A very funny visit to Comic-Con by Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog on a recent Conan O’Brien episode. It”s always a very special thing to suffer Triumph’s slings and arrows. Whoever writes his stuff is very good. Quote #1: “It’s truly a golden era for these unbathed, overweight and friendless trend setters….perhaps one day they will conquer basic hygiene!” Quote #2: “I’m talking to the king of internet predators….he has not one but two eight year old boys hidden in there!”
I’m not convinced that Obama’s adjustment on his offshore drilling position is a mistake. Maybe, maybe not. I know it’s simply an adjustment to a prevailing view that an announced U.S. intention to drill the continental shelf for fresh oil may spur a reduction inf foreign-oil prices, and that politicians (a group of operators that — hello? — Obama belongs to) sometimes come to these realizations for the sake of realpolitik. Either way McCain can’t zap Obama for flip-flopping because he did the same thing in June.
An NPR report from late June reminds that McCain “this week called for an end to the federal ban on offshore drilling. The Arizona senator wasn’t flip-flopping, says senior campaign adviser Charlie Black, [but] acknowledging the ‘great crisis in energy’ facing the country.
“Just a month ago, when McCain was asked about offshore drilling during a campaign stop in Wisconsin, the presumptive Republican nominee noted that such resources would take years to develop, and that the U.S. should instead focus on alternative energy sources. Black says McCain’s new stance represents weeks of talks with policy advisers on how to bring energy security and energy independence to the U.S.
“‘So it’s not a change in his position as much as a new challenge to America,’ Black says.”
“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama told the Palm Beach Post‘s Michael C. Bender. “If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”
Today’s main-title mp3s include (a) one with a central theme that sounds vaguely Little House on the Prairie-ish, although the film unfolds on a much darker and deeper plane, (b) a melodic passage dominated by a French-horn that vaguely belies the urban setting of the film, and (c) a quiet but thrilling orchestral introduction to a ’60s period film.
A coffee-table book called Translating Hollywood: The World of Movie Posters was profiled yesterday by Boston Pheonix writer Chris Wangler. The poster images came from the collection of gallery owner Sam Sarowitz.
This Japanese-created, Roy Lichtenstein-ish Get Carter poster is far, far better than the one used for general U.S. release.
“Most of the posters come from the late 1950s and after, ” Wangler writes. “Hollywood classics are the focus, but there’ss a nice selection of French New Wave, world cinema classics, and genre pictures.
“As movies began to gain worldwide attention, Hollywood studios tailored their marketing to specific geographic locations, allowing local distributors to create their own publicity campaigns. As a result, writes New York Times DVD critic Dave Kehr in the introduction, films ‘were dressed up in native costumes for the different countries they happened to be visiting.'”
Verbatim quotes from two e-mails received this morning from right-wing patriots over the Jon Voight thing (with all original spellings left uncorrected): (a) “I just heard about your calls to blacklist Conservative actors and think you are a piece of shit“; and (b) “Congratulations, Mr. Wells, on your disgusting and vile comments on Jon Voit. You are clearly proof that the Left is still representative of Orwell’s Thought Police. You discredit and mock Mr. Voit for merely speaking his mind. How dare you try to silence the word of good Americans. I ardently believe that you are true scum of the earth and a waste of life. Good day.”
Comment for second arch-conservative: you should either use the term (a) “a waste of a life” or (b) “a waste of skin.”
Rorschach, the New York-residing, vigilante-minded renegade who is one of the Watchmen (and who is being played by Jackie Earl Haley in the ’09 Warner Bros. film), is quoted as follows on a new WB poster: “I wish all the scum of the earth had one throat, and I had my hands about it.” A furious loner, you bet, and yet he is not alone. In the Year of Our Lord 1976 Rorschach has a spiritual brother wandering the same fetid New York Streets — a little more than kin, a little less than kind.
Travis Bickle, the New York-residing, vigilante-minded taxi driver whose life peaked in ’76 when be blew away some bad guys in a Lower East Side tenement, is famed for having said that “someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”
Rorschach and Bickle were born in 1940.
During the day, Rorschach walks around New York as a vagrant with a sign reading “the end is nigh.” During the night Bickle drives around the city, gaping at the perverts on the streets and consumed with disgust.
Politically, Rorschach is “an anti-communist, anti-liberal, reactionary, and strong nationalist,” per Wikipedia. He’s also been described as an “extremely right-wing character” by Watchmen author Alan Moore. Bickle supports the liberal Sen. Palatine but not really — he’s actually a radical conservative purist looking to bring the wrath of God down upon the Philistines.
Rorschach and Bickle are truly one spirit, one cockroach, one karate-chopping hand. If only they’d gotten together for a coffee one evening at the Belmore cafeteria to talk about Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford and CBGBs and Patti Smith and all the movies playing at all the New York repertory cinemas back then…gone now but what a time
A curiously unnamed Hollywood Newsroom editor with sentence-structure issues says “we know who’s Catwoman, it’s Maggie Gyllenhaal.” Knows how? Because, he/she says, Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart have “signed on for two Bat-pictures.” No source(s) offered, no allusions to where they might work, no nothin’….just “we know.”
So, according to this possibly true but also possibly baseless bunk, neither Rachel Dawson nor Harvey Dent really and truly died in The Dark Knight and Rachel will live again as Catwoman.
The only reason I’m linking is because I’m attracted to the idea of Dawson/Gyllenhaal rebounding and rebirthing as Catwoman (in part because it would much cooler for director Chris Nolan to choose Gyllenhaal over rumored Catwoman candidate Angelina Jolie), and because I like the idea of Eckhart, whose career received a huge jolt in the arm from his Dark Knight performance, being back for seconds.
Take this with a grain, but Anne Hathaway‘s performance as an emotionally unruly rehab veteran in Jonathan Demme Rachel Getting Married (Sony Pictures Classics, 10.3) is also thought to be a possible Oscar-level thing. Maybe. Depending on the breaks. Let’s see what happens in Telluride or Toronto (or both). Jenny Lumet‘s script is about troubled Kym (Hathaway) returning home for the wedding of sister Rachel (Rosemarie Dewitt), and all the jagged-edge, broken- wing, barb-tongued elements she brings along. Sounds like a hoot…maybe.
Kristin Scott Thomas‘s performance in Philippe Claudel‘s I’ve Loved You So Long (Sony Classics, 10.22) is “going to be one of the nominated Best Actress performances,” says a friend who just saw it today. “It will definitely appeal to the actors….very powerful acting…Thomas is not afraid to make herself look unglamorous…it’s just a small French drama but it’s very, very good.”
Thomas plays a 40ish woman who’s recently gotten out of the slammer for a major crime. Elsa Zylberstein is also superb, he says, as Scott-Thomas’s sister.
The tipster allowed that his enthusiasm for I’ve Loved You So Long may be due in part to “the Mummy effect” — a feeling of being deluged by big-studio crap that makes a viewer especially receptive to anything that works in a modest non-CG, non-idiotic way. Word around the campfire is that Claudel’s film is a likely Telluride Film Festival entree. Sony Pictures Classics chief Michael Barker has been telling viewers that Thomas is “this year’s Julie Christie performance.”
I’ve Loved You So Long hasn’t played any festivals yet. It was seen in market screenings during last May’s Cannes festival. The French title is Il y a longtemps que je t’aime.
Swing Vote is about a New Mexico layabout with a drinking problem (Kevin Costner) who is heavily courted by a couple of major presidential candidates (Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper ) who need his vote to tip the election in their favor. Whacked, improbable…but that’s it. Anyway, it was pointed out yesterday that this premise is fairly similar to that of Garson Kanin‘s The Great Man Votes (1939).
It’s about a boozy widower (John Barrymore) who, it is discovered, is the only registered voter in a key precinct, which leads to politicians from both parties bearing inducements.
There’s no question the two films are using the same basic bones. A friend says the Costner film is considerably different beyond the premise, but so what? I’ve never even seen the Barrymore film. It’s not exactly a must-see. Right now it’s only available on VHS.
The gist of this Eric P. Lucas article in the L.A. Times (8.1) is that Heath Ledger shouldn’t be nominated for Best Supporting Actor nominated because he died a foolish death. He didn’t die trying to save someone from drowning, he wasn’t killed by an IED in Baghdad and a tree didn’t fall on him. He carelessly pulled the plug on himself, and this sad fact, Lucas is saying, shouldn’t be romanticized or glossed over with an Oscar nomination. It would set a bad cultural precedent or send a bad message to youths. Something along these lines.