“Happy?” — Facebook friend after mulling the below photo.
“I had a traumatic birth, which gives you a certain antsy outlook on things. By the time I was six or seven I was feeling very angry at God for giving me such a miserable life in suburban New Jersey, and especially for giving me such strict, hard-nosed parents, particularly a mother who made me go to church every damn Sunday.
“In my tweens and teens I went through a period of mocking and taunting Him. Then I embraced and worshipped Him as a result of my mystical LSD trips in my early 20s. Then I came to an understanding that God has nothing to do whatsoever with ‘happiness,’ however you want to define it.
“The best that can be said about God is that, depending on how lucky or unlucky you are in terms of parental or tribal lineage and birth location, He/She/It is completely impartial — indifferent — about whether you’re living a happy or miserable life. He’s “not there” (as The Zombies once sang) so it’s basically up to you.
“If you want or need ‘happiness’ and you’re not living under a horrible dictatorship, orchestrate your own version of happiness or fulfillment, being careful not to make things worse for others.” — posted on 2.3.18 under the title “God Is A Concept.”
“Real happiness is more the subtle equanimity that Aristotle described as eudimonea, than it is the steroid-filled social projections of happiness and success that we expect from others.” — HE commenter “Otto Gierke“, posted eight years ago.
“There’s a difference between a true sense of deep well-being, which still can acknowledge the darkness in the world, compared to a relentless, forced peppiness. And I think acquiring the former can be the work of a lifetime, though it seems to come more easily for some than for others.
Just remember that James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros., 8.6.21) is quite different from David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad (’16). It uses the word “the” in the title, for one thing. And it’s regarded as a stand-alone sequel to Ayer’s film as well as a “soft reboot.” And it’ll debut on HBO Max….aagghh, who cares? I’m looking forward to Pete Davidson‘s supporting performances, but that’s all. Just another D.C. paycheck gig for the principals involved. Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, MichaelRooker, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Peter Capaldi, Alice Braga, Nathan Fillion, Flula Borg and a kaiju, etc. Sylvester Stallone voices “King Shark,” a man-eating shark-human hybrid.
An absorbing, unusually candid video essay is included in Kino Lorber’s All Night Long Bluray (5.26.20), which I only just watched last night.
Titled “All Night Wrong,” it’s a recollection from screenwriter W.D Richter (Slither, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Brubaker, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai) about why the film didn’t really work.
I happen to disagree. I think All Night Long is a decent half-and-halfer. Directed by Jean-Claude Tramont and costarring Gene Hackman and the curiously miscast Barbra Streisand, it’s a dry, somewhat quirky romantic comedy that ambles along, doesn’t grossly offend and occasionally kicks into gear by way of irreverence or what-have-you.
All Night Long screenwriter W.D, Richjter as featured in Kino Lorber video essay, “All Night Wrong.”
Richter wrote a low-key, European-toned screenplay that was intended to resemble a Mike Leigh film. It originally costarred Hackman and Lisa Eichorn. But the hoped-for chemistry between Hackman and Eichorn didn’t happen, and so Eichorn was jettisoned after a week of shooting and Streisand, of all people, stepped in at the urging of her hotshot agent, Sue Mengers, who was married to Tramont.
Streisand didn’t demand any rewrites or pull any big superstar moves — she just played the Eichorn role as written. But it was an odd fit. And Tramont, unfortunately, decided to throw in a lot of crude slapstick business that really didn’t work, and so the film felt tonally off-balanced.
All Night Long is great when it cleaves to Hackman’s middle-aged insouciance — his character’s loathing for middle-class conventionality. And Streisand isn’t half bad. But the best part of the Bluray package is the Richter essay — I found it much more engaging than the film.
The great Larry McMurtry (The Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, Hud, co-writer of Brokeback Mountain), a literary giant if there ever was one, is gone at age 84. I’m very sorry, but at least Sam the Lion has some company. Hugs and condolences all around.
McMurtry was a legend, a brand…the creator of his own genre. A magnificent writer with a clear, eloquent, Texas-twang voice, softly infused with a certain basic, homespun wisdom.
No, McMurtry didn’t write Hud — Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. co-penned the screenplay — but that classic 1963 film, directed by Martin Ritt and starring Paul Newman, was based on his own “Horseman, Pass By.”
Yes, James L. Brooks wrote the Terms of Endearment screenplay (and presumably came up with Jack Nicholson‘s “to kill the bug that you have up your ass” line), but the source book was McMurtry’s.
Yes, William D. Wittliff wrote the Lonesome Dove screenplay but it was based on McMurtry’s 1985 novel.
It would be nice if all these legendary creative people would stop dying, thanks. They’re dropping like flies.
It’s odd to come across several ads for sexual-envelope-pushing films (Threesome, Rough Trade, The Lickerish Quartet, Sexual Practices in Sweden, The Postgraduate, The Curious Female, He and She) in an October ’70 edition of the prim and guarded N.Y. Times. Obviously, as the second year of the Nixon administration was coming to a close, moderately graphic sexuality (and in some cases immoderate sexuality) was a significant draw. Even David Lean was getting into the act.
Segal was a respected, well-liked, plugging-away actor throughout the ’60s, and he definitely elevated his stock rating with his lead performance in Irvin Kershner‘s Loving (’70 — 3.4.70). But Reiner-Yates added the boldface, above-the-title stardom factor to Segal’s guilt-ridden, self-flagellating, Jewish-guy thing, and he was off to the races.
Poppa (a cult film, not a hit) was released on 11.10.70, and The Hot Rock (a silly ensemble caper comedy for guys) arrived on 1.26.72 or 14 months later. Pre-Poppa and post-Hot Rock Segal were entirely different entities.
With these two in the bag, Segal landed the titular role in Paul Mazursky‘s Blume in Love (6.17.73), and thereafter he wasn’t just a star but a complex ’70s soul man — the highest rung of the realm. And then, 14 months after Blume, came Segal’s Bill Denny in California Split (8.7.74) — a grand-slammer.
And then God lost interest and his hot streak ended, just like that. Segal kept working for another 40 years after that, and good for his spirit and tenacity. But what a rude jolt. 1970 through ’74: “You’re finally really hot, George…you’re totally cool and everyone digs you.” 1975 and onward: “Okay, you’re still good but time to cool things down.”
Temporary, pre-release trade ad title for Pert Yates’ The Hot Rock.