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“This will carry me twenty-five years.”

By Asides and Cinema

Grouch Marx (inter­viewed by Roger Ebert) tells of a vis­it to W.C. Fields’ house:

He invited me over to his house, he had his girl­friend there. I think her name was Carlotta Monti. Car-lot-ta MON-ti! That’s the kind of name a girl of Fields would have. He had a lad­der lead­ing up to his attic. Without exag­ger­a­tion, there was fifty thou­sand dol­lars in liquor up there. Crated up like a wharf. I’m stand­ing there and Fields is stand­ing there, and nobody says any­thing. The silence is oppress­ive. Finally, he speaks: This will carry me twenty-five years.

Quote of the day.

“I was on the bottom of everyone’s list.”

By Asides, Cinema and TV

Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) describes the life of a not-very-successful Hollywood act­or in The Guardian:

And there’s this hideous thing they make you do when you go up for a tele­vi­sion show: they make you sign a con­tract before you walk into the final audi­tion. The last thing they want is for you to have every­one fall in love with you, and then you not have a deal in place. So you sign this thing – and I had no money; I was broke. You’re star­ing at the five-figure pay cheque you’ll get… if… If! A crazy amount of money for someone who has none. So I was think­ing: I’ll pay my loans off and do this and that and maybe get my car fixed… and by that time they’re call­ing you in, you’re like: ‘Shit! I have to do the scene! What the fuck are the lines?’ I would get hung up on that stuff and be an utter fail­ure in the room.”

Hamm dis­plays an admir­able amount of self-awareness in this inter­view, pro­mot­ing his new fea­ture film The Town (dir­ec­ted by Ben Affleck). Part of Hamm’s suc­cess as Don Draper is the tiny amount of “I can­’t quite believe this is hap­pen­ing to me” he man­ages to project.

Hat-tip to The Story Department.


By Asides and Business

As the oper­at­or and prin­cip­al of a newly-birthed freel­ance busi­ness, I’ve been think­ing a lot about entre­pren­eur­ship and this quote from book­seller and author Tim Waterstone helps:

You know, as an entre­pren­eur, and I hate call­ing myself an entre­pren­eur” – here our digres­sion begins – “you don’t do it for the money at all, really you don’t; you’re doing it because you get caught up in an idea and you want that idea to work.” The ulti­mate achieve­ment, accord­ing to Waterstone, is to see your vis­ion real­ised, often against the odds: almost all entre­pren­eurs, he thinks, are fight­ing against received wisdom.

Waterstone was inter­viewed in The Guardian.

Radio Radio

By Asides, Cricket and Literature

This morn­ing I sloped up to Radio New Zealand to review Richard Boock’s new bio­graphy of Bert Sutcliffe: “The Last Everyday Hero”. Kathryn’s a crick­et fan so, even though she had­n’t got to read­ing the book, we had plenty to talk about. Including an unex­pec­ted diver­sion into the sub­ject of Fleetwood Mac.

Listen here or down­load from the link below:


Book Review with Dan Slevin: “The Last Everyday Hero: The Bert Sutcliffe Story” by Richard Boock, pub­lished by Longacre Press – Random House NZ. (dur­a­tion: 7m 58s)

Daniel Craig has a gap in his schedule

By Asides and Cinema

While filling in for Graeme Tuckett on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon film slot last Thursday, I cas­u­ally men­tioned that Daniel Craig had been cast as journ­al­ist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher’s forth­com­ing remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. With the col­lapse of Sam Mendes’ new Bond pic­ture, Mr Craig has a franchise-sized gap in his sched­ule and I think he’s ideal cast­ing to play the craggy cru­sader (ori­gin­ated by Michael Nyqvist in the Swedish films and a six part tele­vi­sion series).

Thanks to @hybridmovies, I can dir­ect you to the Financial Times art­icle that tells the whole sorry story of the deteri­or­a­tion of MGM and the mis­man­age­ment that has pushed it to the brink:

Harry Sloan, a media entre­pren­eur who once made $200m when a Scandinavian broad­cast­ing busi­ness he was man­aging was taken pub­lic, was brought in as chair­man of the stu­dio. Sloan set about the sub­stance of his work with enthu­si­asm, but he was also noted for his quirky habits. He arranged his office in the MGM build­ing accord­ing to feng-shui prin­ciples and kept a selec­tion of crys­tals in the screen­ing room to improve energy flows – he even had his office tele­phone num­ber changed, repla­cing all the fours with eights, a lucky num­ber in China.

You can listen to me chat­ting with Kathryn Ryan about Inception and The Girl Who Played with Fire here or down­load from the link below:


Dan Slevin reviews Inception and The Girl Who Played with Fire. (dur­a­tion: 9m 37s) – Radio New Zealand