Quick Hits: August 27

  • Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died this week at the age of 80. Watts, widely considered among the all-time best rock drummers, was also an accomplished jazz musician. Watts frequented London R&B clubs in the early 60s, where he met Brian Jones, Stu Stewart, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1962. He played his first gig as a permanent band member on February 2, 1963, at the Ealing Jazz Club; he remained a Rolling Stone until his death.
  • Epix dropped the first three episodes of Chapelwaite this week, and it’s…okay? Adrien Brody is brilliantly cast, and does his best with the material he’s given, but the script is uneven and a lot of the dialogue sounds too contemporary. The worm imagery is heavy-handed, to say the least. I was hoping for a slow-burn Gothic creepfest, but creators Jason and Peter Filardi went with a “let’s try to top the last gross-out” approach instead. Perhaps the biggest problem with the series is that a thirty-page, two-character story has been adapted into a ten-episode series, which means there’s a lot of padding. I’m going to continue watching for now, albeit less eagerly.
  • Spencer Elden, who posed as a baby for the cover of Nevermind, is suing the surviving members of Nirvana (and Kurt Cobain’s estate), the record company and photographer Kirk Weddle for “child sexual exploitation”, alleging that he was too young to give consent for the use of his naked image. At the time, his parents consented to his photo being taken, and were paid $200 (and Elden has recreated the photo, presumably for money as well, a number of times over the years).
  • On this day in 1964, Mary Poppins (a Peanut Butter and Julie favorite) premiered in Los Angeles.
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) premiered at the Venice Film Festival on this day in 2014. One of the best films of the 21st century, Birdman was almost universally adored by critics and made over $100 million at the box office. It earned nine Academy Award nominations and won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director for Alejandro González Iñárritu, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. It was also nominated for Best Actor (Michael Keaton was robbed), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. From the gorgeous cinematography to the brilliant jazz drum score to the astonishing editing to the phenomenal performances, Birdman is an A+.
  • Swedish character actor Peter Stormare was born on this day in 1953.
  • Happy birthday to actor and national treasure Aaron Paul, born on this day in 1979.
Before he was famous, Paul appeared on The Price is Right.
  • No Fences, Garth Brooks’ second album, was released on this day in 1990. It would become the best-selling country album of 1991 AND the second-best-selling album overall (only Mariah Carey’s self-titled debut sold more copies) AND the fourth-best-selling album of the decade. If you weren’t around in 1991, it’s impossible to overstate how inescapable this album and its singles (“Friends in Low Places” and “The Thunder Rolls” among them) were. Brooks’ next album, 1991’s Ropin’ the Wind, became the first country album ever to enter the Billboard 200 at #1.

2 thoughts on “Quick Hits: August 27

  1. I still don’t feel like we talk enough about how Mexicans won 5 out of 6 Best Director Oscars between 2014 and 2019. It’s an incredibly gifted country, one only needs to read Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes amongst others to learn that but a Canadian has NEVER won Best Director (depending on where you believe James Cameron stands as “Canadian”. It’s something that will probably never happen again if cinema last another 1000 years and it’s seldom discussed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember it being discussed when it looked likely Guillermo del Toro was going to win for The Shape of Water, but not as much since then. And you know, looking at the list of winners, you factor in Ang Lee and Bong Joon Ho and you have the most incredibly diverse group of winners. The 2020s are off to a good start too.


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