Thursday, January 6, 2022

Peter Bogdonavich

Director Peter Bogdonavich died.  DEADLINE notes:

“Having Peter Bogdonavich as my first acting teacher in my first film, The Last Picture Show, was a blessing of enormous proportion,” Shepherd said in a statement provided to Deadline. “There are simply no words to express my feelings over this deepest of losses. May Peter live long in all our memories.”

In addition to The Last Picture Show (1971), Shepherd starred in Bogdonavich’s Daisy Miller (1974) and At Long Last Love (1975).

Cybill Shepherd became involved with Bogdonavich on their first film.  He left his wife for her.  They were together throughout the 70s.  

After they broke up, she would g on to critical praise with THE YELLOW ROSE and then stardom like she'd never known from her Bogdonavich films (or from Elaine May's classic THE HEARTBREAK KID or Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER) with MOONSTRUCK.  

Cybill and Bogdonavich would reteam (with Jeff Bridges) for TEXASVILLE, the sequel to THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.  I loved TEXASVILLE.  I still love it.

It is flawed but it has magic.  It was the first film by Bogdonavich that I saw on the big screen.  I grew up with WHAT'S UP DOG and lived for AT LONG LAST LOVE anytime it made it on TV.  We had PAPER MOON on videocassette back in the day.  He may have been the first director that I knew the name of.  I can't think of another director whose name I knew before Peter's.  Probably because Bogdonavich is a fun name to say -- but it's a hard one to spell.

TEXASVILLE was a visual masterpiece.  I thought the acting was first rate.  It wasn't a dramatic exclamation, it was just sort of a quiet and moving statement.  And I thought everyone was used very well. Cybill got to be a muted water color with her lived in glamor, Jeff Bridges got to be a subdued haunting quality, Timothy Bottoms was a lost tone, Cloris Leachman was the loudest note but even she was subdued and her loudness worked because she was trying so hard to act like the past hadn't happened, Eileen Brennan was a study in warmth, she just radiated, everyone was so amazing.  I really thought William McNamara was going to have this huge career.

He played the young guy, Dickie Johnson, and he held his own with the cast and he was just so good.

 He didn't really get the opportunities he deserved.  He did a few other films and was good int hem as well (including Dennis Hopper's CHASERS).  

Peter?  He only made one good film after TEXASVILLE and it was a great film.  It got a lot of the haunting that TEXASVILLE had but blended it with romance.  THE THING CALLED LOVE.  It has a career making performance from Samantha Mathis.  It has River Phoenix at his best.  And you really get to know new faces Sandra Bullock and Dermot Mulroney.   

But mainly, he was out of touch too often.  

He wasn't prepared for the 1990s let alone the 21st century.

Was he a homophobe?

I can't imagine Cybill spending ten seconds, let alone all those years with him, if he was.

But he had a real issue with gay people in terms of how he spoke of them.  He seemed to feel he was doing the world a favor by enforcing the closet.  That was especially obvious in his book WHO THE HELL'S IN IT?  Apparently, the closet that was necessary when he was a young adult in the 60s was still necessary in his mind in this century.  

Here are my five favorite Peter films:

1) WHAT'S UP DOC? (his highest grossing film)





I'm kind of ignoring MASK in this post.  I don't know why Cher -- who hated Peter -- felt the need to weigh in with a Tweet.

It reminded me of when Gregg Allman died and she started Tweeting about crying and I was thinking, "Bitch, you trashed him.  Not just when you divorced him but year after year later.  In the 90s you were still trashing him.  In the 90s you were talking about what an awful father he was to Elijah."  Now, you're sobbing online?

She's tweeted about Peter.  I have no idea why.  They fought non-stop on MASK over everything -- including her hair.  She didn't like him giving her line readings.  After MASK was completed, Peter scored it with Bruce Springsteen music -- the music the kid Eric Stoltz portrayed loved.  The studio went cheap and tried to use Bob Seger.  Peter ogjected and thought Cher would have his back.  Seh then mocked and trashed him.  That's one of the reason she didn't get nominated for an Oscar for MASK.

And all of that's fine and fun and interesting to discuss.  But for her to front with that Tweet.  THis wasn't they didn't like each other, this was she hated him and he ended up hating her.

Why pretend otherwise?  It's so fake.

never really made a good film after TEXASVILLE.  I'd like bits and pieces of stuff but they weren't films and they weren't talking about today.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, January 6, 2022.  A lot of people are in hot water, Nate Silver, Pfizer, Tony Blair . . . 

Nate Silver shot off his stupid mouth and a horde came out to pretend that the Iraq War mattered.  Pretend?  All have platforms.  All use the smugness to attack Nate, none use their platforms to highlight what goes on in Iraq and none have done so in years.  Here for NEWSWEEK's coverage.

In the real world, Iraq remains without a government.  The Parliament dissolved immediately ahead of the October 10th elections.  January 9th, the new Parliament is supposed to meet long enough to name a (ceremonial) President and a prime minister-designate (who will then have 30 days to form a government) and a prime minister.  That will be three months after elections.  

For now the political stalemate continues and Iraq remains without a Parliament.   AL-MONITOR highlights the following:

The Parties: 

  • The Sadrist bloc led by populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won the most seats (73). Sadr has declared his intention to try to form a "majority" government if he can cobble together support totaling 165 seats (minimum for a majority).
  • The other major block vying to be tasked with forming a government is the Coordination Framework composed of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law (33 seats); the Fatah Alliance (17 seats), which is the political wing of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), headed by Hadi al-Amiri and perceived as aligned with Iran; Aqd al-Watani Coalition, headed by Falah al-Fayyad (4 seats), also linked to the PMU and Iran; former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Nasr Coalition (2 seats); cleric Ammar al-Hakim’s Hikma bloc (2 seats); and Kataib Hezbollah’s Huqooq movement, also a member of the PMU (1 seat) — a total of 59 seats (at time of publication). Ali Mamouri has the scoop here.
  • Other key parties and players include the Kurdistan Democratic Party, headed by Massoud Barzani (37 seats); Halbusi’s Taqadum/Progress Party (37 seats); and 43 seats for independents not affiliated with any party. You can see the full election results here.

165 is the number that needs to be reached which is why meetings continue to take place.  RUDAW notes:

A delegation from the Sadrist bloc met with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani in Erbil on Tuesday, discussing the October 10 elections and the formation of a new government for Iraq, according to Barzani’s office.  

“They talked about the political process in Iraq, election results and the efforts to hold the first meeting of the Iraqi parliament and the formation of a new Iraqi government,” read a statement from Barzani’s office. Both sides emphasized on overcoming challenges in the country as well as the resolution of Erbil-Baghdad issues, it added. 

Hassan al-Athari, head of the bloc, led the delegation. 

“They [Sadrist bloc] believe that the next government should be different from the previous ones which were formed based on consensus. They think that some of the winners who have gained most of the seats should form the [new] cabinet while some others remain as opposition,” Mahmoud Mohammed, KDP spokesperson, later told Rudaw’s Hawraz Gulpi. 

Outside Iraq, War Criminal Tony Blair remains in the news -- and in the hot seat.  From their house of shame -- racism accusations, hanging out with pedophiles, Prince Andrew being accused of rape -- England's royal family decided the way to celebrate the end of 2021 was to knight Tony.  It has not gone well. ALJAZEERA notes "an opinion poll published by UK polling company YouGov revealed 63 percent of Britons are opposed to Blair being knighted."  THE WALL STREET JOURNAL points out some of the backlash.  Some, not all.  The so-called royal honor comes as more of Tony's lies and deceptions float from the gutter he lives in.  YENI SAFIK reports:

Former British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon, who was in office during the Iraq War, claimed he was told to burn a memo from the attorney general that said the invasion of Iraq could be illegal, local media reported Wednesday.

Hoon served as defense secretary between 1999 and 2003 under former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Iraq was invaded in 2003 by a coalition led mainly by the US and the UK.

Hoon made the claim in his recently published memoir See How They Run.

Jessica Elgot (GUARDIAN) draws the connection:

In revelations that critics say cast further doubt on the decision to award the former prime minister a knighthood, Hoon recalled in extracts from his recently published memoir that Blair’s chief of staff had instructed him to burn the document.

Hoon wrote in his memoir, See How They Run, that he had had been under pressure from Mike Boyce, the chief of defence staff, to provide him with clear legal direction that his forces could take action in Iraq, in lieu of a UN resolution authorising force, the Daily Mail reported.

RT adds:

In disclosures that have boosted ongoing attempts to strip the former prime minister of his recently conferred knighthood, Hoon reportedly revealed that Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell had instructed him “in no uncertain terms” to destroy the legal document.

When reports of the allegation first surfaced in 2015, they were dismissed by Blair as “nonsense.” But Hoon has resurrected the claim in a tell-all book, titled ‘See How They Run’, according to the Daily Mail. The paper said Hoon has provided details of a “cover-up” at Downing Street.

The former Labour minister said he was sent a copy of the “very long and very detailed legal opinion,” written by then-Attorney General Peter Goldsmith, “under conditions of considerable secrecy” and told he should “not discuss its contents with anyone else.”

British MP Jeremy Corbyn Tweets:

This underlines once more what a disastrous act of aggression the war on Iraq was. Parliament must never be misled into backing an illegal war again.

While Peter Wilson reminds:

Tony Blair had a child rapist from Pakistan made a Lord - "Lord Ahmed of Rotherham". Rotherham as we know is world famous for industrial scale abuse of this sort. Sordid stuff.

The tide is turning against Tony.  ITV reports:

A mother from Abergavenny whose son was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 said she's "devastated" at plans to award former prime minister Sir Tony Blair a knighthood.

Hazel Hunt has written an open letter to the Queen alongside five other women who lost children during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

In the letter they ask the Queen to reconsider the honour which "tramples on our son's sacrifices."

Carol Valentine, Caroline Whitaker, Caroline Jane Munday-Baker and Helen Perry also put their names to the plea.

In the letter they write: "The news of Tony Blair's knighthood has set us back years.

"It makes a mockery of our children's lives, and we are struggling to cope with it."

It continues: "Our young sons were in the prime of their lives when they died fighting a war we should never have been at.

"We can never get over that loss, but our misery is compounded knowing that the man responsible is being honoured."

Meanwhile greed may land a few corporations in some trouble. Michael Scarcella (REUTERS) explains:

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday revived a lawsuit against AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L), Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and other companies over allegations their contracts with Iraq's health ministry helped fund terrorism that killed Americans during the war in Iraq.

The plaintiffs contend that the militia group Jaysh al-Mahdi, sponsored by Hezbollah, controlled Iraq's health ministry and that the 21 defendant U.S. and European medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies made corrupt payments to obtain medical-supply contracts.

The following sites updated:


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