…This sounds like a parody of media fawning over Obama….but then so does so much of the Obama-loving media. But the line about grabbing on to Obama’s pant leg is just priceless:
“I’m more optimistic than when we started,” declared Obama, and it was then that you fully realized that he was transitioning from commander in chief to therapist in chief.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve you. … I won’t stop,” he assured us, invoking the slogan that accompanied his ascendancy to the presidency: “Yes we can.” Except this time, he added, “Yes we did.” Read the rest of this entry »
This should be the Democratic Party slogan. https://t.co/QW4JvZiLi0
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 2, 2015
A few nights ago, I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds‘, for the first time in decades. I wonder why? I’ve seen restored versions of Psycho, Read Window, and Vertigo multiple times, but for some reason I’d missed re-watching this one. It was a pleasure to see again. And to see Tippi Hedren with fresh eyes.
And I’m not the first to notice it. A brief Google search shows seekers asking if Tippi and Paris are related. (they are not) In the course of this, I also rediscovered that Tippi Hedren is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith. Born in 1957, Melanie Griffith recalls visiting the set during the filming of The Birds, in 1962, when she was a little girl.
I was also pleased to find that the earthy and vivacious brunette female co-star is Suzanne Pleshette, another detail I’d forgotten. She has features similar to Elizabeth Taylor, or a young Stockard Channing.
Notice, in the photo below, how the 33 year-old Hedren has similar features, or facial expression, to the 34-year old Paris Hilton. See a similarity? I think it’s there.
Since we all know the story, and suspense isn’t a factor, I was free to pay closer attention to Tippi Hedren‘s performance, and to the interpersonal drama between the main characters, played by Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, and Suzanne Pleshette.
What a strange, dark, pensive, Freudian, romantic-erotic narrative! Where much is left unsaid, but implied. Jealousy, loneliness, abandonment, flirtation, hostility, attraction, are all explored, but not resolved. I’ve always thought of Vertigo as being the most neurotic, sexually obsessed, repressed, fixated story in Hitchock’s canon, but I had underestimated the peculiar storyline of The Birds. Before the actual birds take over the story, there’s a lot of familial and romantic turbulence. And the cast is wonderful.
Tippi Hedren looks so elegant, mischievous, and glamorous, one can see why Hitchcock selected the untrained model, fixated on her, and elevated her to movie star. Much is written about Hitchock’s abusive, controlling personality, and troubles with female leads, no need to cover that here, Hedren was no exception. Leaving all that aside, it was a pleasure to simply marvel at how lovingly photographed the neophyte actress is, and how well-crafted the film is. The moody San Francisco and northern California seaside locations, the special effects, the sound design (no music, only bird sounds make up the film’s score) the cinematography…besides being one of the most famous horror movies of all time, it’s also a terrific early 1960s time-capsule. Next time you watch it? Forget about the birds, and follow the other elements of the story. Perhaps you’ll find it as rewarding as I did.
Jeremy Page and Esther Fung The slopes of Mount Rainier, an active volcano overlooking Seattle, will witness an unusual China-U.S. joint venture this week, just before President Xi Jinping begins a state visit to the U.S. in the West Coast city.
Wang Shi, one of China’s most successful property tycoons, will lead a group of Chinese chief executives on an expedition up the mountain with Jim Whittaker, who became the first American to summit Mount Everest in 1963.
The event on Monday is to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Peace Climb in which Mr. Whittaker climbed Everest again with Soviet and Chinese mountaineers in a bid to promote world peace.
Participants on Monday are hoping to send a similar message of peace at a time of mounting China-U.S. tensions, and to promote awareness of climate change — one area where Beijing and Washington are trying to cooperate.
“Today the same message still bears significance,” said 64-year-old Mr. Wang, Chairman of China Vanke Co., the world’s largest residential property developer by revenue. “Getting to the summit is not the main purpose of the climb.”
The event also demonstrates the growing interest in outdoor pursuits, especially among
wealthier Chinese, who are now venturing well beyond traditional tourist destinations.
Mr. Wang is one of China’s highest profile examples.
“In the past two years I have been making trips between China and Seattle and other U.S. cities,” said Mr. Wang. “I’ve also become quite familiar with the mountaineering scene in Seattle.”
Mt. Rainier, whose summit is at 14,410 feet (4392 meters) above sea level, is an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., according to the U.S. National Park Service.
Among the Chinese participants on Monday are members of the “Deep Dive” initiative which is run by Mr. Wang and aims to teach Chinese executives about foreign culture and business etiquette.
Mr. Whittaker said he was introduced to Mr. Wang through Washington State Governor Jay Inslee about three months ago.
Mr. Wang and the other Chinese participants were providing most of the funding of around $60,000 for the event, Mr. Whittaker said. Read the rest of this entry »
With tiny, little billboards, of course.
Daniel Roberts writes: Marvel’s big summer superhero blockbuster of the moment is “Ant-Man,” starring Paul Rudd, and the studio is working to get billboards for the movie placed in a Canadian town—of six residents.
“It’s a perfect match, in our minds. We’ve had this interesting campaign where we have these mini-sized billboards… It crossed our minds that wouldn’t it be fantastic to have the smallest billboard in Canada in the smallest town, which is Tilt Cove.”
— Disney marketing exec Greg Mason
As part of Marvel Canada’s marketing strategy for the film, it has placed more than 2,500 miniature billboards (a nod to the size of the character, who can shrink to an ant’s level) all over the country so far. They range in size, and the smallest of them is just one-foot tall.
— Marvel Canada (@MarvelEntCA) July 14, 2015
“It’s a perfect match, in our minds,” Disney marketing exec Greg Mason told CBC in an on-air interview. Read the rest of this entry »
— Financial Times (@FT) February 14, 2015
SPECTRE will be released on November 6, 2015
From Deadline Hollywood:
Daniel Craig is back as superspy James Bond in Spectre with the first pic of 007i n action just released along with early behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot in Austria. In the video above, associate producer Craig Wilson says they’re filming one of the major action sequences in the Austrian Alps which will be “a jewel in the crown, so to speak” for the Sam Mendes-directed 24th Bond movie.
China’s Answer to Hollywood’s ‘Razzies’
Lilian Lin reports: As China’s film industry has grown, so too has the number of lemons it’s produced.
According to the organizers of this year’s Golden Broom Awards – which asks the public to choose the country’s worst film – this year’s contest is taking place amid “the most shameless, uncreative, dreadful” time in China’s film history.
“Many film critics in this country are bribed by film producers and genuine voice is scarce. There should be an award to represent the audience’s voice.”
“Some online users are complaining to me that they can hardly choose the worst because all of the selected are terrible,” said Cheng Qingsong, who first launched the awards, China’s answer to Hollywood’s Razzies, six years ago. Online voting for the country’s worst movie of the year recently began, with the winner to be announced in the middle of next month.
Last year, the contest attracted more than a million votes, up from merely several thousand in 2009.
“The past few years have witnessed the largest number of lousy films in China’s history that care the least about originality.”
China’s film market has mushroomed, with box-office receipts rising 36% last year to a record 29.6 billion yuan ($4.77 billion), according to the country’s film regulator. Mr. Cheng, a screenwriter and editor-in-chief of an independent film magazine, said he hoped the awards could help spur better movies in the future. “Many film critics in this country are bribed by film producers and genuine voice is scarce,” he said. “There should be an award to represent the audience’s voice.”
“The past few years have witnessed the largest number of lousy films in China’s history that care the least about originality,” he said, criticizing the country’s films as shallow, frequently “uncreative remakes of Hong Kong films.” Read the rest of this entry »
HBO Series Goes There
…Lena Dunham, creator and writer of the series, said that she’s proud of Allison for being a “good sport,” and offered some insight as to how personal something like the aforementioned sex act actually is.
“Let me tell you this, when someone puts their face in your butt, whether there’s a barrier or not, their face is still in your butt. And she handled that with aplomb.”
— Lena Dunham
“Maybe that’s one of the cliffs or peaks that we need to begin to incorporate into our societal representation of this revolution, specifically in television.”
— Alex Karpovsky
Zosia Mamet, who plays Shoshanna Shapiro on the show, said she understands that Dunham and the other writers wouldn’t incorporate anything that’s “uncomfortable or scary” into the script, unless it served a purpose….
“Maybe that’s one of the cliffs or peaks that we need to begin to incorporate into our societal representation of this revolution, specifically in television. This could be the year of the anus,” he said….(read more)
Marlon Brando on the set of Apocalypse Now, 1976 pic.twitter.com/Ywou7gdLOY
— History In Pictures (@HistoryInPics) September 5, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of the Oscar winner online, a publicist for the actress said.
Various reports say nearly 60 photos of Lawrence in various stages of undress circulated after a hacker posted them to 4chan, the Internet’s screaming id, alongside similarly racy leaked photos of Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, and allegedly many others—all of them women.
Winstead confirmed in dispiriting tweets that her pics were real, but Justice and Grande have denied it. (TMZ quotes a Grande tweet, “My petite ass is much cuter than that,” though it’s not on her Twitter page anymore.)
Meanwhile, the presumed stockpile of penis photos taken by Hollywood actors remains curiously untouched.
Intimate images of the actress, who stars in “The Hunger Games” film franchise and won an Academy Award for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook,” began appearing online on Sunday. Naked images purporting to be of other female stars were also posted, although the authenticity of many of the images could not be confirmed. The source of the leak was unclear.
“Once images and other data are uploaded to the cloud, it becomes much more difficult to control who has access to it, even if we think it is private.”
— Security researcher Ken Westin
“This is a flagrant violation of privacy,” Lawrence’s publicist Liz Mahoney wrote in a statement. “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.”
Mahoney declined to provide further details, including which authorities were contacted. Lawrence, 24, is a three-time Oscar nominee. Read the rest of this entry »
RIP James Garner 1928-2014
Publicity still, circa 1965
via Roger Wilkerson
Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P.
Matthew Hennessey writes: Why is that when a talented and beloved actor dies, the tributes that pour forth always seem to make qualifying references to his or her “generation”? When news raced around the Internet yesterday that Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman had died of an apparent heroin-overdose at the age of 46, there it was again: He was one of the best actors . . . of his generation. It’s hardly fair to the artist—and nearly everyone seems to agree that Hoffman was an artist of rare ability—to imply that he was only one of the better ones to pop up in the last ten or 15 years. Hoffman was much better than that.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was orders of magnitude more talented than the other actors of his generation, who, like the well-known actors of most generations, tend to opt for the obvious over the obscure and a big paycheck over a big challenge. Most actors desire more than anything the respect that comes from making brave choices. But few have the horse sense to distinguish between a brave choice and a boring one. Fewer still have the commitment necessary to deliver on those choices. And almost none have the chops to pull off what Hoffman did in his too-short career. It’s no exaggeration to say that he was one of the greatest film actors of the last 50 years or more.
Just kidding. Of course the response was characteristically violent, racist, hateful, and swift…
Actress Stacey Dash, who has starred in everything from the 90′s hit Clueless to CSI, prompted a firestorm on Twitter after publicly endorsing Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and then standing by her opinion.
“Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future. @mittromney @teamromney #mittromney #VOTE #voteromney,” Dash wrote on her official Twitter page, accompanied by a photo of herself with an American flag.
Not long after, presumed Obama supporters began insulting Dash for her opinion, saying she isn’t “black” enough, several even asking if the actress would just “kill herself.”
- Stacey Dash endorses Romney: Which other black celebs are down with the GOP? (thegrio.com)
- Civility alert: Obama supporters urge Stacey Dash to kill herself (twitchy.com)
- Citizens speak out in support of actress Stacey Dash (twitchy.com)
- Actress Stacey Dash announces support for Romney; Disgruntled Dems attack (twitchy.com)
- Clueless: Stacey Dash Says Money Mitt Is ‘The Only Choice’ For President (bossip.com)
- Stacey Dash Endorses Romney (bookerrising.net)
- Stacey Dash Escapes the Plantation (moonbattery.com)
- Stacey Dash For Mitt Romney: “He’s The Only Choice For Your Future” (preprod.cbslocal.com)
- Citizens speak out in support of actress Stacey Dash (youviewedblog.wordpress.com)
- Stacey Dash Is A Solider For Mitt Romney (soletschat.wordpress.com)