“Acting is a nice childish profession — pretending you’re someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself.” — Katharine Hepburn
Quickie rec: David “Sonny” Lacks, son of Henrietta Lacks speaks at the Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union at 7pm.
He’s the son of Henrietta Lacks, who was the subject of Rebecca Skloot’s bestseller, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” The story of Lacks mere brings to life issues of cancer, medical malpractice, stem cells, race, scientific research, individual dignity — you name it, the book has it.
Sonny Lacks will discuss his mother’s story and how it affected the Lacks family — as well as the rest of humanity — for generations to come. He’ll also sign copies of the book.
ACTORS AND THEIR SCALES
Just a thought: Why do Hollywood actors feel it imperative to lose or gain massive amounts of weight for the roles they play?
I understand it all has to do with what seems to be the illogical evolution of method acting. You know, the discipline that made Marlon Brando (or vice versa) some 60 years ago — live the role and be the part. I get it.
Brando, Getting Into A Part
That’s why pretty boys who are slated to star in cops and robbers dramas ride along with real police officers before shooting begins so that they can pretend they know what it’s like to to carry a badge.
The latest two stars who’ve turned themselves into broomsticks for their roles are Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, who are appearing in “Les Miserables” and “The Dallas Buyers Club,” respectively.
Hathaway & McConaughey, Sans Flesh
This trend goes at least as far back as 1979 when Robert De Niro was working on “Raging Bull.” He packed on approximately three-quarters of a ton of lard, the better to portray Jake LaMotta as a bloated 50-year-old.
A Meaty Role
De Niro won the Oscar for his portrayal but it wasn’t because he jammed cream puffs into his face for several months before production began. De Niro arguably was the best actor of his generation. He’d have won the Academy Award if he’d never even touched a bag of Cheetos®.
Now, Hathaway and McConaughey are capable actors, although neither breathes De Niro’s rarified air. I’m willing to bet they’d be convincing in their parts no matter what size their waistlines are.
A lot of this has to do with what we like to think of as reality. In a nation where significant portions of the population believe in angels, UFOs, ghosts, and three-year-old kids going to heaven and coming back to tell about it, yet don’t believe in man-made climate change, the movie-going public demands “realism” in its entertainment. We’re all mixed up.
So, I suppose Hollywood actors are giving us what we want. Which is heaping piles of bullshit.
It reminds me of a famous, if apocryphal, bit of acting advice offered by Laurence Olivier to Dustin Hoffman, his costar in “The Marathon Man.” Hoffman, the story goes, stayed awake and ran himself ragged for several days before shooting a key scene. Olivier asked him why he was putting himself through hell. Hoffman replied that he wanted to be convincing.
“Try acting, dear boy,” Olivier said. “It’s much easier.”
To Which Hoffman Replied….
SPEAKING OF BRATS GOING TO HEAVEN
How many times do I have to harp on this, people?
The latest New York Times Non-Fiction Trade Paperback Bestseller list is topped by “Proof of Heaven,” and “Heaven Is for Real.” Again.
The Burpos, On Earth
It’s the second week in a row the two fever dream retellings have ranked one and two on the list. (And let’s leave aside the obvious problem: These books are not nonfiction.)
What’s going on? Are the fundamentalist Christians who voted against Barack Obama trying to console themselves by fantasizing about a fab afterlife?
And another thing. What’s with the debate team topic titles? Are these people trying to convince us?
Here’s a trivia bit that’ll make you a hit at the next holiday party.
The following bands and acts have recorded songs entitled, simply, “Heaven”:
- All Saints (natch)
- Better Than Ezra
- Bryan Adams
- Carly Simon
- Ice Cube
- Jamie Foxx
- Joan Armatrading
- John Legend
- Psychedelic Furs
- Simply Red
- Suicidal Tendencies
- Talking Heads
- The Rascals
- The Rolling Stones
- Uncle Kracker
Want more? Okay. Here’s a list of selected movies with the word heaven in the title:
- “Kingdom of Heaven”
- “Just Like Heaven”
- “Between Heaven and Earth”
- “Pennies from Heaven”
- “Days of Heaven”
- “Heaven and Earth”
- “All Dogs Go to Heaven”
- “Far from Heaven”
- “Heaven Can Wait”
- “Heaven Only Knows”
- “Heaven with a Gun”
- “My Blue Heaven”
- “Back Door to Heaven”
- “7th Heaven”
- “Gates of Heaven”
- “Chance at Heaven”
- “All This and Heaven, Too”
- “East Side of Heaven”
- “Heaven Is a Playground”
- “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison”
What Could Steve Martin Have Been Thinking?
Believe it or not, some of these films are good. Many of them, though, are dogs. Perhaps the bow-wow-iest is “My Blue Heaven” in which Steve Martin tries to play a “Goodfellas”-type mobster for laughs. I love Steve Martin but he made his biggest mistake by simply opening up this script.
The only events listings you need in Bloomington.
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
MUSIC ◗ IU Auer Hall — Guest Recital: Jonathan Biggers on organ; 12:15pm
LECTURE ◗ IU Art Museum — Noon Talk Series: “The Light Fantastic,” Presented by Rob Shakespeare; 12:15-1:15pm
MUSIC ◗ IU Auer Hall — Artist Diploma Recital: Nathan Giem on violin; 5pm
LECTURE ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — “Posters from the Revolution: The Anthropology of Graphic Arts in Cuba,” Gerrie Casey talks about her collection; 5pm
WORKSHOP ◗ Monroe County Public Library, Auditorium — “Serve IT: Get Engaged!” Program to help non-profits use social media; 5:30pm
LECTURE ◗ IU Ford-Crawford Hall — School of Music Lecture Series: Steven Zohn on “Norality, German Cultural Identity, and Telemann’s Faithful Music Master“; 5:30pm
ASTRONOMY ◗ IU Kirkwood Observatory — Open house, Public viewing through the main telescope; 6:30pm
DISCUSSION ◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — David Lacks, son of Henrietta Lacks (subject of the bestseller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”), speaks about his family’s experiences; 7pm
MUSIC ◗ Bloomington High School North — Fall Concert, Performed by the BHSN Concert Bands; 7-8:30pm
FILM ◗ IU Cinema — SOLD OUT: “On the Road“; 7pm
MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital Hall — Senior Recital: Anastasia Falasca on violin; 7pm
PERFORMANCE ◗ Unity of Bloomington Church — Auditions & rehearsal for Bloomington Peace Choir; 7-8:30pm
ROUNDTABLE ◗ IU Ballantine Hall — “Elections 2012: What Went Right, What Went Wrong, and Where To From Here?“; 7:15pm
STAGE ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, in the Rose Firebay — Drama, “The Rimers of Eldritch“; 7:30pm
MUSIC ◗ The Player’s Pub — Afro Hoosier International; 7:30pm
FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall — Medieval Studies Movie Series: “Ostrov (The Island)“; 7:30pm
MUSIC ◗ Max’s Place — Open mic; 7:30pm
MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center — Symphony Orchestra, David Effron, conductor, Gulrukh Shakirova, piano; 8pm
MUSIC ◗ IU Auer Hall — Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Dominick DiOria, conductor, Mason Copeland, organ; 8pm
DANCING ◗ Harmony School — Contra dancing; 8-10:30pm
MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford Hall — Doctoral Recital: Daniel Bubeck, countertenor; 8:30pm
MUSIC ◗ The Bluebird — The Personnel; 9pm
MUSIC ◗ The Bishop — Maserati, The Young, Majeure; 9:30pm
ART ◗ IU Art Museum — Exhibits:
- “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
- “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
- “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
- Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
- “Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
- “Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
- “Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
- “Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd
ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Exhibits through December 1st:
- “Essentially Human,” By William Fillmore
- “Two Sides to Every Story,” By Barry Barnes
- “Horizons in Pencil and Wax,” By Carol Myers
ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald Gallery — Exhibits through November 16th:
- Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
- Small Is Big
ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery — Exhibits through December 20th:
- “A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners“
- “Gender Expressions“
ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Exhibits:
- “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
- “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
- “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
- “Picturing Archaeology”
- “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
- “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
- “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
- “TOYing with Ideas”
- “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
- “On a Wing and a Prayer”
BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly Library — Exhibits:
- “The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library“; through December 15th
- “A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection
ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History Center — Exhibits:
- Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
- What Is Your Quilting Story?
- Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
- Bloomington Then & Now
- World War II Uniforms
- Limestone Industry in Monroe County
Mike: Is believing that President Obama’s plan to raise 1.6 trillion in taxes over 10 years is a serious plan to address the deficit (currently over 1 trillion each year) any more fanciful than believing in heaven?