A good percentage of the cast of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s Lovelace (Millenium, 8.9) sat for a press conference today at the Mandarin Oriental hotel near Columbus Square. Amanda Seyfried, who portrays the victimized Linda Lovelace, seemed vaguely uncomfortable about being asked questions or about having played the role in the first place. Either way her remarks were fascinating for that. She was flanked by costars Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Adam Brody, Chris Noth and Hank Azaria.
This image of Alan Ladd in a dopey-looking Durango Dude rodeo outfit has been used for Shane jacket art since the 2000 DVD version, if not before. It’s been used again for the forthcoming Shane Bluray, which I received yesterday from Warner Home Video. Why couldn’t the WHV person who oversees jacket art notice that Ladd never wears this ridiculous get-up in George Stevens‘ classic 1953 western? How difficult could it have been to use a still of Ladd in his fringe-y buckskin outfit (which he does wear in the film) or his blue workshirt and jeans get-up (ditto). No offense and no biggie, but c’mon.
Question: If Lindsay Lohan wants a career again, what advice would you give her when she comes out of rehab?
The Canyons director Paul Schrader: “Stop the Adderall. I mean, that’s fucking speed, and she was taking it every day. And then when she gets too speedy, you have to cut it with some vodka. Great. That’s what we call a speedball. She’s not a drug addict in a conventional sense. I just think that with Adderall…well, I’ve been talking to people about it, and apparently it’s the most abused drug on college campuses by women.” — from a 7.30 Kyle Chandler/Vulture interview.
I was looking to post a little side riff on Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which I saw last night. A sideshow of a sham of a side riff. It wasn’t supposed to be a review but a little tangential comment about Liev Schreiber‘s portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson and how a 22 year-old observation from former Johnson administration Roger Wilkins cast some doubt upon the accuracy of the portrayal. But I had to lay a little groundwork first, and before I knew I had written a two-paragraph assessment of the film itself, and then it grew into three paragraphs. I posted it anyway. 20 or 25 minutes later the Weinstein Co. called to remind me that the embargo date is August 12th. I took the piece down.
“When I said ‘realistic ’70s movie’ I meant one that excludes X-factor people. Nobody wants to admit this and I’m sure I’ll be called an elitist for saying so, but only semi-clueless bridge-and-tunnel people from lower-middle-class ‘meathead’ neighborhoods (i.e., those who weren’t connected to dynamic big-city culture) wore terrible hairstyles and laughably grotesque ’70s threads.
Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale in David O. Russell’s American Hustle.
“I was bopping around on the fringes in the mid to late ’70s and I never wore a fucking leisure suit or elephant collars or gaudy sunglasses or had godawful ‘big-hair.’ Okay, I wore flared jeans but I was mainly into T-shirts and Frye boots andBrian DePalma-styled khaki bush-safari jackets and that whole American Gigolo/Giorgi Armani/Milan-influenced thing (i.e., nifty sport jackets, Italian loafers, shirts with small pointed collars).” — from a 4.13.13 post called “Sartorial Nightmare.”
“‘The subject of a teacher-student affair may be tabloid fodder,’ the Sundance press notes say about A Teacher, ‘but writer/director Hannah Fidell resists sensationalism or the temptation to pathologize her protagonist.’ I just saw Fidell’s film this afternoon, and boy, was I hoping for a little tabloid sensationalism! Or a touch of pathology. Or a smattering of half-interesting dialogue between the teacher (Lindsay Burdge) and the student (Will Brittain) that might add a little flavor or whatever.
“We all know what lazy minimalism is. Especially when concerned with self-destructive, anti-social types. The director-screenwriter will (a) use only the faintest brushtrokes and (b) supply no hard info about who her characters are or what they’re running from or what they need…nothing. You have to sit there and just watch them do things that are stupid and wildly self-destructive and incomprehensible and then…you know, piece it together as best you can. Bad Lieutenant did this. Many indie films have done this. And it’s enervating and faintly boring.
“Except A Teacher isn’t completely boring because Fidell is a fairly disciplined director. She knows how to drill in tight and strip away the extraneous and make it seem as if you’re watching something that might, you know, go somewhere. And Burdge and Brittain are, I admit, fairly intriguing in their radically underwritten roles. They know how to behave.
“You know going in that the affair is going to blow up sooner or later. We’ve all read about real-life dalliances of this sort. The teacher is eventually found out, arrested and so on. So the question: what is it about Burdge’s Diana, a teacher at a high school in a semi-affluent Texas town, that will add to the basic drill? What will we learn about her that will turn our assumptions around or at least gussy them up? What will happen that will make this familiar tale seem stranger or darker or funnier than we might expect?
“Fidell just shows us interesting natural atmosphere and good acting chops and behavior in and of itself, and then baby, you’re on your own.
“The first thing we learn about Diana is that she’s fucking Eric (Brittain), a smooth, good-looking, rich-kid senior. They meet whenever and however, and all they do is fuck. They don’t talk, they don’t share, they don’t watch movies, they don’t cook meals, they don’t take walks…it’s all about the salami. And then we learn that she can’t stand her mother and refuses to talk with her, and that she has a strained relationship with her blase brother…blankness, blankness.
“About three-fifths of the way through she freaks when she and Eric are fucking at his father’s ranch and a foreman shows up. Out of the blue she feels concerned about the affair being discovered and losing her job. And then she starts feeling repulsed by herself and vents this by rejecting Eric, and then she wants him again and he doesn’t want her and it all goes to hell.
“Diana, in short, is a car wreck waiting to happen. Unstable, wired, crazy, not very bright, emotionally blocked, fucked up….and I’m watching a story about her because why again? Because I’m at the Sundance Film Festival and I had an open slot between 3 pm and 5 pm?” — reposting of 1.18.13 Sundance review called “Flat Teacher.”