Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"Scrim" from Anodyne
Posted by Peter at 11:30 AM
good essay on Scorsese's underrated Color Of Money
Equally arresting is the sudden bark “Come on, on the snap, Vincent!” This seems to come from nowhere—Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was briefly visible a moment earlier, sitting behind Turturro as he calls for Cruise to join the game, but she doesn’t really register unless you’re looking for her. So now there’s some woman involved. Following some dorky samurai theatrics (foreshadowing Oprah’s couch, one could argue), Cruise starts making out with her, so we may file her under Girlfriend. But she seems way more intense about the unfolding action than one would expect of somebody that easily reducible, and the mere fact that her presence in the room has been carefully obscured tells us that she’s important. Newman senses it, too. After goggling at Cruise’s offer to “play play”—the very notion of pool divorced from financial gain seems heretical to everyone but this flaky virtuoso; Turturro’s silent exit is priceless—he takes a seat on the table behind Mastrantonio, prompting her (in a nice bit of business I don’t think I’d ever noticed before) to move a leather jacket away from where he could swipe it...
Posted by Peter at 11:08 AM
Posted by Peter at 8:55 AM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Is there no purpose beyond the blood?
Spartacus is about the flirtation between immaturity and immortality. Every word reversal that gets employed to remind the viewer that this is indeed olden days gets matched up with a willfully adolescent take on sex and violence. And for good measure, a shot of a disembodied head or a shaved scrotum. At the mid-season climax, Spartacus asks, pointedly, “Is there no purpose beyond the blood?” It’s directed towards Crixus, a fellow enslaved gladiator, who surely doubts any higher calling, but it feels like an aside. If you have to ask about the blood, you’ll never know. It’s another wink at the demographic that the show’s opening disclaimer is intended to scare off. Each episode opens with a title card declaiming that the “intensity of the sensuality, brutality, and language is intended to suggest an authentic representation of that period.” Not provide an authentic representation, but suggest that one could be created, should another, say, classier, producer so desire...
Posted by Peter at 10:26 AM
Fug Right Off --interview with an unrepentant Tuli Kupferberg:
“He’s really full of Yiddishkeit,” said Israel, who still uses a line in his one-man show that Kupferberg told him years ago: “If the rich could pay the poor to die for them, then the poor could really make a living.”
Posted by Peter at 9:51 AM