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?


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!


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.


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--


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


'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.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A disturbing fact about the Flying Wallendas

The seven-person chair pyramid that killed two of them.

The Flying Wallendas are circus performers best known for doing high wire acts without a net. As you might imagine, a number of them have been killed and horribly injured over the years.

According to Wikipedia:
In the following years, Karl developed some of their most impressive acts, such as the seven-person chair pyramid. They continued performing those acts until January 30, 1962 when, while performing at the Shrine Circus at Detroit's State Fair Coliseum, the front man on the wire (Dieter Schepp) faltered and the pyramid collapsed. Three men fell to the ground, killing Richard Faughnan, Wallenda's son-in-law; and nephew Dieter Schepp. Karl injured his pelvis, and his adopted son, Mario, was paralyzed from the waist down. Dieter's sister Jana Schepp let go of the wire to fall into the quickly-raised safety net, but bounced off and suffered a head injury. [emphasis added]
Mario was 21 when this happened.

Why on earth were these people allowed to adopt children?

Mario at age four already forced to perform dangerous stunts.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Kindler, Weinstein, Thought Spiral, Modern Family

Looked for a picture of them doing the podcast, but I could only find stuff like this.
So I was listening to Thought Spiral on YouTube. This is the podcast where comedians Andy Kindler and J Elvis Weinstein engage in long, free-flowing conversations. They likened it to My Dinner with Andre at one point. Apparently they talk for hours and Weinstein edits it down to a little over an hour. They've done over twenty of these things. It's amazing that they can keep it up.

I learned things I didn't know. I was surprised that Andy Kindler uses so much marijuana. He said he participated in some of these podcasts while under its influence. He kept losing his train of thought and had to ask what he was just talking about.

Kindler mentioned that he once auditioned for a role on Modern Family

By coincidence, I watched a video of the cast of Modern Family.  They sat on stage. They took questions from an audience, but the person would ask a question then they would all sit there without saying anything, each actor apparently waiting for someone else to answer.  That's the trouble with a large ensemble cast----no one takes charge.

Someone asked who they'd like to have as guest star on the show. There was awkward silence. Then Ariel Winter spoke up. Andy Kindler, she said. Then more awkward silence. Then the two boys, Nolan Gould and Rico Rodriquez, named an actress they apparently found especially attractive and they high-fived. Nolan is a member of Mensa and supposedly a genius in real life and Rico plays Manny who at least thinks he's terribly smart. They wrecked that illusion. (Sorry, kids.)

I know this isn't very interesting. But it's a shame Ariel Winter didn't know Kindler was auditioning. She could have pulled a few strings.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hub City (1997)

A pretty good short about Lubbock, Texas, hometown of Buddy Holly. Fifteen minutes. The filmmaker said he was scouting locations for another movie, so we see some interesting spots, often run down, perhaps abandoned buildings. Most are static camera shots of static subjects so it could have been as a filmstrip, but that's okay. With narration about the city, Buddy Holly and his death.

Available on Fandor

I never entirely understood the appeal of Buddy Holly, but I don't listen to music in general so what do I know. I've also never understood what people like about Texas. People who are from there seem to like it. I lived there for a couple of years when I was six or seven. If I had children, I'd never let them attend school there and I would be in constant fear of being railroaded for a crime I didn't commit and ending up on death row, a surprisingly common occurrence there, although the percentage of the overall population wrongfully executed would be fairly small. The United States in general is one big hell hole in that regard.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Scotty Beckett in happier times

Since I wrote about some terrible incidents during Scotty Beckett's sad decline, here are photos of him in what I hope were happier times.

With Jane Powell, Roddy McDowall and Elizabeth Taylor. 

Ishmael Reed on Trump calling Kaepernick a "son of a bitch"

When I was kid we noted that the term "son of a bitch" was an insult to one's mother. Over time we stopped thinking about it. Elderly Massachusetts billionaire John Kerry cheerfully referred to one of the Secret Service agents assigned to protect him as a "son of a bitch". I knew a woman who called her own son a son of a bitch.

But I knew a Southerner who worked at a gas station where he was attacked by a customer. There's no self-serve in this state. He pumped this woman's gas and she became enraged when some dribbled on her twenty-year-old Nissan. As he wiped it off, she called him a "son of a bitch". He took this as an insult to his late mother and called the customer a cunt. She punched him. He staggered and realized he was starting to black out. She was about to punch him again so he grabbed her by the head and threw her to the ground. The woman called the police and whined that he attacked her. A geezer who witnessed it talked to the police telling them the terrible thing he had done.

After the police went, he asked the geezer why he was defending her.

"Never hit a woman," he said.

"She hit me just like a man."

"Never hit a woman," the geezer repeated stupidly.

Don't call people "sons of bitches". Not everyone takes it in good humor.

Which brings me to this. Ishmael Reed writes about the protests now going on in the NFL (read the full article here):
One of the CNN commentators, a Trump supporter, asked why a demonstration that was conducted by Kaepernick spread after Trump’s provocative remarks? Trump has criticized the NFL before. Good question.

Is it because he referred to the mothers of Black players as “bitches,” a taboo in Black culture? Basketball players like Kevin Durant breakdown into sobs at the very mention of their mother’s names. These mothers are often single parents who make extraordinary sacrifices in order that their male children avoid death at the hands of their misguided peers or by the police. When it came time for my younger brothers to be ambushed by the police, a rite of passage that every Black kid has to traverse, my mother warned the two policemen, who were assigned to harass my younger brothers, that she was a domestic servant in the home of the mayor’s family. They backed off. She was a Southerner before she moved to the North and often Southern Blacks relied upon good White people to protect them from racists.

Mother reverence is also something that is fixed in Black tribal memory. Mother’s Day in Black churches is the most important date on the church’s calendar. Booker T. Washington said that for his White slave-owning father, there was no difference between a cow and his mother.

So, calling Black mothers bitches recalls a time when Blacks were bred and treated like animals. Even White feminist pundits, the only women who are acceptable to the networks, didn’t pick up on this angle of the controversy, which adds to the feeling held by Latina, African American, Native American and Asian American feminists that White feminists have little empathy for their issues. Some of the pundits’ comments might be the reason that Blacks are prone to hypertension. Like the ignorant ESPN commentator who told Black sports commentator Stephen Smith, on the twenty-seventh of September, that the police only kill Black criminals, which doesn’t explain why Blacks of all classes are harassed, including a famous Black tennis star, who is currently in court with the policeman, a member of the NYPD, who tackled him. A case of mistaken identity. Even the Bush administration issued a report proving the existence of Racial Profiling.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Winky on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger

Winky, second from the top. Posing with a space ladder.
I should quit doing this, but I turned on a movie to put myself to sleep last night. It was called Menace from Outer Space. They just strung together episodes of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, an old syndicated TV series from the mid-1950's.

25-year-old Scotty Beckett played Rocky Jones' sidekick, Winky. I don't know why they gave him such a stupid name. Beckett had been a Little Rascal for a short time then became a prominent child actor in Hollywood. He was friends with Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowall. As an adult, he became a drunk and a gambler, but refused to pay gambling debts or repay loans. He was arrested after an armed robbery at a hotel. He was found passed out drunk in the hotel basement with a gun but not the money.

Because he didn't have the loot and the clerk couldn't positively identify him, Beckett was charged only with possession of a weapon. He got out on bail and fled to Mexico with his wife and 3-year-old son. They ran out of money. He used his acting ability to pass fake cashier's checks from a nonexistent bank to local merchants. When Mexican police tracked him to the hotel where they were staying, he tried to sneak himself and his family out. Police spotted him and Beckett and the cops got into a gunfight. Luckily for all involved, no one was killed.

Beckett spent four months in a Mexican jail before being sent back to the United States where he plead guilty to the weapons charge and was given three years probation. He must have felt pretty stupid running off to Mexico when all he got was probation anyway.

But, of course, that ended his role on Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. Kind of weird that Winky was such a tough customer in real life.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Shooting in Las Vegas

I was awake late last night watching the news from Las Vegas on RT. At that stage, in the immediate aftermath, they were reporting twelve dead. I thought, well, it could have been so much worse. I didn't hear any more about it until I got home from work and, my God, it was much worse.

ISIS claimed responsibility but police say the guy had nothing to do with them. Is ISIS taking credit for things it has nothing to do with as a matter of policy or do they really not know?

The killer's father had once been a 280 pound escaped bank robber who was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. He (the father) ran a Bingo hall near here while he was hiding from the law.

Gun sales dropped once Trump became president. Gun nuts honestly believe their own nonsense. They thought Obama was going to take away their guns so they bought all they could while it was still legal. Stock prices for gun manufacturers have gone up now. Mass shootings are a boon to the gun companies.

Guns are for morons. The reason pawn shops are full of them is that nobody needs them. They cost a lot and they're of no use to anyone so they're the first thing you get rid of. Who do they think they're going to shoot?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

V.J. Jerome, The Negro in Hollywood Films, 1950

A link to the pamphlet, The Negro in Hollywood Films, by V.J. Jerome published in 1950. Jerome was chairman of the National Cultural Commission of the Communist Party, USA, at the time. He was the first person to be questioned by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in Hollywood.

He discusses and is critical of some then-recent films, Pinky, Intruder in the Dust, Lost Boundaries and Home of the Brave as well as earlier, blatantly racist movies. Mentions the fact that, for some reason, American movies about the Civil War were almost all pro-Confederate.  

Lousy royal children

"Do you like this new Royal Baby? The first one was OK I guess but I don't like the new one. This new Royal Baby is an asshole."

--MST3k's Bill Corbett on Twitter

The English are finally starting to attack the royal family again.

“When Prince George goes to school, they [the media] look at his jumpers and, you know, £150 ($200) for a jumper, that’s a food bill for a family of four for a lot of people and that’s outrageous and people are outraged by that,” the Sunday Express quoted Anti-monarchist Dent Coad as saying.

“We had all the media attention recently when Prince George started school," said Labour counciller [sic] Ken Ritchie. "We don’t know if he will grow up to be as bad as his grandfather or maybe his great grandfather. Or that he will be as bland as his father. All we know is that at some stage George will be king, unless we change the system or unless he has an unfortunate illness or accident.”

This was reported by Fox News, outraged that anyone would criticize the royal family. They were inexplicably defending a literal welfare queen and her chronically unemployed spawn.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bacon & God's Wrath (2015)

Several years ago, I tried to corrupt a Jehovah's Witness. She was in her 20s. I urged her to sneak out of her parents' house and register to vote. She didn't listen to me. I thought it must be nice being able to engage in a perfectly ordinary activity and feel that you've done something wildly sinful.  

Watching a nine minute documentary on Fandor about Razie, a 90-year-old Jewish woman about to eat bacon for the first time. 

The movie is an interview with Razie, illustrated with video, drawings and animation. She had been watching YouTube videos of Christopher Hitchens and it turned her atheist. I never really liked bacon but---I'm giving away the ending here---she thought it was "perfectly okay". 

By the way, there's a YouTube video of Slavoj Žižek talking about the difference between faith and fundamentalism. He said that Anne Frank's statement, "...I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart," was a statement of faith. She acknowledged that she was going against all evidence. If you disagreed, she couldn't very well attack you for it since you would have facts on your side. Fundamentalists, on the other hand, simply deny there is any evidence against their views.  

Razie had come to take Hitchens' view that all faith was like believing in the tooth fairy. 

It seems like there's a trend now---the Jewish religion is being presented as less innocuous than it has in the past. Hassidic Jews are no longer portrayed as urban Amish. There was a movie, Holy Rollers, about Hassidic drug smugglers and Fading Gigolo with Woody Allen being targeted by armed Hassidic enforcers. Contrast that with a movie like A Stranger Among Us or old episodes of Barney Miller. 

In this movie, Razie tells the story of how the rabbi rallied a mob against her grandmother and her grandmother's twin sister who had been seen doing something they weren't supposed to. The only way to calm the rabbi down was for the twin sister to be punished. Razie wouldn't say how, but an animation shows her tongue being cut out. The rabbi was later arrested for selling guns.  

A film by Sol Freidman.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fat, 2013

When I was a kid, I saw something on TV. They were talking about the warning signs of compulsive eating. I just googled it. The warning signs are different now and make a lot more sense. But back then, it was, "Do you eat one meal planning the next?" Well, yeah. Sure I did. It just seemed like common sense. But because of that, I walked around thinking I was a compulsive eater. Now the warning signs are binge eating, eating huge amounts when you're not hungry, inducing vomiting---stuff that's clearly abnormal.

I watched the 2013 film Fat. Mel Rodriquez plays Ken who is pleasant most of the time. But he's addicted to food. He's a physical wreck. We see all the meds he takes. He has a Sleep Apnea mask, takes blood pressure medication and medication for gout. His health gets worse as it goes on. His friend tells him he's starting to smell. He's fired from his job for lousy work ethic, watching porn on his computer and leering at female co-workers, although I'm not sure those things are weight-related. He's stalking an ex-girlfriend and has hacked into her email.

He hits on women and turns nasty when one says she has a boyfriend and he's insulted when his friend wants to introduce him to an overweight woman friend.

Written and directed by Mark Phinney based on his own experiences but I don't know how autobiographical it is.

Surprising amount of nudity considering. Reportedly filmed in Boston but I couldn't tell.

Available on Fandor.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A critical review

There's a short film on Fandor called "Who is on First". It has 3 stars out of 5. Made in 2005, produced by Nathan Zellner and directed by his brother David. 5 minutes long. Apparently available on YouTube as well.

Two people sitting in chairs for some reason in front of walls lined with baseball cards go through that terrible Abbott and Costello routine. Yes, I know. It's "classic". But it was stupid and contrived, people named "Who", "What" and "I Don't Know". If they were named Hu and Watt it would make sense, but why would a person be named "I Don't Know"?

Sesame Street made better use of that gag. Someone keeps telling Grover that he's looking at the letter "Y" but he thinks she's saying "Why".

The movie was done with Dragnet editing, cutting to a close-up of who ever's speaking. And it was done with Dragnet acting, where the actors read their lines neutrally.

But the editing wasn't fast enough. The movie just wasn't very good. If they had at least been standing or had some reason to be having this conversation in the first place it might have been better.

I always liked Dragnet. It made me feel like even I could be an actor. Just stand still and read your cue cards as fast as you can.

And movies like this are what intrigued me about film to begin with---that you can put very little effort into a very short film and it would be considered a major achievement. I read about a guy who became a major figure in art film by making a 30 to 90 second Super 8 film every year. Then I read about "one shot" art films----films shot in a single take. One guy pointed his camera across a highway. It was a sound movie, and it wasn't stereo, so there was suspense because you would hear a car approaching but you didn't know if it was coming from the left or right. Another film was a two minute shot of a rotating beer sign with a nature scene.

"Who is on First" starred Anthony Holsome and Se Young Min.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sham auditions for school plays

When I was in junior high school, a teacher who I later realized was a pedophile told us that the two women in charge of the cheerleading squad had been sitting around the Teacher's Lounge deciding who would be on the team before tryouts had even been held. I didn't care, but I assumed he was telling the truth at the time. Now I'm not sure if it was true or not.

But in high school I was aware that the auditions for school plays were in part a sham because one guy always got his choice of roles even when he didn't show up for the audition. One time, he was off on vacation in Europe with his wealthy family. Other kids auditioned because they thought they might have a chance for a decent role for once, but, no, he came back and took what he wanted. Now he's a big shot theater director, his career built on a foundation of fraud and favoritism.

So I wanted to look into this. I googled it. Looked for what people said about sham auditions, but all I found was warnings to drama teachers to make everything seem as fair as possible.

One person went on at length about the importance of impartiality but then said not to cast interracial couples or put kids in roles that didn't match their real personalities.

Some parents wondered if it was right that kids were given roles based on how good-looking they were. The really good-looking ones were the stars, the worst-looking ones got the smallest roles. And one school wouldn't put kids in plays if they appeared in community theater productions.

There must be SOME sham auditions or there wouldn't be so many warnings against it.

I heard about one play at my junior high school. The young woman teacher thought it was cute to get the smallest boy in school to play a dog. He wore a costume with a big paper mache head. The stage was made up of a number of platforms put together, and there was a gap between two of them, so, during the play, the poor kid fell through the gap and just the head was left sitting on stage. I had a friend who was on stage at the time. The other actors just stood there looking. He tried to ad lib and keep the thing going but they ignored him.

They went on with the play. They could hear the kid down there crying and trying to get free, but they wouldn't stop to help him.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Maybe I shouldn't attack Anthony Weiner

There's really not much point in attacking a guy who EVERYONE is already attacking, although I am about the only one who keeps pointing out the unrelated fact that he's a Zionist. I think I'm seething with less hatred than others. I haven't speculated on what indignities await him in prison but I think I'd be more amused than other people if he turned fugitive.

Really though! Blubbing in court! Is two years really that bad? Palestinian children are treated far worse every day.

Republicans attack him as a typical Democrat and Democrats blame him for Trump's election. The FBI found Clinton's emails all over Weiner's laptop while investigating his sex crimes.

The girl he was sexting was trying to write a book about him. I'm not sure a book by a fifteen-year-old would have much chance, but you can self-publish anything now. I'd probably buy it on Kindle if she made it available.

In fact, since they're not publishing her name, anyone could write a book claiming to be a teenage girl who sexted with Weiner. When it's exposed as a hoax, just say it was satire.

A lot of convicts pass the time by writing. This would be a good chance for Weiner to write a self-pitying yet steamy sext memoir. His political career is over. He can't get a teaching job. He's not a lawyer like other Congressmen---his now-worthless degree was in Political Science. He had reportedly been looking for work in the restaurant business and I guess someone might hire him even though he'll be a registered sex offender when he gets out. Maybe writing books on sexting would be a good career for him. How-to books are always big.

Start with a sexting book. Then a memoir about sexting rehab. Then a book about sexting relapse and more sexting. Later, he could write a thriller about a handsome young congressman who uses his sexting prowess to thwart a terror plot on Capitol Hill.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Weiner sentenced to 21 months

Sinewy Zionist pedophile Anthony Weiner blubbed in court, sitting with his face in his hands, as he was sentenced to a modest 21 months in prison for sending obscene material to an innocent young shiksa. The girl had reported him when she found out he was two-timing her, also sexting a grown woman.

Weiner's lawyer argued that he should get probation because it was sexting he was into, not underage girls.

He has until November 6th to turn himself in, so he can still make a run for it if he wants.

I'm hoping he gets his fellow Zionist sex offender and Sharknado "actor" Jared Fogle as a cellmate.

Weiner either trying to cry or trying not to cry or maybe trying to look intelligent as he walks into court.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A psychiatric report on Martin Shkreli?

Someone requested a psychiatric report on Martin Shkreli as he sits in jail. No word on who requested it or whether they're going to do it.

One of the witnesses in the trial said that he had been depressed, but that was because his hedge fund fell apart and he found he owed Merril Lynch $10 million, so it wasn't a sign of mental illness. Another said he was mentally unstable because he kept lying to his clients after he lost all their money, but Madoff did the same thing in order to pass himself off as a genius.

I suppose a psychiatrist could figure out if he was a psychopath. I'd kind of like to know what the hell's wrong with him.

Anthony Weiner to be sentenced Monday

It won't be long now. Traitorous New York Zionist Anthony Weiner will be sentenced Monday for molesting a 15-year-old shiksa online. Prosecutors want him to get 21 to 27 months in prison.

I don't like that guy, but I'll probably feel a little bad about it when he's sent to prison. Then I'll feel bad when they let him out.

He's got one day left to flee the country. He could still make aliyah and flee to the Holy Land. His wife and son are Muslim and wouldn't be allowed in, of course.

Friday, September 22, 2017


I'm surprised people had to look up the word "dotard" after Kim Jong Un called Donald Trump one.

But the only other time I've heard it was watching The Seven Samurai. When the samurai arrive at the village, Toshiro Mifune raises a false alarm to bring the farmers out of hiding. He yells at them for a minute then says to the town elder, "Any objections, dotard?"

I had a little better context to get its meaning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Violent movie children

There was a low budget movie about murderous feral children in the woods around a small town. It ends with the children's parents killing them all. It was a cartoonish horror movie and I was surprised the child actors were able to keep from smiling as they were killed in horrible ways.

But, at Cannes, a large audience was in a theater to see another Troma Team film. They showed the preview to the feral children movie and the entire audience walked out in disgust. The filmmakers had become so warped making their crappy horror movies that they had no idea they had gone too far.

During the making of the feral children movie, the filmmakers tried to shield the child actors from the violence and gore effects, but the kids loved that stuff and wanted to see it.

Didn't Henry Thomas from E.T. say that he went into acting because he wanted to be in Star Wars movies? I saw an early interview with poor Corey Haim who said his dream was to play Rambo's son who would help his Dad kill people.

I listened to the commentary on the DVD for Swoon, a New Gay Cinema film about Leopold and Loeb. The director tried to treat the kid playing murder victim Bobby Frank very gently, but the kid wanted them to be more violent and called for more fake blood while his mother stood back smoking a cigarette.

Anyway, I bring it up because Nolan Gould killing a man in a Civil War movie was deeply disturbing to any right-minded adult but was probably one of his happiest moments as an actor. For a brief instant, he was an action star.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Field of Lost Shoes

See how cute he is when he's killing a man.
I've posted a couple of things about Nolan Gould on here so I watched a 2014 Civil War movie in which he played a supporting role. Field of Lost Shoes is about a real incident where cadets from the Virginia Military Institute took part in a Civil War battle. It shows them killing U.S. troops---Nolan Gould stabs a man in the back with a bayonet---but we're supposed to feel bad that four cadets got killed. I say good riddance to them.

I haven't seen any of the other recent Civil War movies so I don't know how they compare. This one was reportedly low budget and it shows.

The cadets in this thing are upper-class pro-Confederate Southerners, but they're opposed to slavery and go around helping black people. It reminded me of those World War Two movies from the '60's and '70's where the Nazis all secretly hate Hitler and are only fighting out of devotion to the Fatherland. The most revolting example was The Eagle Has Landed. Michael Caine plays a Nazi who rescues a Jewish girl from other, less virtuous Nazis before going on a mission to kidnap Winston Churchill.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Heaven's Gate

David Letterman was doing a bit long ago. They had new state flags. The one for Wyoming was a map of the state with a little picture of every person who lived there.

More recently, there was an ambitious young woman who thought that becoming Miss America would be her key to success. She moved to Wyoming and it worked. The population was so small and there was so little competition that she became Miss Wyoming and was first runner-up in the Miss America pageant.

So why are there so many people in Heaven's Gate? Cheyenne looks like New York or Hong Kong, packed with people, hundreds of extras all in costume bustling around. 

The movie was a critical and commercial failure when it came out, but I've heard that people are reassessing it. It's about the Johnson County War in 1892. It's pretty slow. Starts with the a few of the middle aged stars playing college boys graduating from Harvard twenty years earlier. Includes a big scene of a large number of people waltzing in a large open area. It looked impressive, but where was the music coming from and how they could hear it out there? I don't think it would work now with modern amplification.

It's a long movie, 3 hours and 37 minutes. Critics hated it, but some of the attacks on it were for things that were historically accurate. Roger Ebert thought it was ridiculous that a guy who wrote a last note before being killed while trapped in a burning cabin signed it with his full name. But that happened. If you're about to be murdered and you write a note that might be used as evidence, you probably should sign your full name.

Right-wing talk show host Michael Medved and his less-successful half-brother Harry attacked the movie as anti-American because, when the cavalry arrives in the end, it's to save the villains. This, too, was historically accurate.

The movie cost a fortune, $40 million, equal to $140 million in todays dollars. It looked great, but Michael Cimino was no David Lean. It wasn't Lawrence of Arabia. It wasn't gripping. It was long and it seemed long.

The Lone Ranger cost $215 million and The Wild Wild West cost $170 million, so even adjusting for inflation it wasn't the most expensive western ever made.

Like The Lone Ranger, Europeans liked Heaven's Gate better than Americans. I've never understood why westerns are so popular outside the U.S. Stalin liked them and the Dalai Lama still says John Wayne is his favorite actor.

I kept trying to picture it as a Werner Herzog movie.

Now available on Fandor.

Jeffrey St.Clair's review of Hillary Clinton's What Happened

Read the whole thing here: 
Notice the lack of a question mark in the title. This is a telling punctuational elision. It signals that this text will not be an investigation into the dynamics behind the most perplexing election in American history.   Don’t skim these pages in search of a self-lacerating confession or an apologia. What Happened reads more like a drive-by shooting rampage. The book is a score-settling scattershot rant, enfilading anyone who stood in Clinton’s way, from Bernie Sanders to James Comey. Amid Hillary’s hitlist of villains, even toothless Joe Biden gets gut-shot. 
There are, naturally, two ways of interpreting the results of the 2016 elections pitting the two most unappetizing candidates in American history against each: either Trump found some way to defeat Hillary or, more probably, Hillary managed to lose to Trump. But Hillary’s psyche can’t swallow either scenario. So, she endeavors to create a mystery where there is none. The outcome was so inexplicable, she reasons, that there must be some hidden mechanism at work: Russian hacking, press bias, left betrayal, FBI sabotage. Clinton summons a lineup of the possible suspects: Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange, Jill Stein, the New York Times, CNN, and Jim Comey. Alas, Hillary and her ghost-writer are not John LeCarré. She can’t spin a coherent and plausible cyber-spy yarn, in part because Clinton keeps getting sidetracked by a compulsion to wash her own hands of any culpability in blowing the election. 
Of course, Hillary Clinton has never been able to conceal her contempt for her enemies, real and imagined. It’s one reason she’s never been a successful politician. Where others are supple, she is taut. Unlike Bill, Hillary is a prolific, but graceless and transparent liar. She is also probably the nastiest political figure in America since Nixon. Yet she lacked Nixon’s Machiavellian genius for political manipulation.... 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Martin Shkreli bail revoked

Imagine that guy as your cellmate.

Just for offering thousands of dollars for someone rip out a handful of Hillary Clinton's hair

Shkreli's bail has been revoked after he posted on Facebook a couple of times offering $5,000 per hair anyone could manage to get from Hillary Clinton.

When he repeated the offer, he wrote: “$5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle. Do not assault anyone for any reason ever (LOLIBERALS).”

According to the NY Times:
“Stupid doesn’t make you violent,” Mr. Brafman said, adding that his client’s Facebook posts had shown “immaturity, satire, a warped sense of humor.”
But Judge Matsumoto was unmoved.
“What is funny about that?” she responded. “He doesn’t know who his followers are.”
Mr. Shkreli, dressed in a lavender button-down shirt, was animated for much of the hearing, as he had been throughout his trial. But his behavior changed when Judge Matsumoto said that she had decided to jail him, and he sat quietly at the defense table for the rest of the hearing.

After the hearing, two deputy United States marshals led Mr. Shkreli to a holding cell adjoining the courtroom. He will be held at a federal jail in Brooklyn.

The Marx Brothers, all five.

From left to right, Gummo, Zeppo, Chico, Groucho and Harpo.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Poor wretch who looks like Martin Shkreli

My mother was watching a movie about Steve Prefontaine. She thought it might have been filmed at the University of Oregon because the track in one scene looked a lot like the one at UO.

"It either is or it isn't," I said. "If it doesn't look exactly like it in every way, it's not it."

And it's like this with people. There was a documentary about a bland-looking mass murderer on the run from police. They found a guy who looked just like him. Enough so that his neighbor thought it was him. But the FBI agent said no, his nose was slightly different, and fingerprints showed he was another guy who was long known to police.

And some poor wretch in New York is being threatened by strangers because he looks vaguely like Martin Shkreli.

I'd say he looks as much like Shkreli as James Coburn looked like Lee Marvin. As John Travolta looked like Lilly Tomlin. As Don Knotts looked like Jimmy Carter.

By the way, if you're ever out in public with someone and you see someone who looks like them, don't point it out to them. Don't say "There's someone who looks just like you!" I've seen it happen. No one is ever flattered by this.

I worked a job where everyone called me by the wrong name. They finally told me I looked exactly like a guy who worked another shift. I finally got a look at the guy and was terribly hurt.

I was watching Jaws 2 and my friends pointed to an extra who they said looked exactly like me. Later they showed me a picture of a elderly Chinese guy photographed in the 1930s who they said looked like me, then a picture of a then-recently deceased Lebanese phalangist.

So imagine this poor devil walking around looking like Martin Shkreli. There are pictures of him. I don't think he looks enough like him to fool anyone unless they have some degree of face blindness.