Believe it or not there are people out there who would actually prefer the black clunky shoe over the yellow, non-whiteside loafer. They would actually wear shoes like this with contentment and pride. I don’t know what to say to people like this, but the yellows are obviously the only choice. I understand that they might offend certain people, but if you’re into black clunkers I don’t want to know you. Look at how stupidly shiny they are. If I saw you walking in my direction I’d cross the street and pretend to be in a conversation on my phone, keeping my eyes on the sidewalk.
This scene is what sold me on Leonardo DiCaprio‘s potential. Not This Boy’s Life or What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, both of which I respected but didn’t especially like, much less want to see a second time. His performance as Arnie was fascinating but at the same time over-delivered, and I couldn’t stand the sight of his (and Johnny Depp‘s) massively obese mom. The Quick and the Dead struck me as posturing flash-bang. Then came The Basketball Diaries, in which Leo played poet-writer Jim Carroll (who died in 2009) and his desperate, smack-addicted life. After this scene I said to myself, “Okay, sooner or later Leo’s gonna hit big.”
“Lulling” is one word that describes “Pretty Ballerina“, a gently baroque single released in December ’66 by the Left Banke. Definitely lacking in any sense of raunch or territorial machismo, which is striking for a song about a guy consumed by erotic longing for a bandmate’s girlfriend (i.e., Renee Fladen). Michael Brown‘s singing is delicate and dreamy. (I almost wrote wimpy.) You could say it reps a sub-genre of unrequited jukebox love songs — “She’s Not There,” “Girl“, “Walk Away Renee,” “Jesse’s Girl”, etc. Always a soother.
HE to Journo Pally: I’m starting to feel like the alcoholic guy sitting on a barstool inside the Bodega Bay cafe in The Birds. I’ve also become, in a manner of speaking, a born-again Christian. As in “please God, make this thing go away by the mid to late summer, or certainly by Labor Day.”
HE to Adele Haenel and the international #MeToo Community:
Last night I re-watched Roman Polanski‘s The Pianist, which I hadn’t seen for roughly 17 years. I watched it because I’d recently seen Polanski’s J’Accuse, and was reminded of what a brilliant artist he’s always been, especially when the spirit is upon him. Repulsion, Knife in The Water, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, Tess, The Ghost Writer, Cul de Sac — uncomfortable as this may seem to some, there is unmistakable genius in the man. He also radiates (and you really have to be exceptionally stupid to miss this) basic compassion. You can always feel the pulse in a Polanski film.
You can’t watch The Pianist and not say to yourself, “The man who made this clearly knows the horror that Warsaw Jews experienced during the German occupation of the early to mid ’40s, and also knows about love, family and kindness.” I was also reminded that many of the same qualities — frankness, intelligence, scrupulous attention to detail, magnificent visual compositions — are abundant in J’Accuse.
The difference, of course, is that anyone can watch The Pianist, but no one in the U.S. and England can watch J’Accuse in a theatre, on a Bluray or even via streaming.
Because of you guys. Because you believe that Polanski’s rep must be permanently tarred and feathered and therefore J’Accuse, too, must be buried or otherwise scrubbed from existence. Because of reputedly credible accusations of Polanski having behaved badly and perhaps even criminally with certain younger women in the ’70s and ’80s. And because the distribution community is terrified of what you’ll say and do if one of their number would even consider streaming J’Accuse.
Here’s the thing — Polanski the man is not the same thing as Polanski the artist. His depiction of awful or ghastly things in his films (he’s never explored Pollyanic fantasy and escapism) has never conveyed a corrosion or poisoning of his own spirit. He understands what goes, how it all works, who the good guys are. This is quite evident in The Pianist and J’Accuse. But the latter is nonetheless going to be buried for a long time to come, or so I’m told.
To hear it from distributors, the #MeToo community has destroyed any possibility of J’Accuse being seen theatrically in this country, but is it really necessary to keep this truly magnificent and honorable film from being streamed? Prevented from simply being watched and contemplated privately, domestically?
You should understand that this is not a good look for #MeToo. If not now then certainly in the near future and for all time to come.
HE to Parisian distribution sales guy (sent Tuesday night): “How many millions in this pandemic would love to buy access to Roman Polanski‘s J’Accuse? All you have to do is allow streaming from France to the US. Please level with me. You guys aren’t interested in tapping the English-speaking U.S., British and Canadian streaming market because of fears of the French #MeToo community? You’re afraid of what Adele Haenel might say? Is that it? Please forgive me but this seems so wrong.”
Parisian distribution sales guy to HE (late Wednesday night): “To make it simple, no streaming company operating in the UK or US will risk putting Polanski’s J’Accuse on their service. It has nothing to do with the potential customers but rather with the association of the Polanski brand. A streamer takes fewer chances if he/she doesn’t offer a Polanski title than if he/she does. But times may change…”
There is no place on the entire globe in which the coronavirus is more widespread, concentrated or deadly than in the five boroughs of New York City and Northern New Jersey. (NJ’s death toll doubled in two days.) Call it Plague City — a metropolitan death camp. And it’s going to get worse very soon. Fresh ventilators will be gone in a few days’ time, and then bodies will really start piling up. President Trump is mainly giving ventilators to rightwing governors of red and purple states (Florida) and letting the blue states scramble as best they can.
Trump is a malignant sociopath; NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (the source of the “assume you are on your own” quote) is an imperfect human being, of course, but God, the gaping differences between himself and A Toxic Orange…obvious to all but the stupidest people out there, many of whom (as has been pointed out over and over) are Trump loyalists.
Ida Sessions (over the phone): “Are you alone, Mr. Gittes?” Gittes: “Aren’t we all?”
HE’s personal physician, speaking this morning about a recent N.Y. Times article about the alleged effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine:
And yet (and I’m certainly no fan of “Nazi Barbie”**)…
‘Hydroxychloroquine is a game changer and the beginning of the end coronavirus pandemic” — Infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Smith.
** Sasha Stone‘s term for Laura Ingraham.