For what it's worth HE doesn't think that the concept of a gender-neutral God goes far enough. Login with Patreon to view this post
The 2023 edition of the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which is HE’s favorite award-season, chill-by-the-sea, full-pleasure gathering of fans and sophistos, kicks off tomorrow night (2.8). And as usual, SBIFF is offering all the right tributes and guests — Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Brendan Fraser, Angela Bassett, etc.
And I love the lineup for this year’s Virtuosos panel — Austin Butler, Kerry Condon, Danielle Deadwyler, Stephanie Hsu, Jeremy Pope, Ke Huy Quan, Jeremy Strong.
Thw only curious thing is the absence of To Leslie‘s Andrea Riseborough on Virtuosos night. With all the recent hoo-hah after she scored a surprise Best Actress nomination, I naturally assumed Riseborough would be added to the Virtuoso panel. But there’s been no SBIFF annøuncement about her so far, and I’m wondering why.
Could it be that Team Riseborough was offered the slot and chickened out? No need for concern on this front as regular Virtuosos host Dave Karger would certanly softball the interview. (Classic-era Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, he’s never been.) Risebourough would surely look and sound good, and reap a total win-win.
“Riseborough Convulsions,” posted on 1.27.23: “If Hollywood Elsewhere had Roger Durling‘s job as director of the Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival, right now I’d be doing everything I could to add Andrea Riseborough to the SBIFF Virtuosos panel. She has to be included…no debate!”
2.8 Afterthought: Riseborough’s Best Actress nomination is quite the splendid career moment, so unless she’s shooting in Africa or Southeast Asia (or, God forbid, is coping with a health issue) it seems against the basic nature of an acclaimed actor to say “thanks for the tribute offer but no thanks.” The best actors are about the work, of course, but what is a career or a life if you don’t take a bow or two and graciously acknowledge the acclaim of your peers? Historically speaking sidestepping the Santa Barbara award-season spotlight simply isn’t done.
Nearly 15 years ago (i.e., 3.31.08) a favorable Manohla Dargis review of Marina Zenovich‘s Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired appeared in the N.Y. Times. The review also conveyed a fair-minded, agenda-free reading of the politically motivated prosecution of Polanski in the wake of his arrest for “unlawful sexual intercourse” with Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time of the violation.
Dargis: “Douglas Dalton, Mr. Polanski’s lawyer, and Roger Gunson, the assistant district attorney who led the prosecution, pin the blame for Polanski’s flight directly on the presiding judge, Laurence J. Rittenband (who stepped down in 1989 and died in 1994). Aided and abetted by an avalanche of fluidly organized visual material, the lawyers fill in the appalling details of what was effectively a second crime, one largely perpetrated by a celebrity-dazzled judge and the equally gaga news media he courted. This crime left two victims, Mr. Polanski, who was denied a fair trial, and Ms. Geimer, who was denied justice. As [Geimer] wrote, ‘Sometimes I feel like we both got a life sentence.'”
I’m not saying that if Zenovich’s film had been released today for the first time that Dargis wouldn’t render the same opinion. Nor am I saying that she would be obliged to. Times change and highly attuned people often adjust their perspectives and follow suit.
But at the same time I doubt that Dargis would write a fair-shake review of Zenovich’s doc in the current climate. As I pointed out in a 2.3.23 HE piece titled “Dargis Crossed the Feminist Rubicon,” Dargis began to wear the cloak of woke sometime around ’19 or ’20. On top of which she knows she’d catch hell from her own crew if she were to post such a review.
If it’s a Disney-owned franchise flick, you know the odds of it blowing chunks or at least falling short of expectations are fairly high. Add to this (a) the cool-black-dude diverse factor (Jonathan Majors!) and (b) reports of oppressively complex multiverse dialogue that you have to wade through or otherwise struggle with, and you’re sorta kinda left with a “later” response to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Disney, 2.17). Login with Patreon to view this post
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