Colleen Camp hosted a lavish Squid Game party this evening…Doheny Road, hills above Sunset. Director-writer Hwang Dong–hyuk, lead actress HoYeon Jung, Oscar-winning Minari grandma Yuh Jung-Youn, K-pop star Eric Nam, Phillip Noyce, Billy Zane, John Goldwyn, cast and crew…everyone, everything.
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“Spencer (Neon, 11.5) won’t do if you’re looking for fresh insights into Diana, Princess of Wales, or even an absorbing rehash of one of the most rehashed stories ever. That’s not to minimize the achievement of Kristen Stewart, who portrays the former Diana Spencer as a woman possessed by outer demons as well as inner ones. The problem is the dramatic vacuum, or suffocating bell jar, in which her performance plays out.
“Pablo Larraín’s film, written by Steven Knight, calls itself a ‘fable from a true tragedy.’ It might also be called a fever dream, a surreal nightmare, a reductio ad tedium or just an inherently limiting concept that slowly but inexorably squeezes the life out of itself.” — from Joe Morgenstern’s 11.4 Wall Street Journal review.
“Spencer “is a simplistic, impressionistic head-trip film…a surreal mindscape movie…a kind of nightmarish Stepford Wives (or wife) in the country. Kristen Stewart will be Best Actress nominated, I’m presuming, [but she] plays the mad, close-to-cracking-up Diana to the unstable-adolescent-teenager, Julie Harris-in-The Haunting hilt — beset by visions & nightmares & the ghost of Anne Boleyn.
“Spencer follows the wokester narrative that British Anglo elitism is evil and rancid and needs to be resisted at all costs. Because Diana needs to breathe, love, live, talk to pheasants and save her sons from those toxic royal traditions and soul-smothering attitudes.” — from HE’s 9.4. Telluride review.
Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, quoted by Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan: “Those saying ‘education’ is simply a proxy for racism, and that this result is proof that white or conservative parents really don’t want schools to teach about topics like slavery or give a complete picture of American history, have misread the full picture of parents’ anxieties.”
Anderson found 77% of Republicans and 96% of Democrats agreeing “we should acknowledge the terrible things that have happened in our nation’s history regarding race so students can learn from them and make the future better.” But parents were “alarmed” by “anything that seems to be deterministic about race, such as telling children their skin color will shape their future.” They are uncomfortable “with anything that feels like it is separating children by race.” They’re “also alarmed” by the learning loss that happened during the pandemic, and “upset” over efforts to gut gifted-and-talented education in the name of equity.
“Democrats have allowed themselves to be associated with — to become the political home of — progressive thinking. They thought they had to….[that] progressives would beat them to a pulp if they didn’t get with the program. They thought it would play itself out. This was a mistake. You can’t associate a great party with cultural extremism and not eventually pay a price.
What happened in Virginia, Noonan writes, translates to what a crusty political operative told her decades ago. “He had no patience for high-class analyses featuring trends and contexts,” she recalls. “When voters moved sharply against a party he’d say, ‘The dogs don’t like the dog food.’ Tuesday they vomited it up.”
That long-simmering, much-whispered-about rumor about Kirk Douglas having sexually assaulted Natalie Wood at the Chateau Marmont in the summer of 1955…that story has been confirmed by the late actress’s younger sister, 75 year-old Lana Wood, in a forthcoming memoir called “Little Sister” (Dey Street, 11.9).
Lana spoke of the assault during a multi-part podcast that streamed in July 2018, but she didn’t name Douglas.
At the time of the incident Douglas was 38 and Wood had just turned 17. The get-together had been arranged by their mother, Maria Zakharenko, who thought that “many doors might be thrown open for her, with just a nod of his famous, handsome head on her behalf,” according to Lana, who was around eight at the time.
AP: “It seemed like a long time passed before Natalie got back into the car and woke me up when she slammed the door shut,” Lana writes. “She looked awful. She was very disheveled and very upset, and she and Mom started urgently whispering to each other. I couldn’t really hear them or make out what they were saying. Something bad had apparently happened to my sister, but whatever it was, I was apparently too young to be told about it.”
“According to Lana, Natalie did not discuss with her what happened until both were adults and Natalie, after describing being brought into Douglas’ suite. She told her sister, ‘And, uh…he hurt me Lana. It was like an out-of-body experience. I was terrified. I was confused.’
“Lana recalls Natalie and their mother agreeing it would ruin Natalie’s career to publicly accuse him. ‘Suck it up’ was Maria’s advice.
“Douglas’ son, actor Michael Douglas, said in a statement issued through his publicist: ‘May they both rest in peace.'”
Reported by The Hill‘s Joseph Choi….
James Carville: “What went wrong is just stupid wokeness. Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Wash. I mean, this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools. I mean that…people see that.
Suburbanites in Virginia and New Jersey “pulled away” from such “wokeness.”
“It’s just really has a suppressive effect all across the country on Democrats. Some of these people need to go to a ‘woke’ detox center or something. They’re expressing a language that people just don’t use, and there’s backlash and a frustration at that.”
“We got to change this and not be about changing dictionaries and change laws. These faculty lounge people that sit around mulling about I don’t know what…They’re not working.”
“Wokeness is a problem and everyone knows it. It’s hard to talk to anybody today — and I talk to lots of people in the Democratic Party — who doesn’t say this. But they don’t want to say it out loud.”
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