There was a lot of passionate talk on Facebook yesterday about Elia Kazan. It was partly inspired by a 35 year-old Jonathan Rosenbaum piece about Kazan that he re-posted a day or two ago. So much feeling, so many different currents and moods and conflicts…it was as if Kazan were still alive and kicking.
It all gradually led to a rewinding and a re-visiting of the most emotional journey into Kazan and his films that I’ve ever known — Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones‘ A Letter To Elia (’10).
“A Letter to Elia is a delicate and beautiful little poem,” I wrote that year. “It’s a personal tribute to a director who made four films — On The Waterfront, East of Eden, Wild River and America America — that went right into Scorsese’s young bloodstream and swirled around inside for decades after. Scorcese came to regard Kazan as a father figure, he says in the doc. And after watching you understand why.
“Letter is a deeply touching film because it’s so close to the emotional bone. The sections that take you through the extra-affecting portions of Waterfront and Eden got me and held me like a great sermon. It’s like a church service, this film. It’s pure religion.
For years I’ve been hoping to see Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey projected in genuine IMAX. It was announced today that serious large-format presentations will finally happen on 8.24, or just over three weeks hence. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Pamela McLintock reports that four IMAX theatres (in Burbank, Manhattan, San Francisco and Toronto) will project the 1968 classic on what I presume will be titanic IMAX-sized screens.
The downside is that Chris Nolan‘s teal and yellow-tinted version, by any fundamental visual standard a vandalizing of Kubrick’s original 70mm presentation of the film (as this comparison reel makes clear), is the version that will be shown. McLintock reports that a “4K restoration” (i.e., Nolan’s version converted for an upcoming 4K Bluray) will be screened at “350 other IMAX locations,” many if not most of which will be fake IMAX screens.
You want irony? A video posted at the bottom of McLintock’s THR story, titled “2001: A Space Odyssey Anniversary / A Look Back”, shows scenes from the film that haven’t been Nolan-ized (i.e., aren’t tinted teal or piss-yellow).
Remember the good old days (i.e., five years ago) when Tom Hardy‘s middle name wasn’t “paycheck” and he’d just blown everyone away with his quiet, less-is-more, totally-solo performance as a building contractor in Locke? Remember his performances in Warrior, The Revenant, Dunkirk, Legend, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Drop? Those were the days. Beware of director Ruben Fleischer, whom I loved after Zombieland (’09) but regretfully walked away from after Gangster Squad. Venom pops on 10.5.
Variety and Deadline have reported that three name-brand actresses will costar in Fair and Balanced, an Annapurna drama about the downfall of Fox News honcho Roger Ailes over sexual harassment charges.
Nicole Kidman will play former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, Charlize Theron will portray former Fox News headliner Megyn Kelly, and Margot Robbie will play “a fictional Fox News associate producer named Kayla Pospisil.” Question: How do you pronounce Pospisil? A tongue-twister any way you slice it.
My first choice to play Blubbergut Ailes was Russell Crowe, but he’s taken by that other project. Who then?
Jay Roach will direct. The script is by Charles Randolph (The Big Short). In anyone has a PDF, please send it along. Boilerplate: “The film will tell the story of the ensemble of women who took on the toxic male culture of Fox News and helped depose its chief architect.”
The entire issue of the next N.Y. Times Sunday Magazine (8.5) is devoted to the steadily losing war against climate change. Written by Nathaniel Rich and titled “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” the central thesis is that civilization could have arrested climate change if responsible meaures had been taken during the mid to late ’80s, or more precisely during the George H.W. Bush administration.
Alas, former New Hampshire governor John Sununu, Bush’s chief of staff, successfully argued against such measures, and so the opportunity was lost. Have tens of thousands aided and abetted, including President Trump? Of course, but Sununu stands alone — the satanic ogre who did more than any other single person in a position of power to block constructive measures against climate change during a key period, and who set forces in motion that will essentially doom millions to untold meteorological horrors.
From a 2.6.90 N.Y. Times story titled “Bush Asks Cautious Response To Threat of Global Warming“: “President Bush called today for a cautious response to the threat of global warming, pleasing those in his Administration who want a deliberate policy but disappointing many environmentalists.
“In a speech to an international environmental group, the President called for global action but warned against policies that would interfere with economic growth and the free market.
“Administration officials said the speech struck a middle ground between conflicting positions among Mr. Bush’s aides. His chief of staff, John H. Sununu, wanted to emphasize scientific uncertainties about global warming and to warn of economic dangers in rushing to act. Several agency heads, including William K. Reilly, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, pressed for a stronger message of America’s commitment to action.”
Sununu quote #1: “The global warming crisis is just the latest surrogate for an over-arching agenda of anti-growth and anti-development. This agenda grew and gathered support in the years following World War II.” Sununu quote #2: “Nature will eventually do what nature has always done. It will respond in a self-stabilizing manner over the long term with moderate variability over multi-decade periods and with occasional significant variability over the short term.”‘
Asked on PBS to summarize the conclusion of his lengthy N.Y. Times report, Rich said that “the simple political answer, a very narrow answer, which is that [in] the first George Bush administration…chief of staff John Sununu was an engineer [and] was very skeptical about the science of global warning, and he suspected that it would be used by a cabal of folks who wanted to suppress growth and economic advancement, and he managed to win an internal fight in that White House against action.”
Just a sample of the sad scene we faced at the Trump rally in Tampa. I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt. We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy. pic.twitter.com/IhSRw5Ui3R
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 1, 2018