Skip to main content

Sympathy For Mel?

Evelyn Waugh, a bit of a rascal, was asked how he could be a Catholic with his wicked ways.  He replied something to the effect - imagine what I'd like be like if I wasn't one?  The same applies, tenfold, to Mr. Gibson.  An apparent wife-threatener, hater of minorities, and police officers, he seems to be battling demons, the bottle, a lot of rage, and lord knows what else.  I feel for him, but also for those who must have to cope with his tantrums.

So - the question is - what does the film world do with this man?  He is rich enough to bankroll his own films - and his last one was a work of near-genius.  But as an actor, he may be toast.  That would be a shame.  Plenty of actors and actresses have been troubled and trouble - to say the least.  Brando, for one.  Gibson is not a Val Kilmer, to be discarded.  He needs good commercial roles.  In Edge of Darkness he was startlingly compelling as a doomed angry and violent cop - he was channelling what he is, into his art form.  If he was a poet, or painter, we might call him a tragic genius, like Pound or Pollock.  Instead, we revile him.  I say, condemn the sin, and try to get the sinner to get back to work.  But if he is found guilty of beating anyone, he should have the full weight of the law down on him like a ton of bricks.  His soul can wait for a later judgement.

Popular posts from this blog


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…