Frank's pop culture minute.

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:09 am

This is why soul always does it for me in the end:

http://www.imeem.com/jukeboxmusic16/mus ... erson_joy/

cynic
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Postby cynic » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:05 pm

FrankChurch wrote: Mike, what about the book, ick. Remember the rat scene. eww.

didn't know till now that Amer. Psycho was a novel.the list keeps get'n longer.

rats always remind me of 1984

follow your bliss

happiness is a warm gun(gotta keep in touch with my yang),mike

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:02 am

cynic wrote:
FrankChurch wrote: Mike, what about the book, ick. Remember the rat scene. eww.

didn't know till now that Amer. Psycho was a novel.



Jeesh, how young are you, son? _American Psycho_ was actually one of the few new books that generated far more headlines and publicity than the movie that was made of it. A lot of people wanted it banned; here in Portland some folks responded by reading it aloud publicly.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Steve Evil
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Postby Steve Evil » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:32 pm

Some folks here tied it to the Bernardo/Homolka killings. American Psycho was apparently in the guy's library. That of course was enough to make Brett Easton Ellis directly responsible for the crimes.

Read a couple passages in a bookstore once. Felt no desire to carry on.

cynic
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Postby cynic » Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:28 pm

David Loftus wrote:Jeesh, how young are you, son? _American Psycho_ was actually one of the few new books that generated ...........

david,
ok,so you're not gonna tell me about the rat scene.....spoilers and all.
FINE HAVE IT YOUR WAY
did you like the book?

SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i often recommend the movie.the buisness card scene makes me howl.
SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

frank,
is the book better than the flik?

follow your bliss

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:28 pm

It's not a book you can like . . . at least, I can't think of very many people who would. It's a book you can admire for its technique, ambition, gall.

And the chapters that consist of the protagonist's analyses/appreciations of various 1980s pop singers and bands are pretty amusing.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

Josh Olson
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Postby Josh Olson » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:53 pm

Sorry. Been away for a bit, and I thought this was dead. Apparently not.

Donald Petersen wrote: In my experience, the "high-maintenance" or "fragile" or "totally f***in' insane" actors are neither more nor less talented than the solidly nailed-down ones who can turn on and off an apparently wrenching performance like flipping a lightswitch.


First of all, I don't see anyone making such comparisons. You're arguing a straw man point, one that's exacerbated by the general public's antipathy towards celebrities. Understood, but dreary.

Second, anyone who really believes that a great actor can produce a great performance at the drop of a hat doesn't know the first thing about acting. I would strongly advise you not to make such comments in the presence of people who actually do the job you're disparaging. Seriously. It's profoundly ignorant and insulting.

Donald Petersen wrote:
I shan't name names, but I remember working with one actress whose process consistently required completely clear sightlines, frequent breathing exercises, plenty of rehearsal, a precise amount of pepper on her morning eggs, and the freedom to browbeat and insult a talented and likable 8-year-old co-star.


You understand you just equated wanting clear sight lines with abusing a child, yes? It's SOP on a set to provide actors with such things because it's commonly understood that clear sight lines and rehearsal are important parts of the job. Your contempt for these people shines like a beacon, man. It's one thing coming from someone who doesn't have any professional contact with actors, but from someone who works in the business, it's kinda sad.


Donald Petersen wrote:
But Bale blew his top in a more spectacular form than is usual.


And this is where all this shit just crumbles like last week's toast. No, he didn't. The only thing noteworthy about Bale's explosion is that some asshole recorded it and leaked it to the internet.

Donald Petersen wrote: Like David O. Russell's on-set meltdown, it's only really newsworthy because of the extent of the vitriol being flung.


It's nothing like that outburst, first of all, and second, it might shock you to learn that Lily Tomlin still speaks incredibly highly of Russell and would work with him again in a heartbeat.

Donald Petersen wrote:But I still say that Bale (and Russell, for that matter) went way too far. In the unlikely event that I were to produce a feature, I might think twice about hiring Shane Hurlbut to shoot my movie (did Mr. 3000 really look all that fabulous, after all?), but I honestly can't see that Christian Bale, talented as he is, is worth the price of such a fearsome temper.


Which is one of the reasons no one would hire you to produce a feature film. That Bale didn't punch the guy out is remarkable. The situation was, simply, insane. You had a lead actor who had asked the DP many times to stop fucking around while he was working. This isn't a minor request. This is HUGE. A cinematographer who does what this guy does is seriously bad news. One who continues to do it after being asked not to is beyond the pale. At a certain point, when faced with insane, irrational behavior, one's options become pretty limited. Clearly, he got no support from the ass-clown director, and whether you respect what he does or not (clearly you don't), there's more pressure on Bale at that moment than on anyone else on the set. There isn't a studio or producer in town who'd hold the outburst against him. If anything, it's a huge mark against the DP and the director. Rightly so.

Donald Petersen wrote: But one would think that a relatively calmer "Hey asshole, sit still for a bit 'cause you're really making it tough for me to concentrate up here" might have sufficed.


I find it's always a good idea to know what I'm talking about before offering such strong opinions. Because if you'd actually listened to the tape, or spent ten seconds finding out about what happened on the set, you'd know that he DID approach the guy calmly, MANY TIMES. So, you know... there goes that inept theory.

Donald Petersen wrote:
I also think people's memory of the fact that Bale's own mother and sister had him arrested in London last year for verbally blowing up at them might lend a bit of credence to the idea that Bale's temper might be a tad outta whack.


Which makes his self-control during this particular episode all the more commendable.

Jim,

Jim Davis wrote:I've had problems with my temper in the past, and what helped me to tamp it down was the realization that I was blowing my top not out of any sense of injustice, but rather a twisted desire for self-gratification. It's like masturbation, in a way, and like masturbation, it's not something you do around other people.


And yet, I'll bet you anything that not only did the DP finally stop his ridiculously unprofessional behavior, he probably won't do it again on his next film either. I'll tell you this, too - when I hear Bale's rant, I hear a calculated performance. I hear a guy who realizes that calm words and entreaties won't work with this fucking asshole, that his director is useless, and the only way to get through is to blow up at him.

David,

David Loftus wrote:I appreciated Josh's input, but I have to come down on it with you guys. I can see being that angry, but not playing it that way, if only because of an awareness of everyone who would have witnessed it.


Except for one thing - you're perceiving this through the lens of what's normal and acceptable behavior in an office. A movie set isn't an office. Like any workplace, it has its own set of standards for behavior, and its own rules. I've said time and again, Bale's outburst is no different from shit that happens on sets every single day. It was mild. That may be shocking to you, and it may cause some of the hens here to start clucking, but that's the way it is. Had it not been recorded, I doubt there's a single person on the set who would have gone home and told their family about it. It was nothing. It was unremarkable.

The real problem here is that a fairly run of the mill situation was recorded and handed to the general public with no context whatsoever. Naturally, people judge it by the rules of their own lives, as though everyone everywhere behaves the same way. Christ, people - this is a forum dedicated to Harlan Ellison. I'll tell you something - if Susan, say, had recorded three minutes of Harlan and me working together and released them on the internet, you guys would have fucking heart attacks. You'd call the cops. It would get more hits on Youtube than the Leave Britney Alone dude, cos it would be two frothing, violent madmen mere seconds away from a brutal suicide/murder, and the clucking hens would have fodder for a fucking year.

And yet.... we remain the absolute best of friends. Cos, see.... we were THERE and we were behaving that way within a context that someone who wasn't there could never, in a million years, understand.

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Postby Ben W. » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:37 pm

Josh, each and every word you've uttered about Christian Bale is probably true. I haven't listened to that infamous recording myself (I'd feel pretty icky if I did), but knowing all about the inevitable tension on a film set, Bale's outburst makes sad but reasonable sense.

Unfortunately, regardless of how justified Bale was in that predicament, the stereotype of the egomaniacal, childish superstar has seized hold of too many minds outside Tinsel Town, and it isn't a stereotype that can be broken anytime soon. Ben Stiller allegedly fires crew members on set for simply making direct eye contact with him.

When stories of such temperamental monsters run amuck, well...can you really blame the general reaction of rolling eyes and bitter smirks of "here we go again" from the average joe?

If it had been a writer, or a director having a hissy fit, then maybe this debacle wouldn't have received so much attention. But it was an actor, and an "A-list" actor at that. People jump on this kind of news like wolves to a deer carcass. Ugly, but true.

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Postby Josh Olson » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:00 pm

Ben W. wrote:Unfortunately, regardless of how justified Bale was in that predicament, the stereotype of the egomaniacal, childish superstar has seized hold of too many minds outside Tinsel Town, and it isn't a stereotype that can be broken anytime soon.


Yup. And crap like this feeds it - not Bale's outburst, but the tape and the subsequent ridiculously ignorant response to it. I don't expect the public to change, but I do feel a responsibility to speak out about a situation when you know the truth isn't being told, regardless of the hopelessness of it.

Ben W. wrote: Ben Stiller allegedly fires crew members on set for simply making direct eye contact with him.


I've seen him do it, too. On EXTRAS, which is a sitcom. In real life, if Stiller behaved that way on the set of his own movies, nobody would work with him.

Ben W. wrote:When stories of such temperamental monsters run amuck, well...can you really blame the general reaction of rolling eyes and bitter smirks of "here we go again" from the average joe?


The problem is, the vast majority of these stories are absolute horseshit. People love to act like they know something, like they have some kind of line on stuff that no one else has.

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Postby Jim Davis » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:18 pm

Though I know Donald is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, I'd like to address one of Josh's comments to him, all the same:

Josh Olson wrote:
Donald Petersen wrote:
I shan't name names, but I remember working with one actress whose process consistently required completely clear sightlines, frequent breathing exercises, plenty of rehearsal, a precise amount of pepper on her morning eggs, and the freedom to browbeat and insult a talented and likable 8-year-old co-star.


You understand you just equated wanting clear sight lines with abusing a child, yes? It's SOP on a set to provide actors with such things because it's commonly understood that clear sight lines and rehearsal are important parts of the job. Your contempt for these people shines like a beacon, man. It's one thing coming from someone who doesn't have any professional contact with actors, but from someone who works in the business, it's kinda sad.


I have no doubt that the DP's crossing his sight lines was distracting to Bale (duh), but was it really that difficult for him to ignore it, soldier on, and complete the take? Stage actors almost never have clear sight lines, yet they're able to pull off performance after performance with nary a hitch. (Yes, I know film acting is done on a different time-frame, but still.)


And yet, I'll bet you anything that not only did the DP finally stop his ridiculously unprofessional behavior, he probably won't do it again on his next film either. I'll tell you this, too - when I hear Bale's rant, I hear a calculated performance. I hear a guy who realizes that calm words and entreaties won't work with this fucking asshole, that his director is useless, and the only way to get through is to blow up at him.


You're virtually saying that the ends justify the means. Smashing the DP in the head would've stopped him crossing sight lines, too--does that make it okay? Again, no one's blaming Bale for losing his temper and blowing up at the DP; indeed, if he had just done that, there would have been no outcry and the DP probably would've adjusted his behavior on future sets. But that's not what happened; instead Bale spent several minutes yelling and screaming, dropping the f-bomb in every sentence, and capped it all off by threatening to both beat up the guy and get him canned. By whatever metric you use, that's outrageous, and if you're right, and Bale was giving a calculated performance, then his was not to right a wrong, but to humiliate another human being. Look, I'm not defending the DP, but did adjusting a light really deserve all that?


David Loftus wrote:I appreciated Josh's input, but I have to come down on it with you guys. I can see being that angry, but not playing it that way, if only because of an awareness of everyone who would have witnessed it.


Except for one thing - you're perceiving this through the lens of what's normal and acceptable behavior in an office. A movie set isn't an office. Like any workplace, it has its own set of standards for behavior, and its own rules. I've said time and again, Bale's outburst is no different from shit that happens on sets every single day. It was mild. That may be shocking to you, and it may cause some of the hens here to start clucking, but that's the way it is. Had it not been recorded, I doubt there's a single person on the set who would have gone home and told their family about it. It was nothing. It was unremarkable.


Are Hollywood sets, ultimately, that different? Sure, every workplace has its own idiosyncrasies, but certain basic rules govern them all. I've done my share of restaurant work, and for stress, they rival any movie set you can find anywhere, and they're also filled with many high-strung, creative types, too. Blow-ups and foul language happen all the time. Still, if Bale had pulled the same stunt in some of the places I've worked in, he would've (a) been fired and (b) found himself picking his teeth out of the gazpacho. Some things don't (or shouldn't) fly no matter where you work.

The real problem here is that a fairly run of the mill situation was recorded and handed to the general public with no context whatsoever. Naturally, people judge it by the rules of their own lives, as though everyone everywhere behaves the same way. Christ, people - this is a forum dedicated to Harlan Ellison. I'll tell you something - if Susan, say, had recorded three minutes of Harlan and me working together and released them on the internet, you guys would have fucking heart attacks. You'd call the cops. It would get more hits on Youtube than the Leave Britney Alone dude, cos it would be two frothing, violent madmen mere seconds away from a brutal suicide/murder, and the clucking hens would have fodder for a fucking year.

And yet.... we remain the absolute best of friends. Cos, see.... we were THERE and we were behaving that way within a context that someone who wasn't there could never, in a million years, understand.


No doubt, but there's a difference between two friends giving each other shit in private and two co-workers on a movie set in front of dozens of people. Acts in the former have a whole different meaning and resonance when transposed to the latter.

Again, I'm not saying Christian Bale should change his name to Adolph Stalin. But his outburst, even when seen in context, was beyond the pale in virtually every way. You just don't talk to another human being like that for what is ultimately not a matter of life and death--not if you respect other human beings at all, that is. Josh, you're planning on directing a film, right? Would you want people on your set talking to each other like that?
--
"His plan therefore was not to refuse admission to the idea, but to keep it at bay until his mind was ready to receive it. Then let it in and pulverise it. Obliterate the bastard."--Samuel Beckett

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Postby Josh Olson » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:37 am

Jim Davis wrote:I have no doubt that the DP's crossing his sight lines was distracting to Bale (duh), but was it really that difficult for him to ignore it, soldier on, and complete the take? Stage actors almost never have clear sight lines, yet they're able to pull off performance after performance with nary a hitch. (Yes, I know film acting is done on a different time-frame, but still.)


Unreal. That you feel this is a reasonable comment to make pretty much says it all.

Jim Davis wrote:Josh, you're planning on directing a film, right? Would you want people on your set talking to each other like that?


I HAVE directed a film, Jim. And I've been in this business and on sets for twenty years, and that is why, when I tell you you have no idea what the bloody blue hell you're talking about, it would behoove an educated person to pause and consider, rather than patronize someone whose authority on this matter dwarfs your own.

But no, no matter how much one argues against the ignorance of the uninvolved, they must have their say. They must get their clucking in, and they must inform you about that which they do not know.

I don't know what it is you do for a living, Jim, but unless it's a job I've done or spent a great deal of time around, the notion of lecturing you as to how it's done, and how one should behave while doing it would never, in a million years, cross my mind. Arrogant prick I may be, but I've never taken it as far as you have with that comment.

I did a movie with Linda Hamilton once, many years ago. As we were standing around the set chatting, a man came up to her and said, ""Oh my God, I loved you in that movie about the volcano."

"Dante's Peak," she said.

"No, no," the guy replies. "The other one."

"I wasn't in the other one," she said politely. "I was in Dante's Peak."

"No," he says, starting to get angry. "You were in the other one."

Linda smiled, and walked away, because Linda is way more polite than I am, or our esteemed host. But the point remains - when you work in a high profile business that people take such pleasure in reading about and discussing knowingly, you end up in these situations. You end up with people feeling that it is completely and utterly reasonable to lecture you in how things work in your world. I have no doubt that asshole went home and told his pals that he met Linda Hamilton, and she was incredibly rude to him. More perverse, that probably made him happier than if he had a story about how nice she was to him.

Jim, you have no concept, no clue, and no tiny little twinkling of how utterly boorish your post was. I do not doubt your intentions were decent, and you're taken aback by my response. Nonetheless, your comments - take in context, unlike Bale's - were rude, presumptuous, ignorant and arrogant.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:51 am

Well I know absolutely nothing about the inner workings of the movie biz so I will gladly bow to your superior knowledge Mr Olson but I do wish all this energy and bandwidth were being applied to posting about something other than another zillion dollar dumbass cgi movie, n'est ce pas?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:49 am

I like Linda Hamilton.

I ran into her one time myself.

She's an absolutely capable actress, and as such, the more FORGOTTEN 'Dante's Peak' might be the BETTER.

A paycheck is a paycheck, but some movie titles are better left off the resume. DP was SUCH an unspeakably bone-brained piece of shit.

"The OTHER One" sounds a helluva better! I even like the title.

BTW, Josh - a piece of frivolous minutia you may or may not find interesting:

As you know, Peter Jackson did a special piece on Willis O'Brien's effects on the original KONG.

Segue to my early childhood: I grew up without a dad, but had living with us for years was a close, CLOSE friend who nearly functioned as a surrogate dad, though this was near the end of his life.

He was an excellent New York artist/painter - specializing in abstract, but very fine in Realist when he needed to be. His name was Leo Quanchi.

In the 1930's Leo worked for RKO Pictures' New York advertising division. He won prizes in this field, and became part of the ad campaign for King Kong. I have photocopies of his original Kong 1932 poster layouts, in addition to newspaper clippings talking about his work on the campaign.

He is also the designer of the famously iconic RKO "radio bolt" logo we see on all those old movies from that era.

(This material was amongst stuff I finally retrieved from our old house in Connecticut, which is now falling apart and drifting into the hands of the bank, my mother having passed away a few years ago leaving behind a lot of unfinished business. I have a LOT of stories in me from this experience - stuff that's the very clay of great writing in novels and movies. But all that's for another thread!)

Artistically and politically, Leo had a great impact on me.

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Postby Moderator » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:49 am

Decorum, gentlemen, si vous plait.

I agree with Josh, but don't think Jim's post was out of line.

I will admit: Were the banging-in-the-background events of Bale's meltdown duplicated in a recording studio during rehearsal instead of a film set, I daresay even my even-tempered spouse would have verbally taken someone out.

(And several of the rest of us would have beaten her to the punch...)

But: No one who posts here is an idiot, IMHO.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Josh Olson
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Postby Josh Olson » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:08 pm

Barber wrote:I agree with Josh, but don't think Jim's post was out of line.


Out of line? No. Patronizing and ignorant? Demonstrably so.


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