Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.

Archive for the ‘Falsehoods and Reality’ Category

Dead Darlings: Paul Weitz edition

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Interviewed Paul Weitz for Being Flynn over at The Playlist. Like any talk, a lot of stuff is brought up and cut in editing for space or because you’re the only diehard American Dreamz fan. Like this exchange:

To go completely off track: “American Dreamz” was awesome and underrated. But Bobcat Goldthwait has “God Bless America” coming out, not sure if you know anything about it.


Guy has terminal cancer and decides to start killing people from reality shows and folks who generally destroy our culture.


I was wondering, “American Dreamz” is under-appreciated, years go by and now we have the progression of “God Bless America” which is killing these people because it’s gotten so bad. Do you take a little pride in that?

Oh, he seems to dance to his own drum. I really think he does interesting work that I take no–I doubt he’s seen “American Dreamz,” most people haven’t. That sounds good. I think at some point there’s an interest at trying to take an X-Ray at what’s going on with the culture. Which usually means you’re going to make a marginal film. And using satire as a pick at things. But that sounds great.

I had a pretty funny experience with “American Dreamz.” I went out with Dennis Quaid on the weekend that it opens to see different people reacting to it. And we went to a theater where Sam Golzari, who plays the terrorist in it, all of his relatives had gone to this one theater and packed it. Cheering and screaming and stuff when Sam came on. Dennis was like, “Man this is going to be a massive hit, Paul! This is incredible!” However I had already gotten a call saying that basically in the middle of the country no one had gone to see it. So I knew it was a bomb. It was just a funny evening of hanging out with Dennis and bite my tongue.

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March 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

You say Politico, I say Poly-tico…

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For folks who don’t know the difference between Beltway Politics and Inner/Outer Loops, it really is an easy mistake. Especially if you’re supposed to be covering entertainment news with a political tint for a major national magazine known for its political coverage.

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Outrage Squared

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Doing it wrong, Magnolia style!

It was bound to happen. Takeshi Kitano’s latest trip back to the world of shark skin suits, lobbed pinkies and embracing other men the only way Yakuza know how (hint: a shank) opened in New York and Los Angeles last Friday. Well, except it didn’t in New York if you checked Google.

In a twist of inappropriate fate, if you live in New York and search for for Outrage you find this fun, no-star review of Outrage, the 2009 documentary by Kirby Dick about closeted conservative politicians and media personalities playing. Click the trailer link and you’re brought to Kitano’s film about aging Yakuza dealing with the loss of the “ideal” Yakuza.

Check in LA?

Doin' it right, Magnolia style!

Doin' it right, Magnolia style!

Hoo ray! Don’t fret, even if you live in New York and assume you’re about to watch the doc, you can just rent/buy Outrage…er…no, the other Outrage…oh whatever. You can find them both as video-on-demand.

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December 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm

In Which The Muppets Have A Parents Guide

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Found while browsing Reddit, like anything worth while. But I’d like to present this special selection of IMDB thanks to the users, who felt the need to craft a guide for parents to ensure their children’s Muppet experience isn’t like the bawdy pun-filled childhood they once experienced.

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November 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

A Junket Question

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Media junkets aren’t anything groundbreaking or new. Most of the time, they involve a very long table in one of the conferene rooms at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles or Waldorf Astoria in New York; and if they ever happened in Washington, DC I’m sure someone would spring for the Americana Motel in Crystal City.

Junket Questions, though, are another beast entirely. These are the best that the brightest from People, Teen People, Seventeen, Tiger Beat, TV Guide, and other illustrious print/online sites that cover media purely for the SEO dollars. They ask the hard hitting questions for their allotted 45-minute press conference or 25-minute roundtable interview with five other people and the selected talent.

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November 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Posted in Falsehoods and Reality

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Crafty is King

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There’s a clear zen when it comes to manning the craft services table on film and TV shoots. The table itself is often metaphorical, instead being a bar, a series of shelves or–ok, maybe it is just a 72″ folding table set up against the far side of the wall. It’s informal name is simply “crafty” and it is the lifeblood for any production that needs to chug along for the requisite 12 hours before everyone can go home, sleep for half that time and be back on set for an eight a.m. call time.

So, what’s crafty made up from?

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November 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Lazy Announcement: The 2011 New York Asian Film Festival Line-Up

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May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The Catch-Up Cataclysm

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Not that I wasn’t always the most mindful of catching up on my writing since that’s likely what I aspired to be doing in life, but the last few months have been rather hectic what with hoping for an actual job, trying out for jobs and then being informed there are no jobs except of the ‘freeing lancer’ variety.

Which, in hindsight, would be a lot more interesting if I wandered around offering my lance skills as if I were a knight.

In any event, there’s a few things I actually want to go back over that I didn’t bother to review or write on originally. So with that said:

The Adjustment Bureau: I was surprised as other folks that this wasn’t terrible. In fact, Damon and “God’s plan scrawled in Moleskin” were pretty damn snappy. It also treats New York iconography with the proper love that Madison Square Park and the ferries from Jersey City should always get.

Uncle Blowme Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Wives Lives: Baby’s first Apichatpong Weerasethakul! Still, my love of slow tracking shots and single takes comes ahead here. The family dynamic is another thing that Joe, as I’m learning, is constantly referencing through his work. But the cave sequence terrified and thrilled; likewise, I jumped at the first Ghost Monkey, despite the inherently non-threatening nature behind it.

I Saw The Devil: I doubt I’m original with the term “K-Revenge,” much like J-Pop and J-Horror were in the early aughts. But Kim Jae-woon’s take on the genre is extreme and wonderfully nihilistic, almost on par with the gurgling end of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. But there’s a sadistic anti-feminine tone under all of it that I assume has to be intentional.


The Battle of Los Angeles: Helped inspire this piece on UGO.

Paul: Normally the fanboy defense really is a fucking cop-out. But here, it rings true: this is a film for the nerd, not in the same vein of Patton Oswalt’s dystopiyan-utopian nerd-vana essay at Wired. UFOs and tri-tit jokes are gold currency, Jason Bateman plays to the masses that clamor for an Arrested Development film and Bill Hader makes an incredible about-face with a one-liner (“I’m on a mission from God!” “Well, TELL HIM YOU FAILED.”) Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s rat-a-tat with each other brings so much weird joy to watch, even as C-3P0 and R2-D2, that Kristen Wiig is overshadowed–which takes a lot.

Certified Copy: A friend of mine brought his screener to me of Copy last November or so and I promised to watch it. I got roughly 10 minutes in, became annoyed at the exchange between Juliette Binoche and William Shimell and turned it off. Then I sent it off to Michigan. This is kind of my biggest regret, film wise, in the last few months since I never gave it a chance. Personally, seeing a love story and then a facsimile of a marriage that’s in fact a play on relationships also doesn’t go too hot for me. I can only meta so much! No one man can has all that meta!

Rubber: Speaking of meta–this was awesome and fun. That is all.

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May 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

My Quarterlife Crisis Is Over

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Now I just have four 25 more years until I can begin fretting about my second one, which will likely involve me worrying about whether or not I’ll survive the impeding geo-politico nuclear city state that may or may not be happening in 2016 36.

Until then, here are some things I’m amazed to have done in 25 years:

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March 24, 2011 at 12:17 am

Why There Isn’t A Great Moment in Jeffrey Wells 2010

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A funny thing happened way back at the end of 2008 while screwing around one night. At some point or another, I threw myself on the mercy of Karina Longworth–then editor of Spout Blog–about any freelance work. Turns out I got lucky: she was off on a vacation, needed some slots filled for lists and video-of-the-day posts. So I got to listing!

This lead to a few hours of sitting in my living room on the sole chair I owned while plowing through Brooklyn Lagers for ideas. As always, a Gchat conversation led to a favorite past-time among myself and a friend: quoting randomly from an assortment of blogs to see if we could guess the critic or author. The rest, as you could imagine, was history.

Or mainly, me sitting in my apartment drinking a beer and going, “Oh wow. I could totally make a list out of all the stuff Wells wrote during the last year on Hollywood Elsewhere.”

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February 25, 2011 at 2:12 am


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