Being here anyway for Jett and Cait’s wedding, I decided to soak up a little Manhattan. Arrived today at 1:45 pm, staying until late Monday afternoon. I’m crashing in a small space on West 75th, a half block from Central Park West and right around the corner from the San Remo. Summery weather, shirtsleeves, etc.
Few things in life are more soothing, to me, than Martin Scorsese‘s conversational speaking voice. The Scorsese-narrated doc that first got me was My Voyage to Italy. My all-time favorite is still A Letter to Elia, which Marty made with Kent Jones. Of all the online instructionals being peddled, this is the only one I’d like to really settle into. Yes, I know Scorsese has just begun filming The Irishman here in the NYC area, but I didn’t find the set photos (Marty, De Niro, Pesci) the least bit interesting.
I haven’t re-watched Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s 21 Grams since the initial run…Jesus, 14 years ago. I never bought the 2009 Canadian Bluray, but I’m thinking of getting the upcoming Universal Bluray, which pops on 10.31. I wasn’t the only one who felt totally turned around by this somber masterpiece. Costars Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro were nominated for Oscars, but didn’t prevail. Watts was handed a Best Actress trophy by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
I’m not an ESPN guy, much less a follower of NBA pro basketball, still less of the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before this morning the only curry I knew or cared about was the Indian food seasoning, and the last time I paid any serious attention to Lebron James was when I writing about Trainwreck two years ago. But Stephen Curry (of the Golden State Warriors) and especially James (of the Cavaliers) are my new heroes after their tussle today with President Trump.
At an Alabama political rally yesterday Trump urged NFL owners to fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem out of protest, and later seemed to disinvite Curry from some kind of traditional White House visit. Then James tweeted a perfect “fuck you” to Trump: “U bum. Steph Curry already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” Then the Warriors declined to attend en masse. Or did that happen before the James tweet?
The whole push-comes-to-shove was basically about racial animus. Trump is a pathetic, intemperate clown — bullshit, bluster, run-at-the-mouth punk.
If I’d been James, I would’ve gone with a more colorful and anachronistic “ya bum ya!”
Lang wrote that if you bypass inflationary calculus, It‘s domestic gross of $236.3 million tops The Exorcist‘s domestic tally of $232.9 million and is therefore, narrowly defined, the all-time champ. Except you have to apply inflationary calculus, and with an inflation rate of 453% having occured between 1973 and today…well, figure it out.
If you toss out Lang’s Exorcist tally of nearly $233 million and concentrate solely on theatrical revenues from the original ’73 and ’74 run, the domestic Exorcist gross was $193 million. In 2017 dollars that’s $1,067,233,490, or $67 million north of $1 billion. It‘s drawing power is far from spent, but right now The Exorcist‘s ’70s tally is over four times higher than It‘s current gross.
The most accurate measure of the popularity of any film is, of course, admissions. I haven’t time to research those statistics right now (have to catch a noon train back to NYC) but perhaps the readership can dig into it in the meantime.
There’s also the indisputable fact that It sucks and The Exorcist is a masterpiece, at least by the relative standards and criteria of the horror genre. 44 years ago it was regarded by critics as a piece of brutal, assaultive manipulation, but on a contemporary side-by-side basis it’s obvious that Friedkin’s film is head and shoulders above the chain-jerk, shock-and-boo tactics of It.
“This is the existential crisis of our President…he’s an asshole but he’s not a hick. He represents one group but belongs to another. When Trump watches The Beverly hillbillies, he roots for Mr. Drysdale. When he says [to hinterland schmucks] ‘I Love you,’ what he means is that in Middle America he found something that he long ago ran out of in New York — suckers. Trump voters were played for rubes by the ultimate fast-talking city slicker.” — from last night’s (9/22) broadcast of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
Trump wishes NFL owners would tell anthem protesters "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" pic.twitter.com/gq4EH3lNoY
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 23, 2017
The Paramount marketing guys asked me to approve some of my mother! quotes for possible use in this ad. Alas, I didn’t make the cut.
I understand why they didn’t approve “mother! is as valid and pungent a piece of social criticism as Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby and Bunuel’s The Exterminating Angel” — your typical megaplex maven probably doesn’t have clue #1 who Polanski and Bunuel were. But I don’t get why they blew off “mother! may be the single most profound explanation or dramatization of the saying that ‘hell is other people.’” You don’t have to be educated or worldly to relate to that concept.
If you were to screen mother! for 100 of the dumbest movie fans of all time but first tell them this Jean Paul Sartre quote is what it’s about, a good portion would probably say they like it. If you lead sheep to a nice patch of grass and tell them “if you’re hungry, go ahead,” a lot of them will chow down.
Incidentally: There’s actually a contingent of SJWs who’ve objected to this poster image because, they feel, it condones violence against women. Really. Some people have actually said this.