Everyone understands that Netflix has to open Roma in a strong “look at us!” theatrical fashion in order to overcome or at least lessen old-school naysayer sentiments in the Academy and the guilds — i.e., those who’ve resented the generally non-theatrical feature release strategy that Netflix has followed in recent years.
Boiled down, Roma has to impress everyone as a movie-theatre event first and for a decent period of time, and a Netflix streamer second. The more noticable Roma‘s theatrical presence is in the early stages, the better chance it has at not only landing nominations but winning Best Picture, Best Director and so on.
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Digital Bits editor Bill Hunt has posted “pixel camera” captures of the forthcoming 4K Bluray of 2001: A Space Odyssey (WHE, 11.20). Bill’s Facebook reaction: “Yep…it’s gorgeous. And properly color-graded. No Nolan ‘unrestored’ nonsense. NOTE: These pictures are cellphone camera photos of a projection screen — NOT FRAME GRABS. Trust me, the film looks exactly as it should in HDR.”
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“We cannot afford to mince words.
“Donald Trump is directly responsible for yesterday’s mass murder in Pittsburgh. He is also responsible for the attempted murders by the MAGAbomber across the country. We already know that Donald Trump is a rapacious, violent abuser with no regard for democracy or human dignity. If he is not stopped, either electorally or by a popular uprising, this country will continue its tragic and perilous slide into authoritarian-capitalist fascism, and these horrors will be just a prelude to far greater evils to come.
“The masses of Americans who oppose Trump know that we are in the majority, and that his power is only being sustained by fellow evil-doers from within his minority, to subvert American democracy in order to cling to power at all cost. The problem is that the nation was founded by white men who designed this system to do exactly what it is doing, to ensure minority rule and ward against the danger of real, direct democracy. This reality has been expanded in the modern era by corrupt actors who have found ways to distort the system further. They have rigged elections and districts and obstructed Americans who might oppose them from voting at all.
“We know that this is what a losing minority does when it fears being cast onto the ash heap of history. But we also know that the mainstream Democratic Party has historically failed to protect millions of Americans from these monstrous actions. So we know that only we the people will fix this, by demanding its repair.” — Facebook post by documentarian Eugene Jarecki, roughly 20 hours ago.
“…and not in the towel.”
The line is from Jean Aouilh and Peter Glenville‘s Becket, during a scene in King Henry II’s bathinq auarters. Becket (Richard Burton) is vigorously drying Henry (Peter O’Toole) with a towel, and the king says, “I made you a nobleman — why do you play at being my valet?” Becket’s reply is that dignity comes from how well a person performs a given task, not so much from the status of the task itself.
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s Lee Marvin instant coffee metrosexual post (“Man Up”) that I didn’t even have a wooden swizzle stick to stir my Starbucks-instant-in-tap-water coffee, and so I used a fucking hotel toothbrush. No, not the bristles but the white handle end. Not even Marvin would do that. Didn’t faze me, water off a duck’s ass, that’s how I roll. The pertinent photo is after the jump.
Hollywood Elsewhere salutes Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone, who is also covering the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. And a tip of the hat to her coverage of yesterday’s Up and Comer panel, which included Kayli Carter (whom I raved about when I saw her in Private Life at Sundance last January), Raúl Castillo, Winston Duke (Black Panther), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), Hari Nef (who?) and Millicent Simmonds (A Quiet Place).
But I have to politely and respectfully point out that you never capture video of anything in the vertical position. You always tip the phone to the left so you can get a horizontal capture. Every cinematographer knows this, and so should every Hollywood columnist. This is analogous to that famous Tom Hanks line from A League of Their Own — “There’s no vertical video of a film festival event!”
Has Hollywood Elsewhere run into Sasha since we arrived in this historical Georgian neverland a couple of days ago? Nope. Haven’t seen hide nor hair. Sasha and I used to be Savannah Film Festival bruhs. We rented bicycles, peddled through the parks, hung out at the Sentient Bean.
Yesterday was a big Front Runner day at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Director-cowriter Jason Reitman and Best Actor contender Hugh Jackman were given the full media-glow, red-carpet treatment, and took bows before last night’s screening. But for me the most interesting moment happened during an afternoon discussion with Reitman in front of an audience of SCAD students.
The Front Runner (Sony, 11.6) is about the tragic saga of former Colorado Senator and 1988 Presidential candidate Gary Hart (Jackman), a decent, thoughtful, fairly brilliant politician who occasionally catted around and who made a really big mistake in the matter of Donna Rice. But what Hart did was almost nothing, of course, compared to the daily obscenities of Donald Trump.
And so, Reitman said, The Front Runner “becomes a really compelling story in 2018, when we are trying to figure out for ourselves, all the time, what kind of flaws are we willing to put up with in our leaders? [Because we now have] the most flawed leader imaginable, right? He’s completely indecent.”
Almost no one in the audience (i.e., mostly SCAD students) knew who Hart was or about the fuck-up that killed his Presidential campaign — an episode that was partly about Hart’s nature or character, but more profoundly about a moment in our history when political reporting suddenly became tabloidy, which is to say personally invasive, distracting and gutter-level.
Hollywood Elsewhere believes that occasionally putting the high, hard one to this or that willing recipient has nothing to do, in and of itself, with being a good or bad Senator, Congressperson or President.
Towards the end of the discussion I asked Reitman if he would have used James Fallows‘ recently reported story about Lee Atwater as a plot thread in The Front Runner, had he known about it early enough.
Atwater was a Republican operative who reportedly made a deathbed confessession about having “set Hart up” with the whole Monkey Business episode.
Reitman said that the confession wasn’t really central to The Front Runner — that it was more of an interesting Atwater anecdote than anything else. Here’s an mp3 of Reitman’s whole response to my question.