Elizabeth Lo‘s Stray “shines a piercing light on what it means to be an outcast in a teeming metropolis. Though they do find attentive people with whom to pass an hour or two, it’s remarkable how often the dogs go unnoted by pedestrians; luckily, drivers heed them.
“Through a finely calibrated ebb and flow of insight and emotion, Lo offers a fresh perspective on life in the shadows — the freedom as well as the neglect — building toward an end-credits coda, a song from the heart that’s not to be missed.” — THR‘s Sheri Linden, posted on 4.15.20, Tribeca Film Festival.
Travel Beans: “Another reason you may not want to visit Positano…if you’re one of those people who cannot stand Instagram culture with so many tourists taking loads of photos every time you look around…if this is something that really grinds your gears and winds you up, best to avoid it.” — gently phrased by Travel Beans on 10.24.20.
“Amalfi Coast,” HE-posted on 11.18.09: “Positano has been overtaken by schmuck tourists…degraded by the tour buses and hee-haw Americans who keep the local economy going. I remember being in a Positano internet cafe and overhearing a guy with some kind of Kentucky or Tennessee accent using the international land line and speaking or bellowing too loudly (‘Great Italian fewd!’), and immediately flinching and saying to myself, ‘Uh-oh, the Cancun crowd is here.’
“But it’s such a beautiful place anyway. The feeling of being cut off from the world is so special and serene. The magnificent Moorish architecture, the 45- or 50-degree incline, the view from a cheap hilltop restaurant that Jett and I visited during magic hour, etc. Even with the Clem Kadiddlehoopers, I’d go there again in a heartbeat.”
Snapped in June 2007.
I’m still grinning about Trump getting kicked off Twitter and other social-media platforms, including YouTube. If anyone in the history of this planet deserves to be muzzled (at least temporarily), it’s Donald J. Fuckface. I realize it’s wrong to celebrate this toxic sociopath having been permanently de-Twitterized. I recognize, obviously, that it’s a bad idea to choke off free speech. Even the free speech of proven liars, delusionals and demagogues.
Then again Germany wiped Naziism off the map in the wake of World War II — zero tolerance, no quarter, no remnants except for concentration camp memorials. And that was certainly a good thing. Nobody whined about Hitler followers being deprived of free speech. With ample justification an evil regime was suffocated and so why, I’m asking myself, is it so terrible to shut down a delusional leader of the looney-tune, QAnon-embracing, armed-militia right? There’s no such thing as pure goodness or pure evil, but if anyone personifies a very real and toxic social poison, it’s Trump. It may sound extreme to call him an embodiment of obsessive, neurotically generated, fact-averse Satanism. But he really is a living beast.
If Trump were to somehow fall off some swanky yacht in the Caribbean and get eaten by sharks…what reasonable person would be truly sorry about that? Be honest.
There’s nothing “wrong” with silent opening-credit sequences. Silence can put the hook in, build anticipation levels, etc. But there’s a limit. We all prefer some kind of aural current, something telling us that someone understands the frustration that some of us are feeling — music, ambient atmosphere sounds, an off-screen conversation, etc. The HE handbook (2019 edition) states that the usual distributor and production company logos + above-the-line credit sequence shouldn’t generate total dead-mouse silence for more than 15 or 20 seconds. Obviously there are exceptions. The opening credits for Steven Spielberg‘s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (’17) kept the silence going and the audience hooked for roughly 45 seconds, but that was pushing it. Most filmmakers realize that too much prolonged silence has a way of sucking up energy, especially in a theatre. (Remember theatres?) They know audiences will cut them a certain amount of slack, but not too much. HE to pretentious silence-loving directors: Don’t overplay this card — people like me are out there in force.
During last night’s “New Rules” finale, Bill Maher discussed the sad saga of QAnon fruitcake Ashli Babbitt, who was in a financially precarious position before she was killed inside the Capitol building on 1.6.21.
Maher passed along information from a 12.7.21 N.Y. Times story about Babbitt (“Woman Killed in Capitol Embraced Trump and QAnon“). The article reported that Babbitt, who ran a pool-cleaning business, took out a “costly” short-term business loan for $65K in in 2017, and that it required Babbit to pay back 169 percent above and beyond the principal, or $140K and change.
Is that roughly correct? A total debt load of $140K, I mean. Math has never been my strong point.
What kind of predatory scumbag pirate outfit charges 169% interest?
Variety‘s Rebecca Rubin is reporting that Adam Wingard‘s Godzilla vs. Kong will now open on 3.26 rather than 5.21. Nobody cares why. What matters to most of us is “whose ass ultimately gets kicked?” How can King Kong possibly fight a 150-foot tall reptile that spews flames? Especially since Kong started out as a 25-foot-tall ape. The producers of Kong: Skull Island decided to make him 90 or 100 feet tall…something like that. It’s all so stupid, but to me Fatzilla seems like the dominant beast.
Note: The usual no-fat-shaming rules don’t apply when it comes to monster reptiles. The fact is that Godzilla became Fatzilla back in 2014, and things have never been the same since.
Great gushing cloudbursts are few and far between in my neck of the woods. I’m not talking about simple drenchings, which happen every so often — I’m talking cats and dogs, the wild Parasite rainstorm, monsoon-level, The Rains of Ranchipur and how this never happens in WeHo.
When you get right down to it I’ve experienced only five or six gully washers over the last 20 or 30 years, and almost all of them overseas. There was one serious soaking in Manhattan in the spring of ’81, when I was living on Bank Street. And a major cloudburst in Las Vegas back in the ’90s. But I wouldn’t describe either as super-exceptional.
The greatest urban rainstorm happened in Paris in the summer of ’03. Dylan I were living on a hilly street in southwest Montmartre — 23 rue Tourlaque. It was coming down so hard that the gutters were swamped with charging rapids. And the cacophony (trillions of water bullets clattering on hundreds of clay-tile rooftops) was magnificent. And the crackling thunder before it started. The wrath of an angry Old Testament God from a Cecil B. DeMille film.
The most exciting deluge in a forest primeval setting happened about 10 years later, in Vietnam. In a jungle-like area not far from the Mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, just south of Hue. We took shelter inside a kind of makeshift cafe — open air, plastic tables and chairs, a slanted wood-frame roof covered with palm fronds and banana leaves. The sheer energy of the downpour plus the overwhelming symphony of sound (half raging waterfall, half Noah’s Ark flood waters)…must have lasted a good 15 or 20 minutes.
23 rue Tourlaque, Paris.
I’m one of the unfortunate few who hasn’t received that $600 pandemic assistance payment, which was approved by Congress two-plus weeks ago. And yes, I’ve checked all my accounts. Now I’m worried about missing out on Biden’s $1400 follow-up pandemic assistance check. I’m told the $600 snafu is partly my fault because I didn’t pay my 2019 taxes via direct deposit, but via snail mail. At least I can deduct $600 on my 2020 taxes.
The obviously eccentric Jake Angeli, “the guy with the buffalo horns”, is asking Trump to pardon him. The would-be actor’s defense is that he just painted his face, put on his outfit, strolled into the Capitol building and posed for some photos. He didn’t break any windows, didn’t relieve himself in the hallways or on the floor of the Senate, didn’t hit any cops, etc.
I don’t know what kind of time Angeli is facing, but if I was the presiding judge I’d sentence him to a bare minimum of two years. I might cut the sentence down to 18 months if he agrees to serve on an old-fashioned, Cool Hand Luke-styled Southern chain gang.
The “QAnon Shaman” has become the best-known symbol of the 1.6 Capitol insurrection. He belongs to history now — 50 or 100 years now people will still be looking at his get-up and shaking their heads and muttering “wow, what an asshole.” Naturally he’s going to try and monetize his newfound celebrity.
Angeli is only 32 — born the same year as Jett.
That madman shot of Armie Hammer is like that 1969 Life magazine photo of Charles Manson. It’s going to appear again and again, and is obviously going to make things worse for the poor guy. Right now he’s being sliced and diced by social media carnivores. In a text he called himself a sexual “cannibal” — obviously an allusion to carniverous cunnilingus. He’s apparently a “dominant”, and yes, his [allegedly] stated appetites sound like the voltage was turned up too high. So yeah, he’s on the pervy side. But haven’t his affairs and assignations been consensual? What did he do to deserve to be ripped apart like an impala being disembowled by wild dogs? Who’s behind this? What’s the motive?