Yesterday (10.1) Tatiana received her U.S. passport in the mail. Less than a month ago (9.5) she received her renewed Russian passport. On 8.20 she became a U.S. citizen. And roughly eight months ago, after receiving several union vouchers on various shoots, she received her SAG/AFTRA membership card. That made a difference. Except for a down period last summer (late May to mid July) she’s been working vigorously on films, TV shows, commercials and music videos. Especially recently. Boom time. So there’s some positive energy in this house.
Thanks to HE reader Kevin Kunze for digging up an alleged copy of Tony Soprano‘s driver’s license, as featured on worthpoint.com. The site contends that the New Jersey license is a genuine article “from the Sopranos set,” whatever that means.
At the very least the 1959 birth year agrees with Soprano’s Wikipedia page. Which is yet another indication that William Ludwig‘s Tony is indeed eight years old during the 1969 portion of The Many Saints of Newark.
As I wrote earlier today, this timeline unfortunately makes Tony 12 years old in the second half (or final 70 minutes) in ‘71, which doesn’t fit as Michael Gandolfini, 20 when MSON began filming began in ‘19, is supposed to be around 16 or 17.
Excerpt: “For Michael’s casting to completely work Tony Soprano would have to have been born in ‘55 or thereabouts, which throws other timelines out of whack. When he cast Michael as teenaged Tony, Chase was obviously saying to himself and to MSON colleagues “this doesn’t add up but Michael is such a good call in other respects that we’re just going to hope that no one does the math or complains too much.”
A new poll from the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia reveals that “over half of Trump voters surveyed, and 41% of Biden voters, are in favor of blue and/or red states seceding from the union.”
Similar findings emerged on 7.15.21 about a YouGov poll having found that “66% of Republicans in southern states want to secede from the United States.”
Hollywood Elsewhere has been advocating for a Czechoslovakian-style split of the U.S.A. for eight, nine years now.
In 2012 I posted a sincere piece called “Solve Almost Everything.” It basically said that if you cut loose the hinterland crazies many of the nation’s problems would vanish in one fell swoop. In 2014 a book by a right-wing guy, Douglas Mackinnon, called for the same thing. Secede from the multicultural U.S. of A., form a “traditional values” nation called Reagan (screw minorities, LBGTQs, progressive women) and peacefully coexist.
“Break the country into two nations like Czechoslovakia did. A red Slovakia and a blue Czech Republic. Most of the economic vitality and enlightenment are concentrated in the blue states (I think), and a lot more could get done if the blues could run things in a reasonable, less-crazy fashion. Let the reds have their retrograde, anti-healthcare, let’s-preserve-our-white-heritage attitudes with their higher divorce rates and fatty foods and worship of old-school, fossil-fuel lifestyles and “drill, baby, drill.”
“Everyone could still travel around and visit the other sector any time they want. Nothing would change access-wise. Northerners could still drive down to see relatives and visit Texas any time. Manhattan hipsters could still visit Austin during South by Southwest. They could still go down to Louisiana and get drunk and buzz around on the bayou on flatboats. Everything would be the same except that most of the foul people would be running their own red nation, and would have a lot less to say about the progressive shape of things as far as the serious money and real power centers are concerned.
“Abraham Lincoln said that a nation divided against itself — a Northern United States vs. a Confederacy — cannot stand. He may have been right in the early 1860s, but today geographical unity isn’t what it used to be. And a nation like ours, paralyzed by the refusalism of the loony-tune right, is pretty much a stagnant and ungovernable thing. Cut out the fungus, let the cultural conservatives have their Dogpatch Nation and things will be better. And we could still enjoy each other’s company when we feel like it.”
Last night we went on the Panini on Sunset website and ordered a medium-size pesto pizza with chicken, plus a Ceasar salad with chicken strips. When all was said and done (tax + $5 tip for the delivery guy) it came to $46 — might as well call it $50. The pizza was tasty and pleasing, but I felt very slightly burned. This little meal just wasn’t worth the candle, I told myself. $30 or $35 but not $46.
Five and a half years ago Jett, Cait and I were enjoying delicious bowls of Vietnamese Pho at a classic Hanoi eatery called Pho Thin. They only serve Pho — clear stock, boiled beef, rice noodles, herbs, green onions and garlic. They charge a little less than $2 U.S. a bowl, but it’s one of the greatest bowls of anything you’ve ever eaten in your life.
$2 for a bowl of magnificent, spirit-lifting, life-changing Pho vs. $46 for an agreeable pesto pizza-and-salad combo.
The death of Albert Finney in February ’19 led me to the usual sad, sentimental surf-arounds. It also led, a month later, to a viewing of Alan Parker and Bo Goldman‘s’s Shoot The Moon (’82). Not on Amazon, but on the big screen at Hollywood’s American Cinematheque.
It didn’t work out. The film drove me nuts from the get-go, mainly because of the use of solitary weeping scenes (three or four within the first half-hour) and the relentless chaotic energy from the four impish daughters of Finney and Diane Keaton. It was getting late and I just couldn’t take it. I bailed at the 45-minute mark.
The “die of quaint” line, spoken by Finney and aimed at San Francisco, is the only thing I genuinely like about the film.
This “obnoxious argument in a nice restaurant” scene indicates what’s wrong with the film. It has a striking, abrasive vibe, but it doesn’t work because there’s no sense of social or directorial restraint. If only Parker had told Finney and Keaton to try and keep their voices down in the early stages, and then gradually lose control. Nobody is this gauche, this oblivious to fellow diners.
The balding, red-haired guy with his back to the camera (James Cranna) played “Gerald” in the Beverly Hills heroin-dealing scene in Karel Reisz‘s Who’ll Stop The Rain?.
This morning I came upon my own January ’82 review. I wasn’t much of a fan then either.
Anyway, the point of this post is to solicit a list of films that aspire to be as relentlessly gloomy as Shoot The Moon. I’m talking about films that give you no mirth, no oxygen. A steady drip-drip-drip of depression, foul moods, anger, downishness.
I’d rather be sitting alone and regretfully shaking my head about the various shortcomings afflicting The Many Saints of Newark than be part of a crowd of popcorn-inhalers watching Venom: Let There Be Carnage. To quote James Cagney’s character in Billy Wilder’s One Two Three, “I’d rather be in hell with my back broken”
Wikipedia has an idea about Tony Soprano having been born in ‘59. Which makes him eight during the first 50 minutes of The Many Saints of Newark in ‘67, which fits with chubby little William Ludwig filling the role.
Unfortunately this timeline also makes Tony 12 years old in the second half (or final 70 minutes) in ‘71, which DOESN’T fit as Michael Gandolfini, 20 when MSON began filming began in ‘19, is supposed to be around 16 or 17.
For Michael’s casting to completely work Tony Soprano would have to have been born in ‘55 or thereabouts, which throws other timelines out of whack. When he cast Michael as teenaged Tony, Chase was obviously saying to himself and to MSON colleagues “this doesn’t add up but Michael is such a good call in other respects that we’re just going to hope that no one does the math or complains too much.”
The birth year of ‘59 roughly synchs with James Gandolfini’s own birth year of 1961, which meant JG was 37 or 38 when the series (which premiered in ‘99) began filming, and roughly 45 or 46 when Tony Soprano was clipped in ‘07.
Between ‘99 and ‘07 Gandolfini seemed to put on a good 50 or 60 pounds if not more, almost doubling in size and looking more 50ish than 40ish by the end. In ‘99 JG could be described as stocky; by ‘07 he was on the edge of obesity. The poor guy died of a heart attack at age 51 in 2013.