1.The Third Annual White Elephant Film Blogathon. Lucid Screening returns a favorite annual tradition (that I always intend to get in on but always forget about) by having film bloggers swap films to write about on April Fool's Day. This year's entries include The Hottie and the Nottie, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, Spring Break Shark Attack and Tram Ngo (who deserves a hat-tip for reminding me this happened) on Miami Vice (excerpted below).
["When I first received news of my assignment for the White Elephant Blog-a-thon, I thought, "Oh shit!" To the unassuming, movie-going masses, Miami Vice (2006) was just another one of those adrenaline-packed summer blockbusters with a built-in TV audience in mind. To cinephiles, however, it was "a Michael Mann film"—four words that underscore just how polarizing Mann's films are. To his admirers, Mann is an impressionistic visionary who subverts genre expectations. To his detractors, Mann is the exact opposite: Hollywood's Emperor without clothing, if you will."]
2. Dunno if you heard, but long-running drama ER ended last night. Here's Alan Sepinwall with a finale rundown. Bonus Sepinwall link: his review of season two of HBO's In Treatment.
["'And in the End...' was written by John Wells, who ran the show in its formative years after Michael Crichton provided the initial pilot script, and directed by Rod Holcomb, who directed that pilot, and it worked as hard as it could bring as many elements from that pilot full circle as they could, while showing that the circle of life (and death) at County General goes on. It wasn't an all-time great finale, but it did what it set out to do, had some nice moments both with the current cast and all the returning veterans, and it felt like there could be an episode on in a month's time if NBC were to order more, and the beat would go on and on."]
3.John Garfield. Hey, you know who Sheila O'Malley likes? John Garfield.
["Garfield, hounded by the HUAC, was harassed into an early grave, something that I mourn, even though - you know - it has nothing to do with me - because I don't believe he had 'the' role yet. The one we all would remember, the thing that would make him immortal. He had been good in things - he's usually good - he was the only good thing in Gentleman's Agreement (well, besides Dean Stockwell, of course, who strolls away with every scene ... acting poor stiff Gregory Peck off the screen), he was smoldering and terrific in Postman Always Rings Twice. The role would come. I totally believe it would have come."]
4. Some more TV thoughts, this time from James Greene Jr., on ABC's constant struggles in the late '80s and early '90s with filling the last half hour of its TGIF lineup. Heady stuff, I know!
["Lubbock was played by Bill Kirchenbauer, a guy who in all honesty could do 'clean' funny better than five Mark Lynn-Bakers or three Dave Couliers. Still, the Kirch wasn't much to look at. To give Ten some youth/sex appeal, the producers loaded the show with Coach Lubbock's four hot daughters, including Heather Langenkamp of Nightmare On Elm Street fame. They also threw in a snotty young son, a precocious daughter, newborn twins, a cute dog, and Dennis Haysbert. I know what you're thinking. With all that shit crammed in there, how could Just The Ten Of Us miss?]
5.Diary of a Country Priest. Indian Auteur is back, this time with a look at the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak. Worth a read, even if you have no idea who Ghatak is.
["However, Ghatak's dream remained unfulfilled, and with each passing year and the subsequent success of his colleagues and contemporaries to reach a wider market drew him further into a closed shell. To understand the formulation of his narrative and formal derivation of Ghatak's Partition Trilogy there are three important and pivotal landmarks in his life that formed the basic cinematic grammar and visual strife in his films."]
Quote of the Day:
"Your day breaks; your mind aches. You find that all the words of kindness linger on when she no longer needs you.
She wakes up; she makes up. She takes her time and doesn't feel she has to hurry. She no longer needs you" —The Beatles
Image of the Day (click to enlarge): A photo by Helen Levitt from this excellent retrospective of the recently deceased photographer's work at An Uncommonplace Book.
Clip of the Day: This Onion News Network video is some funny stuff.