WEIRDLAND: "I Wake Up Dreaming" Noir Festival, Cathartic Rewards, Miles Teller at Café Gratitude

Friday, August 12, 2016

"I Wake Up Dreaming" Noir Festival, Cathartic Rewards, Miles Teller at Café Gratitude

Film noir fans, rejoice: I Wake Up Dreaming, a month-long annual festival of genre classics, is underway at the Castro Theatre. Beginning tonight, films will screen every Wednesday evening through August 31st.  "Film noir, simply put, is a film style first popularized in America around 1940," Lavine explained. "It's photographically expressionistic, utilizing a high-contrast, monochromatic approach. Tilted camera angles help to accentuate the discordant nature of the narrative, which often centers around fatalistic concerns, criminal or otherwise. Duplicity is generally part of the package, with trust a barely recognizable commodity. Happy endings are usually in short supply." "Film noir's enduring popularity stems from the timelessness of cynicism, which is at the heart of film noir," Lavine said. 

"Every generation seems to have something to be disgruntled about, and film noir offers its own kind of cathartic rewards." Betty Grable, fondly remembered for her song and dance talents, is seen in a rare out-of-character role in 1941's I Wake Up Screaming, a dark tale of murder set under the bright lights of Broadway. Source:

Whiplash: A Stirring, Cathartic Masterpiece - Miles Teller is brilliant as the obsessive, slightly unbalanced, and yet bizarrely anti-charismatic charismatic. It is a master class performance that one hopes is only the start to even greater things although it is hard to imagine him topping this. The resolution of this film, to that point, is one of the best, most discomforting, disquieting, and singularly impactful scenes in recent memory. It is a visceral representation of agony and perseverance, of genius, madness and precision congealing beneath a sweat, blood and tear-laden veneer. Not since Black Swan has a film so elegantly tackled destructive obsession. But unlike that film, which by comparison is a gentle meditation, Whiplash is a catastrophic catharsis, a personification of the differences between people, those that will do anything and those that won’t. Source:

Miles Teller: "I don't see very much of myself at all, if any, in Whiplash. There's stuff that my character is doing where I'm like, 'I don't think I've ever made that face in my life.'"

"I can't get up," says Miles: "I want to stay in bed all day." A slight moan escapes his lips when I'm on top of him. His eyes are still closed but a smirk plays on his lips as I push his hair back and gently kiss his jaw. He sighs and opens his eyes. 'I'm so in love with you,' he says quietly and I sit up to look at him. 'What have you done to me?' -a small smile appears on his lips as he takes a strand of my hair and tucks it behind my ear. His thumb traces my bottom lip and still, after all of this time, my heartbeat quickens from his touch. Source:

As the Rolling Stones, Revlon, and Angelina Jolie can attest, not many body parts are more sexualized than the lips. A new study published in Royal Society Open Science suggests that we’re not the only primates that feel this way. Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) have a strict social hierarchy in which a few, older males mate with multiple females, while the younger males form bachelor groups and bide their time. Mating males’ lips redden during the mating season, whereas the bachelor males’ become paler. Scientists still aren’t sure why the animals’ lips seem to correspond with their social rank, but one idea is that females prefer the redder shades when choosing a mate, similar to how a female peacock chooses the male with the most elaborate tail. Another explanation could be: Paler lips could make bachelors appear less threatening, allowing the mating males to focus their aggression on other red-lipped competitors. Source:

Miles Teller pulls a black tin from his inside pocket and pops a little piece of Snus dipping tobacco into his mouth. We’re at Café Gratitude in Downtown LA, a high temple of vegan culture and green health where menu items have names such as “blissful” and “charismatic”. Mr Teller has been filming Granite Mountain, a movie about the Arizona wildfire tragedy of 2013, in which he plays a firefighter who lost 19 friends to the flames. “People are so quick to judge,” he says about his "boys are dumb" light comedies period. But tread carefully around that stuff with Teller. 

“They said, ‘Oh, he’s this frat guy’. But if you’re getting speaking parts in your twenties, that’s better than most people.” Teller is prickly, ambitious, a little surly. He’s annoyed that BuzzFeed ran something about his dyed blond hair – which is for his Granite Mountain character. “They were like, ‘Who does Miles Teller think he is?’” he says. “That shit nauseates me.” And in Granite Mountain, he loses close friends. Teller can relate. When he was 20 years old, he was thrown out of a car that flipped eight times while travelling at 80mph. No story about Teller is complete without that crash. 

You can still see the scars on his face. “I got lucky,” he says: “The EMT told me 99.9 per cent of people in these cases would be dead or paralysed. Recovery was slow. For years, I had to have steroid injections and laser surgery. Very painful.” Within a year of his crash, two of his friends died in separate car accidents. “I probably should have talked to a therapist,” he says. “But I always felt I had a pretty strong sense of self.” In that way, he relates to Vinny Paz. The fighter broke his neck in a car crash at 29, at the peak of his career. The doctors said he’d never fight again, but Mr Paz disobeyed their orders to work out with a full neck and head brace and, within 13 months, he was back in the ring and won again. 

It’s unarguably the greatest comeback in boxing history. To get into a lightweight boxer’s shape, Teller didn’t eat carbs or have a beer for eight months. He boiled down to 168lb and just six per cent body fat. He got Pazienza’s accent and mannerisms down to a tee. “Vinny came on set one time,” says Teller. “I didn’t want to be doing him in front of him, but in the end, I was so proud of my preparation I wanted to show him. I wanted him to see himself at age 26. And he sent me a voicemail afterwards. He said, ‘Miles, you did me so perfectly!’” 

His phone bleeps. It’s time for Mr Fantastic to go home to Studio City, where he’s getting measured up for some suits. “I’ve got to do all these talk shows but I haven’t got anything to wear.” But after that, it’s just Mr Teller and his model girlfriend Ms Keleigh Sperry having a quiet evening in. “I got my Snus, I got my ESPN, I’m taking it easy tonight,” he grins. Source:

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