From a 3.8.16 Facebook post by Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez: “On the road between Eureka Springs and Little Rock today in Arkansas…the sickening emblems (even more striking than the anti-Obama signs I witnessed) are persistent in front of houses and businesses. The ride was capped by this doozy of a sign on the outskirts of Harrison. Wow. Despite this, I have to emphasize that Eureka Springs was the complete opposite of Harrison. So welcoming. It is a town that famously celebrates its open-mindedness.”
Yesterday I expressed profound skepticism about a recently-posted mini-rave of Richard Linklater‘s Everybody Wants Some (Paramount, 4.1) by New Yorker film critic Richard Brody. Well, another guy who’s seen it says Brody isn’t wrong. He says the trailer is totally misleading, and that the film is actually quite subtle, even though they’re selling it like Wet Hot American Summer. So subtle, in fact, that he suspects general audiences will probably reject it because it’s not hah-hah “funny” in the traditional sense. That’s why the trailer comes off so flat, as if the jokes aren’t landing. He says there “aren’t any gags in the movie, really…it’s just observational and really heartfelt, like Boyhood.” He says it’s not Dazed and Confused 2, and that it’s basically (a) about guys at a specific age — past adolescence, not yet adults — and how they relate to each other when girls aren’t around, and (b) an insightful thing about bonding and competitiveness.
Liza Johnson‘s Elvis & Nixon (Bleecker, 4.22) doesn’t open for another five or six weeks but L.A. junket screenings must be happening within three or four, right? I don’t even know when or where the junket will take place but Hollywood Elsewhere is on the Elvis & Nixon case, champing at the very bit.
I’ve posted two riffs about hugely annoying public laughter — one about a year ago (“Good and Bad Laughter,” 3.16.15) and another the previous summer (“Monkey Obeisance“, 7.11.14). In the year-old piece I listed several kinds of public laughter, and in my judgment the worst is “overly energetic, looking-to-please social laughter, which is not about ‘funny’ as much as making the joke-teller feel respected and/or appreciated.” You could also described this as “ass-kissing monkey obeisance knee-slapping laughter.” The guy upstairs (i.e., the one who moved in after the death of the gay guy who used to cackle at a friend’s jokes each and every morning at 7 am, rain or shine)…the guy upstairs is a gross offender. He’s a shriek-laugher. Over and over and over, giggling like a fucking hyena. And at 8 am yet! This morning I was looking up and laser-drilling a hole in the ceiling and saying to this guy with my telepathic powers, “You loser…the louder you shriek, the more socially anxious and desperate you sound. Show a little dignity and restrain yourself. Oh, right…you don’t know about restraint, do you? Your parents never taught you that one. Sorry.”
“Low information voters” isn’t some abstract concept taken from a political science lecture given at Brandeis back in the mid ’80s. Low-information voters are real — they have names, faces, histories and rationales. And they don’t want to know from Bernie. Kiese Laymon‘s Wiki profile: “An American writer, editor and associate professor of English and Africana Studies at Vassar College. The author of “Long Division” and “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America”, Laymon’s work deals with American racism, feminism, family, masculinity, geography, hip-hop and Southern black life.
There’s a delusional Christian film opening next week called Miracles From Heaven (Screen Gems, 3.16). Yes, I know — using the above adjective implies there are Christian films that aren’t delusional. Jennifer Garner plays the lead role (i.e., a mom whose faith in God is invigorated when her sick daughter is cured after falling from a tree), and is now giving the film nationwide attention with a Vanity Fair cover story by Krista Smith. The question is “why?…why would a more-or-less liberal Hollywood mom and an estranged wife of Ben Affleck in good standing…why would she star in a film aimed at Orange County and Bible-belt yokels?”
Garner was raised in rural West Virginia, check. She’s a devout Methodist, check. But starring in a Christian flick feels to me like a kind of cultural betrayal. Is she a Los Angeles girl or isn’t she? Was making this film a result of some kind of ideological, faith-driven decision on Garner’s part? Or was she off-balance because of her marital troubles with Affleck and lunged toward a Christian film as a kind of therapy? Did she need the money or something?
Yesterday afternoon Mashable‘s Josh Dickey posted about Amazon’s 90-day theatrical window thing. It’s widely believed that Netflix shot itself in the foot Academy-wise by going day-and-date with Beasts of No Nation, but Amazon will be dodging that shitstorm, most significantly in the case of Kenneth Lonergan‘s awards-baity Manchester by The Sea, which they acquired at Sundance for $10 million.
(l. to r.) Manchester by the Sea costars Lucas Hedges, Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler.
(l. to r.) Amazon’s Ted Hope, Roy Price, Bob Berney.
Dickey: “In a new (but very old) strategy that could give it a leg up over other streamers breaking into Hollywood, Amazon is preparing to allow a 90-day window between movie theaters and Prime streaming for many of its upcoming films, allowing for more robust and mainstream cinema runs, Mashable has learned.”
Except Amazon’s Scott Foundas told me about the theatrical window intention six weeks ago on a Park City shuttle bus. Remember, also, that the 90-day thing had been revealed in a February 2nd Deadline interview between Mike Fleming and WME Global head Graham Taylor, who brokered the Manchester deal along with the sale of The Birth of a Nation to Fox Searchlight.