I’ve never seen Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai (’47). At least I have the character to admit that. I traded for the Bluray last night, but aside from the hall-of-mirrors sequence how good is it really? I’ve always heard it’s a mixed bag at best. Was Welles a little too hefty to be playing a romantic lead? (He was only 32 at the time…look at him.) I was told last year that the 100th anniversary of Welles’ birth will be celebrated in Cannes along with the big premiere of Welles’ long-suppressed, recently restored The Other Side of the Wind. Welles’ actual centennial is on 5.6.15.
The SXSW consensus was that Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine was a blistering takedown. Another view was that Jobs was a brilliant prick and no day at the beach, but that’s how most geniuses roll to varying degrees and that Gibney merely captured this reality. I guess no journos will see the doc again until award season?
I wrote a “making of Tootsie piece in mid ’82 when I was managing editor of The Film Journal. Sydney Pollack heard I was doing a takedown piece so he called me preemptively and said, “Okay, let’s talk.” Pollack was an adult and a pragmatist. We became friendly in the early ’90s. When he was bed-ridden with cancer I asked if he’d seen Four Months, Three Weeks, Two Days; he said he hadn’t so that evening I dropped off a DVD screener at his home in the Pacific Palisades. Pollack passed the following May.
For me, there is no place in West Hollywood that feels quite as soothing and peaceful as the aisles of Koontz Hardware. When I’m considering what kind of small fan to buy or getting keys copied or buying vacuum cleaner bags or just poking around, I am completely at peace and at one with the world.
The theory of Andrew Grant Jackson’s “1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music” is not that the most exciting or avant-garde or mind-blowing ’60s music was recorded during that annum, but that the ground shifted under the feet of several influential pop musicians that year, and that the songs they wrote and recorded were the first to reflect the the beginnings of an awakening in pop music, one that signified a fusion of folk music, rock ‘n’ roll and the first stirrings of psychedelic consciousness.