Enola Gay Holmes Springer

 Cast of Enola.

 DATELINE:  Conan Doyle Rolling in Grave

The remnants of the Arthur Conan Doyle estate have scrapped together a lawsuit against the elements of Sherlock that are not public domain. These ten points of contention are the part and parcel of some post-feminist novels by one Nancy Springer.

We are more horrified by the endless string of ridiculous anachronisms the story seems to throw at history.

Netflix, ever the opportunist, has adapted the novels to a film on their ersatz network of third-rate shows, figuring a ripoff of Holmes fits right in.

It’s likely no mistake that the name of the airplane that dropped the atom bomb on Japan to end World War II is named “Enola.”

The lawsuit takes umbrage with the emotional turmoil when Sherlock must deal with a younger sister as well as a smarter brother. Talk about family troubles.

Throw in Sherlock’s mother as some kind of harpie, and you have the makings of a legal argument. We never had much faith in these family ties or family feud with Sherlock. We always suspected that Mrs. Hudson was his out-of-wedlock mother. She did refer to Mycroft once as a “reptile,” which surely is not motherly. Or is it?

Ignoring an upstart sister seems a fairly proper approach for Sherlock, but he had to put up with an obtuse Watson, mostly created for movie humor, but to give Holmes more emotion than Mr. Spock seems a stretch to the law offices of our solicitor.

We are now feeling emotional blackmail to tune into a Netflix series to give our usual slice and dice approach to all things un-Sherlockian.

To update Sherlock like he is one of the Ma and Pa Kettle movie series of the 1940s is enough to make us eshew the Poverty Row studios once and for all time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead!

DATELINE: New Orson Welles Documentary

 3 amigos Three Amigos, More or Less!

If Orson Welles spoke this epitaph, then he was prescient. However, when Peter Bogdanovich reports this at the documentary’s start, his long-time girlfriend Oja Kodar refutes it. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is so on target. Alan Cumming narrates among the powerful voices.

Who knows? It is a juicy start to the recent Netflix restoration and premiere of Orson’s last film:  The Other Side of the Wind.

Since the final masterpiece of the Master is a mockumentary, years ahead of its time, it seems only fair that this documentary on the making of the film over 15 years is different than most.

You may be surprised at how many illustrious people, now aged, are still with us with fond and not-so-fond memories of Welles, who was bossy and a tyrant as well as an auteur genius.

He shot what he pictured in his mind. His philosophy in the end was one of “divine accidents” during filming as sources of inspiration that makes a monumental motion picture.

Welles suffered for his art. Money was the bugaboo and taking it from the Shah of Iran’s brother-in-law was a desperately bad move. He lost all control of the movie when the country went Islamic extremist. And, the French courts also tried to keep him from the one movie that kept him alive and creative.

Is it autobiographical? Perhaps, but Welles cast his friend director John Huston as Jack Hannaford—who could be John Ford or Ernest Hemingway or even Welles himself. It could be Huston was playing Huston. It is likely another famous director of their era: Nick Ray.

Scenes were filmed in fragments, often years between takes. Yet, it flows like some insane chorus of dissonant singers.

Netflix produced the documentary and has completed the last film of Welles (reviewed separately). If you need your appetite whet, this documentary will prime your pump.

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Spacey’s World Revisited

spacey

DATELINE:  Recanting Our Blog

Additional charges against Kevin Spacey have now come out of the closet, increasing the validity of the original accusation.

What is tragic here is that he has just finished a movie called Gore about Gore Vidal that now will never be released by Netflix, and is considered “shelved.”  That is a fancy way to bury the film. Few decent films are shelved. Of the dozen or so shelved movies that were starring famous actors, most were deplorable messes. The Spacey film could have been interesting and high quality.

The movie had a juicy subplot concerning Leonard Bernstein and Rudy Nureyev. It might have rivaled the Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra for sheer tabloid appeal. It may be in limbo for the foreseeable future.

In a blog this week we offered a mild defense for Kevin Spacey against sexual harassment allegations, implying one charge was not enough for a generalization. Now we have heard there are multiple incidents.

During the course of the week, these additional charges have cropped up and caused Spacey’s talent agency to drop him entirely. The crew of his series House of Cards called the studio situation “toxic,” owing to Spacey’s behavior.

Various people who worked on the show felt Spacey was running amok. The specific details of Spacey’s alleged behavior are sordid. As a result, Netflix is totally canceled the sixth season of the House of Cards—and have withdrawn from the film project.

What remains distressing to us is that a film in post-production, namely Gore, about the life of writer Gore Vidal, produced and starring Kevin Spacey, may never be aired. What a miscarriage of creativity. Post-production means the film was in editing for final review.

What a shame and catastrophe for all of those who work so hard on the production. We think of actor Douglas Booth, a wonderful new star, whose performance may be lost.

This perhaps it is the biggest tragic result of the charges against Kevin Spacey. But we can will lose the opportunity to see another documentarian approach to Vidal. We doubt he would have approved of the movie in any case, when it is produced by a man with some reprehensible charges against him.