Media people…okay, magazine editors have decided that Scarlett Johansson is extra-double-happening right now and so she’s on two big covers because…why again? Because of her tough-as-nails but not exactly earth-shattering supporting performance as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Because certain people are convinced she’ll be the absolute shit in Luc Besson‘s Lucy? Because she played a predatory, black-wigged alien picking up Scottish hitchhikers in Under The Skin, which nearly everyone agrees is a fairly rough sit? Because she played an argumentative zoo-keeper in We Bought A Zoo? Let me explain something: Scarlett Johansson has been acting in films for 20 years (her first film was Rob Reiner‘s North) and she’s delivered exactly one classic performance — as Samantha the software program in Spike Jonze‘s Her. And she was very, very good in Lost in Translation and Match Point, and she was better than-half-decent in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I’m just not getting the hey-hey-ho. Which is another way of saying I’m not experiencing the requisite libidinal stirrings.
Recent comments on Queerty, a tabloidy gay gossip website, about the Bryan Singer-Michael Egan scandal are probably somewhat indicative of under-40 gay community sentiment. So rather than listen to me, a lifelong straight guy who finds Egan’s stories about having been repeatedly and forcibly violated a bit questionable, consider the responses to today’s (4.18) Queerty story about Singer and director Roland Emmerich having thrown huge “twink” parties (along with a photo of Singer and a young blond kid). These guys obviously have a degree of insight and perspective that straights can’t have.
And before reading some of the comments (or all of them if you click on the page), consider the odd-sounding headline (odd in the sense that the implied offense and unsympathetic judgment doesn’t seem to fit a gay-friendly publication) and imagine the laughter if a scandal sheet had published a story in the 1960s, ’70s or ’80s about Hugh Hefner‘s wild Playboy mansion orgies and all the pot, booze, ‘ludes and cocaine that were consumed and how Hef’s obsession for young nubile women is no secret.
Scott Eyman‘s “John Wayne: The Life and Legend” has put me in a receptive frame of mind. This 1969 interview with Duke is from Peter Bogdanovich‘s Directed by John Ford (’71). I succumbed to Wayne’s charm when I first saw this way back when. 1969 was right on the girth cusp for The Duke. He allowed himself to get pretty bulky after this. (Was it Ford or Howard Hawks who complained said that Wayne had gotten too fat in his later years?) The image and sound quality are much better on the Directed by John Ford DVD, of course, that they are here. (The French guy who edited this YouTube assemblage is a talentless amateur, of course — he can’t cut worth a damn.)
In a 1.21.14 Sundance Film Festival review, I confessed to bailing on Jim Mickle‘s Cold in July and that much of my inability to stay with it was due to a hair-styling decision by Mickle and his star, Michael C. Hall. “The part I saw felt like a Jim Thompson melodrama mixed with the kind of low-rent VOD film that throws in a totally unexpected third-act plot twist because viewers won’t expect it. I’d read the reviews, I knew what was coming…later. But the main issue (and I’m not saying this just to sound eccentric or obstinate) is Mickle’s decision to have his lead actor, Michael C. Hall, wear a mullet.
“My heart sank when I saw it. A brick wall. I tried to get past it but I couldn’t. I should have just walked out when I saw the damn thing but I stupidly hung in there.
Yesterday a Daily Mail piece about columnist Baz Bamigboye visiting the set of Justin Kurzel‘s Macbeth (’15) appeared. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard portray Mr. and Mrs. M with Sean Harris, Paddy Considine, Elizabeth Debicki and David Thewlis costarring. I’ve seen my share of Macbeths (including the notoriously panned 1980 Peter O’Toole stage version at the Old Vic), and my hands-down, all-time favorite is Roman Polanski‘s 1971 film version with Jon Finch in the title role.