Don Siegel‘s The Killers (’64) was shot for TV but then dumped in theatres when Universal execs realized it was too violent for home viewing. The flat, harsh lighting by Richard L. Rawlings is beyond ugly — no character or personality, everything awash in light. But Ronald Reagan does some decent acting in this, his final scene in his final film. That moment when he realizes he’s about to be shot by Lee Marvin, and then glances at the money he’s going to be shot for, and then seems to say to himself, “I’m dying for a bunch of paper?”
The Kevin Spacey factor has torpedoed a plan to screen Ridley Scott‘s All The Money In The World as the closing-night attraction at the forthcoming AFI Fest on 11.16, even though distributor Sony Pictures is sticking with the original 12.22 release date and not, as was rumored earlier today, planning to delay the opening until June 2018.
HE applauds Sony Pictures’ decision to hold its ground with the 12.22 debut but disagrees with the decision to yank it from the AFI Fest slot.
Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg in Ridley Scott’s All The Money In The World (Sony, 12.22).
Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty.
The distributor said in a statement that “a film is not the work of one person…there are over 800 other actors, writers, artists, craftspeople and crew who worked tirelessly and ethically on this film, some for years, including one of cinema’s master directors…it would be a gross injustice to punish all of them for the wrongdoings of one supporting actor in the film. Accordingly, the film will open wide as planned on December 22.”
Yeah, but it’s necessary to deny these same tireless workers their one night of big-media glory at the AFI Fest.
Sony is saying, in effect, that they want to respect and honor the communal effort that All The Money In The World represents, but they feel that premiering the film at AFI Fest ten days from now is too soon.
Celebrating and promoting Scott’s film from late November until the 12.22 opening is cool. But celebrating and promoting it several days hence is a no–go because right now the radioactive Spacey cloud that’s hovering over Los Angeles is too gaseous and toxic.
What Sony really means is that an All The Money in the World premiere would offend the progressive Hollywood community and particularly the victims of sexual harassment and assault who wrote all of those “me too” statements. Not premiering it at AFI Fest is a gesture that says “this will hurt a bit commercially, but we understand and support the sea-change movement that’s happening right now and so we’re holding off on the closing-night thing.”
The best talking-head comment in Alexandre Philippe‘s 78/52, a detailed examination and celebration of the slasher shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho, comes from director Peter Bogdanovich. Psycho opened at the DeMille theatre (B’way and 47th) on 6.16.60, and the fledgling journalist and soon-to-be MOMA film programmer was there for the first show. Bodganovich was 20 years old. After it ended he staggered out into the Times Square sunlight: “I felt as if I’d been raped.”
I was intrigued and diverted by 78/52 as far as it went. If you’re any kind of Hitchcock buff it’ll feel like mother’s milk. But the aspect that really got me was Robert Muratore’s black-and-white cinematography. The 91 minute doc was captured digitally so that classic, faintly grainy celluloid atmosphere is missing, but God, the silvery bath quality is magnificent.
HE to GDT (sent this morning): “Your thoughts about Hitchcock and Psycho deliver the usual insight and erudition, but that aside you look really great in this thing. The crisp, silvery black & white cinematography and the exquisite, just-so key lighting and the way it makes your eyes and hair glisten are major stand-outs.
“By the way, 78/52 was shot on some kind of ‘50s-era Bates Motel set, but where? At some out-of-the-way, non-pro location or one of the sound stages?”
The 78/52 interviewees include Bret Easton Ellis, Neil Marshall, Elijah Wood, Danny Elfman, Karyn Kusama, Apocalypse Now editor Walter Murch, Jamie Lee Curtis and Osgood Perkins (son of Anthony).