Warner Bros Everett Collection
Just how different are modern cinema and that of the '70s and '80s? Are there great movie scenes that wouldn't get made today because the audience wouldn't tolerate them? Conversely, are there scenes that were shocking back in the day that wouldn't cause anyone to think twice now?
It's a given that audiences' tastes change over time… the same as social norms do in America. Oddly, though, where audiences sometimes become more relaxed about what they will accept — for instance, with profanity, since George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" has been reduced to two — they sometimes become more conservative about other things. Below is our look at a group of scenes from movies that probably wouldn't make it on screen for a studio release now, and some others that were shocking when they were released that wouldn't cause anyone to lift an eyebrow today.
Oh No, They Didn't!
The Last Temptation of Christ / Life of Brian
Martin Scorsese's adaption of Nikos Kazantzakis' 1953 novel, with the scene of Jesus dreaming of a sexual encounter with Mary Magdalene, was controversial in 1988 and caused an outcry from various Christian groups. In today's media environment, and with the advent of social media, that controversy would be 1,000-fold and wouldn't go away easily. Even Scorsese wouldn't be able to get that into a film now… we'll accept the debauchery and debasement of his The Wolf of Wall Street but depicting Christ as having sexual urges wouldn't fly. In the same vein, imagine trying to convince a studio to okay Monty Python's famous "Always Look on the Bright Side" finale to Brian with the singing crucifixion victims. It met with criticism when it was released in 1979, but it would cause Bill O'Reilly's head to explode now.
Quentin Tarantino gets heat from all sides for his use of the N-word in his stylized action-violence fantasies like Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction… which represent a far different aura than a studio comedy would. Many white audiences would shift uncomfortably in their seats now at Mel Brooks' comedic use of the word during the scene where Cleavon Little's Sheriff Bart first arrives at Rock Ridge. (As well as the various other ethnic jokes throughout the film; Brooks' was an equal opportunity offender.)
Airplane! / Heathers
On a similar token, as funny as Airplane! remains in our memories, in the wake of 9-11 many audiences would be squeamish about laughing at a plane crashing through a terminal, just as the reveal of Christian Slater's plot to blow up the school in Heathers would play much differently now.
What's the Big Deal?
The Exorcist / Rosemary's Baby /The Blair Witch Project
Horror movies have to really work hard now if they want to be controversial. William Friedkin's The Exorcist is still plenty scary 40 years later and the scene where Linda Blair's Regan finds an inappropriate use for a crucifix would still get attention… but it would be minor and chalked up to the now standard shock tactics employed by the genre. Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby is so non-threatening at this point that it's being done as a network TV series. Similarly, Blair Witch's up-the-nose shots would be seen as cute after the rise of films like Paranormal Activity that, in fairness, it helped spawn.
Lolita / The Last Tango in Paris
When Reese Witherspoon had sex with her teacher in Election, it barely registered as being inappropriate. Vladimir Nabokov's book and the subsequent 1962 Kubrick film were hugely controversial (pick any scene of James Mason and Peter Sellers leering at Sue Lyon). When the film was remade in 1997 with Jeremy Irons playing the tortured Humbert Humbert, obsessed with a young girl, audiences could've cared less. When Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango was released in 1972 with Marlon Brando as a widower in an illicit affair with a young French woman it earned an X-rating for its sexual content, particularly for a scene involving butter being used for something far removed from toast. When Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty came out in 1996 with Liv Tyler as an American teenager experiencing a sexual awakening amongst a group of artists in Italy, most people's reaction was, "Hey, is that Steven Tyler's daughter?"
Volatile, violent, rage-filled Chris Brown loves getting in fights — most recently with fellow rapper Frank Ocean. And then, after he has bandaged his hands and taken a nice long shower to cool down, Brown likes to release his remaining, suppressed feelings by whipping out the tempera paint. On Monday night, Brown posted to his Instagram account a painting of a rather burly Jesus being hung on the cross (pictured below) along with the caption, "Painting the way I feel today. Focus on what matters!"
While the parallel Brown is drawing between his current predicament and one that a certain religious figure faced approximately 2013 years ago may be a bit melodramatic and of questionable taste, the real issue at hand is: Why didn't we know that Chris Brown painted?! Not only is the account Brown used to share his painting (titled f**kyopictures — only, uncensored) filled with his artwork and followed by over two million fans (so clearly we're late to the game here), but Brown headlined his first art exhibition in California last May (pictured above). Our invites must have gotten lost in the mail, because we know that's one event we wouldn't have missed for the world.
To help us get over the shock of learning that Brown has an easel stored somewhere in his home, we've dug up the secret artistic pursuits of other celebrities.
David Arquette is apparently a graffiti artist. Which means he likes to, like, tag stuff.
The Jersey Shore's JWOWW (née Jenni Farley), was once a student at the New York Institute of Technology, where she specialized in still-life portraiture, as demonstrated below.
Viggo Mortensen (or, as he will forever be known in my brain, Aragorn) is a regular Renaissance man. He not only acts, but writes poetry, records music, and dabbles in modern art.
Steven Tyler, meanwhile, likes to work with dark themes in dark colors.
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Jane Seymour is inspired by heavenly beings at the beach. But really, aren't we all?
All Paul Stanley (of Kiss) wants is peace and love. In fact, that's the name of the below work of art, Peach & Love No. 1. And, in case you were wondering, I am like 87% certain the below is not a finger painting.
And, word on the street is that Pierce Brosnan fancies himself handy with a paintbrush, too. But which one can paint the best happy little trees?
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: evolutionpix/WENN; Instagram (2); Perceval Press; Célébrités Galleries (4)]
Chris Brown Allegedly Punches Frank Ocean in a Parking Lot
Oh, Goody: Chris Brown is Back on Twitter — PHOTO
Chris Brown's Twitter Victim Jenny Johnson Gains 20,000 Followers
You Might Also Like:
20 Hottest Celebrity Bikini Bodies
Joe Biden?! Surprisingly Hot Young Photos of Politicians
“Inception” from Warner Bros. proves that smart and summer can actually go together as it tops the chart for the second straight weekend.
With another $42.7 million this weekend, Christopher Nolan can be called “Mr. July” since he pretty much owns the month of July every two years. In 2008, “The Dark Knight” was the July box-office champ and it can be expected that in 2012 when the next “Batman” installment hits theatres, that it will be the film to beat as well. Unquestionably challenging, visually stunning and just plain old brainy fun, “Inception” performed well all week long and crossed the $100 million mark last Wednesday in just seven days of release (the fastest for any non-sequel 2-D movie this year). The film is now up to $142.9 million in domestic box office. A minimal 32% drop based on great word-of-mouth was responsible for this strong second weekend showing and the film should continue to do well in the coming weeks. IMAX again is an integral part of the film’s success with $4.9 million plus or an impressive 12% of the second weekend gross and down just 31% vs. opening weekend.
Coming in second in a very tight race was Sony’s Angelina Jolie action vehicle “Salt” which pulled in a solid $36.0 million and proved that a woman can be as much of a box office draw as a man as the lead in an action movie. As she proved with 2008’s “Wanted,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and the “Tomb Raider” series, Jolie certainly has the “street cred” with audiences to pull this off and make it look good at the same time. “Salt’s” relatively short running time (99 mins), fast-pace and summer-style action combined with a terrific marketing campaign made this one a late-July winner.
At number three is Universal’s family animated favorite “Despicable Me” which has now crossed the $160 million mark in just 17 days of release. With $23.7 million for the weekend, a 28% drop and another strong set of mid-week grosses, the film is being embraced by the family crowd and the date crowd alike and the results have been spectacular. Look for this one to remain a staple of the top five and the top ten for many weeks to come.
In the fourth spot is Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” with $9.7 million in its second weekend of release and a domestic total of $42.6 million. The film has benefitted from its PG-rating since it is the newest of a string of such rated live action adventures following as it has in the wake of Sony’s “The Karate Kid” and Paramount’s “The Last Airbender.”
Residing in the top five for the sixth straight week with another $8.9 million is the incredible Disney/Pixar 2010 box office favorite "Toy Story 3.” Adding to a really bad week for Mel Gibson, “Toy Story 3” on Friday passed “The Passion of the Christ” to now become the 14th highest grossing film of all-time and by the end of the weekend leap-frogged over both “Spider-Man 2” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” to become now the 12th highest grossing film of all-time with $379.4 million! Notable as well that it is the highest grossing film of the year and the summer thus far. Congratulations to both Disney and Pixar on this amazing and well-deserved achievement.
Debuting just outside of the top five is Fox’s G-rated family film “Ramona and Beezus,” based on the best-selling books by Beverly Cleary. Delivering $7.8 million, the film should eventually wind up profitable with its modest budget and strong eventual home video potential. As one of only two wide release G-rated films in the marketplace (along with “Toy Story 3”), the film will hopefully continue to find favor with audiences looking for a true family experience at the movie theatre.
A month of “up” weekends vs. last year has improved the summer box office outlook considerably and takes the YTD revenue advantage up to 4.5% over last year and the Summer-to-date advantage on revenue up to 3%. Attendance, while still lagging behind last summer has had a boost over the past few weeks and as a result is only at a 3.4% deficit vs. a 4.3% downturn through last weekend. This weekend look for “Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore” in 3D (PG) from Warner Bros., “Charlie St. Cloud” starring Zac Efron from Universal and from Paramount, “Dinner For Schmucks” starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd.
Thursday Daily Box Office Rally
First Place - 'Inception' adds $8.6 million at the box office on Thursday bringing its seven-day domestic total to $100.2 million. The film will be heading into the weekend on a high note.
Second Place - ‘Despicable Me’ continues to dominate the family marketplace as the second best performer on Thursday with $4.6 million taking the box office total to $137.6 million.
Third Place - ‘The Sorcerer's Apprentice’ scored another $1.9 million bringing its nine-day domestic gross to $33 million.
Notably, "Toy Story 3" became the 14th highest grossing film of all-time this week having earned a domestic box office total of $370.5 million through Thursday and adds fuel to the anger of Mel Gibson as it knocks "The Passion of the Christ" ($370.3 million) out of the 14th spot. Through Thursday "TS3" has earned $370.5 million and is thus far the highest grossing film of the summer and the year!
Daily Box Office Top 12 Movies for Thursday, July 22, 2010:
Domestic Total1. Inception
$100.16M2. Despicable Me
$137.60M3. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
$32.96M4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
$272.64M5. Toy Story 3
$370.50M6. Grown Ups
$134.81M7. The Last Airbender
$43.72M9. Knight and Day
$70.98M10.The Karate Kid
$5.62M12.The Kids Are All Right
*Thursday daily box office numbers provided by Hollywood.com Box Office.
Check back Sunday for the Weekend Box Office Rally Estimate results!
Wednesday Daily Box Office Rally
First Place - 'Inception' adds $8.9 million at the box office on Wednesday bringing its four-day domestic total to $91.6 million. The film should hit the $100 million mark on Thursday (in just 7 days) and will head into the weekend on a high note..
Second Place - ‘Despicable Me’ continues to dominate the family marketplace as the second best performer on Wednesday with $4.5 million taking the box office total to $133 million.
Third Place - ‘The Sorcerer's Apprentice’ scored another $1.9 million bringing its eight-day domestic gross to $31.1 million.
Notably, "Toy Story 3" became the 15th highest grossing film of all-time this week (surpassing the first "Jurassic Park") and now looks to truly anger Mel Gibson as it prepares to knock "The Passion of the Christ" ($370.3 million) out of the 14th spot. Through Wednesday "TS3" has earned $368.7 million and is thus far the highest grossing film of the summer and the year!
Daily Box Office Top 12 Movies for Wednesday, July 21, 2010:
Domestic Total1. Inception
$91.60M2. Despicable Me
$133.02M3. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
$31.08M4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
$270.75M5. Toy Story 3
$368.68M6. Grown Ups
$133.44M7. The Last Airbender
$42.94M9. Knight and Day
$70.53M10.The Karate Kid
$5.49M12.The Kids Are All Right
*Wednesday daily box office numbers provided by Hollywood.com Box Office.
Check back tomorrow for Thursday's Daily Box Office Rally results!
Bill Joel weds 23-year-old cooking student
Billy Joel married his fiancée, 23-year-old Kate Lee, in an afternoon ceremony Saturday at his Long Island home. According to Newsday.com, guards dressed in black patrolled the sprawling estate on Oyster Bay Harbor while Nassau County police patrolled the surrounding waters and a police helicopter flew overhead. Lee, a native of Huntington, W.Va., recently graduated from Ohio's Miami University and works as a restaurant correspondent for the PBS show George Hirsch: Living It Up! She and Joel began dating about a year ago. For the ceremony, Lee wore an Oscar de la Renta gown and a pair of custom-made Jimmy Choo shoes, Joel's publicist said. This is the singer-songwriter's third wedding. He was previously married to supermodel Christie Brinkley, the mother of Joel's 18-year-old daughter Alexa Ray. Brinkley, who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine's famed swimsuit issue from 1979 through 1981, arrived at the ceremony in a silver van and offered kind words to the couple. "Congratulations to Billy and Katie," she told throngs reporters and curious onlookers clogging the road in front of the house. "We wish you every happiness." Joel, a member of the Rock and Roll hall of fame, received a star on Hollywood Boulevard last month in front of the Pantages Theatre, where Movin' Out, the Tony Award-winning musical based on his songs, is playing through Oct. 31.
Spears buys home in Malibu
Britney Spears, who "married" dancer Kevin Federline in Studio City, Calif., last month, bought a house in Malibu for just under $6.9 million. According to the Los Angeles Times, the traditional-style 9,000-square-foot home features eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a tennis court, pool, spa, gym and an outdoor kitchen. The validity of the 22-year-old singer's impromptu marriage to Federline, 26, was questioned a day after the Sept. 18 ceremony when it was widely reported the couple had not yet filed a marriage license--as they are required to do within 90 days under California law. At the time, Spears told People magazine they would file for the license the following week. A draft of the couple's prenuptial agreement obtained by Us Magazine estimates Spear's worth to be about $32 million.
SNL unveils all-female "Weekend Update"
Saturday Night Live unveiled the newest face of Weekend Update on its 30th season premiere Saturday when cast member Amy Poehler joined Tina Fey for the first all-female team in the show's history. Poehler, a regular cast member since Jan. 2001, replaces Jimmy Fallon, who exited the NBC comedy show in May after six years of reading the fake news with Fey. Past Weekend Update anchors have included Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon and Norm Macdonald. SNL's debut, hosted by Ben Affleck, scored the highest season-premiere ratings in the show's past three years--up 15 percent over last year's debut with Jack Black. The telecast featured surprise guest appearances by Alec Baldwin and James Gandolfini, who editorialized on gay New Jersey governor James McGreevey during the Weekend Update segment.
Gibson obtains restraining order against stalker
Mel Gibson obtained a temporary restraining order against a man who allegedly showed up at his Malibu estate and the chapel he attends, demanding they pray together. The AP reports Zack Sinclair, 34, was arrested Sept. 20 for investigation of disorderly conduct and loitering and remained jailed last Friday on $5,000 bail pending an Oct. 6 court hearing. The restraining order, which was issued a day after his arrest, bars him from coming within 150 yards of Gibson, his wife or their seven children. According to court documents, Sinclair went to Gibson's estate twice in September and interrupted his worship Sept. 19 at a chapel and "demanded that I pray with him." The man also allegedly sent letters to Gibson and his family, which recounted his prayers for the actor, cited biblical verse and praised his film The Passion of the Christ.
Sharpton turns 50
Rev. Al Sharpton celebrated his 50th birthday in style. At Harlem's Apollo Theater Sunday, artists including James Brown, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and rappers Doug E. Fresh and Foxy Brown paid tribute to the preacher and former presidential candidate, including a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday," AP reports. "He says what he feels, he means what he says, and he acts on it," Foxy Brown said. "He has marched, has been jailed, and many times maligned in his fight for recognition of the downtrodden." Sharpton used the occasion to ask for donations for the civil rights organization he founded, the National Action Network, whose headquarters were damaged by an electrical fire last year.
Legendary photographer Avedon dies
Fashion photographer Richard Avedon, who turned fashion and portrait photography into art forms and found new faces of women later dubbed supermodels, died Friday, a spokeswoman for the New Yorker magazine told Reuters. He was 81. Avedon, who captured unforgettable images of some of the world's most famous figures, died in San Antonio, Texas, almost a week after he suffered a brain hemorrhage while working on a photo essay on democracy for the magazine, spokeswoman Perri Dorset said.
Get Carter tops best British films
The 1971 cult hit Get Carter starring Michael Caine as a London gangster investigating the mysterious death of his brother topped Total Film magazine's list of the 50 best British films, AP reports. Carter bested other classics such as Monty Python's Life of Brian and Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Notable absences from the list include Oscar-winners Chariots of Fire and Gandhi.
Reported by Kit Bowen.