It’s actually a photo of 23 year-old Martin Scorsese in 1966, when he was a student at the Tisch School of the Arts. This was roughly a year before he made The Big Shave, the bloody Vietnam-inspired shaving short. Right after that came I Call First, which was later retitled Who’s That Knocking at My Door (’68). I don’t know which was completed or shown first, but I’m presuming Who’s That Knocking came second.
Apparently there’s some kind of hardcore rightwing contingent in Georgia that’s against Republican Senatorial candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Anything that appears to help Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff is a welcome development, but I’m not understanding why this is happening. If anyone can explain in 50 words or less…
Shortly after Donald Trump told his followers to watch Newsmax this ad ran pic.twitter.com/70CT1QXW46
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 1, 2021
I’ve never liked photo-editing software that’s even faintly challenging or complex — i.e., no Adobe Photoshop, etc. I just need a simple, no-hassle, dumb person’s tool for cropping, resizing, sharpening, tinting, darkening, etc.
Back in the mid to late aughts the perfect HE software was provided by Picnik — loved it. Then Google shut it down in April 2012 and replaced it with PicMonkey, to which I’ve subscribed for the last eight and 2/3 years.
After a few years PicMonkey was taken over by Shallow Hals who decided to jettison the allegiance of bare-bones workhorse types like myself in favor of vapid, ADD-afflicted, selfie-taking, social-media frequenters. They kept classic PicMonkey going as “old” PicMonkey, but shut that site down on 1.1.21.
I quit them this morning, and started up with NCH Software’s PhotoPad Professional, which is slightly more complex but not too much of a challenge.
Condensation of a seminal 9.30.20 post, reconsidered in the light of a new year and a new climate: The daily HE grind is a bear. It’s tough to push out four or five riffs or rants or reviews in exactly the right way. Sometimes a column piece won’t really read right until I’ve edited it over a 12-hour or even a 24-hour period, and even then it sometimes feels a bit off.
I only know that I need to calm things down and not push quite so hard. I learned the value of “less is more” back in the ’70s, but I need to re-apply it. A voice is telling me this, or more precisely a whisper. Which is how inspiration always makes itself known.
To echo that great South African critic and cinematic seer Guy Lodge, “What a brand!”
Over the last 22 years Hollywood Elsewhere (including the early expressions on Mr. Showbiz, Reel.com and MoviePoopShoot) has gone through four phases.
First was the frank, occasionally tart, sometimes bludgeony attitude that began with the October ’98 launch of Mr. Showbiz, and which ended in April ’06 when I junked the twice-weekly column posting with “The Word” (short items) and shifted into a daily bloggy-blog format.
HE output increased greatly after that, and built up steam between ’06 and ’12 — a somewhat more gushy, stream-of-consciousness tone began to take over, and with that a certain…well, brashness-and-buckshot approach from time to time. Not always but now and then.
Phase Three began to take hold when I embraced sobriety on 3.20.12. The effects of a dry lifestyle are always gradual and drip-drip-drip (and sometimes one step forward and two steps back), but the wild and woolly era of ’06 to ’12 began to downshift in…I don’t know, ’13 or thereabouts. Certainly by early ’14.
Phase Four began in early ’18 when the wokester Robespierres began to seize the reins and go after transgressors, and despite the fact that my sins have never been about anything other than being overly mouthy and intemperate within the confines of the column, things became to get increasingly combative and punitive. A consensus began to take hold that I was some kind of obstinate shitheel and that I needed to dial it down and eat a little humble pie. More and more the title of this column became Hollywood Elsewhere: Under Siege.
Sorkin’s film is a serious Best Picture contender but not Mangrove because of Amazon’s decision to submit the entire “Small Axe” series for Emmy consideration. Had fate allowed Mangrove to become a Best Picture contender, the Oscar handicap narrative would have been “which of these highly similar courtroom dramas is superior? Which do you prefer?”
Both are about (a) landmark trials involving police brutality in the general time frame of the late ’60s and early ’70s, (b) activist defendants and flame-fanning media coverage, (c) an imperious, disapproving judge (Mangrove‘s Alex Jennings = Chicago 7‘s Frank Langella), (d) a passionate barrister for the defense (Jack Lowden as a kind of British Bill Kuntsler), and (e) a decisive verdict or narrative aftermath that exposed institutional bias.
On 12.30 Showbiz 411‘s Roger Friedman said more or less the same thing — that Mangrove would have been a dynamic Best Picture contender if it had been submitted as a stand-alone feature, etc.
Now that the HE community has seen both and thought them through, what’s the general feeling or preference? Chicago 7 or Mangrove, and why?
According to host Lawrence Krauss, this almost two-hour Origins podcast with Woody Allen was recorded “earlier this year, before the pandemic.” It was done to promote Allen’s “Apropos of Nothing,” which published on 3.23.20. The pandemic became a widespread thing earlier that month, so they presumably spoke on or about 3.1.20 or perhaps in late February.
And yet the Allen chat didn’t appear until yesterday — Friday, 1.1.21.
“Final ‘Apropos’ Conclusion,” posted on 3.29.20: Most of us understood from the get-go that Woody Allen‘s “Apropos of Nothing” would be regarded through #MeToo-tinted glasses. Some in that camp are saying “I don’t think I can read this thing” (an actual Dana Harris tweet) and that’s fine. They’re excused. Nobody expected them to be attentive or fair.
Certain resentful, pissy-minded book reviewers are coughing up the usual bile. USA Today‘s Barbara VanDenburgh: “As if coping with the ravages of a global pandemic hasn’t made life unpleasant enough, now we’ve all got to talk about Woody Allen. Again.”
People aren’t calling his autobiography totally banal or shallow or both, but they’re saying large chunks of it are. Some have written that when he gets into the Mia-and-Dylan accusation thing that it feels like too much of an obsessive, woe-is-me pity party. Some have faulted Allen for not aping the meditative prose of Rainer Maria Rilke or William Styron.
Their beefs boil down to “how dare Woody write in his own unaffected voice? How dare he process life in the same way he’s been doing since he began writing jokes for Manhattan newspaper columnists in the early ’50s?”
Woody Allen is who he is. His voice is his voice. If you can read “Apropos of Nothing” with that in mind, you’ll have a better-than-decent time with it. And by that I mean diverting, chuckly, passable, fascinating, occasionally hilarious, nutritional as far as it goes.
Showbiz411‘s Roger Friedman is reporting that Larry King, 87, is in an L.A. hospital with Covid. He could be in trouble, but he might bluster on through like Sen. Chuck Grassley, 87, who got Covid a couple of months ago and is regrettably still with us.
My first thought was to re-post King’s story about working the graveyard shift at a Miami radio station in 1956, when he was 23. Incidental HE question: A woman called King to say “I want you.” He was immediately interested, but why? What if she was unattractive in some significant way? What if she was a dwarf? Or a hippopotamus? What if she stunk of whiskey and cigarettes?
The Athena Theatre is located in Athens, Ohio. What are the odds I’ll ever visit this college town, which isn’t far from the Hillbilly Elegy section of southern Ohio, and fairly close to the West Virginia state line? The answer is zilch, but any movie theatre that’s been operating since 1915 is close to my heart.
Three Presidents have been impeached — Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton (for lying about getting a blowjob) and Donald Trump. 14 Presidents have failed to be re-elected, the most recent being Donald Trump. Two presidents were elected despite losing the popular vote, and then ran for reelection four years later and lost the popular vote again plus the election — John Quincy Adams and Donald Trump. Trump is the only three-for-three President in U.S. history.
I’ve been a fool for Paris for decades, so when I happen upon any 4K walking tour footage I tend to watch for a few minutes. For whatever reason this one in particular (Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to Place Vendome) melted my soul. My eyes literally became watery. I challenge anyone to watch this and not feel a little something. It was taken last January 20th or thereabouts.
I was watching this live last night…Andy Cohen asking Snoop Dogg if he’s been high on CNN, at Martha Stewart‘s home, at the Obama White House, etc. Anderson Cooper was having puppies; I didn’t see the humor.
I stopped getting high so long ago that it didn’t matter what appropriate or inappropriate location it happened in because nobody cared.
I once tripped while playing drums with the Sludge Brothers at a club in Vermont — not a good idea. A girlfriend, also tripping, watched us play from the dance floor. During the first break she said with an astonished look on her face, “How are you doing this? How can you play drums?”
Back in the ’80s a cartoonist friend got ripped during a black-tie dinner in Manhattan. He had a tendency to succumb to “the fear” (LSD anxiety) but everything was okay until special guest Mike Wallace began speaking. My friend started to melt when Wallace, quoting FDR, said “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” There was something extra-creepy about Wallace’s facial expression when this moment arrived, or so my friend had decided, and a barely controlled freak-out began to take hold.
It wasn’t my friend’s fault for getting stoned at a black-tie dinner, he told himself — it was Wallace’s fault.
What did my friend do with the spreading miasma? Simple — he told his wife he had to step out, and then left the banquet room, left the hotel, took all his clothes off on the sidewalk (except for his black dress shoes and black socks) and walked into moving traffic on Fifth Avenue like Kevin McCarthy at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and began to warn motorists that Mike Wallace (yes, that Mike Wallace) was only a block or so away, and that he might be the devil, or at the very least was spreading evil.
No, seriously — I don’t know what he did. I’ve been through “the fear” and the only remedy is to take a couple of strong downers. (Percocets, Thorazine.) The last time I experienced it was during a Cinevegas gathering in the late ’90s or early aughts. There were no downers around so I had to drink half a fifth of Jack Daniels.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: “If the Senate does not take action today, $2000 checks will not become law before the end of Congress and they will know that Leader McConnell and the Republican majority have prevented them from getting the checks — plain and simple. This is the last chance.”
The $2K proposal died again today — blocked, in fact, from even being voted upon. Nothing will happen until the next session of Congress.
The only chance of $2K checks going out to the tens of millions who desperately need them (and let’s not kid ourselves —$2K is not that much money) is if Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are defeated in the Georgia runoff next Tuesday (1.5), thus giving Democrats a Senate majority.
I’ve fantasized more than once about McConnell, that wretched half-Burmese python and half-turtle, somehow getting surrounded by a crowd of Average Joes and getting punched and kicked and thrown to the pavement. I’m not hoping for his death, mind — just a solid beating. Black and blue and a nice big mouse over his eye. Maybe a couple of teeth knocked out.
I feel genuinely sorry for those who are thisclose to starving and destitution, and really need that $2K. Such a terrible situation for so many.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Do you want to talk about socialism for the rich? It is not the bill that puts $2,000 into working class hands all over this country. That isn’t socialism for the rich.” pic.twitter.com/5S4qrjH7HA
— The Hill (@thehill) January 1, 2021