Why would the original architect of the stone tower that housed the laboratory that Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and Dr. Noah Pretorious (Ernest Thesiger) created the Bride of Frankenstein in…why would that architect have created a wooden death lever that, if pulled downwards, would reduce the tower to absolute rubble? What kind of self-destructive, looey-tunes architect would do such a thing?
Am I missing something? Why would anyone claim that Donald Trump has little to worry about because the activities of the three guys whom Robert Mueller indicted this morning — Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos — don’t throw direct shade upon him? Mueller has thrown the book at Manafort and Gates and the former in particular (tax dodging, money laundering, failing to file as a foreign agent) as part of a squeeze play. He’s holding Manafort’s feet to the fire in order to persuade him to flip on Trump. Fairly basic stuff. This plus an announcement that Papadopoulos has pled guilty and has been helping prosecutors in a “proactive” way (i.e., wearing a wire?). When and if Manafort winds up being sentenced to jail, Trump will probably pardon him. On the other hand more than a few of Manafort’s criminal charges are state-level, I’ve read, and Trump has no power over that state prosecutors. And this is all just starting to happen. Sooner or later, Trump’s string will run out. Would he dare fire Mueller? If he does, he only hastens his demise.
“Far from a conventional biographical documentary, Arthur Miller: Writer, which had its world premiere in Telluride, offers a highly personal portrait of the American playwright who died in 2005. Rebecca Miller, herself an acclaimed filmmaker (Personal Velocity, Maggie’s Plan), is also Miller’s daughter by his third wife, photographer Inge Morath. Rebecca narrates the film herself and includes her own interviews with her father, which she filmed over the last 25 years of his life. As she says at the start of the film, she has been working on the project “almost my entire adult life.” The result is fascinating, often moving, if also incomplete. It will premiere on HBO next spring.” — from Stephen Farber‘s 9.9.17 Hollywood Reporter review. An invitational screening will happen a few days hence in West Hollywood.
I too thought it strange and perverse when I read that Kevin Spacey has decided to simultaneously (a) “sincerely apologize” for having allegedly assaulted Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp 31 years ago, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 27, and (b) come out as a gay man. It seemed inappropriate and opportunistic to have done so.
Not to mention the fact that Spacey announcing his sexual orientation hardly qualifies as surprising or even noteworthy to anyone on the planet. If someone wants to play his or her career cards from the alleged safety of the closet, fine — no one’s business but their own. But no one should out themselves while responding to an allegation of sexual assault on a minor.
“Coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “This is not a coming-out story about Kevin Spacey, but a story of survivorship by Anthony Rapp and all those who bravely speak out against unwanted sexual advances. The media and public should not gloss over that.”
Earlier today Michelangelo Signorile wrote a pretty strong piece about this for the Huffington Post.
I’ve been shooting pellets at Rob Reiner‘s LBJ, which pops this Friday (11.3). I saw it a few weeks ago at the Toronto Film Festival, and remarked that it feels like a dutiful, going-through-the-motions thing. I’ve mentioned that Woody Harrelson looks strange under that heavy makeup, and that his accent sounds more like Carson Wells, the bounty hunter he played in No Country For Old Men, than the speaking style of the nation’s 36th President.
But the main stopper (and the more I think about this the more confounding it seems) is Reiner’s bizarre decision to focus on roughly the same period covered by Jay Roach‘s Emmy-winning All The Way (HBO, 5.21.16), or LBJ’s Vice-Presidential years, JFK’s assassination in Dallas, and pushing through the ’64 Civil Rights bill. If Reiner had focused on LBJ’s Vietnam War-related downfall (’66 to ’68), he could have mined dramatically unexplored territory (outside of the realm of documentaries, I mean) and delivered a seriously sad tale that would’ve really hit home.
Anyone who’s seen David Grubin‘s LBJ, the four-hour PBS American Experience doc, knows what I’m talking about. Observations in the doc’s prelude say it all: Johnson’s saga is “a tragedy…he’s the central character in a struggle of moral importance ending in ruin” due to the Vietnam War.” [Johnson] was a “thoroughly American president, a man who reflected American moods and attitudes and contradictions and trends, and when he failed, it was America’s failure.” These two especially: “Few Presidents would suffer such a swift and tragic fall” and “this was a man who was so big, who reached so far and made it and then let the whole thing crumble…I think it’s one of the great stories of history.”
Reiner knew that Robert Schenkkan‘s All The Way had made a big impact on the Broadway stage, and obviously knew while he was preparing his project that an HBO version of the play, in which Bryan Cranston would repeat his Tony Award-winning performance, would beat him to the punch. But instead of switching gears and focusing on Johnson’s tragic demise, Reiner decided to mine almost the exact same territory. What was he thinking?
LBJ was in some ways a man of coarse appetites and whims, a hill-country Texan who occasionally muttered the N-word, and yet he grew out of the mentality of a Southern segregationist in the pocket of oil interests and became the most dynamic and accomplished social liberal of the 20th Century, certainly in terms of pushing through social legislation. But it all went to hell as he sank further and further into the swamp of Southeast Asia.
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