Link rundown for the week:
#: The L.A. Times had an online feature about best celebrity pranks. They include Sarah Silverman’s “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” video (which no one will remember five years from now, funny as it may be), two entries for George Clooney, and Bill Gates getting a pie in the face (which I don’t think is technically a prank). The illiterate bankruptcy of our entertainment media astounds me. How can you talk about celebrity pranks and not include the greatest celebrity prank of all time – Raoul Walsh stealing John Barrymore’s corpse from the undertaker and propping it up on Errol Flynn’s couch before Flynn got home from attending John Barrymore’s funeral? Top that with a god-damned text message, George Clooney.
#: Is the EconoLodge in Jersey City, NJ the worst hotel in America? If not, submit your own nominations!
#: Stop Making Movies About My Books – Dr. Seuss (c/o The Onion)
Did you learn all but squat from The Cat In The Hat?
Please tell me you fired the prick who made that.
I would have stopped writing, maybe sold Goodyear tires.
If I knew one dark day I’d costar with Mike Myers.
#: After serious consideration and some useful input, I’m leaning most heavily toward the Canon HV20. It shoots in high-def (HVD format, which Final Cut Express 4 can handle), it shoots in 24p (the standard format for professional film), it’s got an accessory shoe (so I can slap on a mic) and it records to MiniDV (which, as outdated as it sounds, is still the least lossy medium available). Five months ago, when Wired gave it its highest recommendation, it cost $1100. Today you can get it for less than half that. This industry’s crazy.
#: Apparently, Teller (of Penn & same) has put together a production of Macbeth that’s going up at the Folger Theater in D.C. This guy’s review draws attention to (1) the masterful illusions used in the production – ghosts and weapons appearing and disappearing, etc and (2) the dark comedy brought out by careful timing. Macbeth* never struck me as a funny play, but re-reading it uncovers a few laugh lines:
What’s the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? speak, speak!
O gentle lady,
‘Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
The repetition, in a woman’s ear,
Would murder as it fell.
O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master ‘s murder’d!
#: “At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America’s shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.” [Sorry - this was the unfunny one]
* Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth.