…and I mean the ’90s or even the aughts, an off-center biopic subject like Phyllis Schlafly might have warranted a medium- to lower-budget theatrical feature.
The last film along these lines, or one that focused on a famous influential conversative woman of the 20th Century, was The Iron Lady. It starred Meryl Streep, grossed $115 million worldwide and opened on 12.26.11.
Now comes Mrs. America, a six-part FX/Hulu miniseries with Cate Blanchett starring as Schlafly. In today’s realm a two-hour version wouldn’t have a prayer as a theatrical release. Not a fucking prayer.
It begins airing or streaming on 4.15.20. The first two episodes were directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
Written and created by Mad Men writer-producer Dahvi Waller, and costarring John Slattery, Elizabeth Banks, Tracey Ullman, Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne (as Gloria Steinem!), Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Niecy Nash.
60 years after hitting his career peak as “Kookie,” the car-park attendant on 77 Sunset Strip, Edd Byrnes is gone. Hugs and condolences to the crew. Byrnes was 87 years old, if that doesn’t freak you out too much. Death came a callin’ in his Santa Monica home, and that was all she wrote.
On 77 Sunset Strip, Kookie’s full name was Gerald Lloyd Kookson III.
Byrnes had a distinctive supporting role in Grease (’78), playing an amiable Dick Clark-like host of National Bandstand. I spoke to him a bit during the New York Grease press junket. For what it’s worth he seemed like a nice guy with a sharp mind.
Post-Grease Byrnes was basically Rick Dalton, performing guest shot roles in CHiPs, B.J. and the Bear, House Calls, Charlie’s Angels, Vega$, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Quincy M.E., The Master, Simon & Simon and Crazy Like a Fox.
Wiki excerpt: “As a tribute to his enduring celebrity and his iconic ‘Kookie’ character, Byrnes has ranked #5 in TV Guide‘s list of ‘TV’s 25 Greatest Teen Idols’. In 1996 Byrnes wrote an autobiography titled “Kookie No More.”
“Glorified in song and fable…you’ll meet the highbrow and the hipster, the starlet and the phony tipster…you’ll find most every kind of gal and guy, including a private eye.”
There will be a hue and cry if the Oscar telecast producers don’t include Byrnes in the death reel. Presumably it won’t be an issue.
Sorry for posting this two days late. World of Reel‘s Jordan Ruimy insists that the leading Best Picture Oscar candidates are 1917, Parasite or Once Upon A Time in America. Ruimy is declaring that The Irishman “is finished…it’s not gonna win.” This presumption, which I’ve read elsewhere, is totally freaking me out.
Ruimy’s three reasons: (a) Netflix bias, (b) Three and a half hours, attention spans have changed, etc. (c) A lot of people are calling it slow — it doesn’t play like The Wolf of Wall Street or Casino.
Plus: People are watching The Irishman in two, three, four sittings. It really kicks into gear with the “it’s summer” scene. What do you say to someone who doesn’t get what The Irishman is? This is insane. What’s gonna win then? “1917 and Parasite are #1 and #2,” Ruimy says. “And Once is in third place.”
Again, the mp3.
THR‘s Borys Kit and Lesley Goldberg are reporting that Parasite director-writer Bong Joon-ho and director Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short) will pool forces on some kind of American remake of Parasite for HBO. Not as a feature, mind, but a six-episode limited series.
It’s not actually clear if the project will be a remake or a sequel of some kind, but I’m presuming the former. The target audience would be the millions of slowboats who’ve refused to see Parasite because they’re irked by subtitles.
HE to McKay: This is a golden opportunity fix the absurd plotting in the second half of Bong’s original version of Parasite. Instead of having the drunken mother stupidly open the front door to the former maid while she, her husband and two children are completely drunk and vulnerable, rewrite it so the former maid lets herself in because she has an extra key that she’d never returned. She rings the bell and gets no response (because the drunken family is hoping she’ll go away), so she digs through her bag, finds an extra key and lets herself in…bingo! Same basic story, but this time it won’t irritate story-logic guys like myself.
McKay, Bong and HBO will presumably call the limited series American Parasite. I suggest they use San Francisco as the new locale. Just as hilly as Seoul, etc. Have the poor family live in…I don’t know, Daly City or somewhere. Or maybe the Tenderloin district.
I was about to cast my Best Actress vote for Judy‘s Renee Zellweger (along with everyone else), but out of the blue I suddenly decided to vote for The Farewell‘s Awkwafina.
I know Renee’s going to win — this is not about that. I didn’t care for Awkwafina blatantly telegraphing to everyone in the Chinese home that she was gloomy about her grandmother’s impending demise (a feeling she’d been asked to hide), but otherwise I feel a fair amount of soul from her performance. Voting for Julia Butters was a no-brainer. Irishman all the way.
The 2020 Critics Choice Awards will happen this Sunday at Santas Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar.
From Joe Leydon, sometime this morning: “Something else about The Graduate and not unlike The Sterile Cuckoo, which followed two years later. It appears timeless because it’s not at all reflective of its time. You’d never know from looking at these films (both of which I love, and both of which I saw back in the day) that the Vietnam War was going on.”
HE response: “The Graduate actually was reflective of its time as far as your vaguely stifling upper-middle-class norms were concerned. Anti-Vietnam War and anti-Dow Chemical napalm fervor (‘Dow shall not kill’) was hot on university campuses but in your cushy suburbs this political current only caught on in the aftermath of all the ’68 convulsions (MLK and RFK killings, LBJ folding his tent, Chicago Democratic Convention riots) and beyond. In ‘67 the middle-class miasma was mainly about dreaming about the Beatles and getting high and zoning out…an odd blend of vague resignation and regimentation and cruising around for nocturnal adventure. Whiffs of sexual secretions (as well as ‘blue balls’) and Brooks Brothers shirts that smelled like pot and the sounds of Buffalo Springfield and Sgt. Pepper.
Again, the colorizing isn’t good enough, but conceptually the idea of watching silent classics via decent digitalized color would be genuinely exciting. For me anyway. Where would be the harm if Orphans of the Storm, Son of the Shiek, Intolerance, Sunrise or Way Down East were to be colorized? The earliest color films look like hell anyway, and no one’s ever going to fiddle with the original monochrome versions so what’s the problem? Until this morning I’d never watched a fake-color, live-motion rendering of the young Buster Keaton. One problem: Shiny blue-purple car at 5:06 mark.
The doomed passengers on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 — 176 in all — were mistakenly murdered, it turns out. The jet was hit by a Russian-built Tor-M1 (SA-15) surface-to-air missile system operated by the Iranian military. Businessinsider: “Pentagon officials told Newsweek that the incident was probably an accident, as anti-aircraft systems were likely active at the time of the crash early Wednesday.”