“How about we enslave all white people for a couple hundred years. And even after they’re not slaves anymore, still hold them down in society, devalue their existence by comparing them to animals, never apologize, never really make it right, and then after that there will be no more double standards and everyone will get fired for everything they say.” — Michelle Wolf on the alleged double standard re ABC cancelling Roseanne for Valerie Jarrett/Planet of the Apes while TBS hasn’t cancelled Full Frontal following Samantha Bee‘s following “feckless” c-word remark about Ivanka Trump.
“I’m writing a film about [the Harvey Weinstein] scandal, a project I’m talking about with a French producer. My character won’t be named Harvey Weinstein but it will be a horror film, with a sexual aggressor, and it will take place in the film industry.” — Brian DePalma speaking to Le Parisien‘s Catherine Balle in a short q & a posted on 6.1.
The second most interesting quote comes when Balle asks if DePalma has “been offered [a chance] to make movies for Netflix?”, and DePalma replies, “Yes, but I need a big screen because I am a visual stylist.”
I understand what BDP is saying — his kind of movies work better with that swept-along feeling that comes with seeing them with a sharp crowd on a big screen — but a film with a strong visual style would surely be appreciated if it was restricted to home screens. Images are images, style is style.
Variety‘s Dave McNary is reporting that Solo: A Star Wars Story is deader than dead, deader than roadkill, finito, flatline. Tracking forecasts a $28 million haul this weekend in North America, which will translate into a stunning 67% drop from last weekend’s opening of $84.4 million, which itself was seen as shitty.
If this was happening in Japan the Solo team would probably be considering the idea of ritual seppuku. Then again Solo has already disemboweled itself on its own dime. I don’t think it would’ve mattered if Disney had decided to release it next December; I think it still would’ve bombed. The Miller-Lord debacle plus the casting of Alden Ehrenreich as young Han Solo — arguably the stupidest mainstream Hollywood casting decision of the 21st Century — is what did it. Solo almost certainly wouldn’t have bombed so badly they had just hired Ansel Elgort instead.
The person most responsible for this calamity is obviously producer Kathy Kennedy. Obviously we don’t “do” seppuku in this country, but if I were Kennedy or Ehrenreich I would drive out to the desert and lay low for a couple of weeks. Wait until the cloud of calamity blows over.
5:02 pm update: Remember Matt Damon talking about having shot an Ocean’s 8 cameo? Well, he’s been cut from the film over mansplaining. George Clooney‘s Danny Ocean is “dead at the beginning and also the end when Debbie Ocean visits his grave,” a friend says. The only person from the Soderbergh Ocean flicks is Elliot Gould, who appears in just one scene.
Earlier: Manhattan get-around guy Bill McCuddy got me going on a question about the salaries on Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros., 6.8). It’s a bit of a chickenshit thing to bring up but what the hell. The idea is this: Pay equality is a very big issue these days in progressive circles (i.e., opposition to this or that actor getting paid more than this or that actress on the same film if she has roughly the same billing and screen time), but perhaps the equality thing receded when it came to an ensemble flick about heisting the Met gala?
Ocean’s 8 only cost about $70 million so nobody got any huge prima donna paydays, but I’m guessing that Sandra Bullock was paid the most, followed by Cate Blanchett and Rihanna and then…?
A producer friend: “It’s not in the upfront quote on a film like this. This was probably a lowball favored nations. You can’t make this movie paying each cast member their quote. Crazy expensive. The big money on a picture like this is in the back-end deal. If the movie hits, you make a serious amount of dough. You let go of the big upfront salary and negotiate a lucrative profit participation.
“True story: George Clooney sent Julia Roberts the Ocean’s 11 script with a ten-dollar bill inside along with a note that said ‘we heard you got ten for a picture so we included it with the script. Hope you like it.’ Roberts thought the note was hilarious and said yes.
“The message was that nobody was getting their quote. It’s also in the spirit of being on the team. No prima donnas. Not an upfront paycheck deal. In it to make a movie that makes money at the box-office. That said, I’m sure the profit participation cash deal [on Ocean’s 8] was very, very healthy.”
Bloody Disgusting‘s John Squires is reporting that David Robert Mitchell‘s Under The Silver Lake, which almost everyone hated when it played in Cannes last month, is now a December release. A24 had originally planned to release it later this month (6.22), but the buzz was so bad they obviously got the willies. They’ve almost certainly asked Mitchell to go back to the editing room and tighten up his 139-minute film, and perhaps even do a little re-shooting. The new A24 release date is 12.7.18.
From “Mitchell’s Wandering Fartscape“, posted on 5.16.18: I’m sorry but David Robert Mitchell‘s Under The Silver Lake (A24, 6.22), which I saw early this morning, is mostly a floundering, incoherent mess. Yeah, I know — Mitchell wanted it to feel this way, right? Ironically, I mean. Confusion and mental haziness were part of the impressionistic thrust.
It’s pretty much a textbook example of what happens when a gifted, financially successful director without much on his mind at the time…this is what happens when such a fellow comes to believe that he’s a version of Federico Fellini in the wake of La Dolce Vita or 8 1/2 and thereby obtains the funds to make whatever the hell he wants, and so he decides to create…uhm, well let’s try our hand at an impressionistic fantasia dreamtrip about L.A. hipster weirdness and…you know, dreamy fantasy women with nice breasts and impressionistic effluvia and whatever-the-fuck-else.
Two hours and 15 minutes of infuriating slacker nothingness…everyone’s vaguely confused, nobody really knows anything, all kinds of clues and hints about seemingly impenetrable conspiracies involving general L.A. space-case culture, bodies of dead dogs, cults, riddles and obsessions of the super-rich.
I’ve always hated Harold Ramis‘s Caddyshack, and I don’t care how much money it made or how cultish it is now. I hated it from the very first shot of that animatronic gopher, and so did Doug Kenney so don’t tell me. It taught me to vaguely dislike Chevy Chase. It turned me off to the Rodney Dangerfield thing and made me think twice about Bill Murray. (I didn’t come back to Murray until Tootsie, which opened two years later.) It’s a low, sloppy, catch-as-catch-can cocaine comedy. And now there’s a book about it by Chris Nashawaty? Seriously? On top of which I’ve always hated golf, golfers, golf apparel, golf courses, clubhouses, gin and tonics…that whole culture.
Terrence Malick‘s latest film is Radegund, a German-language drama about Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jagerstatter (August Diehl). Pic shot in Europe during the mid-to-late summer of ’16. During the 2017 Berlinale it was forecasted by Variety to open in late ’17. (Hah!) When that didn’t happen forecasters began predicting some kind of 2018 debut, if not theatrically then at least at the elite September film festivals (Venice, Telluride, Toronto).
HE has asked around, and the betting is that Radegund will continue to hide its face until the February 2019 Berlinale, if that. Malick has always taken his sweet-ass time in post. He takes around two years per film and sometimes longer — Tree of Life, To The Wonder, Knight of Cups, Song to Song. (The latter began filming with costar Rooney Mara in 2012 and didn’t open until March of ’17.)
I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Radegund turns up closer to next year’s Cannes Film Festival or even, don’t laugh, during Venice/Telluride/Toronto of ’19. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t appear until 2020.
There’s no reliable timetable when it comes to Mr. Wackadoodle. He likes to shuffle and re-shuffle and think things through, and then re-shuffle and re-shuffle and then toss the lettuce leaves into the air as he twirls three times while chanting, adding lemon and olive oil and re-shuffling all over again, and then going outside and re-thinking it all during long walks.
Radegund costars Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Michael Nyqvist (who died in June ’17, roughly ten months after giving his performance), Jurgen Prochnow, Matthias Schoenaerts and Bruno Ganz.
Jagerstatter was an Austrian farmer who refused to take on combat duties after being conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1943. He was immediately arrested and executed by guillotine later in the same year at the age of 36. Jagerstatter was born and is buried in the Austrian village St. Radegund, named after the sixth-century German princess and saint.
I think the Samantha Bee thing is starting to go away. President Trump delivered the coup de grace when he suggested there was some kind of quid pro quo between Bee calling his daughter Ivanka a “feckless cunt” and Roseanne Barr equating Valerie Jarrett with Planet of the Apes, and that Bee should be canned, etc.
A 6.1 Boston Globe piece by Stephanie Ebbert called “Why The C-Word Is Still The Third Rail of Profanity” is probably the last gasp. It’s an ugly term, but not as toxic as the “n” word. Gay guys have been using it for as long as I can remember, Julie Christie angrily applied the term to Lee Grant in Shampoo, it’s heard a good 25 or 30 times in Sexy Beast (Ian McShane to a group of London gangsters: “Gentlemen! You’re all cunts”), and yesterday Sally Field said Bee didn’t use a harsh enough term to describe Ivanka. (Or something like that.) It’s been 36 hours — time to let it go.
Rabbi to Josh Brolin’s Eddie Mannix: “Young man, you don’t follow for a very simple reason. These men are screwballs. God has children and…what, a dog? A collie maybe? God doesn’t have children. He’s a bachelor, and very angry.”
The best part of this theological discussion scene comes when Mannix leaves the meeting, his assistant asks “how’d you do?” and he throws up his hands and says “I dunno…fine…what’s up?”
Repeating earlier verdict: I re-watched Hail Caesar! the other night, and it still doesn’t work. The worst parts are the political discussion scenes out at the commie-kidnapper screenwriters’ bungalow, and the bit when traitor Channing Tatum drops the $100K into the sea in order to catch the little white dog. But it works in pieces.