Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shia LaBeouf

Well, crap. I hoped Shia LaBeouf would end up on a chain gang in Georgia. He just got probation and has to go to anger management. Racism management is that scumbag needs. And since he was bragging about having a house full of guns, he needs a felony conviction that would bar him from owning firearms.

Thought Spiral: Andy Kindler, J Elvis Weinstein discuss Jerry Lewis

Listened on YouTube to episode 24 of Thought Spiral, the podcast featuring Josh "Elvis" Weinstein and Andy Kindler. Their discussion turned to Jerry Lewis.

Andy mentions that it used to be that, in comedy teams, the straight man was considered the more important performer. That's why it was Abbott and Costello and not Costello and Abbott. The straight man got paid more.

This brought them to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Here's what I managed to transcribe. Kindler's comments are in bold.

Listen to the whole thing here.
Did you know----were you annoyed when you first found out---or did you doze off to sleep when you first found out the straight men were paid more in comedy. Or did you not even buy that as a truth?

I never really----I never really worked through it. It's never been an issue for me.


I am fascinated with it. Because the straight men, they go, Oh, yeah, the straight man used to get paid more. I don't understand it. Why?

"Well--"

Could Bud Abbott go [makes Lou Costello-like noises].

I saw a self-serving interview with Jerry Lewis---

(Laughter) Or I should just say, "an interview".

--talking about he and Dean breaking up. You know. And he would go We had to break up because every article was about Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. And Dean was there, too. But every single one---how could he take it? How could he take it? Every single article was Jerry Jerry---

I would bet that even in his later life, Dean Martin--that would make Dean Martin turn red.

I'm sure.

...

You heard that in that interview---I heard the interviews, it's almost every interview, he's talking about, I knew how funny Dean was. I knew how funny Dean was. Nobody knew! They all loved me. I mean, even like, who got more babes? Interestingly enough, I did.

Right--You'd think because---

Whose singing did they enjoy more? Mine!


Right--

But he's---what an asshole he must have been---I don't know---may he---and I don't really care whether he rests in peace. I don't care if he rests in peace or if he's agitated and rests for eternity saying LAAADYYY! You knew something was coming like that.

I was hoping.

Jerry Lewis is somebody that, if you love him, you love him.

Right.

And I love him for King of Comedy.

Yeah. That's the only thing you love him for. That's the only thing you'll ever cite.

No, I think that the kitchen sink comedy that he did--

Yeah

--did make me laugh sometimes. And also, laughing AT him is one of the greatest things of all time.

Right.

'Cause, like, when he had that variety show and he had Charlie Callas as his co-host and he built up the bit that Callas was going to do and then it bombed.


Well, I mean what's weird--I mean is, his legacy as showbiz asshole is so much longer than his period of being a star. It's like 40 plus years of him being known in the public consciousness as this fucking blowhard asshole. Based on his thirty years of success.

Yeah and also I think nothing gave him more pleasure--and to everyone else's chagrin--when he would turn on an interview. I mean, I would like to listen to it, but----"So where did you live while you were doing that movie?" DOES THAT MATTER?


Right. Maybe you could do your homework.


So----his passing---- [hesitates]

Come on.

His passing did nothing for me. ---no, I feel sad in a way.

It makes me feel better for writing all that stuff  I did about Jerry Lewis. I was right to focus on the child abuse, though.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ecstasy, Hedy Lamarr, 1933



Do people still know about this? It seems like I read about it more than once in the 1970s, that Hedy Lamarr had a lengthy nude scene in the 1933 European film Ecstasy. I guess that after going through years of nudity-free cinema in the 1940's, '50's and much of the '60's, Americans were startled to learn that there was such a thing as nudity way back then. Nudity is no longer a novelty and I don't know how many people know who Hedy Lamarr was anymore, so her big nude scene is no longer interesting trivia.

So I finally watched Ecstasy. It was listed in the "silent films" section of a Roku channel. It was essentially silent with no intertitles. It was completely nonverbal except for some muffled German dialog.

I've heard that, in the silent era, that was how films were judged----the fewer intertitles it had, the better it was as a movie.

It looked pretty modern, good quality print. Had a lovely crane shot.

Hedy marries an older man. She's disappointed on their wedding night. They don't consummate their marriage. Unhappy with their sexless union, she runs home to her parents. She rides horseback to a river where she swims naked. She unwisely leaves her clothing draped over the back of the horse which runs off forcing her to chase after it naked. This is how she meets a virile young engineer she starts sleeping with.

It wasn't the first movie with a nude scene, not by a long shot. But it's believed to be the first mainstream movie with a simulated sex scene and female orgasm.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Harvey Weinstein, Troy Duffy

Troy Duffy. Avoid this moron.

There was a documentary in which Harvey Weinstein didn't appear but played a role off-camera. Overnight was the story of moronic bartender Troy Duffy. I've written about it before on here.

Duffy was from Boston, was in a band. Boston wasn't big enough for them so they took the band to Los Angeles. He wrote a screenplay called Boondock Saints and was about to sell it to some other producer, so Weinstein, just to ruin the deal for other guy, rushed in and bought the script without reading it. He gave Duffy a better deal, letting him direct the movie and throwing in a recording contract for his band that no one had seen or heard.

Documentary filmmakers went to work filming the rags-to-riches story. It didn't turn out the way they thought. It was released with the title Overnight.

I haven't seen it in a while. I can't remember all of it. But Duffy was a moron. He thought threatening people was a good negotiating tactic. He said, "We got a deep cesspool of creativity here." He refused to pay anyone in the band, he thought Harvey Weinstein wished he were him, he said he showed up at meetings hungover wearing overalls and he thought this was admirable in some way.

When things start to fall apart and he doesn't know what to do, he says, "Is there anyone else we can threaten?"

There's a scene where he speaks to Ray Carney's class at Boston University. He starts pointing at individual students and telling them they will never make it in the movie industry.

I don't want to give away the ending, but it doesn't go well. He finally makes the movie but with a lot less money for different producers. And he made such a bad deal with them that he gets nothing from DVD sales or television. All he gets is a cut from the brief theatrical release which was only done to publicize the DVD.

Poor fool.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ronan Farrow, Harvey Weinstein

Ronan Farrow
I don't even LIKE Woody Allen.  I just don't think he molested his daughter. The accusation against him was that he sexually abused her on a single occasion on August 4, 1992, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Mia Farrow's house in Connecticut. There were four witnesses present---Moses Farrow who was thirteen, two nannies and a cook. One nanny said that Allen and Dylan were never out her sight for more than five minutes. Moses was with them the entire time and said that nothing happened. The cook says that it didn't happen---at no time did Allen and Dylan disappear together causing everyone to scramble to find them.

Mia Farrow made the accusation the very next day, so the memory was fresh in everyone's mind.

The one nanny who said it COULD have happened later wrote a book in which she professed her love and devotion to Mia Farrow.

I think it's terribly suspicious that Mia Farrow is still friends with Roman Polanski and is dismissive of his sex crime, and I think it's extremely weird that Ronan Farrow's comments about his sister's alleged molestation usually take the form of jokes on Twitter.  And his mother keeps retweeting them.

Soon-yi Previn is a 47-year-old millionaire with a masters degree from Columbia. If she was victimized by her husband she can say so herself. She and Allen have been together for about thirty years.

I don't like Ronan Farrow's attacks on his father. I don't like his work in the Obama administration meddling in other countries. He was working for Vietnam War criminal Richard Holbrooke who was part of the ghastly Phoenix Program.

But I've got to give him credit. Ronan brought down Harvey Weinstein. He made himself look like a big shot in the process, of course, but it's about time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Harvey Weinstein

“Most of the successful people in Hollywood are failures as human beings.”
--Marlon Brando


Everyone has turned on Harvey Weinstein. There's not much you can say to question the motivation of the wealthy movie stars who are accusing him of sexual harassment and in some cases rape. Brad Pitt physically threatened him after he harassed Gwyneth Paltrow, but Matt Damon and violent recidivist criminal Russell Crowe helped quash a New York Times report on Weinstein's sex crimes in 2004.

Reporter Sharon Waxman had traveled to Italy to report on Fabrizio Lombardo, who Weinstein put in charge of Miramax Italy. "According to multiple accounts, he had no film experience and his real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things," she said.

Weinstein lumbered into the New York Times newsroom demanding they stop the story. He was a major advertiser in the paper.

"After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted," she reports.

Rose McGowan attacked Ben Affleck for issuing a statement that he was "angry" about Weinstein harassing and assaulting women, but not admitting that he already knew about it. McGowan claimed that she told him about after Weinstein attacked her and that he responded, "GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT". He knew about it and all he did was tell him not to do it anymore?

Hillary Clinton has denounced Weinstein as have the Obamas.

I just hope this will be the end of him. Is it too late to send him to prison? I hope at the very least that he won't be rich anymore.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Piano, 1993



I finally watched The Piano only 24 years after it was released. I had gotten the gist of it watching Siskel & Ebert and from other reviews. A lot of people made fun of it for this, but I thought Harvey Keitel looked okay naked. He looked healthy but plausible for a guy in his 50's, not like the middle aged body builder movie stars they have now. He was 54 then and looked like he could beat the crap out of Tom Cruise.

Wouldn't it ruin a piano to leave it out on a beach for days?

Anna Paquin was only 9 when they cast her in this thing. She had no acting experience. She won an Oscar for it and she's been working steadily ever since. There are people who are opposed to children acting, but that's the best time to do it. Adults never have that kind of instant success.

I remember when she won her Oscar. She was interviewed on her way in. Apparently the grown-ups didn't want her getting her hopes up. She told the reporter, "I'm not going to win," and seemed to really believe it, although that may have been her Oscar-winning acting at work. A reporter commented that she should have an interesting acceptance speech if she won.

She looked truly surprised when Gene Hackman read her name. She walked up and stood for a few moments even after the applause died down trying to catch her breath before thanking everyone.

The movie was okay I guess, but I didn't especially like it.