How many idiots out there will accuse this new Black Narcissus miniseries of whitewashing after catching the first episode? Based on the same 1939 Rumer Godden novel that the 1947 Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger film was modelled upon, directed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen, exec produced and written by Amanda Coe, and starring Gemma Arterton, Alessandro Nivola, Aisling Franciosi, Diana Rigg and Jim Broadbent.
There are three distinct 21st Century nouveau riche approaches to interior design…three vomit-bag aesthetics favored by socially insecure people with too much money and no taste to speak of. A generally over-sized feeling, gold everything, too many drapes, questionable paintings, gaudy chandeliers, imitation ancient-Rome statues, huge windows, 14 foot tall ceilings, etc.
The offense-givers are (a) Kardashian Splendor (i.e., way too much conspicuous luxury, every nook and cranny designed and furnished like a luxury hotel, the exact opposite of distressed bohemian), (b) Uday and Qusay Hussein Palatial — Middle Eastern gold-and-marble kitsch, more conspicuous luxury, too many mounted 4K flat screens, large fountains and jacuzzis, and (c) Aggressive Putin, or the home stylings of an ostentatious Russian gangster — the main idea is to announce to the first-time visitor, “Look how much man money I have!…trust me, what I’ve spent on this place is only a fraction of my total holdings.”
The first and best known wrong-way freeway car chase happened in William Friedkin‘s To Live and Die in L.A. (’85). Another wrong-way-on-the-freeway happened in John Hughes‘ Planes, Trains & Automobiles (’88), but that was for comic effect. In his 9.3 Tenet review The New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane wrote that while Chris Nolan stages another such chase with panache, “heading the wrong way up a busy road is pretty much a daily commute” for Matt Damon‘s Jason Bourne. Except I’ve done some searching and while there’s no shortage of magnificent car-chase sequences in the five Bourne flicks, there’s no actual wrong-way-on-a-freeway. So thriller-wise there’ve really only been two — Live and Die plus Tenet. Right?
The Trump psychopath factor has led to a battleground-state tightening, although there’s little question that Biden is strongly favored as we speak. Especially with the new Democrat fervor in the wake of Justice Ginsburg‘s passing. Only pessimists and the proverbially panic-stricken are concerned.
Last week select junket journos were given a peek at Aaron Sorkin‘s The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix, 10.16). It’s also being press-streamed today. But of particular interest are the limited theatrical bookings starting on Thursday, 9.24 and continuing until Wednesday, 9.30. Chicago, Boston, Stamford, Greewniwhc, Hoboken, etc. HE regulars willing to brave an indoor theatre are requested to catch Chicago 7 and offer comments.
I’ve no idea how widespread the theatrical Chicago 7 opening will be, but a brief search has uncovered the following bookings: (1) Criterion Cinemas at Greenwich Plaza, Greenwich, CT; (2) Ultimate Majestic 6, Stamford, CT; (3) Bowtie Hoboken Cinemas, Hoboken, NJ; (4) Landmark’s Kendall Square Cinemas in Cambridge (starting on 9.25); and (5) Chicago’s Century Centre Cinema (also starting on 9.25).
Yesterday I posted about an 85-minute doc, Meeting The Beatles in India. The piece was titled “I’ll Kill You, Lennon, You Bastard.” A comment from Variety‘s Chris Willman mentioned that a portion of the doc briefly dealt with allegations about sexual misbehavior on the part of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and yet Willman passed along observations from others that this portion may (emphasis on the “m” word) have been removed from the PPV version.
This morning I wrote a Facebook note to Paul Saltzman, director of Meeting The Beatles in India, which Gathr is now offering PPV streaming access to the film. I also wrote the film’s publicist, Maggie Begley.
“Paul — Greetings from Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere. On 9.9 Variety‘s music critic Chris Willman reviewed your Meet the Beatles in India doc. I riffed on the film yesterday, and here’s what Willman said in the HE comment section:
“‘When I reviewed the film, I made mention of a section toward the end that brings up the allegations against the Maharishi and then explains it away to sabotage by Magic Alex that spoiled a good thing.
“‘I then heard from people who watched the film upon its PPV opening that said this section I described was no longer in the film, and viewers were left thinking that everything ended happily. I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who saw the film which cut they saw.’
Willman is a totally reliable, first-rate journalist so I’m taking his word for this, or at least regarding what he says he’s been told. Have you in fact removed the referred-to portion of your doc? If so, do you have any comment or explanation as to why this was done?
Pertinent Willman paragraph, in 9.9.20 Variety review:
“The Maharishi is portrayed only in a positive light, although there’s a passing reference to the nasty song Lennon wrote about him immediately after the sojourn, ‘Sexy Sadie,’ before Saltzman fleetingly addresses the still hot-button topic of why some of the group members fell out with the guru, which had to do with the Maharishi allegedly making moves on women in the compound. The apologia offered by Saltzman and Lewisohn is that a peripheral figure in the Beatles’ entourage, ‘Magic Alex,’ spread false stories about the holy man, though [Alex] told a very different accounting of the fallout (and sued The New York Times over a description similar to the one offered here) before he died in 2017.”
Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney has dashed liberal hopes by announcing a willingness to vote for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the 11.3 election, which seems to all but assure confirmation.
The only way to stop the Supreme Court confirmation process, at least until after the election and perhaps into January or beyond the 1.20.21 inauguration, is for the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against Attorney General William Barr, which would have been warranted anyway. Seriously — what other blocking option is there? Re-impeach Trump?