As the new USA Network miniseries Political Animals is reminding us, politics can get rather catty. Clearly based on a highly fictionalized version of Hillary Clinton’s life, the drama is full of snappy lines, strong women and, of course, Sigourney Weaver as Hillary stand-in Elaine Barrish. The claws come when she spars with Susan Berg, a reporter determined to climb back into the spotlight while fighting the snark-laden world of Washington politics. We always enjoy seeing a good cat fight in the political arena, but let’s not forget the real cats in politics.
You’ve seen Woody Harrelson flex his bad boy-ness before in movies like NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and most notably in NATURAL BORN KILLERS. Now he’s back, and badder than ever, as they say, in Oren Moverman’s RAMPART. Moverman, who directed Harrelson in his 2009 film THE MESSENGER, reunited him and his costar Ben Foster in the “story about the LAPD’s disgraced Rampart division, with a script originally written by LA crime master James Ellroy.”
A recent SlashFilm blog post claims that the trailer for RAMPART makes “BAD LIEUTENANT looks like a boy scout.” Such an outrageous claim demanded my immediate judgment call. And after watching it, I’d have to say I agree. Harrelson is the seriously bad cop to Ice Cube’s good cop. He drinks up a storm and shoots at whatever and whomever he wants. He drops classy pick up lines like “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen – in this bar,” and spouts wisdom like “I’m not a racist. I hate everyone equally.” (A revival, of sorts, of one of my favorite W.C. Fields quotations, “I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.”)
In April, I took note of James Cameron’s efforts to stop the building of the Belo Monte dam on Brazil’s Xingu River. Actress Sigourney Weaver (a co-star in Cameron’s AVATAR) joined Cameron on one of his trips to Brazil, and has now collaborated with Amazon Watch, Movimento Xingu Vivo Para Sempre (Xingu River Forever Alive Movement), and International Rivers to produce a 10-minute video (above) showing the probably impact of the dam project on indigenous people in the region, biodiversity, health, and even climate change (which were outlined in the previous post).
Is blockbuster producer/director and self-proclaimed “king of the world” James Cameron powerful enough to take out a dam single-handed? Well, no… but the creator of AVATAR has apparently been moved by his own film’s exploration of “the destruction of the natural world by expanding industrial interests, and the consequent impact to Indigenous populations.” Since February, Cameron has become passionate about stopping the building of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, and has joined with indigenous leaders and activists to protest the opening of the bidding process for the project (set to begin on April 20th).