13 days before the start of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Film at Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez is offering a decent-looking duplex sublet for 1200 euros. It looks like two could stay there. Not huge but nicely located, near the Grand Hotel. Available between 5.14 and 5.26 “or any subset of these dates.” 1200 euros is a decent rent. I’d take it in a New York minute if I hadn’t already paid for my costly rental six weeks ago. File this under “Too Late Blues.” Interested parties should reply to me, and I’ll pass your info along to Eugene.
4:40 am: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was finally confirmed as a Cannes Film Festival competitor today, along with Abdellatif Kechiche‘s erotically provocative Intermezzo (aka Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo aka Mektoub, My Love: Canto Due).
The Tarantino will screen on Tuesday, 5.21 — the 25th anniversary of Pulp Fiction‘s Cannes debut. The sexually frank Kechiche film (allegedly including a prolonged scene of cunnilingus) will show at the tail end of the festival, presumably on Friday, 5.24 or Saturday, 5.25. This may be a problem for Hollywood Elsewhere as I’m leaving the festival on the afternoon of 5.24.
Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux explained that that finishing Tarantino’s film, which runs 165 minutes, had taken longer than usual because it was shot in 35mm rather than digital. He described it as a “love letter to the Hollywood of his childhood, a rock music tour of 1969, and an ode to cinema as a whole.”
Born in 1963, Tarantino moved from Knoxville to Los Angeles with his mother, Connie, when he was three. He and his re-married mom lived with husband Curtis Zastoupil in Torrance. (A notoriously dull and spiritually deflating armpit suburb intersected with the horrid 405 freeway, Torrance is a place you want to stay as far away from as possible — trust me.) Tarantino was six and 1/3 years old when the Manson murders happened.
We’ve all been schooled about Once Upon A Time in Hollywood so I don’t need to unpack it for the 18th or 19th time.
Intermezzo is a follow-up to Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, the first half of a two-parter “about a Franco-Tunisian youth’s amorous pursuits.” Canto Uno world premiered at Venice in 2017, and if I remember correctly not a bird stirred in the trees after it played. Variety‘s Guy Lodge called it “another heady, alluring sensory epic, but it lacks the narrative and emotional heft of [Kechiche’s] best work.”
Fremaux said he “saw the film last Thursday, as it was still being edited, and definitely right in the middle of edits.” Running four effing hours, Intermezzo will screen at the end of the festival “so the DCP has time to get there.”
If you want to submit to a serious stress test and thereby discover how tenacious or ruthless you can be in pursuit of a coveted social goal, try getting a few words in edgewise with a world-famous celebrity at a party. The best way to manage this is to ask the celebrity’s publicist for assistance, but if you’re attempting to elbow your way into the star’s orbit on your own steam, look out. There are few exercises in life that are more naked or grasping.
The competition can be truly brutal, and the effort will almost always eat up 10 or 15 minutes of your time. Just standing there like some schmuck in a soup line…holding onto that half-smile, that look of casual expectation….beyond humiliating.
And while you’re ready to pounce into that little time-sliver of opportunity, that two-second opening when there’s a break in the conversation and you can jump in like a cat with your well-rehearsed opener…it’s really, really awful. How desperate am I? Where is my dignity? “Hey, Clint…Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere…we did a phoner in early ’04 for a Los Angeles magazine piece I wrote about Hollywood Republicans, and a while later I went apeshit over Million Dollar Baby,” etc.
And the way some people will just barrel right in while you’re having a chat with Clint or whomever…their aggressive behaviors aren’t unattractive as much as flat-out ugly. You might think you know someone, but you really don’t until you’ve seen them smoothly muscle their way into a celebrity’s face-space with just the right amount of finesse.
Andrew Goldman to Anjelica Huston about her Prizzi’s Honor Oscar: “I’d forgotten that you won over Oprah for The Color Purple. [The other three nominees for 1986’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar were Margaret Avery for The Color Purple, Amy Madigan for Twice in a Lifetime, and Meg Tilly for Agnes of God.] As I was watching the footage of you collecting the Oscar, my blood went a little cold thinking, There’s got to be some repercussions for beating Oprah.”
Anjelica: “She never had me on her show, ever. She won’t talk to me. The only encounter I’ve had with Oprah was when I was at a party for the Academy Awards, a private residence. I was talking to Clint Eastwood, and she literally came between us with her back to me. So all of the sudden I was confronted with the back of Oprah’s head.”
I’m going to try and phrase this as respectfully as I can. If you watched today’s Judiciary Committee testimony by Attorney General William Barr, you know that the toughest and sharpest interrogations, hands down, came from Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Mazie Hirono, and that the questions and follow-ups from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Patrick Leahy weren’t as riveting or on-point, and at times sounded a bit doddering.
As I watched Harris and Hirono I was reminding myself that if and when Donald Trump is defeated in 2020, it’ll be essential to have a Democratic successor who’s a tough-ass lion — super-energized and vigorous and sharp as a tack. I don’t want an accommodating, turn-the-other-cheek sort of guy succeeding Trump. Due respect and sorry to be blunt, but I really don’t want a man of Leahy’s age (or close to it) to become the next President.
Ronald Reagan was obviously well along when he was elected president in November 1980, but at least he was 69 or eight years younger than the age Joe Biden will be during the 2020 election.
My instantant reaction to this Ophelia trailer was (and still is) that George MacKay is one dorky-looking Hamlet with an appalling pudding-bowl haircut. One glance and I was muttering “I hate this guy.” In the titular role, Daisy Ridley seems fetching as far as it goes, although she seems a little too athletic and spirited in her suicide scene. I’m sorry but you can just smell problems with this one. Any film released 18 months after debuting at Sundance almost always has problems. IFC Films will open Ophelia on 6.28.19.
From Jordan Hoffman’s Guardian pan, posted on 1.23.18, titled “Daisy Ridley stranded in disastrous Hamlet reimagining“:
“If a producer cornered me in an elevator and pitched ‘Hamlet, but from Ophelia’s point of view, and we’ve got Daisy Ridley in the lead’, I’d sell everything I had to invest. And I’d probably make a killing, as Claire McCarthy’s Ophelia is going to cut into one heck of a trailer.But to thine own self one must be true.
“This film looks absolutely gorgeous, but apart from its production design it is basically a disaster. Shakespeare purists will revolt, high-fantasy fans will be bored and the kids who make gifs of Daisy Ridley and put them on Tumblr will wait until they can pirate this anyway. This project is madness with no method to it.
“Daisy Ridley’s voiceover introduces us to Ophelia, floating in her watery grave, suggesting that only now will we hear ‘the real story’. We cut to her childhood at court, a little scamp that Queen Gertrude (Naomi Watts) chooses to be one of her ladies-in-waiting. She and young Hamlet are already making eyes at one another, yet when he returns to Elsinore as a young man (MacKay) their flirtation soon escalates.
Film critics who in their prime operated as honorable members of the Great Middle Community (i.e., those who criticized in a measured, perceptive, fair-minded way) are rarely remembered when they’re gone. The critics people do remember are those who seemed overly gracious and forgiving (i.e., often erring on the side of accommodation) or who seemed unreasonably cruel and heartless. The consensus view is that theatre, movie and book critic John Simon, whose influence peaked in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s but is still at it at age 93, belongs to the latter category. This is underlined in a portion of an Andrew Goldman Vulture interview with Anjelica Huston.
Goldman: A Walk With Love and Death was not well received. The critic John Simon wrote, ‘There is a perfectly blank, supremely inept performance by Huston’s daughter, Anjelica, who has the face of an exhausted gnu, the voice of an unstrung tennis racket, and a figure of no discernible shape.” I had to look up what a gnu is.
Huston: Wasn’t that pretty? That’s good, isn’t it?
Goldman: Coming as it did when you were 18, did it stick with you?
Huston: It sticks with you. And now that you’ve reminded me, it will stick with me for another ten years.
Goldman: I probably wouldn’t have quoted it had you not included it in your memoir.
Huston: No, I completely accept that. I think the news there is he’s dead and I’m not.
Goldman: You think he’s dead?
Huston: He must be.
Goldman: I was curious myself. I looked him up. He’s 93 years old. He’s alive.
Huston: He’s dead as far as I’m concerned.
“The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, pushed Attorney General William P. Barr twice to release more of his investigative findings in late March after Mr. Barr outlined the inquiry’s main conclusions in a letter to Congress, citing a gap between Mr. Barr’s interpretation and Mr. Mueller’s report, according to a letter released on Wednesday. The letter, from Mr. Mueller, revealed deep concern about how Mr. Barr handled the initial release of the special counsel’s findings.” — from N.Y. Times story by Michael S. Schmidt, titled “Mueller Pushed in Letter for Barr to Release Report’s Summaries.”