Category Archive 'Hollywood'
03 Aug 2017

“Detroit” (2017)

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Steve Sailor, at Taki Mag, questions the Hollywood narrative.

The key moment in the self-destruction of the once great American city of Detroit over the past half century can be dated precisely to July 23, 1967, when blacks began the Detroit Riot. Before 4,700 paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions finally halted the orgy of criminality, African Americans had looted 2,500 stores and burned down 400 buildings in their own neighborhoods.

The next year, 80,000 whites moved out of Detroit. (In 2017, the total population of Detroit is almost a million lower than fifty years ago.)

Of course, today we are instructed to think of these white refugees from black violence not as victims but as perps. Almost nobody is interested in the stories of the millions of Americans whose lives were literally dislocated by the huge surge in black urban crime during the peak years of American liberalism, 1964–75.

For example, the opening text for the new movie Detroit, which opens nationally on Friday, pins the blame for the black riot of 1967 on the economic devastation caused by the 22,000 whites who had presciently left Detroit the year before, apparently taking all the magic dirt with them, leaving only the tragic dirt.

RTWT

HT: Margot Darby.

02 Jun 2017

Wonder Woman: No Longer American

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Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman,1970s

Maureen Callahan objects to the de-Americanization of Wonder Woman.

The long-awaited “Wonder Woman” has generated more buzz than any movie this year, and rightly so. She’s the most beloved and iconic female superhero ever, yet it’s taken decades — the film’s been in development since 1996 — for a Wonder Woman movie. It’s the first to pair a female director with a big-budget, comic-book film meant to be a franchise. In Gal Gadot, it has a star who served in the Israeli army and brings authority to her fight scenes.

“She is the ultimate symbol of strength,” Gadot said in 2015. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d grow up to be in a movie playing someone who influenced as many women as she has.”

What’s curious about this version, coddled and crafted over decades, is the near-total absence of America. Wonder Woman was born during World War II, created by American psychologist William Moulton Marston, and her debut on the cover of DC’s Sensation Comics in 1942 depicted her in red, white and blue, storming into battle. She’d left her home, Paradise Island, to fight the Nazis in “America, the last citadel of democracy and of equal rights for women!”

This new Wonder Woman, however, has almost nothing to do with America. The film is set during World War I, in London. Steve Trevor, the pilot Wonder Woman rescues and falls for, is American in name only — here, he’s working for British intelligence.

Most tellingly, Wonder Woman’s iconic costume has been leached of all color. The bald eagle on her chest, the white stars on her blue bottom, the red-and-white striped boots — all have disappeared. She’s no longer vibrant and strong; she’s sad, a pacifist whose armor resembles mourning attire.

Wonder Woman’s global box-office appeal, it seems, depends on no longer being American. According to a piece in the L.A. Times last year, 70 percent of box office revenue is generated overseas, and those markets now take precedence, no matter how closely your superhero is identified with the United States. In 2010, director Joe Johnson said that his Captain America “would not be a flag waver . . . just a good person.”

RTWT


Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, 2017

14 Jan 2017

Why the Left, Particularly the Hollywood Left, is Losing It Over Trump

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notjaffo on Reddit explains.

Why is Hollywood (in particular) freaking out so badly over Trump?

First, because he’s a Republican who might actually do the things he said he wanted to do. But second, because this is the first cultural victory the right has scored since Reagan stumbled into one in the ’80s.

The left is used to losing political battles. They scream and cry over these but they don’t truly panic, because they know that as long as they maintain their hammerlock on the culture, Republicans can’t really change anything.

Blue Team Progressivism is a church, offering you moral superiority and a path to spiritual enlightenment. As a church it’s got a lot going for it. It runs religious programming on television, all day every day. Every modern primetime program is like a left-wing Andy Griffith show, reinforcing lessons of inclusion, tolerance, feminism, and anti-racism.

Watching a 90-pound Sci-Fi heroine beat up a room full of giant evil men is as satisfying to the left as John Wayne westerns were for the right.

The Blue Church controls the HR department, so even if you don’t go to church, you have to act like a loyal churchgoer in every way that matters while you’re on the clock. And off the clock, on any kind of public social media platform.

Jon Stewart and John Oliver are basically TV preachers. Watching them gives the same sense of quiet superiority your grandma gets from watching The 700 Club. The messages are constantly reinforced, providing that lovely dopamine hit, like an angel’s voice whispering, “You’re right, you’re better, you’re winning.”

Hollywood award shows are like church talent shows – the skits and jokes aren’t really funny, but it’s fun to look at the pretty girls, and you’re all on the same team.

Red Conservativism is a business, selling a set of political products. They don’t make you feel good, they don’t appeal to your morality or your spiritual sense of self, but sometimes you really NEED one of their core products like security, jobs, or national defense. Their appeals to “freedom” and “family values” ring hollow these days, but when people are flying planes into buildings, you need a strong member of Conservatism, Inc. in the big chair.

And when it came down to the things that really mattered – welfare, Medicare, Social Security, and foreign policy, you knew Red Team couldn’t really do anything Blue Team didn’t approve of, or the Blue faithful would kick them out of office next time.

But Donald Trump didn’t sign that contract. And Donald Trump didn’t win by selling the same old conservative products. Donald Trump started his own religion, and he won a religious victory.

The Blue Church is panicking because they’ve just witnessed the birth of a new Red Religion. Not the tired old Christian cliches they defeated back in the ’60s, but a new faith based on cultural identity and outright rejection of the Blue Faith.

For the first time in decades, voters explicitly rejected the Blue Church, defying hours of daily cultural programming, years of indoctrination from the schools, and dozens of explicit warnings from HR.

We’ve been trained since childhood to obey the pretty people on TV, but for the first time in decades, that didn’t work.

Donald Trump won because flyover America wants their culture back, and Blue Team has not been rejected like that before.

The younger ones have grown up in an environment where Blue Faith assumptions cannot even be questioned, except anonymously by the bad kids on Twitter.

But now the bad kids are getting bolder, posting funny memes that make you laugh even though John Oliver would not approve, like passing crude dirty pictures under the table in Sunday School.

Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.

There is a new faith rising on the right, not an explicit religious faith like old-school Christianity, but a wicked kind of counterculture movement. We laughed at the hippies in 1968, but by 1978 they were teaching in classrooms and sitting behind school administrator desks.

Where will the hippies of 2016 be sitting after eight years of Trump? How many of the shitposting Twitter bad boys will start up alternative media outlets, until one of them becomes the new Saturday Night Live?

Sam Hyde tried it on Adult Swim, but that was just the early prototype, like Mad Magazine was for the left. There will be many others after him, and they won’t be stopped by network filters. They’ll come “out of nowhere” on the web, from the secret places that the inquisitors at Google can’t shut down.

And that’s what Meryl Streep is really scared of. She’s not truly aware of it, just like fluttering housewives couldn’t really understand the counterculture threat in 1968. But they feel that something is changing in their safe little world, and they know they have to fight it, because this threat isn’t just passing pointless budget resolutions and selling pointless platitudes about family values – these guys mean business, and they’re fighting on her turf.

Hat tip to Thomas Lifson.

13 Jan 2017

1978: Paddy Chayefsky Answers Vanessa Redgrave (and Meryl Streep)

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04 Jan 2017

Congress! Listen Up, Hollywood is Talking Here

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Sally Fields and a bunch of Hollywood types you never heard of are warning Congress that they will not tolerate Donald Trump’s “Racism, Sexism, or Xenophobia” and that they expect Congress to block any legislation opposed to the interests of any and all of the fashionable Left’s pet victim groups of privilege.

If Congress fails to oblige, I guess they’ll all sit down and have a great big cry or make another ineffably self-important video.

29 Oct 2016

Thank You, Famous Actors!

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30 Sep 2016

John Ford

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johnford

“I’m not what you would call a happy man, but I have a pleasant enough disposition to get through cocktails.”

– John Ford

22 Sep 2016

Joss Whedon Almost Got Me to Vote For Trump

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Regular readers must be aware by now what I think of Donald Trump. The hell of it is: Joss Whedon’s tv programs and movies are good. They are filled with wit and with a genuine appreciation of the human capacity for heroism. But, politically, Joss Whedon is obviously a totally self-congratulatory conformist airhead.

Whedon has started his own Super PAC, called “Save The Day,” which is intended, just like Spike’s self-sacrifice in the final episode of Buffy to close the hell mouth, save the world from ending, and… elect Hillary Clinton!

Joss Whedon is going to do his personal bit to save the world from a Trumpocalypse by producing a series of videos featuring famous Hollywood actors, all self-importantly preening for the camera while delivering cutesy, but puerile, admonitions to register and vote… against Trump and in favor of everything really stupid people believe to be good.

Yech! One wanted to believe that Tony Stark (Robert Downey) is smart. The sad truth is obviously that he is a total waste, and might just as well go back to the cocaine. One used to believe that Julianne Moore was desirable. The sad reality is that she is a left-wing shrew with a foul mouth.

These people are so incredibly stupid, so incredibly self-entitled, and so incredibly annoying that one could almost be in favor of letting the Great Old Ones rise again and destroy the world just to be rid of them (“The Cabin in the Woods” (2012) allusion), or vote for The Donald just to spite them. Almost.

09 May 2016

Another Lost Orson Welles Masterpiece Resurfaces

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HustonWelles

Josh Karp, in Vanity Fair, recounts the story of another never-finished Orson Welles masterpiece film, The Other Side of the Wind. Imagine a film about a troubled director in which Orson Welles collaborated with both John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich. What could possibly go wrong?

In early 1970, director Orson Welles returned to Hollywood after more than a decade in Europe, and later that year he began work on his innovative comeback movie—The Other Side of the Wind.

The movie was the story of a legendary director named Jake Hannaford, who returns to Hollywood from years of semi-exile in Europe with plans to complete work on his own innovative comeback movie—also entitled The Other Side of the Wind.

Welles said it wasn’t autobiographical.

The story line of The Other Side of the Wind was supposed to take place during a single day. At one point, Welles intended to shoot it in eight weeks. Instead, it took six years, and the film remains unfinished nearly four decades later.

Based on a script Welles revised nightly, the film was financed principally by the Shah of Iran’s brother-in-law and offered possibly one last shot at topping Citizen Kane. The making of The Other Side of the Wind began as a tale of art imitating life, but ultimately morphed into life imitating art, on a set where it sometimes became difficult to tell the difference between the movie and real life.

During production many people asked Welles what his movie was all about. To his star, John Huston, he once replied, “It’s a film about a bastard director…. It’s about us, John. It’s a film about us.”

21 Apr 2016

The Kill: Greatest Lines Before and After

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Hat tip to Vanderleun.

06 Feb 2016

Richard Dreyfuss Draws Criticism Over His Presence at Ted Cruz Rally

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Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss in front row at Ted Cruz rally.

The actor, well known for portraying Dick Cheney as a villain, provoked alarm in Hollywood by showing up last Saturday at a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa.

Dallas Morning News:

AMES, Iowa — Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss – star of Jaws and Mr. Holland’s Opus – was on hand, somewhat inexplicably. He quietly nabbed a reserved front-row seat as Cruz made his own entrance. Afterward, in a brief interview, he said he wasn’t there to support Cruz and isn’t supporting any candidate.

“It’s the politics of my country, so I’m interested,” he said.

“No,” he said, when it was pointed out that his presence suggested support. “It suggests that I’m interested in what he has to say.”

“We come at it from different places. But he reveres the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When you seek to be the president of a country that has 300 million people, you can’t get everyone on the same platform. You can’t. But if you can make it clear that the most important things are shared, then fine.”

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So upset with this evidence of ideological treason was the entertainment community that Dreyfuss’s son felt obliged to defend his father at the Puffington Host:

My father, actor Richard Dreyfuss, is taking heat for attending a Ted Cruz rally. I shouldn’t have to write this, but here goes: curiosity is not a sin.

My father went to a Ted Cruz rally. My father also won an oscar in the ’70s, and his name is Richard Dreyfuss. Those two things are only related because by virtue of being famous, my father’s attendance at a Cruz rally got written about by a couple of media outlets. Those write-ups were absorbed by a number of mouth-breathers, and so began The Dumb.

Let me clarify. When asked if his being there suggested he supported Cruz, he responded, “It suggests that I’m interested in what he has to say… It’s the politics of my country, so I’m interested.” This seems like a pretty clear answer to me. I don’t necessarily endorse these views, but I’m curious about them because they are poised to have a very big effect on me and my country.

But clarity be damned, the same day as those articles were published I started getting calls and complaints asking me why my father was a Ted Cruz supporter. This is where we should leave the story of “Richard Goes To Ted Talk” behind, and just start talking about the principle of the thing. I’m really not trying to talk about my dad. I just want to address The Dumb.

It is not shocking that people mistake curiosity with support, but it is pathetic and it is tragic.

If you can’t stand to listen to an idea, it does not prove that you oppose it. Refusing to show interest in a different perspective should not serve as a badge of pride in your own ideas. It actually serves the exact opposite function. It proves that you don’t even understand your own opinion. If you can’t understand the argument you disagree with, then you don’t have the right to disagree with it with any authority, nor do you really have a grasp on what your own idea means in its context.

I’m not saying all ideas need to be validated, or even respected. There are absolutely some beliefs that simply deserve to be tarred and feathered and never given the time of day. Bigotry falls under this umbrella. But when some ideas are so prevalent that they hold huge sway over your own country, you’re an idiot if you decide to stuff your ears with your fingers and start humming.

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As Christopher Buckley noted on Facebook:

Wunst they wuz a little actor, an Oscar he din’t lose:–
An’ when he went to hear a speech by Texas Sen’r Cruz,
His fans was heerd ta holler, an’ the left was heerd to bawl,
An’ when sonny said “he’s curious!”, they din’t believe a’tall!
An’ they hounded him in Hollywood, an’ Twitter, an’ the press,
An’ angry talk’d at tha Whole Foods, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Liber-urls ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

05 Feb 2016

“Hateful Eight” Filmmakers Carelessly Destroyed Priceless Guitar

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MartinGuitar

Guitarplayer.com has a story not very complimentary to Quentin Tarantino.

The makers of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight never told Martin Guitars how a historic acoustic guitar on loan from its museum came to be destroyed on the set of the 2015 film.

Dick Boak of C.F. Martin said the company did not learn that the instrument was smashed by actor Kurt Russell until the incident was reported on Tuesday by Reverb.com, an online marketplace for gear. That story was itself based on an interview with the film’s sound mixer, Mark Ulano, that ran on SSNInsider.com.

Boak, director of the museum, archives and special projects for C.F. Martin & Co, said the company was initially told the guitar had been damaged in an accident on the set. “We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it,” Boak told Reverb.com, in response to its story.

The film’s script included a scene, shown below, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character, Daisy Domergue, plays the Martin guitar before Russell’s character, John Ruth, smashes it against a beam. A prop guitar was supposed to have been substituted at the last moment. According to Ulano, Russell was not told of the swap and proceeded to destroy the Martin, an act that is retained in the film’s release. …

According to the SSNInsider interview, upon learning of the guitar’s destruction, Martin reps asked, “Do you need another one and can we please have all the pieces to display in our museum?”

While the pieces were returned to Martin for examination, Boak said restoration is impossible.

“We want to make sure that people know that the incident was very distressing to us,” Boak says. “We can’t believe that it happened.”

As a result of the incident, Boak said Martin will no longer loan guitars to movies “under any circumstances.”

21 Jan 2016

Black Oscar Boycott

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SpikeLee

23 Oct 2015

Good News! Big Lebowski Sequel Begins Filming in January

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LebowskiRug

There is a small category of movies which fail to make much of a mark during their theatrical release; but which, when they make it onto television, and are available to be watched repeatedly, begin to commend themselves to audiences in a different and special way and which then proceed to metamorphize into beloved classics.

Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) is that kind of film. Nobody thought much of it at all until television networks adopted it as particularly Christmas-themed, and began making a big deal of broadcasting it around the holiday. Before long, watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” turned into a regular seasonal American ritual.

The Shawshank Redemption” (1994) was a failure in its theatrical release that did not even recapture its production costs, but Ted Turner (then owning Castle Rock, the film’s production company) later essentially sold the movie to himself (as the TNT network) and began broadcasting it in 1997 over and over again. The film slowly and gradually grew in audience acceptance as a sort of 20th century Les Miserables, and now routinely tops the IMBD list of most-beloved films of all time.

Shawshank Redemption phenomenon

The Big Lebowski” (1998) followed the same pattern, of confusing and boring viewers in the theater, but coming into its own with the aid of repetitive viewings on television.

The Big Lebowski phenomenon

NBC:

Exciting news for Big Lebowski fans around the world as a sequel to the cult classic has just been announced.

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, directors of the first Lebowski movie, confirmed with NBC News they will both be returning to direct the sequel.

“We’re thrilled to be coming back to film a second part to this classic movie,” Ethan Coen said. “For years we’ve been staying away from doing this project but when we received this new script and the cast fell into place, it was a no-brainer. We just had to do it.”

Gage Luce, who helped write the new script, spoke with CNN to shed light on the plot behind the highly anticipated sequel.

“Now 18 years later, Maude Lewbowski (played by Julianne Moore) informs The Dude (Jeff Bridges) that they conceived a son together and that he has been kidnapped. The Dude teams up with his estranged brother, played by actor Bill Murray, and fellow bowling partner Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) to track down the child’s whereabouts. Just like the first movie, there’s guaranteed to be plenty of beers, bowling, and laughs.” …

Accompanying the trio on their journey to find the missing teen is Jesus Quintana, played by John Turturro, who stole the show in the original movie. …

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RETRACTION 10/24:

Bummer! The story is not true. It turns out that it was originated by the spoof news site National Report which has a very annoying habit of purveying completely plausible sounding, but entirely false, news stories. National Report often fools people, and this time a number of sources believed the story and picked it up, including me.

Snopes

Thanks to Liberty News for bringing this mistake to my attention in the comments.

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