not a good day. i've caught emma's flu.
i slept in until noon, went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and nearly screamed. tina turner's wigs have never stood up at so many angles.
so then i open the increasingly useless new york times and see andy sullivan trying to prop up his boy donnie rummy with his 'by gosh it all, the military was looking into this!' white wash.
the times feels sully's so goddamn important that they let him go on and on. considering that he understands brevity -- those personal ads seeking bareback sex for instance -- it's shocking that they turn over so much space to so questionable a writer.
but just when you're done with granny sully telling you there really is a santa clause, you have to take on the prat that is manohla dargis.
apparently manohla's never read one of those star biographies. you know that this self-proclaimed lover of valley of the dolls has read everyone she could get her hands on.
manohla eats up space in the times book review section by weighing in on a star gazer tome aimed at sean penn.
and apparenlty manohla's new to these type of books. (they often sell well but they rarely grace a best seller list).
manohla's shocked, just shocked, that a writer would write such a glossy treatment of penn. as someone who's flipped through books "about" sharon stone, goldie hawn, cher, johnny depp, river phoenix, warren beatty and countless others, i know when i pick up one of those books that we're looking at a subject without warts. kitty kelley's 1 of the few who's ever felt the need to show warts. and 1 of the few who's sold a book that explored the warts. even those loons who've develped a cottage industry out of their hatred of jane fonda haven't been able to land even a modest selling success. why is that?
because now that these books are no longer stocked in large numbers at the supermarkets or box stores, the only 1s buying them are fans of the star.
you don't make any money with a warts and all portrayal.
and no one even tries. which is why a biography on sharon stone works overtime to reassure us of all how she's one of the strongest critical thinkers of our time. yeah, there's sartre and then there's stone.
either manohla is ignorant of the book genre or she's so eager to trash sean penn that she plays dumb.
either way, the book isn't worthy of a review in the times and her "review" isn't worth printing.
she feels the need to tell us that "penn's resume is clogged with pretentious schlock like 'state of grace' and the ghastly 'i am sam.'" while praising mystic river, no less. (if pauline kael were alive, she's slap manohla's face!) that would be his oscar nominated performance in 'i am sam.'
as for pretentious, manohla might not want to throw stones.
sean penn, and a film critic should know this, is a character actor. as such, like every other character actor, he selects a film based upon the role he's offered. he's not giving a great deal of thought to the film's success or even it's merits. he's focused on whether the role gives him (as an actor) a chance to explore something.
for the record, i'm no fan of sean penn's. i've read countless biographies on madonna and wasn't impressed. nor have i ever found him sexy.
but i do not have the need to slam and distort his career. manhola apparently does.
it's not enough that she smear penn himself, she also goes after his dead father leo penn:
"he had been blacklisted, though he wasn't sure anyone had actually named his name. (in fact, he may have hit a wall as a screen actor. either way, the blacklist would become an important part of the penn family story.)"
would that be the same new york times family story manhola?
His film career had just begun when Penn was blacklisted after attending a pro-union meeting with other actors. That the group was actively supporting the first blacklistees, the Hollywood Ten, only worsened matters.
yeah, manohla tile, that's your own damn paper.
you might want to consider researching a little before you spew your venum. you're exactly the sort of 'critic' that kat was talking in thursday's kat's korner -- you mistake criticism for an appearence on crossfire!
maybe manohla tile is unaware of this too:
When he was called before the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, and asked to expose Hollywood Communists, Leo Penn refused to name names.
or maybe the dumb ass just doesn't grasp how the blacklist worked, maybe she's historically ignorant as well as a bad writer?
you sure are quick to absolve the blacklisters and question the documented claims of a victim, manohla tile.
your piece shouldn't have been printed and someone needs to do something about the garbage that is the new york times book review.
facts don't matter, people say whatever they want. it's bullshit and it needs to stop.