MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

By Mike Wilmington

Wilmington on DVD: Inside Job, Senso, TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Jean Harlow & more…


Inside Job (Four Stars)
U.S.: Charles Ferguson, 2010 (Sony Picture Classics)

Listen, you’ve got to watch Inside Job. And not just because it won the Oscar for best documentary this year.

In this absolute gem of movie reportage and analysis, director/writer Charles Ferguson and producer Audrey Marrs do a splendid job of laying out the reasons for the 2008 American financial crash: of explaining how and why it happened…of revealing who the culprits were, how many of them weren‘t punished and why they should be (the miscreants include both Republicans and Democrats, though the grand empty-headed economic strategies were classic corporate Republican, and still are) …of demonstrating beyond a doubt that we were crazy to let every president and administration from Reagan to George W. Bush, keep progressively deregulating the banks, savings and loans, insurance companies and financial institutions, insanely pulling away every safety net put in place after the Great Depression…of showing how some of these companies became (rigged) gambling casinos run by crooks and scoundrels, some of whom were jamming cocaine up their noses and hiring hookers on their cell phones while lying to and bilking their clients and robbing them blind…of explaining what derivatives are and how they cost a lot of people their life savings and helped nearly send America into a second Great Depression (NOTE: Essentially, derivatives are high-stakes, and — thanks to the government sell-outs we see here — unregulated gambles on practically anything you can think of)…of showing how big time lobbyist money has corrupted the political system … of naming the names of many of the people who did all this or let it happen, and even confronting a few of them on camera (like ex-Bush advisor and now arrogant jerk of a Columbia dean Glenn Hubbard, and ex-Bush Treasury under-secretary David McCormick)…of detailing how watchdog groups like the Securities and Exchange Commission, were gutted and hamstrung…of proving that people like long-time Fed chairman Alan Greenspan should never have gone near an Ayn Rand book, and that he should now perhaps perform public penance and return most of what’s left of the hefty salaries he collected during his over-hyped tenures…and, finally of stripping bare the intellectually and morally bankrupt philosophies and corrupt monkey business of all those greed-crazed creeps who nearly drove us off a financial cliff, some of whom are still around, and who will do it again, if we’re stupid enough to let them.

The bailed-out financial institutions, for example, are still here. Many of them, after the government rescue, proudly awarded their inept top executives huge bonuses for what had to be one of the worst overall job performances in recorded economic history.

And it’s hard to understand why Larry Summers, the Clinton administration cheerleader for much of the nation’s derivatives fiasco (and of another derivatives fiasco at Harvard University when he was President there) is currently the director of the White House National Economic Council, planning perhaps new high finance bungles.

And, of course, the financial reforms we obviously, desperately need, mostly haven’t been made.

As the Summers debacle proves, this was a bipartisan catastrophe. Greed seduced business and government people on all sides, and Republicans and Democrats alike wallowed in the deregulated swamps of gambling and outright thievery. But there were more Republicans involved in it, and it was the Republican Party’s longtime philosophy of “Leave the rich people alone” and “Leave the markets alone” that triggered much of the mess, as well as their worshipful, near-mythological conception of the wealthy as angelic “job-creators,” who deserve all the G.O.P.’s favor and efforts — rather than, say, helping the public employees and the labor unions their bullyboy state governors are now attempting to crush, in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Matt Damon narrates. Good guy. Always willing to stick his neck out. And Ferguson and Marrs deserve far more than an Oscar for this job.

I’m not going to try to synopsize or even hint any more at all the stuff exposed in Inside Job . You should absolutely see the movie though, and then go on to see and read more, about everything that happened, everything that could happen, all the financial finagling and chicanery of the entire greed-crazed, anything-goes post-Reagan era.

Inside Job is an essential movie. It shows, pretty conclusively I think, why documentaries are such an important cinematic and journalistic form these days. After you see this picture, you won’t be able to say you weren’t informed, won’t be able to see you weren‘t warned. You’ll know, if not the whole story, a big important part of it.

So don’t be a sucker. See it.

Extras: Commentary by Ferguson and Marrs; Featurette; Deleted scenes.


Senso (Two Discs) (Four Stars)
Italy: Luchino Visconti, 1954 (Criterion Collection)

Luchino Visconti, director of the once-neglected masterpiece Senso, was known as the “red count”: and that famous nickname aptly reflects both the split in Visconti’s curious sensibility and strange, voluptuous life. Born Luchino Visconti di Modrone, Count of Lonate Pozzolo and son of the Duke of Grazzano, he was an aristocrat and a Communist, and he was also a homosexual and a major artist of the stage and of film.

He was a Marxist from his World War 2 years on, but though seemingly dedicated to the rise of the working classes, he also yearned for and treasured the elegant Proustian past of wealth and luxury in which he had grown up.

When Visconti shows that world, as he does most richly and lovingly in Senso (1943), and The Leopard (1963), he tends to focus on the fragility and gorgeous intricacy of the civilization and lifestyle that surrounds the aristocrats — and to emphasize the forces, including politics and war, that may shatter it, or drive the central characters away from it. His protagonists — the reckless and passionate Countess Livia Serpieri (Alida Valli) in Senso and the aging, melancholy Count (Burt Lancaster) in The Leopard — are both in a sense, doomed by the approaching future, by the new worlds and people that are beginning to swallow their old world up.

These two characters are quite different, but they are both romantics in milieu that is evolving away from them, and they are both also, in a way, the captives or victims of younger, gorgeous, stunning-looking men and women of the new world (Farley Granger’s Lt. Franz Mahler in Senso, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale as the young lovers of The Leopard), some of whom, Granger and Delon, are more cynical or pragmatic underneath. Indeed, Franz Mahler is, to some degree, Livia’s evil angel and we see him that way almost from the beginning — as a slick, handsome young opportunist, amoral and deceptive, bent on exploiting Livia for both her love and her money, the ultimate coward, the ultimate cheat.

The early scenes of their “courtship,” of Franz’s nighttime pursuit of Livia along the walkways and across the bridges of that most romantic of cities, Venice, to which Visconti would return for another great film, 1971‘s Death in Venice, gives way to a Venezia of disillusionment and sensual horror, of blacker night, torchlit execution and inky waters. This dreadful climax is a reflection perhaps of Visconti’s negative view of upper or middle class morality, though in this case it is the aristocrat, Livia, who is exploited by her financially poorer lover Franz, and who betrays a progressive cause for his sake.

Both Senso and The Leopard are set in the 1860s, in the time of the Risorgimento (or the reunification) of Italy, and both show scenes of the battle with the Austrian occupying army — bizarre but memorable battle scenes that focus more on spectacle than on action or bloodshed. Visconti’s camera drifts above the carnage of war, just as he drifts through the scenes of Livia’s rapture and humiliation, never pummeling us with close-ups, but placing his anguished or vicious characters against painterly backdrops that both bewitch us and fill us with unease.

Visconti, like Ingmar Bergman, was a master director of film, of theater and of grand opera, when he made Senso, in 1954, and we can see clearly his brilliance in all three métiers, The scenes of this classic romantic melodrama, powerfully cinematic and painterly, have a richly theatrical or operatic quality too, a lushness of color and (fitting the title) a glowing sensuality.

Senso begins, under the credits, with a performance of Verdi’s Il Trovatore in the Teatro la Fenice, a sequence that Visconti had intended for the newly famous soprano Maria Callas. (A conflict made that impossible.) And the movie is based on a short novel by architect/author Camillo Boito, the older brother of Arrigo Boito, Verdi’s librettist for the great Shakespearean operas Otello and Falstaff.

This highly conscious theatricality and musicality — the background score, recalling Visconti’s potent use of Gustav Mahler in Death in Venice, is from Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony — heightens both the stylization and the emotional grip of Senso, and makes it even more of a departure from his early neo-realist films Ossessione and La Terra Trema. In fact, the film Senso, which Visconti reconceived after seeing Callas, seems as if it could well inspire an opera itself, and it’s a little surprising that it hasn’t — though Tinto Brass (Caligula) remade the movie in 2002.

Just as one mourns the loss of Callas in the opera scenes of Senso, one mourns too the absence of the two actors Visconti wanted for the roles of Livia and Franz: Ingrid Bergman (who turned down his offer, probably because her lover-director Roberto Rossellini, may have objected) and Marlon Brando (who definitely wanted to do it, though he was warned away, during the McCarthy era, because of Visconti’s Communist party membership). A film costarring Bergman and Brando, with a cameo by Callas, would have become an acknowledged classic — even if only a cult classic — far sooner, and we would treasure it more today.

But Alida Valli and Farley Granger are quite good in their roles, and it’s hard to imagine the film now, without them. Brando and Bergman might have brought something earthier and more human to the movie, and one would have loved to see them act together, especially in a film this beautiful. But Granger and Valli actually may be more of a right physical match for their parts, and, as a crucial part of two other film masterpieces, Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (Granger) and Greene and Reed‘s The Third Man (Valli), they certainly shouldn’t be seen as a compromise, just because we’d love to have seen Bando and Bergman. Valli and Granger fit their roles in Senso. Her face, as Livia, is a mask of beauty and anguish; his, as Franz, is a mask of supercilious seduction and vanity.

Senso reeals Visconti’s strengths, and contradictions, to the maximum. A Marxist, supposedly a political soldier in the army that was (at least philosophically) storming the palaces of the aristocracy, the “red count” was also obsessively dedicated to preserving those palaces on film, and recording faithfully and deeply the lives they contained.

This is not just a Freudian twitch or a Marxian glitch. It is the essence of his art and of his style, which, unlike the ultra-romantic style of the seemingly similar but much warmer and more humane Max Ophuls (Lola Montes, The Earrings of Madame de…), is passionate and edgy, nervous and exquisite, fixated on the aristocratic world and also on the forces tearing it apart. Senso is a classic period love story without sentimentality (some would argue without real love, but only ossessione), but not without sentiment. It’s a lyrical, sensual, very dark poem about a world in turmoil and a heart in torment, a visual aria that we never should have forgotten.

Extras: Disc One: Digital restoration by the Film Foundation/Cineteca di Bologna, under the supervision of Martin Scorsese and the film‘s cinematographer Giuseppe di Rotunno; Documentary The Making of ‘Senso‘ with Rotunno, assistant director Francesco Rosi, costume designer Piero Tosi and screenwriter Susi Cecchi d’Amico’s daughter Caterina; Visual essay by Peter Cowie.

Disc Two: The Wanton Contessa (Three Stars), the English language version of Senso,” with Granger and Valli’s original English language dialogues and other English-dubbed scenes, written by Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles; Documentaries “Viva Verdi” and “Man of Three Worlds: Luchino Visconti.”

Booklet with essay by Mark Rappaport and excerpt from Farley Granger’s autobiography Include Me Out.


TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Jean Harlow (Three and a Half Stars)
U.S.: Various directors, 1933-36 (TCM/Warners)

Jean Harlow may have been the first of the movie blonde bombshells, but her sharp, saucy screen persona was quite a ways removed from that of her sublime successor, Marilyn Monroe.

Brassier and earthier than Monroe, Harlow was a bouncy sexpot who knew what she wanted and knew how to get it: a streetwise babe who lived in the real world and knew how to manipulate it to her advantage. Harlow, like Monroe, had a baby talk mode, but it was more clearly a put-on. Marilyn, or at least her screen persona, often seemed more like a little girl in a woman’s body, a blonde baby doll who never quite grew up, and often lived in a world all her own.

Harlow had a caustic sense of humor and a brazen sexuality that promised fun and orgasms in equal measure. Marilyn obviously knew her way around a bed (“Happy Birthday, Mr. President“), but she sometimes acted as if she didn’t, as if her little girl pose was no pose. Harlow’s juvenile antics, her “Daddy‘s girl“ banter with sugar daddies like beefy Wallace Beery, let the audience firmly in on the joke.

When Monroe undressed, she seemed to be in another costume, maybe her true costume. Harlow, Red Dust-style bath scenes excepted, had to keep her clothes on. Most of her movies came during the early Production Code years, and, though a super-cheesecake shot showed up in Hollywood Babylon, she haqd no nude calendar. But Harlow’s bosom and derriere poked at her clothes in ways that un-depressed Depression-era males in a hurry. Marilyn on screen, in some ways, was always a fantasy. Harlow on screen is usually real. Very real.

Something else: Harlow was a damned good actress, a first-rate comedienne, still a bit underrated. In the movies in this TCM “Greatest Classics Legends” box, she holds her own with the elite of MGM’s ‘30s studio acting royalty — with the Barrymores (John and Lionel), and with Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Rosalind Russell, and classy supporting players like Billie Burke, May Robson and C. Aubrey Smith, and even with the young Jimmy Stewart.

Holds her own? She‘s a star, even in a roomful of stars. I’ve often thought that playwright Garson Kanin may have gotten the idea for Born Yesterday while watching Harlow and Beery here — and Harlow, though not as good as Judy Holliday, had the stuff to be a damned fine Billie Dawn.

A great Harlow moment in this set: Walking in for dinner in the last scene of Dinner at Eight,“ the 1933 George Cukor-Algonquin Club masterpiece — strolling along with Marie Dressler, at her grande dame-iest, who is playing old-time diva actress Carlotta Vance — Harlow muses, in a thoughtfully brassy way, “I was reading a book yesterday…” (A take from Marie: “Reading a book?”) “Yes, it’s all about civilization or something: a nutty kind of a book. You know, the guy said that machinery is going to take the place of every profession! ” “Oh, my dear,” Marie insists, taking one expensive Harlow arm in hers, “That’s something you need never worry about!” Classic moment– for both of them.

Includes: Dinner at Eight (U. S.: George Cukor, 1933) Four Stars. Another MGM all-star special, and in some ways, a better movie than Grand Hotel: wittier, more knowing, with a deeper, stronger cast, and more beautifully directed, by Cukor. David Selznick was the producer, and the source was the classic hit Broadway play by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman, with the screenplay and additional dialogue from two more of their occasional Algonquin Club mates, Herman Mankiewicz and Donald Ogden Stewart, plus another Hollywood legend Frances Marion.

The play is classic. The script is brilliant. The direction and production are impeccable. The stellar cast, one of the all-time great Hollywood ensembles, includes Lionel Barrymore and Billie Burke as the beleaguered shipbuilder Oliver Jordan and his fluttery society wife, who’s holding a society dinner (at eight) for the British aristocrats Lord and Lady Ferncliffe.

On her guest list: washed-up alcoholic Hollywood actor Larry Renault (John Barrymore, in an astounding piece of self-revelation and a classic of the actor‘s art), who’s romancing their twentyish daughter Paula (Madge Evans), voracious bullyboy business shark Dan Packard (Wallace Beery) and his feisty platinum blonde trophy wife Kitty (Harlow, in one of her best roles), smooth society doctor (and Kitty’s lover) Wayne Talbot (Edmund Lowe) and his tolerant wife (Karen Morley), Paula’s hapless society beau (Phillips Holmes) and Milly’s relatives and regular pinch hit guests (Louise Closser Hale and Grant Mitchell.)

The rest of the cast includes fast-talking Lee Tracy (as Renault’s agent), Jean Hersholt and May Robson. It couldn’t be bettered. And neither could the movie, which, in some ways, is less another Grand Hotel, and more in the line of Jean Renoir’s great ensemble comedy-drama The Rules of the Game.” Not as good, of course. Nothing is.

Libeled Lady (U.S.: Jack Conway, 1935) Three and a Half Stars. Classic screwball comedy about reckless journalism, society scandals and trumped-up romance. Spencer Tracy is the hardcase newspaper editor being sued for libel (he‘s guilty), Myrna Loy is the society gal suing him, Walter Connolly is her rich but nice father, William Powell is the newsman Casanova trying to get the goods on Myrna, and Harlow is Tracy’s long-suffering often-at-the-altar-but-always-left fiancé, who marries Powell (Harlow’s real-life inamorata) as part of the plot.

This one is a little overrated, but you can‘t beat that cast. And there’s a terrific fishing scene, with amateur Powell trying to pretend he’s a trout-loving sportsman while surreptitiously using an angler’s manual, that I’ll bet partly inspired Howard Hawks’ Man’s Favorite Sport?

China Seas (U.S.: Tay Garnett, 1935) Three Stars. Another MGM all-star special, this time set on shipboard in the China Seas, on a boat plagued by piracy and romantic rivalry — with a quadrangle that embraces brash hero captain Clark Gable, shady lady songbird Harlow (in an archetypal role), British flower Rosalind Russell and sneaky crook and Harlow admirer Beery. The supporting cast includes C. Aubrey Smith, Robert Benchley, Hattie McDaniel, and MGM monument Lewis Stone, as a kind of Lord Jim. Rough and zesty, and not as good as director Garnett’s other ‘30s shipboard classic, One Way Passage, this one lacks the high gloss of some MGM’s ensemble specials, and the story is sometimes silly. But, like Gable and Harlow, it gets the job done.

Wife Vs. Secretary (U.S.: Clarence Brown, 1936). Magazine mogul Gable, who has a perfect marriage to super wife Loy, begins to notice the charms of his versatile secretary Harlow, whose boyfriend Jimmy Stewart gets sullen and jealous. Not a screwball comedy, this class-crossing romantic drama is directed with polish and intelligence by the underrated Clarence Brown, and the movie is a bit underrated too. It’s also an off type role, a noble working girl, by Harlow, and one of her subtlest, most realistic performances.

Extras: Documentary “Harlow: the Blonde Bombshell”; Vintage comedy, musical, Fitzpatrick Traveltalk and Crime Does Not Pay shorts; MGM radio promo; Trailers.


The Next Three Days (Two and a Half Stars)
U. S.: Paul Haggis, 2010 (Lionsgate)

Paul Haggis’ new movie is a romantic thriller about love that goes past all boundaries, past all reason, a love that makes a man (Russell Crowe, in fact) want to move Heaven and Earth to rescue his beloved. I’m all in favor of that. But The Next Three Days, I’m sorry, made no sense to me — even though I’ll give it some points for being so well-acted (by Crowe, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks, Daniel Stern and others), and fairly well-written and directed by Haggis, screenwriter of Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby and of his own Crash.
Check this out though: Crowe is playing a pudgy, undershaven teacher named John Brennan, whose beautiful wife Lara (Banks), is convicted of murder, after she’s seen driving away from a parking lot that‘s also a murder site, with the dead woman‘s blood on her coat. If I were a jury member, I wouldn’t have necessarily bought that kind of evidence — but then, Henry Fonda’s Juror No. 8, in Twelve Angry Men, is one of my heroes.

But this jury does buy it. Then, even though he’s convinced of his wife’s innocence, John gets derailed by the bad luck in court and a few discouraging words from lawyer Daniel Stern, and decides not to keep appealing but to break Lara out of jail instead. He‘s inspired by the wisdom of successful jailbreak artist/author Damon Pennington (Neeson, who‘s one of my heroes). I don’t buy this either, maybe because I would never hire Daniel Stern as my lawyer (I remember too well what his buddy Mickey Rourke did with that popcorn box in Diner), and also maybe because Hilary Swank, as Betty Anne Waters in Conviction, is also one of my new heroes.
What’s next?

Only a jailbreak plot that might tax the cunning, timing and stamina of Daniel Craig’s James Bond (one of our heroes), but that looks like duck soup for an out-of-shape, academic, seemingly emotionally distraught Russell Crowe, who, on the day of the break, also has to get his kid back from a birthday party and then, after the spring, make a plane. Most of us, me especially, would have trouble enough just making the plane. I guess that’s why Russell Crowe is one of my heroes.

But I didn’t buy all of that either. So what went wrong? Well, this isn’t a true life story, like Conviction, nor a courtroom drama inspired by life like 12 Angry Men, nor a cleverly crafted, humanistic American ensemble piece, like Haggis‘ Crash. The Next Three Days” was adapted from a French movie called Pour Elle, which was directed and co-written by Fred Cavaye. Now, I might buy all this in a French movie, even by a director named Fred, especially if Gerard Depardieu (one of my heroes) or Daniel Auteuil — or Pour Elle’s actual star Vincent Lindon — played John (or Jean). But that’s because the French are famous for film noir and l’amour fou and for turning crazy melodrama into art and then writing long impenetrable essays about it. They’re good at that stuff.

So what do you want? Many thrillers insult our intelligence, play havoc with our sense of reality. This one, at least, doesn’t insult us. It looks good, sounds good and plays good. (Brian Dennehy and Helen Carey, under-used, are John’s parents, and what jail could possibly hold the Liam Neeson who tore Paris apart in Taken ?)

Maybe I just couldn’t make any sense of it, because my conscious “l’amour fou“ days date back to Pierrot le Fou. The Next Three Days, incidentally, is dedicated, effusively, to Damon Pennington, who I guess is a real person, unlike John. If I ever have to break anyone out of jail, I’ll give Damon a call, because he obviously knows his stuff — and also, because I‘m probably in worse shape than Brennan.

By the way, I would like to apologize, effusively, to Daniel Stern, for making a snotty crack about Diner and its various I Vitelloni style gags. And for, earlier on, getting him confused with Mickey Rourke. I realize it was all Barry Levinson’s doing, and that Stern and Rourke and Kevin Bacon were just following orders, and I‘m sure these days all of them (and maybe Steve Guttenberg too) only eat gourmet popcorn with escargot snacks, washed down with French Champagne, while watching Cesar-winning French movies and classic American film noirs. Besides, Daniel Stern is one of my heroes.
Extras: Featurettes; Deleted scenes; Extended scenes; Bump key video.

Dhobi Ghat (Three Stars)
India: Kiran Rao, 2010 (UTV Motion Pictures)

This polished and very good-looking romantic drama (also called Mumbai Diaries) follows four people around modern Mumbai (or Bombay): semi-abstract painter Arun (the big Indian movie star Amir Khan), pretty investment banker Shai (Monica Dogri), handsome young washer man (or “dhobi”) Munna (Prateik), and Mumbai newcomer and amateur video camera bug Yasmin (Kriti Malhotra), a young woman from the provinces.

It’s a roundelay of sorts. Bubbly Shai and shy Arun meet at a gallery showing of his works. They sleep together, split, and then Munna (who does the wash for both), falls in love with Shai. There’s also some drugs and crime erupting out of Munna’s lower class world, and a touching ending.

“Dhobi Ghat” is the feature debut of writer-director Kiran Rao, who is married to the producer, Aamir Khan. It’s a sympathetic attempt to tell a realistic story which crosses class boundaries, but I’d have to say, speaking as a guy with lower class origins, I found it somewhat condescending, despite itself, toward the dhobi, whose hold on our sympathies seems to stem mostly from his shy puppy dog manner and movie star handsomeness.

But it’s a well-done, pretty, good-hearted film. The fine, wistful score is by Gustavo Santaololla (Inarritu’s composer), and Arun’s paintings were done by Ravi Mandlik and Sukanya Ghosh. They’re not bad.

A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop (Three and a Half Stars)
China: Zhang Yimou, 2009 (Sony Pictures Classics)

Zhang Yimou tries his exert hand at a lively combination of period romance, dark comedy and neo-noir thriller, inspired by the Coen Brothers’ debut movie Blood Simple (1984). Here, as they did in “Simple,“ a wife’s infidelity and her husband’s rage (there in a Texas bar, here in an isolated mountain area noodle shop) trigger a storm of murder, robbery and pathological derangements. (The Coens’ corrupt private eye, played unforgettably by M. Emmett Walsh, here becomes a corrupt swordsman)

“Noodle Shop” has some of Blood Simple’s comedy, somewhat broadened, but it has even more of the mood and look of early Zhang romantic melodramas, like 1988‘s Red Sorghum and 1990‘s Ju Dou. And, as you’d expect, it’s been stunningly designed, directed and shot, by one of the great pictorialists of contemporary international cinema. With Sun Honglei, Xiao Shenyang and Yan Ni. (In Mandarin Chinese, with English subtitles.)

Extras: Featurettes.

Off Limits (Two Stars)
U.S.: George Marshall, 1953 (Olive)

Bob Hope and Mickey Rooney are both somewhat wasted in this bouncy but uninspired service comedy, in which Bob is a famous fight trainer and Mickey an aspiring boxer, and both of them are also in the Military Police. Marshall keeps it moving, and he gets to stage a loony barroom brawl. (Marshall was at the helm for one of the all-time classic donnybrooks in the 1939 “Destry Rides Again.”)

Nothing happens that you haven’t already guessed, or probably that you especially want to see. Hope and Rooney are good, as usual, though the old ski-nose is much better playing an inept Lothario than a successful one, as he does here, and Rooney’s talent is colossally wasted. Marilyn Maxwell, Hope’s house blonde, plays Rooney‘s sexy aunt, and Jack Dempsey, hyperbolic Eddie Mayehoff, Marvin Miller and Carolyn Jones are also around. No extras.


Bill Moyers “Genesis: A Living Conversation” (Four Discs) (Three Stars)
U.S.: Catherine Tatge, 1996 (Athena)

More good, smart and sometimes eloquent conversations between Moyers and his illustrious guests, here examining the Bible and its tales, influence and import, in ten PBS episodes. The subjects include Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, and the participants in the group discussions include writers John Barth, Elizabeth Swados, Mary Gordon, Oscar Hijuelos, Barati Mukherjee and Faye Kellerman and theologians Burton L. Visotzky, Jean-Pierre M. Ruiz, Lewis B. Smedes and Dianne Bergant.

Extras: Viewers’ guide booklet, with introduction by Moyers, background and essays.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.


awesome stuff. OK I would like to contribute as well by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some amazing and easy to modify. check it out at All custom premade files, many of them totally free to get. Also, check out Dow on: Wilmington on DVDs: How to Train Your Dragon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Darjeeling Limited, The Films of Nikita Mikhalkov, The Hangover, The Human Centipede and more ...

cool post. OK I would like to contribute too by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some amazing and easy to customize. check it out at All custom templates, many of them dirt cheap or free to get. Also, check out Downlo on: Wilmington on Movies: I'm Still Here, Soul Kitchen and Bran Nue Dae

awesome post. Now I would like to contribute too by sharing this awesome link, that personally helped me get some beautiful and easy to modify. take a look at All custom premade files, many of them free to get. Also, check out DownloadSoho.c on: MW on Movies: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Paranormal Activity 2, and CIFF Wrap-Up

Carrie Mulligan on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Great Gatsby

isa50 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell's Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Rory on: Wilmington on Movies: Snow White and the Huntsman

Andrew Coyle on: Wilmington On Movies: Paterson

tamzap on: Wilmington on DVDs: The Magnificent Seven, Date Night, Little Women, Chicago and more …

rdecker5 on: Wilmington on DVDs: Ivan's Childhood

Ray Pride on: Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon