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Topics/Questions/Exercises Of The Week—28 August 2009

We Had It All: Someone saying she is Lauren Bacall has a Twitter account, which she is using for a number of interesting purposes, some of which the clientele and staff of The Auteurs should heartily approve: she proselytizes for Murnau's Nosferatu, for instance. At Spout, girl detective Karina Longworth is on the case, or at least compiling some of the juicier bits. The Auteurs has learned that, contra the tweet that has Bacall in Los Angeles taking a meeting with Martin Scorsese, Mr. Scorsese has not himself visited the City of Angels of late. So there's a little cold water, alas.

God Told Him To: Applying a line of argumentation that might even give Armond White pause, Jeffrey Wells tries to close the book on the Hollywood Elsewhere Inglourious Basterds debate with a lengthy "because I said so." Thusly: "I know exactly what I'm talking about. I know exactly what Inglorious Basterds is. It is third-rate, scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel Tarantino. And just because the HE hoi polloi are calling it cool and telling their friends to go see it doesn't invalidate my view. I haven't been a movie maniac all my life and a regular column writer since 1994 for nothing. I know what goes. I mean, I know."

I'd like someone to make feel-good movie sometime about a high-school debate team, wherein the underdogs win because their usually inept "star" (played by, I imagine, Zac Efron) concludes his impassioned oratory by announcing, with painful sincerity, "I know what goes. I mean, I KNOW!!!" Slow claps all around , etcetera. I can totally see it.

Armond White-ism Of The Week, Stopped Clock Edition: "The same year as Woodstock, Arthur Penn’s anti-bucolic Alice’s Restaurantmemorably said farewell to hippiedom’s illusions. Penn’s insights seemed ahead of his time; It’s depressing that he was also ahead of Lee and Schamus 40 years later." I have yet to see Taking Woodstock,which White is reviewing here, but White is right about the underseen, underappreciated, and very moving Penn/Guthrie picture, which I only caught up with in recent years.

David Poland Defeats His Own Purpose:


Really, sometimes the man just makes it too easy. I almost just wanna go Perez Hilton and run a picture of him and scrawl "I Iz Dum" over his forehead and be finished with it. Elsewhere, Poland addresses his fellow...well, whatever the hell they are, and tells them repeatedly that if they're using this slow news week to do stuff that he personally disapproves of then, such as positing the existence of a "Twitter Effect," then "you are a shill, a sucker, a cynic about your work, or all of the above." Really rolls off the tongue, that. (As it happens, your humble correspondent has not engaged in any of the activities described therein, so wonders where this leaves him.) The non-journo reading this might at some juncture wonder "why am I wasting my time with this self-righteous prattle?" So ask we all, until we recall the small pleasures inherent in watching someone ignore the plank in his own eye.

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life," Dean Vernon Wormer once advised. Shave only one of those off, though, and you can apparently do okay.

Basterd-ization: Jeffrey Wells' efforts notwithstanding, Inglourious Basterds remains a hugely hot topic in the cinematic blogosphere, as our man David Hudson chronicles in his frequent Daily updates. For my money and time the conversation between the great Bill Ryan (of The Kind of Face You Hate) and the great Dennis Cozzalio of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule is just...beyond. It starts here, goes here, and again goes here. What I wanna know is where Cozzalio got the amazing poster for the Bridget von Hammersmark movie...

And now, because it really is a slow news week, I bring you a new feature:

Spate Of Random Cinematic Imagery:

Oh, thank God, someone else has seen “Little Murders”. I love that movie.
You know, I was just coming to the comments to applaud the welcome hat-tip to Little Murders, only to find someone had beaten me to it. I too love that film. It’s brilliant and funny as hell, as you’d expect of anything emanating from the caustic wit of writer Jules Feiffer. The monologues, especially those by Donald Sutherland and Lou Jacobi, are jaw-dropping.
I look forward to these updates every week. You always manage to make me laugh. Since everyone’s mentioning the Little Murders image, I must say that I’m personally happy to see The Last of Sheila getting some attention. But you can’t go wrong with a Kiss of Death even though I could probably do without A Fine Madness. Last, but not least, I’m curious about those beefy bikini lads. They look like they might be on the set of Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, but I’m not sure.
Nice Sondheim reference, Kenny. :-)
Wow – Mr. Wells just doesn’t get it does he?
I’m sort of amused that you jump all over Wells’ “I know”, but scoot right past everything he actually says about the movie’s cheerful sadism, moral blinkeredness, and general monstrousness. Look, Glenn—-you like the movie. You don’t care about it’s morals or its politics. That’s fine, I guess, albeit small-minded. But you really just make yourself look like a turd when you keep failing to confront any of the real arguments.

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