I would have been a lot faster and more enthusiastic in linking to Dick Cavett‘s recollection of his Richard Burton relationship if (a) I could make sense of the timeline aspect (i.e., Cavett meeting Burton during his 1960/61 Broadway run of Camelot as part of an effort to persuade him to appear on his show, despite Cavett’s show having launched in 1968) and (b) if the Times webmasters would stop being stupidly protective of their video files by making embed codes available.
All, finally, is half-well as far as my Comic-Con plans are concerned. Comic-Con’s p.r. director graciously and generously approved my press credentials despite all kinds of problematic issues that stood in the way, not the least being that I applied quite late. I’m also in-like-Flynn with the Avatar presentation on Thursday, which is to say the 20th Century Fox people were also enormously helpful by providing a VIP pass that will save me from having to wait in line for two to three hours. I thanked them all before; I am doing so again. They restoreth my soul.
I’m in for three days — Wednesday night to Saturday morning.
No VIP pass from Sony for the District 9 thing on Friday because of my Peter Jackson issues — i.e., a mild form of corporal punishment. I’m told there’s a shot at snagging a VIP pass for the New Moon presentation. Maybe. And a certain Paramount publicist pally hasn’t yet responded about my interest in attending the Ironman 2 dog-and-pony show — we’ll see.
If any gaslamp-district roughnecks try anything…I was going to say I’ll drop them like a bad habit and put them on the pavement with my boot on their neck. The truth is that I’ll try and talk my way out of it like any journalist who doesn’t want to bruise his/her hands, and then get my revenge later by describing them in honest terms.
In a N.Y. Times profile of In The Loop director-writer Armando Iannucci, Sarah Lyall riffs on Peter Capaldi‘s throttled portrayal of the sewer-mouthed Malcolm Tucker — a senior British government official and spinmeister. “Few can match [him] for sheer verbal brio,” she writes. “He uses his dark arts to fine result when he persuades reporters to backtrack on stories critical of the government. ‘Whether it has happened or not is irrelevant — it is true,’ he yells in one scene, making the case for reporting something that did not in fact happen.
Peter Capaldi in In The Loop
“Capaldi is perhaps best known to Americans as the geekily adorable Scotsman in the 1983 film Local Hero. This makes for something of a mental disconnect.
“‘I find it quite exhausting because there is a considerable distance between him and me,” Mr. Capaldi said. “But being given this opportunity to play someone who is so Machiavellian and nasty and shouty is great.”
“It has long been assumed that Malcolm is based on Alastair Campbell, former Prime Minister Tony Blair‘s all-powerful strategizer, spokesman and interference blocker. (Mr. Campbell is credited, among other things, with coming up with Mr. Blair’s description of Diana, Princess of Wales, as ‘the people’s princess.’) Mr. Iannucci said Mr. Campbell was an influence on, but not the only model for, the character; Mr. Capaldi said he looked elsewhere for inspiration.
“‘I didn’t know how he spoke or how he behaved,’ he said by telephone, referring to Mr. Campbell. “The only people I knew who spoke in this way with great torrents of verbosity and very aggressive techniques were American agents. You think back to the old days of I.C.M. and C.A.A. and all those guys in power suits bursting into immense volcanic eruptions of foul language.'”
Painting of Nancy DeVries by renowned musician, Hi & Lois cartoonist and buoyant/indefatigable Connecticut spirit Chance Browne.
Liz Taylor/Nicky Hilton cottage (i.e., a place where the once-celebrated couple stayed for a period during their brief tumultuous marriage in the early ’50s) in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Local legend has it that Hilton threw Taylor out of a window during one of their fights. The seven-room cottage currently serves as a kind of art studio/workspace. I parked it here last night.
Chris Browne cartoon about late bluesman Eric von Schmidt. Chris does the Hagar the Horrible cartoon strip — here‘s his Wikipedia bio.
So Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince opened with $51.8 million Wednesday, [followed with] $21.9 million Thursday, $26.8 million Friday and $29 million Saturday from 4,275 theaters, according to Nikki Finke‘s copy. (I’m in the Connecticut woods and happy for whatever big-city news I can get.) That makes a $79 million three-day weekend and a $159 million five-day cume.
Bruno, meanwhile, is morgue material with a projected $8 million weekend. The $2.8 million it earned on Friday represented an 80% drop from the previous Friday’s take, and Saturday’s $3 million haul amounted to a 66% drop from the previous Saturday. But let’s not have anyone slagging Universal’s marketing team — they promoted Sacha Baron Cohen‘s film vigorously and inventively.