It's about time. The Oscar bait material has started to trickle in. See
The Edge of Love here and Julia down in Catch o' the Day
The Edge of Love
The way I look at it, Dylan Thomas was the Mickey Mantle of literature.
Both men were considered superstars while still in their teens, and of
both of them it could be said, "Damn, as good as he was, imagine how much
better he might have been, had he stayed sober." Dylan Thomas was not a
serious intellectual like Ezra Pound, nor a crusader like W.H. Auden, nor
a meticulous craftsman like T.S. Eliot, and he had neither the education
nor the discipline one would expect from a serious writer, but there was
no denying that he had talent. He was a true natural genius. Among all the
20th century poets, he had perhaps the greatest natural gift for capturing
the rhythm and the inherent musicality of the English language. He also became a genuine pop
superstar by performing theatrical basso recitations of his own compositions,
often followed by some
flamboyant public behavior. Since his fame provided him with women eager
to pick him up, and with men eager to pick up his bar tabs, he lived out
his thirties as a drunkard and a compulsive adulterer. He was to 20th
century poetry what Lord Byron was to the 19th, making up in charisma what
he lacked in scholarship. I suppose he was the last poet in our language
to live like a rock star, and the last to be able to, despite a homely,
Here is a recording of him reciting his most famous poem:
His ride on the fame express didn't last long. Alcohol killed him before his 40th birthday.
You'd think there would be at least one great movie about the life he
led from the end of WW2 until his death in 1953.
Unfortunately this isn't it.
This is a muddled historical romance about Dylan's salad days in the
WW2 era. It incorporates Dylan and his wife into a fictional tapestry
about a romantic quadrangle involving the two of them with Dylan's boyhood
love (Keira Knightley) and her husband. The two women end up close
friends, but everyone's life is complicated by the fact that Dylan seduces
the ex-lover while her husband is off to war (apparently acting in the
previous year's Keira Knightley movie, Atonement). When hubby returns, he's
not happy to discover that he has risked his life so that his salary could
provide Dylan Thomas with sex and booze.
The film picked up a bit of notoriety when Lindsay Lohan was originally
cast as Dylan's Irish wife, and told everyone that her character's
relationship with the Keira Knightley character had lesbian undertones.
That turned out to be mostly inaccurate, although the two women do bathe
together and there is a time when they disappear under the covers
together, so it's not entirely missing from the subtext, but I'm pretty
sure that they are just supposed to be best friends, and closer than
sisters. (The do not kiss or embrace sexually.) At any rate, Lohan
ultimately had to leave the project, and the purported lesbian activity
was assigned to Sienna Miller, who did a fine job.
Indeed, everyone involved did a fine job. This literature-based
chick-flick uses an army of talented people to evoke the styles and feel of
another era (WW2), and is assembled by an excellent director and acted by
a top-notch cast. Keira Knightley even sang quite well. But to what end?
To the screenwriter's credit, the film avoids romanticizing Dylan
Thomas, portraying him fairly as a great talent who could also be a
cowardly, jealous, small-minded sot, but I'll be damned if I can figure
out why anybody wanted to make this film in the first place, or what the
point was supposed to be. It all seems like "a tale ... full of sound and
fury, signifying nothing."
Much like a lot of Dylan's poems.
Sienna Miller had only a couple of
single-frame nipple slips.
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
The Making of the Carousel Girls Calendar
Some videotapes will never make it to digital media. The Making of the Carousel
Girls Calendar should be one of them. This is, for most of its running time, a
standard strip and pose - no wiggling at all - kind of tape. Gals get nekkid in
two settings, once while they are posing for this calendar while riding a
carousel ... you see where the title comes from ... and again out in the wild
somewhere. The carousel posing is partly behind-the-scenes of the photoshoot and
partly a more free-form, clothes-free romp. All that is just dandy and it takes
up maybe 60% of the tape time. The other 40% is not so dandy as the folks who
shot this tape turned it into a documentary about the photographer. One would
not object except he is made out to be some sort of artist who sculpts and
paints and only lately chose to shoot nekkid gals on film because that is just
as legitimate a medium to work with.
He is a latter day Toulouse Lautrec, this guy - just as humorless
And no beard.
Anyway the gals look good and were this a DVD I might still be capping it. A few
of them you know from real movies - Julie K. Smith, Samantha Phillips, Erin
Ashley and Shelly Jones. Several others come with two names but seem to have
done little more than pose for Penthouse - Robin Brown, Sasha Vinni, Shandra
Rollins, Amy Morgan, Gina Passarella and Dawnya Welsh make up that group. With
three women we are on a first-name basis only. Those would be the Pleasure
Twins, Jennifer and Justina, and a pneumatic blonde named Heather (weren't all
over-inflated blondes in the early 90's named Heather?).
Do keep in mind this was from an old videotape and so the quality is nothing
to brag about...so I won't. But as I stated at the outset, videotape is all we
are likely ever to see of the Carousel Girls and their calendar.
Rok's comments: For
those of you who saw "The Matrix" either first or without seeing "Dark City,"
"Dark City" came first with the same idea that life is an illusion created by
aliens. Coincidence in Hollywood?; not likely. The question is who's idea was it
Charlie's own section is updated today.
This section will present film clips to accompany
Charlie's collages (which are found on his own site).
Brandi Love in an episode of Penn and Teller: Bullshit!
Swinton in Julia. Brand new film which I have not seen.
Said to be Oscar bait and provides some the better celebrity
nude scenes of the year. Tilda flashes the boobs in two
scenes. Maybe one of you guys would like to make some