“I’ve been kinda down, as you know. Last two or three years, maybe longer. But I gotta tell ya it feels great to be doin’ better, at least as far as tonight is concerned. And I’ll tell ya one thing — even if you’re down you still gotta put on the brave face and bring the old kezazz. ”
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Netflix, 9.2) is one of the most interesting creep-outs I’ve come across in quite some time. Please try to see it this coming weekend as I’d love to hear some reactions.
As I mentioned in my 8.27 review, I made a decision to more or less blow off the “what’s really going on here?” aspect and process it through the filter of my own push-pull feelings about my parents and my upbringing, and those little flashes of high-school trauma and heartache that have never really gone away.
The film basically conveys a feeling of being awash in a flood of suppressed memories that won’t quit lapping against your pilings. You might be unsure what to make of it. You might hate it or find it fascinating or somewhere in between, but it’s certainly not a trifle. I think that “psychological horror film” is an overly reductive way to describe it.
You’ve probably read that Rodgers & Hammerstein‘s Oklahoma! figures prominently in the film’s second half. Near the end a song called “Lonely Room“, sung by the Jud Fry character in the original 1943 production but cut from the 1955 film version, is performed in a surreal high-school production of the play. I had never heard it before seeing Kaufman’s film a few days ago. “Lonely Room” was restored for the 1980 and 1998 Broadway and London stage revivals of “Oklahoma!“.
The original Broadway production opened on 3.31.43 at the St. James Theatre.
Everyone knows “Morning Joe” Scarborough — thoughtful, vaguely left-leaning or at least “independent”, former Republican Congressman, hates Trump. And almost everyone has come to believe that we’ve reached the “Jesus, enough already” stage of the BLM protests in Portland, and that Rick Wilson‘s “woke shitheads” are generally doing more harm than good as far as the Biden-Harris campaign is concerned, etc. Just STFU until election day, and after that feel free to return to the streets and make the same noise.
So this morning Joe tweeted that the Portland chaos has to stop and that local authorities have to show a little authoritarian muscle, and what happened? He was told to “delete your account”, to stop kowtowing to the Trump narrative and to screw his head on correctly.
Is anyone else amused by the possibility that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Soggy Bottom**, a ’70s-era ensemble drama, might be at least partly about the making of Barbra Streisand, Jon Peters and Frank Pierson‘s A Star Us Born? On-set snaps of Bradley Cooper closely resemble the way Peters looked back in the day, and it’s been written that costar Alana Haim “may” be playing a Streisand-like figure.
If true, this would fall under the heading of perverse casting, given Cooper’s recent Kris Tapley-endorsed Star Is Born remake. Twitter is certainly buying into the possibility.
If — I say “if” — Cooper is indeed portraying young Peters in this Los Angeles-based film, I’d like to think that the inspiration came from three sources. One, JASH’s “Very Animated People” riff on Peters, which posted on YouTube on 8.28.17. Two, Frank Pierson’s “My Battles With Jon and Barbra,” a blow-by-blow account of the making of the ’76 version of A Star Is Born, written in a state of seething anger and resentment. And three, Karina Longworth‘s take on the Star Is Born debacle, “You Must Remember This,” episode #21, posted on 11.4.14.
— Nelson Carvajal (@nelsoncarvajal) August 26, 2020
“In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more.
“But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.” — from Black Panther director Ryan Coogler’s eulogy for Chadwick Boseman, posted this morning in The Hollywood Reporter.
Tell me this isn’t real. Tell me hinterland battleground voters aren’t this psychotic. (Or that these numbers represent a Republican Convention bump.) Tell me the legend of BLM lunatics hasn’t spread this far. Michael Moore is trying to shake liberals out of complacency, of course, but tell me it’s not much more than that.
“But aside from the 42 percent or so who consistently approve of Trump no matter what he or those around him do, most other Americans will see for themselves whether COVID-19 has evaporated or their economic security has improved this fall. Those are realities that Trump, for all his subterfuge, cannot alter.
“But racial animus is a less tangible and more enduring factor in America’s political fortunes, and it has been a toxic wild card in every modern election.” — from Frank Rich‘s 8.28 Intellligencer column, “Trump Thinks Racism Is His Best Chance.”