The buzz about Wes Anderson‘s Moonrise Kingdom opening the 65th Cannes Film Festival was confirmed an hour ago. The swells will catch it at the Grand Lumiere on the evening of Wednesday, 5.16. The press will see it earlier that morning. Anderson, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and the two kids — Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman — all doing the red carpet, etc.
Like I said a few weeks ago, Viola Davis is always playing characters defined by their work — social worker, CIA agent, bad mom, domestic maid, space engineer, nurse, cop, policewoman — and never by personal longings or creases or compulsions.
True to form, Davis is reportedly considering playing the late civil-rights activist and Congressperson Barbara Jordan. Paris Qualles is adapting Mary Beth Rogers‘ “Barbara Jordan: American Hero.” Davis and her husband would produce.
Add Jordan to Davis’s next two roles — a librarian helping kids deal with hauntings in Beautiful Creatures and a genius recruited by the government to help defeat an alien insect race in Ender’s Game — and it’s even more obvious she’s fallen into a major, major rut.
Every so often even guys like Darren Aronofsky bend over, hold their nose and take a paycheck job. It’s not dishonorable to do it once in a while. It’s fine. But when you do it over and over and over again, Liam Neeson-style, then you have a problem.
We all know it doesn’t mean much when someone announces three or four weeks of sobriety. It might as well be a week or a day. The difference is that I haven’t just gone cold turkey on white wine. I’ve also eliminated everything but salads and steamed veggies and fruit and granola and sushi and coffee and protein bars.
I haven’t done a no-alcohol and a no-bad-food thing simultaneously ever. On one hand I feel occasional cravings for anything illegal, immoral or fattening. On the other not having any poisons in my system feels really good, especially in the morning. And jeans that felt tight a few weeks ago fit really easily now.
Parties are the tough part. It’s easy to laugh and be sociable with a glass or two, but try doing it straight. I feel matter-of-fact and cool and level about everything now, and I just don’t find anything funny. I guess I’ll figure out how to handle this eventually. I know it’s a good thing to be sober. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. That puffy look I had in my eyes and face is going away. But abstaining is a bore — let’s be honest. Maybe I should go to AA meetings. I didn’t have a “problem”, but pouring alcohol into your system every night lets a slight element of eccentricity and vulnerability in, to some extent. That very slight feeling of doom around the corner (which I’ve been dealing with since my 20s) isn’t as palpable now. I won’t say everything feels rational and manageable when you’re sober, but a lot more of it seems to be.
But something really funny has happened. I don’t think about women very much any more. I see this or that attractive lady at Pavillions or a party or wherever, and all that comes to mind are all the negatives that would probably eventually kick in once I get to know her.
I asked a sober friend about the no-more-laughing-at-parties thing. “The longer I’m sober, the less inclined I am to enter bars and any of that,” he said. “But as far as parties and such are concerned, it definitely gets better. It may take you a while to home in on it, but while you’re in a minority, you’re definitely not the only person not drinking. There are plenty of dry/sober people [out there], and they’re out doing their socializing parts of their jobs just like we are. You’ll find them.
“As for fun, well, I know that drink is a social lubricant and that if you’re used to relaxing with one at a party it’s hard to get into a frame of mind where you can loosen up to that extent. What’s eventually going to happen is you’ll find yourself gravitating to the better conversationalists — the ones you can enjoy listening to or shooting the shit with without alcohol. Also you’ll start to appreciate having your wits about you more than you once did. And you’ll learn to relax within that framework. It won’t take much time until you’re feeling on top of your game but in a way that doesn’t imply your lording it over anyone who’s had a few.
“It does take time, a few months. You need to get your sea legs. When it happens you might not even notice it. But the more discrete experiences that you normally associate with drinking that you go through without drinking, the easier it’ll get. It’s like you’re unlearning and learning at the same time.”
A couple of hours after hearing this morning about Best Buy’s French Connection surprise — i.e., a newly remastered, Owen Roizman-approved Bluray that looks like the original 1971 Oscar-winner — I drove down to a Best Buy at La Brea and Santa Monica Blvd. and sure enough, there it was.
I took it right home and popped it right in…aaaah. What I’ve been dreaming about for years. A pure celluloid capturing of a great New York film experience, some of it luscious, some of it spotty and grainy but all it looking true and right. Some of it looks more lab-fresh than I’ve ever seen. Punchy red neons and such. Other parts look…well, the way they did at Leows’ 86th Street when it opened in the fall of ’71, I’m guessing. Raw, wham-bam, high-impact footage all the way. All gritty, nothing pretty.
No more bluish bleach. No more splotchy colors and monochrome, high-contrast crap. No more creepy-perverse digital fuckwad action. The guy who mucked up the notorious 2009 Bluray version, director William Friedkin, has come to his senses and re-done his masterwork with dp Owen Roizman.
“The nation’s three-year-long, Freidkin-incited French Connection Bluray nightmare is over,” I tweeted. “The bleachy, splotchy ’09 version has been replaced.”
On 2.24.09 Roizman spoke to Aaron Aradillas on a blog-radio show called “Back By Midnight,” and he called the transfer “atrocious,” “emasculated” and “horrifying.” He said that he “wasn’t consulted” by Freidkin and he “certainly wants to wash my hands of having had anything to do with [it].”
The new Bluray sounds great also. Nice bassy tones. Brassy, clattery.
For whatever reason I noticed for the first time that in footage of Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider tailing Tony Lobianco and “Angie” through Times Square that Get Carter is playing at the Victoria.
Here’s A.O. Scott‘s “Critics Picks” assessment.
Sometime within the last two days James Cameron “folded his 6-foot-2-inch frame into a 43-inch-wide capsule and plummeted, alone, down five miles in the New Britain Trench off Papua New Guinea. His feat, in a 24-foot-long craft dubbed the Deepsea Challenger, broke by a mile the world depth record for modern vehicles that a Japanese submersible had held,” according to a 3.8 N.Y. Times story by William J. Broad.
But Cameron “wants to go deeper,” he continues. “This month, Mr. Cameron plans to plunge nearly seven miles to the planet’s most inaccessible spot: the Challenger Deep in the western Pacific, an alien world thought to swarm with bizarre eels and worms, fish and crustaceans. He wants to spend six hours among them, filming the creatures and sucking up samples with a slurp gun.
“It’s a blast,” Mr. Cameron told Broad during sea trials of his new craft. “There’s nothing more fun than getting bolted into this and seeing things that human beings have never seen before. Forget about red carpets and all that glitzy stuff.”
There appears to be some dispute when the five-mile dive occured. A National Geographic story says it happened on Tuesday, 3.6. Broad’s 3.8 N.Y. Times account says Cameron descended on Wednesday, 3.7. An MSNBC report by Andrea Mustain says the dive happened “last week.”
To go by this Japanese teaser, Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal, 6.1) is the Snow White legend injected with CG insanity and made for swordplay-and-martial-arts-loving fanboys. At least it has a significantly different attitude and tone than Tarsem Singh‘s Mirror Mirror. Is Snow White really called “Snow” in this thing or…? (“Hey, Snow…what up?) There are eight dwarves in this rather than seven.
It’s all in the Wiki synopsis: “In a kingdom ruled by tyranny, the vain and selfish Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) learns her stepdaughter Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is destined to surpass her as not only the “Fairest One of All” but the kingdom’s future ruler. But the Queen then learns from her Magic Mirror (Christopher Obi) that the only way to remain in power is to consume Snow’s heart and achieve immortality.
“Snow escapes into the Dark Forest and Ravenna recruits the Huntsmen Eric (Chris Hemsworth) to kill Snow. Eric however takes pity on the young princess and teaches Snow White the art of war. Now, with the aid of eight dwarves and Prince William (Sam Claflin), Snow White begins a rebellion to bring down her stepmother once and for all.”
The dwarves are not named Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, Happy and Snoopy.
Their names are Beith, Quert, Muir, Coll, Duir, Gus, Gort and Nion, and they’re played by Ian McShane, Johnny Harris, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Brendan Gleeson, Ray Winstone and Nick Frost, respectively
I was kidding about Snoopy, of course. That’s actually an Elliot Gould joke from California Split.
Twenty dwarves took turns doing handstands on the carpet. Twenty dwarves took turns doing handstands on the carpet. Twenty dwarves took turns doing handstands on the carpet.
Davis Guggenheim‘s The Road We’ve Travelled, a 17-minute short meant to address rightwing impressions of a certain socialist-minded, African-born Arab muslim who wants to hamper small businesses and enslave free Americans with Obamacare, will appear online on 3.15. That’s Tom Hanks narrating, of course. Here’s the home page for updates.
Tweeted this morning at 7:01 am Pacific by producer Jerry Bruckheimer — “Tonto and the Lone Ranger ride again!” I don’t know much about Native American ornamentation but the combination of white-and-black kabuki paint plus the black-crow Valkyrie headgear on Johnny Depp‘s Tonto is absolutely thrilling. And Armie Hammer‘s Lone Ranger is very nattily dressed with a GQ-ish midnight-blue sport jacket and matching vest with white buttons, and a stylishly slender scarf that looks like a dog collar.
Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer in first official portrait shot from Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski’s currently-rolling The Lone Ranger.
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