I’ve seen Randall Kleiser‘s Grease exactly once. Ironic ’50s nostalgia had been a thing for roughly a decade when it opened on 6.16.78, and Grease did nothing to advance or upgrade the basic package. It was made strictly for the chumps, and this resulted in a haul of $366 million and change. Definitely not my cup, but now that this John Travolta-Olivia Newton John musical is a topic du jour, I’m thinking about re-watching it. British woke twitter is apparently condemning it for being “racist, rapey, homophobic and slut-shaming.”
Robert Towne‘s definition of the essence of a good film is “four or five” fundamental, touch-bottom moments “between two people.” That’s not the same thing as Howard Hawks‘ definition of a good film — “Three great scenes and no bad ones.” But it’s close enough or at least in the same ballpark.
Yes, that’s correct — it’s time once again to ask which of this year’s presumed Best Picture candidates satisfy the Hawks or Towne requirements.
Without getting too bogged down in micro-analysis, does Nomadland measure up? I’d say “certainly” without question. Ditto Steve McQueen‘s Mangrove, Roman Polanski‘s J’Accuse (again — one has to be able to separate one’s opinion of an artist from the work itself), Aaron Sorkin‘s Trial of the Chicago 7, Florian Zeller‘s The Father (which I watched last night for the second time), David Fincher‘s Mank and Darius Marder‘s Sound of Metal.
You want me to list the great or very good scenes in each one? Sure but later. I’m going on a hike soon.
What about Promising Young Woman, Minari, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, News of the World, Da 5 Bloods and Soul?
“Bitch” is a term of derision or dismissal. It has a few different applications, but mainly it’s a blunt, angry, aggressive noun — used mainly in heated kitchen arguments or muttered under one’s breath — directed at a woman whom the accuser regards as cruel, heartless, harshly dismissive, ruthlessly resentful or viciously manipulative.
Jane Greer in Out of the Past, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls…that line of country.
The male term for such behavior is, of course, bastard.
The implication in this History of Swear Words clip is that perhaps only woman-haters use “bitch” and that in a perfect world it would be as verboten as the “n” word. Okay, but does that go for “bastard” also? Because that would be fairly ridiculous.
The truth is that on a daily basis certain guys unfortunately earn this epithet and then some, just as certain women have arguably behaved in a way that more or less justifies their being called a bitch or “beeyotch.”
Marriages and relationships are not always a bed of roses. Arguments happen, tempers ignite and combatants sometimes deliver harsh judgments.
I was called a bastard once, back in the mid ’80s. A woman friend told me that a friend of hers, whom I knew slightly, liked me and that I should think about giving her a call. “But she’s not my type,” I said, looking to be polite. “You don’t know her…give it a chance,” my friend said. “What I mean is that I don’t find her particularly attractive,” I said. “You bastard,” she replied.
Early in Martin Ritt‘s The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (’65), Leamas (Richard Burton) pays a visit to Control (Cyril Cusack). Control: “And, uh…how do you feel about [Mundt]?” Leamas: Feel?” Control: “Yes.” Leamas: “He’s a bastard.” Control: “Quite.”
Orange Plague to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a call yesterday (Saturday, 11.2), and posted today by the Washington Post:
“So look. All I want to do is this…I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state….Brad, what are we gonna do? We won the election…this is a faulty election result…because of what you’ve done to the President a lot of people aren’t gping out to vote, and a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative because they hate what you did to the President…you have a big election coming up on Tuesday.”
Condolences offered to the fans, friends and family of the irrepressible Gerry Marsden, the smiling, spirited leader of Gerry and the Pacemakers and a cultural ambassador for Liverpool over the last 56 years. Marsden died yesterday at age 78.
I wouldn’t call Gerry and the Pacemakers a one-note, flash-in-the-pan group, but they pretty much stopped mattering when serious British bands began shifting out of spunky pop formula and into the next phase (deeper lyrics, complex recordings, psychedelic imaginings) in ’66 or thereabouts.
Their big songs were “How Do You Do It?”, “I Like It”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'” and “Ferry Cross the Mersey”.
In any event we can’t all be lion tamers. Gerry is/was a beloved figure among long-of-tooth Liverpudlians. The poor guy had ticker troubles going back to a triple bypass heart operation in ’03. Marsden had a second heart operation in 2016. He announced his retirement in November 2018.
Boogahloogahloo, muh babay…this Boston Dynamics robot video surfaced last Tuesday (12.29). As always, Hollywood Elsewhere is Johnny on the spot…five days later. How many days, weeks or months of work did it take to iron out all the dance kinks? The point, as Lt. Vincent Hanna would say, is that these guys (Boston Dynamics) are good. Most impressive robot demo ever.
YouTube comment (“Baudgaud“, early this morning): “I remember just a couple of years ago when these same automotons had horrid balance and articulation problems. I particularly enjoyed watching the bipeds fall over like a drunk doing field sobriety tests, and seeing the quads rolling forward and backward like a solid-state slinky while trying to go up and down stairs. I expected the new demo to show improvement, but this is just fantastic. Perfect song for the new generation of balance and movement tech!”
Keith Olbermann can come off as strident and overheated, I realize, but he’s precisely right in this instance. Every word is appropriately chosen. Yes, Ted Cruz and the other Senators intending to object to the confirmation of Joe Biden on 1.6 (Wednesday) are merely looking to “perform” for the bumblefucks, hoping that memories of their grandstanding will linger into the ’22 and ’24 election cycles. The term “sociopathic swine” certainly applies; ditto “scum.”
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.