August 3, 2008, Copyright Glenn Kenny!
—Can The Dark Knight beat Titanic? And if The Dark Knight beats Titanic, what does that say about Titanic? Or The Dark Knight? Or the rate of inflation? Or the entropy of overseas marketing? Or day and date releasing, in theory and/or practice? Or, finally, and most crucially, wankle rotary engines?
If The Dark Knight is so great, incidentally, why is George W. Bush’s approval rating still hovering around 30%?
—I heard the news—only 30 weeks till Oscar. Are you excited? Moi, aussi. But sometimes I feel an Odd Man Out (and not in a James Mason way—thank heavens!), particularly when I’m not getting the lingo. That tres hot Hot Button man David “Yes you did, you invaded” Poland put up a post over the weekend entitled “Oscarbama or the McAdemy Awards” (oh, you kid!) and I have to admit this particular sentence just stopped me dead:
“On the other hand, certain people who are not on the east side of a certain street that borders Times Square would probably love to get into that battle and put The Old Man in his place in a direct head-to-head battle.”
Can somebody get me a U.N. interpreter—for OSCAR?
Well, maybe—as I’m sure Screamin’ Chuck Stephens would insist—it works better in context. Let’s back up to Poland’s previous sentence:
“And for that matter, Rudin is probably appalled with the idea of an appeal for The Reader being made by invoking two lost Oscar-winning filmmakers... especially Pollack, for whom Rudin went well out of his way to keep the keep the press at bay as Pollack dealt with his illness and efforts at recovery.”
Nope. Still nothing. Other than that some people in Manhattan would like to get into a battle, and thereupon do head-to-head…battle. Who’s “The Old Man,” anyway? Scott Rudin just turned 50, which I understand is the new 35 or so. Heck, it better be—I’ll be that age in about a year myself! And how old is friend David, anyway?
But back to Obamoscar McMania (ha!),later in the column, Poland poses the question, “Can a light film, like Rachel Getting Married, shock people and emerge amongst a palette of very dark-minded films?” I’m loathe to employ vulgarity here, but my first thought was “Fuck if I know.” Anybody got any ideas?
—Speaking of Oscar, and of The Dark Knight, Eric P. Lucas writes in the Los Angeles Times that the late Heath Ledger shouldn’t get one for his Joker performance in Dark Knight, because if he does, millions of kids will emulate him by getting conflicting prescriptions from multiple doctors and then accidentally mixing them in a lethal combination. For myself, I only hope that the United States’ health care system will have advanced enough by the time all these kids reach Ledger’s age that each and every one of them can afford to do this. Lucas also asks: “How many young men pick up a guitar to emulate [Jimi Hendrix], and wind up under a bridge with a bottle of Colt 45 picking out a wobbly solo on a tinny set of strings?” He’s spot-on, as my Brit friends say. You should never aspire to anything, ever, lest you wind up under a bridge in Seattle where Eric P. Lucas can tsk at you. But if you do wind up under that bridge, would you consider Silver Thunder Malt Liquor rather than Colt 45? It really is the, um, shizzle.
—Did you know that Tom O’Neil wrote the first “real” books about the Oscars, the Emmys and the Golden Globes, and that they were published by Viking and Penguin Putnam? And that he is a tireless researcher who has written “for the L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Variety, TV Guide, USA Today, E! Online, Billboard and scores of other top publications” and that he is “the person most often quoted by the Associated Press and Reuters when award articles are written” and that he “launched the first website all about all of the awards” and that that website “involved the contributions of 45 of America’s top journalists writing for free just because they wanted to be part of it” and that for 20 years he has “appeared frequently on TV as an authority about all showbiz awards” and that he “can’t think of a TV show or network that covers Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys that I haven’t appeared on — and often” and that, aside from that, “over the last 30 days” he’s “appeared as an awards authority on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and CBS’ The Early Show” and that “speaking of Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys, he possesses what he believes is “largest private collection of historic showbiz awards anywhere on Earth,” amassed through decades of “careful collecting” and including “Golden Globes won by Ben-Hur (best film) and Dynasty (best TV show), two of Katharine Hepburn’s Oscar nominations (Suddenly, Last Summer, The Rainmaker) and some of her academy membership cards, the Tony Award for best play (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), the Writers Guild of America Award won by High Noon, etc. — plus lots more, all on view at the Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building at 1660 N. Highland Ave., just south of Hollywood Boulevard.”
You didn’t know that? Well, if you didn’t, he would be happy to tell you all about it. He won’t even add “What the fuck have you done lately?” like James McAvoy at the end of Wanted. Well, actually, he will, only without the “fuck.”
But we’ve asked you before, Tom, and we’ll ask you again—have you written a hit play?
—Oh wait, I get it! 42 West, the PR firm! Whose offices are on West 42nd Street, which either borders or actually constitutes the heart of Times Square. I guess if Poland is going with “borders,” he’s gotta be right. Still, who’s “The Old Man?”