Journo pal: A third-party challenger can take down Trump against the flaccid Democrats. And this is the guy to do it. I hope he runs.
HE: Me too, but of course he’ll most likely wind up splitting the liberal vote, and thus ensuring Trump’s re-election.
Journo pal: If he runs as a serious independent he can peel off Republicans who don’t want to vote for Trump, and there are a lot of those. Democrats are going to make those voters choose between leftie socialism and Trump. But Avenatti can run without all that. So he’ll split the right. He’ll be like Ross Perot, not Bernie.
HE: Perot siphoned off votes from Bush, handing the ’92 election to Bill Clinton.
Journo pal: Yes, exactly. Perot took out George H.W. Bush after one term. That’s what we need. Fracture the right to allow the left to win. Bernie was basically Perot for the right. He ran as a Democrat but he all but destroyed the Democratic Party, handing the election to Trump. We need someone conservatives can vote for without them having to choose socialism. If none of the Republicans have the balls to do it, someone independent might be able to. But I see your point. He’s more likely to draw folks on the left. Maybe James Comey should run.
I never read Frank Herbert‘s “Dune” but I hated, hated, hated David Lynch‘s Dune (’84). I can still remember that feeling of my soul evaporating as I sat in a Universal Studios screening room, watching the damn thing and feeling more and more numb. If there’s one film I don’t want to see remade, it’s fucking Dune, and if someone’s going to remake it anyway Denis Villeneuve‘s handprints are the ones I’d least like to experience. I’m not saying this is the end of Timothee Chalamet, but it’s a a bad, bad thing that he’s probably going to play Kyle MacLachlan‘s role (i.e., Paul Atreides). First he threw Woody Allen under the bus, and now this. I’m guessing that Luca Guadagnino is weeping for poor Timothee right now in Crema. I’m gagging. Hey, Denis…why don’t you get Bradford Young to shoot it?
You don’t need a Masters in Political Science to get Betsy West and Julie Cohen‘s RBG, the hugely successful doc (a $12.5 million gross after nine weeks in theatres) about crusading Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s accessible to anyone — a sturdy, specific portrait of a great feminist jurist.
And yet nine out of ten moviegoers (especially those who flip through supermarket tabloids) will probably be more receptive to On The Basis of Sex (Focus Features, 12.25), the emotional narrative version from director Mimi Leder, and in which Felicity Jones portrays RBG.
Unfortunately there’s an accent problem. Jones clearly hasn’t mastered Ginsberg’s Brooklyn patois, at least in the opinion of yours truly as well as N.Y. Times contributor Bruce Fretts.) I would recommend the hiring of an accent coach and going back into looping sessions. It’s July — the film doesn’t open until Christmas Day. Plenty of time.
Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates and Sam Waterston costar in Leder’s film.
What’s the instant HE community verdict?
In a 7.15 opinion piece titled “Trump, Treasonous Traitor,” N.Y. Times columnist Charles Blow stated the obvious about President Trump. There’s no other way to put it. And yet somehow the general reaction outside the liberal beltway seems to me “well, yeah, Trump’s an asshole…whatever.”
Except treason isn’t a typical asshole trait. Treason is what Benedict Arnold was guilty of, and yet what Trump has done — is continuing to do — is worse. The problem is that millions seem to regard the concept of a cyber attack as somehow ethereal or vaporous. Meanwhile Trump has so spun and muddied the conversation (certainly within the red-hat base) that even “treason” doesn’t seem to be sticking.
Alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said today (Monday, 7.16) in Helsinki that “I don’t see any reason why” Russia would interfere in the 2016 election. Helsinki = Surrender Summit.
Please explain how Blow is exaggerating.
“Whether or not Trump himself or anyone in his orbit personally colluded or conspired with the Russians about their interference is something Mueller will no doubt disclose at some point, but there remains one incontrovertible truth: In 2016, Russia, a hostile foreign adversary, attacked the United States of America. We know that they did it. We have proof. The F.B.I. is trying to hold people accountable for it.
“And yet Donald Trump, the president whom the Constitution establishes as the commander in chief, has repeatedly waffled on whether Russia conducted the attack and has refused to forcefully rebuke them for it, let alone punish them for it.
“Instead, Trump has repeatedly attacked the investigation as a witch hunt.
Initially posted on 11.27.15: The best thing about this photo, which was shot somewhere on the Lower West Side during the spring of ’77, are the folds in the woman’s stockings. That and the eye contact between us and my no-worries expression. And the cigarette. I wasn’t a constant smoker (I would guiltily indulge from time to time and then quit again) but I was definitely stinking of tobacco and nicotine when this shot was taken, and it didn’t seem like a problem. I was half-miserable at the time, but approaching an even more miserable chapter, which was my first three years in NYC (’78, ’79 and ’80) — restaurant jobs, freelance assignments for next to no money, a cockroach-infested apartment on Sullivan Street and then a one-room misery studio on West 4th Street near Jane, bad food (next to no vegetables, tons of sugar), getting half-bombed every other night, typewriter ribbons and white-out, a ghetto blaster and a couple of dozen cassettes for music. And yet for all the fretting and struggling and my particular form of weltschmerz, I was batting somewhere between .333 and .400 with the ladies.
Right now Sen. Elizabeth Warren appears to be the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a 7.15 N.Y. Times story — “Warren Is Preparing for 2020. So Are Biden, Booker, Harris and Sanders” — by Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin. But she doesn’t have that dynamic aura of inevitability that Barack Obama had in ’06. Nobody has that.
I resent Warren for not mounting a tough challenge against Hillary Clinton in ’15 and ’16. If she had she might’ve saved us from Trump. That aside she has a passionate, humanist voice, and is tough and scrappy. I like Sen. Kamala Harris a little more than Warren because she’s even scrappier — you could use the term prosecutorial — and I love the idea of a whipsmart mixed-ethnic woman of 53 (she’ll turn 55 on 10.20.19) running against the dessicated, pot-bellied, none-too-bright Donald Trump, who’ll turn 74 on 6.20.20. Feisty Bernie Sanders will be 78 and 79 in 2020 — a little too old. Ditto the mellow and avuncular Joe Biden, who will turn 77 on 11.20.19. Sen. Cory Booker would be the youngest of them all — he’ll turn 51 on 4.27.20 — but I’m somehow not feeling the fervor.
I’m basically okay with Warren but I like Harris more.
There’s a story behind this fight scene from a YouTube guy named Craig H. I don’t know if it’s true but it sounds good: “Spencer Tracy‘s use of judo was actually suggested by Ernest Borgnine. The latter was talking to director John Sturges about how a one-armed man was going to defeat a strapping two-armed fighter. ‘What about judo?’ Borgnine asked, having learned the martial art in the Navy. So Sturges had Borgnine work out the scene with the stunt men and his double.
“During rehearsals the screen door was left open with Borgnine falling onto mattresses, but during the shooting Sturges locked it. Borgnine plowed into the door and fell to the ground. He was literally dizzy when his character got up and attempted to throw his last punch, which Tracy turned into a one-arm judo flip.” HE quibble: I don’t believe the “literally dizzy” part.
Bilge Ebiri has called Bad Day at Black Rock “one of the greatest films ever made.” I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s definitely a solid stab at a ’50s-styled slow-burn melodrama. Stranger arrives, town sizes him up, hostility simmers, shit hits fan.
Posted on 2.8.17: “What the hell are the residents of Black Rock, California — the tiny hole-in-the-wall ghost town in John Sturges‘ Bad Day at Black Rock — doing there in the first place? No soil, no industry, no oil, no trees, no gold mine, not much groundwater except for the well that the late Kimoko discovered, no lake, no tourists — nothing but rocks and heat and nothing to do except sit around, play cards and scowl.
“What are Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Anne Francis, Walter Brennan and the rest doing there? Are they all…what, living on government relief checks? Why is there a hotel in Black Rock? Who the hell would ever visit?
“Another issue: Are you telling me that in the middle of this parched desert moonscape that Francis’s Liz, the 20something sister of John Ericson‘s Pete, isn’t married or (ahem) ‘seeing’ anyone in town? In a town this dead you know that someone would have stepped up and wooed his way in, and yet Liz could have been played by Thelma Ritter or Mildred Dunnock for all the action she’s getting.
So a few months before they collaborated on the script of Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick and Calder Willingham wrote a screenplay adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s “The Burning Secret“, a 1913 novella involving a mother, her adolescent son and a romantic suitor. The script was submitted to the MGM script department on 10.24.56, but MGM execs didn’t like it and the project fell through. Soon after Kubrick and Willingham co-wrote Paths of Glory and the rest is history.
In 1987 or thereabouts Andrew Birkin, who had worked with Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey and Napoleon, wrote and directed his own film of Burning Secret, also based on the Zweig novella and costarring Klaus Maria Brandauer, Faye Dunaway and David Eberts. It came out in ’88 but didn’t cause much of a stir. And what?
As long as we’re talking about dormant Kubrick projects, whatever happened to the idea of HBO producing a version of Kubrick’s Napoleon, which Cary Fukunaga was going to direct with Steven Spielberg producing? It was announced a little more than two years ago.