Two anti-Obama hate epithets were shouted today at rallies for John McCain and Sarah Palin, one calling for his death.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, McCain “pushed his campaign’s most recent line of attack against Obama: that the Democratic nominee represents a relatively unknown risk,” reports CNN’s Politicker Ticker.
“‘All people want to know is: What has this man ever actually accomplished in government?,” McCain said. ‘What does he plan for America? In short: Who is the real Barack Obama?’ Someone in the crowd responded by yelling: “Terrorist!” The crowd roared, and McCain seemed startled, but it is unclear whether he actually heard what the man shouted. He did not respond to the attack.”
The Washington Post‘ s Dana Milbank, filing from Clearwater, Florida, wrote that Palin went into her Obama-hangin’-with-Bill Ayers-the-terrorist riff in front of a large crowd. “And according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.
The crowd loudly booed, Milbank reports. “Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.
“I’ve seen Gus Van Sant‘s Milk (Focus Features, 11.26),” a director-actor friend wrote about 18 hours ago. “It’s really really good. Sean Penn and Emile Hirsch are incredible. It’s romantic and sexy and intimate and totally moving.” I called the guy three times to try and get a little bit more, but no go. (Or not yet.) I was told today that the running time is just over two hours.
“A blogger is an ignorant, often times uneducated person. They are a member of a socially disadvantageous class of people. A blogger can soon become a legitimate journalist, but they don’t abide by any certain rule of grammar. Being a ‘blogger’ means you don’t get paid. It means being on the same evolutionary backporch step as a fetch-happy dog.
“An internet media journalist is not a blogger, but a blogger can be an internet journalist. I am far too intelligent and well educated to be classified as a blogger.” — from a Movieweb rant by an established guy (I’ll leave everyone to guess who) that was up earlier today, but then removed. For me the best thing about it was (a) the fact that I feel the same disdain toward some bloggers and therefore partly agree (but with a bit less vitiriol) and (b) the art. Has Devin Faraci weighed in on this?
Tomas Alfredson‘s Let The Right One In (Magnolia, 10.24) is easily the most strikingly unusual vampire pic that anyone’s seen in I don’t know how long. The fact that Overture Films and Spitfire Pictures are developing a U.S. remake with Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves on board to direct speaks volumes. It’s one of the standout originals of ’08.
Let The Right One In director Thomas Anderson — Monday, 10.6.08, 11:55 am.
I spoke to Alfredson earlier today — here’s the mp3 file
Let The Right One In doesn’t compose with the usual brushstrokes. The vampire (Lina Leandersson) is a tweener girl and the male lead, a mortal, is a wimpy blond male (Kare Hedebrant) who’s in love with her. It has about 50 CG shots but very few are “noticable.” The violent moments happen suddenly and sometimes off-screen. And it hasn’t been shot like a typical horror film (i.e., in a spooky-sexy-dreamscape way) but with a flat, over-bright, industrial texture. And everything in the film is surrounded — blanketed — with lots and lots of snow.
I spoke with Alfredson earlier today, and if the film doesn’t make clear it hasn’t been directed by a horror film buff, Alfredson repeatedly emphasizes this. He’s not Guillermo del Toro , not by a long shot. The only significant Dracula movie he’s seen, he says, is the old Bela Lugosi version from the early ’30s. That means he hasn’t seen Francis Coppola‘s Dracula or any of the Hammer Dracula films of the ’50s and ’60s or anything else along these lines.
Just listen to our conversation — you’ll understand where he’s coming from soon enough.
The only problem, as I said before, is the title. Who in hell is going to remember Let The Right One In or associate it with tweener vampires? Talk about a title that means nothing — nothing at all! — to anyone. Movie titles should be aimed at the dumbest person in the room. Leo Tolstoy knew this when he called one of his novels War and Peace. Although Alfredson’s, which is taken from a Morrissey lyric, does sound cooler and cooler the more you say it.
This morning director John Hancock (Bang The Drum Slowly, Weeds, Prancer) got in touch about a screenplay he’s written about Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, based on Ayers’ memoirs “Fugitive Days.” McCain-Palin has made Ayers is a hot topic over the least couple of days but I was buried at the time, so I hooked him up with Politico‘s Jeffrey Ressner and here’s what resulted.
Bill Ayers young annd old — former Weatherman activist, currently professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Hancock finished Fugitive Days “over the summer with longtime partner Dorothy Tristan, and his agent has just begun sending it to producers and production companies,” Ressner reported. “Adapted from Ayers’ 2001 memoir of the same name, the script has received ‘nibbles but no bites,’ said Hancock, who is hoping to direct the film if it is eventually produced.
“Hancock told Politico that he optioned the book about a year and a half ago and spent about 40 hours interviewing Ayers and Dohrn in Chicago. The two were founding members of the Weather Underground and together helped plot some of the most violent domestic protests of the Vietnam War, including bombings of the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.
“Near the end of the screenplay, Ayers discusses his political activism in a scene with his father and says, ‘Yeah we did some foolish things. I can’t quite imagine putting a bomb in a building today, but the way things are in the world, I can’t imagine entirely dismissing the possibility either. What if the government is killing a bunch of innocent people and just won’t listen? And knowing now that trying to make a better life can lead to the guillotine, and the gulag, I still can’t imagine a fully human world without utopian dreams.'”
Perhaps the most dangerous, Obama-threatening paragraph in recent weeks was posted yesterday by New Republic columnist Howard Wolfson (a.k.a., “The Flack”). “Perpetually fretting Democrats will not want to accept it,” it begins. “The campaigns themselves can’t afford to believe it. Many journalists know it but can’t say it. And there will certainly be some twists and turns along the way. But take it to a well capitalized bank: Bill Ayers isn’t going to save John McCain. The race is over.”
He may well be right, but there are at least five reasons why these words shouldn’t be spoken.
One, it ain’t over until it’s over. Two, there are millions of Obama-supporting but fundamentally lazy and distracted under-25 voters who will leap at any excuse not to vote, and reading that political insiders believe that “it’s over” is just the excuse they’d like to hear. Three, McCain going ugly between now and 11.3 could notch things down a point or two. Four, something bad could still happen (like a terrorist October surprise). Five, however far ahead in the polls Obama may be the night before election day, the Bradley Effect (i.e., racial-minded whites getting cold feet in the election booth) will probably drop that margin 3 to 4 points.
Here’s a sixth reason:
Arizona Daily Star critic Phil Villarreal reported this morning that An American Carol director David Zucker shot a cheapshot bit aimed at Sen. Ted Kennedy but apparently (and understandably) decided to cut it due to Kennedy’s recent struggles with brain cancer.
Zucker “had a Ted Kennedy look-alike offer a ride to someone at a convention,” Villareal reports. “When he opened the car door, water spilled out. It’s a reference to the 1969 incident in which Kennedy drove off a bridge with Mary Jo Kopechne as his passenger. Kennedy survived but Kopechne died.
Villareal says he “got this tidbit from former Tucsonan Jillian Murray, who has a role in the film. ‘It was a cool stunt,’ Murray told Villareal. ‘Fish were coming out.'”
Zucker’s scumbag sense of humor aside, the fish-coming-out-of-a-car is a bit from Paul Brickman‘s Risky Business. Remember? It was followed by the Porsche car-dealer guy coming up to Tom Cruise and his friends and asking, “Who’s the U-boat commander?”
It’s been a long wait, but Oliver Stone‘s W. (Lionsgate, 10.17) is finally done and being shown to print press (tonight and tomorrow morning) prior to tomorrow’s press junket. This is a very big deal in my world. I’m so keyed up, in fact, that all I’ve done this morning is surf and research and surf again and call around. Ten stories circling the airport and I haven’t brought a single one in for a landing. And it’s mainly due to the pre-screening heebie-jeebies.
Josh Brolin in Oliver Stone’s W./
I’m presuming — we’re all presuming — that W. is probably going to be received as a film about its performances first, and the content, theme and the shape of it second. Which is I was hearing two or three weeks ago. “Good film but uncanny Josh Brolin” is how Politico’s Jeffrey Ressner reported it. Which will be more or less fine with me. I’m expecting more though, being a fan of Stanley Weiser ‘s script and knowing what it more or less is.
Variety editor-columnist and Sunday Morning Shootout guy Peter Bart saw W. the weekend before last with the other TV interview press. Last Friday he called it “an engrossing film — part polemic, part parody — that reminds us that the man who made Platoon hasn’t lost his edge.”
Engrossing? That’s almost like calling it “interesting” or “impressive.”
The pic “explores the love-hate relationship between George Bush senior and junior. It culminates in a devastating (and imagined) scene in which Bush senior all but implodes in parental rage, declaring that, thanks to junior, no Bush will ever again be elected to public office.”
“The case against Junior in the film is pinned to Iraq — indeed it is W’s handling of the war that finally sends Senior over the top — but the president’s utter helplessness in the face of the present collapse serves as a vivid postscript. The Bush dynasty is all about money and power — economic upheaval is not an acceptable option.”
Stone’s portrait of the president “is that of a smug, self-righteous and uniquely stubborn Ivy Leaguer-turned-Texan who believes he has direct access to Godly wisdom,” Bart writes.