Sunday, July 22, 2018

"Glengarry Glen Ross": the loan origination fee for "always be closing"

This may be a good time to remember “Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992), from New Line Cinema, director James Foley, screenwriter David Mamet, based on his own play. Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey all play proles, and Alec Baldwin (hairy) is the real estate boss, who at one point talks about squeezing of you-know-what with his bare hands.

This film is actually credited for the phrase “Always Be Closing.”

I’ve never seen it a virtue to huckterize what other people built. But that’s my own luxury.

I saw it at the Arlington VA Shirlington Theater in 1992. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

"#NeverAgain: March for our Lives": stirring new video

Here’s a four-minute film “#NeverAgain: March for our Lives: Honoring the Stoneman Strong”.
The tone of the film speaks for itself. Toward the end, there are some numbers showing how beholden some GOP politicians are to the NRA.
David Hogg appears near the very end. “How Dare You…”   Look at this particular tweet about Pulse. 
Maybe this serves as a warmup for “Dark Money” which I will see and review soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Why 23 Million Americans Don;t Have Fast Internet (Vox video short)

Mac Schneider explains for Vox, “Why 23 Million Americans Don’t Have Fast Internet”.

The definition of broadband is tricky and changes, but has generally been based on wirelines models, which is very expensive in rural areas.

The 4G wireless model works for most personal use, but is not sufficient for schools and hospitals.What about 5G?  Google wants to use balloons to deliver wireless broadband. 

In some rural areas, schools have set up trailers with broadband for kids to do homework.
Vox likes the FDR rural electrification model.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"Burning Soul": unusual gay short film and period piece set in the 18th Century, long before Australia was even settled

Burning Soul” The Raising of the Flag” (2016) is an unusual gay short film, as a period piece, from the Sydney Film School, directed by Cedric Eugene Desenfantes. 

In 1727, a ship from the Dutch East India Company crashes on the Australian coast. Pieter (Teo Falk) and Hendrick (Rasmus Hansen) have helped rescue everyone else but have fallen in love. And having been seen, they are persecuted for “sodomy” and forced to raise a flag over the beach with the Dutch word for it.

Little could they imagine how things would change in four centuries.

The film has played in many overseas LGBT film festivals.  The scenery is quite spectacular on anamorphic wide screen and high definition. 

Wikipedia attribution link for 1861 drawing by Hodgkinson, p.d. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Lindy Lou: Juror #2": a woman who had helped send a man to execution looks up other jurors

On Monday, July 16, PBS aired an abbreviated version of Florent Vassault’s “Lindy Lou: Juror #2” (2017), official site.

Twenty years ago, Lindy sat on a jury that convicted a man of murders and sentenced him to the death penalty.  After years, he was executed.

Lindy, living in rural Mississippi near the bayous, goes on quest to find the other jurors.  She eventually finds the foreman. One juror asks her not to call again, however.  Generally, the jurors feel that any one of them could have stopped the death penalty.  The lack of remorse of the defendant is often mentioned.
The 85 minute film (according to imdb) was compressed to 56 minutes, with brief comments by the filmmaker at the end. Vassault said that Lindy, a conservative woman, became a different person through the jury experience.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

As per Vox: "How Parkland Student David Hogg Beats His Critics"

How Parkland Student David Hogg Beats His Critics”, a short film on Vox Media by Carlos Maza (interviewing) and Coleman Lowndes.

David calls himself Press Secretary for March for our Lives.

Maza develops the idea that the mass of smear campaigns from the alt-right becomes the story, making it difficult to focus.

And some of the stories are really silly.  For example, that he be a 27-year-old crisis actor with a facelift.  Isn’t 27 awfully young for such surgery?  Another is that he is 135 years old, which implies that he is reincarnated into Second Life, or is an alien from another planet, who commutes the 30-or-so light years through a worm hole, and rents his body from Hertz when he is here.  But they used to claim that Mark Zuckerberg is an alien.  It’s too bad the English language doesn’t have a clear-cut conjugated subjunctive mood, to separate out the “alternative facts”.

As for the reincarnation, I think getting to have a 17-year-old body and start over where you left off is a good deal.  Like a car trade-in. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Is it such a big deal for cis actors to bend genders, even for "Rub and Tug"?

There is an upcoming comedy film called “Rub and Tug” to be written by Daniella Greenbaum.
But by now we’ve all heard the flak over Scarlet Johansson’s apparent initial casting as a transgender character, when arguably a trans person could have been cast.

It has been common place for actors to change genders in film, all the way back to Linda Hunt in “The Year of Living Dangerously”.
I admit, I’m not a great fan of seeing men shave their bodies to play trans women, like Jared Leto (I can’t remember the film) or Neil Jordan’s 2005 film “Breakfast on Pluto”.  Even Justin Timberlake likes to shed his external trappings, or as does Jake Gyllenhaal.

But actors do this, and some see it as part of their lives (most of all Steve Carell as “The Forty Year Old Virgin”).  They even do it for the soaps.
But that’s off the subject of trans.  The New York Post has a story by Jonah Goldberg (a conservative author of a major book on tribalism) in which he excoriates Business Insider for pulling a critical article after the fact by Daniella, after outcry from the “social justice warriors”.   

There was a Canadian film in 2002 called “Rub and Tug” by Soo Lyu, a comedy set in a full body massage parlor.

It seems likely that in the future social justice warriors will complain about scripts that show cis gay male characters as heroes (surviving an apocalypse) but slight gender fluidity. (Like mine.)  Gender meritocracy is coming to be seen as no-no. 
There are plenty of YouTube videos of massages or medical examinations of attractive men, obviously intended to appeal to gay male audiences by surviving the maulings, for example this one in German with “Oskar”