I’ve never seen Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai (’47). At least I have the character to admit that. I traded for the Bluray last night, but aside from the hall-of-mirrors sequence how good is it really? I’ve always heard it’s a mixed bag at best. Was Welles a little too hefty to be playing a romantic lead? (He was only 32 at the time…look at him.) I was told last year that the 100th anniversary of Welles’ birth will be celebrated in Cannes along with the big premiere of Welles’ long-suppressed, recently restored The Other Side of the Wind. Welles’ actual centennial is on 5.6.15.
The SXSW consensus was that Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine was a blistering takedown. Another view was that Jobs was a brilliant prick and no day at the beach, but that’s how most geniuses roll to varying degrees and that Gibney merely captured this reality. I guess no journos will see the doc again until award season?
I wrote a “making of Tootsie piece in mid ’82 when I was managing editor of The Film Journal. Sydney Pollack heard I was doing a takedown piece so he called me preemptively and said, “Okay, let’s talk.” Pollack was an adult and a pragmatist. We became friendly in the early ’90s. When he was bed-ridden with cancer I asked if he’d seen Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days; he said he hadn’t so that evening I dropped off a DVD screener at his home in the Pacific Palisades. Pollack passed the following May.