On last night’s Real Time with Bill Maher, British activist and former Islamist Maajid Nawaz, whom Maher described as the founder of the “world’s first counter-extremism think tank”, showed up to chat. Nawaz estimated that 23,000 jihadists live in Britain along with 60K-something Islamists, whom Nawaz described as supportive of Jihadism but unwilling to drive cars into crowds of London pedestrians or, you know, blow themselves up or whatever. Again — 23,000 Jihadist nutters in England. I would be disturbed if that number was 2300.
Filed by Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson on 9.16.16: “Holly Hunter stars as an administrator at a southern university who, still mourning her son seven years after his death, sets off on something of a fact-finding mission to discover what exactly happened to him the night that he died, and how his grad-school business plan for a hot-dog restaurant (yup) ended up in the hands of a school friend, who’s now a successful hot-dog entrepreneur.
“Strange Weather is overwritten, with characters speaking in a stilted, presentational style oddly reminiscent of early Dawson’s Creek. But when it’s good, the script has an admirable frankness — it’s refreshingly not coy about its emotions and intents.
“Hunter is earthy and immediate as a mother whose grief has hardened into a paralyzing, everyday anger — often masked by good cheer and a cigarette, but suddenly erupting out of her with the arrival of new information. Hunter’s road-trip pal is the terrific Carrie Coon, and the two have a lively rapport, particularly in one long, bruising scene in which some old secrets are laid bare. Strange Weather maintains its mellow, southern-slowed vibe even through the most emotional stuff, but by the end the film has crept up and delivered a sudden, unexpected punch.”
Why pay to see a film theatrically when you own a first-rate Bluray of same? Or when an HD version is easily streamable? I’ll tell you why. I don’t know why. Okay, to get out of the house. And, I suppose, to savor well-amplified music. In the case of Franc Roddam‘s Quadrophenia, which is showing this evening at the Aero, that would be The Who’s “Quadrophenia” album. Which I saw performed by the actual Who, Keith Moon and all, at the L.A. Forum on 11.23.73.
The ultimate reason is that Quadrophenia, a 1979 release that uses the 1964 Mod vs. Rocker mania as a backdrop, is an unqualified masterpiece. Call me eccentric, but every now and then I feel obliged to pay respect to such films by watching them from the fifth or sixth row with a container of salted popcorn.
“I’ve said this two or three times, but the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve come to realize that this film — loosely based on the Who rock opera and basically the story of Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels) and his identity, friendship and girlfriend issues — belongs in the near-great category. Hands down it delivers one of the craziest, most live-wire recreations of mad generational fervor and ’60s mayhem.” — from a 6.17.12 HE posting.
Excerpts from “Quadrophenia: Jimmy vs. World” by Howard Hampton:
“Quadrophenia is the closest thing England has produced to its own Mean Streets, but its most invigorating aspect is the way it systematically upends expectations. It shares Mean Streets’ dedication to emotional veracity, but its midsixties streets are meaner, more inhospitable — far from the sensual precincts of Little Italy (and from the madding elites of Swinging London). Period songs aren’t given Scorsese’s seductive, exhilarating sheen; these kids aren’t all right, and they’re too wired on pills to really take pleasure in anything but human-pinball aggression.
“Using the Who’s heavyweight score primarily in flashes and spurts, for aural color or outbursts of blocked feeling, the film subtly distances itself from its own soundtrack, holding the music at a certain remove.
All day yesterday I was looking at this video of a happy, groovin’ gorilla — twirling around in a small pool, spirits flying, ecstatic splasharoonie. But on Twitter I kept reading what a terrible thing this was, how the poor beast had been humiliated, that his dignity had been robbed by 21st Century asshats whose default attitude is to regard him as some kind of clown. The people lamenting this were sensitive animal-lover types, whom I’ve always felt a strong kinship with. But c’mon, man…this guy is obviously having a good time. Either animal-rights guys are SJWs who don’t know joy when they see it, or they do recognize it and feel an instinctual revulsion.