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Hollywood Celeb Face-Time Adventure

Sometime in the summer of '84 I began working for hotshot publicists Bobby Zarem and Dick Delson, who'd recently become partners. One of our activities was handling promotion (i.e., not unit publicity) for Tim Burton and Paul Reubens' Pee Wee's Big Adventure, which shot in the late summer and early fall of that year and opened in August '85. The 26 year-old Burton's only previous live-action film was Frankenweenie. Reubens, 32, had hired Burton because of his admiration for Frankenweenie, and because they spoke the same language. I mainly recall ...
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Beautiful Morning

Soon after waking this morning at 8:10 am (having overslept), I was asked/ordered to visit Hollyway Cleaners to pick up some dry cleaning. I like to wake up a bit and maybe sip some coffee before driving. Not this time. "Go now, please." Two or three minutes later I was out the door. It was the height of rush hour with Melrose Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. traffic at a near-standstill...jammed. Did I take the rumblehog, which would have meant that the three-quarters of a mile journey would've taken three ...
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Sharing Thoughts About Voting

Yesterday I spoke to three Academy members (two directors, one actor) about which Oscar nominees they were thinking of voting for. None of them had submitted their ballot. Two said they'd probably be waiting until the very last minute. They know what they admire or were most moved by, but they also know who's probably going to win. They also want to spread the love around so they're involved in some emotional horse-trading. ("I know Bong Joon-ho probably can't win Best Picture or Best Director but he has to win ...
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If You Were a SAG Voter…

I recognize that the main reason that Parasite won SAG's Best Ensemble Award last night was sheer, simple, Bobby Peru-styled fervor. As one Academy voter told me this morning, "So many actors (and I mean truly many) have said to me that Parasite was the film they most admired for its cinematic audacity. Last night was no surprise. Watch what happens next weekend at the DGA awards. With so many new non-American members, I expect the Academy to be even more resounding in its support for this film." Hollywood Elsewhere ...
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Son of Trauma in Breakfast Room

Four years ago I posted one of my many real-deal experiences that fortify the maxim "hell is other people": I don't like mingling with hotel guests or staff. If I run into one I'll turn on the pleasant smile and say "good morning!" but if I can avoid them I will. Partly because I prefer morning solitude, and partly because the folks who stay at the Fess Parker Doubletree (I had to leave the Santa Barbara Holiday Inn two days ago) tend to be the same kind of people who ...
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“The Image Book”: Another Bewildering Statement From Jean-Luc Godard

It’s been a long time since making traditional or even vaguely conventional “movies” has interested legendary French New-Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. If anything, the director’s movies over the last 20 or so years have been experiential audio/visual collages more interested in pictures, sounds, cuts, and de-saturation, a maddening barrage of dadaist statements. Even with all that…

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Is ‘Black Panther’ Worthy of a Best Picture Nomination? Of Course Not.

In the next few weeks you will no doubt see a real push by the media to present “Black Panther” as a worthy Best Picture contender. All for the sake of progress and a rabid Disney agenda that is expertly pushing this narrative. Don’t bite. Angela Bassett, who stared in ‘Panther’ has been quoted as…

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‘Blade Runner’: The Divisive Sci-Fi Classic

Upon its release in 1982, “Blade Runner” had so much studio interference that its history is the stuff of legend. Receiving mixed reviews upon its release, it ended up receiving a cult following on home video — which got director Ridley Scott amped up and screening his own “final” versions, out of his own pocket, to audiences around…

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Nobody’s Perfect

Posted on HE Classic, 6.21.08: My father, James T. Wells, Jr., had 86 years of good living, mostly. He was miserable at the end, lying in a bed and watching the tube and reading and sleeping and not much else. I think he wanted to go because his life had been reduced to this. He was a good and decent man with solid values, and...

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