This kind of writing and acting happens way too infrequently. In general, I mean, and not just in the case of 25th Hour screenwriter David Benioff. It was mostly luck, something that just dropped into Benioff’s head. He was smart enough to grab it and use it and that was that. All creativity, good and bad, just plops into your brain out of nowhere, whenever it wants to. Ping! Here I am! Decide!
So far South by Southwest-goers have (a) endured chilly, rainy weather (the sun finally came out today), (b) celebrated The Cabin in the Woods, (c) responded respectfully to Francine, the Melissa Leo drama from directors Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, (d) enjoyed last night’s screening of Ethan Hawke‘s Sinister, and (e) will presumably have a good time tomorrow night with 21 Jump Street, which will screen in NY/LA at the same time.
And…that’s it? I could have flown down there and traipsed around and spent $1500 or so. Shit, I really missed out.
Jack Cardiff was, of course, one of the greatest cinematographers of the 20th Century (Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, The African Queen, War and Peace, The Vikings, The Dogs of War) and a respected mid-range director whose best flm was Sons and Lovers. And yet he directed this minor embarassment — a soft-porny motorpsycho leather-sex jagoff movie with Alain Delon and Marianne Faithful.
I mention this only because a Bluray version of Girl on a Motorcycle (which an Amazon editor calls “a psychedelic cult classic, Europe’s answer to Easy Rider“…despite the fact that it was released a year before Easy Rider) will arrive on 4.24.12. And to remind that all respectable directors have made one or two embarassments, or at least films they’d rather not be remembered for.
Name a great director, and I’ll name a film he/she was at least mildly ashamed of. John Ford? Mr. Roberts. Hal Ashby? Lookin’ To Get Out. Joel and Ethan Coen? The Ladykillers. John Frankenheimer? Prophecy. Howard Hawks? Monkey Business. Jerry Lewis? The Day The Clown Cried. Woody Allen? Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Otto Preminger? Rosebud. John Schlesinger? Honky Tonk Freeway.
Rush Limbaugh was 16 years old when Jerry Gross‘s Teenage Mother (’67) was released. This trailer indicates the dark-underbelly mentality of the sexually-repressed middle-class culture of the mid ’60s that surely influenced young Rush, who was but soft clay at the time. Fred Willard, incidentally, costarred in Teenage Mother.
As most semi-knowledgable persons know, nothing whatsoever was done to correct the systemic big-money tumors and corruptions that led to the 2008 meltdown, and because zip has been done and because the same upper-echelon hotshots are playing the same speculative games as before we’re definitely going to experience another big wipeout, probably within ten years and possibly sooner. God help us.
This was the view shared by David Stockman, former budget director for President Reagan, and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and columnist Gretchen Morgenson (“Reckless-Endangerment“) on Bill Moyers‘ PBS show on 3.9.
Stockman has said he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the Reagan administration’s tax policies, and he’s certain to be put down and ostracized by financial kingpins for saying what he’s told Moyers. “We have neither capitalism nor democracy,” Stockman declares. “We have crony capitalism…an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do…whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward.”
When and if President Obama is re-elected, his feet have to be held to the fire about this. It should in fact be the One Issue dominating the 2012 campaign. Will it be? Of course not. Romney will spew his cut-costs bullshit, catering to the heartlanders and toothless idiots in Mississippi, and Obama will gloss it all over with slogans and whatnot. Obama might be persuaded to take stern measures if re-elected. Lord knows if a Republican is elected to the White House in 2016 nothing will be done and our doom will be assured. It may already be.
1517 people died from drowning and hypothermia when RMS Titanic went down on 4.15.12, but how many could have been saved if two things had happened? One, the ship should have turned around and gone back to the iceberg so people splashing around in the sea could have climbed onto it and waited to be rescued. And two, large wooden dinner tables and such should have been thrown into the sea for people to float on.
There’s no denying that at least some people could have survived if they’d climbed onto the iceberg and huddled there and waited. A few dozen could have managed this, at least. And floating on wooden banquet tables and cabinets and armoires and such could have surely saved dozens more from hypothermia.
A lot of old familiar stuff will return with the 4.4 debut of Titanic 3D, and this is an old thread of my own.
Psychological screening and treatment procedures offered to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are obviously lacking. This was apparently a batshit rampage killing. Basically My Lai redux. Why are we still there? Drop to your knees, beg forgiveness a thousand times, make financial restitution and get the hell out of there. Pathetic.
An AP story filed today by Mirwais Khan and Heidi Vogt reads as follows:
“Nine children and three women were among the [16 victims]. The killing spree deepened a crisis between U.S. forces and their Afghan hosts over Americans burning Muslim holy books on a base in Afghanistan last month. The burnings sparked weeks of violent protests and attacks that left some 30 dead. Six U.S. service members have been killed by their Afghan colleagues since the Quran burnings came to light, but the violence had just started to calm down.
“This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven,” Afghan president Hamid Karzai said in a statement.
“The violence over the Quran burnings has spurred calls in the U.S. for a faster exit strategy from the 10-year-old Afghan war. President Barack Obama even said recently that ‘now is the time for us to transition.’ But he also said he had no plan to change the current timetable that has Afghans taking control of security countrywide by the end of 2014.
“In the wake of the Quran burnings, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, visited troops at a base that was attacked last month and urged them not to give in to the impulse for revenge.
“The tensions between the two countries had appeared to be easing as recently as Friday, when the U.S. and Afghan governments signed a memorandum of understanding about the transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan control — a key step toward an eventual strategic partnership to govern U.S. forces in the country.
“But Sunday’s shooting could push that agreement further away.
“‘This is a fatal hammer blow on the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. Whatever sliver of trust and credibility we might have had following the burnings of the Quran is now gone,” said David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and an advocate for a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier. But the people of Afghanistan will see it for what it was, a wanton massacre of innocent civilians,” Cortright said.
McCain campaign honcho Steve Schmidt, whom Harrelson portrays, has been quoted as saying that Game Change “tells the truth of the campaign…this is the story of what happened.” He also said that watching the film was tantamount to “an out-of-body experience.”
Senior McCain staffer Nicolle Wallace has told George Stephanopoulos that the film is “true enough to make me squirm.”
In this 3.10 SNL sketch about a precocious/obnoxious six year-old in a sushi bar, Jonah Hill was (a) inspired, (b) wearing a Superbad wig and (c) almost back to his old weight. He’s apparently decided to relax into himself (i.e., a little roly-poly). The thinking seems to be that (a) too thin isn’t funny and (b) all that dieting discipline can be a drag.
A Disney rep has informed box-office reporters that John Carter was the #1 US film in all major markets in Asia, Latin America and Europe, pulling in $70.6 million. With an estimated U.S. tally of $29 to $30 million, that comes to roughly $100 million worldwide for its first three days. It opened in Russia on 3.8, and had the highest opening day in Russian cinema history and went on to be the #1 opening weekend tally of 2012.