of Suzanne’s mildly dramatic story appealing to a broader audience. Beautifully shot and gently dreamlike as it is, the movie is uncomfortably similar to a stranger’s home videos.—Michael Jordan

The Greatest – Like Ordinary People and Moonlight Mile before it, The Greatest is a small drama about a family coping with death. One irony of this particular genre is that it insists on the vast pain and messiness of grief, only to tidily resolve said grief before the closing credits. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon (who also starred in Moonlight) play the parents of an 18-year- old student (Aaron Johnson of Kick-Ass) who dies in a car accident shortly after losing his virginity to Rose (An Education’s lovely Carey Mulligan). A pregnant Rose arrives at the grief- stricken parents’ door, and, ultimately, healing ensues. The Greatest is memorable mostly due to Mulligan, Johnson and Johnny Simmons, who plays Johnson’s former burnout of a younger brother. Mulligan and Johnson, already two of Hollywood’s brightest rising stars, seem deservingly destined for long, impressive careers, but Simmons outshines them both. —W.P.

Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and 7 Other Pairs We Never Want to See Have Sex

Supposedly there was a time when Mickey Rourke was desirable to women. It was allegedly the mid-1980s and he was a budding star, constantly depicting bad boy bruisers in films like 9½ Weeks, Angel Heart and The Pope of Greenwich Village. He ended up ruining the whole heartthrob thing with a mix of booze and boxing, and now, between the leathery skin, sloppy pimp outfits and ratty highlighted hair, he’s a hearty combo of creepy and gross. (He also called his dead chihuahua the love of his life.) All of which makes news that he’ll play opposite the uncomfortably sexual lip-licker Megan Fox in a new film all the more unsettling.

Passion Play stars Rourke as a beleaguered jazz trumpeter and Fox as a sideshow carnival beauty who he takes a liking to. The movie title has the word “passion” in it and we all know what that means, or at least our gag reflexes do. Bill Murray plays a gangster hoping to sunder the pair’s romance, and though he’s cast as the villain, his cause seems just for the good of humanity and our poor eyes. After all, can you imagine any two actors you’d like to watch in a sex scene less than Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox? Actually, come to think of it, we can name seven…

Nic Cage and Julia Roberts image While it is possible that Nic Cage is a super self-aware lunatic genius, immersed as deeply in his campy disasters (The Wicker Man, Knowing) as in his campy victories (Adaptation, Bad Lieutenant), he still has an eerie aura. His wry grin and menacing teeth make up the mouth of a demon and seeing him suck face with the juicy lips of America’s most annoying sweetheart Julia Roberts sounds like a scene from the first circle of hell.

Clint Eastwood and Sophia Loren image Let’s be serious: old sex is gross sex, almost always — and these two have the skin of desert iguanas. Or worn baseball mitts. Credit where credit is due, though; they’ve both stuck around in a respectable way like few of their peers and Loren even managed to stay hot through a lot of it. But now they’re gruffer than comely and despite their seemingly eternal presence at award shows, there’s nothing that could make friction between this duo of tired baggy flesh appealing.

Jeremy Piven and Tina Fey image It’s not that they’re unattractive. Piven is diminutive but has a certain swagger — just ask January Jones — and everyone with a functional IQ has a crush on Tina Fey (especially other women!), but could there be a more obnoxious pair? Would they ever shut up? There’s no turnoff like a bigmouth in bed — two is sexy like Susan Boyle.

Val Kilmer and Mo’Nique image Kilmer, like Rourke, had a rebellious charm back in the day — a rugged cockiness and an enigmatic persona, too. But eventually mysterious becomes bizarre and the magic becomes madness. Oh, and he became more bloated than Luke Wilson in those AT&T commercials. Mo’Nique, meanwhile, wrecked any semblance of sex appeal she had in her brutal Golden Globe winning performance in Precious. Upon contact with Kilmer, the universe might melt.

Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates image Remember when Kathy Bates bared her breasts in About Schmidt? Yeah, we tried repress that memory, too, but just admit what you saw. Then imagine they did the deed on screen. Now stop crying.

Paul Giamatti and Tilda Swinton image Talented actors, to be sure! But they just look so strange. If movie-style alien ambassadors ever landed in Los Angeles, and we didn’t want to startle them with our distinct humanness, we’d do well to send Giamatti and Swinton to greet their native people. Imagine them touching each other. No? Didn’t think so.

Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg image It’s about time for another headline-making gay movie romance, all these years after Jake and Heath in Brokeback Mountain. But the reigning princes of pubescent self-doubt and un-sexy stammering should never meet in the bedroom. Eisenberg was passable at undressing Mopey McMopeface in Adventureland and the virtues of the Michael Cera sex scene has been analyzed at length. But if they ever touched each other, the world’s men might go permanently limp in unison.

Links: Robert Pattinson as Bad Omen, Lindsay Lohan as Jaycee Dugard

● Rihanna has some new ink. It reads “never a failure, always a lesson” backwards, but that’s no mistake. RiRi’s current motto is backwards so she can read it herself in the mirror. [Ok] ● Speaking of RiRi, she’s been giving some thought about acting; she’d be up to play an assassin or a lesbian or a lesbian assassin, but only if Megan Fox played her girlfriend. [AngryApe] ● Robert Pattinson may be the tabloids’ tween dreamboat, but he’s a bad omen for his costars’ love lives. First Kristen Stewart, then Emilie de Ravin; now upcoming leading lady Uma Thurman has split from her boyfriend. [Celebuzz]

● Lindsay Lohan may have cracked how to get back into Hollywood’s good graces; after the ill-fated fashion line and Muse cover shoot, Lilo wants to play Jaycee Dugard. [PopCrunch] ● The Nicolas Cage “I’m Broke” sue-a-thon continues, with Cage’s ex suing him for $13 million for leading her into financial ruin as well. [People] ● Jon Hamm is back for seconds on Saturday Night Live; he’ll be hosting again come January. [TVSquad]