I’m sorry about the death of Diva helmer Jean-Jacques_Beineix, who was 75. And I can’t quite believe it opened in France 41 years ago (March ’81) and in the States 13 months later. Rave reviews led to Diva becoming the hottest big-city film anywhere (did it even play in rural areas?). I remember with absolute clarity that it was essential to see Diva as soon as possible after it caught on. Color, design, black humor, wonderful Parisian atmosphere. One of the images that has lingered over the decades is the stressed interior of the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord (37 bis, boulevard de la Chappelle, 18th arrondissement, near Gare du Nord).
If you wanted to be casual and indifferent you could say Tiffany Haddish likes to party — that’s one way of looking at it. The other way, of course, is that she has an alcohol problem. She was popped this morning in Peachtree City, an Atlanta suburb, for DUI (asleep at the wheel). Three years ago she was apparently drunk during a performance in Miami and forgetting her own jokes.
I’ve been there. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just a matter of recognizing that you’re a slave to booze and then walking away from it, if you’re able to do that. I did one or two AA meetings, couldn’t take the religious aspects and just cold-turkeyed all on my own. There’s nothin’ to it but to do it. Ya gotta have heart.
I love this snap of the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration as 1963 gave way to ’64. What a seminal moment in which everyone and everything was about to change. A huge social tremor had either begun to be felt or would soon be felt. The whole world was about to shake and shudder.
JFK had been murdered only five weeks earlier. The Beatles were slated to arrive in New York City five weeks later (on 2.7.64). Bob Dylan had began to shake off his folkie and protest movement attitudes and would record Another Side of Bob Dylan in May ’64. The best films of ’63 pointed to social complexities and shadowed ambiguities (Hud, The Haunting, This Sporting Life, The Servant, Lilies of the Field, Contempt, The Birds, 8 and 1/2, The Leopard, Billy Liar, From Russia With Love). The Gulf of Tonkin incident was exactly eight months away. Roughly a year later Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement began, and thereby kicked off the wave of student protests that defined much of the ’60s and early ’70s.
The era of Doris Day was finished and she probably didn’t know it at the time, although Move Over Darling! costars James Garner and Chuck Connors (playing the Cary Grant and Randolph Scott roles) probably had an inkling.
No more cultural earthquake moments would happen during the remainder of the 20th Century. But three would happen during the first 17 years of the 21st Century — the 9/11/01 World Trade Center attacks, the election of Barack Obama in November ’08, and the election of Donald Trump in November ’16.
Since that last milestone life in these United States has been a steady drip-drip-drip of hell, more or less. I would almost have the tumultuous ’60s and ’70s all over again. Did we live in a calmer, more humane, less anguished country back then? Perhaps not, but every so often I dream of a life without wokesters or Covid, and a tear forms in my eye.
In his latest [1.13] Substack rant David Poland went after Peter Kiefer and Peter Savodnik‘s “Hollywood’s New Rules,” which was posted on Bari Weiss‘s Common Sense Substack. It was excerpted in a 1.11.22 HE article titled “Hollywood Is A Woke Prison Colony.”
HE comment #1: Weiss is not part of what Poland calls the “right-wing managerie.” She is a sensible centrist, which is very slightly to the right of a sensible left-leaning moderate, which is what I call myself. Poland knows that today’s rightwing menagerie is a complete insane asylum, and that Weiss’s anti-woke postures hardly qualify as right-wing credentials. Sensible people of all beliefs and persuasions despise wokesters. The right has tried to adopt or co-opt woke loathing as their own brand, but they’re just hitching a ride.
HE comment #2: Poland allows that Keifer and Savodnik are correct to a certain degree. That is because, as Poland writes, “there is a thing going on” in this town, and “a lot of anxiety among the previously and currently empowered” and “there is a lot of scarlet lettering going on, especially [on] Twitter.” Gee, David…no shit? By “scarlet lettering” Poland means cancelling and Donald Sutherland banshee-shrieking and Robespierre finger-pointing — i.e., “the terror.” Poland knows full well that this same exact shit happened in Paris between 1793 and ’94, and in Hollywood during the red scare period of the late ’40s and ’50s. He knows this as well as you or I do, and he prefers to call it “scarlet lettering.” Nice tippy-toeing, ya candy-ass.
HE comment #3: I admire the frankness of this comment.
HE comment #4: And I admire the fundamental human decency conveyed in this portion of Poland’s piece. It follows that no one should hold his or her breath while waiting for this to happen. Not in this fucking town.
…and is therefore wrong, wrong and terribly wrong for having stated that Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the six Best Picture “longer shots” (right behind the list of six “possibilities“) on his THR checklist.
In strictly numerical terms, Feinberg has Spider-Man: No Way Home in 19th place. Let me explain something right here and now — that movie is not in 19th place!! It’s in sixth or seventh place among ten. Maybe even in fifth! Because it’s the Sony savior movie…the jackpot movie…the film that has lifted all spirits and raised all boats. And Feinberg cannot shit on this film….he can’t!
To my way of thinking Feinberg’s spitball picks are directly a result of listening to too many elite snooties, and we know who and what I’m talking about.
At times I’m persuaded that snooties are sworn enemies of emotional fulfillment and satisfaction (and I’m including the kind of spiritual payoff movie that Paul Schrader‘s First Reformed was) and too many are supporters of status-quo kowtowing and path-of-least-resistance wokeness, and right now they’re all striding around with big Power of the Dog and Drive My Car buttons on their chest.
This is fine and good except for the fact that both of these films are (a) homework, (b) depression pills and/or (c) detention class films that you need to endure because they’re well crafted and their directors (Jane Campion and Ryusuke Hamaguchi, respectively) are justifiably respected.
Bottom line: Snootie favorites are to be regarded askance unless HE agrees with them. The snooties often convey excellent taste but they also have a way of bringing everyone down or at least boring us to tears. The snooties are an across-the-board problem now…they’re knowledgable and sophisticated and a pain in the ass. I’ve said this many times but we all need to recognize that the snooties live in their own cloistered little realm, which is a polite way of saying Camp Rectum.
And as far as Spider-Man: No Way Home is concerned they’re too snobby and haughty to acknowledge the obvious, which is that the second hour of that recent Sony release delivers something emotionally extraordinary, and in so doing has generated the kind of once-in-a-decade response that is already the stuff of box-office legend. The snooties deserve community condemnation for looking down their noses at this film.
As far as the Best Actress race is concerned, the snooties (in this case the National Society of Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association) have been correct in declaring that Penelope Cruz‘s performance in Parallel Mothers is the year’s best. And so in this respect Feinberg is once again dead wrong in stating that Cruz is a Best Actress “possibility”, and behind CODA‘s Emilia Jones yet…c’mon!
One of Feinberg’s Best Actress “frontrunners” is completely erroneous, and I’m speaking, of course, of Spencer‘s Kristen Stewart. In the wake of the SAG nomination blowout she’s totally and completely finished…just ask Clayton Davis! C’mon, Scott…put Cruz into KStew’s slot!
The other four frontrunners are Being the Ricardos‘ Nicole Kidman, The Lost Daughter‘s Olivia Colman, House of Gucci‘s Lady Gaga and The Eyes of Tammy Faye‘s Jessica Chastain. I find it deeply, horribly depressing that Gaga might win, but the lowlifes (i.e., SAG-AFTRA) love her to death. The most likely winner, I suppose, is Kidman, who was pretty good as Lucille Ball, the only problem being that her features look like carved porcelain soap.
World of Reel‘s Jordan Ruimy has Gaga winning.