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swanstep (2352)


Paramount remaking Vertigo w/ Robert Downey Jr Tarantino on Hitchcock's collab with Herrmann, Spielberg's with Williams, and so on. OT: Dismal Box Office (in the light of Golden Globes) What do people think of the Criterion-DVD edition of S.o.t.B. (just the film, set aside extras) Semi-OT: TCM Noir Intros and Outros OT: Netflix playlists are getting so specific it's *something* OT: TCM's In memoriam for 2022 Angelo Badalamenti R.I.P. Sight and Sound's Lists of the Greatest Films of all time (2022 edn) Alfred Hitchcock gives 1968 UC Santa Cruz commencement speech View all posts >


Kubrick's 1969 script for Napoleon has floated around on-line since a copy of it was turned up in a Kansas salt-mine (!) where United Artists and MGM kept their archives. See this Hollywood Reporter link for the story about *that*: The following link for the script itself still works: At first glance it's fantastically detailed with immense amounts of narration that's impossible not to hear in the Barry Lyndon voice. Concluding notes from Kubrick report his discoveries about lens made for NASA that he wants to use, and that he would subsequently put to good use on Barry Lyndon. The unavoidable conclusion is that Napoleon was supposed to *look* and *feel* a lot like BL. Back in 2007 the 'Mystery Man' Hollywood screenwriter blog published a series of 10 pretty enthusiastic articles/long blog posts many of which amount to a direct analysis of the script. I was thrilled to discover yesterday that that blog series still stands here: If Spielberg and co. are serious about making a 7-part miniseries then Kubrick's script which is most definitely precisely for a 2.5 hour film *will* have to be greatly expanded. I wonder whether Kubrick left any suggestions about what sorts of longer treatments he might have been attracted to. Kubrick's writing in this period is so icy that some of the obvious ways to expand - e.g., lots more background about characters - might be blocked by the tone of 'abstract historical analysis' he liked. Heh-heh. I've remembered little from seeing The Room long ago and I'm sure that what I *have* remembered is now blurred together with my memories of James Franco's movie *about* The Room, The Performance Artists IIRC. *But* I dare say that you are right that Wiseau's script was kind of bolted together from various noir and thriller tropes and cliches including some notable Hitchcockisms. Wiseau had nothing to say about anything really nor any particular story he wanted to tell, rather he just wanted to 'make a (any) movie' so he made up a fairly generic movie script from, as it were, the spare parts of previous movies. The joke is that a lot of the screenwriting in Hollywood is just as silly and empty and fraudulent as Wiseau's offering, only it's typically more polished and ultimately gets made with lots of FX and huge budgets that Wiseau doesn't have. 4 Months later the BFI has released lots more information about their poll including their full top 250 (or down as far as the hordes of films that got exactly 16 votes and so came in at #243=): They've also released *all* the individual ballots together with any comments voters registered about their choices: For example, I really enjoyed getting to see Prano Bailey-Bond's Ballot and remarks. Bailey-Bond did a pretty interesting artsy horror a few years ago, Censor (2021), and, unsurprisingly her Ballot is full of momentous horrors and semi-horrors that have also been very important for me, from The Fly (1986) to Angst (1983) to Wake In Fright (1971). In her concluding remarks she says, "This is very, very difficult - to boil it down to ten ... In the end I’ve been led by emotion – films that caused mini explosions in my heart or my imagination, films that have in some way left me breathless". Insiders have gone further and compiled all the top 1000 films voted for, i.e., down to the 200 or so films that got exactly 4 votes and so came in at #831=: This spreadsheet includes columns about where each film came in the 2012 and 2002 polls and how many votes it received those times. Insiders have also stitched together a list of all the (21K+) votes received across the whole poll, starting with the 261 votes that Jeanne Dielman (1975) received, and concluding with the 2487 films that received exactly 1 vote and from whom, e.g., Hitchcock's Young and Innocent got one vote from comedy of manners (Last Days of Disco, Metropolitan, Barcelona) director Whit Stilman (Sir, I salute you!): Enjoy. Data analysts start your engines. <blockquote>I didn’t realize that these omissions are blatantly deliberate.</blockquote>God,I hope they're not *all* deliberate (I'd kinda prefer it if my own hypothesis were true that clueless 20-something interns are putting together these montages a lot of the time) - what sort of putrid BS reasoning could be used to exclude Stevens or Dillon or Baker Hall or Warner? I'm starting to think that some big organization like the Actors Guild is going to have to start kicking up a stink if things are going to change with the Oscars In Memoriam. Actors who are now near their peaks in their 30s and 40s, say people at the level of a Jeremy Renner or Christina Ricci or Lisa Kudrow. On reasonable assumptions they won't die for another 40 years and, while they'll do more good work they'll probably never make any more really big splashes in their careers. Avengers and Hurt Locker and Addams Family and Buffalo 66 and Romy and Michele and Opposite of Sex will be long gone by the time they'll be up to be memorialized. They should be very personally interested in the idea that it should be essentially automatic that anyone who ever did *anything* pretty great, made anything notable gets recognized at the big show, and that part of the Academy and the Oscars just is preserving the inheritance and history of Film. People like them and the Actors Guild (and the other guilds) need to start working on mandating that the Oscars show does better than it's currently doing. The current situation is simply unbearable. <blockquote>Streaming is getting to be a real conundrum. Back in the day, I had three networks and four independents for FREE. (But I'll grant you -- with commercials.) Now, if I really want to see a PARTICULAR movie or series...I have to pay for the entire package (a streaming channel) over(HBO Max) and over(Netflix) and over (Amazon Prime) and over (Hulu) and over(Peacock) and over(Apple) again. I guess "smart folk" subscribe, watch the "big movie" and unsubscribe.</blockquote>Agree. Not only is it incredibly expensive to subscribe to all these different streaming services, if you *are* lucky enough to afford it you are still confronted with having to *remember* which of all your services any given program is on. And this whole setup sets one up to feel overloaded as each service frantically tries to pitch you on all its also-ran shows as well as their one or two big hits. With Food inflation in particular being very tough these days, I think a lot of people are looking to streamline their official streaming services right now. It's interesting to compare with how music streaming has evolved. Spotify, Apple Music etc. all stream essentially all the music that's out there to be streamed. They differ a bit over how their interfaces and algorithms work, and also their podcast offerings and maybe a few other special features, but they all do the same basic job. You only *need* a subscription to one. Of course Netflix originally was going to be a universal streamer for film and TV the way Spotify is for Music, but the studios rebeled and started set up their own streaming service, and Netflix itself became the biggest Movie and TV studio. What has yet to be established is whether, having destroyed Netflix's original Spotify-like business model, whether any of the new partial streamers can make money. @Letess. In my view the Academy made a mistake by omitting Fawcett back in 2010. That said, I can imagine them being persuaded to omit by the following sort of reasoning: "Fawcett was mostly a TV (and broader Pop Culture/Poster) star - she didn't do many films and certain no great ones - so the Emmys can remember her." I therefore do regard Fawcett's case as more arguable than Stevens' or Warner's or Dillon's or Sorvino's or.... that have freaked people out this year. That said if *I* was directing the Oscars I'd always err on the side of inclusion and if that means the In Memoriam segment goes for 8-10 minutes rather than 3-4 minutes then so be it. I do think it's proper for stars like Fawcett who were principally stars in another medium (Michael Jackson was around the same time right?) to get just the basic Oscars In Memoriam (i.e., just a photo no clip). <blockquote>I was at a dinner party a couple of nights after the Oscars(aka, last night) and... [o]ne of them said "its a great title!" and it is my belief (from conversations with others as well) that it IS a great title, that people like and remember it for the TITLE alone, just exciting in the concept of life in general and perhaps that will keep the movie memorable.</blockquote> EEAAO *is* zeitgeisty in virtue of its title. One of the biggest pop-cultural hits of the Covid-period was Bo Burnham's Netflix special 'Inside'. The biggest song hit from that was 'Welcome to the Internet': which climaxes with the madness-inducing and -expressing: <blockquote>Could I interest you in everything all of the time? A bit of everything all of the time Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime Anything and everything all of the time Could I interest you in everything all of the time? A little bit of everything all of the time Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime Anything and everything and anything and everything And anything and everything and All of the time</blockquote> EEAAO probably owes Bo Burnham .01 of a point or something. <blockquote>So that's three notable films right there for Stella Stevens.</blockquote>Absolutely, there's no question that all of the big omissions were *well* over whatever (everybody should be able to agree) is the cut-off for appearance in the main montage. I say err on the side of inclusiveness: if you had a memorable scene in even one memorable film you should be in. So, for example, I moaned when Maxine Cooper didn't make the cut when she died back in 2009. Who's Maxine Cooper you say? Well, she had small roles in a bunch of Aldrich films in the '50s then mostly did TV. But one of her roles for Aldrich is as Mike Hammer's secretary Velma in Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and she ends up on the Malibu beach with Mike (Ralph Meeker) at the end of the film as the world ends - one of the greatest scenes and movie endings in Movie History. That scene went immediately into the great movie unconscious and became part of the basic scaffolding of movies ever after. And Maxine Cooper is in that great unconscious as the stunned brunette as The Bomb goes off on the beach. Put her in the damn montage with a few seconds from her big scene! You're welcome Academy. And for a +ve example, in 2021 Linda Manz made the Oscars In Memoriam segment. Who's Linda Manz you say? She was the young girl/narrator in Malick's masterpiece, Days of Heaven (1978). She was also in a cult Dennis Hopper film Out of the Blue (1980) but it's the DOH part that makes her immortal. Good call Academy. One memorable role in a good film let alone a great one should be sufficient. Anyhow, 99.9% of actors in the biz would kill to have the career of a Stella Stevens or (twice Oscar nom'd for Close Enc and Absence of Malice) Melinda Dillon (also important in Bound for Glory) or Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas, Romeo+Juliet) or David freaking Warner (Straw Dogs, lead in Morgan! - a big it-film that got two osc noms as part of 1966's beloved Blow Up/Puzzle-film wave-, The Omen, Cable Hogue, Time After Time, Time Bandits, Tron, Titanic) or... I mean if David Warner can't get in then I've got bad news for most of the people who were sitting in the audience at the Kodak Theater last weekend. On the general theme of "important figures announcing new projects", Spielberg announced a few weeks ago that he was developing for HBO a 7 episode miniseries about Napoleon, The series has the cooperation of the Kubrick estate and will be based on the script and years of pre-production and research that Kubrick carried out on in the 1960s and 1970s for a Napoleon film (some of which material was recycled by Kubrick into Barry Lyndon). Here's's coverage of the story: Incredibly, Ridley Scott has been shooting a Napoleon epic (w/ Joaquin Phoenix as his Napoleon) for the last year or so for AppleTV+: So after no Napoleon projects for 40+ years (after the big bombs that led Kubrick to cancel his own Napoleon) we've got two coming along almost at once including a version of Kubrick's! Bizarre, but thrilling. <blockquote>PS. How about Cate Blanchett for Pauline Kael?</blockquote>Kael was tiny (5' 0") so there's that. I'd pick Jennifer Jason Leigh (Daisy Domergue) out of QT's regulars to play her or someone like her. Kael fancied herself as a 1940s bad-ass Barbara Stanwyck babe and *we know* JJL can do that and has walked in those shoes. That said, this would likely be a career-topping or career-defining role for whoever gets it, so absolutely *everyone* who fits the role's basic parameters will audition or otherwise try to get this role. I wonder whether QT will do *a lot* of genre-mixing, thereby taking things well out of any 'Kael biopic' territory. QT has a soft-spot for things like Dennis Christopher's infamous flop after he broke out in Breaking Away, Fade to Black, and for the sleaziness of late '70s, early '80s movies generally. E.g., maybe The Kael-figure (uber-critic called to Hollywood to help make better movies) in QT's story sleazes it up in LA and becomes a serial killer while she's there. View all replies >