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Little White LiesLittle White Lies

Little White Lies

Issue 81

The freshest and most credible voice in film, LWLies is the world's most stunning film source. Honest, unmerciful, relevant - and always beautiful.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Church of London
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6 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time7 min.
judy

Directed by RUPERT GOOLD Starring RENÉE ZELLWEGER, JESSIE BUCKLEY, RUFUS SEWELL Released 4 OCTOBER Hollywood isn’t a real place. It’s a mirage. A land of make-believe that exists beyond the clouds. Movies are frivolous entertainments, but they’re also billboard advertisements for an Oz-like Arcadia of saturated Technicolor hues and cloying big band melodies. We’re sold the impression of Hollywood as a nirvana, and if you’re able to break inside, then all your positive (or saleable) human traits will be asset-stripped then amplified across the land, and possibly beyond. Yet supping from the poison chalice of stardom – or having it foisted upon you by an overbearing parent – can come at a deadly cost. Judy Garland found this out the hard way. As the biographies have it, she became the star attraction of her…

access_time16 min.
a star is reborn

Film critics have a habit, and not an especially good one, of describing biographical performances as a kind of magic trick, a vanishing act. We marvel at the “transformative” process that turns one famous person, for two hours or so, into another. We describe their crafty, makeup-aided mimicry as “uncanny”, a kind of supernatural channeling. And we speak of actors “disappearing” into these roles, as if the true mark of a great performance is our failure to see the artist behind it. It’s a perception that pervades the industry itself, winning glittering prizes on a near-annual basis for highly recognisable actors doing their best to make themselves less so: Gary Oldman’s latex-swaddled Winston Churchill, Meryl Streep’s starched-and-pressed Maggie Thatcher, Rami Malek’s bucktoothed, lip-synching Freddie Mercury. Yet some of the most vivid…

access_time6 min.
the story of a scene in five steps

When he’s not making movies, Rupert Goold works as the artistic director of London’s Almeida Theatre. Here he explains how his knowledge of both stage and screen performance informed a key scene in his latest film, Judy the electrifying moment when Renée Zellweger steps up to deliver her first musical number as Judy Garland. 1 Finding the location “One of the things that’s interesting about the original venue, Talk of the Town, is that it had a thrust stage, which means it stuck out into the audience. Most theatres in this country have a circle that pushes forward, so to thrust out it looks bizarre; they’re just not designed that way. There are a couple, like The Old Vic, that have very deep stalls, but it’s pretty hard to find. Talk of…

access_time3 min.
the world of judy

Please enjoy this short survey of Judy Garland’s lesser-known films works, which hopefully fleshes out the iconic persona she developed on the back of a small clutch of all-time classics. We’ve skipped The Wizard of Oz, and A Star Is Born is covered in more depth on page 32. Much of Garland’s early career was comprised of self-assembly contractual obligation comedies which were well loved, but perhaps not the best showcase for her considerable talents. Here we can unearth some of the more burnished jewels in her collection, such as her mad cat animation feature, Gay Purr-ee, and the dazzling musical, Easter Parade. JG Five FILMS 1 Presenting Lily Mars 1943 It’s always tempting to connect the known biography of an actor to the fictional plot of one of their movies, but Norman…

access_time7 min.
what price hollywood?

Choose one film to represent the essence of golden-age Hollywood, and George Cukor’s A Star Is Born could well be a contender. There’s the glamour of starpacked, floodlit premieres. There’s the sheer punch of Judy Garland’s own pedal-to-the-floor performance, as the band singer who’s taken up by boozeaddled matinee idol James Mason, and hits the heights while trying to save him from self destruction. Add to that dazzling production numbers, the timeless craft of the Great American Songbook, and brilliantly written melodrama too, where egotism and frailty collide in the high-stakes arena of screen stardom. However much there is to admire in Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s tilt at similar material, this is on an altogether different plateau of accomplishment. It gains even more power, however, when you know what…

access_time5 min.
andy loves judy

It should come as no surprise that Andy Warhol, the great 20th-century chronicler of celebrity and consumerist iconography, grew up obsessed with Hollywood lore. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928, he came of age in an era of spiralling commercialism and heady glamour, the latter emanating from the Hollywood dream factory. He was fascinated with the strange and beautiful people he saw up there on the screen. His friend Elaine Baumann said he would write fan letters to celebrities like Truman Capote and Judy Garland. He always had a yearning to make a connection with the objects of his desire. Warhol was a master of surfaces. His famous screen prints are flat and ironically superficial. He reduced a three-dimensional world to its most primal version. Often working from Polaroids or…

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