For the last five or six Cannes Film Festivals Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday and I have been sharing a charming, two-story, 19th Century apartment in the Old Town section, just a five-minute walk from the Palais. Two things are different this year. One, Ann won’t be attending and two, a new apartment (same building, just as old and homey, huge bedroom, adjacent living room and kitchen) is in play. 1800 euros for 12 or 13 days (a proportionate split depending on who gets the bedroom plus 60 euro cleaning fee). You are not going to find this much charm and value for this kind of money anywhere during the festival — trust me. Lemme know.
In the view of an anonymous industry pro who’s spoken to THR‘s Scott Feinberg, Glenn Close lost the Best Actress Oscar because the New Academy Kidz — the younger, not-as-hip-as-they-could-be multiculturals who began to be given Academy memberships in 2016 — didn’t give that much of a shit about her “six previous nominations and no win” narrative.
Quote: “As for Glenn Close, I don’t know what the hell happened. The Wife had a lot lower profile than Olivia Colman‘s. That may have just been the category where people wanted to give The Favourite something — plus, Olivia is fully deserving, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbled.
“Keep in mind, the 2,500 newer members are mostly younger and may not really appreciate Glenn as much as those of us who have been around. You can’t look at the Academy as one big homogeneous blob.”
A couple of weeks ago Film Twitter re-discovered that John Wayne was a sexist rightwing militaristic asshole, and that if he were to somehow reanimate and reappear in 2019 he would be immediately damned and shunned by wokesters. Indiewire would run a series of editorials against the Orange County beast, and Brie Larson would let him know what for!
My father always despised Wayne politically, and I never saw any reason to disagree. Especially for Wayne’s blind support of the Vietnam War. He was also a racist, which was unfortunately par for the course among guys of his ilk.
But Wayne was an old-fashioned, 20th Century rightie. A traditionalist, a man’s man, a soft-spoken gentleman, “nice to the ladies”, a chip off the old Patton block. Obviously a dinosaur in today’s terms but…
He certainly wasn’t cut from today’s lunatic-conservative cloth — anti-science, corporate-fellating, religiously mule-like, stinking with hypocrisy. Ask Peter Bogdanovich or James Caan — you could relax with Wayne. He joked and smiled a lot and generally behaved like a human being. Which is another way of saying he wasn’t (at least in personal face-time terms) an asshole.
I’ve been fuming all my life at the Martian-head rule that dominates each and every full-body statue in every corner of the world. A naturally proportioned full-body statue will create an impression, viewed from below, of the figure’s head being a tad too small. The solution has been an ironclad rule that statues must have disproportionately large heads. Every sculptor in the known world has over-submitted to this rule, and — this is the odd part — to the exact same degree. I’m talking 100% uniformity.
The bizarre result is that every full-body statue in the world, from Beijing to Bangor to Timbuktu **, seems to have a genetic commonality in the same way that people afflicted with Down’s Syndrome seem to have the same kind of slanted eyes and doughy bodies. Every statued figure in the world (including John Wayne on his horse at the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega) looks like a space alien with a strangely swollen cranium.
In short, the big (swollen) heads look much, much worse than the small (natural-sized) heads.
This has been driving me insane for years. I know this rule will hold throughout eternity because the standing-statue mafia is too dug in, and that no one will ever listen, and I’ll be alone with this for the rest of my life. But I’m right.
It almost seems like a deliberate provocation on the part of the powers that be. We’re going to put Martian-head statues in every city around the world, they almost seem to be saying, and we want to see how far we can push it. Or rather, we want to see if anyone will have the spirit to say anything about this, or if people will just accept it like they accept everything else.
I know that every time I come upon a standing statue (most often in Europe), I mutter a tiny little “fuck you” under my breath. It gets me every time. — posted on 3.28.09 under the title “Worldwide Aliens.”
** Yes, I’m aware that full-body statues and especially those on horseback were all created in the 20th and 19th centuries.
4K resolution has been part of the real-world, Best Buy consumer market for roughly five years, and it’s just starting to hit me that the big 4K changeover (raw data remastered in 4K or 8K for streaming purposes) has more or less stalled. Certainly as far as films in my realm are concerned.
[Click through to full story on HE-plus]
In response to negative sexist-fanboy-troll comments about Captain Marvel (i.e., Brie Larson allegedly hates fanboys and allegedly doesn’t actually want them to see Captain Marvel because it’s really for women), Rotten Tomatoes has decided to (a) eliminate the “want to see” percentages as well as (b) pre-release comments.
In other words, RT has decided to buddy up to Marvel and go all candy-ass.
In a 2.25 editorial, RT explains why the pre-release comment section has been deepsixed: “Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership. We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action.
“[But] don’t worry — fans will still get to have their say: Once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.”
Presumably the remarks that triggered the change were from the same anti-female fanboys who trashed Paul Feig‘s all-girl Ghostbusters (’16) and the casting of Kelly Marie Tran in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
RT comment from “Dirty D”, posted Tuesday morning: “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar — you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”
Yesterday N.Y. Times Hollywood correspondent Brooks Barnes posted a piece that echoed what Barnes claimed is the general morning-after industry view about Green Book having won the Best Picture Oscar, that it was nothing less a social-political tragedy — a mortifying act that angered, outraged and depressed not just Spike Lee but everyone in town, including the mail-room guys.
I knew this was a bullshit take from the get-go, but Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone put her objections into words faster than I. This morning Sasha forwarded a draft of a letter that she’d sent to the Times, and I suggested…I don’t know, three or four edits. Sasha gave me permission to post it here, but wants it understood that the use of certain explicit terms (“too white, vaguely racist”) was my idea, not hers. It’s a smart, well-reasoned response — please read:
“It’s disappointing that the Times did not offer more balanced coverage of Oscar night than what is contained in Brooks Barnes’ 2.25 article (“In Green Book, Oscar Critics See An Old Hollywood Tale“). It is misleading, on one hand, to point to a small but loud group of people protesting the film’s win but not, on the other, to report how popular Green Book was across the board.
“Two years ago, La La Land’s momentum was slowed because of politically correct protests online. (It was inauthentic, they claimed, for a white guy to be a jazz buff.) The Best Picture Oscar went to Moonlight. The following year, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was met with protests over its rural insular whiteness. It, too, was derailed — The Shape of Water won. This year Green Book was repeatedly assaulted for being old-fashioned, too white and even vaguely racist.
But this time the protests didn’t work. This may reflect an exhaustion with the hive mind continually pushing the red button of alarm.
“Green Book won the Toronto Audience Award in September, beating Roma, A Star is Born and every other film that played there. Green Book also defeated BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, Roma, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Favourite at the Producers Guild of America Awards. It triumphed at the Golden Globes as well. If you ask me that show’s broad support counters your headline, and the narrative going forward.
“The fact is that for a film to win on a preferential ballot, as Green Book did at both the Producers Guild and the Oscars, it had to have broad support across all markers. That meant it could not have won with just ‘old white guys.’ Moreover, if ‘old white guys’ led that vote, how do you explain the unprecedented array of diversity and inclusion in the other categories?
But let’s also call a spade a spade: Harris has been fully in league with the SJW Stalinist scolds who attacked Green Book all through the ’18 and ’19 Oscar season.
Last night Harris blew a kind of gasket after David Poland let him have it between the eyes (“So angry…so much the victim…and so willing to assume the arrogance of others”), and particularly over Harris’s irritation over the liberal use of the term “virtue signaller.” I enjoyed the rancor — good stuff.
Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) / 2/25/19, 7:25 AM:
“Re-sharing the Oscars piece I wrote for Vulture right after last night’s show. Click on it to see the much darker second half of that headline! (https://www.vulture.com/2019/02/the-oscars-made-progress-this-year.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s1)”
Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) / 2/25/19, 7:31 AM:
“I’ll add: Since criticizing Green Book I’ve been called a Stalinist, a fake white woke liberal, a virtue signaller, all the usual nonsense. But not one person has said to me ‘It’s the year’s best movie.’ For a lot of them, it’s not about loving GB but about hating its critics.”
Wells to Harris insert: Correct!
Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) / 2/25/19, 4:10 PM:
“Okay, I REALLY will let this go after today, but this “virtue signaler” shit is snapping me. No, you superannuated Bill Maher fetishists. Every white person to the left of you on any issue of race, culture, and/or representative is not performatively faking it for the crowd.”
Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) / 2/25/19, 4:13 PM
“And when you talk that way — when you reveal that you can’t tolerate a political/cultural disagreement about a film without parroting ad hominem horseshit — you expose yourself as a fragile mewling whiner terrified that your view of the world isn’t permanently chiseled into law.”
Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) / 2/25/19, 4:15 PM
“This has been a loud subtweet of literally everyone who drops this particular log and than acts like they hatched an original manifesto and are now clearing shelf space for a Pulitzer. And with that, I will go rearrange myself and come back a pleasanter and more cheerful person.”
David Poland (@DavidPoland) / 2/25/19, 6:36 PM:
“Honestly, Mark — those 3 tweets seem an honest assessment of how you judge others who disagree with you in the details of your politics. So angry. So much the victim. And so willing to assume the arrogance of others. I don’t know if it’s fixable. But I feel like you defined it.”
Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) / 2/25/19, 6:52 PM
“We’re done now, David. Best of luck to you.”
David Poland (@DavidPoland) / 2/25/19, 6:55 PM
At the end of the third paragraph in Michael Schulman‘s New Yorker piece about attending the Oscars (“An Oscars-Night Diary,” 2.25), the author speaks “to an Oscars attendee from Eastern Europe” (presumably Cold War director Pawel Pawlikowski or somebody on his team) at the Vanity Fair after-party. Schulman asks for a summary of the just-concluded telecast.
“It was all either corporate spin or political correctness,” the Eastern European fellow replies. “Everybody said what they were expected to say. It was very Soviet.”