Acting rep-wise, Matthew McConaughey has gone through three or four stages. First he was the stoner guy from Dazed and Confused. Then he was the hunky blonde guy who starred in all those insufferable romcoms (The Wedding Planner, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Two for the Money, Fool’s Gold). Then he became Mr. McConnaissance with The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Killer Joe, Mud, Magic Mike, The Paperboy and his Oscar pony, Dallas Buyers Club. And The Wolf of Wall Street. Then he became Mr. “Jesus Enough With The Grim and Gritty McConnaissance” with Interstellar, The Sea of Trees, Free State of Jones, Kubo and the Two Strings, Gold, The Dark Tower and White Boy Rick. Now with the help of Harmony Korine, he’s back to being the wild Stoner Guy.
Snapped during post-Oscar nom Gold Derby podcast with Tom O’Neil and Michael Musto, recorded earlier today.
What kind of animals toss their garage outside their condo without securely tying the plastic bag?
“Heavy-handed camp about Hollywood — an attempt to fuse Sunset Boulevard, Vertigo, The Barefoot Contessa and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. Peter Finch plays a Svengali-like movie director. His great star, the glamorous foreigner Lylah Clare, died mysteriously a few hours after marrying him, and now he is turning a young American actress (Kim Novak) into Lylah. The stale, gaudy script (from a teleplay by Robert Thom and Edward De Blasio) provides roles for Coral Browne as a bitch columnist, Rossella Falk as a predatory European lesbian, and Valentina Cortese as a designer.
“Maybe an amusing macabre pastiche could have been made of it if the director, Robert Aldrich, hadn’t been so clumsy; it’s a static piece of filmmaking. With Michael Murphy, George Kennedy and Ernest Borgnine, who has rarely been worse — he demonstrates his shouting range.” — Pauline Kael on Robert Aldrich‘s The Legend of Lylah Clare (’68).
Roger Ebert wrote the film was “awful…but fairly enjoyable“, while Life‘s Richard Schickel felt that the film would catch on as a cult classic because it was “not merely awful…it is grandly, toweringly, amazingly so…I laughed myself silly at Lylah Clare, and if you’re in just the right mood, you may too.”
At various times, director Robert Aldrich blamed Novak’s performance and bad editing for the film’s failure. But in 1972, Aldrich said “I think there are a number of faults with” the film. “I was about to bum rap Kim Novak, when we were talking about this the other day, and then I realized that would be pretty unfair. Because people forget that Novak can act. I really didn’t do her justice. But there are some stars whose motion picture image is so firmly and deeply rooted in the public’s mind that an audience comes to a movie with a pre-conception about that person. And that pre-conception makes ‘reality” or any kind of myth that’s contrary to their pre-conceived reality impossible.
At this morning’s Sundance Film Festival press conference, exec director Keri Putnam said that organizers had noticed “a disturbing blind spot” in the press credential process. “Diversity isn’t about who is making the films,” Putnam said. “It’s about how they enter the world.” She said that the festival noticed that they were admitting “mostly white male critics.” That influenced the kind of films that were championed by reviewers, which in turn meant that only certain types of films scored big deals and major distribution pushes.
“This lack of inclusion has real-world implications,” Putnam remarked. “So we decided to do something about it.” She said that organizers re-shaped the credential process as a result. “63% of the press is from underrepresented groups this year,” Putnam said.
Sundance exec director Keri Putnam.
So this is why Sundance ’09 declined to approve the festival press pass that I’ve been wearing for the last 25 years? Because I’m a white guy with certain standards? Because I tend to wave off those Sundance films (i.e., well over half of them) that are either so-so or don’t cut the mustard? Hollywood Elsewhere celebrates gold-standard or silver-standard movies…period. Bronze and zinc, not so much.
One question to Keri Putnam: Show me one other veteran Sundance journalist like myself, someone who’s been covering this festival like a locomotive for a quarter-century and who has championed the hell out of dozens of great and near-great films that began their lives in Park City…please show me one other veteran journalist of my history, standing or calibre who had their press pass declined this year. Just one.
Comment from “MD” at the bottom of Variety story about the Sundance press conference: “The Caucasion critics who were denied credentials based on their gender/ethnicity should be filing appropriate anti-discrimination lawsuits immediately.” Sold! Except who else was affected by Putnam’s anti-white-guy edict? I don’t think I can afford a lawsuit on my lonesome.
It’s my understanding, actually, that I may have been singled out for deep-sixing because last June or July critic Scott Weinberg may have sent Sundance a letter of complaint about me and my column. This, at least, is what an industry pal confided a few days ago. The alleged complaint presumably boiled down to the fact that a certain party or parties didn’t like my personality or my style of writing.
The industry pal confided that Weinberg resolved to get me after a Twitter dispute that erupted after a screening of The Incredibles 2. I know that Weinberg proclaimed himself an enemy of all things HE after the Oxfordgate caper of 2009.
My first screening conflict of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival happens tomorrow morning. I had to choose between two sexual predator docs — Untouchable, Ursula Macfarlane‘s “inside story of the meteoric rise and monstrous fall of movie titan Harvey Weinstein,” which begins at 9:30 am, or Dan Reed‘s Leaving Neverland, a 236-minute study of the late Michael Jackson and his perverted penchant for the company of young boys.
I’d prefer to see both, of course, but I chose the Jackson doc. Because I’d like to see something truly damning about the guy, and because the nearly four-hour length suggests something epic. I’ll see the Harvey film soon enough.
Sidenote: Leaving Neverland begins at the Egyptian theatre at 9 am, but I’ve been told to be there no later than 8 am, and that 7:45 am might be even better!
Vanity Fair‘s annual big-deal Hollywood issue is finally out. The big attraction for me are the set photos from Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. As for the cover subjects, I’m not sensing much of an electric royalty, top-of-the-mountain factor aside from Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman and Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek — both major-league talents and part of something really big.
Saoirse Ronan is one of our finest actresses, but Mary, Queen of Scots is a dud. Timothee Chalamet‘s Beautiful Boy performance is a strenuous meth-head drag, and nomination-wise it was elbowed aside by the Academy. John David Washington is the weakest link in BlacKkKlansman. Tessa Thompson was okay in Sorry to Bother You, but was no reason to do handstands. Ditto Nicholas Hoult in The Favourite (and by the way that Hitler youth haircut is unflattering). Regina King is fine in If Beale Street Could Talk, but all she has is that scene in Puerto Rico in which she begs a rape victim to reconsider her testimony. Henry Goulding in Crazy Rich Asians is nothing…he just plays a rich smoothie. Congrats to Roma‘s Yalitza Aparico for her Best Actress nomination, but she’s more of an organic presence than an actress. Elizabeth Debicki was good enough in Widows, but I’m not understanding the hoo-hah.