Monday, February 28, 2022
Sunday, February 27, 2022
No matter how disappointing people, places, things, or dreams that refuse to die (even when they should) might be...
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Sunday, February 20, 2022
The Big Goodbye looks at the struggle to create the classic film Chinatown by focusing on the four men responsible for bringing it to the big screen: screenwriter Robert Towne, producer Robert Evans, director Roman Polanski, and star Jack Nicholson.
The Hollywood that this quartet had fallen in love with and thrived in was coming to an end. One year to the day after Chinatown's release, Jaws hit the theaters and not only did Hollywood change the way they viewed successful films, but also how to make and market these films. Marketing departments and the Don Simpsons of the world were about to take over, replacing film-loving movie makers and the studios that had supported them with high-concept, often-lowbrow movies and summer blockbusters.
After the triumph of Chinatown, Evans became a dinosaur, infamously dethroned at Paramount. Towne started using cocaine and went off the rails personally, and Polanski was infamously convicted of raping a thirteen year old girl and skipped town for exile in Europe. Nicholson would confirm his status as a great star with his next film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which earned him his first Oscar win (on his fifth nomination, the fourth being for Chinatown) and never looked back.
Wasson begins at the beginning, introducing the quartet by going back to their childhoods and giving the reader a look into what drove them personally and professionally. And of course, there is the inescapable and horrific story of the Manson murders, in which Polanski's wife Sharon Tate, their unborn son, and several others were brutally slaughtered, and its aftermath.
A terrific book, especially if you're a fan of Hollywood and film history as I am.
The phone rang in the cutting room, and Lambro picked it up.
It was a girl's voice.
"You have the wrong extension," Lambro told her. "There's no Paul here."
"That's for me," Polanski said, reaching for the phone.
Lambro had earlier browsed an adult newspaper left in the cutting room, glancing at a personal ad, circled, fifteen-year-old girl, "confidential, likes relationships with European man in forties."
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
I was a huge fan of Bloom County in the 1980's and had a bunch of the books, and now word comes that an animated series is in the works. If you're unfamiliar with Bloom County and its offbeat creator Berkeley Breathed, let Wikipedia explain it for you:
Bloom County is an American comic strip by Berkeley Breathed which originally ran from December 8, 1980, until August 6, 1989. It examined events in politics and culture through the viewpoint of a fanciful small town in Middle America, where children often have adult personalities and vocabularies and where animals can talk.
On July 12, 2015, Breathed started drawing Bloom County again. The first revived strip was pubished via Facebook on July 13, 2015.
Monday, February 14, 2022
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Wednesday, February 2, 2022