I don’t know why this is called “The Red Drum Getaway” but it was edited by a Parisian outfit called Gump Studios. Brilliant work but I have to say I was disappointed that it wasn’t Scotty being beaten to death by the apes with the bones. Or was it? (Thanks to HE commenter “Magga” for the heads-up.)
This is one of the greatest and saddest endings of any film ever. Because there isn’t anyone with four or five decades under their belt who doesn’t have a memory or two like this one. The idealism of youth never holds; one way or another it detaches and falls away like dried leaves. In 99% of The Godfather, Part II Michael Corleone is a calculating ice man, at best a shadow of a remnant of the guy he was at 19 or 20. And then at the very end we finally meet that guy, and it’s heartbreaking to think of how young Michael was gradually bled to death, how his family’s tradition gradually caught up to him and forced his dark hand.
I have to say that while HE favorite Bernie Sanders came off like a ballsy boxer during last night’s Las Vegas debate, Hillary Clinton did pretty well also. She didn’t flub anything, she looked good (somehow the eye bags have been largely scrubbed away), she sounded confident, she had a good attitude. This plus the Saturday Night Live appearance as “Val” were her two best moments so far, and yet Bernie’s “people are sick to death of your damn e-mails” lines was easily the best of the night. I didn’t see the debate until last night after returning from the Beasts of No Nation after-party. Thoughts?
The Bill Pohlad metaphor is enormously appealing to anyone who has longed to build a career as a director but has put it off for years or even decades. That’s what Pohlad did for nearly a quarter-century after directing Old Explorers, a Jose Ferrer-James Whitmore 1990 relationship drama that was barely noticed. Pohlad stopped directing, and after the turn of the century gradually made his way into producing.
He exec produced Brokeback Mountain, A Prairie Home Companion and Food, Inc., and produced Into the Wild, The Tree of Life and 12 Years a Slave. And then, after a hiatus of 22 or 23 years, Pohlad returned to directing with Love & Mercy, and in one of the most unlikely scenarios ever seen in this town he turned his creative life around by delivering easily one of 2015’s best films and a possible Best Picture nominee.
Love & Mercy director Bill Pohlad on the roof of Beverly Hills Peninsula Hotel — Tuesday, 10.13, 12:10 pm.
Don’t kid yourself — a born-again director is something to be.
I spoke to Pohlad yesterday morning on the roof of the Beverly Hills Peninsula Hotel. There were a lot of corporate-looking guys sitting near us. It felt like Palm Springs up there, like a blast furnace. We were near a pool but no fetching bikini babes to speak of. Pohlad was the most casually dressed rich guy up there, and I was the second most casually dressed except I was just an interloper in a black T-shirt. When I took the elevator back to the street I shared it with two Japanese guys in black suits. Very corporate, very conservative.
Again, the mp3.
Pohlad is now working on a new film with Love & Mercy screenwriter Oren Moverman that he wouldn’t say much about, but it involves some kind of manifestation of PTSD.
Restoration guru Robert Harris has generously paved the way for Hollywood Elsewhere to visit the Library of Congress film storage vaults in Culpeper, Virginia, which is otherwise known as the Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. The visit will happen on Monday, 10.26, following my four-day visit to the Middleburg Film Festival. I’ll be staying in D.C. on Sunday and Monday nights, 10.25 and 10.26, and the campus, I’m told, is a 90-minute drive from Washington in good traffic. On Tuesday morning I’ll fly down to the Savannah Film Festival where I’ll be saying for five days and a wakeup — Tuesday, 10.27 through Sunday, 11.1.
I’ll be hosted at the Packard campus by Kenneth Weissman, who manages the motion picture preservation laboratory, as well as Mike Mashon, who heads the Moving Image section.
I asked Mashon about Jerry Lewis‘s The Day The Clown Cried, and he reminded me that the Library’s agreement with Lewis ensures that no element associated with it will be available to the public for another ten years, or until 2025. “I can’t even look at the cans that The Day The Clown Cried is stored in?”, I replied. “Just the CANS? Otherwise, great…looking forward & thanks.”
A respectful anti-Spotlight narrative is already beginning to take hold among older, conservative-minded Academy members. It’s a very good film, they say, but not really the Academy’s cup of tea. A very traditional movie in a building-blocks sense — it’s certainly not audaciously designed, they say — and therefore more of a B-plus than an A. Just because journalists flipped for it in Telluride and Toronto doesn’t mean it’s one of “our” favorites so don’t try and push us around. We like what we like.
And you know what they do like? The Martian, of course (there’s no stopping that one), and Bridge of Spies, believe it or not.
When an Academy friend told me last night that Bridge has played very well with Academy types, I went “ohhh, God!” He said, “Will you calm down, please? You have your opinion but other people are entitled to theirs, and I’m telling you that it’s a very well-liked film and if I had to predict I’d say it’s going to become a Best Picture nominee.” It’s an okay film, I said — not bad, acceptable, reasonably well done. But a Best Picture nominee? What, are they looking to kiss Spielberg’s ass for the 37th or 38th time because he’s worth over $3 billion? Obeisance before power.
In a passage from “Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success,” author Joseph McBride quotes Capra, a short-statured man, about the psychology of the little man, which is basically that short dudes know they’re at a disadvantage with women, and so they have to pull out the stops, perform like a champion and turn up the charm levels to 11 in order to get laid.
“Short men try to make themselves attractive to women by doing things,” Capra once told Mr. Deeds Goes To Town star Jean Arthur. In another conversation he said that “if Napoleon had been a handsome, six-foot lieutenant of cavalry on the island of Corsica, history would have been different. The girls would have been after him, and he would’ve stayed there.”
After reading this it occured to me that this is one reason why short actors always deliver in spades. They have that extra thing they need to prove and so they develop a passionate persistence or a steel-eyed feistiness or a combination of the two.
Think of all the short guys who have that extra wham-bam, who always bring it with emphasis: Al Pacino, George Raft, Jonah Hill, James Cagney, James Cagney, Ben Stiller, Joe Pesci, Alan Ladd, Bob Hoskins, Frank Sinatra, Danny DeVito, Jack Black, Mel Brooks, Emile Hirsch, Dustin Hoffman, Mickey Rooney, Martin Short, Jason Schwartzman, Humphrey Bogart, Woody Allen, Emilio Estevez, Richard Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Daniel Radcliffe, Elijah Wood, Michael J. Fox, Dane DeHaan.
I saw Cary Fukunaga‘s Beasts of No Nation (Netflix, 10.16) again last night, and it’s still “a major, triple-A-approved, Apocalypse Now-influenced African inferno flick” of the first order, which is what I wrote after catching it at Telluride five or six weeks ago. Ben Affleck and Elizabeth Banks were among those who attended as a way of showing support. Their message: “This movie is not about a game of backyard tiddly winks but it’s devastating art…undeniably alive and probing and hallucinatory.” The conversation point at the Chateau Marmont after-party (hats off to the Netflix guys for offering tons of delicious food) was Affleck having re-imagined Fukunaga’s first name as “Cory.” It became a running joke when John Horn introduced the director-writer-cinematographer as “Cory” Fukunaga as the post-screening q & a began. Bottom line: Beasts is a masterwork — now watch Academy fuddy-duds (i.e., the ones who will be voting for Bridge of Spies and The Martian on their Best Picture ballots) do 100-yard sprints in the opposite direction.
Cary Fukunaga during last night’s post-screening q & at the DGA.
Banging out five or six stories daily requires following through on instincts. You have to throw caution to the wind, dive into the pool and see where it goes. Patti Smith would do this between songs during sets, starting with nothing more than a wisp of a thought and then building it into something cool or revelatory on some level. Well, the Patti Smith muse failed me yesterday when I decided to swan dive into Walton Goggins. I’ve never enjoyed the company of yokel characters in films or have always frowned upon yokel-sounding names, and I just went with a feeling. I was told I would be kicked around for doing so, and I was. I’ve read a version of The Hateful Eight and seen it performed on stage so I know what Goggins’ role is, but I’ve never watched him in The Shield or Justified. No matter how you slice it, ignorance is never something to broadcast. I sounded like Dumbshit McCrackledoodle, and for this I apologize.