Not many travelers on my Austin-to-Dallas Southwest flight, which leaves at 5:50 pm. Two hand washings so far, a few more to come. The second lap (Dallas to LAX) arrives sometime around 9:15 pm. 8:35 pm update: Flying over Palm Springs, likely LAX touchdown at 9 pm.
Stuart Whitman‘s life and career peaked when he starred in Guy Green‘s The Mark (’61), a bracingly frank, well-crafted drama about an ex-con trying to integrate into society and get his life going again. The title refers to his sexually odious history. Whitman was riveting — his strongest performance by far.
Otherwise he enjoyed a fairy successful career as a working actor throughout the ’60s, ’70s￼, ’80s and beyond. The Comancheros and The Longest Day come to mind, but Whitman never soared again after The Mark. I don’t know what else to say except that he deserves a respectful salute on this, the day of his passing at age 92.
An apparition standing in grassy weeds on the other side of a river. No words, movement, gestures. Like a mannequin, and in bright sunlight yet. And then she’s gone.
All my life I’ve felt vaguely creeped out by this scene in Jack Clayton‘s The Innocents (’61). Alas, your typical horror fan wouldn’t so much as raise an eyebrow if a director had the nerve (or the foolishness) to insert something like this in a contemporary fright flick.
“Quietly unnerving” lost its currency a long time ago, I’m afraid. I’m not sure it ever had any real currency to begin with. Today’s elevated horror genre (Personal Shopper, Hereditary, A Quiet Place, The Babadook) demands bigger jolts. The only recent films that operated close to this level were Robert Eggers‘ The Lighthouse and The Witch, and even they dealt crazier cards than Clayton did.
The woman in the weeds (i.e., “Miss Jessel”) was played by Clytie Jessop.
There’s also a moment or two with Quint at the window. He was portrayed by Peter Wyngarde, who died two years ago.
Nothing is opening theatrically for the time being. Every theatrically-dependent heavyweight flick is being bumped until further notice. The latest to be heave-ho’ed is Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow, which had been scheduled to open on 5.1. Also drop-kicked are Armando Iannucci‘s The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight, previously set for a 5.8 opening) and Joe Wright‘s The Woman in the Window (20th Century, previously slated to open on 5.15). It’s unclear when any of the films will be released. Disney has already delayed Mulan, The New Mutants and Antlers. You know that Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros., 6.5) will be bumped before long. Ditto the Cannes Film Festival.
Please, God…let’s try and wrap this up by mid-summer so we can get rolling with the fall festivals. I would be totally shattered if Telluride and Toronto don’t happen.
Essentially repeating a post from three days ago: HE agrees that Trump calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” doesn’t help anyone or anything. CDC officials are correct in saying that this kind of terminology “stigmatizes residents” of China, etc. ￼
But it’s also fair to note that with the exception of H1N1 and maybe one or two others, nearly all viruses over the last few decades have been routinely identified by their geographical origin.
There’s no denying that COVID-19 is widely believed to have originated in a “wet” wildlife market in Wuhan, and specifically from bats or snakes. Trump has earned his racist credentials over and over, but if he’d used the term “Wuhan virus” he wouldn’t have been wrong.
Was it stigmatizing to acknowledge that the Ebola virus partly originated in Yambuku (Democratic Republic of the Congo), “a village near the Ebola River from which the disease takes its name”? Or to acknowledge that the Zika virus came “from the Ziika Forest of Uganda, where the virus was first isolated in 1947”? Or to say that the West Nile virus “was discovered in Uganda in 1937″?
Was there an anti-white-person motive when Lyme disease “was diagnosed as a separate condition for the first time in 1975 in Old Lyme, Connecticut”? Have CDC officials ever said that the term “stigmatizes” residents of that Connecticut town? Just asking.
Joseph McBride, posted yesterday on Facebook: “Some God-fearing woman said today that in this crisis we should take comfort that God means good for us. I asked her the age-old question of why then [does] He lets bad things happen to good people if he is supposed to be all-powerful. I am awaiting a response.”
Answer: I don’t believe in the concept of a sentient, all-knowing, all-powerful God any more than I believe in Santa Claus, but I’ll go there for the sake of your question. God allows bad things to happen to good people — hell, to all people of whatever stripe — because living through horror, pain and frogs falling from the skies builds character. Obviously not everyone emerges from horrid times in a better place and we all know how dysfunction often breeds more of the same, but the basic idea from God’s vantage point, which has always been that of an absentee landlord, is that terror, agony and adversity are ultimately good for the soul.
As Aeschylus and Bobby Kennedy put it, “Even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair. against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
If you insist on defining God as some kind of sentient being with an interest or awareness of what humans go through on a daily basis, God is basically defaulting to the same rationale offered by Johnny Cash‘s absentee father, the “dirty mangey dog” who “kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile”, about why he named his son Sue.
In short, God allows all kinds of brutality and anguish to define human existence in order to make us wiser and stronger. God to Cash: “So I gave you that pain and said goodbye…I knew you’d have to get tough or die.”
That said, and just to repeat: There is no “God” in any kind of moral or compassionate sense. The universe is obviously bound together by a certain unified energy and intelligent design, but human-behavior-wise it’s a total crapshoot.
Last night my son Dylan was on a South Austin toilet-paper hunt. He came up dry in three or four places, but while visiting the fifth store a shipment was just being unloaded. To his credit he only bought 12 rolls. The current consumer instinct is to grab all you can, given the hoarding and whatnot. But Dylan stood fast. He doesn’t want to compound the problem.