I’ve re-watched Steven Soderbergh‘s utterly brilliant, reality-grounded Traffic three or four times since it opened on 12.27.00. I’ve rewatched Ridley Scott‘s efficiently made but overly emphatic Gladiator exactly zero times since it opened on 5.1.00. What does that tell you or at least suggest?
OPPENHEIMER is still the best film of the year. I'm not sure if any film of 2023 can surpass it. This film is firing on all cylinders, with extraordinary performances, astounding visuals, and a sweeping, epic story. Watching this in IMAX 70MM is just an unmatched experience. pic.twitter.com/Ur7zY1r4kJ
— Dan Marcus (@Danimalish) November 6, 2023
If I know one thing, I know that Oppenheimer-heads like Anna Bollina need to be regarded askance.
Posted in the N.Y. Times letters section, 11.6.23:
“When will the Democratic Party stop sitting on its hands and do something about the dire reality of the coming presidential election?
“The most recent New York Times/Siena College poll has President Biden behind Donald Trump in five of six swing states while his approval ratings among youth and minorities — two essential demographics for the party — continue to plummet.
“There comes a time when we have to say, ‘Dad, you’ve been a wonderful father and we love you dearly, but we are taking away the car keys.’
“We can all see it: the shuffle, the drifting focus, the mental confusion during a news conference in Vietnam. Mr. Biden’s handlers keep him under close wraps now, but the gasps among the electorate are going to be frequent when he gets out on the campaign trail debate circuit.
“This is no time to nominate an octogenarian who refuses to acknowledge his visibly dwindling abilities.
“The fact that Mr. Trump is only three years younger is irrelevant. Facts, logic and even multiple criminal proceedings are nonfactors when your opponent is a cult figure whose worshipers are willing to follow him blindly into authoritarianism.
“What the Democrats need to win is vigor, freshness and the hope of positive change. This is no time to cling to gentlemanly traditions of incumbency.
“Mr. Biden should go down in history as the president who led us out of our darkest hours, but if he refuses to pass the torch to a younger generation, he will be remembered as just another aging politician who refused to let go.
“If the Democratic Party sits back idly, pleading helplessness in our moment of need, it will prove that this country has not one but two dysfunctional parties.”
—- Written by Bill Ibelle, freelance writer, Providence, R.I.
Yesterday’s Oscar Poker chat (the details are posted below) was lively, stimulating, funzie, contentious.
Sorry for posting it late but I’ve been trying to find my big, fat elephant-hide wallet, which has everything in it — cash, passport, driver’s license, all the cards, receipts, you name it. I was certain it had somehow dropped out of my overcoat while I was watching Maestro on Friday, 11.3, but Bernie the projectionist says it’s not there.
My last hope are the guys at Joe and the Juice, where I paid for a cappuccino sometime around 3 pm on Friday. Do they answer their phone? Of course not. You have to dig through their corporate website and then fill out a customer form. If they had the wallet, would they check the driver’s license and maybe try and call? Or reach out on Facebook? Of course not.
Jeff and Sasha recap portions of his 11.3 Maestro screening, a total turn-on event. They also discuss the Incredible Weeping Guy plus the (hopefully temporary) loss of Jeff’s elephant-hide wallet. Plus Anatomy of a Fall, Best Supporting Actress contenders, a fight with an old friend, political chatter and a discussion about how the identity-focused politics of Hollywood has ruined storytelling.
Underlining for emphasis: Incredible Weeping Guy was just behaving like a human being when he succumbed to Maestro, and that there’s nothing the least bit “wrong” or unwelcome or out of bounds about a guy tearing up during a screening. I’ve done it a few times myself — I’m just not as demonstrative as a rule.
Once again, the link.
0:00:00 – Jeff’s fight with his childhood friend over politics.
0:13:00 – Politics stuff — Israel/Hamas briefly.
0:14:00 – Jeff’s cat meows.
016:00 – Joe Biden and Dean Phillips
0:18:00 – Trump Derangement Syndrome
0:26:18 – Jeff on Maestro
0:28:00 – A Star is Born
0:36:00 – Nyad
0:39:00 – Grading on a curve
0:40:00 – Jeff’s friend openly weeping during Maestro
0:43:00 – Why storytelling matters
0:44:00 – The Holdovers — Alexander Payne’s film about kids left over at boarding school over Christmas
0:48:00 – The Taste of Things – a French film starring Juliette Binoche.
0:48:47 – Jeff’s friend “gasping and weeping” – what makes us cry in movies.
0:56:20 – May December – Todd Haynes’ film starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore
1:00 – Anatomy of a Fall – a French movie starring Sandra Huller about whether or not she murdered her husband.
1:20 – Most searched sex positions in New York Post article.
1:21 – Sasha’s road trip to Ohio for Thanksgiving.
1:22 – Best Actress is heating up.
1:30 – Sex in Anatomy of a Fall?
1:33 – Supporting Actress – Da’Vine Joy Randolph in The Holdovers, Penelope Cruz for Ferarri, etc.
1:33 – Outro