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Thursday, July 2, 2009


A fascinating and wonderfully catty article that calls into question the validity or honesty of the Fade In screenwriting competition was in the blog The Wrap. Fade In demands a retraction while many of their contest winners just want their prizes.


Harve Preznel is now the latest celebrity to pass on. I remember him from singing They Call the Wind Maria from Paint Your Wagon which made one wonder why, if they had this singer available, they actually wanted to use those wonderful warblers Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood (hey, I try never to miss a Clint Eastwood musical) and Jean Seberg. Where is Simon Callow when one needs him. He was also making a nice comeback ever since Fargo. It would be great to know what made the Coen brothers do that Quentin Tarrentino/David Lynch routine and cast someone from the past like that.

Tuesday night I did some movie catch up and saw The Seven Ups. Directed by Philip D'Antoni who also produced this as well as Bullitt and The French Connection, suggesting an interesting trilogy for American Cinemateque some time. It had a good idea, but the story never made sense and it reminded me of an Italian Gaillo film in which everything sounds dubbed and often has stories that never make sense. But it was still kind of entertaining in the "I wouldn't have liked it when it first came out, but now in a look back at the 1970's sort of way, it's kind of fun".

Tonight starts a retrospective of French director Jean Jacques Beineix at the American Cinematheque. I've only seen his film Diva for some reason, but can't wait to see others. I remember the excitement in the movie world when Diva premiered. It was so exhilarating. Nuart is also showing the director's cut of Betty Blue. Tonight is the Moon in the Gutter.
I have a friend who hates directors cuts because he thinks they're a rip off way of trying to make more money off a film. I find them interesting, so interesting I may even go see the director's cut of 1776 on Saturday.


I'm still thinking about the Woody Allen interview I saw on TCM. One thing that came to mind was some statements on the Purple Rose of Cairo. Allen's films usually made money, but never a lot of money, though just enough to make it possible for him to make his next one. People viewing said they loved Purpose Rose..., but that if he gave it a happy ending, it would be a huge hit. But Allen said that the only reason he wrote Purple Rose... was because it was a tragedy and he wouldn't have even made the movie if it had a happy ending.
This made me think of the movie Garden State, which was so enjoyable until the end when the resolution, the actor character decided not to return to L.A., was so ridiculous it spoiled everything that came before it for me. At the same time, I had to admit: It's very doubtful the movie would have been nearly as successful without the happy ending.

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