The Siren used to work at a publication that had a fatwa on the word "upcoming." A celebrated former editor once decreed, "If I see the word 'upcoming' again, I will be downcoming and the editor will be outgoing."
Some coming events in the cinematic blogosphere:
Over at Newcritics, 10 pm June 25th, Lance Mannion's Wednesday Night at the Movies tackles Doctor Dolittle. He wanted to leave it out, and the Siren wouldn't let him. For one thing, while it's the worst of the nominees for 1967's Best Picture Oscar, it still provides Mark Harris with the best parts of Pictures at a Revolution. The Siren was glued to the book in general but Doctor Dolittle, like all disasters, makes brilliantly good copy--from the tons of shit produced by the animals, to the choice of the rainiest village in England for a location, to Rex Harrison's lord-of-the-manor racism and ability to be a towering prick to all who encountered him, to Harrison's wife Rachel Roberts and her alcoholic benders that even appalled Richard Burton. There aren't many movie books that can make the Siren shriek out loud on the subway but Harris's did, and it was a Doctor Dolittle part that done it. This legendary turkey does need to be seen at least once. Like it (does anyone love it?) or hate it, Doctor Dolittle embodies a type of moviemaking that's as dead as the dodo. I'm willing to bet you will at least appreciate the scale and scope of the movie, in those wonderful days before CGI came along to annoy the bejesus out of us. And if you are a Netflix subscriber, it's available for instant viewing.
Even if you just can't bring yourself to watch, stop over at Newcritics Wednesday night at 10 pm in any case. I'm hoping we discuss Richard Fleischer--talented studio workhorse, or auteur in need of a reappraisal? (Check out Dennis's fine piece on Mandingo before you answer that.) There's Anthony Newley and the demise of the song-and-dance man, Samantha Eggar (still working and looking good) who went from animals to The Brood, John Gregory Dunne's The Studio (which went into Doctor Dolittle's doomed marketing plan in hilarious detail) as well as the whole flowering and quick demise of the 1960s studio mega-musical. Do all the ones that stiffed around this time (Star! is another) deserve to languish forever?
Siren pals and Oscar experts Michael Phillips of Goatdog's Movies, Nick of Nick's Flick Picks and Nathaniel R of The Film Experience have come up with a great experiment. It's called Best Pictures from the Outside In. Listen carefully, because the Siren herself didn't quite get it at first. These men have seen all Best Picture winners (poor lambs), so they are discussing them in pairs. But instead of matching by theme (the Siren was all set to suggest Lawrence of Arabia vs. Casablanca) they are working their way in from both ends. Eventually, they promise (threaten?) "we'll work our way eventually to the 1960s, smack dab in the middle of Oscar's 80 years of back-patting." Last week was No Country for Old Men and Wings. Next week: The Broadway Melody and The Departed. Week after that, if the Siren is reading the lists right: Crash vs. All Quiet on the Western Front. That last has the Siren particularly intrigued.
June 29th marks the start of the "New York in the Movies" Blogathon for the Derelict, who blogs over at 12 Grand in Checking. The Derelict has terrific taste in cities (obviously) and in movies as well. (You want proof? she recently gave four stars to The Clock and The Woman in the Window.) She's wisely stretching out the contribution time to July 3rd. The Siren loves the topic and plans to contribute if humanly possible.
Ditto Goatdog's Movies About Movies Blogathon, running August 22 to Aug. 29. This is one of the Siren's favorite genres and she will definitely be there. I mean, just check out this list of possible topics. It reminded the Siren of all sorts of movies she loves, including Show People. By the way--anyone got a spare copy of What Price Hollywood laying around?