I think it’s fair to say that the people running the TCM Classic
Film Festival are a little too restrictive and
traffic-coppy and dare-I-say
obstructionist in their dealings with the press.
Okay, with me. They’re running a very well-organized, very popular
film festival here (all the screenings I’ve been to have been 80%
or 90% sold) but today’s experience in trying to get into a q &
a with Warren Beatty and Alec
Baldwin at the Chinese sixplex following a screening of
Reds was needlessly problematic.
I just wanted to cover the q & a but I dropped by the
screening about 45 minutes before the film was due to end to get a
seat and be ready. But I was told I couldn’t go in because they
weren’t letting people in midway — I needed to be seated at the
The usual concerns and distractions kept me from attending the
Classic Film Festival until 8:50 pm last night. I arrived at
the big Chinese (a.k.a. “the Samaha-Kushner
club“) to see how Spartacus would look on the big
screen. Answer: okay to so-so, and definitely not
I don’t know if the projection was film or digital but the lamp
wasn’t that bright, the focus was soft, there was no extraordinary
detail, the image felt a little too dark and shadowy and the sound
was okay but unexceptional.
Honestly? What I saw last night was nowhere near as satisfying
as watching the bad
“shiny” Spartacus Bluray (i.e., the one we’re not
supposed to like) on my 50″...
When I first bought my Nissan 240 SX in the mid ’90s, a fill-up
cost $28 or $30…something like that. Before I moved back to NYC in
late ’08 a tank cost $40-something. Food prices are definitely
going to rise. People need to start growing their own vegetables.
I’m glad to have a bicycle in good repair.
My ex-wife Maggie and I used to have a view like this from our
place at 8682 Franklin Ave. We lived there from mid ’87 to late
’88. Jett came along in June ’88. We moved to Maggie’s apartment in
Santa Monica to save money, and then bought a home in Venice at the
end of ’89. Pic taken last night around 10 pm.
I try to isolate myself from the Kardashian
gas chamber as much as possible, but every now and then it
flanks and surrounds. Yesterday I ran into two Kim posters — one on
Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, another in a Hollywood Blvd.
parking garage near the Chinese. Nobody blames KK, of course, for
pushing her brand and hustling around. I’d pocket the dough if I
But what can be said for under-educated women who even
half-believe that a Kim
Kardashian endorsement = coolness and intrigue? Could there be
a more unmistakable manifestation of 21st Century worthlessness? No
striving, no singing, no intelligence to speak of, no acting, no
book-writing, no athletic glory, no...
Earlier this evening on Twitter: “In the latest chapter of Quentin Tarantino‘s lifelong effort to make movies about other movies or books, but NEVER, EVER about life as he’s lived it, thought it, felt it or dreamed it ALL BY HIMSELF & based on his own personal ‘walk the earth’ journey…
“…he’s decided to direct a remake or re-imagine or re-stylize or amplify upon a 1966 ultra-violent Franco Nero spaghetti western called Django, which he’ll be re-titling Django Unchained. Brilliant. Crawling even further up his own ass.”
I meant to say it took me three tweets to say this.
4.29 Wrap story about how former hotshot Hollywood
journalist Anita Busch is still pushing
her civil lawsuit against Michael Ovitz and
AT&T for damages stemming from the Anthony
Pellicano wire-tapping scandal, which will always be
linked, of course, to that June 10, 2002 episode with the dead fish
on Busch’s windshield and the note that said “stop!,” etc. Almost
nine years ago and counting.
I understand why it’s taken so long, and I definitely understand
and respect tenacity and staying the course and snagging the dough
if you can get it, but man…nine years of this? And how
many yet to go? You gotta get what you can get — I get that — but
you’ve also gotta let things go when you reach a...
One of the reasons that hustlers like Elie Samaha and Don Kushner believe they can get away with what they’re apparently planning to do with the legendary cathedral that is Grauman’s Chinese is that they know that most Movie Catholics are caught up in their own stuff and will pay closer attention to Transformers 3 trailers than to Samaha and Kushner’s maneuverings.
HE is supposedly read and followed by a vocal and highly aware readership, and so far there are four lousy comments on the story about the Chinese-Studio 54 conversion (which was posted at 9 this morning)? if you’re not going to say something about a true temple of cinema being turned into a part-time temple of Charlie Sheen-style pleasuring, who and what are you?
What a drag that it all ended with Eyes Wide Shut — obviously engrossing and very carefully assembled but altogether the most lifeless and embalmed Stanley Kubrick film ever made. (Yet another hat tip to Awards Daily‘s Ryan Adams.)
Why go with this kind of photograph and particularly one with this angle if you’re going to apply subtle Photoshopping to a part of the anatomy that would be otherwise visible? I don’t really care and it’s obviously not a huge deal, but the absence makes it noteworthy. (Hat tip to Awards Daily‘s Ryan Adams.)
The first 25 minutes of Baz Luhrman‘s Moulin Rouge were so forced and frenetic that my head nearly exploded. (Just like that bald-headed guy with the glasses in David Cronenberg‘s Scanners.) On Monday, 5.2 at 3 pm, MTV.com is staging a livestream celebration of the film’s 10th anniversary with Josh Horowitz interviewing Baz, Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman and John Leguizamo.
The TCM Classic
Film Festival began last night with a screening of An
American in Paris, but they wouldn’t let me attend because…I
don’t know why and don’t really care. There was a Vanity
Fair-sponsored after-party following the Paris
screening and VF reps are always giving off chilly-vibe,
go-away, more-exclusive-than-thou attitudes. Or maybe
Hollywood Elsewhere just isn’t cool enough in a general sense.
I’ve already missed the 9 am screening of Becket due to
about Elie Samaha and Don Kushner, but here are some of the
classic films I’d like to see projected on big (or at least
moderately large) screens between now and Sunday night, not because
Manhattan-based film curator Miriam Bale has
called to complain about my having described
a recent press release statement that the delayed
Ishtar Bluray is “impending” as “apparent
conjecture” on her part. I was told by 92Y’s Sarah
Morton that the term “impending release” came from Bale,
but Bale says it was Elaine May‘s “people” who
submitted that term.
LA movie fanatics need to savor the Old Hollywood aura of
Grauman’s Chinese theatre as much as they can between now and May
20th because after that date the notoriously oily Elie Samaha and his
partner Don Kushner,
the film and video-game producer (Tron: Legacy), will be
transforming the legendary Chinese into a kind of
mixed-venue Studio 54.
This is what I’ve been told by a source I spoke to this morning
who’s closely affiliated with the Chinese and has been observing
walk-throughs by Samaha and Kushner and their associates and
overhearing conversations, etc.
An HE reader attended a research screening last night at
Manhattan’s AMC Lincoln Square for Simon Curtis‘s
My Week With Marilyn. The British-made drama, highlighted
by a knockout performance by Kenneth Branagh as
Laurence Olivier, is based on two books by the
Clark about Clark’s relationship with Marilyn
Monroe (Michelle Williams) during the
making of The
Prince and the Showgirl in 1956.
Kenneth Branagh in some period film and not as Laurence
Oliver in Simon Curtis’s My Week With Marilyn…although
he’ll probably look vaguely similar to this in Curtis’s film, minus
On their own terms and in the minds and hearts of the
principals, all weddings are joyous and hopeful events that
everyone feels very good about, myself included. I was married in
Paris at a small Catholic church called St. Julien le
Pauvre in October 1987, and it was quite perfect all around.
But this one, from a public standpoint, is of course a matter of
some tabloid conjecture and fantasy.
“At one point during the preordained throwdown between the two
colossi who stride through Fast Five, Dwayne
Johnson rips off his bulletproof vest with the practiced
economy of a 17th-century courtesan flinging off her corset,”
writesN.Y. Times critic Manohla
Dargis. “His character, a professional tough guy bluntly
named Hobbs, has just found his fugitive bad twin, Dom, the gnomic
guru of the Fast and Furious franchise, played by
“They are the fast and, yes, the furious. Yet as these giants
grasp each other’s bulging muscles, their bald heads rearing in the
frame with tumescent vigor, it’s easy to imagine that they’d like
some alone time. They don’t get it, largely because the earth might
spin off its axis if they did, though also...
Deborah Chow‘s The High Cost of Living (“a dark love story about two people who meet after a car accident”) played at last September’s Toronto Film Festival, and I didn’t hear a thing about it from anyone. Now it’s available on demand via Tribeca Film. You’d think that Zach Braff‘s name would attract more attention.
The cost of “Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made,” a serious film buff coffee-table book that started out costing many hundreds of dollars, is now down to $40.47 on Amazon. I think this might be the poor man’s abridged version and not the first-edition, velvet-bound 35-pound version. Still, the markdown indicates that it didn’t sell like Taschen was hoping it would.
I lived in a Soho tenement apartment on Sullivan Street from the
summer of ’78 through late ’79. One day in late October near Prince
and Greene streets I came upon an original Jean-Michel
Basquiat SAMO graffiti that read, “Which of the following
institutions has the most political power? (a) The CIA, (b) the
Catholic church, (c) McDonalds or (d) SAMO?”
Later that year (or was it early ’79?) I ran into Basquiat in a
post office as I was sending a couple of postcards to some friends.
Basquiat noticed that I had written one of his SAMO slogans (“Do I
have to spell it out? SAMO!”) and said to me, “Hey, man….that’s my
stuff! That’s my...
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan has described
in some detail what happened during that
horrific sexual assault she suffered on Friday, 2.11 in Cairo’s
Tahrir Square. She’s given an interview
on the subject to N.Y. Times reporter Brian
Stelter, and will also speak about it on 60
Minutes this Sunday.
I must admit that last December’s teaser trailer for Michael Bay’s Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon (Paramount, 7.1) put the hook in, and coming from moi, a hater of the original who refused to even see Revenge of the Fallen, that meant something. Today the first major full-boat trailer arrived. It seems potentially less offensive that other CG actioners in the wings.
The paycheck standout is Frances McDormand in the Joan Allen-in-the last-two-Bourne-movies role. Costar John Turturro also pocketed a nice big fat one.
The 1979 six-part series that was John Irvin‘s
Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy ran 290
minutes, or roughly 48 minutes per episode. Tomas
Alfredson (Let The Right One In) has directed a
feature film version. An undated draft of Peter
Morgan‘s script, which was rewritten by Bridget
O’Connor and Peter Straughan, runs
111 pages. That’s a lot of cutting.
Alfredson’s feature, which finished shooting last December, will
be distributed by Universal Pictures sometime in the fourth
quarter. I’ll bet the execs who pushed along Fast Five and
The Immortals are looking at this film with their heads
cocked sideways and going...
I’ve been presuming all along that Matthew
Vaughn‘s X-Men: First
Class (20th Century Fox, 6.3) is a prequel using a Cuban
Missile Crisis backdrop because of the early ’60s chic mentality
created by Mad Men and furthered by Zack
Snyder‘s Watchmen…right? They’re basically
following the stylistic lead of other films.
It was announced today that the 2012 Golden Globe Awards telecast will happen on Sunday, 1.15.12, or six weeks before the Oscar telecast on Sunday, 2.26.12. (The 2011 GG telecast happened on 1.16, or a full seven weeks before the 3.6 Oscar telecast.) GG nominations for 2011 films will be announced on 12.15.11.
“The mood around the Tribeca Film Festival had been a bit quiet
and uneventful, but on Wednesday night a small documentary —
Semper Fi: Always Faithful — delivered a much-needed
bang,” reports HE’s Jett Wells. “It’s this year’s
Tillman Story meets Erin Brokovich — one man’s
investigation into the most widespread tragedy of mass pollution in
American history since Love Canal.
Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger in Rachel Libert and Tony Hardman’s
Semper Fi: Always Faithful.
“Rachel Libert and Tony
Hardman tell the story of Master Sergeant Jerry
Ensminger‘s quest to find the truth behind his daughter’s
Shortlist.com has posted a Quentin vs Coens art collection “celebrating both sides of the battle…collated and shown to warring film buffs. The pieces cover classics from both sides, including Pulp Fiction, The Big Lebowski, Kill Bill and Barton Fink.”
If I’d called Fast
Five director Justin Lin yesterday and
asked for a quick meeting at the Urth Caffe, he would have blown me
off. Lin probably feels at this stage that he’s too much of a
hot-shot to sit down with an online columnist. But let’s imagine
for a second that he might have recalled our chats in ’06 about
Better Luck Tomorrow and said “sure, fine…where and when?”
Let’s also imagine that we both showed up on time, and we both
ordered herbal tea.
HE: Good to see ya again, Justin.
JL: Yeah…four, five years. How ya been, Jeff?
JW: Good, good. It’s been five, I think.
JL: So let’s get into it. You don’t like the film, right? You
As I said last month, if Will Smith wasn’t such a sad little status-quo money whore (i.e., playing only “safe” cool-guy roles that pay his whopping salary), he’d agree to portray Barack Obama in Jay Roach and Danny Strong‘s Game Change. No one has been cast as Obama yet…right? Ed Harris is playing John McCain.
(l.) Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in HBO’s Game Change; (r.) caption unnecessary.