Rightwing Film Geek

I fearlessly predict …

That the new BRIDESHEAD REVISITED movie will suck pretty hard.

We can already be morally certain that it will be a vulgar reduction of Sebastian in ways designed to pander to contemporary narrowness and sex obsession. Actor Ben Whishaw bluntly says he has played Sebastian as a gay person, in today’s parlance, because he and the others involved in the film needed to give the let’s-pat-him-on-the-head-since-he-can’t-have-been-expected-to-know-better-because-of-the-times treatment to Evelyn Waugh (as in principle any contemporary artiste could have to any other DWEM who needs to be pat on the head since he can’t have been expected to know better because of the times), and so they helpfully filled in the gaps left unfilled by his insufficient enlightenment. The money quotes (oops) from Whishaw:

“Sebastian knows what his nature is and believes he’s going to hell” …
The film … aims to speak to a new generation, in part by portraying Sebastian as unquestionably gay. Waugh left Sebastian’s sexuality somewhat ambiguous, and purists may balk at the inclusion of a kiss between Sebastian and Charles Ryder, his school chum and the story’s narrator (played by Matthew Goode). “The kiss was quite a bone of contention,” says Whishaw of discussions on the set. “But Waugh said as much as he could at the time he was writing [the novel], and it seems fairly clear-cut. He’s a gay character.”

Continue reading

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Homosexuality, Julian Jarrold, Presentism, Religion in movies | 5 Comments

The end of an era

It’s the film criticism equivalent of Tiger Woods hypothetically retiring next week or of the death of Ronald Reagan. Roger Ebert is walking away from the show that made him certainly the most-famous and arguably the most-influential film critic ever.

In its various incarnations, from PBS to syndication, from “Sneak Previews” to “At the Movies” to “Siskel and Ebert,” his show was the show that put film criticism into the popular consciousness and made stars of him and Gene Siskel, to the point they were commenting on the Olympics, appearing on Carson and Arsenio, and speaking to Harvard Law School and Playboy magazine (one of only three issues I ever purchased). His reflected glory was even enough to make a star of Richard Roeper, who also is leaving the show, and the breakdown of whose negotiations with Disney apparently created the occasion for Ebert’s official leave-taking. People who have seen him since his jaw surgery had told me they doubted Ebert would ever appear on TV again, because of what the surgery had to do to his voice and his face. This statement though seems to imply Ebert may be back on TV:

The trademark still belongs to me and Marlene Iglitzen, Gene’s widow, and the thumbs will return.

Continue reading

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Roger Ebert | 3 Comments