Say Whaaaa? Mystery Numbers, Dream Auteurs, and More of the Week's Most Baffling Crap
Every Friday around this time, Movieline's young receptionist will call into the newsroom, her mousy voice tremulous with awe, announcing the arrival of the Say Whaaaa? Singers. And it's hard to blame her, as few other cultural observers have quite their knack for processing the absurdities and craziness of the prior week's most baffling news. So welcome them as usual, and let's see if we can't sort out some answers in a messiness so profound that you'll find Armond White, Corey Feldman and Sofia Coppola coexisting in the same baffling space. Take it away, fellas.
Corey Feldman skipped Corey Haim's funeral earlier this weeking, opting instead to blog an open letter to his late friend and tattoo... something on his arm in Haim's honor. "Nobody will ever get the inside jokes we told," Feldman wrote. "Nobody will understand the magic of 22/222." Say whaaaa? Fair enough, but if this was some kind of magic, then what was Haim waiting for to, like, use it? America wants to know.
4. Jessica Simpson, our new Margaret Mead
Our foremost amateur anthropologist Jessica Simpson jetted off to Thailand for a revelatory episode of The Price of Beauty. Louis Virtel helpfully catalogged her observations from the road, including this trenchant ethnographic watershed: "It's kind of a ritual for them to eat these bugs because it does speed up their metabolism... I can't even eat salmon!" Say whaaaa? Who even knew, after all the lingering historical horrors of the region, they even allowed sexual napalm to enter Thailand? Staggering.
3. Breaking Dawn's big three
The week was packed with fantastic rumors, from Channing Tatum closing in on the role of Captain America (with Keira Knightley!) to Amanda Seyfried deigning to work with McG. But for sheer scope and WTF-ery, no one came close to touching Bill Condon, Sofia Coppola and Gus Van Sant as prospective candidates to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn for Summit. Say whaaaa? I mean, great idea, but the folk-scored ennui montages in any and all of these interpretations would be enough to send the Twi-hards into a rage. Just suck it up, call Catherine Hardwicke back, and end it right, for Christ's sake.
2. Armond White loses the plot
To the extent I've defended Armond White's brand of creative contrarianism before, his latest salvo against Noah Baumbach and the publicity-industrial complex he accused of ganging up on him is a bit of a stretch. OK, a lot of a stretch. Its climax: "It's unfortunate to have to point out that it is also a racist lynching by white critics of a black critic," White wrote of his Village Voice archrival Jim Hoberman. "Fact: Year after year, Hoberman never even deigns to review movies with black subjects, and he passes this racist contempt on to his epigones. That's hegemony." Say whaaaa? This whole, "I didn't start this, but I will end it" philosophy of Whites is all so Bushian, so graceless. Virtually every peer he had -- black, white or otherwise -- went to bat for him when he was originally banned from Greenberg (remember the call for the Baumbach/Focus Features boycott?), because he had a point: If it happened to him, it could happen to us. And this is how we're repaid: "Either I'm right, or you're racist." Just stop it, Armond. From how far ahead do you want to relapse before you're back to playing catch-up? Or is that just the endgame you've always planned, the position from which you do your best "work"? Come off it, already.
1. Speidi and the Psychic
Just when you thought things couldn't get weirder for Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, Pratt came out as a born-again cyber-crimefighter. Fine. But then Montag came out with a psychic manager, Aiden Chase, who told Movieline exclusively that the likes of screen and dance icon Gene Kelly offer Montag encouragement from the beyond. "[W]hat Gene Kelly does is, he's a really great support system. He's like a cheerleader. He's usually like, 'You're doing great!' and 'Have you considered this detail and this detail?'" Say whaaaa? Say whaaaa, indeed: Montag fired Chase hours later. Apparently even Gene Kelly is cutting out the middle man these days. Tough times.