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May 21, 2013


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I'm looking forward to see how he handles the Marvin Gaye biopic SEXUAL HEALING, starring LAW & ORDER's Jesse L. Martin. I believe it focuses on the final years of Gaye's life, so it's a pretty rich subject.

Peter Ramsey

Hey, I thought I was the only person on earth who had a soft spot for BEGINNERS. Nice to see it's on someone else's cultural radar.

Grant L

Beginners is one I've often been half-tempted by over the years when seeing it on the video shelves. Would fully agree on Earth Girls - perfectly orchestrated frivolity, which is hard...like whimsy, it doesn't take much for it to spill over into unbearable, and it never comes close.


One more hand raised for Beginners, and although I don't dislike Baz's fast editing aesthetic (I think when he's on, he makes it work for him), one interesting contrast between him and what Temple does in Absolute Beginners is how long Temple actually holds a shot for. I'm particularly thinking of the tracking shot that starts the movie after the opening credits. And I love the music (Ray Davies' "Quiet Life" is alone worth the price of admission) and choreography, and I still think Patsy Kensit should have become a bigger star than she did. Oddly enough, the one bum note in the movie, for me, was Bowie; his singing was great (of both the title song and "Motivation"), but his attempt at an American accent was beyond annoying.

Peter Ramsey

The Bowie accent is him playing an over the top imitation American, and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be awful. He slips into his natural Cockney accent late in the film in his one moment of honesty; the "American" voice is the voice of soulless mercenary capitalism.


Peter, you're not the first person to argue that, and that's a fair point; I just kept thinking, though, "Okay, we get it, you're evil!" And it grated on my ears.


"I still think Patsy Kensit should have become a bigger star than she did."

We'll always have Lethal Weapon 2.


"Now when Luhrmann had the cheek to put "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in Moulin Rouge (sic), and have it bellowed by Jim Broadbent, that was my idea of purposeful, almost revelatory sacrilege, and a reminder that an anti-showbiz protest is in fact an irreplaceable staple of showbiz."

I have real thoughts on your Julian Temple brainstorm, as I saw (and didn't really like) Absolute Beginners at a young enough age that I no longer trust that viewer's judgment.

But as to your quote I pulled here:

I'm glad you mention that moment. When I first viewed Moulin Rouge!, that moment was THE hinge into the movie for me. It comes pretty early on, everything before it was frenetic, and until that moment I couldn't decide whether to fight or go with the flick. But that one moment, somehow, was where I decided I was In Good Hands, and could relax and go with the movie.

I'm not sure exactly why that moment was THE hinge, though I do have two or three theories. But it really is crucial to the movie's success, somehow. And if you're going to pick a Baz high moment, that's the one to pick...


At the time Temple said his main inspiration was Coppola's "One From The Heart"

The novel of 'Absolute Beginners' is terrific, by the way, like Damon Runyon writing about Mods:

“The night was glorious, out there. The air was sweet as a cool bath, the stars were peeping nosily beyond the neons, and the citizens of the Queendom, in their jeans and separates, were floating down the Shaftesbury Avenue canals like gondolas. Everyone had loot to spend, everyone had a bath with verbena salts behind them, and nobody had broken hearts, because they were all ripe for the easy summer evening. The rubber plants in the espressos had been dusted, and the smooth white lights of the new-style Chinese restaurants — not the old Mah Jongg categories, but the latest thing with broad glass fronts, and Dacron curtainings, and a beige carpet over the interiors — were shining a dazzle, like some monster telly screens. Even those horrible old Anglo-Saxon public houses — all potato crisps and flat, stale ales, and puddles on the counter bar, and spittle — looked quite alluring, provided you didn’t push those two-ton doors that pinch your arse, and wander in. In fact, the capital was a night horse dream. ‘My Lord, one thing is certain, and that’s that they’ll make musicals one day about the glamour-studded 1950s.’”

Michael Adams

Patsy is Daisy's daughter in the Redford Gatsby.


TCM will be showing ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS early in the a.m. of June 1st. Check those local listings for your time zone.


"It rather makes one regret that the only filmmaker today with permission to make Baz Luhrmann movies is, well, Baz Luhrmann."

Well, regret or not, let's look at the "why"?

And I'll go with: Baz is the only one with the permission to make Baz Luhrmann movies for the same reason that Wes is the one with the permission to make Wes Anderson movies.

If you create a marginally profitable genre that no one bothers to steal, it's yours forever...


Other people do make "Wes Anderson movies" - it's just that they usually suck without him directing.

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