“I think we’ve reached a signal point in the campaign,” the eloquent Peggy Noonan has written in her 3.28 Wall Street Journal column. “This is the point where, with Hillary Clinton, either you get it or you don’t. There’s no dodging now. You either understand the problem with her candidacy, or you don’t. You either understand who she is, or not. And if you don’t, after 16 years of watching Clintonian dramas, you probably never will.”
People have written in and said, “How you can admire Peggy Noonan, who used to shill for Poppy Bush in the ’80s and early ’90s?” Answer: because she’s always been a superb writer, because she gets it, and because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I know a guy — a very good hombre who toils in the same trenches that I do — who will never accept the reality of the Hillary malignancy. He can look at it and go, “Yeah, there it is,” but he seems to lack the moral revulsion element. I haven’t talked to him in two or three days, but he was the first guy I thought of when I read the above paragraph.
Offering a Hollywood analogy on the Democratic primary race, Sen. Barack Obama told a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania crowd earlier today that running against Sen. Hillary Clinton has been like “a good movie that lasted about a half hour too long.” He and Clinton have been running in the Democratic primary so long, he explained, that they could reverse roles and recite each others’ lines without missing a beat. He added, “I think there are some people who felt like, God, when will this be over?”
What other movie analogies are apt? N.Y. Times columnist Maureen Dowd has written that Hillary bears at least a passing resemblance to (a) Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s unkillable Terminator monster (in the original ’84 version), (b) the 1930s criminal Ma Barker (who was played by Shelly Winters in Bloody Mama) and (c) Glenn Close‘s clinging-psycho-bitch character in Fatal Attraction who “won’t be ignored,” etc.
The only movie character who remind me even vaguely of Barack Obama (or vice versa) is Cleavon Little‘s sheriff in Blazing Saddles. Because he never blew his cool or lost his dignity. I’m trying to think of some white guy characters (guys from any tribe or culture…anyone) who’ve had his personality and temperament and smarts, and I can’t seem to think of any. There must be dozens.
In order to qualify Marina Zenovich‘s Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired for a Best Feature Documentary Oscar, HBO has, like, sneak-booked it into the Coliseum Cinemas on West 181st Street in Washington Heights. A similar-type booking is now happenign at Laemmle’s One Colorado in Pasadena. (Thanks to HE reader “RP” for the information.)
Defamer‘s Stu Van Airsdale spotted the New York-area ad and ran a JPEG of same. Good reporting. He’s wrong, however, in describing the doc, one of the four or five best films at last January’s Sundance Film Festival, as one that “painstakingly makes the case that Polanski’s conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor was a travesty.”
That statement implies that Polanski was innocent and therefore shouldn’t have been convicted. As I wrote last January, the film “doesn’t take Roman’s side of the mid ’70s unlawful-sex-with-a-minor scandal that led to his leaving this country as much as it slams the judge who ignored justice in his handling of the case.”
As VanAirsdale points out, HBO Documentary Films purchased Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired at Sundance for $1 million, “planning a cable premiere and a DVD release — but no theatrical run. Except that to qualify for an Oscar, you have to screen ‘for a minimum of seven days in both Los Angeles County and the Borough of Manhattan.'” Hence the current bookings.
As long as I’m bumming scripts, I may as well scout around also for Joshua James‘ adaptation of Peter Biskind‘s “Down and Dirty Pictures,” which is apparently going to be shooting soon under the aegis of director Kenneth Bowser, producer Kevin Scott Frakes and PalmStar Entertainment.
The finished film will almost certainly fail, of course. Any film produced by a company named “Palm Star Entertainment,” trust me, hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of being even half-tolerable. (The conjunction of the words “palm” and “star” assures ostentation and cluelessness.) In a column posted yesterday Fox News 411’s Roger Friedman said it was politically doomed as well.
The “Down and Dirty” project was first announced in a Variety story in August 2006.
My usual sources can’t get their hands on a copy of Stanley Weiser and Oliver Stone‘s W. If anyone out there has a PDF file or a hard copy, please get in touch. I’ll return the favor somehow. Update: Forget it and thanks to everyone with PDF copies who couldn’t be bothered. A guy got in touch right away, and Weiser’s script — hah! — is sitting on my desktop as we speak.
“When Barack Obama didn’t hear Reverend Wright say those awful things about America, he still should have rushed the stage, smite Reverend Wright with the cross, and left the church,” Bill Maher has written in a recent posting. I “f there’s anything the right wing can agree on, it’s that. And that gays are going to hell, right after they suck them off in the airport bathroom.
“But it raises an obvious question, one that I haven’t heard asked, which is strange because it’s so obvious: If you leave a church when the head of the church says bad things about America, what do you do when your church hierarchy is caught up in a systematic and decades-long sex abuse scandal? And did I mention the people being sexually abused were children? Hundreds of them?
“How about when the head of that church, or Pope, associated with and promoted members of the clergy who not only facilitated the sexual abuse and rape of hundreds and hundreds of children, but engaged in a decades-long cover-up of those crimes?
“Reverend Wright associated with Farrakhan. The Pope works with Cardinal Law. Which is worse? Isn’t it the man who shuffled ‘priests’ like Shanley and Geoghan and many others from parish to parish with the full knowledge of their crimes, and then claimed he had no idea?
“Yes, by Sean Hannity‘s own logic, Catholics like him, en masse, would be expected to abandon their church. Which shouldn’t be a problem, because they worship Reagan anyway.
“COLMES: Then shouldn’t John McCain say he doesn’t support the views of a man who makes anti-Catholic statements? OBENSHAIN: He did, I believe. He said I’m not — I don’t agree with everything…ahhh. COLMES: And Obama says he does not support anti-Semitism, as expressed by Louis Farrakhan. HANNITY: Leave the church.
“Well, what about it, Sean? Shouldn’t you leave your church? I mean, like, five years ago? And since you haven’t, how do we know you’re not also a secret child fucker? Again, just using your logic:
“HANNITY: …What if he really deep down in his heart thinks like Pastor Wright? LUNTZ: It’s not for anyone to answer that question. HANNITY: Well, is that dangerous for this country? I think that would be dangerous. That would mean we would have — if he agreed with Wright, and I don’t know that he does, but if he did, that would mean a racist and an anti-Semite would be president of the United States.
“Side note: Does it occur to anyone that, for the past five years, the nuts every politician has been busy distancing themselves from — Reverend Wright, Reverend Falwell, Reverend Hagee, Reverend Haggard, Reverend Robertson — are all, you know, reverends?
“Why don’t we just go back to the days when politicians kept their religions to themselves? Wasn’t that better?”
So when is Maher’s and Larry Charles‘ anti-religion doc finally coming out? They showed a teaser last year at Cannes
A salute to Judgment at Nuremberg screenwriter Abby Mann, who passed yesterday at age 80. Mann got going as dramatist in ’50s live TV, and in fact originally wrote Judgment at Nuremberg for a 1959 airing of “Playhouse 90.” He wrote a 1973 TV-movie called The Marcus-Nelson Murders, which was spun into the Kojak series with Telly Savalas. He also penned Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story (’89) and Indictment: The McMartin Trial (’95), about the false child-molestation allegations that ruined lives.
Late start (I’m tapping this out from a McDonald’s in West L.A. between sips of black, stomach-searing “premium roast” coffee) and lots to get into. But first I have to drag myself out of this neon-lit formica hell hole, and it’s hard to do that because I keep thinking of one more thing to say or post or link to.
I’ll definitely get into Young @ Heart, a doc about a late-in-life singing group (“singing” being a different thing than “signing,” as in the signing of checks) that is easily — easily — the most emotionally affecting film of the year, although it can’t qualify, sad to say, for a Best Feature-Length Documentary Oscar due to an ’06 British TV airing. Doesn’t matter. Essential viewing either way. Because we’re all going there, and because we all need to sing.
And Kimberly Peirce‘s Stop-Loss, the best film opening this weekend (and an Iraq War-related that deserves, for once, to be discussed without mentioning the emphatic non-interest in this general topic among Gorilla Nation filmgoers).
And Olivier Assayas‘ Boarding Gate, a moody, offbeat Paris-Hong Kong thriller with Asia Argento that I finally caught last weekend and turned out to be much, much than expected.
I just can’t get into this stuff while sitting in a McDonald’s. You’d think they’d offer free wi-fi but nooo — you have to pay $2.95 for two hours. Everyone eating here is from a budget-conscious socio-economic strata. There’s a guy sitting two tables away who sounds like he’s close to having a heart attack, what with the red face and the heavy panting that just keeps going and going. People should show respect for others in a public place by putting a lid on this stuff. No groaning, coughing, moaning, nose-blowing or hyper-ventilating. Keep it together already. I’m trying to write here. You don’t see Starbucks customers going through their death throes.