Easily the best of behance.net’s Alternate Universe posters. John Ford would’ve never even flirted with anything like this, of course. But it would have been the perfect Rebel Without A Cause followup for Nicholas Ray. (On top of which he couldn’t gotten out of directing Bigger Than Life.) And forget Clark Gable as Shanon — try Mickey Shaughnessy or Mickey Rooney.
In a 1.22 New York Times Sunday Magazine piece, Bryan Curtis reports in an apparently sincere, un-ironic tone that Red Tails director George Lucas “has decided to devote the rest of his life to what cineastes in the 1970s used to call personal films.
George Lucas, Robert Duvall during shooting of THX 1138.
“They’ll be small in scope, esoteric in subject and screened mostly in art houses,” Curtis explains. “They’ll be like the experimental movies Lucas made in the 1960s, around the time he was at U.S.C. film school, when he recorded clouds moving over the desert and made a movie based on an E. E. Cummings poem. During that period, Lucas assumed he would spend his career on the fringes. Then Star Wars happened — and though Lucas often mused about it, he never committed himself to the uncommercial world until now.”
What? Lucas did “commit himself” to the uncommercial world several years ago, at least in interview quotes. He’s been talking about this for a long time and doing zip about it.
Three and a half years ago I quoted a Devin Faraci CHUD piece that no longer exists. “I don’t know what your thoughts on George Lucas are, but I talked to him yesterday and cornered him on why he hasn’t made one of those art films he’s always going on about,” Faraci wrote. ” It seems like the guy has the resources and ability to make pretty much any movie that strikes his fancy. He sort of blew off the question, but I think the way he blew it off was interesting.”
I’m expecting to hear tomorrow which foreign-language films are on the Oscar shortlist, but in the meantime TheWrap‘s Steve Pond has predicted that my two biggest favorites after A Separation — Gerardo Naranjo‘s Miss Bala and Jose Padilha‘s Elite Squad: The Enemy Within — will not make the initial list of six.
Is Pond envisioning a scenario in which even the executive committee won’t step up and include them? I can’t imagine Mark Johnson and pallies, who have the power to add three extra titles for a total of nine, not putting Miss Bala on the list…c’mon.
All of the films on Pond’s list fit the conventional older person’s definition of what a Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee ought to be — contemplative, character-driven, heartfelt, intimate, a theme about social discord, Holocaust-y: Monsieur Lazhar (Canada), Le Havre (Finland), A Separation (Iran), Footnote (Israel), Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon) and In Darkness (Poland).
Pond hears that Superclasico “played very well to the general committee.” (I recently saw it at the Palm Springs Film festival — it’s a decently done, mildly appealing adult comedy.) He adds that Belgium’s Bullhead, whose “director and star are getting a lot of heat”, is another contender. I saw it a month ago and it’s not bad, but it’s nowhere near the level of Miss Bala in terms of striking style.
I’m always hoping for snow during the Sundance Film Festival, and it usually happens. The forecast is for modest snow between now and Saturday with a major northwest snow storm brewing. Every year I have to remind myself that I’m not going to be joining Jack London for a snowshoe hike across frozen Alaskan tundra. At most you’re walking from a theatre to a bus stop and occasionally trekking up and down Park Avenue or Kearns Blvd. Ear muffs, long underwear, layers, black cowboy hat, gloves, comfort boots.
Fair warning: If I see any 20somethings walking around Park City in shorts, no socks and lace-free slip-ons I’m going to take photos and post them and go to town.
As I said last year: “No generation or culture in the history of the planet earth has ever dressed this stupidly for cold weather.
“I know what they’re doing. I mean, I think I get it. They’re embracing a kind of X-treme sports aesthetic and making a kind of statement to themselves and to women who happen by that says, ‘I’m so hardcore I’ve willed myself into a state in which serious cold doesn’t matter all that much…my lower legs are beet red from the exposure but I’m totally fine, really, because I’m all rugged-ass and hearty and just not into bourgeois protection…I am the weather and the weather is me. Bring it on and let me honestly feel it.’
“But of course, they’re being ridiculous all the same. Thousands of years of civilization and people have always bundled up when it’s cold. And then along comes GenY, saying to hell with warmth and any kind of sensible cold-weather attitude.”
I meant to post this footage of the Fox Searchlight Golden Globes after-party yesterday morning. It’s noteworthy for (a) the reaction of In Contention‘s Kris Tapley as I begin my roam-around and (b) the ecstatic “hiya!” from The Descendants costar Judy Greer (glimpsed on the left side for an instant). She’s the one I’m going “hey!” to at the end of the clip. Why post something this anecdotal on the site? Because it conveys emotional color, and it does no harm.
I once quoted Sir Thomas More to David Poland during a debate a few years ago: “I do none harm…I say none harm…I think none harm.” And he went, “Yeah…right!”
Variety‘s Steven Gaydos, In Contention‘s Kris Tapley and I shared a brief chat with Rise of the Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis the other night at the Paramount Golden Globes party. The SAG members who voted against or failed to nominate Serkis for Best Supporting Actor are pathetic little squirrels.
Marty Augustine: “I used to dread gym class. Absolutely dread it. You know why?” Phillip Marlowe: “No…why?” Augustine: “Because I didn’t have any pubic hair until I was 15 years old.” Marlowe: “Oh, yeah? You musta looked like one of the three little pigs.”
Notice the moustache on the former (at the time future) Governor of California.
There are two things that have made the BAFTA nominations (announced late last night while I was sleeping fully dressed on the floor with all the lights on) instantly dismissable in my book. One, they’ve handed 12 nominations to The Artist…c’mon! And two, they didn’t give a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Drive‘s Albert Brooks.
This is more easy emotional default old-fart consensus thinking. To hell with them. If I was living in London and I had an invitation to the BAFTA award ceremony (a.k.a., the Orange British Academy Film Awards) on Sunday, 2.12 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, I would refuse to attend. Okay, I’d show up but I’d spend all my time scowling at the bar.
If the Best Actress Oscar race was more of a free-for-all (i.e., if it wasn’t a Meryl Streep vs. Viola Davis eyeball-to-eyeball), Michelle Williams would be surging right now in the minds of those Academy geezers that Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil is always talking about. O’Neil has posted stats indicating that younger, hotter actresses tend to win Oscars more than older actresses (unless we’re talking about exceptions-to-the-rule like Helen Mirren).
Williams’ publicist has obviously bought into O’Neil’s opinions on the subject, and so has Williams, I’m presuming. But this is a one-shot deal — magazine tokenism. On a regular day-to-day basis Williams is not appealing to aging Academy horndogs with that little pixie haircut of hers.
Williams herself recently said that her pixie cut is attractive only to “my girlfriends and gay men.” She told Elle UK that “I cut [my hair] for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair” — late husband Heath Ledger — “and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it.’
Bottom line: It’s not unreasonable to consider the possibility that Williams Oscar chances might have been greater if she’d worn longer, more Marilyn Monroe-like hair over the last few months.
Arrow Academy is issuing a Bluray/DVD of Bernardo Bertolucci‘s The Conformist on 2.27. Obviously a slam-dunker, except that Arrow Films, The Associates and Amazon.uk all decline to specify on their websites if it’s all-region or just Region 2. Why do British Bluray distributors make this information so obscure? Why don’t they just say it plain and simple?
From the press release: “HD restoration supervised by director of photography Vittorio Storaro in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.” I’ll bet that a lot of the 1.85 fascists reading this experienced a very slight twitch in their cheeks when they read this. They understand the validity of 1.66 if it’s a European film from the ’50s, ’60s or ’70s, but in their heart of hearts they’d prefer to see all non-Scope films from these eras cropped down to 1.85. Because, in the words of Gen. Jack D. Ripper, “that’s how your hardcore 1.85 fascist thinks.”
I know that “TBC” doesn’t mean “to be continued” but…anyone?
I grew up in a suburban neighborhood in which cats used to roam around. Ever since I’ve had this idea that cats should be allowed outside if the immediate environment is at least somewhat safe — no fast cars, relative peace and quiet, nice homes with lawns, trees and bushes, squirrels scampering up trees, etc. Which is why I decided after moving back to West Hollywood last February that Mouse, my three-year-old Siamese, should be let out in the evenings. My other feline, a white munchkin named Aura, is afraid of the outdoors, but Mouse wants to feel the air and look up at the stars and sky. And I can’t abide the thought of keeping him inside.
I realize this means he might one day get hit by a car, God forbid, but Siamese cats are more intelligent than other breeds (or so I’ve always sensed) and I think there’s a 97% chance that he’ll be okay. No, I don’t like living with that 3%, but the alternative — i.e., in effect sentencing Mouse to a life of indoor imprisonment for the rest of his days — is something I just can’t do. Every now and then a neighbor will run into Mouse, read his name plate and call and ask “excuse me but do you know your cat is out?” They’re concerned. Cats are generally kept inside as a rule. Last summer a pretty lady called to say that Mouse had been hanging in her two-bedroom apartment across the street and did I want to come pick him up? Another time a woman called furious that I could be thoughtless enough to expose an animal to possible harm — i.e., “what is wrong with you?”
I obviously got what she was saying but she hadn’t considered the imprisonment thing, so we’re even.