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Sunday 15 August 2010

Ten Random Film Things

1. I am in love.

2. Which got me to thinking about Marilyn Monroe -- so I watched this about six times in a row.

"Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe"

3. I've been catching with the work of previous interviewees of KITFR. The film that Lawrence Sher shot; 'DUE DATE,' now has a trailer- which excites me GREATLY!

Joe Leonard's
debut feature 'HOT I GOT LOST' is now available on DVD. He also has been busy since our interview working as an editor on Glee; and he was also on the editing department for 'EAT, PREY, LOVE.'

4. One of my favorite books, 'ON THE ROAD' by Jack Kerouac is being made into a film, and I don't know how I feel about it. It stars an actor called Sam Riley as Sal and Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty. I am not familiar with either of the actors. The female parts are taken by more recognizable names and; if they HAVE to make this into a movie, then I think they are good names to have attached: Kirsten Dunst as Camille, Kristen Stewart as Marylou and Amy Adams as Jane.

5. A few days back I wrote about the lack of Ginger Rogers in modern film. I feel just as strongly about Katharine Hepburn. She was so powerful, so strong, so talented, so so beautiful -- and this was back in the 1940's -- where is Hepburn now? Where is the spirit of Katharine Hepburn? Where are the powerful roles? Where are the dynamic women? We're writing more roles for the 'sexy' woman and the 'Mother' and the 'girl next door' than ever before. Our films would be so much more original, diverse, truthful, and exciting -- if writers would do more than just write their girl next door fantasies. Women are as crazy, fucked up, nonsensical and capable as men; and that should be represented in film.

6. I was talking with an actress friend last night about how homosexuals are portrayed in cinema. Has there ever been a gay character who was gay but had a normal storyline? As far as I can see, if gay characters are in films they usually fall into these catagories: a) Their sexuality is a central point of their story, or b) They are camp and feminine (if male) and you can spot their sexuality merely by witnessing their first line of dialogue. In every film you watch; there will be numerous straight characters who are going about their lives and struggles; and of course, many smaller characters are assumed straight. But when a homosexual character is involved, it is always 'part of their story.' Therefore, films tend to suggest that all gay people have to deal with or care about, is being gay-- but surely as writers and filmmakers, we can do better than writing in this way?

7. The film 'SPEED' is insane. They spend over an hour saving these people on a bus; then after everyone gets off the bus, it plummets into an airplane which is moving towards the runway. There's a giant explosion and, I'd assume, hundreds of plane passengers dead. Even if there are no passengers; it still has a pilot and crew - so as many people will die as were on that bus. But nobody seems to give a shit and Keanu and Bullock just start flirting. What's that about?

8. Another thing about 'SPEED' - Jeff Daniel's character is called HARRY, which is also his name in 'DUMB AND DUMBER.' So whenever I watch Speed, I imagine that it's actually Harry from 'DUMB AND DUMBER' who has somehow managed to make people think he's a bomb expert. It makes the viewing experience HILARIOUS! Another hilarious thing is when Dennis Hopper says to Keanu Reeves "don't try and grow a brain!" Looking at Keanu's career recently; it looks like he took the advice to heart.

9. I am SO excited about upcoming interviews that will be here on Kid In The Front Row soon.

10. It's been six years since 'ELIZABETHTOWN.' Aside from a Pearl Jam documentary that he's currently shooting, I really don't know when we're going to see another feature film from Cameron Crowe. Whether you liked his last movie or not; this is the guy who brought us 'SAY ANYTHING,' 'JERRY MAGUIRE' and 'ALMOST FAMOUS.' He had numerous struggles trying to get his new flick 'DEEP TIKI' made and now that it's dead-- I don't know what's going to happen. I sincerely hope he gets to work on something new soon though.

I would love for you to take this 'Ten Random Film Things' idea over to your own blogs and run with it.....


  1. Cameron Crowe is my favourite director (yes, I'm one of the few people who loved Elizabethtown) and I can't wait to see what he does next. I bet it'll be worth the wait

  2. filmgeek - Elizabethtown was one of the best screenplays I've ever read. The film; I like it, I like it a lot-- but I think Bloom was miscast; his acting is pretty poor. And I dunno, some moments feel a bit forced, like it's Crowe trying to be Crowe; if you know what I mean.

    Glad you like the film, and Crowe though :)

  3. I think 5 is a bit harsh, there are interesting actresses out there playing complex characters at a range of different ages. Admittedly, more of a trend in European cinema where there are some stupendous actresses who get fantastic roles but I think it is getting better. When I think of the closest heir to Hepburn it's difficult to look past the fabulous Meryl Streep, mind you.

    Just to blot my copybook still further - have always disliked all of Cameron Crowe's efforts. Especially Almost Famous.

  4. Hey Mr London - I appreciate what you're saying, and it's always dangerous to talk in generalisations, as I did; and you're right, when you look at European/World Cinema, there are often many fascinating films with wonderful roles for women. But what I see, predominently in Hollywood, and in the UK in independent, upcoming filmmakers and writers; the trend is to not develop those types of characters.

    Streep is great. And she does one, maybe two films a year. That's two strong female roles for one actress. Yippee. But THAT is the point. If I said "ARE ANY GOOD ROLES BEING WRITTEN FOR MEN?" it would be insane, because all the good roles are for men - there is a huge disparity. So I don't think it's harsh at all, but at the same time; I honestly get what you're saying and appreciate it.

    It saddens me to hear you say that about Almost Famous, I think it's a near perfect movie. But that's the great thing I guess, we all love different stuff!

  5. Well, Streep was an example rather than the sum total of the argument. We'll have to agree to disagree I suppose; personally I don't think Hollywood writes good roles for men either. It just writes big roles for men and is dumb enough to think that's the same thing.

  6. I don't think we have to disagree, as such. Your last point is a good one. It's not like men are getting complex roles, they're just getting most of the roles. You're right.

  7. #5- It might not just be a matter of good women parts not being written but a lack of good woman actors to play them. Outside of Emma Thompson, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and so on. A lot of today's most famous women are so because of sex tapes or tabloid stuff and not talent.

    #6 the one that comes to mind is Four Weddings and a Funeral

    #10- Love Crowe as well and thought Elizabethtown was alright but flawed. I think the problem with it was that it was debuted at TIFF in it's unfinished form with more editing still to be done and it caught negative critical flack there that it never quite recovered from. It looks like Crowe's career might be going the way of James L. Brooks, where we only get a new movie every who knows how often.

  8. I know what you mean about Bloom. He could have ruined the film for me but just about pulled it off. Not sure who I would have preferred in the role... maybe a Casey Affleck/Joseph Gordon-Levitt type...

  9. Also I'd never previously seen the point of Scarlett Johansen but that clip was adorable. It also, in one minute, contains more acting than she did in the whole of Vicky Christina Barcelona.

  10. Cameron's Crowe next film We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon begins shooting in January..


  11. Ah, Elizabethtown. I believe that came out when I was a tiny teenage girl and Orlando was my dream man. I stopped finding him attractive after that film. It was hard to get past the suicide attempt, it really was. I like Filmgeek's hypothetical- a Joseph Gordon-Levitt type would have been more charming.

    I love point number six. Very truthful.

  12. Why get the type? Just resurrect Katharine Hepburn right now, we'll all be better off.

    One could argue that The Kids Are All Right is a fairly non-issue gay movie. I mean, it plays like a family drama, and the whole lesbian thing isn't much of an issue, except where them needing a sperm donor is involved. Right?

  13. @ Mike Lippert. Oh. Oh. Oh. You can't be serious about the lack of good women actors? When I was looking for women actors here in NZ, I was OVERWHELMED by how many there are. But not enough people are writing film scripts (lots more for TV) with women as strong central characters. Which may also pass the Bechdel Test, where the women talk to each other, about something other than men.

  14. @Wellywood woman: AMEN! Love it.

  15. Hey Greg - any chance you could email me at kidinthefrontrow [AT] --- can't find a contact address for you, thanks.

  16. #6: The Kids Are All Right. Enough said.