The Democratic party administrators responsible for Tuesday night’s massive screw-up of the Iowa caucus results have to be severely punished. The state-wide catastrophe was reportedly caused by a faulty app (created by Shadow Inc., a tech company owned by Acronym) that was sent out to caucus secretaries only two or three days ago. The guilty parties need to be busted. Their sabres have to be broken in two. And by the way this is presumably the death knell of the Iowa Caucus.
I want to say this plainly but carefully: I did not feel profound sadness when I read of Rush Limbaugh’s condition. His strident-rightie rhetoric did a lot to inflame Bumblefuck Nation and rupture the fabric of civility in this country and fortify the toxicity that fuels the culture-war fires to this day. In the eyes of many millions Limbaugh is a flat-out villain. Anyone on my side of the battlefield (i.e., with a liberal or progressive attitude or philosophy) who says he/she feels badly about Limbaugh’s misfortune is just “saying that”, trust me.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg and Scott Johnson have co-authored a 2.3 article titled “Catherine Burns: The Vanishing of an Oscar-Nominated Actress.” It tries to paint a hard-luck portrait of a gifted actress whom Hollywood had given the backhand to, and who hated playing the Hollywood game, and who led a subdued and shrouded life over her last three or four decades.
The 23-year-old Burns delivered an Oscar-nominated supporting performance in Frank Perry‘s Last Summer (’69), but she was never that lucky again. Burns made two more films in the immediate wake (Me, Natalie, Red Sky at Morning) and did some theatre and a lot of television over the next…oh, 15 years or so. She had dabbled in writing and allegedly focused on that entirely in the ’80s. Then she fell off the map.
A longtime Manhattanite, Burns married a non-industry dude named Kenneth Shire in 1989. Sometime in the aughts she and Shire moved into a retirement community in Lynden, Washington. The THR piece discovers that the 73-year-old Burns passed almost exactly a year ago and that cirrhosis (i.e., a drinking problem) was a “contributing factor” in her demise.
When contacted by the Seattle-based Johnson, Shire doesn’t mention her passing. He also lets go with some anti-Hollywood rancor. “She hated [Last Summer] and most everything that came with it,” Shire says. “She wanted to be remembered as a published writer of novels. My wife has been out of the business for decades. She is not old news. She is ancient news. We are in our eighth decade. We left that rotten business a long time ago. It’s time for some peace. Maybe someone else wants this kind of reminder of who they once were, but we do not.”
HE to Feinberg, Johnson: My impression was that the piece tried to inject a certain melancholy or sadness that may not have been warranted by the facts. It tried to make it sound as if Burns wanted to deepen or expand her career but Hollywood and to a lesser extent Broadway said no. In their usual callous way, Hollywood types didn’t think she had the right look.
Many are called, few are chosen. Talented as she was, Cathy Burns was one of the called.
Just because Burns delivered a special moment in Frank Perry‘s Last Summer as well as some noteworthy stage and TV-series performances…that doesn’t mean she had what it took to keep going and going as an actress, She apparently didn’t have that engine, that hunger, that gotta-gotta. We all know that these qualities are as important as talent.
A certain Hollywood columnist was dismissive of her looks, the article reports, and that obviously amounted to a kind of cruelty.
Burns’ looks were okay. She was small and mousey, but it takes all sorts to make a world. If you ask me she looked like a slightly less attractive version of Liza Minnelli‘s “Pookie” in The Sterile Cuckoo, and perhaps with a side order of Susan Oakes‘ “Anybodys” in West Side Story.
The main thing is that she didn’t have that X-factor dynamism that all successful actors seem to have. She had a certain recessiveness and a face that said “whatever” and “maybe you could leave me alone”. She was was hugely turned off by the day-to-day reality of being famous and recognized on the street or whatever.
I have a 1 pm appointment for a quickie procedure at a Beverly Hills dermatologist’s office. They’ll be removing a small basal-cell cancer thing on my chest. No biggie but I’ll be out of commission for two or three hours.
Update: My appointment was cancelled because I arrived at the clinic 15 minutes late. I’ve been re-scheduled for a 1.45 pm tomorrow afternoon.
The real-life echoes in Ben Affleck‘s basketball-coach character in Finding The Way Back (Warner Bros., 3.6) are obvious. Affleck has been famously struggling with alcohol issues for years, and so (in the realm of the film) is “Jack Cunningham”, a former basketball star who bends the elbow. The film is obviously self-portraiture to a certain extent.
Director Gavin O’Connor knows how to do sports redemption dramas. I still say Miracle (’04) is his best.
I saw this trailer at the Grove last weekend, and my first reaction (above and beyond the Affleck thing) was that it could be described as Hoosiers but with Dennis Hopper‘s rummy character taking the place of Gene Hackman‘s.
Why call this Finding The Way Back when (a) Nat Faxon and Jim Rash‘s The Way Way Back opened only seven years ago and (b) Peter Weir‘s The Way Back opened ten years ago? Why follow in that path? I can’t think of a decent alternative. All that comes to mind is Fat Bearded Boozer. Don’t laugh — people would pay to see a film with that title.
Who’s the large-framed, bald-headed, barrel-chested, red-sweater-wearing guy sitting between Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino? He looks a bit like Domenick Lombardozzi, who played Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno in the film.
Blessing your Monday with this footage of De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci at the very first table read of THE IRISHMAN with Scorsese back in 2013. pic.twitter.com/VsyMvXgG6u
— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) February 3, 2020
- All Hail Tom White, Taciturn Hero of “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »