Tag Archives: Argo

Memo to Peter Bart: Don’t Be A Dick

I was perusing the trades (that’s slang for entertainment industry trade papers) recently in an effort to live vicariously through the people who actually do what I just imagine doing for a living, and I came across an article by Peter Bart (former Editor-in-Chief at Variety) regarding The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and his foray into the world of film directing (the dickishly titled “Memo to Jon Stewart: Stick with Your Day Job Behind the Desk”).

Artist's rendering of Peter Bart, who believes that creative people should be neither seen nor heard.

Artist’s rendering of Peter Bart, who believes that creative people should be neither seen nor heard.

You can read the article if you like, but the general idea is that Peter Bart spends 600 words essentially just shitting on Stewart’s desire to sit in the director’s chair. How does Peter Bart justify his Debbie Dickhead attitude toward Jon Stewart’s project? Well, Bart points out, Bob Dyaln was a celebrity who directed a movie…and it was bad! Not convinced? Well, Bart says, Madonna was a celebrity who directed a movie…and it was also bad!

So just to recap: because Bob Dylan made a bad movie in 1978, no one should try to direct a movie ever again. Got it. And obviously this has everything to do with the fact that Dylan and Madonna were already established stars that tried to transition into directing, and nothing to do with the fact that they were just bad directors (the Dylan film’s final cut clocked in at OVER four hours long, but yeah, I’m sure it was only a flop because he was a celebrity trying to direct). Double got it.

Bart goes on to reference successful directors (Clooney, Sean Penn, Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Elia Kazan, and Francis Coppola) who didn’t release their best work until later on in their directorial careers, and whose first projects either weren’t well-received or just weren’t that good. Basically Bart’s message is if you haven’t already done something, you shouldn’t do it.

Um. What.
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An Oscar Retrospective (aka #ManCrush Monday on Seth MacFarlane)

In what critics are calling “the first and most original idea of 2013 or ever” I’ve decided to post a few of my thoughts on last night’s 85th annual Academy Awards.

Soft-shoeing their way into the hearts of millions...

Soft-shoeing their way into the hearts of millions…

For starters, Seth MacFarlane absolutely crushed it with the hosting duties, which is no easy task given that the über-critical media is just waiting to pounce on any and all missteps, real or imaginary. Also, keep in mind that we haven’t had a decent host for the ceremony since 2009’s festivities; last year was a past-his-prime Billy Crystal (whom I adore, but wasn’t great that time around…probably due at least in part to the fact that he was a last-second replacement for Eddie Murphy) and the year before was the dreadful Franco/Hathaway duo — she’s as bad at being herself as she is good at being other people and Franco just bounced back and forth between “possibly stoned” and “definitely stoned” the whole night. I thought Seth MacEff struck a great balance between deprecation of self vs. deprecation of others, and while every joke can’t be a home run (rough crowd to drop a Chris Brown/Rihanna joke on, I liked the Mel Gibson line but it was a bit passé, etc….though like any seasoned funny-man he recovered impressively and instantaneously) I thought the vast majority of his material was gold. And like it or not, I’m your male 18-34 demographic, so my opinion literally matters more than yours (18 trillion dollars of targeted advertising can’t be wrong). MacFarlane devotees already know that he has a passion for classic Hollywood (thus the soft-shoe numbers and old school pageantry of the opening performances) and if you’re smart enough to see through the boob-jokes, you’ll see a love for tinsel-town’s glamorous golden era that most of this generation lacks. Which leads me nicely into…

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