To go by frame captures provided by DVD Beaver’s Gary W. Tooze, the Criterion teal monsters are back, and this time they’ve desecrated Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s Teorema. Once again, natural or subdued blues have apparently been rendered with a garish teal-green tint. Look at the images. A year and a half ago I asked Tooze if there might be something off about the color tuning on his 4K Bluray players or 4K TV, and his emphatic reply was “I’ve been doing this 18 years, and it’s not me.”
So what is wrong with Criterion? This is vandalism, plain and simple. This is organizational derangement. This has happened three times previously with teal-tinted Blurays of John Schlesinger‘s Midnight Cowboy, Ron Shelton‘s Bull Durham and Brian DePalma‘s Sisters. And nobody has complained except for Tooze (half-heartedly), myself and a handful of thread commenters. And now Teorema.
Struggling Paramount needs the revenues from John Krasinski‘s A Quiet Place, Part II (3.20) so let’s leave it alone. I’ll sit through it, of course, although I couldn’t care less. “Lee Abbott”, the dad character played by director-screenwriter Krasinki in the 2018 original, is back for more via some flashback scenes. So which Abbott family member dies this time — Emily Blunt‘s Evelyn, Noah Jupe‘s Marcus or Millicent Simmonds‘ Regan?
“The motion to call witnesses and consider evidence is not agreed to…” Despite Trump’s obvious and overwhelming guilt. Every Republican except Mitt Romney and the completely reprehensible Susan Collins.
Sen Chuck Schumer: “A tragedy on a very large scale…America will remember this day [in which Senate Republicans] turned away from proof and went along with a sham trial….Trump’s [forthcoming] acquittal will have no value.”
I hadn’t paid much attention to Dan and Sammy Harkham‘s recently re-opened Fairfax Cinema. It used to be the notorious Cinefamily, of course, which was shuttered in 2017 amid sexual misconduct allegations. The 163-seat Fairfax, which has an outdoor patio, bookstore, cafe and “art space”, opened its doors on 12.25.19. But until last night, I hadn’t given it much thought.
I was returning from an acutely painful viewing of Reed Morano‘s The Rhythm Section when I saw the brightly lighted marquee. My first thought was “can’t be real.” Who would program a double bill of The Misfits and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed with a straight face?
Then I wondered if it had been dressed for a currently-shooting film set in the ’70s. It resembled the marquee of the small-town theatre playing Samson and Delilah in George Pal‘s War of the Worlds (’53). It certainly looks out-of-time. Except for QT’s New Beverly, Glendale’s Alex and Santa Monica’s Aero, classic-style theatre marquees have all but disappeared.
Then I realized it was for real. I would never buy a ticket, of course. I own The Misfits on Bluray and have seen it three or four times. I can’t imagine how the Fairfax Cinema can possibly survive playing half-century old (and older) films, but I like that a theatre is at least giving it the old college try. Adds to the local cultural atmosphere and all.
Paragraphs #2,#3 and #4 in Timothy Egan’s “Bernie Can’t Win” piece are pretty good also:
“That’s the thing about class loathing: it feels good, a moral high with its own endorphins, but is ultimately self-defeating. A Bernie Sanders rally is a hit from the same pipe: Screw those greedy billionaire bastards!
“Sanders has passion going for him. He has authenticity. He certainly has consistency: His bumper-sticker sloganeering hasn’t changed for half a century. He was, ‘even as a young man, an old man,’ as Time magazine said.
“But he cannot beat Donald Trump, for the same reason people do not translate their hatred of the odious rich into pitchfork brigades against walled estates.”
With the “no” votes of Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) now stated and confirmed, there will be no witnesses heard from in the Senate impeachment “trial” of Donald J. Trump, and thereby acquittal of The Beast will happen either late tonight or sometime tomorrow. Everyone knew Trump would skate in the Senate, but for the Republicans to refuse to hear witnesses (and particularly John Bolton)….well, forget it. One can only hope that the Republican cowards who pushed this through will pay a price at the ballot box. Maybe.
Big-time TV producer and briefly calamitous NBC honcho Fred Silverman has passed at age 82.
Wiki excerpt: “Although Silverman’s tenure at ABC was very successful, he left to become President and CEO of NBC in 1978. In stark contrast with his tenures at CBS and ABC, his three-year tenure at the network proved to be a difficult period, marked by several high-profile failures such as the sitcom Hello, Larry, the variety shows The Big Show and Pink Lady, the drama Supertrain (which also was, at the time, the most expensive TV series produced; its high production costs nearly bankrupted NBC), and the Jean Doumanian era of Saturday Night Live.
Silverman hired Doumanian after Al Franken, the planned successor for outgoing Lorne Michaels, castigated Silverman’s failures on-air in a way that Silverman took very personally.
John Belushi impersonated Silverman on Saturday Night Live at least once if not twice. One of the Silverman bits (a recurring bit, as I recall) happened in ’78, but I can’t find any video. A clip was on this imasportsphile.com page, but it’s been removed or blocked.
The most indelible moment from The Departed (1:10 to 1:16) arrives by way of Jack Nicholson‘s teeth. I saw Martin Scorsese‘s Best Picture winner four or five times in screenings and commercial showings (imagine that!) and people chuckled and tee-hee’d every time. 13 years ago — feels like eight or nine.
Originally posted on 9.30.06: “It’s amazing what can happen when the right song is laid onto the soundtrack of the right scene in the right film.
“This special chemistry happens for reasons I don’t yet fully understand when Martin Scorsese uses John Lennon‘s ‘Well, Well, Well’ in a scene in The Departed — a scene between Leonardo DiCaprio‘s frazzled cop-mole character and Jack Nicholson‘s grizzled mob boss.
“I haven’t listened to this song in a long time, but it popped through in some live-wire way the other night when I was watching The Departed for a second time. A couple of lines of dialogue about Lennon are heard around the same time. Nicholson asks DiCaprio, ‘Do you know who John Lennon was?’ and DiCaprio answers, ‘Yeah…he was the president right before Lincoln.’
“The musical ride that Scorsese takes you on in this film is great — a series of late ’60s/early ’70s rock tracks that fortify the scenes (or portions of scenes) they play under, but not in any literal ‘oh, the lyrics are commenting on what we’re seeing’ way. It’s more of a visceral-emotional thing, and it feels dead perfect.
“Scorsese achieved a similar connection when he used Mott the Hoople‘s ‘All The Way to Memphis’ at the very beginning of Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. I had never given much of a shit about Mott the Hoople before seeing that film, but I always felt a measure of respect for those guys (and certainly their song) after they were processed through the Scorsese grinder.”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »