Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Obit watch: December 6, 2017.

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

On my way out the door, but I wanted to get this up now because otherwise I don’t know when I will have time.

Christine Keeler. NYT. WP.

For folks of a certain age, the name almost certainly rings a bell. For those who don’t recognize it, Ms. Keeler was the central figure in the British “Profumo affair” of the early 1960s.

Ms. Keeler was the “party girl” — as she was often described — who had an affair with John Profumo, a star in the Conservative government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The secretary of state for war at the time — some saw him as a future prime minister — Mr. Profumo had met Ms. Keeler at a party in 1961, when she was still a teenager and he was in his mid-40s.

Ms. Keeler had had multiple lovers, among them Cmdr. Eugene Ivanov, an attaché in the Soviet Embassy in London, and when that relationship came to light, government figures and MI5, the domestic intelligence agency, feared that her affair with Mr. Profumo might have created a grave security breach.

I may update this obit later.

Edited to add 12/7: strictly in the interest of history, and not for any prurient reasons at all, I thought I would include what the WP calls “one of the decade’s most famous images”:


Obit watch: October 25, 2017.

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Robert Guillaume.

Man, what a career.

He landed his part in “Soap” in 1977 after a Tony-nominated run as Nathan Detroit in an all-black Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls.”

I’d love to see that. I’m sure it exists…in an archive…somewhere in New York City…

Mr. Guillaume said Benson’s sharp tongue and dignified mien had allowed him to transcend his station while getting laughs. “What made the humor was that he didn’t care what people thought about him,” he said of the character in an interview for this obituary in 2011. “He wasn’t trying to be mean; he was just trying to be his own man.”

Obit watch: October 23, 2017.

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Federico Luppi, noted Argentinian actor.

He was also the lead in Guillermo del Toro’s “Cronos” (which I have seen) and is in “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”. (I have not seen the latter two, but “Devil’s Backbone” is scheduled for this Saturday.)

Mr. Luppi played the monstrous Gris with touches of weakness — at one point in the film he sinks to a bathroom floor to lap up a spot of blood.

Yeah, having seen “Cronos”, describing Luppi’s character as “monstrous” is more than a bit of a stretch. Especially compared to Ron Perlman’s character. Further deponent sayeth not, because spoilers.

Edited to add:

NYT writers, meet the NYT Twitter feed. Hope you guys get along.

TMQ Watch: October 3, 2017.

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

We’ve got nothing clever to start off with this week. This is the kind of week that sucks all the clever out of our strategic clever reserves. Let’s just get into it.

After the jump, about 5,000 words of this week’s TMQ…


TMQ Watch: September 26, 2017.

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

When we heard about Sunday’s events, our first thought was: Easterbrook is going to be insufferable this week.

In retrospect, “insufferable” may not have been the right word. Perhaps “long winded” is better.

In that vein, and before the jump, we’d like to point you at David French’s National Review piece, “I Understand Why They Knelt”, which is one of the best pieces we’ve read so far on the subject.

After the jump, about 5,600 words of this week’s TMQ…

Obit watch: September 21, 2017.

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Lillian Ross, one of the old-time New Yorker writers. She was 99.

I didn’t grow up reading her work, but I was passingly familiar with her from her book Picture. Ms. Ross followed John Huston while he was making “The Red Badge of Courage” and wrote about the production. Which, oddly enough, turned out to be deeply troubled.

Julie Salamon cites Picture as a major influence for her own classic book, The Devil’s Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco. It’s kind of interesting to contemplate these two books. Neither Ms. Ross (as far as I know) or Ms. Salamon (who explicitly states this in her forward) intended to write books about troubled movies. Both of them just simply wanted to document the process of making a Hollywood film: what was it like to do this in the 1950s, and what was it like in the 1980s? It’s odd that both movies turned out the way they did. And it’s interesting that nobody else has tried doing this in the last 25 years.

Bernie Casey, NFL wide receiver (for the San Francisco 49ers and the LA Rams) turned actor (“I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”).

For Mr. Casey, who also published books of poetry, the arts always came first. He considered football a steppingstone, but many viewed him as an athlete.
“It was just a gig,” he told The Washington Post in 1977 about football. “But it limits the way people perceive you. That can be frustrating. People have tremendous combinations of talents. A man can be a deep-sea diver and also make china.”

Obit watch: September 20th, 2017.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta.

Short shameful confession: I have never actually seen the movie. Need to fix that.

Robert Grays, a cornerback for Midwestern State (Division II) died yesterday from injuries he received in Saturday’s game against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Obit watch: September 16, 2017.

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

The great Harry Dean Stanton.

He was in everything. Even “Cockfighter”.

He played Molly Ringwald’s underemployed father in the teenage romance “Pretty in Pink” (1986), the apostle Paul in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988), a private eye in David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart” (1990), a judge in Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998), the hero’s ailing brother in Mr. Lynch’s “The Straight Story” (1999), a veteran inmate cheerfully testing the electrocution equipment in “The Green Mile” (1999) and Charlie Sheen’s father in “The Big Bounce” (2004).

Also: who is killing the cast of “The Godfather: Part II”?


Friday, September 15th, 2017

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about redemption. What does it mean to be redeemed? Who decides when you’ve redeemed yourself? Can some people never be redeemed?

I will tell you now, I’m not sure that I have any answers. So I’m going to put a jump here: if you don’t want to read my meandering, you’re welcome to skip over it and go read “TMQ Watch” or “Gratuitous Gun Porn” or even the flaming hyenas entries. I won’t hold it against you.


Obit watch: September 15, 2017.

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Gastone Moschin, Italian actor perhaps most famous in the United States as “Don Fanucci” in “The Godfather Part II”.

Oddly, I had never seen Part II until just a few weeks ago: I’d seen Part 1 a couple of times, but for various reasons had just never watched Part II. I think, as a movie, I liked Part I better: some of the early stuff with the young Don Corleone is kind of weak.

But maybe the conventional opinion is right, and the two movies should be thought of as a single film about the tragedy of Michael Corleone.

Quote of the day.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Apropos of nothing in particular, other than that this is one of my favorite poems and I want to bookmark it:

“Keep clear of the fools that talk democracy
And the dogs that talk revolution,
Drunk with talk, liars and believers.
I believe in my tusks.
Long live freedom and damn the ideologies.”

–“The Stars Go over the Lonely Ocean”, Robinson Jeffers

Reminds me of something else, too.

Obit watch: September 1, 2017.

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Richard Anderson.

Yes, yes, we all remember him as Oscar Goldman. But he knocked around in a whole bunch of other stuff before “Six Million Dollar Man” and “Bionic Woman”. Every now and then, we’ll be watching something at Lawrence’s and say, “Hey, wait, is that…yes, it’s Oscar Goldman!” (Yes, he was in “Tora! Tora! Tora!”, just like everyone else in Hollywood.) He did guest spots on “Mannix”, “Mission: Impossible”, the good “Hawaii 5-0”, “T.H.E. Cat”, and he was a regular on “Perry Mason”. He was in “Kitten With a Whip”. And Chief Quinn in “Forbidden Planet”.

I hate to reduce the man to one role, no matter how famous it was. But I do think this is one of the great TV show openings of all time.