Friday, December 1, 2017

Disastrous links

If I were to guess, I'd say most of us knew, or at least suspected, sexual harassment existed within Hollywood and either accepted it as fact or perhaps assumed there were channels through which someone could go in order to combat it - SAG, for instance. 

If there's any justice, this current wave of exposure will have repercussions beyond the film industry because it is by no means limited there (as long as it doesn't morph into a witch hunt); what I wanna talk about, though, is how do we, the movie-going audience, move on from here?

When I talked about Bill Cosby earlier this year, I had said I have too many good memories of him on television for them to be easily erased by the mountain of accusations leveled against him. On a fundamental level, this feels right. Kevin Spacey's career as a Hollywood actor may be finished, but no one's gonna erase American Beauty from the record, or The Usual Suspects or Seven; he still did excellent work in those and other movies.

Flawed people are capable of great works of art. Should discovering the flaws negate the work? I say no. Barbara Stanwyck was a right-winger who was rabidly anti-Communist and she is still my favorite actress.

I think we, the audience, have to be very careful not to look upon movie stars, or celebrities in general, or anybody in the public eye, really, as role models. Back in the studio era, it was easy to fall for the myth of the star as a larger-than-life demigod, because that's how they were sold to us -- but it was as much a lie then as it is now.

We need to draw a line in the sand that separates our respect for movie stars as entertainers from admiration little different from idolatry. That's not easy... but I think it's necessary. We just don't know who these people really are anymore. We never did.

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The novel is done! This draft, anyway; the next phase is revision, but I won't start that until next year. I have a fairly good idea of what needs fixing, and of what needs to be researched. I'll know more once I get feedback from my beta readers (I want four, but I'll settle for three).

Once it's DONE-done, as in proofread and strengthened, will l I try to take it to the big publishers, or will I self-publish it? Still don't know for sure. I'm reading so many writing blogs, learning all kinds of things about the industry and Amazon and e-books and this and that... It's safe to say it'll be awhile before I decide one way or another.

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This has been a hard week for me, so I'm gonna talk about two new movies here instead of giving them separate posts: 

- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was quite good. Frances McDormand's character is justifiably angry over the lack of justice for her murdered daughter, and that anger threatens to consume her, but we run out of movie before we discover how far she's willing to go. That was deliberate on writer-director Martin McDonagh's part; I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but regardless, this is a dream role for McDormand and she nails it.

- Coco comes a year after another animated movie set in a foreign culture about a young guitarist, Kubo and the Two Strings, but Pixar takes a different approach, using a holiday, the Day of the Dead, to define this world, the way it works, and how the characters act within this world. I was unfamiliar with the specifics of the holiday, so I had to really pay attention to understand why X does Y and how that will lead to Z, but it was so worth the effort. The opening act was a new Frozen Christmas short featuring the magic snow golem Olaf, and I hated him within the first two minutes. I'm in no hurry to see the original film.

Links after the jump.


CMBA did a blogathon last month spotlighting banned and blacklisted films and honestly, I can't pick out one or two or even three of them, so go read them all.

Raquel watches the Rocky movies for the first time... and talks about it in a podcast.

Did you know Robert Redford and Jane Fonda made a movie this year that went straight to Netflix? Le did.

Pam on Kevin Spacey.

Another guest writer on Aurora's blog shares her personal connection with Cuba in film.

One of my oldest comics friends is a self-published cartoonist named Pam Bliss. Occasionally, she reviews movies on her blog. Here's her two cents on Thor: Ragnarok.

Here's another film blogger who took part in NaNoWriMo (and talks about her process).

An inside look at an exhibition at the house where Paul Robeson was born, now a museum.

Ever wonder how books get adapted into movies?

Maureen O'Hara didn't put up with the Harvey Weinsteins of her day.

Alec Baldwin knows a fake painting when he sees one.

Little kids watch The Room.

2 comments:

  1. Last year a CBC radio personality was brought to court over sexual misconduct allegations (pretty harrowing) and, although he wasn't someone I was aware of, his firing and the whole scandal was a big deal.

    Last night former baseball player and current Blue Jay commentator Greg Zaun was fired from the sports network for inappropriate behavior. In his case, so far, it is nothing physical, but inappropriate speech.

    You are right in that we can't have witch hunts, but it is past time that this sort of thing hasn't been dealt with properly. These days, I check the news with one eye closed until I can acclimate to whatever calamity comes next.

    Thanks for all the reading!

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  2. No argument here. I think we're only now seeing just how widespread it actually is.

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