Reviewed on 5.18.15 by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Boyd van Hoeij: “The hunt for a teenage French girl who’s gone to the subcontinent to follow her possibly jihadist boyfriend turns her family into modern ‘searchers’ in Les Cowboys, the promising feature debut of celebrated French screenwriter Thomas Bidegain.
“Unlike the films he’s co-written for Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone), which often rely on Audiard’s stunning capacity to foreground grand emotional sweeps, this is a much more constructed narrative that could only be described as a writer’s film, though one with several pleasant — if shocking is your idea of pleasant, that is — surprises up its sleeve.
Yesterday (5.30) was the 120th anniversary of the birth of legendary director Howard Hawks. I know he matters a great deal to anyone with any regard for classic 20th Century cinema, but what kind of respect does he enjoy, if any, among the Millenials? Do any of them give a shit? How many at least know his name and have seen maybe two or three of his finest films? Have they read any books about him? I think we all know the answers. I for one got off the Hawks boat after Hatari, but his output between Twentieth Century (’34) and Hatari is mostly unassailable. My favorites are the same as everyone else’s — Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, Ball of Fire, Air Force, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River, A Song Is Born, (NO to I Was a Male War Bride), The Thing from Another World, The Big Sky, (NO to Monkey Business), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Land of the Pharaohs, Rio Bravo. His greatest period was between ’34 and ’53 — a 19-year hot streak.
Here is reason #1 why hinterland bubbas are squarely behind Donald Trump. Here are reason #2 and reason #3. They’re behind this megalomaniac because he’s leading the last-gasp charge in defense of a white heirarchy that ran the show as recently as 15 or 20 years ago. That era is over and the flannel-shirters who don’t have the right kind of skills for the 21st Century economy know it, but they’re nonetheless determined to go down swinging like Bill Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson and Warren Oates at the end of The Wild Bunch.
On 5.20 The New Yorker‘s Adam Gopnik wrote that “the American Republic stands threatened by the first overtly anti-democratic leader of a large party in its modern history — an authoritarian with no grasp of history, no impulse control, and no apparent barriers on his will to power.” And he’s not wrong. And the bubbas don’t care. They feel they’ve been fucked so badly that all bets are off. They’re determined to shoot the place up before dying.
“If Trump came to power, there is a decent chance that the American experiment would be over. This is not a hyperbolic prediction; it is not a hysterical prediction; it is simply a candid reading of what history tells us happens in countries with leaders like Trump. Countries don’t really recover from being taken over by unstable authoritarian nationalists of any political bent, left or right — not by Perons or Castros or Putins or Francos or Lenins or fill in the blanks. The nation may survive, but the wound to hope and order will never fully heal.
Yesterday Robert Weide‘s exacting, impeccably logical and completely reasonable response to Ronan Farrow’s latest hit piece on Woody Allen, which The Hollywood Reporter posted on 5.11 to coincide with the Cannes Film Festival debut screening of Cafe Society, finally appeared. One of the reasons it took Weide, a noted screenwriter-producer and the director of Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011), three weeks to reply was because the article was considered and squelched by both The Hollywood Reporter and The Daily Beast. (Or so Weide has allegedly claimed on his Facebook page.)
Again, the 5.30 Weide piece (“Hard Questions for Ronan Farrow — An Open Letter”). Here’s a link to Weide’s 2014 Daily Beast article on the Dylan Farrow molestation allegation.
Ghostbusters exec producer Dan Aykroyd on Whosay.com: “As originator of the original, I saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!” Impartial, persuasive, etc. Lubricated royalties recipient bending over at trough.
As of 9:30 eastern 316,097 people had signed the Change.org petition titled “Justice for Harambe.” It’s basically a statement condemning the mother of that four-year-old kid for not keeping a closer eye and thereby allowing him to slip through the fence and fall into the gorilla pit, which brought about the cruel and tragic death of poor Harimbe. The TV news cretins who sold this story as being about a poor little kid who was saved from the clutches of terrible death from a monster gorilla need to be bitch-slapped also.
Honestly, what’s your reaction to this shot of Hillary marching in yesterday’s Memorial Day parade in Chappaqua? I’ve said time and again that I agree with much of her agenda and that I’ll certainly vote for her in November, but I’ve never liked her and I never will. I look at that granny blueshades moon face and particularly that shot of Bill and Hillary yesterday and I just don’t feel it. What’s wrong with America putting its own Angela Merkel in the White House? Not much, I guess, but the thought of this still feels bummerish. Please, God — give Bernie one last big win in California on 6.7. Give the Berniebots this one final bolt-surge plus a rockin’ Philly convention and then we’ll slump in our seats and raise our hands weakly when Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls for a show of support for Hillary.
This 15-foot alligator has been described by an employee of Palmetto’s Buffalo Creek Golf Resort as a kind of harmless mascot. Okay, but he has to eat X number of pounds of food on a daily basis to keep going. One or two golfers or more likely caddies per month, I’m thinking. I suddenly want to stream Lewis Teague and John Sayles‘ Alligator (’80). Palmetto is a lower-middle income community on Florida’s west coast, south of Tampa.
Rob Burnett‘s The Fundamentals of Caring premiered at last January’s Sundance Film Festival and garnered a decent 70% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Based on the same-titled 2012 novel by Jonathan Evison, it pops on Netflix on 6.24. Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson and Frederick Weller. N.Y. Post‘s Kyle Snith: “I enjoyed Fundamentals of Caring but it’s hard not to notice it amounts to a checklist of all the things that were once supposed to add up to an inspiring indie hit.”
I’ll be back in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the first thing I’ll be jumping into will be the L.A. Film Festival (6.1 thru 6.9). So far I’ve noticed three or four films of passing interest but nothing that really heats the blood. Just a lot of indie titles of marginal interest. No hot premieres, minor Sundance repeaters, none of the Cannes headliners…flatline. I shared this view with a film-savvy friend and he said “my impression is the same as yours. I felt like last year’s LAFF had almost no buzz, and this year it has even less.”
The only LAFF film that feels even slightly intriguing is 11:55, a High Noon-inspired drama about neighborhood violence. (It’s screening here in Manhattan tomorrow night.) There’s also Amber Tamblyn‘s Paint It Black — her debut effort as a director. John Krasinki‘s The Hollars, which didn’t fare all that well at Sundance ’16, is an attraction. Ditto Meera Menon‘s Equity, another Sundance premiere. There’s also Political Animals, a doc about LGBT legislators.
I’m assuming that the LAFF programmers deliberately decided to focus on smaller-scale American indie films that nobody has heard of, and didn’t even try to land the hot titles that people would actually like to see. Or maybe they did but the distributors of the hotties said “no dice” because they’re waiting for the start of awards season.
If I was running LAFF I still would’ve tried to book films with at least a semblance of heat.
What kind of three-toed sloth leaves a TV on all night long, and with the sound turned up fairly loud? I’m in room #211 at Brooklyn’s Henry Norman Hotel, and I can report with authority that the dipshits in #210 had their TV going loud from midnight until 8:30 or 9 am, and that the sound attenuation is definitely a concern here and that sleep was less than deep or serene. I told the night manager around 7:30 am what had happened, and about a half-hour later he was knocking on the door because the residents of #210 hadn’t answered the phone. They didn’t answer the door either so he let himself in and turned the TV off.
The manager confided that the guests were booked for only a single night’s stay and had apparently checked out around midnight or 1 am without bedding down. Three guesses as to why they didn’t stay, and the first two don’t count. If you don’t want to sleep over, fine, but who abandons a hotel room in the wee hours with the TV blasting? Anyone would say an element of manners and civility is clearly lacking. This is an aspect of our culture, or New York culture at the very least. It’s who “they” are. Who dat? People who were raised without a lot of discipline or by stable emotional role models, or both.
Most of Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver (TriStar, 6.28) is inspired — one of the most strikingly conceived, purely enjoyable fast-car...More »
Late yesterday afternoon I finally saw Patty Jenkins‘ Wonder Woman. I found it stirring from time to time, and, like...More »
This morning I read a 6.9 profile of MGM CEO Gary Barber by Deadline‘s Peter Bart (“A Resurgent MGM Builds...More »