Taken somewhere in rural wherever during the fall 1967 promotion for Warren Beatty and Arthur Penn‘s Bonnie and Clyde. The guy on the left, I’m guessing, is the Holiday Inn manager, and the tall blonde woman is a local also. Beatty in the center, obviously, with Bonnie and Clyde costars Estelle Parsons (second from left) and Michael J. Pollard (far right). Intrigued, I asked Beatty about the when, where and why…crickets.
A couple of years ago Oscar-winning documentarian Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) and CNN partnered to make a Hillary Clinton doc. The idea was to explore or explain how Hillary went from being “a very sincere, committed person,” in Ferguson’s words, to the guarded, secretive, heavily fortified figure she is today. Her changeover happened, says Ferguson, because of “what [she and Bill Clinton] went through in the White House…some of that is known, some of it is not…it changed her a lot.
But in a chat with Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn, Ferguson explains that the project stalled because “no one [would] talk to me. Absolutely no one. I encountered a wall of silence the likes of which I have never encountered before.
Is David Gordon Green‘s Our Brand Is Crisis (Warner Bros., 10.30) a Sandra Bullock dramedy with a real-world political undercurrent, or a political dramedy in which Bullock stars? It will have three Toronto Film Festival screenings this weekend — a single showing on Friday, 9.11 at the Princess of Wales, and two screenings on Saturday (Ryerson, Princess of Wales again).
The Warner Bros./Participant film, produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, is an adaptation of Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name. The doc focused on the experience of Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Green began shooting in New Orleans on 9.29.14 and presumably wrapped before year’s end.
I know Leonard Bernstein‘s Oscar-nominated On The Waterfront score backwards and forwards. (Especially the main-title portion.) It would be nice, I agree, to hear the score performed live by the New York Philharmonic while the film plays on a big screen. The performance is slated for 9.18. But it’s still the same Bernstein score I’ve been listening to all my life, and the idea of plunking down $95 or $200 and change if you’re taking a date seems a bit much. N.Y. Philharmonic fans can afford it but Average Joes will hesitate. I’ll be in Toronto, in any event, from the 9th through the 18th, and then straight back to L.A.
Last night’s Alberquerque-to-JFK flight wasn’t pure adulterated hell, but like all red-eye flights it was fairly miserable. Sitting in your seat and trying to sleep but unable to really sink to the bottom of the pond. The flight was only three and a half hours, and I guess I “slept”…oh, maybe 90 minutes or so. I finally couldn’t stand the fake-sleep purgatory and decided to just wake the hell up, and at that very moment I looked out the left-side window and there was sprawled-out, golden-glowing Philadelphia, which meant only another 20 or 25 minutes before freedom. Whenever I suffer through a particularly unhappy red-eye and want to feel a sense of relief or deliverance after landing at JFK, I get out the headphones and play “Our Prayer” from the Smile sessions.
I’ve read a draft of the Bryan Sipe script that Jean Marc Vallee‘s Demolition (Fox Searchlight, 4.8.16) is based upon. The film looks and sounds somewhat more appealing than the movie I was seeing in my head as I read the script, but it’s odd that the trailer pays a helluva lot more attention to Heather Lind, who plays Jake Gyllenhaal‘s late wife and mostly appears in flashbacks, than Naomi Watts, whose character (a customer service rep for a vending machine company) is very alive and central to the story. (Watts is seen/heard saying a single line in the trailer — “Do you miss her?”) This in itself feels like a weird call.
Demolition costar Judah Lewis.
You know who’s got the heat in this thing besides Gyllenhaal? Judah Lewis, who plays Watt’s teenaged son. You can tell right away. He tested for the latest Spider-Man reboot, costars in the forthcoming Point Break remake.
The Toronto International Film Festival (starting in two days) will open with a screening of Demolition, even though Fox Searchlight decided late last July to remove it from award-season consideration by giving it a release date of 4.8.16. Vallee’s Dallas Buyer’s Club and Wild were in the Oscar derby in 2013 and ’14, but not this time. At the very least the opening-night Toronto booking has people scratching their heads and going ‘what the…?’
Martin Milner passed yesterday at age 83. Sincere condolences to family, friends and fans. Milner was a nice guy and, I’m sorry to say, an Orange County-residing Republican for most of his life, but we all have our paths to follow. The red-haired, freckle-faced actor was known for playing decent, middle-of-the-road whitebread guys who always respected like-minded milquetoasts and had reasonable, fair-minded things to say about any situation. Average Joe obit writers are all saying that Milner was best known for his lead roles in Route 66 (CBS, ’60 to ’64) and Adam-12 (’68 to ’75). But they were both flotsam. Okay, Route 66 had a mildly cool escapist attitude with a few angles but Adam-12 was essentially rightwing propaganda.
Adam-12, exec produced by Dragnet‘s Jack Webb, was basically a show about conservative, Orange County values (i.e., respect and allegiance for traditionalism and authority) in the face of the convulsive changes of the late ’60s and early ’70s. It always bothered me that my younger brother, a pseudo-libertarian leftie who passed under tragic circumstances in ’09, always used to mutter “one-Adam-12” whenever the subject came up at the dinner table. Will somebody please tell me what’s so cool about L.A. cop lingo? My brother wouldn’t leave it alone.
Route 66 was an intriguing little relationship series about a couple of mild mannered lightweights (Milner, George Maharis/Glenn Corbett) roaming around and catching glimpses of the existential void in American life.
If you ask me Milner peaked with two performances from the second Eisenhower administration — Steve Dallas, a decent if somewhat priggish jazz guitar player who got smeared as a commie pot smoker because he fell in love with J.J. Hunsecker‘s younger sister Susie (Susan Harrison) in Sweet Smell of Success (’57), and Paul Grinstead, an amiable young guy who happens upon Vera Miles‘ Millicent Barnes in an upstate New York bus station in “Mirror Image,” a Twilight Zone episode (aired in February ’60) about Barnes being convinced that a duplicate clone is trying to take over her life.