(a) What year was this photo taken?; (b) One of these three didn’t costar in a certain Jack Cardiff film; two did; (c) Why was Mick Jagger wearing unmatched socks? (d) What kind of chemical additives (natural or otherwise) were coursing through the systems of at least two of them?; and (e) how and why did Alain Delon become an arch-conservative when he got older?
From Politico‘s Kyle Cheney and Burgess Everett, filed at 3:27 pm Pacific: “Sen. Josh Hawley has pledged to challenge President-elect Joe Biden‘s victory in Pennsylvania and possibly other states on Jan. 6, when Congress is set to certify the results of the 2020 election.
“The Missouri Republican’s announcement guarantees that both chambers will be forced to debate the results of at least one state and vote on whether to accept Biden’s victory, a process that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had urged Republicans to avoid, despite pressure from President Donald Trump, who is urging Republicans to overturn the democratic results.
“Though Hawley’s challenge will have no bearing on the ultimate outcome of the election, it will delay the certification of Biden’s victory and force every member of the House and Senate on the record affirming Biden’s win. Hawley said Wednesday that other senators’ offices had reached out to express interest in a challenge but he’s not sure if any will join.
“‘I would think that there will be more but there may be not be,’ Hawley said.”
A film director coming off a big success doesn’t know what to do or where to go for a follow-up, and is all confused and tangled up about this. At the same time he’s grappling with self-doubt and asking himself basic philosophical questions. He’s also caught up in complex relationships with certain women.
This is the basic rundown in Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, which Tatiana and I watched last night. (She’d never seen it and I hadn’t since a laser disc viewing in the late ’90s.) It’s still perfectly made, still immaculate (all hail dp Gianni Di Venanzo), still ravishing…still a classic wandering dreamscape. An entirely centered and self-created world, “illogical” and story-free but adhering to a certain rhyme and reason and spiritual balance…wry self-portraiture that feels simultaneously intimate and mysterious and yet…what am I trying to say here?
I don’t know exactly but I have to stand up and say it straight. There’s something overly hermetic and self-involved about 8 1/2, and while it’s the original Big Daddy when it comes to films about an artist feeling stuck and at loose ends, a film that sired Paul Mazursky‘s Alex in Wonderland, Woody Allen‘s Stardust Memories, Bob Fosse‘s All That Jazz and you tell me how many others…you have to ask yourself “why did Fellini call it 8 1/2?”
Marcello Mastroianni during filming of “8 1/2”
I’ll tell you why — because he’d made eight films before it (two being omnibus shorts) and there was apparently something about 8 1/2 that in his mind felt incomplete or rabbit-holey on some level, and so he referred to it as half a film, which is to say a film in search of itself. Seriously — why didn’t Fellini call it Nine?
As lame or naive as this may sound to some, there are portions of Stardust Memories (which was also partly inspired by early Ingmar Bergman, I realize) that feel just as brave and exploratory and self-revealing as 8 1/2, on top of which it’s actually funny at times (like the train-car sequence at the very beginning). I was never much of a fan of Alex in Wonderland, but now I’m thinking I’ll give it another shot.
Tatiana found 8 1/2 a bit confining on some level; even a bit draining. Sublime and confident within its own imaginative, free-associating realm, but not, she felt, as engrossing as she’d hoped it would be (or had heard it would be).
We decided to watch 8 1/2 after seeing Selma Dell’Olio‘s Fellini of the Spirits, a cerebral doc about the influences upon Fellini’s work over the years.
I’d somehow forgotten that gothic horror queen Barbara Steele has a costarring role in 8 1/2, and that she’s fascinating.
Will tomorrow night be the most morose New Year’s Eve in U.S. history? The NYE celebrations that followed the 1929 stock market crash were probably more fun because at least people were allowed to mingle and party without fear of endangering themselves. Be honest — Andy Cohen‘s smile is fundamentally dishonest. It says “yeah, noisemakers and champagne!…Trump will soon be gone and three Covid vaccines are making the rounds…everything’s gonna be fine!” World to Cohen: We have our doubts.
Wells was very fortunate, of course, in being cast in Sherwood Schwarz‘s oppressively stupid, inexplicably popular sitcom, which except for two or three episodes I’ve avoided all my life. Okay, I may have watched five or six.
Everyone loved Maryann — the perfect tropical island fox. (Will I get re-cancelled for using that insidious term? Would it help if it was meant ironically or historically, as a verbal comment on a remnant of a bygone age when “fox” was an acceptable term of flattery?)
Born and raised in Nevada, Wells was 25 or 26 when that Sherwood Schwartz series began in ’64 (the first season was shot in black-and-white), and 29 when the show breathed its last. 98 episodes in all.
The difference in the quality between the insipid Gilligan’s Island and Bob Denver‘s previous series, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, was night and day. Credit is due, I suppose, to Schwartz for inventing and selling the idiotic concept, but the writing on the Gillis series (’59 to ’63) was 20 times better than the plotting and patter on Gilligan. Cavalier wit, cooler personality.
Why didn’t Maryann and Russell Johnson‘s professor become a couple? They could’ve had kids. How did the Gilligan characters happen to bring along such huge wardrobes (or even a suitcase) when they were only enjoying a three-hour cruise off the coast of Oahu? Why didn’t the professor build a surfboard for Maryann?
Speaking of beaches, why weren’t there more scenes in which Maryann and Tina Louise‘s “Ginger Grant” would lounge around in brightly-colored floral print bikinis and soak up rays? (Now I’m really gonna be re-cancelled.) Why didn’t Gilligan learn to surf? Or the skipper for that matter? Did everyone have their own outhouse or did they share? How did they arrange for running water again? The show wasn’t even interested in any kind of hand-made Swiss Family Robinson ingenuity.
What was the basic metaphor of Gilligan’s Island? TV sitcoms become hits because they touch a chord of some kind. Gilligan‘s chord had something to do with capturing the insular mindset and complacency among the American middle-class in the mid ’60s. Nothing about living on a remote island (and one without toilets or hot running water, remember) altered how they thought and lived. The castaways might have just as well been residing in a condo community alongside a golfing fairway in Scottsdale.
Wells certainly had her moment in the sun. I was sorry to read that things were difficult for her a couple of years ago — her Wiki page says that a GoFundMe page was set up to help Wells cope with financial challenges.
Johnson, by the way, died in 2014 at age 89.
It’ll be a blessing if Jon Osoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock defeat Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, their respective opponents in the 1.5.21 Georgia runoff election (only six days off!).
If this were to happen Biden would able to push through certain liberal or progressive measures (including re-launching the fight against climate change) and generally dilute the Trump toxicity. Greater levels of fairness, decency and compassion would permeate the Senate, and perhaps even among the citizenry to some degree.
As we speak Loeffler seems likely to lose (emphasis on the “s” word), but it’s too close to call on Perdue-vs.-Osoff. Perdue could win, and that would mean more standoffs and gridlock with Mitch McConnell maintaining his position as the Senate’s majority leader. A horrible outcome.
Why in God’s name would anyone vote for an elitist country-club skinflint like Perdue?
Both Perdue and Loeffler have voiced support for $2K payments, but I think they’re just saying that. I think it’s mainly theatre. They get to sound semi-human and semi-compassionate while knowing that McConnell will keep this issue from coming to a floor vote, despite everyone on the planet (including Trump himself) saying that $600 is ridiculous, etc.