Ktismatics

28 May 2008

There Will Be Blood, 2007

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 2:33 pm

I remember some of the blog discussions about this movie when it came out. Now, seeing it for the first time, as the DVD ended, my first comment was, “that was a silly movie.” It wouldn’t take much to turn this overraught melodrama into a comedy. You wouldn’t even have to change very much of the story. If it wasn’t for Daniel Day Lewis’s intense seriousness and the oppressive ominousness of the score, the film could easily have played as a parody of itself, maybe call it There Will Be Gas.

The very beginning of the movie is my favorite part. We see a figure delving in the dark like some protean Titan, his pickaxe striking sparks against the solid rock as if he’s chiseling himself out of the stony womb that bore him. He climbs toward the surface, toward the sun. Night falls, and he sits alone beside a fire of his own making.

Strangely, Lewis’s performance reminds me of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack in the Pirates movies. It’s not that the actor inhabits the role, or that the role possesses him, or that he’s called up something deep in himself that could become this role. Rather, the character is a work of artistic creation. Johnny Depp may have borrowed Keith Richard for his construction; some people think Lewis did the same with John Huston. It’s also evident that Lewis started working on this character in Gangs of New York. The result is worth it I believe: a distinct and compelling cinematic persona that I’ll remember long after the movie itself fades from memory.

It is a beautiful film. A lot of it was filmed in Marfa, Texas, where Giant (James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor) was made in the fifties and, oddly enough, where No Country for Old Men was also filmed. No Country is one of Cormac McCarthy’s less accomplished works, and though I’ve not read Sinclair Lewis’s Oil! I understand it’s not a major novel either. Still, in terms of cinematic adaptation, the Coen movie succeeds where, in my view, Paul Anderson’s does not.

Advertisements

67 Comments »

  1. I finally saw this, and think it one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, bar none. The most inappropriately ‘deep performance’ by someone clearly interested in taking over Al Pacino’s old haunt as ‘the great film actor of out time’. He is absurd, this is infantile and really just performance art, because there is nobody and nothing else in the film besides Day-Lewis. The ad in form of 10 + page article of a few months back in the NYTImes Sunday Magazine is part of this vast con number he’s done. Because this is not a complex character–the character is one-dimensional, has no affect, one or two emotions at most, it is pure pornography. Over-acting makes no sense whatever in a story that is scarcely worth telling at all beyond just the novel by Upton Sinclair. Sometimes over-acting in a dramatic role–as when Jeremy Irons really pulls all the stops out as Claus Von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune–can be great, but Irons was part of a whole film. Day-Lewis is not part of anything, so he should just do a stand-up. I cannot even express how much I loathed this film, and what a con I think it is. ‘American Gigolo’ with Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton as trendy 1980s trash in Beverly Hills had more dimension than this garden-variety S & M. And the lamest use of music I’ve ever heard–Brahms Fucking Piano Trios! As though there was some grandeur in this nonentity of a character. Unbe-fucking-lievable. I want to be done with this for tonight, so I had to use my energy after the ordeal of this to write here and at the ballet board, so no offense if you loved the film and the other commenters–my neck is strained from the position I’m typing in, and I didn’t have time to read the post and comments. You can call me names if you wish, I realize it’s irresponsible to go ahead and comment without reading the post.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 28 June 2008 @ 9:40 pm

  2. I generally agree, as you’ll see if you read the post. There used to be actors like John Wayne, who rendered the same performance in every movie. This wasn’t acting but characterization. Day-Lewis has acted other characters than the one he presents in both There Will Be Blood and Gangs of New York, but it’s a similar sort of thing: creating a persona, then inserting that persona into the story. In the post I likened Day Lewis here to Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: almost a caricature, but definitely a work of creation. Is Day-Lewis’ character merely a repeat of stereotyped role-playing from old movies that portray the hard-ass unapproachable Big Daddy, or has he presented an interesting variant? Is it a creative act to resurrect this stereotyped character from his death in the early sixties, when styles of portrayal changed significantly? And if so, is this too an artistic work, a bricolage that acquires power precisely because it’s so anachronistic.

    It’s like the Borges story about a contemporary French author who wrote portions of Don Quixote, word for word, not by copying it but by living it: projecting himself into Cervantes’persona, teaching himself to write in Spanish, etc. In Borges’ story, the critics said that the new version of the Quixote was better than the original because it presented such a jarring contrast to the modern sociohistorical context in which it suddenly appeared. Maybe there’s that to Day-Lewis’ schtick: transported from an older context into the 21st century it’s strikingly incongruous.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 June 2008 @ 6:46 am

  3. This is the second place this morning where I find that my comparison to John Huston was noticed by many people; and here I thought I was being clever or something. But he’s always separated from his character, ‘created’ as you call it, whereas Huston in Chinatown was not afraid of corruption, knew it to the bone. Day Lewis is like the world’s priggish guilty Englishman (down to advertising his spread in Ireland) therapizing himself onscreen so nobody will know he was so much better in ‘A Room with A View’ and ‘The Age of Innocence’, and should give up the self-loathing that is everywhere apparent in his embarassing attempt to become Historic and Profound. What a raving ASSHOLE!

    “Is Day-Lewis’ character merely a repeat of stereotyped role-playing from old movies that portray the hard-ass unapproachable Big Daddy, or has he presented an interesting variant?”

    NO! HE is the one who is still trying to approach the unapproachable Big Daddy by getting hold of the persona himself, and he never once does. I mentioned at traxus post on this that he can now do not only full-page studio-starlet spreads, but 8-page Sunday Times article spreads, so that while trying to become the Great New Film Actor he instead becomes the New Rita Hayworth, because I am not about to pretend anybody so self-loathing has the right to become the new Katharine Hepburn, which is secretly what he must want to be, when they tease in the swimming scenes with his upper nude body, only to find that he’s kept on long pants; and at the beginning of the carnage part of the bowling scene, he doesn’t even turn it into authentic pornography when he walks up to Eli, whose face is at dick-level: That was the opportunity to make it a total masterpiece, with Eli sucking off Day-Lewis for finally a little resemblance to the Human Animal would have been seen. There have been blowjobs in legit films as far back as 1986, when the Dutch girl Marouschka Detmars sucks off Federico Pitzalis in Il Diavolo in Corpo. This is not that common, but Marlon Brando did okay with ‘Last Tango in Paris’ as well, but Day Lewis is so SERIOUS he’s become the bore of the world, and acts as if he’d like to leave the vices of England behind and go to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and join in with the witch-burnings. And in Carax’s ‘Pola X’, Guillaume Depardieu fucks Yekatarina Golubeva–that is HOT, and the film is most impressive. Deneuve appears in a campy role as Guillaume’s mother, but naturally calls him ‘mon frere’ and has lines like ‘J’adore fumer..’ At one point she also is seen taking a bath and shoves up her lovely breasts, but in such a singular way it is as if to say ‘Oh la la, look at Deneuve tits…’

    I don’t know Depp’s work that well, but he’s very good in ‘Blow’. I couldn’t watch the thing through he did with Brando sometime in the mid-90s.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 29 June 2008 @ 10:31 am

  4. Comparisons were made between Day-Lewis’ character and Javier Bardem’s character Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. Did you see this one, Patrick? The contention was that both these characters were impersonal channels of immanent Deleuzian forces that passed through them. This is certainly true of Chigurh, and that’s how Cormac McCarthy wrote him: as an agent of death, with no malice or even personal agency. If you call the coin and you lose, you’re dead at Chigurh’s hands. Perportedly Day-Lewis’ character was the personification of impersonal capital. But that’s bullshit: he was animated by human motivations like competition, vengeance, the will to dominate. To the extent that he SEEMED impersonal it would have to be attributed either to bad acting or the viewer’s attempts to turn the character into someone more interesting than what is presented on the screen.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 June 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  5. unfortunately, No Country for Old Men came to me at the same time as the other. I doubt I will hate it in the same way, though, as I have liked McCarthy’s novels, the trilogy I’ve read once. Which reminds me I should see Billy Bob Thornton’s filmization of All the Pretty Horses. I had liked the 3rd one a lot. I haven’t read the older ones that take place in Tennessee, but I like the Texas ones a lot, and he has been able to sustain his voice through the decades, which Larry McMurtry was not able to do: After ‘Lonesome Dove’, there are still parts in ‘Streets of Laredo’, with that pig that can’t be killed by any number of bullets until exactly between the nose, and ‘Crowtown’, always a-stink from the crows, but it’s basically all downhill from there.

    The ‘Plainview IS capital’ is easy enough to see, but of course that’s not enough, as usual. It is not a matter of public record that, as a part of his Meryl Streep type field work that he was reading Arpege’s blog to make sure that nothing interfered with the ‘you were nothing without money till you found me, but not because I gave you any…’ (would be a most excellent c & w song).

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 29 June 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  6. I thought Billy Bob butchered All the Pretty Horses, missing entirely the legendary feel and turning it into some kind of half-assed love story. As you observed before, it’s harder to cinematize a complex book and do it justice. Old Men is a much more straightforward tale. We’ll see what Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien) is able to do with Blood Meridian, which is another mythic saga. The Judge, on a far more refined and literate and deadly scale, is like Chigurh in his impersonal, demiurgic power to reek violence. Also, the trilogy and Blood Meridian are filled with the fantastic McCarthyesque style that some people seem to hate as ultra-manly excess but that I love. This style is impossible to convey in film, and is the kind of thing that only a writing can do. No Country contains very little of this style, being stripped down to bare description and straightforward narrative. It makes for an inferior McCarthy novel but possesses enough substance for good filmmakers to do something significant with.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 June 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  7. Am watching it now, thanks for mentioning that they’re both filmed in Plano, Texas–rather Marfa, I now see; they say Plano in ‘No Country…’ You can learn something about cinematography beyond just what it looks like this way. But everything resonates here immediately–even in the hardcore Bardem scenes thus far-in such a way that ‘There Will Be Blood’ proves to be totally sterile. I can’t agree with you about the value of Day Lewis’s invented character, because it’s totally artificial: I’ll too remember it, as you say, but not apart from the film. I’ll remember how absurd it is to think modelling this kind of persona on John Huston is. Again, he cannot REACH the unapproachable SuperDaddy, but imagines he’s even killed him, I suppose. Actually, the Superdaddy must have said ‘oh well, it’s just a movie, now I’ve got other blowjob promises to keep, )and miles to go before I sleep?…’) although there’s occasionally a woman, like Ava Gardner, who has that much confidence and self-possession.

    I’ll watch the Thornton film anyway, though, even though I imagine you’ve assessed it properly. Thing is–Billy Bob is a genius too, as he proved with ‘Sling Blade’ and, as an actor, also with ‘Monster’s Ball’. I haven’t heard about any new things of his lately.

    “some people seem to hate as ultra-manly excess but that I love. ”

    Oh vell, we know all about these people, that’s their problem. Just this morning, one of the ones that likes this sort of thing at the ballet board started giving me the dope on one of the most protected of the inner sanctums of ballet–which I will use, with no names given anywhere (even here, it’s too risky) in one of my entr’acte divertissements between the chapters with our book. So much hushed reverence is paid to this particular ballet figure that it has become laughable, but more on that later.

    I wrote a good bit about Ridley’s ‘American Gangster’ at traxus, I was very impressed with its musicality, it’s like a piece of velvet-smooth jazz the way it’s put together. One of the dancers this morning mused that Scott might even direct an opera for film, and I wouldn’t have thought of it, but I think he could, esp, “Pelleas et Melisande” and some of the 20th century American ones as well. Zeffirelli has already done Traviata and Boheme well-enough, and I don’t quite see Scott doing Wagner, but perhaps a good ‘Rigoletto’ or ‘Don Carlo’.

    The Marfa coincidence reminds me as well that the most beautiful Texas (and some other Western and Southwest locations, including LA) cinematography is to me in Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas. And here is where I learned something about photography even though I don’t know much of anything about it: Afterwards, I happened to pass a gallery that had a big show of Wenders’s photographs, of the West and many other places, I especially remember some of Jerusalem. And they all looked like the beautiful photography in Paris, Texas. But I have no idea why his eye could translate into this idiosyncratic and identifiable look. This is a case in which I would have known it was Wenders, because he is looking for that photographic vision.

    Anyway, back to the movie. No more Paul Anderson for me, I absolutely hate his work and don’t plan to watch anything else he makes.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 29 June 2008 @ 5:27 pm

  8. Divine scene just now, had to report it–the border patrol guy ‘why ain’t you got no clothes on?’ ‘you jackin’ with me?’ ‘…some Amurrican citizens…’ ‘you in Nam?’ ‘Whin?’ And Tmmmy Lee is piss-perfect. Brolin good too.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 29 June 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  9. Well I don’t suppose I’ll watch There Will Be Blood again anytime soon to see if I’m overrating the performance, and it is already fading for me. On the other hand we just watched Rain Man and Dustin Hoffman’s character holds up very well, not really kitschy as Pauline Kael complained. Studied and fussy, like Ratso Rizzo in a way, or even Tootsie — I think Dustin Hoffman did create characters artistically using an actor’s art and craft. Even Tom Cruise is good in Rain Man — a very good movie, also nicely photographed. Paris Texas is great.

    Here’s the dialogue from McCarthy’s book:

    We need to hear more about why you’re out here with no clothes on.
    I got a overcoat on.
    Are you jackin with me?
    No sir.
    Don’t jack with me. Are you in the service?
    No sir. I’m a veteran.
    What branch of the service.
    United States Army.
    Were you in Nam?
    Yessir. Three tours.
    What outfit.
    Twelfth infantry Battalion.
    What were your dates of tour duty…

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 June 2008 @ 11:05 pm

  10. Great to read the whole exact dialogue. There was lots of good country-talk in it, especially when Tommy Lee tells Carla about slaughtering steers and also Llewelyn comes home and Carla asks him where he got that gun. ‘At the gittin’ place’. I hadn’t heard that in 35 years. As a device, the Chuck Norris aspects of Bardem are all right, and there may have been no other way to do it, but his marksmanship was sometimes too perfect, as with the kid on the highway. That made it a bit too fantasy-like for what seems mostly realism style. Wonderfully perfect vignette also with Carla and her mother in the hot car trying to get to the El Paso airport. Very good film, probably not quite great.

    The film version of ‘Nine’, the very good B’way musical of ‘8 1/2’ was originally supposed to star Bardem as Guido, Zeta-Jones as Claudia, and with Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Marion Cotillard in other leading roles. Now I look at the page and it is ‘rumored’ that the leads will be Nicole Kidman and…guess who? Daniel Day Lewis. There’s you’re character. It could be described, this persona, as ‘Oscar-winner.’ That is what it is shaped to get, and that is what it gets. I frankly think he is somewhat stupid. John Huston had a big spread in Ireland too, by the way.

    Agree about Hoffman, and should see ‘Rain Man’. Also like him with McQueen in ‘Papillon’ a lot, ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ less. Great in ‘Midnight Cowboy’, which is as good as ever. He and Lily Tomlin were perfectly hilarious in ‘I Heart Huckabees’, which redeemed his trip to the sewer with Babs in ‘Meet the Fockers’, a total disgrace.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 30 June 2008 @ 7:45 am

  11. Maybe there’s that to Day-Lewis’ schtick: transported from an older context into the 21st century it’s strikingly incongruous.

    But how? To see it that way, you have to see him as capable of really embodying that older context. I see him as trying to become his idols–Brando and DeNiro–which is much less accessible for him than Irons trying to become Olivier (because he can actually do it sometimes, even if it just comes off pretentious at others.) He’s got a big self-machinery going for himself though, and after making sure everybody knew he researched the period for TWBB for 2 years, there was no way with his already big Oscar record that he wouldn’t win. You would think that at least, though, he would have found a way to use his own voice finding an old oilman’s voice, rather than imitating a super-butch actor/director. That kept it in the movie industry, not the oil industry, and I cannot believe he wanted this to be so patently obvious (as of yesterday, I was informed that there had been an enormous amount of commentary about the Huston aping). It therefore ends up being much more ‘insider’ just as a result of this widespread perception alone. Of course, it didn’t bother most people, and he’s fashionable, so this will just be allowed to play out. Olivier said acting was all technique and disliked the Method, but Method plus ‘all technique’ is what Day Lewis is doing, so it doesn’t seem to work in either school. I imagine it’s successful with viewers because he has a produced a ‘powerful aura’ number, and this has been the case with a number of dancers, singers, stage actors, and many screen actors. It doesn’t always mean the same thing, sometimes it’s even religious faith that is used for the con. Spending 2 years to develop a character for so little result reminds me of the minor English royal Princess Michael of Kent, whom I heard lecture a couple of times. She had to give a lecture on the most frivolous subject: Elizabeth, the Winter Queen of Bohemia. This Elizabeth had been an English princess and was queen of Bohemia for one month. Princess Michael–a big gorgeous Austro-Hungarian dominatrix type–rented a barge in order to float whatever river presents the same prospect that Elizabeth saw on her first visit to the land she’d rule for one month. Well now, this so enriched the lecture that the total effect was that we knew she had a whole hell of a lot of money to throw around on further propagating her ‘racy’ woman-of-the-world number. As for learning about this obscure figure, nobody cared.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 30 June 2008 @ 11:02 am

  12. A musical version of 8½? I had no idea. I think there should be musicals based on some of these philosophy books discussed on the blogs; e.g., Apres La Finitude by Meillassoux, set in the arche-fossil before there were humans. Or Being and Time by Heidegger.

    This morning I had coffee with the guy who runs the student film festival here at the local state university. He seemed to think that Day-Lewis’ performance was purposely over-the-top to contrast with his self-presentation as a “plain view” sort of everyman. I suggested maybe he’s a sociopath trying to simulate what a real human being would be like. The problem is that he’d already done this character in Gangs of New York, suggesting that he could play the same character in any movie he gets to star in and be greeted by critics as offering a genius read on the role: 8½, Casablanca, All About Eve,… I think it might be an interesting acting strategy, to create a coherent and dynamic screen persona that has absolutely nothing to do with the role into which it’s plugged, in an attempt to get posthumanistic or some such thing.

    In There Will Be Blood, the self-loathing motif might work if Paul Anderson was making the film from the perspective of the sons: Plainview’s kid and Eli. Then his strategy is for Day-Lewis to overact in such a way that he presents a caricature, an actor playing someone acting the role of Big Daddy without really embodying it. And the audience is expected to see through the charade to the petty little man who lies drunk in his own bowling alley. But then Anderson lets Daniel beat Eli to a pulp, so that doesn’t work either. Maybe sucking him off would have been better if that had been the intent. Paul Dano as Eli was terrible too I thought — his hysteria reminded me of Gene Wilder, which added to my sense that the movie could easily have slipped into self-parody.

    “That kept it in the movie industry, not the oil industry, and I cannot believe he wanted this to be so patently obvious”

    Sometimes I think all movies are really about the movie business. Chinatown really is a great film though — one of my favorites. There’s that scene, reminiscent of Vertigo where in an eerie light Jimmy Stewart first sees Kim Novak dressed up to his specifications and he realizes that, impossibly, she really is the dead girl come back to life… where Jack Nicholson is in bed with Faye Dunawaye, I think at dawn, and in a strange lighting and camera angle she looks Chinese.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 30 June 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  13. where Jack Nicholson is in bed with Faye Dunawaye, I think at dawn, and in a strange lighting and camera angle she looks Chinese.

    Oh yes, and in the Jan. 2001 trip to LA (little-discussed in the book) and also the big one in December, 2001, I went to as many of the locales of ‘Chinatown’ as I could. Lake Hollywood, the reservoir, is a totally artificial lake, but you wouldn’t know it because beautiful beyond imagining and carefully fenced so there is no dirtying up the water as all our Central Park ponds and lakes are. It’s right next to Griffith Park. I also went to the LA Chinatown and talked to a wonderful Chinese couple at the CBS Restaurant and walked down Alameida Street. The next day was the break in the trip’s idyll, although it was rich. It was when I tried to get to Point Fermin (seen briefly, that’s the ocean scene where you see Nicholson about midway through), but bus drivers would not stop and I talked to a Mexican/Polish woman on a bus bench in San Pedro with a ‘Hotel California’ in the distance. This is one of the rare examples of when my determination to reach something was thwarted and I reacted in a childish tantrum, although nobody was victim but me: I then was on a bus driven by a drunk driver approaching Compton and it took me 5 hours to get back to Hollywood. I seem to be re-creating the rage today, angry at myself about something, having repeated the same mistake twice in 4 days; and have all the superficial characteristics that traxus has outlined in his dandy portrait post. And yet I can see that I now know how to switch this right off. And so it was up at the corrupt waterworks themselves, which continue up to Lake Hollywood, where you see Jack and Huston I believe at first and then in the fencing around there Polanski cuts Jack’s nose. Those aspects of the trip were written in the unpublished version ‘Pleasure Discharge in Lomita’ that I refer to in the book. I had forgotten how overly fugue-up my head was after 9/11, and how ridiculous the number of dimension in that December, 2001, trip. In that there was a whole realm that I didn’t even ultimately include.

    I like your further thoughts on Day-Lewis, and now I see that there would have been no possibility of the ‘sucking off’, because that would have gone against the character as presented, who is devoid of all sensuality–he only talks about women, you never see them. And that really may be why he won’t even go skinny-dipping with his fake brother. The boy is an orphan. I think this sort of extreme artifice which has no elegance and no real meaning is the coarse thing Anderson and Day Lewis are both attracted to. Day Lewis wants really to be an American, and he is not able to carry it off.

    “suggesting that he could play the same character in any movie he gets to star in and be greeted by critics as offering a genius read on the role: 8½, Casablanca, All About Eve, ”

    Yes, that is how he’s selling it, and yet it seems possible he really is becoming the screen Daniel Plainview. Now what you say about ‘the audience being able to see through’ to these various things is not impossible, but IMO is asking too much for it to still be anything at all subtle. It is more like the easy relief people who had trouble with the high modernist composers like Boulez and Stockhausen, or even Elliott Carter, Britten or Tippett (too elitist: read, too complex and demanding) when they found their saviour in Philip Glass, who himself admitted to understanding nothing of what Nadia Boulanger had been saying. That’s because he wasn’t essentially like her, and she would have probably been cruel to him, finding him sleazy and whiny. I was like her, although another kind of pain in the ass, and she was a huge power in my life.

    It IS an interesting posthumanistic acting strategy, and it’s extraordinary that he has been so successful at it. But still–‘Sometimes I think all movies are really about the movie business’–even if so, Day Lewis STILL, no matter what, cannot possibly have wanted to be so easily and quickly identified by so many (which I find out in 2 days after having done it myself without any idea people had been going on about this) as imitating very obviously a big Hollywood Industry Man. He definitely wanted, no matter how vain, to be seen as having captured the Old Individualistic Oil Entrepreneur. If Anderson and Day Lewis had wanted it to be made as an insider Hollywood thing, such as the aspects of the Lynch films that refer to specific places in their titles and that most people wouldn’t know about (the various towns of the Inland Empire region in particular, making a big deal about Pomona for the narrative of another prostitute story; more people know about Mulholland Drive’s reality, but they don’t know about it in the all-pervasive way they know about Hollywood Blvd. (Mulholland Drive was not at all about Mulholland Drive, although it was about Hollywood), which he shoves up everybody’s asses in Inland Empire, making it the location to tell the Pomana tale), they yes–they would have wanted the ‘John Huston’ to be obvious. But Anderson at least is not to that denouement in his filmmaking that Lynch is in ‘Inland Empire.’ Anderson is simply gross, expects people to find this grossness (as the rubber ducks plague in Magnolia) riveting and compelling, and must be startled that they don’t. Day Lewis was already a huge power as an actor, and it had to be his secret sharing of some of Anderson’s taste that would make him think this was somehow his way of becoming American. And all he does is to suggest a very specific Hollywood Man. No matter how I keep harping on Jeremy Irons, it is still true that in things like ‘Betrayal’ and ‘Reveral of Fortune’, he has gone well beyond his imitation of Laurence Olivier, which, if one could do it, would be natural for a gifted young actor to do. In those films, you don’t think about Olivier any more, and it was only in watching ‘Rebecca’ last week that I made the connection even now. In fact, after a point he is no longer imitating Olivier. But Irons accepts that he’s English. I’m sure that Day Lewis thinks what he is doing is very, very serious, but he still can’t have thought ‘Oh, how cute, everybody’s onto my Corrupt Modern Britain Number! Here I am fooling the whole world that 2 years of studying how to be American Oil Sadist would need to be noted so that the Academy wouldn’t dwell on the fact that I don’t act the character. I’ve become Plainview–which surely means I can now devour everything in sight, and next time skip the movie, just go ahead and get a real government contract in Iraq. Fuck Hollywood. Yo, baby. Halliburton, here I come! It’ll be just like when Barbra Streisand announced in TV GUIDE in the mid 90s: ‘What’s out: More live concerts. What’s in: Day trading.’ Fuckin’ A, Man! Be President maybe.”

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 30 June 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  14. The boy is an orphan. I think this sort of extreme artifice which has no elegance and no real meaning is the coarse thing Anderson and Day Lewis are both attracted to. Day Lewis wants really to be an American, and he is not able to carry it off.

    God you’re such an airy queen don’t you realize that as soon as you formulated this you implicitly acknowledged that the ”vacuity” of his performance impacted on you, or you wouldn’t be hatin’ it as much as you do. You always get entangled in these senile dialectic loops, all in order to convince us that we should go back to the 1940s or something. it’s just STUPID and below your INTELLIGENCE.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 30 June 2008 @ 6:01 pm

  15. “Those aspects of the trip were written in the unpublished version ‘Pleasure Discharge in Lomita”

    Why wasn’t this part included in the book — it didn’t hold together as well as the rest, added to much length?

    My images of LA are very spotty, having been there I think 3 or 4 times but never for more than a couple days. Certain images remain: a rock concert in Anaheim, driving through the spectacular Topanga Canyon, a business meeting in Pasadena, frantically driving through the wasteland near LAX trying to figure out where the rental car return place was, walking along Rodeo Drive at dusk, driving onto Malibu Beach where a huge grey whale had beached itself and died just a few feet offshore…

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 30 June 2008 @ 9:17 pm

  16. “And you can tell the hick that I am unofficially keeping the post open for her ”

    Don’t hold your breath, slob.

    John, I think this kind of thing probably , once started, will always be in the new performances. What it smacks of is some way of making it hyper, even uber. It is not enough for it to be the best professional job, it has to go into an almost mystical area where there is aura production. But there had to have been a choice whether to be an actor or a performance artist. It’s much more the image of the actor than what he’s acting. What he IS is a powerhouse of some sort, so that is what sells it even when it’s inaccurate and the craft has proved to have missed its mark–and he has done this by becoming a performance artist (at least here; one doesn’t know for sure he won’t betray for his own ambition exactly what he’s demanding be worshipped precisely now, while it’s selling). Which mark it had to miss, if so many nuances are laid on thick in myriad colours on top of something monochromatic–and in so obviously choosing John Huston, one finds he was never interested in the character, although he thought he was. But the only really definitely important point is, I think, that he cannot have been happy that everyone identified the ‘John Huston’ so easily. And even if they praised him in every possible way, even if they praised the ‘John Huston’, he cannot have thought that was a good omen. Or he will get around to not thinking it was. He must know this is an indication of failure that he is seen to be playing John Huston playing a Corrupt Oil Man. He won’t be able to eat the scenery in ‘Nine’, and will have to be a part of an ensemble, which he successfully ignores in this role, while pretending that the character of Plainview is interesting (it’s not.) Depp also recently did a big B’way musical adaptation. These are almost always rather poor products, I can think of only 3 or 4 that are succesfully translated from stage to screen, and most critics think the best are those like ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and ‘The Band Wagon’ that were made directly for the screen. I haven’t personally ever found Day Lewis very arresting, even in the twitty roles he’s more suited to, but he definitely has produced a power-image that is considered blue ribbon. I was very surprised it was so dreadful; I was even surprised that it was bad at all. In ‘Nine’ he can easily fail and treat it as a diversion or lark, and the critics can trash him and it won’t matter, that will be part of the whole machinery. I would imagine with throwing in all these big names they won’t be able to control it, and it will probably end being like those clubbish remakes of ‘Ocean’s 11’. I wouldn’t see it if Kidman is in it anyway, and certainly not if Day Lewis also is, and didn’t bother with Sweeney Todd; but whatever he does, it’s pretty clear he’ll try to embody something, but won’t be able to, as here. He’ll think he can both embody the character from within and remain detached from it as he’s done. He may not even have known how severely he really was detached to it until he heard all those titterings about ‘John Huston’. And, of course, the character, so swaggering and so confident at annihilating anything in his way, might even be a virgin. It’s clear when he talks about the Peachtree Dance that he has never been a womanizer.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 30 June 2008 @ 9:17 pm

  17. Why wasn’t this part included in the book — it didn’t hold together as well as the rest, added to much length?

    It was re-written as the ‘that day’ section, distilled as it were. The other could be said to have been an earlier draft.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 30 June 2008 @ 9:18 pm

  18. “But there had to have been a choice whether to be an actor or a performance artist. It’s much more the image of the actor than what he’s acting.”

    Yes that’s very good. In viewing the movie I felt that his performance was constructed consciously as homage taken to megalomaniacal lengths, transforming what’s essentially a shallow melodrama into near-parody. He kept rigid hold of that compulsive severity of visage, the glassy-eyed glare, the rock chin, the brutality, set against the petty bullshit motivations assigned to his character by the script. The whole thing seemed incongruous, and I felt very distant from it all. Now we’re supposed ultimately to see Plainview as a hollow man, a sociopath maybe, but here again I think he’s been failed by the script. His early kindness and loyalty to the boy seem hardly justified by his exploitation of his family-man image to get deals done with the rubes. After all, the big oil conglomerates were able to do deals in those same towns. I didn’t even understand that the kid who tipped off Plainview to the oil under his farm wasn’t Eli but Eli’s brother — that seemed like a useless plot element altogether. The cinematography was fine, but I think the story and direction were worse than Day-Lewis’ bravura presence.

    “even if they praised the ‘John Huston’, he cannot have thought that was a good omen.”

    Will he now feel obliged to make a comedy, like DeNiro trying to demonstrate that he’s not always such a Gloomy Gus? Or does he end up like DeNiro as a caricature of this same role from now on, where he just asssumes the mask and reads the lines and cashes his check? Ah yes, Nine, that’s the strategy for lightening himself up. Can he sing I wonder?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 30 June 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  19. Nine, that’s the strategy for lightening himself up. Can he sing I wonder?

    That never stops them from casting non-singers and non-dancers. Neither Depp nor Bonham Carter could sing, and, although I can’t stand ‘Sweeney Todd’, it’s hugely popular and considered Sondheim’s masterpiece. But you are supposed to sympathize with a wrongly condemned man even when he gets revenge by cutting people’s throats and turning the bodies into meat pies; and this Demon Barber of Fleet Street’s accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, originated by Angela Lansbury, is shown with her ‘sweet side’ singing a song called ‘Nothing’s Gonna Harm You, Long as I’m Around…’ and the patrons of the Meat Pie restaurants are self-satisfied Manhattan Foodie Types, who sing ‘God, that’s Good’ one of the most sleazy lyrics I’ve ever heard. The sympathy asked for is akin to that you’re expected to produce for ‘Brandon Teena’ in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, because she ‘has problems, NEVERMIND that she is fucking the girls with dildoes! And, come to think of it, Mrs. Lovett’s song to the innocent boy is much like Plainview’s petting of his ‘son’, which, as the film progresses, loses all its quality of seeming tenderness. This ruining of a previous emotion seems to be one of Anderson’s specialities: The rubber duck typhoon cancels out everything, so that the only really outstanding thing I remember is the junkie girl talking to Woody Harrelson, and agreeing to tell him a story if he promises never to try to see her again. This was an effective moment, because she strains to fit it in until she can get out of there and start snorting coke again.

    “Nine”, on the other hand, is one of rare really good musical shows to appear in the last 35 years–beautiful score by Maury Yeston and originally had wonderful performances by Raul Julia, Liliane Montevecchi in the role Marion Cotillard will do, singing the rousing and delicious ‘Folies Bergere’ (Montevecchi had been a real Folies Bergere girl), and especially the great New York cabaret singer Karen Akers as Luisa. I SWEAR Jack and I are going to the Algonquin this year to see her! She is the handsomest, coolest, most self-possessed artist you can imagine. It’s, of course, nearly unimaginable that a musical version of ‘8 1/2’ would have been good, because the batting average is sub-zero for this kind of thing. But it is. Since he’s going to play a Fellini ‘hero’, he may try to make it just as gaudy as Plainview, but without as much of the hard work, since ‘frivolous’ to him. He’d actually be good in ‘My Fair Lady’, but wouldn’t want to do that unless he has an ‘intense-artist epiphany’, which can thrill the royal-watcher type of fan base he’s got. Once again, Irons rears his head: He’s be PERFECT as Higgins and wouldn’t put the slightest bit of effort into it.

    The way the point system in films works, Day Lewis is so powerful that he would have had a great deal of say over Plainview’s development, and been able to prevail over Anderson in many cases. I imagine Anderson was ‘in awe’ of Day Lewis, and gave him full sway. My guess is that the contributions to this bastard creation of a film are indistinguishable one from the other; as for the story, I’m not willing to read Upton Sinclair, who was definitely the muckraker more than a fiction writer. Well, we’ve explored these possibilities pretty exhaustively. So just to add, nobody could dance among the stars in ‘Chicago’ and the world went wild awarding it. Standards on a basic level have changed. Nicole Kidman is very flat in ‘Moulin Rouge’, I would remember her singing if she could sing. That movie is especially hideous, especially for people who have seen the 50s version with Zsa Zsa this heavenly phantom of a Parisienne in her one good role.

    But one of the best things about this discussion was seeing ‘No Country’ the following day, and the palpable relief I felt immediately. Scott Rudin was involved in both, and is a hugely powerful producer. The producer can have a tremendous say in the story too. The public usually thinks a director is a lot more powerful than he is, because it’s easier to translate that as from authorship of a book. The writers are the least important, this is something you find in the essays not only of Didion and Dunne (who have major Hollywood experience) and in Larry McMurtry’s ‘minor book’ (as he calls it) ‘Film-Flam Man’. McMurtry says that the institution known as The Hollywood Party is rarely something the writer is invited to, that the only sure invitees are the producers, directors, and stars. The second time I heard Didion read she said in a Q & A, ‘screenwriting is not really writing’.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 1 July 2008 @ 8:52 am

  20. Sorry, somehow got John C. Reilly, the detective who falls for the coke prostitute in ‘Magnolia’, mixed up with Woody Harrelson. Probably from being slightly shocked by seeing Harrelson pop up in ‘No Country’. I seem to be good at not reading publicity for things, so that I’ll just hear that there’s brouhaha going on, and not know who’s in something major, and then sometimes just start watching it. I didn’t know who directed TWBB and only knew Tommy Lee was in NCFOM. But I definitely didn’t know Harrelson was in it. He was good, but not really a part of the ‘repertory company’ the way everybody else was–he kept reminding you too much of ‘Natural Born killers’. I thought they could have done better with this casting, even though he was good in his isolated way. Melora Walters was the coke girl in Magnolia, and she was outstanding.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 1 July 2008 @ 9:03 am

  21. Always on the lookout for family viewing options, we secured Moulin Rouge from the library, but after an hour we couldn’t stand any more. The same director had previously done a “modernized” version of Romeo & Juliet, which our daughter’s English teacher had shown the class after they finished reading the play. It too was annoying, with a self-consciously hip, nearly slapstick rendering, like Laugh-In or Hee Haw or something. Our daughter does love the costumes and make-up in all these period pieces, so she gets her money’s worth despite the lamest story, direction and performances.

    I posted recently about “Living in Oblivion,” which like 81/2 is explicitly a movie about movie-making with Steve Buscemi playing the director — pretty good. One of the characters is supposed to be a hot male actor, presumably modeled on Brad Pitt, who commands big Hollywood money but who’s working cheap on this film because the director is an artist. But the character sucks as and actor, and we see him continually tinkering with the camera angles, movements, set layout, etc. because of his “artistic vision” as an actor. Like you said about Day-Lewis as powerhouse.

    If the Coen Brothers had been given Oil! to make a movie out of, it would have been funnier and a lot better. I doubt Daniel would work with them though, since they demand understatement in their actors. But not flat acting, which is what Sophie Coppola got from Kirsten Dunst and that other fool in Marie Antoinette, with the result being total ennui. Agree about Woody: too full of himself in this role. The fit with the ensemble between McCarthy and the Coens is a good one, because McCarthy’s characters are always ordinary plain-spoken people who get caught up in legendary yet meaningless events. The contrast between the narrator’s florid prose and the flat country dialogue in McCarthy’s books is one of the features that makes these books stand out. An exception in the McCarthy cast of characters is the monumental and eloquent Judge in Blood Meridian, a role which could get an Oscar for whoever finagles his way into the part.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 July 2008 @ 9:54 am

  22. s the monumental and eloquent Judge in Blood Meridian, a role which could get an Oscar for whoever finagles his way into the part.

    and this one I’ll try to read, and should have already. I like to imagine him as something like Senator Hollings of North (?) Carolina, who has the truest of the Southern Aristocrat accents (and is what Christopher Reeve needed in ‘The Bostonians’, ending up sounding up more like a small-town car salesman instead). If it’s Texas, though, that won’t probably be exactly the same. Texas has always had the greater dynamism as half-Southern, half-Western, but little of the Deep South ‘finery’. They started ‘movin’ on up’ when Dallas got Nieman’s and began to aspire to being like New York. Which reminds me, one of the most startling images of Wim Wenders’s cinematography in ‘Paris, Texas’, is Houston. I’ve been through it, but it was its usual hot and humid. I think Wenders may insist on perfectly clear weather for some of his shooting. I know I have this fetish myself, although I usually don’t want to photograph it. But driving into Houston never looked better than the way he shot it. What a movie.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 1 July 2008 @ 10:12 am

  23. He poured the tumbler full. Drink up, he said. The world goes on. We have dancing nightly and this night is no exception. The straight and the winding way are one and now that you are here what do the years count since last we two met together? Men’s memories are uncertain and the past that was differs little from the past that was not.

    He took up the tumbler the judge had poured and he drank and set it down again. He looked at the judge. I been everywhere, he said. This is just one more place.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 July 2008 @ 10:55 am

  24. Nice movie poster, Dejan — I thought I’d burned all copies of that publicity photo years ago. Did you ever see No Country or There Will Be Blood? I recall that your hero Shaviro regarded Day Lewis’ performance as masterful. To summarize, I found merit in it, though perhaps if DD-L had restrained his egoism a bit more the movie would have been better. I doubt it, though — the story seemed irretrievably flawed so maybe DD-L decided to make the best of it for his own career advancement. Patrick, of course, regards the performance itself as abominable. Either way we’re in agreement that it’s not a successful film, whereas No Country is very good if not great.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 July 2008 @ 4:52 am

  25. “Nice movie poster, Dejan”

    How totally predictable he’s become in his desperate effort to convert people to cyber-punk communities of cheap warmth, with some insipid coarse-grained popsmith at the helm, and yet who doesn’t respond to any of his entreaties (from this we all learn not to, though, I’ll credit Shaviro with that; k-punk also seems to have ‘nothing further’. Not that either of their ‘film studies’ types of writing was ever of any interest. Traxus’s are better, even though he hasn’t really studied the movie industry much yet. Neither of those boys seem to want to let that bother their endless immersion in film-sensation either, though. At least Arpege really does know the business and story conferences and meetings and funding matters behind all this stuff–not that she’s not ruined in many other ways, of course…)

    ‘bitch still won’t speak to me’.

    Now more than ever, the demented STALKER! One divertissement after another, reduced to putting Anthony in diapers to nobody’s amusement whatever.

    Now that…IT…is out of the way…

    We saw some of ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’ yesterday, and Ms. Leigh’s kittenishness works surprisingly well in this–but Liz Taylor’s imitations of her are probably even better, this is a funny Shaw play, and I didn’t know it–as usual with English things of this type, FULL of queens. It’s interesting how sometimes stage actors really don’t do as well onscreen, and Liz Taylor much too lazy to do stage, except for that one brief stint in The Little Foxes on B’way back in the late 70s or early 80s. But much more of a natural for the screen than Ms. Leigh, who is a Shakespearean actress and really trained. Liz’s irrepressible happiness always shows through her performances, whereas there’s something of Vivien Leigh’s illness that may be apparent much of the time.

    Shit, I have to call up the Parks Department, it turns out that the waterfall Jack painted at Morningside Park may not be primeval after all, but a stream artificially diverted in 1989, for chrissake. We went there and worked on it with the idea that this was a rare primeval occurrence. On the other hand, the stark schist rock down which it flows was never touched: They made this park because at the time it was impossible to flatten out this long sheer drop of a rockface which extened from immediately about Central Park North way up to Jackie Robinson Park (by Sugar Hill, Harlem) and beyond. The rest of Manhattan has been mostly flattened except for minor elevations you can even see in the areas around Rockefeller Center. Edgecombe Avenue is a beautiful crescent around Sugar Hill overlooking the ‘Harlem Valley’ down one section of this schist rock. Morningside is walkable now, although there are still here and there murders. It used to be forbidden even by day, full of thugs and druggies. This is park made famous in the 60s student protests, and one of the few real successes of the student movements: Columbia University tried to appropriate the park, really steal it, and the SDS protests worked in pushing them back. Columbia would have definitely ruined it, and it is much less fussed-with than CP, with wild columbines and naturalized daffodils in apring.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 9:13 am

  26. Ruby Dee still lives in one of the beautiful buildings on Edgecombe, and Ossie Davis, of course, before his death in 2005. It was always the nicest part of Harlem and was one of the few not ruined by the Depression after the 20s Golden Age. Duke Ellington had several residences in the area, including on Edgecombe, and there is a plaque on the one at the top of the street where W.E.B. Dubois lived. There was a movie called ‘Sugar Hill’, I think from the 80s, and it turns out none of it was filmed there, so who needs such shit? ‘Reflections in a Golden Eye’ is set in Georgia, but was filmed in Italy, but you don’t know it, and anyway the movie is not pointedly about a specific location. There are a couple of soul food places I’ve been to up there, and they’re all good. The Lennox Lounge has amazing jazz with a very low cover charge, but there were some murders up by there a few months back. it’s the oldest still extant, and Billie Holliday sang there. Still a good bit of drug business except on the gentrified parts of 125th street. The last of the big Harlem 20s nightspots, Small’s Paradise, closed in 1988. The current Cotton Club is not the original where such legends as Lena Horne and even Josephine Baker got their starts.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 9:34 am

  27. http://www.avclub.com/content/feature/book_vs_film_oil

    Here’s someone’s comparison with the Upton Sinclair book and the film. Anderson considered the book a ‘collaborator’, typical talk.

    Paul Dano plays both Eli and Paul Sunday, and Paul Anderson directs. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview. None of this is probably significant beforehand, but they would surely noticed it in no time. (not significant unless the ‘Paul Sunday’ is an invented character, in which they would have done that on purpose, not for Dano but for Anderson, who is the same kind of dyed-in-the-wool sellout.) Paul, ‘the smart one’ as told to Eli in the bowling scene, would most likely by then be something of Paul Anderson, the ‘smart one’ who is in charge of ‘loosely adapting’ U.Sinclair’s novel, and certainly did so. I can’t imagine he’d even be able to follow a recipe the first time through.

    I might as well link to the much-referenced NYTSundayMagazine carefully-placed long ad for Daniel Day-Lewis’s outerwear (chosen for long-lastingness, well-wornness noted, etc.) and all the rest of his ongoing resume.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/magazine/11daylewis-t2.html?scp=1&sq=daniel+day+lewis&st=nyt

    He would have a screening-process for interviewers much like Tom Cruise’s, although less paranoid and maniacal, so that he would be sure of being able to project a hypnotic and seductive effect. Cruise, more vulgar (and more characterful, of course), has to find interviewers who are not going to be too uncomfortable around his pathology, he probably thinks they are already seduced beforehand if they manage to make their way in. Although this kind of tabloidy journalist (and the NYTSundayMag piece is pure high-toned tabloid) is very tough, or they wouldn’t have had the tenacity with such things as Michael Jackson’s family’s fees for spilling none, or hanging out with Heidi Fleiss like Nick Broomfield did, despite his marshmallow-brain.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 11:19 am

  28. http://loadedquestions.blogspot.com/2008/02/books-turned-into-movies-upton.html

    Here’s one more site, so I found out about the original names: Joe Ross was the oilman, so surely ‘Daniel Plainview’ was a carefully studied made-up name. The preacher was Eli Watkins, but Elis in both book and film had a brother Paul. Day-Lewis does have a strange plainness about him. He’s attractive, but not really glamorous. Or so I’ve always found him. I’d never really thought of him at all till this film, so that I see I was paying no attention to all the last 20 years when he was becoming this huge movie star. I’m not sure why, because I at least was aware of what Russell Crowe and some other big names were doing. Well, that’s enough information out there for us to be sated, at least enough for me. I think I shall go on to other things.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 11:28 am

  29. It’s been a pleasure; I hope the rest of the day goes well. I had a good inspiration on my walk this morning so I’m feeling invigorated. Day-Lewis I think used to aspire to the Olivier or Alec Guinness in his ability to become virtually unrecognizable from one film to the next, so you saw his character rather than himself. He must have decided to go for the full star path now, but he’s had to craft some version of himself that has heft and aura, since I’m not sure he has it himself. That’s fine: many great actors aren’t scintillating personalities, which enables them to occupy another’s skin so readily. So we’ll see if Daniel can stand himself now, though I’m sure the pay is going to get better from now on.

    Ordinarily I’m not prone to reminiscing, but hearing about the old NY neighborhoods I’m thinking about my great-uncle Joe, married to my father’s sister Ethel. Before I was born Joe had been a movie projectionist in NYC. When he retired he and Ethel moved to Hollywood Florida, just up the coast from Miami, and opened the Jo-El Motel. We drove down the Atlantic coast of FL a few years back and tried to find the motel, which had it been in Hollywood CA would have made a great movie set, but there are so many little mom-and-pop places lined up a couple blocks from the beach there’s no way I’d be able to recognize the right one. Joe died probably thirty years ago, Ethel ten. I still own and wear frequently with jeans the belt Ethel made for Joe, some kind of tough woven cordlike fabric that I think will last another hundred years.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 July 2008 @ 11:40 am

  30. ” still own and wear frequently with jeans the belt Ethel made for Joe, some kind of tough woven cordlike fabric that I think will last another hundred years.”

    Aha, just like Daniel’s ‘made to last’ clothes. I wore this winter a tough-looking jacket I bought in the subway over 20 years ago and it still looks sharp. And another I bought at the same time was such good quality there’s been no discernible aging–i bought it at a pimp’s place on the old 42nd Street, called the SuperFly Boutique. No longer there, but they had fine silk shirts, etc.

    Love ‘Jo-El Motel’. That would work well in McCarthy’s Texas, as in ‘Cities of the Plain’, although it was Nabokov in ‘Lolita’ who mastered the art of American kitsch motel ‘n’ grotto names.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 11:49 am

  31. “Morningside is walkable now, although there are still here and there murders. It used to be forbidden even by day, full of thugs and druggies.”

    I think I reminisced about this before, when after quitting college I hitchhiked from Chicago to New York on my way to Europe. I got a ride all the way through PA that dropped me in downtown Manhattan after nightfall. I took a subway out to Harlem, then walked through this park to Columbia, where I was going to stay with an old high school friend (the guy who recently jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, if you were following that post). Anyhow, when I arrived my friend’s dorm he and his pals asked me how I’d found my way there. I told them: “no wonder we don’t get many visitors,” they said, meaning that the visitors don’t survive. I had no idea it was a dangerous place, being a Midwestern rube just beginning his Big Adventure.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 July 2008 @ 11:49 am

  32. Yes, and I believe that is where the gun Kerouac had used was buried, although I get the sequence confused now. I believe I read that in an autobiography of Wm. Burroughs about 10 years ago. I even forget who Kerouac may or may not have shot (maybe it was someone else and he helped try to hide it, there were Ginsberg and all of them), only thing I definitely remember was Burroughs always thought he really did mean to kill his wife with their crazy William Tell game.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 11:53 am

  33. Oops — Ethel was my father’s FATHER’s sister.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 July 2008 @ 11:54 am

  34. Kerouac hung out here in Boulder along with Ginsberg and the other beats, founding the Naropa institute (Buddhist) and the commemorative Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetry or some such thing. Tangier was another hangout especially for Burroughs and the great Paul Bowles, who I guess was somewhere in between Bloomsbury and the beats in age and sensibilities. I didn’t try to find Bowles while I was living in Tangier; he probably wouldn’t have seen me anyway.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 July 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  35. You´re just jealous, hick. While you were working at the CPC you were stealin´ my ideas ALL THE TIME and presenting yourself as an equally inspired comedienne, while in fact you´re just like Arpege – a cranky old bitter Norma Rae Desmond, obsessing over the successes of eras gone by. Your defense of the Halliwud INDUSTRY is just stomach-churning, seeing as to the fact it constitutes one of the reasons why America has fallen so deeply into its own shit. But the real issue here is that periodically you turn evil and you monopolize our friends. I wouldn´t really want to be your friend in reality, because I would never know when you´re going to abandon me.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 2 July 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  36. “impacted on you, ”

    TERRIBLE ENGLISH!

    “I wouldn´t really want to be your friend in reality, because I would never know when you´re going to abandon me.”

    I’d be relieved to hear it if I believed it. You appear to me to capable of more self-abasement per midriff bulge square-inch than anybody I’ve nearly ever met.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  37. Oh how kind and fatherly of you to be giving me sound psychological, and linguistic, advice. Why you´re almost as kind as Sherbert. All that concern for my wellbeing. Why don´t you send me some Prosac?

    The truth is you have no real guts, you´re only brave underneath the Alabama tit, abusing HER FANS, carrying HER SUITCASES, polishing HER DIVA EGO.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 2 July 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  38. “abusing HER FANS, carrying HER SUITCASES, polishing HER DIVA EGO.”

    Do you speak of Shaviro? Will she let you carry her suitcase? Does she let you polish her nerd ego?

    “You´re just jealous, hick”

    Yes, I’m especially jealous of the enormous support THE INCREDIBLE STEVEN SHAVIRO gives your blog. I am sure such ‘good stress’ as the enormous networking circuits he’s offered to you as well as the plethora of emails and blog comments he provides you with are making you think about Prozac. I’m sure you need some kind of medication, as you suffer from many mental illnesses. You may proceed to compare me with Arpege all you want.

    You’re just lucky I’d write there at all. Nobody else will.

    Unless Shaviro or k-punk have been trying to get my ‘job’ at CPC unbeknownst to me. Why, I bet they have.

    Of course, that’s why you worship them, they don’t give a shit about you, and that’s why you’re such a psycho. You have no relationship with either of them at all. But now you can start begging them, because your beggarish behaviour toward me is not paying off at all. I really am not going to fool with you, and you know it. You’re just a disturbed person who needs Arpege to send you a RX.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  39. How do you know what support Shaviro does or doesn´t give me, am I obliged to tell YOU everything, whether I have asked for his support, whether I need his support in the first place, and shortly, where the fuck does this Shaviro-talk come from – I bet it´s coming from the fact that you can´t get over the fact it´s the 21st century now and people no longer buy your Halliwud-and-salon musical code!!!

    NETWORKING? What NETWORK did you provide from me??? All you provided was comic lines, but now you´re even reproaching me for that, you SPITEFUL BITCH.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 2 July 2008 @ 5:55 pm

  40. And you´re lying to yourself, you and Sherbert are the same person, narcissistic daffodils from Woody Allen´s HANNAH AND HER SISTERS lamenting the departure of 1968 together, because that´s the age when you were MUMMIFIED.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 2 July 2008 @ 5:56 pm

  41. “am I obliged to tell YOU everything,”

    Certainly you are not, and I wish you would tell me nothing. Unfortunately, that is not the case. You act like the most appalling masochistic beggar, doing everything to get my attention, all of it in the worst possible faith. I won’t enumerate, because I no longer have any respect for you.

    Be grateful that John and SLP will comment on your blog. I never intend to and you are now so desperate that you secretly think you might get me back, but you can’t stop insulting me. Most people do not respond to insults very positively, I certainly don’t. In any case, even if you got down and licked my sandals and begged for forgiveness, I would not write another comment on your blog. It is not the kind of thing I am interested in on a long-term basis. It is for people with extremely short attention spans and, as well, who are sexual hysterics (which you are.)

    “You can´t get over the fact it´s the 21st century now and people no longer buy your Hollywood-and-salon musical code!!!”

    Oh yes, if that were only a fact…but they are buying it now more than ever before!

    {I rarely correct people’s quotes, but the redneckery and dragqueenery in your bastardization of all words and names is as tacky as the rest of you.)

    Arpege was right about you, you need help. You are obnoxious, socially disgusting, and your idea of being the life of the party (if you ever go to a real one) must surely be to defecate on the host’s rug and say ‘isn’t that interesting? Don’t you love me for it?’

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 8:29 pm

  42. Okay, John–sorry, I shouldn’t read any further entries of his. I usually think I won’t respond, but it’s hard to know how to get him off, and that’s all I’m interested in–so sometimes I think writing something may be more effective. Maybe you can help him, I can’t. But I can keep from mucking up your blog, so I won’t read any further posts he writes here–they’re all totally self-destructive.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 8:35 pm

  43. “but it’s hard to know how to get him off, and that’s all I’m interested in–”

    ‘get him off’ means ‘get him off of me’,’get rid of him’, of course. I suppose he can call it a Freudian slip, but we all know that those are as unreliable as the next dimestore psychology riff at times.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 2 July 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  44. ou act like the most appalling masochistic beggar, doing everything to get my attention, all of it in the worst possible faith. I won’t enumerate, because I no longer have any respect for you.

    That´s just it, evidence for your senile narcissism. You go around accusing me of being blogger-identified and getting lost in cyberfantasies, but you have not for once tried to see the ´´real´´ me, the flesh and blood me. All you see is performance, and characters. So naturally one day Sherbert is a whore from Hell and the next day she´s ´´right´´. In this universe of plastic straw men, there is only black and white. White is when people read your books and suck your cock, and black is when they show even the slightest sign of disagreement, such as my dislike of American high class kitsch.

    You are obnoxious, socially disgusting, and your idea of being the life of the party (if you ever go to a real one) must surely be to defecate on the host’s rug and say ‘isn’t that interesting?

    More miserable quasi-high class playacting, you sound like fucking Jeremy Irons scorning the Serb. The parody, whether obnoxious or not, was successful, witness dr. Fossey’s support and all those blawg clicks. And I say that quite objectively. And the Parody Oscar post got like 30 000 views in a span of a few months. And how dare you even suggest that that vulgar whore from the Parisian gutters could ever even come close to assessing who I am!

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 2 July 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  45. Maybe you can fool Clysmatics, he’s a do-gooder at heart… I’m not! I see through your snobbery, bitch.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 2 July 2008 @ 8:46 pm

  46. Hi gang. Looks like I missed the fireworks, though I doubt I’d have had anything to contribute. Have a good night’s sleep, and hopefully everyone will feel better in the morning.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 July 2008 @ 8:56 pm

  47. “he’s a do-gooder at heart”

    Maybe so, maybe not, but on movie posts why not talk about the movies themselves; let the movies stimulate personal reflections about doing good or bad, into free associations about other movies and movie-related thoughts, no matter how tangential, etc.?

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 3 July 2008 @ 6:00 am

  48. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/washington/30tribal.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp&adxnnlx=1215104414-WD%20bMT13EqTRLjastdnSsw

    This is off-topic, and you probably saw it, but it’s the best report on the failed missions into the tribal areas of Waziristan I’ve seen. Histories not documented of the attempts to get Zawahri at a meeting he was supposed to be attending. Plus the ‘snake oil general’. (maybe not so off-topic; I’m sure Day Lewis would love to study him for 5 years in the field and then produce, direct, star in and Oscar the film). In any case, the interference-runners on the blogs for Bin Laden and company have learned to stay in their fucking place, and their accomplices, who ought to know better, will grow up some day and get their heads out of their asses. so the terrorism experts say we really are at pre-9/11 danger levels. They say not at the toilet blogs, of course, but they are actually hoping for the success of these ‘great revolutionaries for humanity’. In any case, I’ve found it interesting that the Islamophiliac bloggers have finally stopped trying to proselytize their guilt-giving. If they dare to reassert their bullshit, I will just paste this entire article on every one of their sewer-blogs.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 3 July 2008 @ 10:15 am

  49. I previously read the first page of this article but grew annoyed because the writer acted as if the US Army would have just walked into Pakistan if it hadn’t been for Musharraf’s indecisiveness. But of course Pakistan is deeply resentful of American intrusions on their autonomy already, and regarded Musharraf as both a dictatorial tyrant and maybe also a kiss-ass to the Americans. The US forced Musharraf to step down as head of the military, then got him to let Benazir Bhutto come back from exile. The idea was that Benazir and Musharraf would become a political team of convenience. Benazir, a populist favorite, was in the US’s pocket and would have let American troops set up shop in-country. And Musharraf would ride her popularity to continue his rein. But Musharraf didn’t really like Benazir and didn’t protect her from Islamists who regarded her as a sellout to the Americans.

    There was a purported scheme whereby the US would encourage Waziristan, an oil-rich semi-autonomous region, to declare independence from Pakistan and, run by an American puppet, would invite the American army in to rout out the terrorists. I’ll now have to read the rest of the NYTimes article now, to see what’s been happening lately.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 3 July 2008 @ 11:05 am

  50. Day-Lewis is now set to do Guido in ‘Nine’, so it should be as indigestible as possible. The musicals are all much worse, except in the occasional fragment, than even they used to be, because making them star-studded doesn’t work. This one will have Kidman, Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, and Sophia Loren is still listed too. There is not even any pretense that you are seeing anything but this kind of Reality TV of the big names. This one, in particular, sounds like the 1999 Midsummer Night’s Dream with Pfeiffer, Everett, Kline and Flockhart, which I wouldn’t even think of seeing–the play is too divine and there is also a wonderful opera by Benjamin Britten (but which has a countertenor Oberon and therefore never performed, but there’s a beautiful DVD from Glyndebourne), and I sometimes see the NYCBallet version, which is lovely. This sort of cluttering things up into big globs of loud slop started happening a lot in the 90s–I remember an exhibition at the Met of Burne-Jones paintings, whom I thought I loved, until I saw about 150 of them all lined up, and that was it for me and Burne-Jones. ‘Nine’ will therefore be able to be as shitty as ‘Mamma Mia’, because the whole point is to do giant ads for ‘The Sound of Music’, that supreme low in American morals which has corrupted an entire society up unto the present day. Ms. Andrews is the most dreary and depressing actress to ever so deservedly get a B-list career shoved up her ass–and she knows that ‘Mary Poppins’ and ‘The Sound of Music’ never cut the mustard, even though people said they did.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 30 July 2008 @ 10:18 pm

  51. I wonder how many people will see 9 who never have and never will see 81/2? At least everybody knows Abba music so they can all sing along. Updating Shakespeare for contemporary tastes at least lets the audience feign literacy, but straight-ahead theatrical-type movies seem quite old-fashioned in light of today’s CGI pyrotechnics and rapid-cut chopping up of narrative. Patrick did you see the recent movie adaptation of Tristram Shandy? It was entertaining, and it contains a self-referential movie-about-a-movie twist that parallels the book-about-a-book of the novel (which I never finished, finding it tedious despite its historical importance). Both T. Shandy and D. Quixote have this self-referential twist, as did Shakespeare with his play-within=a-play thing, predating PoMoism by about 350 years. Speaking of Mamma Mia, yesterday I heard a radio ad for a musical called something like Jersey Boys, based on the lives and music of the Four Seasons. I’m sure it’s the feel-good event of the decade.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 31 July 2008 @ 4:40 am

  52. Speaking of Mamma Mia, I think Meryl Streep should be taken to the International Tribunal for Musical Crimes Against Humanity, where Patricia di Malizia could sentence her to life imprisonment with correctional musical re-education. This is the kind of a thing that has earned musicals a bad reputation with intellectuals, while musicals (eg Hello, Dolly!) don’t need to be stupid at all.

    Like

    Comment by parody center — 31 July 2008 @ 6:30 am

  53. Yes, I saw the movie, they called it ‘The Cock and Bull Story’, I didn’t care for it. But then–I had read the book, which is one of the most difficult of all to read, and is meant to be as pain-in-the-ass as possible. But it gets really good once you finally shove through. It’s thought to be the first cinematic novel, and I don’t find it nearly is tiresome as Don Quixote, which is mostly episodic, isn’t it? But I’ve never been able to force myself through it. Tristram Shandy is one of the very greatest of English novels though, and this movie should have by all rights enchanted me, since I went way out into the innards of Queens to see it (I go to the other boroughs for movies occasionally, because it is less claustrophobic out there and I am usually more charitable, so since it didn’t work in this case, I really didn’t care for it–all about how Tristram is the one movie you can’t film, and maybe what is most depressing about it is that you see all these hotshit energetic directors and their silly attitudes and you know that a lot of the shooting is really like that, PLUS…pretending that Gillian Anderson is some big star is a bit much…)

    I abhor Meryl Streep, but her idiotic impingement in Mamma Mia is perfectly logical development in her career, after boohooing with the Garrison Keillor hicks in Prairie Home Companion and trying to be Sophisticated Ice Bitch in Devil Wears Prada (Anne Hathaway was even worse somehow–they didn’t even cuss in Prada so they could sell it to the PG people, and Fashion People do nothing BUT cuss–really repulsive, everybody who started the stuff about her being ‘overrated’ about 20 years ago was right, she has never been moving a single time=–and in the clip from Mamma Mia! it is like Ms. Andrews in The Sound of Music combined with the old early 70s ad ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…I’d like to buy the world a Coke to keep it Com-pa-neeeee…co-ca Co-la izzzzz….co-ca co-la izzzz…)It stinks to high heaven.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 7:33 am

  54. The thing about ‘Nine’ that is depressing is that it was one of the only 3 or 4 really good scores written in the last 40 years. Now they’ve clogged it with huge names, and they do sell them this way. ‘Hairspray’ was the best of these blockbusters, but it was not even good either, the score is pedestrian; I admit I only love it for Michelle Pfeiffer’s super-bitch turn in it. She’s set to do something that is really promising: ‘Cheri’, based on the Colette. Rupert Friend will play the spoiled young lover and Kathy Bates will do Madame Peloux. Now, 3 stars is not too much. But fucking up ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’, one of the most charming things ever made, is just not something I care to see, Rupert Everett would no more try do a real Oberon than a hole in the ground. He never wants to do anything but camp it up, and the worst thing I’ve ever seen is ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, where he acts like an idiot the entire time.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 7:42 am

  55. like Jersey Boys, based on the lives and music of the Four Seasons. I’m sure it’s the feel-good event of the decade.

    This I wouldn’t pay to see, but the old Four Seasons songs do still sound really good on the CD. I listened to it sometime last year for the Ballet Board, when I did a huge survey of all the major B’way scores done in the last 35 years, and which I’d mostly not paid attention to: I found 4, and ‘Nine’ was one of them, Cy Coleman wrote 2 of them (‘City of Angels’ and ‘The Life’ about black whores and pimps on 8th Avenue in the 80s) and is now dead. The best was 2001’s ‘Urinetown’, and that’s that totally rare kind of thing that proves that the exception indeed does prove the rule. By the way, ‘The Life’ was totally racist, of course, because we know that black whores and pimps ‘do not have agency’, they are victims of all-white exploitation and all-white A-list casting. If that’s the case, and Arpege claims it is, then why bother trying to liberate them? Won’t they just do imitations of Ms. Scarlett?

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 7:51 am

  56. For me Meryl’s biggest insult was Sophie’s Choice, a novel I cherish, one of the best American novels ever. In the novel, Sophia is described as a stunning Slavic woman, with full cheeks and lips, sort of like Nastassja Kinski. And then Meryl puts a Jewish nose on it and a fake East Euro accent, the very essence of schmieren, and immediately Oscars are dropping from the Heavens. It isn’t even good camp. I intend to correct this historic mistake by casting a really beautiful woman, dr. Fossey, in the same role.

    I have to admit I walked out of Mamma Mia after the first hour, round the time when in a ”slapstick” scene Meryl feel from the ceiling with her legs wide spread. I guess the makers were trying to make the statement that at the age of sixty she is still outrageous. I only went because I felt guilty that you reprimanded me for not appreciating musicals. I thought,I must be being unfair to the bitch. Now you owe me 8 euro. Besides that I had a soft spot for ABBA, whose work is musically speaking acceptable, even innovative, especially on the last VISITORS album (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59hkcS5wr9k) but why on Earth they chose to tarnish their reputation like this is beyond me.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 July 2008 @ 9:35 am

  57. you reprimanded me for not appreciating musicals.

    I am sure I did not do so, because as I mentioned yesterday, there are only a handful of Broadway film adaptations that are really good, even over some 7 or 8 decades: ‘Call Me Madam’, ‘My Fair Lady’, parts of ‘Finian’s Rainbow’, ‘The King and I’, parts of ‘South Pacific’, ‘Girl Crazy’. The better ones I mentioned on the thread yesterday, and a few others are ‘Calamity Jane’, made for film with Doris Day, and ‘State Fair’, the original version is pretty good old-style Americana, and the only one Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote directly for the screen. Also Ms. Streisand’s glossy creation ‘Yentl’ is good, although very corny. There are a few others, but they are mostly horrible, and I wouldn’t watch ABBA even for nothing on the DVD.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 9:49 am

  58. The better ones I mentioned on the thread yesterday=these were the ones made directly for film, not originating as B’way shows, as mentioned ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, ‘The Band Wagon’, several Fred Astaire/Cyd Charisse things, also ‘Slik Stockings’ has some nice numbers. Most are fucked up by the time they reach the screen, as with ‘funny Girl’ or ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.’

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 9:51 am

  59. I bogged down on T. Shandy about 120 pages into it I’d say. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood at the time for all those digressions, and it was due back at the library so I just let it go. Quixote is more episodic, with the strange development of the Don encountering M. de Cervantes in one of his adventures. I liked it. Next on the long fiction list though is my return to Proust, which I was enjoying but wouldn’t let myself become captivated by.

    I too loved those Four Seasons songs, as originally recorded, without some boy band covering them, and I think I’d just as soon not know their life stories.

    Meryl Streep appears in the Deer Hunter and is okay as father-abused, low-intensity object of love triangle between Walken and DeNiro. It turns out that John Cazale, so notably excellent in the Godfather and Dog Day Afternoon and who was Streep’s fiancé, died during the filming of Deer Hunter. So it’s likely that her believably sorrowful performance in the movie drew on her real-life experiences at the time.

    Like

    Comment by ktismatics — 31 July 2008 @ 9:59 am

  60. I quite liked ”Meet me in St. Louis” and most other Vincente Minelli movies I saw. Have you ever seen French and Saunders’s take on ”the wonderful and very proper” Doris Day:

    ”When I was just a little girl
    I made a prayer each night
    Some day a man will come along
    he’ll be my Mr Right

    He may be fair, rich and white,
    so long as he don’t linger
    he’ll sweep this gal right off her feet
    put a ring upon my finger.

    It may be Rock, it may be Cary,
    I really don’t care who I marry
    It may be Frank, or Charles Manson,
    I’d wed a tomato with pants on

    And I’ll support him
    he’ll have affairs but I’ll adore him
    but I won’t care
    cause this woman ain’t a woman she ain’t a woman
    Until she’s a wife.”

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 July 2008 @ 10:04 am

  61. I just bumped into Gawn with the Wind by FS, it’s hilarious

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 July 2008 @ 10:07 am

  62. I’ve overdone it a bit with Ms. Streep. She was expert also in ‘Ironweed’, in that part in which she hallucinates that she has become the singer that she used to be (before becoming drunken and homeless, I don’t know what was in-between). What I can’t stand is all that raving about her ‘wonderful singing’ in ‘Postcards from the Edge’. She is always overdoing, and I recall a Vanity Fair article in which Shirley MacLaine’s daughter was talking about how she wouldn’t dare be so rude as to compare her mother to this genius Ms. Streep. Well, Ms. Maclaine, being a loud-mouthed and vulgar doxy, deserved the rudeness, but she is the good actor in that film, and has some great moments portraying Debbie Reynolds. But all that hype about Streep doing ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is pathetic. I’m also glad Ms. MacLaine’s daughter said this to her, because Ms. MacLaine is quoted as saying ‘I talked to Goldie about it…and she thinks it’s channelling…’ Ms. MacLaine deserves all the abuse she may obtain, and when I was writing about the version of films the other night, the two Annas, and the Love Affair/Affair to Remember, I forgot to mention how really a howler is that ending to ‘Sweet Charity’, the musicalized ‘Nights of Cabiria.’ Ms. MacLaine finally quite smacking gum and acting like a dime-store clerk and tries to walk ‘with new hope back into life’ and is trying to imitate Giulietta Massina, who somehow managed to pull such a corny thing off, but MacLaine has the talent but doesn’t have the innocence for a number like that, and that whole movie, even though some pretty good songs, is tacky and she’s just fucking awful in it. She is going to play Coco Chanel in some TV thing. Katharine Hepburn did a repulsive B’way musical called ‘Coco’ way back in the 70s, and once lectured somebody in the audience who was making noise. She also slapped a maid once for chewing gum, and in Madwoman of Chaillot, a hideous ‘all-star cast’ (maybe the most overdone one I’ve ever seen) is made even worse by Ms. Hepburn in the worst performance I ever saw her do–but it’s worth it, because her two ‘mad sisters’ from other parts of Paris upstage her–Margaret Leighton for one, but then Dame Edith Evans comes in and just demolishes this hag. Nobody could fool with Dame Edith, because she was the actress of the century. And she wasn’t even trying to do this–but Ms. Hepburn gets this hilarious furious look in her eyes and face, because she would have to order Dame Edith to be ‘less talented’ to get what she wanted, and she knows even a bitch like her can’t go that far. But Yul Brynner has a nice turn in it, and everybody and his brother are in it, including Richard Chamberlain, John Gavin, and Charles Boyer. Ms. Hepburn always just loved to boss everybody around.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 10:15 am

  63. That version of ‘Que Sera, Sera’ is little worse than the original, which she sings in the very loud screaming voice she sometimes uses. But her film career was very strange, divided into 2 discrete parts: all light musicals from about 1949 to about 1959, and 3 of these are very good: ‘Love Me or Leave Me’, about the old Ziegfeld singer Ruth Etting (she even does some acting in this one), ‘Calamity Jane’, and ‘Young at Heart’ although this is more Sinatra’s movie–he sings extraordinary versions of ‘Just one of Those Things’ and ‘One for My Baby and One More for the Road’ (this last number is a very poetic moment). Anyway, that was an odd film in that it had some original new songs, as well as these old Porter and Arlen standards. It’s Sinatra’s movie,though, and he never sounds better than in this film. But Doris could sing wonderfully, and is taken seriously by all the old 40s and 50s ladies like Rosemary Clooney. It’s just that it sounds a lot better when she doesn’t belt.

    All the parodies of Day are from the second period, with those dreadful Rock Hudson fluff things. I can’t stand any of those, but Carol Burnett also did a fantastically good skit on Day’s ‘Virginity Movies’.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 10:28 am

  64. I bogged down on T. Shandy about 120 pages into it I’d say.

    It took me 3 1/2 years to read this! I read the entire Proust Recherches in 2 months, which several thousand pages, but it wasn’t irritating with those digressions the way TS is. Once you know this, you can kind of ‘prepare your mind’ beforehand, as I am now doing to go back and finally finish ‘Vanity Fair’. However, I have found that many people stop David Copperfield halfway through, and I did this twice, and will never return to it, as I find it a bore without name.

    Like

    Comment by Patrick J. Mullins — 31 July 2008 @ 10:31 am

  65. But Doris could sing wonderfully, and is taken seriously by all the old 40s and 50s ladies like Rosemary Clooney. It’s just that it sounds a lot better when she doesn’t belt.

    Oh I don’t doubt that, and I think she’s quite pretty, in a cow-like way similar to Kim Novak. (You know, Patricia, there are many cows here in the Netherlands and when I’m bored I come close to them; you need to get close to cows in order to see that they have pretty eyes) There are plentiful tits and ass there, and healthy curvy shapes. But I have her burned in my memory because my mom loves these sappy movies like Pillow Talk and Roman Holiday (I’ll never forgive my mom for constantly forcing me to watch that last one and weeping over the fate of the princess who was locked up – because all the time I knew my mom was talking about herself). As for Rock Hudson, all I can say is hhmmmmmmmm…

    I am sorry I am not prepared to forgive Meryl’s cultural crimes against humanity under no circumstance, and the very concept of Method acting can only be pulled off by a highly handsome and narcissistic personality like Brando because he simply has the balls for it; you have to be a God in order to act like a God. But Streep acts like a Goddess while in reality she’s a JEWISH NERD WYMAN and a bitchy one at that.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 July 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  66. Ironweed was boring and pretentious, and worst of all you couldn’t see Mickey Rourke’s ass, which is stunning.

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 July 2008 @ 12:10 pm

  67. Here’s another gem:

    BIG DADDY: ”I think you need a good ole Southern poppin’ ”

    Like

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 July 2008 @ 12:28 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: