Yesterday Dakota Johnson was doing an interview in Los Angeles for the doomed Madame Web (Sony, 2.14) when a mild (4.6) earthquake hit. No biggie if you’re a Californian but some freak out anyway. An interviewer or a publicist in the room went “hah-hah-hah-hah-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!” The louder the cackling, the more jolted a person feels.
Calm off-camera dude: “There was one reported hours ago that happened in Hawaii.”
Johnson: “Oh, that’s what it is. That makes sense. Yeah. For sure.”
Off-camera interviewer / publicist: “Huh-huh-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!”
HE to Johnson: “Uhm…not really. Hawaii is roughly 2500 miles from Los Angeles.”
A 4.6 earthquake is nothing. Barely an eyebrow-raiser. A quake needs to be at least a 5.5 to write home about it. I vividly recall the Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994, which happened in the wee hours (4:31 am) and registered as a 6.7. I remember looking out the window toward the street and seeing the blue-white flare of telephone pole juncture boxes lighting up the immediate area. Johnson was a little more than four years old at the time.
It wouldn’t be fair to write about Derek Magyar‘s Flying Lessons, which opened the Santa Barbara Film Festival last night (2.4.10). I watched the first few minutes, but I had to leave to buy some cough syrup and spray. For some reason a slight cough caused by a throat tickle blew up into something worse yesterday. It was awful. So I got the damn cough syrup, came back, watched the film for another 20 or 25 minutes. And then I gave up.
I don’t have to watch a film for a half hour or 15 minutes, even, to know it’s not working. I can tell within two or three minutes. I knew Flying Lessons was in trouble within seconds. It’s one of those “who am I really?,” “I’ve made some mistakes,” “maybe I should wake up?” meditative dramas that makes you want to get a stiff drink — make that several drinks. Except I don’t like stiff drinks any more. A glass or two of wine is my limit. [Note: HE embraced sobriety on 3.20.12.]
But I needed to escape so I did, and I went across the street to a first-class Argentinian restaurant. Beautifully designed place, old Spanish flavor, etc.. And there, sitting at a small table with a friend, was Derek Magyar. And there I was my my press badge, so I didn’t say hello. Magyar is a youngish actor. Flying Lessons is his first stab at directing. The screenwriter is Thomas Kuehl. I know how difficult it can be to make a film even half-succeed, and I didn’t want to say or do anything that would seem harsh or cruel.
So I kept my distance from Magyar and ordered my Pinot Grigio. I sat down at a table and struck up a conversation with a Swedish blonde who was wearing a long fur coat. And then a local friend, Rochelle Rose, dropped by and joined us.
I’m not saying Oppenheimer‘s Robert Downey, Jr. doesn’t deserve to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar on 3.10.24…he almost certainly will. HE congratulates him in advance, etc. I would be a tiny bit more pleased if American Fiction‘s Sterling K. Brown were to win, but of course that won’t happen.
I feel obliged to mention three sartorial errors that Downey committed last night. One, he wore a maroon or burgundy or wine-colored suit…a strict HE no-no. Two, he wore a black, low-cut, chest-baring (almost tit-baring) T-shirt…the same kind of T-shirt worn by All Of Us Strangers Andrew Scott a while back. And three, his burgundy suit pants were baggy and bell-bottomed. Super-flared dress slacks began to catch on the fall of ’21 — (a) “Nightmare Bell Bottoms,” 10.8.21, and (b) “Bellbottoms Must Be Stopped,” 11.10.21.
SBIFF’s Bradley Cooper tribute happened on Thursday night:
A gay third-grade teacher, Tiger Craven-Neeley, has been put on indefinite leave by the Hayward Unified School District because he’s criticized Woke Kindergarten, an actual organized cirriculum offered by Glassbrook Elementary School.
Glassbrook is a low performer in the realm of educational basis (readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic), partly, one presumes, because a basic education is seen as racist in progressive circles and because Glassbrook places a higher value on instructing students how to identity and fight against white supremacy and racial oppression.
Greeley reportedly balked at the educational idea of “disrupting whiteness”, and was temporarily banned from the training sessions. The teacher also said he was told the sessions were “not a place to express white guilt.”
The Woke Kindergarten website proclaims a commitment to “abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.”
Woke Kindergarten is reportedly paid with federal funds — money from a federal program meant to help boost test scores for the country’s lowest-performing schools. Glassbrook has apparently been using Woke Kindergarten for two years of a three-year contract.
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »