With my big, beautiful, elephant-hide wallet having vaporized in midtown Manhattan sometime on Friday, November 3rd (the day I saw Maestro at Dolby 88), I’ve spent more than a few hours trying to re-establish my identity — new plastic, new driver’s license, passport, insurance cards, social security card, etc.
I have high-quality images of the important identification docs on my phone, but they mean nothing to the DMV guys. To them I’m an Afghanistan terrorist. I had just bought a $39 Metro card…gone. The cash is gone.
Early tomorrow morning I’ll be making one last try with the Metro North lost-and-found team plus the Midtown North police precinct on West 54th Street, and then I’ll get into line for the 1 pm Napoleon screening. I’ve got one of those smallish Apple wallets arriving tomorrow night, but my heart is still cracked and aching. That big-ass wallet meant a lot.
…and yet it is. We all put our faces on when we go out on the town, and that, in a sense, is who we “are”. I don’t wear an HE face but I do work on the hair until it’s just so. I’ll spare you the regimen but it’s complicated. The idea is to present an appearance of tousled, casually styled 30something hair without appearing to have gone to a great amount of effort.
I’ve been a hardcore aspect ratio fanatic my entire life so I when I notice something unusual or striking about the masking of a new film, you can pretty much take it to the bank. I was in a local AMC plex last night, and impulsively decided to pop my head into a theatre showing The Holdovers. Despite having seen it three times (Telluride and Montclair film festivals plus last night) I noticed for the first time that it’s being projected at 1.66:1, or is masked at that aspect ratio.
We all understand that director Alexander Payne has gone to some effort to make The Holdovers look and feel like a half-century-old film, but honestly? 1.66:1 was more in vogue during the ’50s and the early to mid ’60s (at least when it came to United Artists releases). Outside of European projection standards and par-for-the-course 1.66 maskings, 1.85 aspect ratios had become ubiquitous stateside by 1970, the year in which Payne’s film mostly takes place. I nonetheless love that he tumbled for 1.66 anyway.
To me 1.66 framings are a special turn-on — a standard of old-school visual integrity that either you’re on board with like a monk or you’re not and you’re lost.
The first three James Bond films use the 1.66 rectangle…perfection. I adore that John Schlesinger‘s Sunday Bloody Sunday (’71) adheres to same. I hated it when Richard Lester ignored the traditional 1.66 framings of A Hard Day’s Night and went instead for 1.75 when the Criterion Bluray version came out…heresy! The late William Friedkin once told me in no uncertain terms that Sorcerer was meant to be shown in 1.85, but he could have kicked back and opened his heart and gone for 1.66 and nobody would’ve said boo. Roman Polanski wasn’t “wrong”, of course, when he stated that 1.85 was the proper aspect ratio for Rosemary’s Baby, but when I saw a 1.66 version in Paris in ’76 or thereabouts, I knew…I just knew.
You can’t instruct a cinematic Philistine to get with the 1.66 program — they either understand or they don;t.
How much joy and rapture can Hollywood Elsewhere stand? Another Marvel movie — Julius Onah‘s Captain America: Brave New World (Disney, 2.14.24) — is apparently in some kind of trouble, which to me is a wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL indication of continuing franchise fatigue and a general belief across the land that Marvel has weakened and broken its own brand and that the party is winding down big-time. Pop the chamnpagne!
Three days ago Jeff Sneider reported that negative test scores have led to plans for extensive reshoots, and that three major sequences will be cut and re-lensed sometime between January and May of next year. Pic costars Anthony Mackie, Danny Ramirez, Carl Lumbly, Tim Blake Nelson, Harrison Ford and Liv Tyler. I’m feeling a rush of euphoria…the proverbial Wicked Witch of the West is.melting, melting…”oh, what a world, what a world!”
Reportedly Dave Green‘s Coyote vs. Acme will not be tossed into an infinite black hole but acquired by one of the usual suspect streamers, mostly likely Amazon. This, at least, is what Deadline‘s Anthony D’Alessandro reported this morning.