Do I look like I’m negotiating, friendo? I’m already pregnant so what kind of milkshake-slurping could I get into? Except for ruining the love life of my older sister and her lower-class boyfriend by bearing false witness? I am Sheba, the reincarnation of Shirley Booth!
During an interview today with Hardball‘s Chris Matthews, former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said the science hasn’t been proven on global warming and that it’s “arrogant” to say that climate chance is “man-made.” He also said there could be absolutely no circumstance that could justify the restriction of the availability of certain firearms. Seconds later my stomach was swimming in acid and doing somersaults. Some people are flat-out evil.
One definition of a good movie-reappraisal piece is that it makes you want to see the film in question again, even though your own aesthetic determinations for the last couple of decades have steered you away from this. Mark Harris‘s 2.5 Slate article about the 40th anniversary DVD of In The Heat of the Night is such a piece of writing.
Norman Jewison‘s 1967 police thriller put me to sleep with I first saw it, and I’d be hugely surprised if it didn’t have the same effect again. But thanks to Harris, I’ll be giving it a go. Despite Rod Steiger‘s cracker accent, which is pretty close to chalk on a blackboard. Despite the stacked-deck plot. Despite the rectitude of Sidney Poitier, which can be difficult to take. I would actually love to see it remade as a ’60s period comedy costarring Will Ferrell as Police Chief Bill Gillespie and Chris Rock as Det. Virgil Tibbs.
I haven’t read any credible columnist, pundit or statistic suggesting much less asserting that Hillary Clinton is more electable than Barack Obama against John McCain in the general election. N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof made the Obama-is-more-electable case is a column posted this morning (or last night). I’d like to read an argument that says otherwise, just for fun.
When I think of Valentine’s Day, I usually imagine a bunch of Chicago hoods getting machine-gunned to death back in 1929. But this year is different. Partly because I’m in a great relationship groove (God has smiled down), and partly because there’s a stand-out Valentine’s Day Word Theatre event happening on Thursday, 2.14 at Social (formerly the Hollywood Athletic Club) that will be refreshingly free of the usual trite, mawkish sentiments that tend to coagulate on this romantic holiday.
It’s called “Hot Flicks: Love Scenes from the Silver Screen.” The performers will be Richard Schiff, Illeana Douglas, Chris Gorham, Amanda Seyfried (star of the forthcoming Mamma Mia!), the great Donal Logue (Zodiac, The Tao of Steve), Christina Pickles, Kali Rocha, Michael Rodgers, Toni Trucks, and Raviv Ullman.
I’ve been to Word Theatre events before and know something about the experience. It’s like seeing a first-rate play without the acts or the scenery or the makeup or the blackouts or the tight seating. And with gifted actors, a classy clientele, excellent hors d’oeuvres and (if you’re so inclined) booze.
Good love-scene movie dialogue is hard to come by. Mainly because filmmakers don’t tend to believe in it. Moments of longing, hunger, unrequited love, tenderness or spiritual affinity between characters tend to sink in more deeply when expressed non-verbally. Through the eyes, for the most part, or sometimes with a gesture that isn’t meant to be seen. Like Ward Bond happening to notice the wife of John Wayne’s brother gently stroking the Duke’s Civil War uniform in John Ford‘s The Searchers. Or Heath Ledger pressing his face into Jake Gyllenhaal‘s tattered shirt during a private moment near the end of Brokeback Mountain.
But affecting I-care-about-you dialogue happens nonetheless. My personal favorite is this passage from Jerry Maguire. (Notice that I didn’t include “you complete me” or “you had me at hello.”) I’m also a big fan of “you make me want to be a better man” from As Good As It Gets.
I’ve also always liked the dialogue between Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson in David Lean‘s Brief Encounter. I’m told this will be included in the 2.14 program.
Memo to Brad Grey #2: In case your memory of The Friends of Eddie Coyle is a little fuzzy, here’s an mp3 of the film’s great dialogue scene: Robert Mitchum and Stephen Keats (playing a character named “Jackie Brown”) talking about guns in a diner. Blunt Boston crime- culture dialogue doesn’t get any better than this. (The first Grey memo — a request that he urge PHE president Meagan Burrows to release Peter Yates’ Coyle on DVD — was posted on February 2nd.)
Update: I’ve called the Criteron spokesperson, Brian Carmody of Orange Media Relations, to ask if Criterion has licensed The Friends of Eddie Coyle from Paramount with the intent of putting out a DVD. Carmody hasn’t issued any press release about this that I know if, nor has he written or called to advise me of same.
Snagging an Obama campaign report that wasn’t intended to be circulated, Bloomberg News reporters Catherine Dodge and Alex Tanzi are reporting that Obama advisers have privately projected a “virtual delegate draw” at the end of the campaign trail.
This means that the final outcome may hinge on how the entrenched-machine super delegates vote, which could potentially result in a truly ugly scenario (i.e., the white-wine drinking, better-educated, African-American, under-40 Obama contingent feeling a horrific sense of electoral betrayal if the dug-in, boomer-aged Clintonistas, friendly to the hamburger-and-burrito-eating-blue-collar-faithfuls, snatch it away in some smoke-free back room) at the Democratic National Convention in Denver next August.
This morning’s First Read summary, quoting the Bloomberg story: “Obama’s advisers are predicting victories in 19 of the remaining 27 Democratic primaries and caucuses, with Clinton winning the big states of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to the scenario attached to a spreadsheet showing the campaign’s Super Tuesday delegate breakdown.
“The analysis envisions an Obama winning streak over the next 12 days. It projects victories in the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington state on Feb. 9 and a narrow loss to Clinton on Feb. 10 in Maine. Obama is looking to sweep the Feb. 12 primaries in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., and get victories in Hawaii and Wisconsin a week later.”
“Normally, we’d assume this was an expectations-setting game. And maybe it is. But the Obama campagin analysis seems to be based on the number of working class and/or Hispanic Democrats in various states; check out the states Obama’s team believes it will lose: Maine, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Kentucky. All of those states have a lot more blue-collar Democrats than white-wine drinking Democrats. So it’s a very realistic” assessment.