With the release of the movie Get On Up, those of us who knew “Soul Brother Number One” are free at last to tell the truth: he was an asshole of the highest order. James Brown: The Hardest Working Asshole in Show Business ☀
The story is horrific. God sends a flood and drowns out most of the population and only saves one family. God shuts the door. “God wouldn’t demand human sacrifices,” they say, until they remember Isaac. Either way, the story says God killed everybody and folks are all up in arms because Aronofsky has Noah thinking God wants him to kill his granddaughters. I think the reason evangelicals hate this movie is because they know the God portrayed in the Noah myth is more than a little psychotic and nothing like the God they believe in – but they don’t want to know that they know that, so they lash out at Aronovsky, not because of the parts that are inaccurate, but mostly because of the parts that are – the film’s portrayal of God. Noah : A Movie Review ☀
Look, I don’t want to be a killjoy. Why quibble over the delightful goose laying the golden eggs in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” or the construction of Icarus’ waxwork wings, because the premise for the fantasy is inconsistent with science? Fantasy can illuminate human nature in a compelling way. But in Lucy, the story does not progress beyond the absurd premise. Look a golden egg! Wow, she laid another one! Look another one and it is even bigger…amazing special effects! The viewer gets anxious to see what will happen when Lucy finally reaches 100% of her brain capacity. When we finally get there, the answer—involving the meaning of life and a thumb drive—is an enormous let-down. Icarus crashing to earth when his wings melt from flying too close to the sun makes an eloquent point. The message in Lucy is trivial: that if we could have god-like knowledge we wouldn’t know what to do with it, other than stick someone else with it. Douglas Fields Reviews ‘Lucy’ ☀
Lucy is an exceedingly stupid movie. It tries to be a special-effects laden superhuman action film but has unimaginative and dull action sequences. It tries to be pop-psych deep philosophy about our minds and the nature of the universe, but has not the slightest conception of anything about science or the way the human brain works. Lucy: Painfully Stupid No Matter What Percent of Your Brain You Use ☀
When you’ve got a badass superhero with evil futuristic drug lord enemies, you’d better have a damn good theory about the meaning of existence if we’re going to take lots of time out to talk about it. And Lucy doesn’t. It’s like Besson read about the superintelligence explosion and the singularity, then decided to slather some soundbytes from What the Bleep Do We Know?! on top of what would otherwise have been a really compelling superhero story. Lucy Tells the Greatest Superhero Origin Story Ever ☀
The Revenge of Alfred Hitchcock’s Muse ☀
- Andrew Goldman: The new HBO movie “The Girl” depicts your relationship with Alfred Hitchcock, who, after giving you your first movie role in “The Birds,” plants an unwanted kiss on you, tries to blackmail you for sex and stalks you. Why would he do these things?
- Tippi Hedren: He was a misogynist. That man was physically so unattractive. I think to have a mind that thought of himself as an attractive, romantic man and then to wake up in the morning and look at that face and that body was tough. I think he had a whole lot of problems.
- AG: The film made me ponder the expression “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Is there any satisfaction in exacting revenge on a man who has been dead 32 years?
- TH: Well, I don’t know that I’ve gotten any revenge on him. Maybe this movie is a bit. But I’m not the first one this happened to. Other actresses never made any overt statements about it. What he did with his life is astounding. There is no one in this world that did films like he did. Nobody.
- AG: The worst abuse happened after you rebuffed his advances. Actors have been known to sleep with less powerful directors for advancement in show business. Did you ever consider it?
- TH: I have a strong Lutheran background, and my parents instilled in me strong morals. This was something I could never have done. I was not interested in him that way at all. I was fortunate enough to work with him, and as far as I was concerned, he ruined everything.
- AG: There is a scene in “The Girl” — as well as in the Donald Spoto book it’s based on — in which Hitchcock informs you that you are to be sexually available to him any time, any place. How do you even respond to that?
- TH: I said, I’ve got to get out of the contract. He said, I’ll ruin your career. And he did. He wouldn’t let me out of the contract. I’d be a really big star if he hadn’t stopped my career. There were so many people who wanted me for their films. All he said was, “She isn’t available.” That’s a mean, mean man.
- AG: You’ve said that his wife, Alma, knew of his obsession with you.
- TH: That couple was an enigma to all of Hollywood. At one point, she came to me during “Marnie” and said, “I’m so sorry you have to go through all of this,” and I looked at her and said, “Alma, you could stop it.” Her eyes just glazed over, and she turned and left.
I recommend the film for two reasons. The primary metaphor of confined class struggle is explored in different ways. When resources are scarce, or you are at war, what is the best way to govern? It’s no surprise those at the front of the train, who live in luxury, force the belief that where you are born on the train is where you must stay. The second reason I recommend the film is because of its many thoughtful flourishes rarely seen in American action films. Although the film is violent, there are moments when things slow down to capture a snowflake floating by, or the curious handling of a large fish by soldiers just before an awful fight is about to begin. There is a patience and craft at work here that’s hard to ignore. The performances are good, there are surprises and some fantastic sets that take on the challenge of how 1000 people could survive on a train for 20 years. Snowpiercer: Movie Review ☀
It might be true that “liberal elites” are more contemptuous of the fervently religious than 50 years ago, but it’s the hysterical rants and exaggerated boy-who-cried-wolf claims of movies like this that fuel this disdain. Persecuted is a ludicrously mushy political thriller, but the fact that it can find an audience is downright terrifying. ‘Persecuted’ Is the Christian Right’s Paranoid Wet Dream ☀
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