Last August I suggested a Bluray of Alan Parker‘s Evita to honor its 15th anniversary. Today Disney Home Video announced plans to release an Evita Bluray in June. I guess that’ll do. Other 2012 Disney Blurays include Dead Poets Society, The Color of Money, The Horse Whisperer, Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity, Ed Wood and Dick Tracy. The rest you can have.
I put it thusly: “I was half-watching a DVD last week of Alan Parker’s Evita (1996), and it looks like hell on a 50-inch screen. For its upcoming 15th anniversary, Hollywood’s best all-singing musical opera (yes, better than Sweeney Todd) needs to be Bluray-ed. For me Darius Khondji‘s widescreen cinematography is compositional heaven — each and every frame has an exquisite painterly balance, and is lighted to perfection. And Gerry Hambling‘s lively cutting is a perfect compliment to the musical rhythms and rhymes.”
I mentioned in the previous post that iPhone Skype has been operating with the AT&T cellular network since last May, the result being that I can now talk on the iPhone to anyone I’m Skype-connected with anywhere in the world and send live video at the same time. This triggered an idea that might be possible with a new Hollywood Elsewhere re-design that’s now being worked on.
I’d love be able to somehow install a live Skype-video screen option on the Hollywood Elsewhere homepage and transmit instant live video of whatever I’m doing at the moment.
The Skype screen could just be an HE/Skype icon on the side, and could be clicked on and transformed into a video screen. A little red light could alert readers when live video is being transmitted, or there could be a permanent postage-stamp-sized screen that would go live whenever I decided to transmit. The screen would be capable of shifting to various sizes.
I’d love to be able to send live video of events happening at the Cannes Film Festival, say. Or during a sojourn in Rome or Paris or New York or wherever. Live video at any hour of the day — live video interviews during a hotel press junket, live video chit-chat, live-video press of Cannes press conferences, live-video of MSN’s James Rocchi helping bums to reclaim their dignity, live-video dinners with Sasha Stone and Guy Lodge at some backstreet Cannes cafe, etc.
A few days ago I downloaded the latest software for the iPhone 4S. One of the results was a new proclamation in the top left corner that AT&T was generating a 4G signal. I didn’t notice any increased download speeds and didn’t think much of it, but two days ago tuaw.com‘s Richard Gaywood posted an article that called the change “faux 4G.”
I have, however, noticed two intriguing changes within the last two or three days. I’m not saying they’re related to the software upgrade — only that I’ve just noticed them.
One, it used to be that I could only use Skype on my 4S when I used external Wifi. Now Skype works with the AT&T network. Update: This feature was apparently introduced last May, and I just didn’t notice. Return: The result is that I can now talk on the iPhone to anyone I’m Skype-connected with anywhere, and I can send live video to them also. Last night I was speaking on iPhone Skype to a friend in Berlin, and I showed her what I was doing as I shopped at a Gelson’s on Santa Monica Blvd.
And two, a Gmail memory-completion function works faster now. Previously when I would type out my email address the iPhone would wait until I’d typed out the entire handle plus the @ sign before completing the email address (i.e., gmail.com). Now it recognizes me while I’m still typing my handle — two or three characters in and it gets it….ping.
In late February a longtime reader and major-studio employee asked for my help to get in touch with a certain flamboyant character who no longer posts on this site, largely due to issues sired by alcohol.
“I’m interested in offering [this guy] a little guidance and help setting up a platform for his writing that makes him feel comfortable,” the reader explained, “but without being overly formal as he’s expressed a lack of interest in that sort of thing. I do believe with the right assistance, he might be able to get his shit together a bit.
So I wrote the guy back and gave him contact info for the flamboyant fellow in question, but added the following: “You will find, I suspect, that he’s devoted to living a life behind the eight-ball. He is devoted to being miserable and alcoholic and frustrated, because, oddly, these qualities are what keep him ‘on the edge,’ where he feels he needs to be.
“He doesn’t want to thrive and win. He wants to lose. Or at least, this is how he sees things while he’s drinking. There is no winning with a drinking person as long as he/she is drinking. But it’s very good of you to offer him some assistance, and I hope it works out. Have a good day and a great weekend.”
Last night, or roughly three weeks after he first wrote me, the studio employee sent me the following message:
“You were quite right. The guy really doesn’t want to improve his life at the moment. I consider this a shame. It seems [the character in question] will have to hit rock bottom and learn the hard way before he ever decides to change. Cheers to your attempts at better living, as chronicled recently in the column. A tough thing to do. Hope you’re steady as she goes.”
To which I replied: “Yeah, I’m doing fine…thanks. I knew your generosity would fall on deaf ears. Alcoholics don’t want to know anything, and you can’t tell them anything.”
The word “surreal” came to mind as I began watching this Orson Welles pop-song-scored trailer for Turn Me On Dammit (New Yorker, 3.30). I then began to think it might have been a brilliant thing to marry Welles’ song, recorded in 1984, to the Turn Me On trailer. Loony but brilliant. The work of a deranged mind. Beyond the Valley of the Insane.
I wrote Turn Me On‘s marketing maestro Reid Rosefelt and asked if this was his idea, and he said nope — he’d only just been told about it.
It must be said that Jannicke Systad Jacobsen‘s film, a dry and low-key teen sex comedy, has none of the sentimental emotional current contained in the song.
The film’s copy line belongs to Reid, I think: “How comes there are so many movies about a teenage boy who want to have sex and this is the only one about a teenage girl who wants to have sex?”
Welles’ Wiki page says that in late 1984, or roughly a year before his death, Welles recorded a music single, titled “I Know What It Is To Be Young (But You Don’t Know What It Is To Be Old).” It was done for Compagnia Generale del Disco. The song was performed with the Nick Perito Orchestra and the Ray Charles Singers and produced by Jerry Abbott who was father to famed Metal Guitarist Dimebag Darrell.”
The lyrics are as follows:
“When we are young age has no meaning
i never gave it a second thought
until one day along came this old man
and this is what he said to me
yes, this is what he said to me
“i know what it is to be young
but you, you don’t know what it is to be old
someday you’ll be saying the same thing
time takes away so the story is told
“I have so many questions
for the wise man i met
couldn’t find all the answers
no one has theirs as yet
“There’ll be days to remember
full of laughter and tears
after summer comes winter
so go the years
“So my friend let’s make music together
i’ll play the old while you sing me the new
in time when your young days are over
there’ll be someone sharing their time with you.”
For some reason Paul Schrodt‘s undated Esquire.com review of the most recent Men in Black 3 trailer (uploaded on 3.5) struck me as funny. Key comment: “Will you see it? Yes, if for no other reason than because you can’t remember the last time you saw Will Smith in anything.”
Let me reiterate something. Smith is all but finished. He’s become a superstar mummy. He has conservative-choiced his career into a state of aloof Olympian ruin.
I wrote the following three and a quarter years ago: “Take a look at Will Smith’s IMDB page and you’ll notice that over the last 15 years he’s made four movies with four top-ranked directors — Fred Schepisi‘s Six Degrees of Separation (’94), Tony Scott‘s Enemy of the State (’98), Michael Mann‘s Ali (’00) and Robert Redford‘s The Legend of Bagger Vance (’01). And Redford’s film (a.k.a., Bag of Gas) was probably his worst and therefore barely counts.
“The rest of Smith’s directors have all been journeymen — nice guy professsionals (Barry Sonnenfeld, Peter Berg) but mainly fellows who can shoot a film in focus, get it in on time, etc, but none of them visionaries or even marginally outside the box.
“25 years hence which films will Smith be remembered for? Ali and what else? The man only has a few years to knuckle down and work with the AA-quality directors, or history will not remember him with any great respect or kindliness.”
And here we are 40 months later, and Smith has not made any kind of exciting or highly respectable movie since. As Mosquito Coast was to Harrison Ford (i.e., the somewhat risky, financially unsuccessful film that convinced him to never risk anything ever again), Seven Pounds was to Will Smith.
The arrest today in Washington, D.C. of George Clooney (along with his dad Nick) at the Sudanese Embassy is obviously a case of big-time celebrity being used to focus attention on an obscure and horrific situation that warrants everyone’s attention and then some. Bravo. Political-minded celebs should show this kind of moxie more often.
Update: Clooney and frieds are out of jail and free on bail. TMZ says Clooney only had to post $100.