I’ve been watching One, Two, Three since the ’60s, and I laugh at the final line in this clip every damn time. The gist of James Cagney‘s three-word retort: You threatened me so I fucked you up badly, but then I un-fucked you up so everything’s cool and what’s your problem?
The key thing is Cagney turning to his left and looking at Lilo Pulver instead of Horst Buccholz when he says it. This changes the pitch. Cagney’s Coca Cola exec knows he’s using lopsided moral logic but what the hell. Another example of how a joke has to be delivered just so with just the right touch of English or it won’t work. Wilder used to say this in interviews all the time.
In a 7.7 piece titled “How the Globalization of the Academy Shakes Up the Race,” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg has again reported that foreign-resident membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has increased big-time over the past 13 months. With 1457 new members added since June 2016, or roughly a fifth of the entire membership of 7650, hundreds upon hundreds of these newbies are from China, South Korea, Russia, Israel, Poland, Italy, Japan, et. al. (Feinberg’s first post about AMPAS membership changes appeared two years ago.)
So throngs of new foreign voters will mean what in terms of Best Picture contenders? You tell me but here’s a theory. Because a more culturally varied membership indicates a less monolithic mindset, it could be that formulaic, emotionally pat feel-good flicks that often appeal to the blue-hairs — movies like Chicago, The King’s Speech, Crash, The Artist — might have a tougher time winning. Maybe. Or an increased influence from Chinese and South Korean members could mean, God help us, greater support for military spectacle, monster flicks, martial-arts crap or Hitchcock or Spielberg homage films. Okay, let’s not go there. All hail the policies of inclusion, and down with the dominance of the proverbial 62 year-old white male who used to represent the typical Academy voter.
From Brooks Barnes’ N.Y. Times profile of producer Amy Pascal, posted on 7.8: “Pascal’s producing projects are varied: superhero movies (Silver & Black), prestige-minded dramas (The Papers), bouncy comedies (Barbie). But almost every film on her docket involves female empowerment.
“’I’m not trying to correct or counterbalance,’ Pascal said, referring to male-dominated Hollywood. ‘I’m interested in women because I am a woman, and that’s what I understand.’
“To illustrate her point, she turned to The Papers, which stars Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, who hesitantly took over The Washington Post after her husband’s suicide in 1963. The screenplay finds Graham trying to catch up to The New York Times, which published the Pentagon Papers in 1971, enraging President Richard M. Nixon and leading to a landmark First Amendment court case, which prohibited the government from ordering that leaked information not be published.
“’It’s first and foremost a movie about Katharine Graham, a woman who went from being a little bit of a mouse to a lion,’ Ms. Pascal said. ‘And that, to me, was obviously really interesting. She had to struggle to decide to speak up.’
“She added: ‘I know that woman. I’ve been that woman.'”
HE interjection: The problem with The Papers, as I indicated last March after reading Liz Hannah‘s The Post (since retitled and rewritten by Josh Singer), is that Mrs. Graham spends too much time as a mouse (over 70 pages) and not enough as a lion.
I’m a sucker for clackety-clack typewriter sounds, sure. I love fiddling with typewriters. I love that there’s a brick building on Olympic called National Typewiter Company. But I haven’t owned a typewriter since ’88 or thereabouts. Typewriters aren’t vinyl (i.e., a cooler way to go) but Victrolas. They’re basically a sentimental indulgence for affluent types who don’t have to submit or post anything. Or who don’t mind scanning their pages and transferring to digital. Not to mention buying inky ribbons, white-out, paper. There’s an OSX software called Noisy Typer that I just tried to install — didn’t work. Doug Nichol‘s California Typewriter will open in New York and Los Angeles on 8.11. No screening invites or offer of video links. Who’s handling publicity?
There was some back-and-forth yesterday about Kier Simmons‘ timid approach to covering a G20 demonstration for NBC (“What Kind Of Pussy Reporter Wears A Crash Helmet?“). One of the comments mentioned that notorious scene at the beginning of Thunderball when Sean Connery wore a jetpack helmet. Connery had that Scottish machismo thing down just fine in Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger. But it all collapsed when he put that pussy helmet on. From that point on there was something vaguely deballed about the guy. The advertising team obviously agreed — the Thunderball posters showed Connery flying the jet pack without the helmet.
No argument about having to wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle around town (although I’d be happier if the helmet law was optional) and I understand the need to wear yellow hard hats on a construction site, but otherwise helmets are for eunuchs. I’ve never worn one of those pinko-pansy bicycle helmets in my life, and I never will.
But you can’t make him drink. Or, in Shia LaBeouf’s case, not drink.
The poor guy was arrested in Savannah around 4 am this morning “after he was caught causing a drunken commotion in City Market downtown,” according to Variety. Hey, I know the City Market area pretty well! Festive, touristy. If I was still a drinking man I would probably adore Savannah on a whole ‘nother level.
Whatever Labeouf’s enjoyment levels were last night, they plummeted when he was put in a cell around 4 or 5 am this morning. He made bail around 11 am.
“The Transformers star first began making a scene when he asked a bystander and an officer if they had any cigarettes to spare,” the report reads. “Upon their refusal, Lebeouf ‘became disorderly, using profanities and vulgar language in front of the women and children present,’ says the SCMPD. ‘He was told to leave the area and refused, becoming aggressive toward the officer. LaBeouf then ran to a nearby hotel, where he was eventually apprehended inside the lobby.’
It was apparent to me nine years ago that Lebeouf had a problem that needed addressing. I had a brief discussion with him about “the program” during an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crustal Skull party at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Excerpt: “I told LeBeouf he looked great also, adding — this was a minor mistake — that the program obviously agreed with him. ‘The program?,’ he asked. ‘Yeah,’ I said. ‘AA, no? I read you’d gone into the program after the Chicago Walmart bust.’ ‘Nope…no program…just livin’ my life,’ he replied.”