I for one am horrified by a certain clip from the new trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s We Are Who We Are (HBO series, eight episodes). I’m referring to the moment when Jack Dylan Grazer (It, Shazam) appears to be laughingly on the verge of shearing off Jordan Kristine Seamon‘s hair. They’re both loving the moment….the fuck? (HE to Guadagnino: Head-shaving is never, ever a laughing matter.) Grazer plays an introverted mid-teen from New York who’s just arrived at an Italian military base with his gay moms, played by Chloe Sevigny and Alice Braga. Seamon plays Caitlin, a settled teenager who has lived on the base for several years.
Chloé Zhao‘s Nomadland (Searchlight) will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival on the same date — September 11, 2020. It will also screen at the New York Film Festival, or so the press release says.
It should be noted that Nomadland is a potential Best Picture contender with no apparent politically correct demerits — Frances McDormand starring, directed and written by Zhao, based on Jessica Bruder‘s book, compassion for disenfranchised people, white male currents subordinate.
The wokesters will be down with it, and old-school males will want to vote for it in order to convey their support for women filmmakers and to show they’re in the swing of things.
The Venice debut will apparently be physically real and theatrical; the Toronto debut will be digital. Who knows if the NYFF showing will happen with a live audience? Here’s hoping.
Around noon we walked into town along the blazing white beach, and the heat (99 or 100 degrees) was so intense I began to feel like Gasim gasping for air and close to collapsing in the Nefud desert. I almost couldn’t see for the perspiration. I lost around seven pounds in the space of 60 minutes.
Posted from lounge chair on outdoor patio in 94-degree heat, and with shitty wifi to boot:
Four essential performances were given by the late, great Olivia de Havilland: (a) Maid Marian in Michael Curtiz’s Robin Hood (‘37) , (b) Melanie Wilkes in Gone With The Wind (‘39), (c) the disturbed victim in Anatole Litvak’s The Snake Pit (‘48). and (d) the vaguely gullible woman-of-means in William Wyler’s The Heiress (‘49).
There were other sturdy performances, but these four were the keepers. Have I seen every noteworthy Olivia de Havilland performance? No. The truth is that I found her virtuousness (which was always a central eiement) deflating and…I’ll leave it at that.
She was a fine, classy, top-tier thesp, for sure, but I gradually chose to regard OdH as more of a maidly vibe or a classic chastity brand than an actress for all moods and seasons — the intrepid woman of Paris, pushing on, the never-say-die trooper, sometimes riding her bicycle and occasionally speaking with THR’s Scott Feinberg.
This may sound like a putdown, but she never conveyed even the faintest hint of eroticism…not the slightest sniff. This is what almost all leading actors and actresses do, after all — they invite you to sense the aroma. Nor could you imagine her sister, Joan Fontaine, succumbing to any such impulse. Okay, perhaps Joan occasionally thought about intimacy but that’s all. My sense is that Olivia, by the measure of her screen performances, never even did that.
OdH passed this morning (or last night) at age 104. Sweet dreams, gentle waters.
Regis Philbin, John Saxon, Olivia de Havilland — the trilogy is complete.
Early this morning Jill Blake conveyed delight after turning a daughter (or some younger person) on to To Catch A Thief, particularly in response to the younger person’s request to see a film with Cary Grant “running around.”
Being a special kind of asshole, I jumped in with an anecdotal mansplainer. I pointed out that Grant doesn’t “run” anywhere in that 1955 Alfred Hitchcock classic but “scampers” cat-like across French rooftops. For this I received a hale and hearty “fuck off!”, which needed an extra “douchebag!” to really drive the point home.
On Facebook Paul Schrader asked which kissing scenes deliver the best currents. In all candor the flying-and-kissing scene between Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried in Schrader’s own First Reformed is one of the all-time greats. I’m also thinking of that mad-hunger moment between Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis in Witness. Along with the usual-usuals.
Update; Apologies for forgetting Kyra Sedgewick’s name while posting about that “Moon River” kiss with Tom Cruise.
I just finished reading Anne Applebaum’s “History Will Judge The Complicit,” an Atlantic article about the differences between go-along collaborators vs. independent contrarians in politics, and with a particular focus on once semi-respectable Republicans who’ve abandoned principle by kowtowing to The Beast.
But the following passage also applies, I feel, to go-along film critics who routinely give thumbs-up reviews to films that they know deep down are mediocre, substandard or worse. One of the motivating factors in handing out “easy lay” reviews is that it feels comforting and almost peaceful to do so.
Here’s how Applebaum describes the mentality: