Friday, January 12, 2007

On Michael Giltz's blog (, he talks about the ratings of some shows. "Friday Night Lights" seems to be holding steady, in spite of the crazy instability of its scheduling; against all odds, it's a show that's finding an audience. But ratings were way off for the season opener of "The L Word". On IndieWire, there are the line-ups of the various guilds (Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild) for their awards. At this time, the highest grossing movie (among the nominees from the PGA) is "Little Miss Sunshine". "Dreamgirls" is expanding slowly, so it may overtake "Little Miss Sunshine", but so far, "Little Miss Sunshine" has been a real hit.

Yesterday, went to see "Becket". No, it hasn't really improved with age, and even nostalgia can't make it more than a stodgy and sloggy bog. But... to hear people like Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton, John Gielgud, Martita Hunt, Pamela Brown, Felix Aylmer, et al just speak... the kind of trained voices that these people have (which even most recent English actors don't have)... they can make any utterance just seem so musical. They use their voices as true instruments, with every tiny inflection so expressive!

There are so many things that have changed since i started seeing movies (when i was a child). As an English-speaking person, i was taught to appreciate English when it is beautifully spoken. One thing that has happened in the collapse of vocal training which has overtaken so much of the English-speaking theater is that the current crop of English actors are much better at American accents than previous generations. Even people like Michael Caine and Vanessa Redgrave... when they try American accents, head for the hills! Just horrendous! And people like Jean Simmons, Deborah Kerr, and Claire Bloom, no matter how long they've been in America, never shook that English elocution.

I'm trying to work my way through my Netflix queue; still have to see "Stephanie Daley". Probably will watch it later today. Watching "Forbidden" on TCM right now, one of Frank Capra's movies with Barbara Stanwyck. She gets to do her aging number, where she goes from her 20s to her 40s (she does this in "So Big" as well). It's so funny to think that, in the 1930s, people in their 40s were considered really old.

Cybill Shepherd has been making the rounds of the talk shows, publicizing "The L Word". She's been talking about her upcoming birthday (she's almost 60).

This week, when i was watching Lynne Sachs's videos, when the credits rolled, i was astounded at how many people she acknowledged for their help. Not because i don't think it's hard to make anything, but because it was a list of "the usual suspects"... people like Alan Berliner, Mark Street, Ira Sachs...


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