No one has ever been delighted about driving to Las Vegas in the pouring rain, but we’ll most likely manage. Somewhere out there it’ll ease up. Road trips are like showers — they launch fresh dreams and imaginings. I might try to file a couple of stories along the way.
Statement #1: I’m sorry but I never really watched this 2017 Patron commercial until this morning. Statement #2: It’s very well written…honest, personal, thoughtful. Statement #3: I love, love, love Guillermo’s purring voice, especially his elegant accent and supreme phrasing.
GDT on observation deck of Empire State Building, sometime around ’83 or so, 19 or 20 years old.
I’m doing my usual convos with Academy members, but I’d like to step outside the arena. Any AMPAS members who’ve just voted or are fixing to vote and want to share their thinking, please share your preferences. No names, no hints, no nothing — I’d just like to kick it around and pass it along. Or if you have a “friend” in the Academy…same difference.
Over 40 heavy-hitters have signed a letter of protest to the Academy, calling for a reversal of the decision to present Oscars for best cinematography, editing, production design, sound and VFX during commercial breaks.
The signers have called this plan “nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.”
The signers include (a) directors Damien Chazelle, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Spike Jonze, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Dee Rees, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, (b) producer Seth “Rogan” and (c) cinematographers Dion Beebe, Bill Bennett, Roger Deakins, Caleb Deschanel, Robert Elswit, Janusz Kaminski, Ed Lachman, Emmanuel Lubezki, Anthony Dod Mantle, Seamus McGarvey, Chris Menges, Reed Morano, Phedon Papamichael, Wally Pfister, Rodrigo Prieto, Robert Richardson, John Seale, Vittorio Storaro, John Toll and Hoyte van Hoytema.
Almost simultaneously, AMPAS officers have issued a letter blaming “inaccurate reporting and social media posts, [resulting in] a chain of misinformation that has understandably upset many Academy members.”
The letter said that “all 24 award categories will be presented on stage in the Dolby Theatre, and included in the broadcast.” It said that “the four winning speeches will be included in the broadcast.” It explained that the four “commercial break” categories “were volunteered by their branches to have their nominees and winners announced by presenters, and included later in the broadcast.” And it declared that “in future years, four to six different categories may be selected for rotation, in collaboration with the show producers…this year’s categories will be exempted in 2020.”
I despise Las Vegas but Tatyana has never been so what the hell. We’ll be crashing at Bally’s hotel and casino for a couple of days. Driving out Thursday morning, returning Saturday or Sunday. I don’t gamble but Tatyana wants to give it a taste. I tried to teach her the basics of blackjack yesterday. All I care about is hiking through Red Rock Canyon. That and catching Bill Maher‘s 10 pm show at the Mirage on Friday night.
Earlier today a certain party suggested that Hollywood Elsewhere is some kind of horrific site, or words to that effect. I’m horrific, the commenters are horrific…something in that vein. I don’t think so, but here’s how I replied:
So we’re talking about core human values amongst industry blogaroos? Okay, I’ll give it a shot. Richard Rushfield is an actual human being, but not everyone is. How gentle and compassionate is Pete Hammond? Very, I would actually say. Sasha Stone is another real-deal human being. How close to God and the infinite is Tom O’Neil? (Only Tom can say.) How many blind people have been escorted across busy streets by Kris Tapley?
Where does Michael Musto rank on a one-to-ten scale of kindness and compassion? How often does the gimlet-eyed Greg Ellwood smile serenely and let the alpha seep out? (Or in?) Steve Pond possesses kindness and general humanity, but can the same be said of Sharon Waxman? (I’m asking.) Jordan Ruimy and Scott Feinberg are human beings, but as William S. Burroughs once said to a gathering at Madison Square Garden, “Some people are shits.”
How many daily columnists have experienced LSD satori at a relatively young age, as I did? How many Oscar columnists have gotten married less than two years ago, lost two cats to disease over the past 18 months, suffered through a skin cancer operation, been stiffed by Sundance (with the gracious help of “the incel” Scott Weinberg) and presided over the births of six kittens within the last few weeks?
Who gets to stand behind the pulpit and say “you are a very good person but you, unfortunately, are not”? Especially if that pulpit condemner has a habit of scowling at people at parties.
Jett is in town for business. Staying in the Silver Lake area. Around 5:40 pm we met for a light dinner at Angelini Osteria, and then we drove over to the Lodge Room in Highland Park to see Blood Cultures. They’re into anonymity, these guys, hence the Zodiac headgear. I’ve been to grimmer neighborhoods than Highland Park (southeast of Glendale, just west of South Pasadena) but not lately. Under-40 types are living there for the cheaper rents. Depressing. Lemme outta here. An hour’s drive back to West Hollywood.
A voice is telling me it’s better to just leave the Beatles alone. Just let the songs and recordings they made between ’62 and ’70…just let them continue to simmer and culturally marinate and influence whomever. Or not influence anyone…whatever. Just let people listen to their stuff any way they want to.
All to say that movies like Yesterday…I don’t know, man, but I’m feeling really, really scared.
Boilerplate: “Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie (Lily James). Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that the Beatles have never existed — and he finds himself with a very complicated problem. Kate McKinnon also stars.”
Five days ago Roma‘s Alfonso Cuaron complained to Deadline‘s Joe Utichi about negative, dirty Oscar campaigning.
Cuaron implied that black-hearted producers or distributors or Oscar-season strategists are behind the attempted takedowns, but he didn’t even allude to the p.c. Stalinist cabal that tried to destroy Green Book‘s Oscar chances. C’mon…that was easily the ugliest takedown attempt of them all.
Nor did Cuaron acknowledge the pinched and joyless critics who did everything in their power to denigrate Bohemian Rhapsody, in defiance of the simple-minded, ticket-buying boobs plus the Golden Globe, Critics Choice, SAG and BAFTA voters who insisted on loving the film, or certainly Rami Malek‘s lead performance.
Why didn’t Cuaron point an accusing finger at the SJW Stalinists and the elitist snobs? Because the politically correct Stalinists and the snobs are foursquare behind Roma because of the hooray-for-Yalitza diversity thing, and he doesn’t want to alienate his base of support.
“It’s just so ridiculous,” Cuarón said. “[And] it’s getting more intense all the time. The awards season should be a celebration. [But] there are some in this industry of awards season — which has its own life and has become its own entity — that operate in a different way than how filmmakers operate. It turns this season into something very competitive.
“This industry has turned everything into something a bit more vicious. The sad thing is it has become almost like a projection of how political campaigns are nowadays. Rather than politicians showing a vision, it’s about throwing dirt to the opponent. So rather than strengthening the values — and I’m not talking moral values, but the artistic merits of a film and the influence it may be having — it’s about trying to push the others down.
“I find that very sad. And I hope there’s a way — though I’m not sure there is — that it can be regulated by the Academy. I don’t know how.”
Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil has urged all GD guesstimators to update their Oscar predictions as Academy members are balloting as we speak.
I replied that I updated three days ago, and for the TWISTED SIN of SENSING THAT GREEN BOOK MIGHT JUST BEAT ROMA because of the preferential ballot advantage it’s presumed to have (Roma is thought to be either at the VERY TOP or VERY BOTTOM of many lists, certainly among the blue-haired Netflix haters) and because there’s a community out there that apparently feels distanced or detached from Roma, in part because, as Michael Musto said during a GD video podcast in mid-January, the first half of Roma is about Yalitza Aparacio mopping, cleaning and making beds…
BECAUSE OF THIS I’VE BEEN TOLD I’M JUDAS ISCARIOT by certain parties…this despite the fact there are (or were as of three days ago) only two GD know–it–alls predicting a Green Book win.
I know in my head and heart that Roma is finer, richer, more artful, and more deserving of a Best Picture Oscar. I wrote a few days ago that voters will feel better about themselves if it wins, and I’ve been praising it to the heavens all along, but because I confessed I’m sensing a PREFERENTIAL BALLOT GREEN BOOK ADVANTAGE, I’m a conniving, disloyal or overly impressionable ne’er-do-well who has a date with the proverbial woodshed.
As God is my witness I’ve always been a Roma admirer, worshipper, supporter.
I’ve put 80% of my award-season passion into (a) praising COLD WAR, (b) rallying the troops who felt all along that A STAR IS BORN was overhyped and that Kris Tapley overplayed his hand early last September, and (c) pushing back against the SJW Stalinist comintern boot–camp brigade in their attempted (but FAILED!) takedown campaign against GREEN BOOK.
Now I’m just average common too. I’m just like him and the same as you. I’m fairly liberal to a degree. I want everybody to be free.
When I buy cat food, I try to imagine what brands and flavors I’d want to eat if I were a cat. That means a lot of dry food — chicken-flavored pellets and cereal-like munchies. As far as “wet” foods are concerned, I decide based on how the various Fancy Feast servings smell when I dish them onto the cat plate. That automatically means no pate-like servings. I don’t like grilled cat dinners either. I only like the sliced and flaked kind.
Note: Anya, our two-year-old Siamese, eats a variety of fruits and vegetables — tomatoes, avocados, watermelon — as well as yogurt, cheese, toasted bread, sour cream. She doesn’t like bananas but she likes clam soup. And vanilla ice cream.