Quote of the Day postsTuesday May 26, 2009
...And he's only 54
“In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, [John] Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.”
—Jeffrey Toobin in his New Yorker article “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Worth reading in its entirety. I was a little perplexed that we got this now, rather than at the end of June when the decisions in the more controversial Supreme Court cases are announced. And the end of the piece is a little weak, particularly for Toobin, who's such a good writer. But worth reading, and considering, as the more vocal part of the conservative nation picks-a-little, talks-a-little about Pres. Obama's recent U.S. Supreme Court nominee.
The Do-Little Academy
"The Academy Awards race was hardly a gentleman's game in the 1960s. If campaigning was less costly and public than in more recent years, it wasn't due to a sense of decorum as much as to the fact that the Academy itself was half the size it is today, much more heavily populated with rank-and-file studio employees, and thus easier to manipulate and control. Oscar prognostication was not yet a blood sport; each year, the movies that would be the subject of campaigns were selected by their studios, and then essentially dictated to selected gossip columnists and writers from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Los Angeles Times, the only major publications that then took much notice of the nominating process."
— from Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution," pg. 385
"Beatty had tried to plan his entire career by studyng the work of directors he admired, but as Bonnie and Clyde's producer, suddenly he was feeling impatient with auteurism. 'To attribute [movies] wholly to their directors—not to the actors, not to the producer, not [to] the leading lady...well's that's just bullshit!' he fumed. 'Those pictures were made by directors, writers, and sound men and cameramen and actors and so forth, but suddenly it's "Otto Preminger's Hurry Sundown"... It's not healthy."
— from Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution," pg. 247, citing a Beatty quote from The Bonnie and Clyde Book
"If [Mike] Nichols felt relaxed as production [on The Graduate] began, the reason was probably that, as he puts it, 'I saw the whole thing—I knew what the movie was.' In that, he was a minority of one."
— from Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution," pg. 312, citing an author interview
"The auteurist critics look for recurring patterns, the incandescent joining of visual style and idea. You can’t find such patterns, or even a consistent visual motif, in [Victor] Fleming’s movies. But you can find a powerful grasp of fable... He didn’t direct the entirety of either of his two classics [The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind], and he wasn’t, by definition, an auteur. But this absence from the list of the blessed suggests a fault in auteur theory and not in Fleming—a prejudice against the generalists, the non-obsessed, the “chameleons,” as Steven Spielberg called them, who re-created themselves for each project and made good movies in many different styles."
— from David Denby's article "The Real Rhett Butler: The forgotten man behind two of Hollywood's most enduring classics," in the latest New Yorker
"The Graduate": Not Starring Robert Redford
[Mike] Nichols, who had championed the idea [of casting Robert Redford as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate], surprised himself by turning the actor down. "We were friends, we had done Barefoot, I was playing pool with him, and I said, 'I'm really sad, but you can't do it. You can't play a loser,'" says Nichols. "He said, 'Of course I can play a loser!' I said, 'You can't! Look at you! How many times have you ever struck out with a woman?' And he said, I swear to you, 'What do you mean?' He didn't even understand the concept. To him, it was like saying, 'How many times have you been to a restaurant and not had a meal?'"
— from Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution," pg. 237
SWJM, 27, Looking for Work
“Nonetheless, by the beginning of 1965, [Dustin] Hoffman was twenty-seven, seriously demoralized by his inability to land an acting job, and considerng a change in careers. ... [Susan] Anspach, who met him during that production [of A View from a Bridge], recalls a lunch for the cast and crew of the play at which he told her with bravado, '”You know, if I were older, I'd be playing Bobby's [Duvall] part.“ and I said, ”Sure, right, Dusty.“ And he said, ”What do you mean? I'm fuckin' talented! Ask Bobby! He'll tell you himself!“ I said to Bobby, ”Is he putting me on? He's the sweep-up guy!“ And Bobby said, ”No, it's true, he's the most talented guy among all of us.“'”
— from Mark Harris' “Pictures at a Revolution,” pg. 164
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