“Getting fired for a headline that says ‘buildings matter too’ is like a scene from George Orwell‘s ‘Animal Farm.’
“The issue here is not about the assertion that racism is endemic in the United States. The issue is the willingness by many to displace [our former] system of free argument with a system of enforced opinion and censorship. Right now we’re at a stage in which writers and media personalities participate in the enforcement effort.” — from “Democracy Dies in Darkness, but Don’t Blame Trump,” a Wall Street Journal piece by Gerard Baker (7.13.20).
A couple of months ago I watched an Amazon HD streaming version of George Stevens‘ A Place In The Sun (’51). It doesn’t look immaculate (some softness, dirt, scratches) but certainly…well, half decent. The image quality is almost secondary to the fact that Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, respectively 30 and 18 years old, were never more beautiful or more perfectly matched.
In any event Imprint records, an Australian label, is releasing a restored Region 2 Bluray on 9.4.20. But what reasonable person would ever consider paying $45.00 for this? Run-of-the-mill, good-enough Blurays are markdowns at best. No more than $15 or $20, if that.
There’s one scene in Steven Spielberg‘s 1941 that I’ve always half-enjoyed, even though it’s technically ridiculous. I’m speaking of the moment in which the spoke hinges of a Pacific Ocean Park ferris wheel are blown off by Japanese guns, and the wheel — carrying Murray Hamilton, Eddie Deezen and some kind of demonic puppet — rolls off the pier and into the Pacific Ocean.
The error, of course, is that the ocean is never very deep at the end of an amusement park pier, and so the wheel couldn’t sink straight down. The wheel should’ve hit bottom and then flopped over sideways. Then it would’ve been fine.
Stanley Kubrick to Spielberg on the set of The Shining: “1941 was one of the best shot and most beautifully choreographed films I’ve ever seen. It’s not funny but it’s technically brilliant.”
Wiki excerpt: “Spielberg regretted not ceding control of 1941‘s action and miniature sequences (such as the ferris wheel collapse in the film’s finale) to second unit directors and model units, something which he would do in his next film, Raiders of the Lost Ark. ‘Some people think that was an out-of-control production, but it wasn’t,’ he said. ‘What happened on the screen was pretty out of control, but the production was pretty much in control. I don’t dislike the movie at all. I’m not embarrassed by it. I just think that it wasn’t funny enough.”
Team Trump isn’t exactly “rooting for infection and death,” as David Poland put it earlier today, but the administration is attempting to “block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill,” according to a 1.18 Washington Post story by Erica Werner and Jeff Stein.
In other words the Trumpies are trying to cover up forthcoming bad COVID news so they won’t be blamed for it. Less disease data means less finger-pointing by Democrats and less to be accountable for. Does this represent a policy of “unmitigated evil”? Yes, I think it’s fair to say that. Donald Trump is a sociopath. He doesn’t care about fighting the disease, just wants to be re-elected, etc.
“Too often in this country, seeming progress is derailed, reversed, or overwhelmed. Bloody Sunday led directly to the passage of the Voting Rights Act — and yet suppressing the black vote is a pillar of today’s Republican Party strategy.
“The election of the first African-American President was followed by a bigot running for election, and now reëlection, on a platform of racism and resentment. The murder of Jesse Thornton has its echoes in the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others. Indeed, to this day, the bridge where Lewis nearly lost his life is named in honor of Edmund Pettus, a U.S. senator who was a Confederate officer and a Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
“And so there were times when Lewis, who died on Friday, at the age of eighty, might have felt the temptation at times to give up, to give way. But it was probably his most salient characteristic that he always refused despair; with open eyes, he acknowledged the darkest chapters of American history yet insisted that change was always possible.
“Recently [Lewis] took part in a Zoom town hall with Barack Obama and a group of activists, and told them that he had been inspired by the weeks of demonstrations for racial justice across the country. The protesters, he said, will ‘redeem the soul of America and move closer to a community at peace with itself.'” — from “John Lewis’s Legacy and America’s Redemption,” posted by The New Yorker‘s David Remnick on 7.18.20.
It’s unseemly and unfortunate when a big-name actor promises to embarass another big-name actor. Keep that shit stowed, guys. I was nonetheless impressed when Mickey Rourke recently swore to make life difficult for Robert DeNiro with, shall we say, a special linguistic pizazz.
MR: “I swear to God, on my grandmother, on my brother and all my dogs…i gonna [sic] embarrass you severally 100%.”
Only geniuses invent their own terms, and what Rourke meant by “severally”, of course, was that he would embarass DeNiro several times…over and over, embarassment without end. And who needs “I’m” when you can just say “i”? HE is also stirred by “I swear on all my dogs” — that’s a line that Jack Nicholson might’ve said in The Departed.
I’m also taken by “I don’t look up to [De Niro] no more, I look through him…I look right through his asshole.”
On or about 9.15.19, Rourke told an interviewer for a lightweight Italian interview show called “Live – Non è la D’Urso” that he was “broke,” and that he’s angry that DeNiro zotzed him out of a possible supporting role in The Irishman.
MR: “The casting person told my manager that De Niro said he refused to work with me in a movie.”