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Archive for August, 2005

Love and Death in New Orleans.

“It is not comforting to realize that, in the wake of Katrina, bloated bodies are floating on those streets today. But to speak of New Orleans’s resilience is simply to cite its history — a demographic and cultural melting pot of German industry and French and Spanish elitism, of Irish gregariousness and Sicilian emotionalism, of African exuberance and American frontier cussedness that embraces death, too, as a part of life.” By way of Mystery of the Vampire, an eloquent paean to the Crescent City by long-time resident Ken Ringle.

Faith-Based Prevention.

“In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.” Citing domestic budget cuts and Dubya’s disastrous wetlands policies, among other things, Sidney Blumenthal makes a compelling case that the tremendous devastation wrought by Katrina “may not entirely be the result of an act of nature.”

He felt surprise was wiser.

R.I.P. Michael Sheard 1940-2005, a.k.a. Admiral Ozzel.

Dubya at the Crossroads.

As the Gulf drowns in Katrina’s wake, Dubya gets his groove on. I may be mistaken, but somehow I can’t imagine Clinton stopping to play the saxophone the day after the Oklahoma City bombing. (Then again, this is fully in keeping with Bush’s horrifyingly tone-deaf scampering atop the ruins of the Trade Center just after 9/11.) Well, perhaps Dubya presumes he’s still on vacation. (Guitar via Medley, 404 via Ed Rants, who’s currently offering much quality info and links on Katrina.)

007 MIA.

“Broccoli liked ‘Layer Cake’ star Daniel Craig, 37, but Wilson didn’t. Broccoli also thought Australian star Hugh Jackman, 36, who in addition to playing Wolverine in ‘X-Men’ has appeared in Broadway musicals, wasn’t masculine enough. Colin Farrell, 29, was judged too much of a bad boy. Eric Bana, 37, star of ‘Troy’ and the upcoming ‘Munich,’ wasn’t good-looking enough. Ewan McGregor, 34, was too short.The Hollywood Reporter examines in depth the current state of the new Bond search.

Down Dives Dubya.

Bush’s poll numbers, low since early summer, just keep on plummeting and might soon reach Carter-like proportions. Somehow, I don’t think calling the Iraq War the moral equivalent of WWII is going to stem the tide. Nor, I’ll hazard, will his making it easier for his corporate cronies to pollute at will. But hey, keep trying, guys. Update: Slate‘s Fred Kaplan blows further holes in the WWII analogy.

Tales of the South.

SNL alums Cheri Oteri and Amy Pohler fill out the cast for Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, his followup to Donnie Darko (notwithstanding a writing cred on Domino.) Besides boasting a strange, Darko-ish website, Tales also features a cast that’s multiplying faster than transdimensional zombie bunnies, including the Rock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Miranda Richardson, John Larroquette, Jon Lovitz, Jill Ritchie, Will Sasso, Wood Harris, Bai Ling, and Wallace Shawn.

Murrow, Mines, Mobsters, Menage, and Monkey.

Soon after posting the last entry, I found a new cache of trailers for films around the corner over at Coming Soon: First off, Edward Murrow takes a journalistic stand against McCarthyism (with much explicit contemporary relevance) in the trailer for George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck, starring David Strathairn, Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Robert Downey, Jr., Jeff Daniels, and Frank Langella. Then, Charlize Theron braves borderline winds, the mining life, and sexual harassment in the preview for North Country, also with Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean, and Richard Jenkins. Meanwhile, law partners John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton look for the big score in Harold Ramis’ The Ice Harvest, with Randy Quaid, Connie Nielsen, and Oliver Platt. And, finally, journalist Alison Lohman looks into the racy reasons behind the demise of comedy team Bacon & Firth in Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies (recently saddled with a NC-17), and video gamer Allen Covert pays respect to his elders in the trailer for the Adam-Sandler produced Grandma’s Boy. (To be honest, I’m only blogging this last one for the “don’t judge me” monkey bit and the too-brief glimpse of the lovely Linda “Lindsey Weir” Cardellini.) Update: Ok, one more: Tilda Swinton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vince Vaughn, Benjamin Bratt and Keanu Reeves try to help newcomer Lou Pucci stop a nasty habit in the trailer for Thumbsucker, due out in just over two weeks.

Blood, sweat, and dust.

In the trailer bin, Philip Seymour Hoffman channels In Cold Blood-era Truman Capote — I presume that’s how he actually sounded — in the preview for Capote, also with Catherine Keener and Chris Cooper. Elsewhere, 1880s Aussie Guy Pearce gets an offer he probably should refuse in The Proposition, written by Nick Cave and also starring Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Danny Houston, David Wenham, and Emily Watson. Finally, I should’ve posted this before, but only now found it: the trailer for Martin Scorsese’s Dylan-doc No Direction Home, appearing on PBS Sept. 26th and 27th.

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