Just a couple of things… (updated)

I’m going to be spending this extremely rainy So-Cal MLK day doing some catching up with various movie-watching obligations, including some awards-type flicks I’ve been criminally behind on, but first a couple of random left over things.

* I expected a bit more fall-out, perhaps, from Ricky Gervais’s more-mean-than-funny gag at the expense of Paul McCartney and his recent divorce, but I guess I wasn’t alone in my mixed reaction to last night’s festivities as a show. Of course, my mixed reaction has nothing on the sheer, predictable venom of Nikki Finke’s nevertheless readable “live snark” of the event. She does have a point, exaggerated though it likely is, in underlining that — even among big show business awards — the Globes aren’t exactly known for their uncompromising integrity. Certainly, last night’s win by Robert Downey Jr., as talented and committed a performer as he is and has been for decades, does seem to follow her statement that “Stars win in direct correlation to their glamor quotient.”

One great line that a lot of us missed from the pre-show activities came courtesy of who else but the wondrous Tina Fey, remarking upon the unstereotypical Southern California weather last night: “No, it’s not rain. It’s God crying for NBC.” The rain, by the way, is expected to continue all week. I guess we know Who Else might be on Team Coco.

Also, one thing I forgot to say last night. “Sofia Loren.” I’m just impressed to see her, anywhere. Time may wear on, but that face is eternal.

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UPDATE: I forgot to add that the ratings for last night’s telecast were up from prior years, and I suspect Gervais’s presence did not hurt.

* This is somewhat old news I haven’t had a chance to fit in anywhere, but according to the Vulture, German director Oliver Hirschbiegel got himself a nomination for my personal “coolest human of the year” award because he finds a lot of those innumerable videos of Hitler freaking-out about various pop culture events to be totally hilarious. Ordinarily, this is only proof of an heathily sick sense of humor, but Hirschbiegel is the director of “Downfall,” the really excellent film written by Bernd Eichinger and starring Bruno Ganz as Hitler, from which those videos come. Stereotypes aside, he’s one German artist who understands something about humor:

“Many times the lines are so funny, I laugh out loud, and I’m laughing about the scene that I staged myself! You couldn’t get a better compliment as a director….The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality.”

His favorite, by the way, is the one where Hitler can’t get “Billy Elliot” tickets. A great choice, though the recent and very inevitable Conan vs. Leno entry wasn’t bad either.

“Downfall” actually got some criticism when it came out because it dared to humanize Hitler, not in the sense of making him a “regular guy” but in reminding us, rather uncomfortably, that, like it or not, Hitler was one of us, not some monster from a alien planet. This makes people umcomfortable, and discomfort is great in a tragedy, but is also a big part of comedy.

In a very weird way, it’s not a bad thought for today. Hitler was one of us but, fortunately, so was someone else.
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