An Uma Thurman Birthday Celebration in 13 Stunningly Regal Photos

Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Stunning. Regal. Majestic. Sophisticated. Poised. All words that come to mind when gazing upon the beauty of the incredible Uma Thurman, who today turns 45. So we’re offering up our own version of an Uma Thurman birthday celebration with a look back at 13 of her most stunning moments, from laughing front row with Naomi Watts to posing for the cameras at event after event after event.

Pretty in pink
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Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

Have you ever seen someone without a crown look this regal?umathurmann_bfa_1
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

The windswept wonder:

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Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com

In all her chic glory
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Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com

Black on black on gold
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Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Front row giggles
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Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Casually fabulous
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Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Just plain gorgeous
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Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: Will Ragozzino/BFAnyc.com

Wearing Zac Posen
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Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: Will Ragozzino/BFAnyc.com

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Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com

See Uma Thurman in the Third Chapter of Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’

Back in June we got our first look at Lars von Trier’s highly-anticipated sexual epic Nymphomaniac, with a follow-up later in July. And today, a scene from the film’s third chapter has arrived, featuring Uma Thurman, in the erotic thriller starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe, who after being assaulted, tells her life’s story to the man who has saved her life, Stellan Skarsgard. Unfolding in a series of eight chapters that mark her life, the film will be premiering in Denmark on Christmas with a hopeful US release date for 2014 set in the near future. 

Chapter 3: Mrs. H   Keeping track of a large network of lovers isn’t always easy, and Joe is soon confronted with the unpleasant consequences of being a nymphomaniac.   After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

  The film’s official synopsis:

The film is a wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe (Gainsbourg). On a cold winter’s evening the old, charming bachelor, Seligman (Skarsgård), finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He brings her home to his flat where he cares for her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-out and multi-faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

  Check out the first and second chapters, and stay tuned for more. We’re keeping a close watch on this one.  

See the First Image from Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’

Without a wealth of knowledge on the project—save a brief synopsis and some photos of the cast looking appropriately somber—the follow up to Lars von Trier’s end of the world ballet Melancholia, the psycho-erotic drama Nymphomaniac, has topped my list of anticipated films for the next year. And today we’re given a first look, albiet slight. The still from the film features von Trier muse Charlotte Gainsbourg lying helpless, injured after being attacked in a snowy back alley. Nymphomaniac focuses on her character and unfolds in eight chapters, as Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Stacy Martin, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen, Udo Kier and Jean-Marc Barr rotate in and out of the picture.

In an interview for Melancholia, Lars spoke about working on his next project and the influence of beginning to read again:

It’s an interesting point why the hell films have to be so stupid! Why do all lines have to be about something? A plot. when books have a red thread, they only brush it momentarily….Whereas a film is completely tied to the plot. Even a Tarkovsky film has nowhere near the same depth as a novel. It could be fun to take some of the novel’s qualities—even that they talk nineteen to the dozen, which is what I like in Dostoyevsky—and include that. 

It’s interesting to think how this would factor into his own writing, translating his next film into something even more powerful. Moving onto talking directly about Nymphomaniac or his second title option, Shit in the Bedsore, he went onto say that,  "But it’s no fun if they’re just humping away all the time…then it’ll just be a porn flick."

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To go a little more in depth, Nymphomaniac is a "wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to age 50 as told my the main character." Gainsbourg plays Joe, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac whon, on a cold winter’s evening, meets the old, charming bachelor Seligman (played by Skarsgard). After finding Joe in an alley, Seligman brings her home where he "cares for her wounds while asking her about her life." As he listens, the eight chapters unfold as she recounts the "lushly branched-out  and multi-faceted story of her life, rich in associations, and interjecting incidents.

You Really Learn A Lot About ’60s TV Shows From Tarantino Movies

Good morning, Internet. It’s Monday morning, some of you are still recovering from the holidays, and a few of you are probably still mulling on your mixed feelings about Django Unchained. You look like you could use a Quentin Tarantino montage of the most obsessive type.

Some people at CollegeHumor (I know, but bear with me here) put together a six-minute supercut of nearly every pop culture reference in Tarantino’s films (save for Django) in chronological order of the references. There are a few takeaways from this video, most of them pretty obvious to Tarantino fans, other than someone spending way too much time on clickbaity montages like this: the crash course in the early days of 20th century German cinema throughout Inglourious Basterds, the greatest fraction of the supercut going to references from the 1970s (surprising no one), the most recent reference being one to Lindsay Lohan in Death Proof. Also, totally forgot about the Pam Grier shoutout in Reservoir Dogs. Foreshadowing great things to come, I guess. Watch.

Tarantino Tunes: The Best Musical Moments From Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s slavery spaghetti western Django Unchained delivers all of the usual Tarantino goodness: brilliant dialogue, over-the-top cartoonish violence, fantastic performances from Tarantino regulars Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson, and a whole lot of controversy. More impressively, the film’s soundtrack is the usual combination of familiar tunes from Tarantino’s cinematic inspirations, as well as a few original tracks from John Legend, Rick Ross, and RZA. While we’ll have to patiently wait for another year or two before those musical sequences to end up on YouTube (only to be likely taken down because of copyright infringement), let’s take a look back at Tarantino’s catalog and take a listen at the songs we’ve come to associate with the modern-day auteur. 

Stealers Wheel – "Stuck In The Middle With You" (from Reservoir Dogs)

What’s the best way to get the kids interested in Gerry Rafferty? Why, scoring an ear slicing with one of his catchiest tunes, naturally. It’s really a shame that this scene didn’t do for Michael Madsen what Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta. Who know the man had such moves? 

Chuck Berry – "You Never Can Tell" (from Pulp Fiction)

This is arguably Tarantino’s most recognizable scene from arguably his most popular movie. It not only made him a household name, but it reinvigorated the career of John Travolta, who had been struggling in years prior in talking baby movies. And don’t get me wrong, I love a talking baby movie. But I’d much rather see Travolta cutting a rug with weird hair. 

Bobby Womack – "Across 110th Street" (from Jackie Brown)

Jackie Brown is Tarantino’s biggest stand-out. It lacks the gritty or cartoon violence of his other films (it contains, total, just four measly, relatively bloodless murders), and the focus is entirely on plot, dialogue, and the acting. And while there’s no big dance sequence, the opening credits are fantastic. All it takes is a few tracking shots and Pam Grier to set the tone of the film, and Bobby Womack’s soulful voice ties it all together. 

The 5,6,7,8’s – "Woo Hoo" (from Kill Bill Vol. 1)

It’s refreshing when Tarantino pulls out a new song from his jukebox. In the first half of his samari epic, Tarantino brings the old school into the picture with fresh treatment. It seems only natural for the big musical number in Kill Bill Vol. 1 to involve a band that mashes up a wide selection of sounds and elements. It’s the musical equivalent of a Tarantino film, really. 

Bernard Herrmann – "Twisted Nerve" (from Kill Bill Vol. 2)

Kill Bill marked the first time Tarantino picked up classic scores from old films, and Bernard Herrmann’s "Twisted Nerve," the theme from the 1968 psychological thriller of the same name, became, in turn, a Tarantino classic. (It even makes a cameo in Death Proof as Rosario Dawson’s ring tone.) 

The Drifters – "Down in Mexico" (from Death Proof)

Death Proof, one half of Tarantino’s Grindhouse collaboration with Robert Rodriguez, stands on its own feet as a perfect action thriller as well as a quintessential Tarantino flick. In one of the film’s best (and sexiest) scenes, Vanessa Ferlito delivers perhaps the best lapcdance in cinematic history to a terrifying (and weirdly sexy) Kurt Russell. It should come as no surprise that the jukebox playing this jam is Tarantino’s own. 

David Bowie – "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (from Inglourious Basterds)

Here’s another case of a song written for a movie being appropriated for one in Tarantino’s own oeuvre. Wisely using the long, slow-building version of the Giorgio Moroder / David Bowie collaboration from Paul Schrader’s 1982 erotic thriller (as opposed from the shorter, radio-friendly version from Let’s Dance), Tarantino builds the tension and nearly gives away the film’s ending. (Hint: it involves a lot of flames.)

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Lana Del Rey Channels Marilyn and Jackie O in “National Anthem” Video

Just in time for next week’s Fourth of July celebrations, Lana Del Rey, the strangest of indie pop ducks currently making dreamy and slightly insufferable music right now, has unveiled the video for her newest single, "National Anthem." I try my best to refrain from using "epic" to describe things that just end up on YouTube, but this might be Del Rey’s biggest accomplishment in the sense that it looks like she actually tried

It begins, oddly, with Del Rey in old-timey black and white footage, mimicing Marilyn Monroe’s classic rendition of "Happy Birthday" (question: how much did her record label shell out to get the rights to that for some seven-minute music video?). Do you think she modeled her Marilyn on My Week With Marilyn‘s Michelle Williams or Smash‘s Katharine McPhee? (Trick question: the answer Smash‘s Uma Thurman’s Marilyn). Then, the real music video begins, with an Instagrammy depiction of Del Rey traipsing around a Hamptons lawn with A$AP Rocky and some adorable kids. 

(Here’s a random and slightly unrelated question: has Instagram put those old-timey photoshoot storefronts out of business yet? It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a mall so that I could dress up in cowboy gear and have my picture taken by a college student who regrets not taking summer courses instead of returning to his parents’ suburban home for break.)

And, of course, there’s a recreation of the JFK assassination, because every generation gets the silly pop-music homage to an American tragedy it deserves. 

In all seriousness, though, I’m actually shocked how much I didn’t not like this video. The song is actually one of the few from Del Rey’s Born to Die that I thought was actually pretty good. But, you know, the bar’s set pretty low here. But it does work well in conjuction with my Lana Del Rey drinking game, in which I take shots every time there’s a shot of either her closed eyes or her creepy nails. (It’s a good thing this is less than eight minutes long.)

A History of People Being Beat Up In Trailers (and a Blog Success Story)

As you can see in the below newly released clip from the upcoming mafia flick Killing Them Softly, Ray Liotta gets beaten up in a mobile home. People being beat up in trailers has a long and hallowed history in the anals of American cinema. Also in the annals of cinemas! But as one used the internet to research this hallowed history, one finds that things didn’t go as planned. In fact, one breaks the internet.

I had this post all planned out. I was going to embed clips from such notable films as Kill Bill Vol. 2, in which Uma Thurman’s Bride beats up Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) in a dirty trailer, and also the scene in Super Troopers where the two municipal agencies have a tuf fight in a trailer. I might even have stretched the gallery to include that scene in Breaking Bad where sweet Jesse Pinkman is beaten up in his mobile meth lab. Certainly I would have included Raising Arizona, thought by many mobile home fight enthusiasts as the primus inter pares of the genre. Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to find the relevent scenes of these films by Googling their titles and the word trailer. Here’s what happens when you Google Kill Bill Vol. 2 and the word trailer:

That’s the rub! "Movie title + trailer" only returns results for the trailer of the movie in question. Homonyms are the Wild West of the internet. But this is also where I had my John Henry moment. If you Google more wisely, for instance, as only a human can, "Elle vs. Bea" one does find what one is looking for. Et voila!: Man beats machine. 

As far as I can tell, you’ll just have take my word for the Super Troopers scene. However, deep in the YouTube archives I did find this, and man is it worth it!

And that is the extent to which the internet and the latest algorithms can provide an aspiring blogger with material for a post about fight scenes in trailers. 

The Human Heart: 1, The Internet: 0. 

Morning Links: Jim Jones Arrested Again, Whitney Biennial Gets Occupied

● Jim Jones was picked up by the police yet again, this time for driving with a suspended license — a charge that he claims is mistaken. What’s the opposite of "ballin’"? [TMZ]

The Carrie Diaries has cast 18-year-old AnnaSophia Robb as it’s young Carrie Bradshaw. [Vulture]

● Growing her brood, Uma Thurman is pregnant with her third and financier beau Arpad Busson’s first child. [E!]

Ace Ventura star and "serial trouble-maker" Sean Young is seeking an apology from the academy after a brush-up with a security guard that ended in her arrest at Sunday’s otherwise glamorous Governors Ball. [Page Six]

● The Whitney Biennial has officially been occupied: a very believable Biennial site, whitney2012.org, announced yesterday that the museum has made the "difficult decision" to break with two of the Biennial’s corporate sponsors — Sotheby’s and Deutsche Bank — "whose recent corporate conduct has made it impossible for the Museum to maintain a partnership with them." Needless to say, such is not the case, and the hoax is thought to be the work of Arts & Labor, a working group of Occupy Wall Street. [NYT]

Robert Pattinson Makes Out With Everyone in ‘Bel Ami’

It’s a realistic concept, at least, to watch Robert Pattinson hooking up with all the women across town in the first trailer for his new film, Bel Ami, which based off the novel of the same name. He plays a penniless soldier named Georges Duroy, who decides the only way to rise to power is to use what God gave him: that chiseled mug, that perfectly coiffed hair. But it’s not in the romantic (?) way of his Twilight escapades, no. Judging from the trailer, Duroy is a total sleaze. 

The quest takes him through the bedrooms of Parisian society’s most well-to-do women; Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, and Kristin Scott Thomas are three of the ladies we see him romancing. Ricci’s the good girl of the bunch, so at some point, Duroy has to figure out what he wants from his amoral ways. Cue the strings, the voiceovers, the swelling conclusion. It would be a heck of a swerve of Pattinson went totally evil as he’s still carrying his good guy heartthrob status, benefits of playing an undead stalker.

It’s somewhat bizarre to watch Ricci, a teen idol of the ’90s, romance with Pattinson, a teen idol of today; she’s not so much older than him, but she’s been in the public eye for more than twenty years. She still looks really good, as does pretty much everyone in this trailer. Despite the unhygienic conditions of 1880’s Paris, it would be pretty hard to sell a sex drama with smelly people. Bel Ami comes out in the U.K. on March 2, 2012; a U.S. date hasn’t been announced.