Magnolia marketing deserves a salute for creating this undeniably cool and catchy one-sheet for Terrence Malick‘s To The Wonder. Yes, Brad Brevet — it owes a certain debt to the poster (or was it the Bluray jacket?) for Malick’s The Thin Red Line. Wonder opens on 4.12.
Poor cancer-stricken Hugo Chavez is reportedly just about down for the count, and I’m sorry. His “breathing has deteriorated” due to “a new and severe respiratory infection,” leaving the Venezuelan president in “a very delicate state.”
Bolivan president Evo Morales, South of the Border director Oliver Stone, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez following 9.23.09 screening at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade theatre.
He knows what’s happening. He’s right there and feeling it all slip away and dealing with a lot of pain and probably a little bit of fear. Or maybe he’s past that. What’s to be scared of anyway? I’m not scared of dying, but I’m terrified of not being able to breathe.
I’ve always bought into Oliver Stone‘s view of Chavez, or the generally favorable view conveyed in Stone’s South of the Border (’10). It basically profiled the nativist South American leaders who came to power over the last dozen or so years, Chevez being one plus Bolivan president Evo Morales, Brazil’s Lula da Silva, Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner (along with her husband and ex-President Nestor Kirchner), Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo (who left office last year), and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa.
“It’s a pleasure and a relief to see a fair-minded, turn-the-other-cheek film about Chavez and the others,” I wrote in September ’09 about South of the Border. “Chavez has been at war with Venezuelan right-wing interests (including the TV stations) for most of the last seven years, and if he sleeps with both eyes closed for more than two hours he’ll be unseated. He isn’t perfect — who is? — but at least he belongs to Venezuela and Venezuela alone.”
Another film that persuaded me that Chavez was basically more of an honorable than a dishonorable man who was trying to buck the Venezuelan oligarchs and run his country in a Bolivarian fashion was Kim Bartley and Donnacha O’Briain‘s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, which I first saw ten years ago at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s a somewhat slanted but rousing view of Chavez’s first three years in office and particularly the failed April 2002 right-wing coup against the Chavez government.
I wrote the following six or seven years ago: “Is Chavez an egotist and a bit of a bully in some respects? Maybe, but politics is a very rough game in Venezuela. Bartley and O’Briain’s doc basically says that Chavez is supported by the poor and disenfanchised, and is pretty much hated by the moneyed classes. It doesn’t mention anything about his support with the poor drying up because he’s failed to push reforms, so maybe that’s the case now.
“But the doc persuaded me that the righties tried to blame the leftist Chavez supporters for the shootings that happened before the April ’02 coup attempt, even though right-wing thugs were the clear provocateurs in this situation. The doc contended that the privately run TV companies are total mouthpieces for the oligarchs, and that they didn’t report the truth of what was happening during the counter-coup and in fact spread lies.
“Chavez has been at war with Venezuelan right-wing interests (including the TV stations) for most of the last seven years, and if he sleeps with both eyes closed for more than two hours he’ll be unseated. He isn’t perfect — who is? — but at least he belongs to Venezuela and Venezuela alone.”
And soon, apparently, to the ages.
In response to the Australian Classification Board having banned all screenings of Travis Matthews‘ I Want Your Love at the Melbourne and Sydney LGBT festivals, friend and ally James Franco (whose Oz The Great and Powerful opens this Friday) has recorded this polite, mild-mannered video in sport of Matthews, with whom Franco teamed on Interior. Leather Bar.
It’s always good to stand up against the blue-noses (I’m presuming the ACB has a problem with IWYL‘s graphic content) but Franco really, really, really, really needs to give the gay-identification or gay-obsession thing a rest. Like, for the rest of his life and then the next life also. I don’t care what his orientation may or may not be and neither does anyone else. It’s like he’s made six or seven films wearing Micky Mouse ears. Enough already.
Quentin Tarantino‘s character in Reservoir Dogs: “Dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick dick.” Eddie Bunker: “How many dicks is that?” Harvey Keitel: “A lot.”
George Clooney‘s Monuments Men, which begins filming in Berlin and surrounding environs very soon, is looking for 1500 extras (mostly men, some women and children) to show up on Saturday, March 9th, at Studio Babelsberg in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam.
Monuments Men, based on Robert Edsel’s book and slated to open on 12.18, is about an allied group trying to save art treasures from destruction at the hands of the German military during World War II. It’s basically a cousin of John Frankenheimer‘s The Train (’64). Pic will costar Daniel Craig, Clooney-with-the-beard, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon and Bob Balaban. Sony and 20th Century Fox are co-producing and splitting territories.
Roughly translated this German-language announcement says they’re looking “for about 1,500 men between 18 and 70 years” plus women and children of all ages. “The men must be prepared to get a 1940s-style haircut” and should not stand taller than 190 centimeters (about 6’2″) and not be too fat. And anyone who’s been to a tanning salon recently is out — you have to look gray and pale.
The producers in particular are lookng for people with arm and leg amputations; ditto “younger men with military experience” as well as “very thin women, men and children.”
The announcement states that Clooney will not be at the casting call so no gawkers or lookie-lous and definitely no autographs or iPhone photo ops.
I toured the legendary Studio Babelsberg last May 11th.
“Stanley Kubrick ‘always admitted he took too long to make Barry Lyndon,’ former Kubrick assistant Leon Vitali tells The Reeler’s Jamie Stuart. ‘There was about a year of pre-production, a year-plus of shooting, then he took an awful long time to edit. And by the time it was ready to come out, I would say, the blockbuster action movies had become de rigeur. That was what the people really wanted to see. So when this film came out it was received as strange, slow, completely out of context to what was going on.
“‘And I think people were expecting something a little closer to A Clockwork Orange, which, of course had caused such a furor. It was living! A Clockwork Orange was playing for over a year in London. And Barry Lyndon was trashed by many critics, equally so in the UK. That really hurt Stanley a lot. He was very depressed about it. Very upset about it. He took it to heart.
“‘It took a long, long time really before…I can tell you exactly when it was…it was in the early ’90s. The BBC ran a series of his films on television. It was all the films from Lolita, Strangelove, 2001, Clockwork, Barry Lyndon, The Shining …The Radio Times, which is like a TV Guide, but more of a magazine, I suppose — they gave each film a critical breakdown. Well, they gave Barry Lyndon five stars, because they believed that was the true Odyssey film: you start with someone who’s lowdown; he travels all the way around Europe; gets himself into the upper-echelons of the British aristocracy; then there’s a slow decline back to where he came from. It’s a classic Odyssey story.
“‘They gave it five stars and all the other films got four stars, but perfect critiques. And they said if it hadn’t been for the fact that wBarry Lyndon was playing along with these other films, they would have given all those films five stars. I realized there’d been a real turning point, especially toward the end of Stanley’s life, where we were getting feedback from a lot of critics that suddenly said: ‘I’ve just seen Barry Lyndon again and I did not realize at the time what a wonderful film it was.’ They went so lyrical about it.’
“I — not Stuart, not Vitale — have seen Barry Lyndon at least fifteen times. Possibly a bit more than that –I’ve lost count but who counts and who cares? It’s brilliant, mesmerizing, exquisite — a dry, note-perfect immersion into the climate and mores of William Makepeace Thackeray‘s novel, and, by its own terms, one of the most perfectly realized films ever made.
“But the problem — and this needs to be said (or re-said) with all this passionate but vaguely snobby Lyndon gushing going on — is that it turns sour at a very particular point. And, in my eyes, it is just a notch below great because of the dead zone section in the second half.
“I’m speaking of the moment when Barry (Ryan O’Neal) blows pipe smoke into the face of his wife, Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson). Something happens at that moment, and from then on it’s “oh, odd…the energy is dropping, and I’m starting to enjoy this less.” For another 30 to 40 minutes (or what feels like that amount of time), Barry Lyndon gets slower and slower — it becomes more and more about stately compositions and dispassionate observation.
“Then, finally, comes the duel with Lord Bullington (Vitale) and Barry gets his groove back. Then that perfect, dialogue-free scene with Lady Lyndon signing checks with Bullington and Reverent Runt at her side, and she signs the annual payment to her ex-husband. And finally, that perfect epilogue.
“There’s one other draggy component that diminishes Barry Lyndon, and in fact makes the dead-zone portion even deader than it needs to be, and that’s Berenson’s performance. Even now, the mere thought of her glacial expression — there’s only one — in that film makes me tighten with irritation.”
This is pretty decent, I have to say. The closing line from Princess Leia especially. Apparently authored by Epinards & Caramel. The only real problem is the orange light saber, which…wait…Luke touches with his hands? We need a tweet from that faux-Michael Haneke guy. Note: “It’s a trap!” headline stolen from YouTube commenter “Admiral Ackbar.”
This montage is three years old so I must have watched it sometime before this morning, and yet I don’t recall doing so. I think I watched another one. (Crazy Cage tributes are ubiquitous.) I know that during the first few seconds I wondered if these were all genuine clips or if it was a mix of real stuff and some imitator sampling Cage classics. People will look at this material 100 years from now and go “Jeez, who was this guy?”