Category Archives: Hollywood

Pop Culture

Posted by Lex, on February 6, 2010

Andrew Klavan explains it:

See if you can spot the difference between reality and American culture. In reality, President John F. Kennedy was a fierce Cold Warrior who twice tripled America’s military presence in the Vietnam War to try to stop the spread of Communism and risked nuclear disaster by standing up to the Soviet Union in Cuba. He was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, an America-hating leftist who had once defected to the USSR.

Now, the culture: in Oliver Stone’s film JFK—nominated for Best Picture Oscar in 1991—Kennedy is a peaceful lefty contemplating a withdrawal from Vietnam. He’s assassinated by a vast right-wing cabal that includes every single person in America except for Oliver Stone. Reality, culture. Can you spot the difference?

More examples abound.

 

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2 Good Friends

2GoodFriends

Photo via Getty Images

Over the years, thanks to screenwriter Robert Avrech, I developed an appreciation for classic Hollywood. As is my nature, that which has interested me I really delved into research to learn all that I can.

Audrey Hepburn was, according to her son Sean Ferrer, An Elegant Spirit. No Hollywood diva, she. She grew up in Holland under the Nazis nearly starving, because her father felt that the Nazis were on the verge of invading England, and he should take his family to Europe.

Talk about timing.

Her first love was ballet, and for reasons I forget couldn’t make the cut, and started acting.

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Filed under Hollywood, In Memoriam, Uncategorized

The vanity of public men

By Lex

Posted on August 15, 2006

 

Success in a particular field of endeavor does not, sadly, translate to success in all fields. When I was a nobbut, experienced civil aviators of my acquaintance often called the Bonanza V-35B the “doctor killer,” since it was an expensive, high performance, slippery aircraft which demanded precision, especially during adverse weather. Weather for which certain of the wealthy, master-of-the-universe-type physicians who often purchased them declined to adequately prepare.

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Thanksgiving Conversation

ThanksgivingConversations

I would say that the typical family get together for  Thanksgiving has almost become a subject of comedy when it comes to conversations around the table. Google the subject and you will find literally dozens of posts on how to avoid the pitfall of political conversation among family who have converged from far and wide.

My family is a bit different.  First of all, you could count my extended family on less than the digits of  both hands (for most people). And with the death of my father a couple of years ago it is that much smaller.

Secondly we have never been so set in our ways as to shut off all communication with those who have different opinions.

So it came to pass (sounds a bit Biblical in that opening phrase) that my 93 year old mother and I had Thanksgiving dinner with some friends of many years as guests.

The guests were more of the leftish persuasion, having voted for Obama while my mother, an avid Trump hater, claims to be a conservative.

Me? Well, I supported Goldwater when I was 14 and walked precincts.

And the subject at our table this year?

Sex.

One thing my mother has in common with her friend on the other side of the political spectrum was an admiration for Charlie Rose. And I was thinking with the recent revelations to be a young woman and have to see Charlie exit the shower (with an invitation to join him!) well, that would be, as my late aunt from West Virginia would say, “enough to make a dog throw up”.

And then Harvey Weinstein?   There is nothing new about the “casting couch” and Hollywood – just read up on Louis B Meyer or Harry Cohn just as a couple of examples.  They keep falling these days. Here is the latest.

I met them all. Some were vicious and crooked. But … you saw Hollywood with their eyes — an overcrowded brothel, a merry-go-round with beds for horses.”

Marilyn Monroe

I mentioned too that women – and men – use sex as a weapon.  Blackmail. It wouldn’t surprise me today that among all of the accusations flying, at least a few are seeing a cash reward.

The smarter people in Hollywood – or Washington – might want to adopt the Billy Graham rule, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. I don’t see a lot of that happening, but you never know. They laughed at Mike Pence in the campaign for his refusal to have dinner with any woman without his wife present.

They aren’t laughing now.

If you are a woman, Lex had a simple test on how to evaluate men.

That conversation was a lot more interesting than politics.

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Filed under Hollywood, Life

Shorter David Sirota

By lex, on August 28th, 2011

The US military should allow anti-military filmmakers open access to their personnel and use of their equipment.

The longer and more nuanced reading is that the military exercises some control over Hollywood movie scripts which ask to use actual military personnel and equipment. This is cast by Mr. Sirota as something akin to prior restraint of free speech rather than organizational prudence, Hollywood directors and writers typically having exactly zero understanding of how the military actually works. This lack of experience and comprehension is buttressed by their fixed preconceptions. So the military says this: Go ahead and tar our servicemen with your broad brushes of ignorance and bile if you’d like. Just don’t expect us to underwrite your smear campaigns. Or: Work with us to ensure that 1) you get to make your money so long as the portrayal of our forces is fair, and so long as it fits within the normal training and operation of the force. We’ll bend over backwards, in other words. We just won’t bend over forwards.

Which to me seems fair.

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Wind River

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This has been an unusual year, as far as movies go. I have seen 2 memorable movies this year, which is 2 more than the average year. The first was Dunkirk, of which so much has been written nothing more need be said. Well, one more thing.

If seeing it at an IMAX theater (recommended), don’t buy your ticket 30 minutes before the show and expect a good seat. I sat in the 3rd row craning my neck ever upwards at the 6 story screen. Which necessitated my seeing it again.

On the advice of a fellow Lexican (MarineMom) I went to see Wind River. It is a limited release movie but if your area has it I’d recommend it. It is about the death of a young Indian woman, and the interaction of the young urban FBI agent (who had jurisdiction), played by Elizabeth Olsen) and the Wyoming Fish and Game tracker, played by Jeremy Renner.

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Besides the beautiful cinematography of the Wyoming landscape, it has a wonderful screenplay with many memorable lines and scenes.

Dealing with grief was one of the subplots.

Recommended.

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Filed under Hollywood, Movie Review, Uncategorized

Blowback

By lex, on September 30th, 2009

Washington, famously, is Hollywood for ugly people. Unlike Hollywood, no one  in the federal has weighed in on the Roman Polanski matter, although Hillary Clinton has been getting phone calls from her French counterpart, who may himself be out of step with France. Bill – perhaps sensing a certain vulnerability on the issue of canoodling with younger females – has also wisely kept his tongue.

Politicians face re-election after all, and this particular issue is broadly toxic on a bipartisan basis. No one, left or right, will get re-elected on a platform of pardoning child rapists. I guess with all of the other divisions in our society, it’s pleasing to know that some standards still abide.

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