George Clooney got banged up today in a motorcycle accident in northern New Jersey. The bike he was riding collided with a car and wham… off to Palisades Medical Center and treatment for a broken rib. Clooney’s girlfriend Sarah Larson (described on Clooney Studio as a “model, former waitress and Fear Factor contestant”) suffered a broken foot.
Some of the voice-over dialogue in the first ten or twelve minutes of Juno (Fox Searchlight, 12.14) is a little too clever, but this impression doesn’t linger. An impression that has lingered and is gaining cred by the week is that the film’s screenwriter Diablo Cody is a likely contender for Best Original Screenplay.
I’ve been telling myself this, at least, since seeing Juno at the Toronto Film Festival, but after looking at this 18-month-old video of Cody talking to David Letterman, I’m thinking it’s all but locked. She’s doing a bit here but it’s great material — brash and bawdy but curiously innocent and unaffected.
On top of which there’s this shot of herself she posted last January. The lady reminds me in an odd way of mid ’70s Patti Smith in that she’s absolutely fearless about saying whatever’s on her mind (and without precisely knowing what that might be). There’s also a dose of Sarah Silverman in there along with a little dab of Tallulah Bankhead (although Cody doesn’t sound like a drinker). In short, the stuff of instant legend.
“Don’t tell Bryan Singer, but I want to get through this movie without once giving a Nazi salute. That’s my secret plan. It also denotes rank. Only the desperate go around shooting their arm up in the air all the time. If you’ve got any class, keep your arm down, in my view.” — Valkyrie costar Bill Nighy on his portrayal of anti-Hitler conspirator General Freidrich Olbricht, speaking to the Telegraph‘s John Hiscock.
Postal director Uwe Bohl has passed along some dismissive opinions to the Arizona Daily Star‘s Phil Villarreal: (a) “Steven Spielberg is a great director, but a lot of his movies are not really interesting.” [HE comment — agreed on the “not really interesting” part, but not on the “g” word. Spielberg clearly seemed on the road to greatness in the ’70s and early ’80s, but that illusion has been since dispelled.] (b) “Alexander was shit.” [HE comment — Oliver Stone‘s farts are more interesting than any Bohl film.] (c) “I love Terminator 2 but Titanic is kind of meh. It won the Oscars and then one year later you’re watching it on TV thinking `how did this fucking movie make all this money? I couldn’t stand it anymore.” [HE comment — Titanic‘s deserved success is all about the last 25 minutes.]
A relatively small group of industry journalists — I’m talking maybe 25 or 30 people, if that, not counting their editors — report about movie company kingpins, and particularly about the state of their swaggering egos and the moves they make every so often that affirm and underline their sense of worth, power and entitlement. I for one have never found this stuff interesting. Does anyone?
Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg washing their hands of their two-year-old Paramount deal will have what impact upon the price of rice? Upon the state of movie art and entertainment as it concerns myself and the film-buff community? At best, the SKG departure is something to talk about for one or two minutes at a party.
Who cares if Comcast banned the Alicia Silverstone nude PETA spot in Texas? It’s on You Tube, it’s been seen worldwide….who cares about one cable company and the reaction of some bluenoses in one piddly state? It seems amazing that the L.A. Times (and writer Rene Lynch) thought this was newsworthy.
[Note: a spoiler for people who don’t read book reviews or articles about anything, and who live in dark caves on remote Pacific islands follows] Sean Penn concudes Into The Wild with a long, ambitious, unbroken death scene — a crane shot that’s CG-blended with a helicopter shot that conveys the freeing of Emile Hirsch‘s (i.e, Chris McCandless’s) spirit. It’s a closer — it sells the entire film. Without it, Wild wouldn’t be as good, or at least wouldn’t play as well, without it.
It didn’t exactly remind me of the ending of Jeannot Szwarc‘s Somewhere in Time, but there are similarities.
I spoke to that film’s dp, Isidore Mankofsky, two or three years ago and asked him about the long crane and tracking shot that this 1980 film ends with — the camera looking down at Chris Reeve as he gives up the ghost, and then rising and tracking along, looking down at the doctors as they try to save his life, and then it moving straight ahead down a hallway and toward Reeve’s love interest, played by Jane Seymour.
One thing that the Wild and Time finales share is a double-current feeling. The death of the main character is tragic, but on some kind of ethereal, hard-to-define level it doesn’t seem like a totally bad thing because there’s something joyous being conveyed.
“You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back.” — from Tony Hendra‘s “Deteriorata,” written 35 years ago for the National Lampoon’s Radio Hour. This very thought occured as I was sitting on my bike at a stoplight this morning on Olympic Blvd. I considered the merits and decided otherwise, but I used to swear by flip cynicism when I was younger.