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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