Quiet today. We feel like we should post an image of the Brangelina baby just so we have something to talk about, even if it’s threatening correspondence with Time Inc.’s lawyers.
We’d missed this the first go-round: In the London Times, novelist Martin Amis finds "United 93" "unremitting, stark and utterly moving":
…106 minutes in and with only seconds to go, you will find yourself, I am confident, in a state of near-perfect distress â€” a distress that knows no blindspots. The New York Times called "United 93" "the feel-bad movie of the year." But this hardly covers it. The distress is something you can taste, like a cud, returned from the stomach for further mastication: the ancient flavour of death and defeat. Your mind will cast about for a molecule, an atom of consolation. And what you will reach for is what they reached for. Like the victims on the other three planes, but unlike them, because they knew, the passengers called their families and said that they loved them. It is an extraordinary validation, or fulfilment, of Larkin’s lines at the end of "An Arundel Tomb":
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
At the BBC, Ian Youngs speaks to actor Erich Redman, who plays German passenger Christian Adams, the only character who tries to persuade the other passengers not to attack the hijackers, and who led some critics to cry that it was a terrible portrayal of, as the Guardian‘s John Harris puts it, "old European surrender monkeys." Redman defends the choice: "I think he would have said ‘let’s not do this, let’s be quiet, let’s not interfere with him, because once we have landed the authorities will take care of it.’ "
In the New York Times today, David Leonhardt has a meandering piece on what the future holds for Netflix. This is interesting:
Its return from oblivion is a nice illustration of a brainteaser I have been giving my friends since I visited Netflix in Silicon Valley last month. Out of the 60,000 titles in Netflix’s inventory, I ask, how many do you think are rented at least once on a typical day?
The most common answers have been around 1,000, which sounds reasonable enough. Americans tend to flock to the same small group of movies, just as they flock to the same candy bars and cars, right?
Well, the actual answer is 35,000 to 40,000. That’s right: every day, almost two of every three movies ever put onto DVD are rented by a Netflix customer. "Americans’ tastes are really broad," says Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive. So, while the studios spend their energy promoting bland blockbusters aimed at everyone, Netflix has been catering to what people really want â€” and helping to keep Hollywood profitable in the process.
Yes! America, let us never slag off your general taste in movies again.
Garry Maddox in the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Hugh Jackman has signed on to that Baz Luhrmann movie: "He will play ‘a rough-hewn cattle drover’ in a romance opposite Nicole Kidman, who will be an English aristocrat who takes over a cattle station the size of Belgium before World War II."
Gary Susman‘s latest list in Entertainment Weekly: scary-good (or just scary) child actors.
Filmmaker‘s Scott Macaulay spots an interesting story on, of all places, the Drudge Report about a Christian-themed indie: "a report from the Scripps Howard News Service…describes a complaint by a group of Christian moviemakers behind a movie called ‘Facing the Giants’ who say that the MPAA has given them a PG rating (instead of a G) because their film is ‘too evangelistic.’ "
And at the New York Observer, Simon Doonan recounts how, despite deciding "that having sex with a dead relative" was preferable than plowing all the way through the book version of "The Devil Wear Prada," he replied "Yes, emphatically, yes!" when asked to come in to read for the character of Nigel, only to discover that they’d also called in Philip Bloch and Robert Verdi ("Had no fashion fag in Manhattan been left unturned?").
Then the realization dropped on me like a ton of remaindered copies of Ms. Weisberger’s new book, "Everyone Worth Knowing": I was not going to get the part… and neither were any of my fellow nellies. This whole charade, I theorized, was nothing more than a carefully orchestrated piece of unpaid research. We gays had been dragged in to swish it upâ€”on film, no lessâ€”for the delectation of some pre-cast, overpaid straight actor. This thespian would then fashion his characterization from our mincings.
These dark suspicions were confirmed when the movie began lensing, days later, with Stanley Tucci in the role of Nigel.
+ All that survives is love (London Times)
+ United 93 actor defends portrayal (BBC)
+ What Netflix Could Teach Hollywood (NY Times)
+ Jackman rustles up a role in outback epic (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Film-makers on film: Richard E Grant (Telegraph)
+ Child’s Play (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Shohei Imamura, 1926â€“2006 (Village Voice)
+ RIP Shohei Imamura (Pigs and Battleships)
+ TOO MUCH FAITH (Filmmaker Blog)
+ Almost a Player in Prada: My Super-Close Casting Call (NY Observer)