Saturday, January 18, 2020
But she misses the charismatic neediness of Garland I think, that red hot gleam of please love me in Judy's eyes (Zellweger instead does a lot of squinting). She comes close in one or two phrases in her singing to Garland's unique combination of rock-solid mature tone with a child's vulnerability. I think I would have preferred Garland's recorded voice with Zellweger lip synching, but that's just me.
The story has some fictional aspects, one of which actually works: a made-up older male gay couple, used to represent Garland's connection to her many fans among gay men at the time. The scenes with them are the most moving and engaging in the film, again, for me.
I can see Zellweger winning the Oscar for taking on such a challenging role in a movie that the actress basically carries from start to finish, at times captivatingly, if that's a word. I found it worth watching despite its flaws.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Monday, January 13, 2020
The underlying message seemed to be that brutal and deadly violence is justified if it's done in the spirit of revenge for harm's done or imagined, and that uprisings against economic inequality and political corruption and moral bankruptcy are fueled by the thrill of violence (THE DARK KNIGHT also had an underlying message of justified violence very much in the using-fascist-methods-to-defeat-fascism vein).
I can see why Joaquin Phoenix's performance is being feted by critics and award givers, but to me it was self-indulgent to the extreme. And I understand, I think, the arguments for how the film shines a light on the need for society to address the problems and consequences of untreated mental illness, but to me the film seems more directed toward blaming mental illness for a lot of society's problems and violence.
We all have our own taste and you may love JOKER, or at least be impressed by it. Not me.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
On next Sunday, January 19th, at 11AM I will be reading some poems and riffing on the history of racial prejudice in my part of Jersey and elsewhere in my lifetime (from the 1940s on). There'll be a Q&A after (followed by a reception with refreshments), at The Ethical Culture Society, 516 Prospect Street (Parker Avenue is the cross street), Maplewood NJ. Free to the public.
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Thursday, January 9, 2020
It's the only reason I ever watched the show the few times I did. He played a young guy who parked cars at the titular address, an incidental almost glorified extra role. But he made such an impact in it, at a time when teenagers were becoming influential consumers, that they built the role up and it made him a star.
I later met him when I moved to Santa Monica in 1982 to work in film and on TV. By then he had crashed and burned, going from a penthouse in NYC and a mansion in the hills above Hollywood with a swimming pool and tennis court, to living off the freeway in a crime ridden neighborhood of LA with bars on his windows and an old worn-out car in the driveway.
I visited him there often, as he did me in my then nicer digs in Santa Monica. It wasn't long before he was on the mend financially and was able to move to a safer place and a buy a better car and he never stopped moving forward. He gave me a lot of good advice about my own roller coaster finances with my up-and-down career(s), and teased me constantly.
I'm happy I got to see him after I moved back East twenty years ago, pretty much every time I visited LA. He was a good person and a good friend, may he rest in the power of his positive example on me and so many others. Condolences to all his friends and family and fans.