11.1, 9:05 am update: Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast is a Telluride lock. The Toronto honchos lied.l about their world premiere, etc.
Earlier; So the Toronto Film Festival is lying about a so-called world premiere of Kenneth Branagh‘s Belfast (Focus Features, 11.12.21). The TIFF screening is slated for Sunday, 11.12.21, but it will have its actual world premiere, I’m hearing, at the Telluride Film Festival.
I can’t say “take it to the bank” because I’m not holding a 2021 Telluride Film Festival brochure in my hand as I write this, but it appears that the TIFF guys have been fabricating on this particular matter.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song, which will debut at the Venice Film Festival on 9.2, will also screen in Telluride.
And Rebecca Hall‘s Passing, by the way, is not playing Telluride.
I’m now fully persuaded that No Time To Die (UA Releasing, 10.8.21) will be an above-average Bond flick. At the same time I understand that it can’t break the mold — that it has to do the usual Bondy-Bondy things.
Keep in mind that principal photography for No Time To Die began during April 2019 — nearly a full year before the pandemic kicked in. Principal photography finished in October 2019, or just under two years ago.
If you’re one of those old-fashioned classicists who believes that the evening hours should be accepted and submitted to, the general atmosphere at the Rodeway Inn & Suites in Needles is…what’s the best description?…horrific. It makes you feel nauseous. A voice inside is muttering “it shouldn’t be this way…this is a perversion of God’s plan.”
It’s like staying in a low-security penitentiary for white-collar criminals. There are lights, lights, LIGHTS everywhere. The idea seems to be “Rodeway will protect you from the predatory darkness…we will illuminate everything…we will make the darkness day!”
The main lobby is over illuminated,. Acoustic Johnny Cash is playing too loudly when you check in. The bathroom fixtures are dogshit-level. There’s a nice air-conditioned McDonald’s next door (good wifi). We are living in a total Jetson’s world…except in a few rare pockets, real-deal Americana has been completely extinguished. Comfortable but ghastly. It’s 10:05 am and the temperature is 95 degrees. The sky is bright blue.
HE personal picks are as follows: Best Picture — tie between Coming Home and Days of Heaven. (Runners–up: Heaven Can Wait, The Deer Hunter, Midnight Express, An Unmarried Woman, Interiors.)
Best Director — tie between Hal Ashby, Coming Home, and Terrence Malick, Days of Heaven. (Runners–up: Warren Beatty and Buck Henry, Heaven Can Wait; Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter, Woody Allen, Interiors, Alan Parker, Midnight Express).
Best Actor: Jon Voight, Coming Home. Best Actress: Jane Fonda, Coming Home. Best Supporting Actor: Jack Warden, Heaven Can Wait. Best Supporting Actress: Maureen Stapleton, Interiors.
Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone, Days of Heaven.
Beanie Feldstein‘s performance as Monica Lewinsky has been more or less approved, but Impeachment itself isn’t faring as well.
“Only a couple actors dig themselves out from underneath the weight of leaden dialogue, overt exposition and, in some cases, extremely distracting prosthetics. Otherwise, Impeachment is an overwrought rehash that’s more off-putting than enlightening as it crams everything it can into its inherently complex narrative.” — from Caroline Franke’s 8.31 Variety review.
“Even as the season zeroes in on the finer details of the story (drawing primarily from Jeffrey Toobin’s book ‘A Vast Conspiracy‘), it struggles to locate a larger point worthy of the time it takes to convey it. For a star-studded drama about an explosive historical moment, Impeachment feels oddly static.
“[And] in reducing [the principal female characters], once again, to the roles they played rather than the people they were (or are — Lewinsky serves as an EP on the series), Impeachment feels a little too little, a little too late.” — The Hollywood Reporter‘s Angie Han.
Posted on 10.6.17: “Blade Runner 2049 lasts an eternity — I checked my watch at least five or six times, and my muttered mantra all through it was ‘I don’t give a shit about any of this, I don’t give a shit about any of this, I don’t give a shit about any of this’ — but it’s certainly a major vision thing. Pay your $16 dollars and sink into a thoroughly gloomy realm of super-holograms (including ones of Frank Sinatra and Vegas-era Elvis Presley), rot, ruin and industrial scrap, a toxic shithole populated with grim-faced characters you would just as soon squash as look at, a world of hair-grease and sprayed sweat and impassive, cold-death expressions, and all of it blanketed with rain, snow, sludge and chemical mud-glop.
“And oh, yeah, for a story that you won’t give two shits about. A dingleberry doodle plot involving memory implants and obscured lineage and a secret no one must know (no one! just ask Jared Leto!) and a little wooden horse with a date (6.10.21) carved into the base, and some shit-hooey about original replicant creator Eldon Tyrell having given Rachael, the experimental replicant played by Sean Young in the ’82 original, the organic potential to reproduce and blah blah. And a narrative pace that will slow your own pulse and make your eyelids flutter and descend, and a growing need to escape into the outer lobby so you can order a hot dog and check your messages.
“BR49 should have run two hours, not two hours and 44 minutes.
“Do yourself a favor…seriously. Before seeing it this weekend, read the Wikipedia synopsis. Doing so will remove the irritating, hard-to-follow story tease and allow you to just concentrate on the visuals, which is all this thing is about anyway. It doesn’t matter anyway — nothing does, it’s all shit and distraction, you’re all just contributing to the Warner Bros. bottom line, to Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford‘s wealth while you subtract from your own. We’re all punks, fools, suckers, knaves. Warner Bros. pours a little whiskey onto the plastic floor, and like Ford’s Blade Runner wolf dog we lick it right up.
“Fuck the story, fuck the lineage factor, fuck it all. Just sink into the chilly murderous vibe and Gosling’s impassive, glazed-over robot eyes, and Ford’s subtle emotional delivery (has he ever cried before on-screen?). Nobody cares and it doesn’t fucking matter if RG or Ford or Kevin Tsujihara are replicants. I’m a replicant with the capability of siring children and writing a daily column. What difference does it make if I’m an android or not, or if I dream of electric sheep? Nobody cares, nothing matters, it’s all bullshit.
“What of the virtual-reality prostitute, the homicidal super-bitch and the brittle, tough-cookie supervisor played by Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks and Robin Wright? Smart women will not be pleased. (After the show a friend was listening to a whipsmart feminist deploring these characters and the phony, piss-poor writing.) For these are cardboard, non-dimensional figures (women acting like men or fulfilling men’s fantasies) who would never be hatched by a woman screenwriter. Grow some soul and awareness, Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.
“How important is Gosling’s little wooden horse, and how does it feed into everything else? I’m still scratching my head about that, but I’m sure someone will explain it later today. Is Gosling’s “Joe” the replicant son of you-know-who? I didn’t give a shit. Is there any kind of emotionally satisfying undercurrent in any of this? Fuck no.
“There’s one moment — one! — that made me sit up in my seat and say to myself ‘wait, hold on, this is semi-poignant.’ But the spoiler whiners will kill me if I get specific. It involves Ford and a younger woman — I’ll leave it at that.
“I knew this wouldn’t be a glorious, all-around triumph. I knew it would be brilliant but problematic. I knew not to trust those rave reviews written by balding, bespectacled, heavyset dweebs. If they’d written ‘it’s a bear to sit through and it makes you feel like shit, but it’s a masterpiece,’ okay, but too many of them just wrote “it’s a masterpiece!’ This is why people don’t trust critics. They live in their own world.
Remember that bitchy hospital administrator in Little Miss Sunshine, the one who told the family (Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin) that they couldn’t take Alan Arkin‘s body with them because of all the rules and regulations? Well, four years ago in Telluride I ran into the same kind of person. Let’s call her Ilsa, and describe her as the most reptilian and cold-blooded Airbnb host I’ve ever exchanged words with.
Posted on 9.4.17: During the just-concluded Telluride Film Festival, Tatyana and I stayed in a second-floor unit at the Mountainside Inn. The MI is a simple, clean, unpretentious operation, and not too pricey, at least by Telluride standards — just under a grand for four nights and a wake-up. For years it’s been known as the poor man’s solution to lodging during this excellent, world-class festival.
Our unit was fine. Okay, the shower nozzle wasn’t working very well but you can’t have everything. Well located (333 South Davis street), comfortable, no major concerns. The wifi was surprisingly excellent, and that obviously matters a lot.
I do think, however, that it was dishonest of the owner, a local attorney named Jerry, to not state in the Airbnb posting that he wasn’t subletting a presumably attractive stand-alone condo but a down-at-the-heels Mountainside Inn unit. There was no indication of this on the Airbnb profile page. Again, I wasn’t especially displeased by our stay, but Jerry should have laid his cards face-up.
A pretty local named Ilsa greeted us when we arrived. Pretty but, to be honest, a bit brittle and bitchy. After showing me the place and giving me a single room key (the MI manager graciously offered a second), Ilsa asked if I was happy with the place. I said I was feeling a bit underwhelmed, to be perfectly honest, as I’d been under an impression that the unit would be some kind of upscale condo. I said it would have to do, but that I wasn’t thrilled.
Ilsa didn’t care for the candor. Adopting an icy, officious tone, she said that if I felt that way maybe it would be a good idea if I stayed somewhere else. No fooling, she actually said that. My jaw dropped. I had just driven six hours from Albuquerque, I told her, and so I was rather tired and stressed. Plus I had paid for this unit a few months earlier and everything was set. And yet Ilsa actually suggested what she suggested.
Sensing danger, I pleaded with Ilsa not to be punitive. I all but dropped to my knees and begged. She finally took pity and agreed to honor the Airbnb contract. Thank you, I said. You’re so kind and considerate.
I am hereby nominating Ilsa for the Telluride Chamber of Commerce Hospitality award. But there’s no need to harp on this. I’ve stayed at the MI before. The sheets are clean and every unit has a little refrigerator and stove. The TV wasn’t of this era (probably made during the George W. Bush administration) but there was no time to watch it anyway.