Saturday, July 7, 2018

Quick Film Grade: The First Purge (B)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Quick Film Grade: Sicario 2 - Day of Soldado (B+)

Introducing Club Chalamet

After I closed down a blog in May that I have been the editor of since 2008, and deleted the Facebook page, I told myself that I would not manage another fan community ever again. I would just sit my ass along the sidelines and just support a celebrity and enjoy the labor of love from another admin type fan/stan. But alas, it's not even two months after this proclamation, and here I am again, an admin of a message board for Timothée Chalamet! Danggit! LOL!

But before you roll your eyes in exasperation at me, allow me to explain. This past Wednesday, I just felt that the private DMs I was having with fans of Chalamet on Twitter required more space to be more free flowing in thoughts like permitting a fine bottle of red wine to breathe after uncorking and before drinking and sharing it with friends. Relying on DMs (direct message) as a way to engage in deep discourse about an actor was also very limiting in that I was only conversing with one person, and not several to get different points of views. So on Wednesday, 27 June, I had an epiphany to create a community message board for fans of Chalamet. Since the closing down of the previous fan community, I missed chatting with fans, and in that particular fandom, it has been at least 9 months since I had participated in a hearty, fun, and positive conversation with anyone on that topic. So I personally was missing out on being a part of an active discussion with like minded fans on a topic we were enthusiastic about.

I shared my idea with a few twitter friends and they supported my message board idea, and I quickly created a community name, Club Chalamet. I wanted the title to convey that it was for a group of Timothée Chalamet fans to all come together and support him. Although my focus is on the fan base that is older, 35+, the community is welcoming to all fans who are mature in their thinking and support of Timmy. I had been frustrated with some of the attitudes and behaviors of Timmy's younger fans (and even the older ones who should know better on how to act), and I just yearned for a place where a fan like me can publicly engage with other mature fans of Timmy.

To complement the message board, I created a Club Chalamet Twitter account to help promote and market the community. So in general, that's the update I have at the moment about my ongoing fan community admin support hobby gig. I'm quite excited about this venture because unlike my previous community, the message board truly will be a community endeavor, completely reliant upon fans joining and adding in their two cents to help the community thrive, while I will be the principle person marketing the community on twitter to help it grow. I will use this blog to write film reviews of Timmy's movies and film premieres/screenings/awards. I also anticipate huge news from Timothée within the next 8 months or so, and I want a community in place to provide the 100% support for him that I think he'll need and deserve. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Quick Film Grade: Jurassic World (A-)

I signed up with Atom Tickets to buy my ticket to Jurassic World this weekend. It's a great new app for film lovers to purchase their film ticket in advance and buy their concession treats as well. Just use the barcode via the Atom Tickets app on your phone when you go to the theater. First time users get $5 off their first ticket!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Quick Film Grade: American Animals A

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Quick Film Grade: Hereditary A-

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Blue Apron Meals at Home

I'm not one to follow many celebrities on Twitter, but I follow a few cool ones, and one of them is Chrissy Teigen. I find her to be funny, smart, and politically savvy. I bumped into her at the Avalon Hotel during the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2016, she's very pretty and sweet in real life. So today I was just reading my Twitter feed and I noticed that a Blue Apron subscriber tagged Chrissy in a post because she made a meal that Chrissy created as a recipe for Blue Apron as part of a six week meal preparation celebrity promotion. I loved the simple prep look, and the high delicious/nutritional value of the shrimp and broccoli meal so much that I immediately signed up for Blue Apron on a three week discount promotion. I subscribed to the 2 meals a week for 2 (they don't have a meal plan for us single folk so I can turn the two meal portions into two separate meals for me - making that four meals a week).

The timing of subscribing to Blue Apron comes when I'm already spending $30-40 a week on microwave meals and fruit and nuts, OK, and some cakes/cookies and salty crap, on top of the money I spend to go out and eat lunch maybe 2-3 times a week. My salt intake is much higher than normal and I'm noticing a difference in how it's affecting my health and that's not cool. When you sign up for Blue Apron, you get to select if you want vegetarian meals, fish/poultry, or red meat/pork. I don't eat the latter, so it's very convenient to order the type of meals tailored to your dietary preferences. My first box arrives on June 16th and every Saturday after that. I'll see how it goes, I may even add in a recommended bottle of wine to complement a meal. I need to train my palate to tolerate wine, especially red wine as I plan my trip to Italy next year.

By the way, after I treated a thanks to Chrissy for bringing Blue Apron to my attention, she liked my tweet! Huzzah! It's the little things.

Friday, June 1, 2018

I'm Going to Coachella 2019!

As an update regarding my recent visit to London, I had the most fun, it was such an awesome trip 'home' to London. I hung out with friends, did some carefree shopping, saw a great play, and, really enjoyed myself at the historical event of attending the royal wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex! I was especially pleased with my flight with Virgin Atlantic and I can't wait to fly with them again. Due to my being so busy in London, the jet lag took a few more days longer than usual for me to recover as I had to go back to work the day after I came back home.

I don't have any other major plans for the rest of the year, so this will give me time to save up for Italy next year, and today, I was one of the lucky ones to buy a Weekend One pass for Coachella 2019! I can't believe I'm going! Just this past Wednesday, I read a tweet from @Coachella announcing that the 2019 pre-sale would start at 11am PST on Friday, June 1st. I have always enjoyed reading about the events and adventures of the Coachella shows and especially while I was living in Michigan, it was a dream that once I got settled in SoCal, to try to go to Coachella, if at least on a day pass. And with the 2019 Coachella being it's 20th anniversary, I think it's going to be an extra special music festival.

I had the past two days to plan my Coachella experience. I immediately knew I wanted to go to Weekend 1, which is April 12-14, so I booked a hotel in Palm Springs for those days. Hotels very close to the shuttle lot were already booked, so I was lucky to get a hotel just an 8 minute walk down the road from the drop off lot. The VIP pass was just too steep at $999 for a first timer like me, even with the 7 month payment plan, I just couldn't justify paying that money. So I opted for the General Admission pass with the shuttle at $499. I also wanted a poster which was $15, and I went back and forth in deciding if I wanted to splurge on Saturday night of the weekend to attend the Outstanding in the Field desert dining experience at $255. It's basically a gourmet 4 course meal served in the VIP Rose Garden (which I'll have access to all day Saturday). I figured, why the hell not? So my plan was to purchase these for my first Coachella experience.

Thank God my work load on Friday was medium and my immediate supervisor was out of the office. I anticipated that it would be crazy getting tickets, but I did not think that I would wait in the queue for 1 hour 57 minutes and 28 seconds to buy my package. To my amazement, once it was my turn, it was a breeze to make my selection and I checked out in less than 3 minutes! I was so thrilled, I tweeted about it immediately and I had to go take a walk to calm down and release the anxiety of the process. It appears that Weekend One sold out just minutes after I placed my order because people were tweeting just seconds after me that they waited for 2 hours only to have Weekend 1 be sold out, and they were livid. Whew! I'm glad that whatever karma I had stored up, it covered me today. As I write this update, tickets for Weekend 2 are still available. Update: Weekend 2 is now sold out.

I have said this before, but there was many a time while living in Michigan where I was simply not able to enjoy the most basic form of entertainment, besides going to see a matinee on a Sunday morning. So to be living in Southern California, the epicenter of the entertainment world, I'll be damned if I deny myself the pleasure of at least experiencing a festival event of this scale. I'm making up for lost time and I don't feel guilty at all! I deserve this.

Lastly, this evening, I pulled the plug on a message board forum that I created in early 2017 in support of Meghan Markle as she transitioned from little known actress to HRH Duchess of Sussex. It has been a thrill following her through all that time, but the community was stale and was losing interest, and I did not make friends there. So I closed it down today and I have taken a pledge to not create another fan community forum again. I will happily just be a member of an established community and give my POV when I feel like it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Traveling to My Home Away From Home

The month of April flew by so quickly, I forgot to meet my at least one post a month quota! I did a lot of cool things, however, the biggest one was hanging out in Palm Springs with my buddies Glenn and Brian, and then going to Joshua Tree. Based on our proximity to the Coachella vibe, I have decided to try to attend one day next year. Just get it out of my system and to say that I went there. So now, the month of May has some great things in store for me! Firstly, I want to acknowledge that I'm closing down my other blog which focused on a formerly active actor. If I have the desire to write about him again, which is likely because he really is talented, I will write a quick blurb about him here at ToZ. There just comes a time when you have to cut the cord and refocus your attention on things that will bring you happiness. I wasn't happy anymore maintaining the other blog, hence my relief that I finally made that decision.

Moving on, I'm excited about my upcoming trip to London and I have a full itinerary. I planned this visit to coincide with the royal wedding! The Type A planner that I am jumped on booking my holiday as soon as the wedding date was announced. Try as I might, I was hoping I would befriend an interesting person at a Meghan Markle forum I'm a member at, but no one had the ability or true interest to tag along with me on this historic day in Windsor. So as usual, my best company will be myself. It's just as well so that I can do exactly what I want.

Here are the top activities I'll be doing on my 12th trip to London, 17 May - 22 May:

First night in town on the 17th, I'll see the play, The Inheritance at the Young Vic. Actor Timothée Chalamet is in London prepping for his next role, and he was spotted in the audience at both parts of the play. I can only view Part I, which is fine, and I got the last 10 quid ticket. Perfect!

The Inheritance
On Friday the 18th, me and my dear sister-friend Lucinda will see Killer Joe play starring Orlando Bloom. We're going there to have fun on the town! Lucinda and I became friends from an Orlando Bloom fan page way back in 2007, and we've been dear friends ever since. Going to this play, the second play we'll see together featuring Orlando, is just for shits and giggles down memory lane for an actor that allowed us to befriend one another. As disappointing as that fandom was, I'm grateful that I have a life friend from it.

Then on Saturday the 19th is the Royal Wedding Day! I will take a train from Paddington to Windsor at 6:30 am GMT and make my way along with thousands of other people to this historic event. I doubt I'll be able to actually see the royal couple, but it's going to be fun just being there!

Prince Harry and future Duchess, Meghan Markle
I look forward to writing a lot about future HRH Duchess Meghan Markle. She's an American girl living a real fairytale life, and I will happily live vicariously through her.

On Sunday, I'll spend all day with Lucinda and her family, and she has also invited me to their spa club where I can hang out with them. This will allow me to use my new swimsuit that I purchased a few weeks ago for Palm Springs. We're going to have dinner and dessert and just relax with my English family.

And on Monday, one of the highlights will be my 2 pm booking at a posh Afternoon Tea at a nice hotel that is walking distance from Harrods. I have jokingly posted tweets inviting Timothée Chalamet to join me if he was free.

Afternoon tea for one please!

I will never tire of visiting London. I plan to make the most of this trip because I will skip it next year in favor of Italy next May. But then, hey, maybe I'll squeeze in a visit during Thanksgiving 2019 just for the hell of it!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Destination Italy - May 2019

A few weeks ago I decided that for my 2019 holiday trip, I'm finally going to visit Italy! I have been wanting to go there for 20 years now. I have a penpal friend who lives in Pavia, a Province in Northern Italy, just South of Milan, and, coincidentally, about a hour train ride from Crema, the little Italian city made famous by an Oscar winning film I've been cheer leading recently! My friend Elena has been my penpal since 1998, and although we have never met or spoke on the phone (we have friended each other on Facebook), our annual Christmas cards have kept our friendship alive. During the first few years of our penpalship, I wanted to visit her in Milan, but money was tight and I never got a chance to do it. But I knew I would get there one day, and with the popularity of Call Me By Your Name, which was filmed in Crema, and with the film serving as a tourism public service announcement for Northern Italy, I now must go.

Coliseum of Rome
I have notified Elena that I will be visiting next May. I selected this time because the prime tourist season is June 15 - Sept 1, and I want to take advantage of Memorial Day weekend. She's quite excited and can't believe that I'm finally planning this trip. Traveling just before the prime tourist season will save me some money on airfare and hotels. And as you will see from the map of Italy at the top, the Milan region is way the hell up in the Northern part of Italy. Naturally, when one travels all the way to Italy, you want to spend some time in Rome, the capital, which is smack dab in the middle of Italy. So I need to figure out if I'm going to fly in/out of Rome or Milan, and how to travel between the two regions so that I can enjoy both areas. I will most likely travel by train between the two points. The art historian and world history buff in me needs to visit Rome for a few days. Then I need to fulfill a personal destiny in Pavia of meeting a sweet person who has regularly sent me Xmas cards from afar. And of course I need to visit Crema for at least 2 days to bike ride, and enjoy the sights before I head back home. I won't have time to visit Bergamo, which is just North of Crema and another important spot of where filming was done. I don't expect or necessarily want to retrace the steps made popular in the film - I just want to finally fulfill a long time personal desire to visit Italy, and check out a some beautiful landmarks in a small town that I just discovered from a favorite film.

Stay tuned for updates on my progress for trip of a lifetime!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Spirit Awards and Oscar Weekend Report on Timothée Chalamet!

Oscar winner James Ivory (Adapted Screenplay) and nominee Timothée Chalamet
I am so glad my mind is still intact after the last five months of this insane Oscar season. Until I saw Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name in late November, I was going into this awards season with no horse in the race. But dammit, this kid messed up everything, and I put a lot of emotional investment into seeing him being properly rewarded. As the entire awards industry would see to it, Timothée lost all the awards to Gary Oldman, except for one, the Film Independent Spirit Award (where Gary wasn't nominated) which he won this past Saturday. And speaking of that award, I was working at the event and I engaged with Timothée twice as he arrived to the event, and when he left.

I was in charge of handing out a white wrist bands to all the nominees. I cannot even begin to tell you how many celebrities I spoke with, and personally placed in their hand a white wrist band. All I can say is that when you are in the capacity of working at an entertainment industry event, you are there to work, not socialize with celebrities, do not initiate deep discussions them, and certainly do not ask for selfies or autographs. To do so would put you in jeopardy of being removed from the premises and not be allowed to work the event again. So regardless of seeing Chadwick Boseman (Mr. Black Panther) a mere 3 feet from me, you can't pester or bother them, just be professional, and courteous with a smile. As the universe would have it, I was assigned this position out of over a dozen I could have been chosen for, and this particular duty literally placed me and a few other volunteers in the prime position to meet celebrities, for however fleeting the moment would be.

Timmy and Barry Keoghan (Killing of a Sacred Deer) wearing the wristbands I gave them
Timothée was one of the last celebrities to arrive about 40 minutes before the show started. As usual, he stopped by the fan section to sign autographs, and as he came into the security tent, I stood in my position to give him his nominee wrist band. He was about to go down another security aisle where he would not be able to get a wrist band, so I had to quickly follow him and I said, 'Timothée, here is your nominee wrist band", and he turned around to face me, and the light from the sun entering the tent made his eyes look neon green at that very moment, and he took it from me and said, 'Ok cool, thanks a lot'. A very quick interaction, but still a mind-blowing fan moment where I was in a professional capacity doing my job. As volunteers, we have too much work and prep work to do so we were not allowed to attend/watch the show. I think over those two days, I probably racked up 10 miles of walking if I had my fitbit with me. When the security station was dismantled when the show started, I went on break. I kept up with the show by reading the #SpiritAwards live tweets.

A well deserved win for Lead Actor at the Spirit Awards
One thing that's really cool about working behind the scenes of an awards show is that you see so many celebrities just mulling around. And a lot of them are people whose work I really enjoy. Some going to the restroom, some smoking a cigarette, others drinking cocktails and just talking and chilling out... all while the show is going on. It was surreal watching all this unfold, and again, I never got the desire to interact with any of the stars because it's not permitted. If they asked me a question, I could definitely answer the question or find someone who could help them. But other than that, as the show was winding down, we got back into position at the exit where all the celebrities would go through to get to their chauffeured cars. We were handing out The Hollywood Reporter and Variety Oscar issues and most would happily take them. About 5 minutes after the show ended (just minutes before Timothée won his Lead Actor award), I thought of the idea to just capture a short video of him leaving the tent area with me saying congratulations to him. And just as I thought of that, I saw him bouncing towards the exit area and that's when I pulled out my phone, being as discrete as possible, and when he was passing by me, I said 'Congratulations Timmy', and he said, 'Thank you very much, I appreciate it'. See video link below.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to not only be a voting member of Film Independent, but also serving in a volunteer capacity for this great show has been an encompassing experience. I gave up a day's work on Friday, and worked 8 hours on Saturday to help make this show a success. I definitely like the Spirit Awards better than the Oscars. And speaking of...

Well, as I knew deep, deep, deep down in my gut, the Academy was not going to give Timmy his Oscar. They don't like to take risks because they have a brand to protect, and they only want to make certain kinds of histories when it benefits them. A 22 year old white boy winning Best Actor is not as historic for them at this moment, as a first black director winner (who the hell knows when that will ever happen), or the first female cinematographer winner. All the prognosticators knew the Academy too well to go against their establish bias and they didn't waste time predicting Timothée. While they all believed that Timmy "should win", they knew all the cards were stacked up against him because he's just too goddamn young to receive the highest honor in the entertainment industry in his first starring role, where a man who could be his father have been in line longer that Timmy's been alive to receive his Oscar. Again, the Academy with their favoritism and lust for the flesh of women under 30 don't count, they give Oscars to them like passing out candy and as young as 9 (Tatum O'Neal). But for males, you have to be over 30, with the exception of Adrien Brody who got his Oscar at 29. Timothée is a kid/boy as far as Oscar voters are concerned (he just turned 22), and when he was asked about Timothée, newly anointed Oscar winner Gary Oldman gave a flustered salty response and dropped the 'K' word regarding Timmy too. LOL! I guess Gary couldn't wait to let his guard down now that he secured his precious. BTW, the Oscars telecast suffered its lowest ratings in 4 years. Ha!

Congratulations to Call Me By Your Name for winning one major Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay accepted by James Ivory. The film is now an Oscar winning film, and has bragging rights for a Best Picture nomination. I'm so proud and happy for Timothée Chalamet doing so well this season in being such a critical darling with major prestigious critics groups, and being nominated by all the top industry awards groups. Timmy won, people know him, people love him, and people want to work with him. He will receive his Oscar one day, he just has to be a little older so that the old fools who vote for the academy can feel better about voting for such a young man. Thanks Timmy for making this frustrating awards season so much fun supporting you! 

Timmy and his gorgeous mama


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spirit Awards and Oscar Weekend - Last Stop!

Best Actor Oscar 2018 nominee, Timothée Chalamet
I must admit, this has been the LONGEST and most emotionally exhausting Oscar awards season for me in all the years I have been following the Oscars. And the blame falls squarely upon Timothée Chalamet, the youngest Best Actor nominee in 80 years. Most people don't realize that I was happy on the Gary Oldman train back in September when The Darkest Hour did well at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival. I was happy that it looked like he finally was going to get his Oscar. But... in late November, I watched a pretty little gay Indie, Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN), and I put all my eggs in one Oscar basket for Timothée. It says a lot that a kid that I didn't know about until November 24, usurped a long time favorite character actor of mine in the Oscar contention. Who doesn't like Gary Oldman? That's why, if, IF he were to win the Oscar Sunday night, it won't be the end of the world, but it would be annoying because Timmy should win. As a matter of fact, a lot of Oscar predictions are claiming that Oldman "will win", but they have Timothée noted as 'Should win'.

The nominee who is listed as a 'should win', gave a performance that if all things were considered equal, they should win. But they might not win because of politics, biases, and marketing/Oscar campaigning that overshadowed the other nominee's campaigns. Also, Oldman is very lucky that he's predicted to win because most Oscar voters know him, and they don't want to vote for a 22 year old kid, and that's what most voters look at Timmy as - a boy who came out of nowhere. However, just as my gut instinct keeps bugging me to keep hope alive and that an upset is begging to happen on Sunday night, the biggest upset would be in Best Actor. There are some predictors that have Timmy taking the Oscar. One is at Gold Derby, Matt Jacobs, Huffington Post Entertainment Editor. He's the sole believer at Gold Derby that Timothée could win the Oscar, and as long as someone like him believes so, there is hope, however dim the glimmer is, there's hope. Additionally, readers at Gold Derby voted Timmy for Best Actor, and CMBYN as Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Best Newcomer for Timothée. There's a lot of love for Timothée, but the older voters from the guilds, and possibly the Oscars, vote for their own, someone older and more established in the industry.

Once more, I hope that history is made Sunday night, if it's not this year, Timmy has six years to still be the youngest Best Actor winner. On Saturday, The Spirit Awards will take place and I will be a volunteer there. It's going to be exciting being around the ceremony. Although I won't be inside watching the actual show, because I'll be on duty, but being there and possibly seeing Timothée win the Best Actor award, as he's predicted to do so, would be so much fun. In the end, the reason why so many Oscar fans so strongly support their favorite is because predicting, and hoping for an Oscar win for your favorite, if they win, will be an affirmation of your taste and ability to recognize a talent/performance that deserves the highest honor in the entertainment industry. A win for our favorite ultimately validates our interest and support in a performance that will be designated as the best of the best.

As this crazy awards season comes to a close, I befriended a Timmy fan on Twitter, @darkingenue (Dwan Williams, age 34), and I asked her if she could answer a few questions about her being a new fan of Timothée and wishing him good luck on his road to the Oscars. She's been following the Oscars since 1997, but started to question the integrity of the Oscars in the year that The Color Purple (1985) was nominated for 11 Oscars, but did not win anything. In this final pre-Oscar article, I thought it would be nice to share the voice of another fan who has a calm understanding of the frustrations of being an Oscar watcher, and the eloquence in expressing support for Timothée.

Theatre of Zen: The Academy has an opportunity to make history with awarding Timothée Chalamet with the Best Actor Oscar at the age of 22. Do you think the age bias for men can end this year?

Dwan Williams: I'm not sure if the age bias for men can end this year. The Academy is usually behind the times, and yes, even though they are honoring the best in film, who they choose won't necessarily be who you or I would choose. They're not listening to us - it's not a voting requirement. That being said, it would be a huge opportunity - it would show that the Academy has its finger on the pulse. Especially now that there has been such a shift in Hollywood with the recent headlines of sexual misconduct en masse, it would be a very interesting development.

ToZ: Was there anything Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) could have done otherwise with their marketing of Call Me By Your Name and Timothée to garner much more publicity?

DW: No, he was the one to follow. He was marketed well. I mean, I know that there are actors or studios who take out ads in the paper to sway the Academy to vote in their favor, but I don't know if Sony Pictures Classics has done that (Ed note: Yes, SPC had a strong ad campaign). But there was no reason one couldn't find Timothée Chalamet.

ToZ: Have you ever supported an Oscar nominee as you have for Timothée this year? What's so special about him and his film?

DW: I've had my favorites, but I must admit that Timothée caught me a little off guard! I was not expecting to look at this young man and say, "I want him to win!" But yeah, he was different, and I don't know why. Look, I'm not someone who just gets on the bandwagon, but to me, there was something sweet about his acting, and then there's his personality. Anybody can be charming, but I don't think he tries to make people believe him - it's just who he is. Also, I love indie films. The fact that this is an indie film with mainstream backing is significant. I also want to think that the film itself is alluring because of its simplicity. There is the heightened drama of attraction, [which] contributes to the sensuality, but because it's set in a time where technology is not heavily present, there is this need to connect, to communicate as people did in the past. It seem to have some normalcy, if that makes any sense.

ToZ: If you could change one thing about the way the Oscar voters cast their votes, what would it be?

DW: Change the people who vote.

Timothée at a private CMBYN pre-Oscar party in Hollywood, Feb. 28

Friday, February 23, 2018

Coming Full Circle with Call Me By Your Name

Timothée Chalamet at Arclight Sherman Oaks CMBYN Final Q&A

Way back on November 24, 2017, I drove to the Arclight Sherman Oaks for my first screening of Call Me By Your Name, and a Q&A with Luca, Armie, Michael, and Timothée (read about it here). I was so immediately moved by this film and by the Q&A, that I became a 'just add water' Insta-Stan! Now, a full 3 months later, and post-Oscar nominations, on February 22, 2018, I went to the Arclight at Sherman Oaks to watch my 6th and final theater private screening of CMBYN, and I witnessed Best Actor Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet's FINAL Q&A discussion about a coming of age love story that has changed his life as an actor forever.

In Timmy's talk with LA Times entertainment writer Justin Chang, he didn't reveal anything new that I haven't heard before, but he did impress upon us just how moved, humbled, and amazing this CMBYN journey has been in the past 4-5 years for him. He was offered the role of Elio when he was 17; it took several years for funding to get settled for the film; then they filmed it in 2016; and then they went to Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 where they realized they had something special, and it's just been a beautiful experience being a part of an important film that has changed the lives of a lot of people who watched it. Timmy mentioned that he would like to stay on the same track of filming these types of films, small but important and meaningful movies that will resonate with an audience, teach them something and help himself as an actor grow, but also allow the audience to experience something new and wonderful too. So it sounds like Timothée has a comfort zone with the Indie film experience, but he is open to being a part of a larger film project, but in measured doses. So just as I had hoped, looks like Timmy will be an Indie King.

And speaking of Indies, the Spirit Awards are just a week away, and if Timothée is ever going to go up on a stage this awards season, it's this stage. I'll be there in a volunteer capacity, so I look forward to seeing Timothée earn a Lead Actor award as he should have at least once already this award season. I'm happy to see Sony Pictures Classic bump up their FYC ads in the trades, and with Timothée featured on several magazines this month, surely he is being noticed by those people who are voting in the Best Actor category for the Oscar.

Here are some images of Timothée from last night's final CMBYN Q&A at Arclight:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Award Season 2017 - The Screwing Over of Timothée Chalamet (Updated)

Twice nominated BAFTA actor, Timothée Chalamet
Update 2.19.18: Based on the great views my article has received, I just wanted to provide some information about myself regarding my interest in the Oscars. I have been an avid Oscar watcher and fan since the early 90s, so I have a history of watching awards campaigns for over 25 years. This year in particular, due to my interest in the success of Call Me By Your Name, I have made note of the industry awards season in relation to this film and its lead actor. The theories I share below are educated assessments based on what I have observed over the years. I am an active voting member of the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

I admit, I'm a bit more emotionally raw and invested in this awards season due to one particular performance: Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN). Since mid-November, I have been blown away by the subtle but astonishing performance of Timmy in this film, which I have seen it five times in the theater, the fifth and final time just last night. I have never seen a film more than twice at the theater, let alone five times. And the primary reason why I have enjoyed CMBYN so much is because of Timothée Chalamet. According to his wikipedia page, which keeps great tracking of his critics/guild award wins/nominations, Timothée has won 23+ honors for Best Actor and Breakthrough Performer, and most notably by the LA Film Critics, New York Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics, London Film Critics, and Gotham Awards. Timothée won some of these awards very early on in the awards season which should have put him on the radar of the guilds. However, I have several theories as to why the critical wins did not translate to guild wins for this amazing actor.

1. The Golden Globes started off the awards season by giving Gary Oldman, an actor who has rabidly criticized the organization, and with this win, they sanctioned to the other guilds that Gary was going to be the designated Best Actor winner of 2017. Regardless of Gary's unfortunate comments about how Jews run Hollywood, apparently, to those very people who are a huge part of the voting block, all is forgiven. Even Gary was gobsmacked that he won. So to ensure a steamrolling path, Gary subsequently went on a talk show to even apologize for past assholish behavior, a much needed PR move orchestrated by his PR team and Focus Features, the studio behind his Darkest Hour film. The Golden Globes are a joke, but a fun and key awards joke that is great to win because it helps get the ball rolling for most winners. And in this case for Gary, beating Timothée off the bat like that in January, pretty much sealed the deal in the awards season in his favor. Even Timmy looked stunned that he didn't win as he was still high off the fumes of winning so many prestigious critics group wins. But alas, the guilds industry has another actor in mind. Additionally, with the suppression of news about Timmy's latest critical wins in the trades, it was obvious since mid-December that the trades were on Gary's side. Why promote the wins of the kid the industry doesn't want to win?

2. When it comes to the Best Actor award, the industry is set up to favor veteran actors, white males over 45. The voting base of these voting bodies are overwhelmingly straight white males over 55. They like to vote for men who are like them. Make of that what you will. Timothée Chalamet is not one of them. A huge strike #1 against him. Although Timmy came out the gates a winner with the critics, the awards machine went into full Gary mode and did what they do best in ensuring that their guy wins the guilds. With such a blemished personal record history on file about Gary, it is amazing, utterly spellbinding that he has sailed through this awards season like Teflon Don - nothing from his crazy past is coming back to haunt him during this critical awards giving time. Nothing!

3. A vote for Gary Oldman is not necessarily a vote FOR Gary Oldman, as it is a vote NOT going to Timothée Chalamet. This is a case of vote for the devil you know. The powers that be know that Gary has a crummy reputation, but he's a great character actor who has a wonderful 30+ years film career that is due to be rewarded. I now must admit defeat in acknowledging that there is no way in hell, the previously mentioned majority voting body of the guilds, is going to let a slight, just turned 22 year old pretty boy actor from New York, win their major awards. I held out 'idealist' hope that talent would trump politics, but I'm the fool in thinking this old establishment would suddenly change their ways, fuck transparency and blatant favortism for actors who are over 45. Regardless of how beautiful some of us think Timothée is, he's not a woman, and thus, not fuckable in the eyes of the straight white males (even in this #MeToo period) who hold the majority power in swaying votes towards a particular actor. Strike #2 against Timmy.

4. Timmy starred in a low-budget beautiful Indie film. This is strike #3. The Oscars aren't fond of awarding itty bitty independent films made with less than $4 million. That doesn't impress them. Recently, and by design of a certain film studio hell bent on having their actor win the Oscar, is the sponsoring of articles that feature so-called Oscar voters to discuss who they plan to vote for. One of these silly voters actually claimed that CMBYN is 'too indie' and therefore they will not vote for it. Gee, what a great way to taint the voting process you fucking idiot! This is yet another example of the bias, and the blatant, shameful practice of manipulating the voting process in support of particular actors. Oscar voters need big productions, loud sounds, A-list stars, particularly, A-List cool older dudes. Oscar voters aren't too impressed or comfortable with gay films. Oscar voters are uncomfortable with a gay film featuring a young man who really does look 16 falling in love with a man who looks closer to 30. Oscar voters don't like newcomers too much, especially actors under 30. They'll nominate them and call that their reward until they put in the time to prove themselves in ways that their female counterparts don't have to. Also, with Moonlight and its Supporting Actor winning last year for political reasons, there was no way that the Oscars was going to permit a lead actor in a gay film, let alone permit said gay themed film win Best Picture two years in a row. A political organization using politics to pre-determine winners is no coincidence!

Timothée in London
Amazingly, Timothée Chalamet has lost every single televised guild award this season to Gary Oldman. Again, this is all by design. Timothée Chalamet wants to win, he wanted to win the awards he was nominated for. To say that he did not is foolish. This is a young man who confessed in his recent interviews that he doesn't know what else to do other than be an actor. He left Columbia to pursue his acting career because he couldn't study and go on casting calls at the same time. His mother pleaded with him to finish his degree as a back up plan, but Timmy knew what he wanted to do with his life. Columbia is one of the top universities in the world, and he gave that up to be a full time actor! And to be so awarded in his first lead role does wonders for one's self confidence and ego, and convinces one that they are indeed on the right career track of being an actor. But yet, to lose time and time again, and so publicly has to hurt, it has to be a kick in the gut. And I think that final kick happened today in London at the BAFTAs where Timmy couldn't even win in the Rising Star Award, an award voted for by the British public. The key is British Public Vote. The British vote for their own. Timothée Chalamet was well known enough to be nominated in the first place, but for him to lose out really shocked me and was the main reason for this blog post. Timmy was nominated in two categories, Best Actor and Rising Star and he lost both out to British guys. This was cruel and embarrassing, especially since they had the audacity to place him in the front row of the BAFTAs where he sat there and looked straight up at the two guys who beat him.

One positive thing I will say about Timothée is how he has managed to remain so professional, friendly, sweet, happy, and mature during this awards season. I think he has been coached by his management team on how to deal with the disappointment of these award ceremonies, and he has been prepped on what to expect as the season rolls out and not winning the acclamation he deserves. Yet, he dresses up in the finest designer suits, and looks absolutely handsome at each award show as he is now coming to understand that the industry has already selected this year's Best Actor winner.

I will not be watching the Oscars because I already know who is going to win, and none of the actors/actresses who are going to win are compelling enough for me to tune in and watch them be GIVEN their Oscars. As I tweeted the other day, if the current line up of industry favorites win, their ages of the four people are between 49-60. If these thespians win, this will be the most mature Oscar winners photo op in recent memory. This is not the time for hot millennial guys - they still need to wait until they grow up and prove themselves per Hollywood expectations. For people to say that Timmy will win an Oscar in the future... well, when will that happen exactly? No human being knows when they are going to die, so what comfort shall Timmy take in thinking he'll get it at 25, 35 or 45 when waking up tomorrow is not guaranteed for any human being? Recall how AMPAS toyed with Leonardo DiCaprio for all those years, just because they could? They screwed him over to the point where the man reached the age of 40 (the 'ok, it's safe to give the manboy his Oscar now' age ), paid $10 million to charities (double his usual charitable contributions), and he sought the blessing of the Pope weeks before Oscar voting in 2016. Just Google pictures of him with the Pope!That's how desperate and thirsty Leo got, and I'm sorry he had to wait 10 years over his due to get his Oscar. I don't want this to happen to Timothée!

It's my hopes that Timothée wins his Best Actor Oscar much, much sooner than later because if he's showing this potential at 20-22, he's on track to getting it within the next 6 years, and he'll still be on track to be the youngest man to win the Best Actor Oscar, a piece of gold plated metal that we cinephiles place too much damn value on.

All bets are now on the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3 which are awards designed to award Indie performances just like Timothée's as the Oscar is designed for Oscar bait thirsty career performances like Gary's. But as things played out today, I will wait with bated breath until Timothée's name is called as Best Actor for the Spirit Award. If he wins that, this award will make up for all the bullshit politics he tolerated since January 14th. However this award season ends, Hollywood now knows Timothée Chalamet, and perhaps one day in the future, they'll feel comfortable awarding him the highest honor in the industry.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My First Industry Voting Experience (updated)

UPDATE 2/12/18: I just received notification that I have been selected to volunteer all day at the Spirit Awards! I will see the program live, and see all the celebrities in attendance. I'm very happy to be a part of a production that is the Oscars of the Indie film world.

I became a member of Film Independent a few months ago so that I could establish myself as an 'industry peer' when it comes to reviewing films, attending special screenings, and actually voting for the Independent Spirit Awards. Over the past several weeks, I have been watching films that have been nominated for the upcoming awards, and I have been volunteering at the screening series as well. So I have been busy with these new responsibilities and enjoying this experience as well. I'm happy to report that I participated in my first voting duties for Film Independent, and it was seamless and fun. Now, if luck is on my side, which it has been as of late, I will be selected to help volunteer at the Spirit Awards on March 3rd. Part of my volunteer work at the recent Spirit Awards screening series at the Arclight in Culver City is a prerequisite before being selected to help at the awards show. Since I did three separate volunteer shifts, and another volunteer stint next week at the Director's Close Up 2018 talks, I think I'll make the cut. And in doing so, I will have met and exceeded some personal goals I have in being a part, even a small part, of the entertainment industry.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Timothée Chalamet at Los Angeles Film Critics' Association Gala

LAFCA Best Actor Timothée & Best Director Luca Guadagnino
Just ten days after my Palm Springs Film Festival gala red carpet fan interaction quickie with Call Me By Your Name actor, Timothée Chalamet, I finally got his autograph and a selfie with him as he was attending the LAFCA gala to receive his Best Actor award at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. I have been aware of this event for over a month since this prestigious critic's group announced their winners in early December. But only until this past Thursday did I get the epiphany to just go to the hotel and see if I could capture his red carpet moment. After all, LAFCA awarded CMBYN with Best Actor, Best Picture, and Best Director (tied with Del Toro), so this was a big CMBYN event. I prepared myself to leave empty handed or not being able to see anything, but the Type A planner than I am, I arrived at the hotel around 11:30 am to scope it out and see if I could gather some information about the event that will be held at the hotel.

The hotel kiosk directory had the day's schedule listed and it showed that the LAFCA event was going to start at 6pm with cocktails and the gala at 7pm. Perfect! This gave me more than enough time to do some shopping at Century City Westfield mall, catch the 12:30 pm showing of The Post at AMC (which was brilliant by the way), and eat lunch before heading back to the hotel around 4pm. As I arrived back at the hotel, the red carpet was just being set up, so I enjoyed free hotel wi-fi and sat in the cozy lounge area of this fancy hotel for the next two hours.

At this time, I was starting to feel positive about having a good view of the red carpet. I just sat in the lobby using the wi-fi and reading my current issue of Variety. There were no other obvious fans around, just the people setting up the event. However, as time got closer to the start of the cocktail time, the first red carpet arrivals arrived promptly. The first was Michael Stuhlbarg, and then I noticed producer Peter Spears. Shortly afterwards, I saw director Luca Guadagnino. They all spent a good amount of time on the red carpet talking to the press. I noticed the fan crowd was starting to swell a bit, but it was mostly hotel guests being looky loos and curious about what was going on. Michael went into the hotel lobby pretty quickly after he finished speaking with the press, but Luca and Peter were on the hunt for Timmy because he wasn't there yet. I over heard them saying, 'Where's Timmy it's getting late?' And so Luca went back to the front of the hotel driveway looking out for Timmy's sedan. Meanwhile, Peter was talking to a PR type person, and I gently tapped him on the arm and excused myself for interrupting, and I just told him how much I enjoyed Call Me By Your Name, and that I've seen it 3 times and that I wanted to wish him good luck with the Oscars. He said, Thank You, with a smile and did a hapchang (Buddhist like standing bow).

Soon after that, I kept my eye on the area that Luca was standing at and suddenly, there was Timothée coming out of a sedan, all full of smiles. Luca gave him a great big hug, and that's when Peter and Michael went over to them so they can take some red carpet photos. But first, the publicist wanted pictures of Timmy by himself, and the photographers went hog wild. He went up the red carpet twice to have the photographers get their pics of him. Then there was the group photos, and then Timmy briefly spoke with each reporter there. As he got closer to where I was standing, there were now at least 20 young girls. I don't know if a fairy just dropped them off, but, there they were, like on cue. Security told me that the guests weren't going to sign autographs, so that bummed me out, so I had to try to get a selfie. I've never taken a selfie with a celebrity and it's not something I want to do again, but it feels like the biggest high five when you get it. Just as the last word came out of Timmy's mouth with the last reporter at the end of the red carpet, me and another girl at the same time asked for a selfie and he said sure. So that's how I got mine. It's not the best quality but Timmy looked fine in my photo. Thankfully, later this evening on Twitter, one of the journalist covering the LAFCA event posted a picture of me and Timmy taking my selfie (see below). Apparently he was that last reporter at the end of the red carpet (@marcmalkin).

Security and the PR people tried to steer Timmy into the hotel, but that's when the cute swarm of tweens came to him asking for pictures. They were very nice kids and Timmy being Timmy was more than happy to take pictures with them. He was recorded giving a shout out to a prolific NY stan dude that was posted on twitter, and he met a couple girls he has seen before. Just as he signed one girl's CMBYN book, I pulled out my Gay Times November 2017 magazine that had that 15 page cover article on the film. I asked Timmy to sign the magazine and he did. That's what I wanted from him. A tangible piece of memorabilia from an actor that I really adore in just these amazingly short 7 weeks. I'm totally going to frame this bad boy!!

I am so happy that I followed through on this crazy spontaneous plan to just drive to the hotel and plot my logistics on how to hang out along the red carpet of this special event to celebrate Timothée Chalamet as the Best Actor of 2017 from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Association. This is a tough group of critics and for any actor to be named the best actor by them, truly is the best actor of that year. I am completely satisfied with this experience and I don't need to get another selfie with him or get another autograph. If I'm lucky to be at an event he's at, I'll happily take pictures of him again, but I don't need to wash, rinse, repeat with him. I'm good. I'm so lucky to be living in Los Angeles now, none of this would have happened in Michigan. It's so much fun being able to celebrate a worthy actor's phenomenal success with him and with my readers.

Timmy and half my head taken by @marcmalkin

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Palm Springs Film Festival Gala with Timothée Chalamet

I had the pleasure to attend my second Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival Awards Gala last night, January 2nd. And the primary reason for my attending was to witness Timothée Chalamet receiving his Rising Star - Male award, an honor he definitely deserved due to his critically acclaimed performance in Call Me By Your Name. I have seen Timmy in a few performances in the past, namely in Interstellar, but he was just another cute young actor in supporting roles. However, all that changed on Monday, November 27th, when I attended a special LA Times screening of Call Me By Your Name in Sherman Oaks. CA. I not only had my mind blown by this beautiful film, but there was a Q&A with Luca, Armie, Michael and Timothée. I was so impressed with Timmy that I started to pay close attention to his social media and his established fans on the internet. Needless to say, I've learned a lot about him and the film in a short amount of time. And now just five weeks later, I'm mesmerized by this actor and I'm rooting for him all the way to win the Oscar. And speaking of that, since many of you are just now becoming familiar with my blog, I have been following the Oscars very closely since the early 90s, and this coming awards season, I will be writing specifically covering the Best Actor race. But more on this tenuous situation later.

A few days after my first viewing of CMBYN, I received an email from the PS Film Festival with an update about the honorees for this year's gala. When I saw that Timmy was going to be honored, I bought one of the last remaining tickets to attend. So fast forward to last night, I attended the gala and had a seat at a table near the back, but it was a prime spot in the back because nearly everyone passed by my table to go to the bar or restrooms/lobby. So I saw loads of celebrities and important industry people pass by me. And saw Armie Hammer and his wife Elizabeth pass by a few times. And only during their second trip past me, as Elizabeth was going back to her table, that's when I noticed where she was sitting, just 7 tables away from me. And there was Timothée sitting there, laughing and talking to others at the table. It would have been inappropriate to go to the table to bother him at that time, so I figured once the event ended, I would try to go over and get a picture. But alas, not 10 minutes later, their table got up and left to go to the Parker Hotel after party. But since I knew where he was sitting, I figured I could go there and see if I could take a picture of his name plate. However, as I got there, his table did not have name cards, but I knew the seat he sat at, and he left his program on the floor next to his chair, and the bottom edge of the program is dented a little due to him shifting his chair against the program while it was on the floor. Timmy also left his crystal Buddha that all guests got. So, I nabbed those two things and figured they would make a great giveaway contest gift to a rabid Chalamet Cheerleader. Here is what the program and Buddha figurine look like.

In good condition, Timmy's chair crinkled it.

The page featuring Timothée.

The Swarovski blue Buddha figurine Timmy left behind.

To enter this contest giveaway, respond to this tweet with a number between 1300 to 2000 (hint, it's the table number I sat at) through Sunday, Jan 7th at 9pm EST . It's like a digital raffle, it's the best way to find the winner who gets closest to the table number. The winner will be announced on Monday, Jan 8th. Contest is limited to US shipping address.

Lastly, here is a video of me on the red carpet. You won't see me, but you'll hear me. I hesitated to share this because I sound like an idiot. Everyone is positioning themselves to get Timmy's pic and I'm trying ask one of those ladies to get a picture of me giving Timmy that little bag of candy peaches. Mission accomplished (see first image at top of article).

In closing, keep an eye on this blog as I'll be analyzing the Best Actor Oscar race this season in support of Timothée. He's up against a so-called 'lock' and, it's my belief that although it's a tight race, and a lot of people want to be lazy and give the Oscar to the more seasoned Actor, I think with Timothée's beautiful work, and the great PR he's getting from winning prestigious critics awards, he can turn the long established tide of age discrimination and bias against actors under the age of 30.