Best wishes and favoring winds to Anne Thompson and her plan to base Thompson on Hollywood on Indiewire starting August 1st. Her deal with SnagFilms and IndieWire CEO Rick Allen, according to a Paid Content story (which links to a Sharon Waxman Wrap story), says she’ll handle her own ads. She’ll of course receive promotion and visibility through the Indiewire hookup. My understanding is that Thompson was looking hard at the Indiewire thing a couple of months ago.
The most uncompromised aspect of Nikki Finke‘s 7.16 post about Bonnie Fuller‘s hiring by Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC) to run HollywoodLife.com is — of course, as ever — the reader comments. I was particularly struck by the following comment posted at 10:53 pm last night by “Stacy,” to wit:
“Egads…Bonnie Fuller? Queen of Tabloid Lies? That woman has zero conscience when it comes to lying about celebrities, making up stories based on the pictures, terrorizing her staff and making a mockery of the media’s first amendment rights.
“Fuller is a cat with nine lives. After American Media (i.e., Star, The National Enquirer, Globe) fired her I really hoped she’d fade into the woodwork and no one would hire her to taint their organization and turn young and impressionable “journalists” into lying scumbags like she did at Us Weekly and the American Media mags.
“But when all anyone cares about is the bottom line then Bonnie Fuller is the person you want. HollywoodLife.com can kiss morals, truth, verified and named sources and just plain old good taste on the ass and wave bye-bye.
“I can see it now. On Fuller’s first day HollywoodLife.com’s homepage will read, ‘BRAD BEGS JEN FOR SECOND CHANCE’ or ‘ANGIE DRIVES BRAD AWAY FOR GOOD!’ or ‘BRAD TELLS JEN, ‘I STILL LOVE YOU”. Just when I thought this fuckery was going to end, along comes Bonnie Fuller out of the woodwork. Bleh. That’s the unfortunate thing with cockroaches — they’ll survive a nuclear holocaust and the rest of us will be deader than doornails. Roaches outlived the dinosaurs and Bonnie Fuller will outlive her fellow cockroaches.”
Stacy needed a better kicker than the dinosaurs/cockroaches analogy. And the line about “this fuckery” coming to an end is a little simple-minded given that (a) the likelihood that mindlessly made-up tabloid stories about celebrity relationships would fade away is less than zero given that (b) the young under-educated females who lap this stuff up every week have certain emotional appetites, diseased philosophies and self-esteem issues that exist independent of Bonnie Fuller’s ravings and imaginings. But the point is made.
There are many ugly and deplorable elements in U.S. society. The people who worship the ravings of Glenn Beck, for example. But sometimes, particularly after buying groceries at a supermarket, I find myself muttering that there’s nothing worse — nothing lower, shallower, stupider, and more spiritually rancid or pathetic — than the longings and imaginings and material aspirations of Fuller’s female readership.
Here is David Carr‘s dry-as-a-bone reporting about the MMC/Fuller announcement.
A fairly recent recording of an information/blistering critique line at the Diamond Cinema in Navan, Ireland — roughly 50 kilometers northwest of Dublin. The Diamond guy who recorded this clearly has issues with the champagne bottle scene. That or he’s a frustrated critic who needs his own film blog. Diamond phone #: 353.046.907.4755.
The big bearded British guy in McCabe and Mrs. Miller — the hired assassin who carried an elephant shotgun around and wore big boots and a huge sheepskin coat and a huge wide-brimmed hat, and who was shot in the forehead with a single-shot derringer by Warren Beatty at the very end — has pushed off in real life. His name was Hugh Millais, and he was 79 years old. He was about 40 when he made McCabe.
Here‘s an appreciation of Nicholas Ray‘s In a Lonely Place, which will play at Manhattan’s Film Forum from Friday, 7.17, to Thursday, 7.23. Editing by Matt Zoller Seitz, words and narration by Kim Morgan, adapted from a Sunset Gun post. Here’s Michael Joshua Rowin‘s L Mag review. The last DVD version (released in ’03) delivered a severe grainstorm — here’s hoping the situation has changed.
If this 7.16 N.Y. Times story isn’t a Michael Mann film, I’ll eat my Elph digital camera. Mann can save himself by pouncing on this one right away. If I were him I’d be all over it like a spider. I’d have a screenwriter hired and working on it as we speak.
“Last weekend, the arrest of a senior figure in a Mexican drug cartel known as La Familia led to a wave of coordinated attacks by the cartel against federal police posts and one military base, killing three federal officers and two soldiers,” N.Y. Times reporter Robert Mackey wrote today.
“The range and extent of the violence across the western state of Michoacan led one respected Mexican columnist, Ciro Gomez Leyva, to compare it to the Tet offensive during the Vietnam war. In a column headlined ‘El Tet michoacano y el principio del fin’ (‘The Michoacán Tet and the Beginning of the End’), published on Monday in the newspaper Milenio, Mr. Gómez Leyva wrote:
“In the drug war, July 11 seems like a sort of Tet offensive, the synchronized, Hollywood-style offensive by South Vietnamese guerrillas and the North Vietnamese Army against U.S. troops in late January 1968 that, despite being described as a military disaster, created the perception that Washington’s formerly invincible army would never win in Vietnam.”
One of the many things that make Cary Grant feel angry and humiliated in Bringing Up Baby is Katherine Hepburn‘s decision to refer to him as “Mr. Bone.” I thought of this because poor Jennifer Aniston must feel angry and humiliated by the tabloid media’s characterizing her as “Mrs. Bone” — i.e., a woman who rarely if ever sleeps alone, and who never seems to settle.
The best acting she ever did was in The Breakup, but after that, what? I don”t like submitting to tabloid chatter as topics of mosquito conversation in my head, but when I think of Aniston I really don’t think of her work. I think of her bouncing-ball personal life. The associative dramas in her life aren’t about performances but when if ever will she finally stop shopping around? She’s like a 21st Century incarnation of what Mary Astor and Tallulah Bankhead were known for in their day. Their excitable cavortings, I mean. Except Bankhead killed in Lifeboat and Astor had her Maltese Falcon performance to point to.
The fact is that even among those who’ve never so much as glanced at a supermarket rag Aniston’s rep is that of (a) someone whose prime artistic opportunity days are probably behind her, (b) who’s never going to make another Good Girl (which wasn’t that great to begin with) and (c) who, at age 40, is basically competing with Sandra Bullock for Sandra Bullocky-styled romantic roles and that’s all. The only thing she might be ale to do and really get rolling with again is another TV series.
Being a fan of Jess Weixler’s performance in Alexander The Last, I contacted Rod Lurie and urged him to consider casting her in the Susan George role in his Straw Dogs remake. He took my advice and sat down with her, but finally decided to go with Kate Bosworth.
Lurie has written the Straw Dogs script and will begin directing it in rural Mississippi in August. He told me a while ago that he did a lot of research on the original Sam Peckinpah version, including reading old yellowed drafts of the script and asking Dustin Hoffman for advice about casting the David Sumner role.
One interesting sidenote is that back in 1971 “no name actress would come within a mile of [the Susan George] role,” he mentioned. Bosworth was no doubt influenced by the first-rate performance that Kate Beckinsale delivered in Lurie’s Nothing But The Truth, but the Straw Dogs character isn’t going to be substantially different than the one George played so that in itself makes Bosworth look pretty fearless.
An insider-the-looper claimed earlier today in an e-mail that she’s going to give “a ballsy ballsy performance.”
Alexander (son of Stellan) Skarsgard is going to play her ex-boyfriend and plunderer. James Marsden will play the Dustin Hoffman role, although it’s a different character — i.e., a lot less dweeby and cowardly and socially awkward. He’ll be playing a moderately smooth, go-with-the-flow L.A. screenwriter who relocates with his actress wife (Bosworth) to her Mississippi hometown in order to finish a script.
Will Lurie be shooting in Tupelo? Philadelphia? If it’s Oxford he’d better watch the wifi.
Skarsgard (who’s 6′ 4″) will play Bosworth’s her ex-high school boyfriend who was a top jock in his heyday. Ancient Chinese curse: “May you peak in high school.”
I need to say one thing about yesterday’s Natasha VC Gawker piece about supposed directorial paycheck movies having “ruined” or seriously compromised the reps of David Fincher, Curtis Hanson, Jonathan Demme, Ang Lee and Steven Soderbergh.
As lame and ill-informed as the article is, it at least starts out with a fair and accurate assessment of the motives of certain directors at certain stages in their lives, which is that sometimes they direct certain films because they need to bolster the bank account.
Shocking as this may sound to the likes of David Poland and Karina Longworth, it’s true. Not every film is embarked upon because the director (along with his/her creative enablers) has a burning obsession to present some intensely personal vision or statement on a grand canvas. This doesn’t mean directors don’t apply their filmmaking acumen in every way possible in order to make the paycheck movie play well and reflect, at the very least, solid craftsmanship. This doesn’t mean they aren’t at least somewhat into the story or theme to some (perhaps even a significant) degree.
But sometimes making a movie — gasp! — is just about doing the work because you need to stay on the treadmill. Because you can’t paint the Mona Lisa every time you pick up a brush. Because there’s a certain honor and dignity in doing a job well, even if the film is essentially crap. Because you love your children and some universities are ridiculously expensive.
I have another shocker to throw out. Sometimes actors do this also. They star, yes, in crappy movies in order to earn money, knowing full well that artistic fulfillment is out of the question. Sometimes screenwriters hold their nose while they’re tapping out an adaptation or a rewrite. Sometimes editors whore themselves out because they need to cover the cost of a vacation house. I know — it’s stunning to consider this. But it does happen from time to time.
The Gawker piece was inspired by a Quentin Tarantino quote that appears in an Alex Pappademas-authored GQ interview, to wit: “When you gotta go out and make a movie to pay for the kids’ private school and for the three ex-wives, don’t talk to me about your artistry. It’s their job. I don’t want to have to watch the movie I made to pay for my pool.”
Except sometimes paycheck movies can turn out pretty well. My understanding from some recent Francis Coppola statements is that he didn’t want to direct The Godfather Part II because he didn’t want to make a film that was just about trying to cash in on the popularity of The Godfather. Well, look what happened. And then take a look at Tetro, which Coppola wrote and directed from a place of pure enthusiasm and movie love. I rest my case.