Tonight the most insanely corrupt, reality-detached U.S. president in the history of this country (not to mention the most grossly overweight chief executive since William Howard Taft) nominated arch-conservative Brett Kavanaugh, 53, to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Cavanaugh is a hardline rightwing partisan. In the late 1990s, he played a lead role in a Republican attempt to remove President Bill Clinton from office. Kavanaugh was a significant co-author of the Starr Report, which urged the House to impeach Clinton for lying about receiving an Oval office blowjob from White House intern Monica Lewinsky. This 7.4 HE riff was posted when his name was first announced.
This will be my final post about Chris Nolan‘s yellow and teal-tinted version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which began playing in theatres starting last month and which will apparently be the visual basis for the forthcoming 4K Bluray that will “street” on 10.30. My last post, I mean, before the 4K version pops and I can review it.
If you have any regard for how 2001 has generally looked over the decades (theatrical projection, cable, VHS, laser disc, DVD, Bluray, high-def streaming) but especially on WHE’s 2007 Bluray, which is far and away the best purchasable version as we speak, there’s no way to regard the Nolan-ized version as anything but an outlier.
I personally think it’s a tragedy that Warner Bros. has spent over seven figures in order to add a piss-yellow tint to Kubrick’s 1968 classic and to change the color of the walls in the trippy French Chateau sequence at the finale into a very loud green instead of blue. I believe that the ghost of Stanley Kubrick is fuming and pounding the refrigerator door as he watches this happen. Nolan’s unrestored 70mm version has the wrong color tints…period. On top of which the man is allegedly red-green color blind. On top of which he didn’t even see the original 70mm 2001 when it opened roadshow in April ’68, as was he was born in July 1970.
Nolan’s non-restoration is doubly tragic because the seven-figure cost has lessened the likelihood that a serious, true-color 4K restoration of 2001 will ever be funded. I’ve been told that the 2001 negative is 95% in good shape, and that a proper 4K UHD restoration would not be a horrifically difficult thing.
I was told last weekend, in fact, that Warner Bros. has possession of the back-up YCM masters of the entire film. Using the negative would more than suffice, but WB could use the YCMs to fully restore the film to its original (or even better) digital glory. Yes, it would be an expensive exercise to do 8K scans of each of the YCM black-and-white “masters” and then pay for the realignment of these 50-year old celluloid elements to generate at new digital master of the film. And yet this would probably be superior to any 70mm print ever made of 2001, and the yellow and teal scheme would be out the window and gone for good.
“We’re in an unprecedented moment in the White House. The Trump family and and Kushner family have not taken the necessary steps to fully divest themselves from their business interests, and make sure that these business interests don’t overlap or directly intersect with the policies they’re pursuing in the White House. We’ve never had anything like this in the United States.” — business journalist Tim O’Brien, author of “TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald” (’05).
“TrumpNation” Wikipage: “O’Brien, citing three anonymous people who worked with Trump, wrote in the book that Trump ‘was not remotely close to being a billionaire,’ stating that his actual net worth ranged between $150 million and $250 million. During interviews and book-signings O’Brien called Trump a ‘faux millionaire,’ a ‘train wreck,’ ‘the walking embodiment of financial pornography’ and a ‘serial bankruptcy addict.’ Trump’a lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Michele M. Fox on 7.15.09.”
The flying junket-journo brigade will soon leave for Paris and the big Mission: Impossible — Fallout premiere (the first showing is on Thursday, 7.12) and subsequent junket interviews. I’ve junket-whored a few times (most notably in England and Great Messenden with Fox Searchlight’s Fantastic Mr. Fox in the fall of ’09 and then in Berlin five years later for The Grand Budapest Hotel) and it’s a great way to go. You arrive in the big gleaming city and stay in a really nice, corporate-aroma hotel and eat nothing but great free food, and there’s this constant voice telling you that you’ve definitely done something right in your life to warrant such lavish attention. If I was better at this game I would be off to Paris in a few hours, actually leaving tomorrow and arriving early Wednesday and doing the whole Parisian lah-dee-dah for three days. I’m genuinely sorry I’m not doing this, in part because I’ve been sensing all along that I’ll probably like Mission: Impossible — Fallout.
Tab Hunter, the closeted ’50s teen heartthrob who became a gay icon later in life, died last night at his Santa Barbara home. His partner Allan Glaser told Variety‘s Brent Lang that the cause of death was a heart attack. Hunter was 86.
Hunter was an amiable, really good-looking ’50s guy. His career soared and than tapered off within that decade. His first ’50s film was Island of Desire (’52 — aka Saturday Island) with Linda Darnell. His big breakout happened in ’55 when he played Danny, a naive young Marine, in Raoul Walsh‘s Battle Cry. (His character has an affair with sultry Dorothy Malone, but ends up marrying small-town girl Mona Freeman.) The third most popular film of ’55, Battle Cry cemented Hunter’s rep as a hot young actor who was modestly talented.
Hunter’s peak moment happened three years later with Damn Yankees, in which he played Washington Senators baseball star Joe Hardy — actually a 50ish Senators fan named Joe Boyd who’s been made into a strapping young athlete by the devil (i.e., Ray Walston‘s Applegate).
Yorgos Lanthimos‘ The Favourite is apparently a perverse, absurdist Peter Greenaway film, albeit with a less of a static framing aesthetic and more action fluidity. It’s actually seems to be a mixture of Greenaway and early-’70s Richard Lester with a sprinkling of Ken Russell.
The basic idea is that royalty is eccentric bordering on insane, and that people around the royals are obliged to behave or respond accordingly or, you know, follow suit in some fashion.
Boilerplate: “A bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. At the center of the story is the Queen herself (Olivia Colman), whose relationship with her confidante, adviser and clandestine lover Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) is turned upside down by the arrival of the Duchess’s younger cousin Abigail (Emma Stone). Soon the balance of power shifts between the women as they jockey for influence with the Queen and the court.”
Cowritten by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Costarring Mark Gatiss, Joe Alwyn and Nicholas Hoult. The dp is Robbie Ryan (American Honey, I, Daniel Blake). A Fox Searchlight release, opening on 11.23. A likely Venice, Telluride and/or Toronto attraction.
Six months ago Jodie Foster gave her “Hollywood fracking” quote to Radio Times‘ Michael Hodges. The quote has stuck with me ever since, but I never mentioned it in this column. “Studios making bad content” — i.e., the explosion of CG superhero-franchise jizz-whizz bullshit eye candy over the last 12 to 15 years — “in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking,” she said. “You get the best return right now but you wreck the earth.”
This trend, she said, is “ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world.”
I would amend that the viewing tastes of downmarket Millennials and GenXers were all but set in stone by the early aughts — they wanted their viewing habits to be ruined. By some kind of instinct or solemn decree or mass consensus they decided two or three years after 9/11 that traditional narrative drama (you know, the thing that began with the Greeks and Romans a couple of thousand years ago and had pretty much dominated until the late 1990s) had to be relegated to television and that megaplexes were by and large waiting to become high-adrenaline, theme-park experiences.