The last time Hollywood Elsewhere saw a movie on a big screen in Los Angeles was sometime in mid-to-late February of 2020 — 13 months ago. Tomorrow evening I plan to see Ilya Naishuller and Bob Odenkirk‘s Nobody (Universal) at either the AMC Century City or out at Universal City. I know what it is — Odenkirk looking to muscle in on the Liam “Paycheck” Neeson vigilante brand — and I know it only has an 81% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and I don’t care. I don’t want to wait until the 4.16 VOD/streaming begins.
Last night the alleged winners of the 27th annual SAG Awards were leaked, or more likely fake-leaked.
Ma Rainey‘s Chadwick Boseman winning the Best Actor trophy is a no-brainer, but who on the planet earth has even fantasized that Viola Davis, deliverer of a blustery lead performance in the same 1920s-era film, is a likely winner of SAG’s Best Actress award? The last time I checked Carey Mulligan had this in the bag.
Judas and the Black Messiah‘s Daniel Kaluuya will supposedly take home the Best Supporting Actor Award, despite reasonable people having said over and over that LaKeith Stanfield is the champ of this realm. Borat 2‘s Maria Bakalova could win for her Borat 2 performance…whatever.
And the leak-sheet says The Trial of the Chicago 7 will take the Best Ensemble award (i.e., the SAG equivalent of Best Picture). The show begins at 6 pm Pacific on Sunday, April 4th.
Earlier today Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone posted a response to a certain party who’s tried to rough her up for the past couple of days. The piece is titled “A Note to Readers and Other Living Things.”
The hyperbolic accusations aren’t worth recounting, but one of her responses is pretty good.
“This is, and there is no other way to say it, peak Salem,” Sasha wrote. “While the term ‘witch hunt’ is overused by now, it applies here without question. In the purest sense of the term. It is fear of people you know having a secret monster living inside them that you are just now uncovering because now you have proof! I’ve had enough people say to me ‘the difference is [that] witchcraft isn’t real.’ But to the Puritans it was. It was as real as gravity. For centuries, it was real. In some countries it’s still considered real.”
In Marty Feldman‘s The Last Remake of Beau Geste (Kino Lorber), there’s a captivating desert sequence in which James Earl Jones (playing an “Arab chief”) converses with the black-and-white ghost of Rudolph Valentino (Martin Snaric) — a spectral conjuring that recalls Valentino’s appearance in the two Shiek movies.
HE to Feldman pally Alan Spencer: “Can you explain how Marty created that black-and-white Valentino moment? Either they shot Jones and Snaric in regular color and then bleached them out and turned them into monochrome with some kind of hand-tinting process. Or they shot them in black-and-white and then aged the film to look like something out of the 1920s and somehow dropped it into the color capture.”
Spencer to HE: “Marty had one of the FX guys from Star Wars on his team. Jones and Snaric were shot live in an actual desert, if memory recalls, then turned into black-and-white and aged with scratches, then rotoscoped back into the same setting. Don’t hold me to this, but it was skillful.”
A little more than three years ago Andrew Sullivan, then a New York “Intelligencer” columnist, lamented how rabid campus wokesterism was becoming increasingly prevalent in various liberal workplace environments, and how “the whole concept of an individual who exists apart from group identity is slipping from the discourse.”
The article was titled “We All Live on Campus Now” (2.9.18). I re-read it this morning, and it’s kind of horrifying to realize that the Cultural Marxist insanity that Sullivan saw as a gathering manifestation has now become a ruling doctrine, certainly on Twitter and in big-media circles.
“The idea of individual merit — as opposed to various forms of unearned ‘privilege’ — is increasingly suspect,” Sullivan continued. “The Enlightenment principles that formed the bedrock of the American experiment — untrammeled free speech, due process, individual (rather than group) rights — are now routinely understood as mere masks for ‘white male’ power, code words for the oppression of women and nonwhites. Any differences in outcome for various groups must always be a function of ‘hate,’ rather than a function of nature or choice or freedom or individual agency.
“And anyone who questions these assertions is obviously a white supremacist himself.”
The culture, he explained, “is now saturated with the concept of ‘your own truth’ — based usually on your experience of race and gender. It is now highly controversial for individuals in one racial/gender group to write about or portray anyone outside it — because there is no art that isn’t rooted in identity. Movies are constantly pummelled by critics not for being bad movies but for being ‘problematic’ on social justice. Books are censored in advance by sensitivity readers to conform with ‘social justice’ protocols.”
Anyone paying attention to the here-and-now will tell you that wokester terror hasn’t ebbed in the slightest since early ’18, and, despite Trump being out of the White House and Biden policies doing a lot to calm people down, is probably even stronger. This is not opinion or conjecture. This is reality.
But not on HE comment threads. For every time that the worrisome presence of woke social Marxism (which is roughly equivalent to the spectre of German aggression in 1938 from a British perspective)…every time woke baddies are mentioned there are certain denialists and pooh-poohers who always pipe in with the same crap…”you’re being tiresome,” “stop obsessing”, “calm down already” and “threatened much, Jeff?” They know who they are**, and I’m getting really sick of their bullshit.
A friend wrote this morning that “the weird thing in all of this is the number of people — i.e., more than half of Jeff’s posting readers — who do not get it because they simply cannot see what is going on. They are such lockstep, go-along-with-the-crowd personalities that they think Jeff is talking about some fantasy in his head, rather than a genuine universe of real ideas that can no longer be expressed in the public square of mainstream media.
“Every time one of them says ‘Give it a rest, Jeff!’ I think: Here is someone who is truly, definingly clueless. The house is on fire, and they just think it’s a warm day.
** seasonalaffleckdisorder, victorlazlo5, Hud+Homer+Alma+Lonnie, etc.
Two weeks ago I posted a video of a huge wave crashing onto a seaside walkway in San Sebastian and engulfing a couple of tourists (“Rifkin’s Festival Outtake?“). The metaphor, obviously, was about complacency and ignoring a serious threat until it’s too late. But it was largely overlooked by the HE commentariat, so here’s a follow-up with a couple of screen grabs.
Notice the couple in the distance (the father is carrying a small child) realizing the danger and running for dear life…”aagghh!” But the short, squat, pot-bellied guy with the shorts and black cap is just waddling along and not terribly concerned. A split second later he turns in the direction of the sea-water avalanche and goes “whoa.” But it’s too late. He’s 1/4 of a second from obliteration.
This is how most people tend to respond to serious approaching danger. (Like, for example, wokesterism.) Their basic attitude is “I’m good, nice view, air smells great, I love walking, where shall I have lunch?…whoa, wait…SHIT!”