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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 34302 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #3330 on: January 25, 2008, 06:36:38 PM »

I thought there was some kind of subersive subtext in "Bug" or something--that it was a metaphor for how the gov't, man, or something, but anyway I'm always curious about Freidkin's descent/ascent as you may. 

Saw "Carlito's Way" and am now convinced that it's one of the best films of the 1990's, it's funny, Pacino and Penn are hilarious, it's a film-making treatise, it's a film that like "Sunset Blvd." is able to bookend the death? scene at the beginning with arriving at that moment at the end without it being so much a dramatic crutch as a good storytelling device.  If you haven't sat down and watched "Carlito's Way" in a long time, you should.  There are moments where you go "How the ___ did he do that??" and where you go "I think this is still the same shot" (it is), but anyway, from another director/actors combination it could be a throwaway crime drama instead of a movie that dares to be operatic and wildly comic all packaged into a fast-moving thrilling movie movie/art movie.

SPOILERS

Of course it has the romance of a near-Disney moment when Carlito is holding a trashcan top over his head and looking (voyeuristically, naturally) through the window of his old girlfriends ballet class; which is balanced out by when Carlito sees that she is a common stripper to make ends meet in a far more basic voyeuristic venue.  DePalma shows us his elegant and innocent Degas ballet image through the rain and then the stripper/hooker/whore, in this case stripper that he invariably is also drawn to.....Carlito loves both women, naturally. 

END SPOILER

It's a lot of basic but moving drama.  And again, Penn, is hilarious, look for the moment when Carlito is telling him a story the first night of getting out and cracking up, the character disappears and it's Sean Penn obviously tipsy and smirking, laughing at Pacino good-naturedly, while the two "escorts" go to powder their noses.  It's a funny moment and you really do see Penn as Penn but I'm glad that DePalma left it in there because the laughter is genuine and infectious, a good movie moment with the audience even if Penn's character isn't much like that the rest of the movie. 

Give it another look if you haven't seen it in a while.

Along with "To Live and Die in LA," I think these are the two movies that have made a secondary lasting impression on me in the last couple of years along with "Metropolitan" or "Barcelona" or "The Last Days of Disco" (which have to be rotated to forget the too twee), BID.

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madupont
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« Reply #3331 on: January 25, 2008, 11:23:17 PM »

jbottle, you are definitely correct about Sean Penn in Carlito's Way.

But, when you said this, my heart skipped a beat:"I think these are the two movies that have made a secondary lasting impression on me in the last couple of years along with "Metropolitan" or "Barcelona" or "The Last Days of Disco"

Because they obviously go back a ways.  At the time, I didn't know who any of those actors were, and have learned to love some of them since. They were definitely a certain milieu that has always existed --the characters that is, although there is not much separation anymore (or at that particular time of filming) between young film actors and the upper East Side set because they were mingling, and I was in one of those places to observe them do it and to what lengths they would go to impress each other.  Let's just say, I saw the first  film( and so on, at a sweet little movie theater in Rocky Hill, twenty minutes out of town from Princeton.

Eigeman was truly impressive because I went to grade school with kids like him and I'm sure they turned out exactly like that after I quickly lost track of them. They usually came to third grade with a button down collar,a tie, and a brief case, because they would become lawyers.

imdb does a neat dodge on the Whit Stillman bio. By impressing on your consciousness  that his mother was a debutante from Philadelphia down on her luck or some such, yada,yada,yada.  That's a brilliant cover. Stillman is a recognizable name around Philadelphia , which is why we ended up with characters by that name in the tv series: Thirty Something, by a couple of interesting writers.  That actor has somewhat "matured".  I am really glad several of that cast are seldom seen, like Peter Horton, and I wish Patricia Wittig had retired as well (if I am indeed Sally Fields? I have a personality problem you may not get used to. I used to be Calamity Jane.)

But Whitney is even more known than Stillman, particularly around New York; that being Whit Stillman's actual name, Whitney Stillman, means he is a descendent on the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney side of the family, whose husband Jock was an absolute banker of a fellow. Thus the Whitney Art Museum in Manhattan.  The downtown Extension on 8th. street is where I temporarily lived just west of Washington Square maybe six years after Whit Stillman was born, MacDougal Alley had this choice "garden" apartment (not much garden about it but it was adjacent to the Square, the cobblestones of the alley were from the period when they kept their horses in a stable out back, and this was a bit of a concierge type of apartment) while above under the roof had been Gertrude's sculpture studio. Ladies who promoted art had lived in the place back at the turn of the century when furnishings were considerably different. The second and third floor later became an art school; now a museum extension.   I'm glad that I lived there before 8th.Street went south by the early Nineties; I had a chance to participate in the ongoing history.  Then came 9/11 and any idea of that being a quaint little retirement abode went right out the window (it had one in the kitchen and was otherwise a genuine Greenwich Village basement apartment with a kitchen-door right out to the Alley and little brick edged flower beds either side of the door where maybe you could grow wisteria or topiaries, who knows?).

Anyway, that is part of the Whit Stillman story as well. Ponder what ever happened to Eigeman?
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madupont
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« Reply #3332 on: January 26, 2008, 12:31:20 AM »

desdemona222 (see comment by Christopher Plummer below)

1.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/24/heath-ledgers-last-costa_n_83110.html

 Comments by Christopher Plummer

Early on Sunday, Jan. 20, Plummer boarded a plane back to New York and went on to his Connecticut home. Ledger took a different London-to-New-York flight and repaired to a SoHo apartment where, two days later, he was found dead. EW spoke with Ledger's final costar about what happened, what the filming was like, and what may or may not become of the last scenes Ledger ever performed.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It seems incomprehensible.
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER: We're all a bit befuddled at the moment. It's so sad. Heath did have a terrible, lingering bug in London, and he couldn't sleep at all. We all -- I thought he'd probably got walking pneumonia, which they seem to think he had. Of course I don't really know, but that's the latest.



2. Update: Ledger's body has been moved from a New York funeral home to an airport and is enroute to Los Angeles, and then probably Perth, for private memorial services.

Police set up barricades outside the funeral home as Ledger's family made arrangements to claim the body of the 28-year-old "Brokeback Mountain" actor. Their plans were not immediately known, though Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said his government would do whatever is needed to help the family bring back his body to Australia.

Ledger's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said no details about the funeral would be shared with the media.

Ledger's family placed a death notice in The West Australian, a newspaper based in his hometown of Perth, remembering him as "the most amazing 'old soul' in a young man's body."

"As a close knit and very private family we have observed you so determined yet quietly traveling in your self-styled path in life, nothing would get in your way ... no mountain too tall, no river too wide," said the notice, which the newspaper said had been submitted by Ledger's relatives. ".... Our hearts are broken."

The actor's sister, Kate, said she could "hardly breathe" as she tried to write her tribute. "We were the ultimate soul mates," she said.

"You were so many things to so many people, but to me you were just my little brother."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/25/marykate-olsen-heath-wa_n_83312.html


3.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/25/daniel-daylewis-breaks-d_n_83238.html

Oprah aired an Oscar nominee special Thursday, including an interview with Daniel Day-Lewis. It seemed the interview was taped late Tuesday, hours after news broke that Heath Ledger had passed away. In the middle of trying to discuss his role in "There Will be Blood," Day-Lewis broke down and asked to say a few words about Ledger's death. He didn't know Ledger but, "I have an impression, a strong impression i would have liked him very much as a man if I had."

Watch:


4.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/25/fox-host-john-gibson-mock_n_82962.html


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jbottle
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« Reply #3333 on: January 26, 2008, 01:31:34 AM »

"Ponder what ever happened to Eigeman?"

Well, "It's Like, You Know" happened when they, including Jenifer Grey were to be the new "Friends," and, not so much.

But yeah, I'm a Southerner and I've always had an outsiders fascination with the culture of private schools and "a Harvard mouth" and so on...and so has Stillman, I think he feels a bit of the stranger which is why he went to Barcelona and married a Spanish girl, right?  But anyway, he seems not to worry about money much and has the filmic eye you could only equate to someone like Fitzgerald in novel, albeit a little less literary and more laconic, lazy, and the other good l-words.  Eigeman is always the wit and really the restless heart of each of those films, to the point where without Chris Eigeman as Stillman, or half of Stillman with the other being not the rogue or man of action but the other half paralyzed by intellect that the other guy plays.  Stillman himself is a handsome guy who answers the question in "Metropolitan" whether the upper crust or UHB's (urban haute bourgeosie) are "doomed to failure" and the UHB theorist is disappointed when Stillman says "not really..." and the UHB theorist says "...it just doesn't ring true..."

You get the feeling from the reticence that WS is not lacking of funds but his wit in film is sorely missed, I think that a nostalgia for "the way things should be" or "the way things used to be" or even a "code of honor" or "defending a maiden't honor" are of course matters in a comedy of manners that give people nostalgia for a particular way of doing things, whether it's a hippie code or Upper East Side or Fallen Southern Aristocracy, whatever, any sort of tilting at windmills when the world seems at chaos is bound to inspire wistfulness and whimsy, and I miss that from Stillman, and always get hoovered in every time one of his movies pops up.  He's certainly a good observer who would have made an extremely conflicted stock broker; I don't know what it is that inspires melancholy in Stillman and misanthropic rage in someone like West Coaster Bret Easton Ellis, but there you go, I don't think it's talent gone to waste, really, it's just that maybe he only had a few movies that he knew how to tell that well. 

Anybody that makes three great movies is a hero, but you have to miss the voice.
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jbottle
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« Reply #3334 on: January 26, 2008, 01:42:20 AM »

And I liked you ancillary and insider comments as well, and meant to say that "The Last Days of Disco" is on balance a "good," not great movie, but again has the voice of Stillman which fans cling to, even if it's a "lesser Stillman," it's still better and funnier than 95% of "comedies" just from being funny and from being Whit.
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ponderosa
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« Reply #3335 on: January 26, 2008, 06:21:33 AM »

Ponder what ever happened to Eigeman?

Typo, ma?
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Urethra_Franklin
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« Reply #3336 on: January 26, 2008, 07:33:41 AM »

Anyone know anything of "The Rum Diary"?  I remember hearing Johnny Depp was going to reprise his role as Hunter S Thompson.


"Fear and Loathing" is his greatest performance to date.



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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #3337 on: January 26, 2008, 08:05:10 AM »

Was that the one where he went to Vegas with his con-artist dentist?
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barton
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« Reply #3338 on: January 26, 2008, 11:34:21 AM »

Or a Samoan lawyer, depending on when the drugs begin to take effect, before or after leaving Barstow.

Nice to revisit Carlito's Way, jbottle, one of my favorite 90s films, too.  I need to rent this again. 
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jbottle
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« Reply #3339 on: January 26, 2008, 01:13:20 PM »

It's "The Rum Diaries," and Depp has the film rights, maybe Terry Gilliam is available if his Ledger film is kaput.
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madupont
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« Reply #3340 on: January 26, 2008, 01:35:25 PM »


Was that the one where he went to Vegas with his con-artist dentist?


Nope, Barton is partially correct. That's Benicio del Toro playing Carlos Z.Acosta whom Hunter is attempting to interview about the death of an important West coast figure who may have been assassinated for political reasons and whose death may have been made to appear as drug related. There is however a lot  of drug relating for the entirety of this movie. That is the whole point. Gilliam does what other first-out-of-the-shoot films in the Acid era failed entirely to convey. One thinks of Peter Fonda as having been sophmorific and Dennis Hopper as having had an immense egotistic reputation to live up to (pardon the hanging participle). The less said about Jack Nicholson at this moment, the better; but, I'll give you this, his work in The Departed could be considered as a visual treatise in: How to live your daily life as if you are permantly on acid sufficient to make  the onlooker feel like they are tripping. He may have been inspired by this Depp/del Toro trip.

Hunter has become very frustrated in getting in there to converse meaningfully with Acosta, so that the journalist can write the appropriate revelatory article in his own inimitable style. Carlos Z. Acosta was in those days surrounded by a bunch of tough Latino bodyguards whom you could also call "huge fans".

So, they decide the way to go would be to take a trip. I believe the quote on this was that you will not exactly have many eavesdroppers listening in at close to 100 mph out of Cali-forni-a to Las Vegas.

I can not remember what my first impressions were of the trip which was sometimes painfully silly but the resultant  total occupation of a hotel-room without intervention rings rather true to form of what most people were doing in provident communes some thirty years earlier. One of the nice effects of hallucinogenics in the company of people who have religious ceremonial experience because of their culture is how you end up sharing the communality of entering into the illusion, without any of the physical energy depleting after effects. Which is what I think enlarged Thompson's perceptions so that he could not possibly have stopped himself from writing about this bender as an initiation of sorts.

Also, there is a remarkable cast of supporting actors in Fear and Loathing....
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #3341 on: January 26, 2008, 01:40:12 PM »

Buy the ticket / Take the ride

Thanks Madupont - I'm very familiar with "FALILV".  I was just being facetious with my "goes to Vegas with his dentist" post.  It was a reference to an old reviled/beloved NYTFF poster, who was probably the closest thing to HST we had there.  I guess you could say he was too weird to post and too rare to die, or something like that. 
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madupont
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« Reply #3342 on: January 26, 2008, 01:44:28 PM »


Ponder what ever happened to Eigeman?

Typo, ma?


Not really. I didn't "Wonder" that much, decided to go with admitting I did Ponder.  Eigeman had me convinced that he was Whit Stillman. The character and the story were that intertwined.  Face it,he had enough vicious instinct as an egotist that he could have been "the Central Park killer"; whom as I understand it was so good at the control of how much v.i. of his ego to let show, that he was given time off or a shorter sentence, for "good behavior".
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madupont
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« Reply #3343 on: January 26, 2008, 01:45:38 PM »


Buy the ticket / Take the ride

Thanks Madupont - I'm very familiar with "FALILV".  I was just being facetious with my "goes to Vegas with his dentist" post.  It was a reference to an old reviled/beloved NYTFF poster, who was probably the closest thing to HST we had there.  I guess you could say he was too weird to post and too rare to die, or something like that. 


My question: but did he write?
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madupont
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« Reply #3344 on: January 26, 2008, 01:54:01 PM »

jbottle,re:#3355

And you just wrote your a.. off; a brilliant insightful piece on what makes Whit Stillman perchance to film and how surprised the first time audience at the precise moment that they get it,despite what they felt was an aversion that they deserved to entertain, but it has just clicked for them.
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