Jonathan Winters, RIP

Featured image I’m not sure how widely it was known that Jonathan Winters, whom Robin Williams thought the best comic of his generation, was a conservative.  In any case, I sometimes used to show students in my classes on the American Founding the early scene from “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” where the whole gang tries to deliberate about how to divide the loot fairly when they finally got to the »

Understanding John Ford

Featured image Glenn Frankel’s new book on The Searchers goes to show the continuing interest in John Ford. My interest in Ford was sparked by Professor John Marini of the University of Nevada-Reno, whom I heard speak about Ford on a Claremont Institute panel at the annual convention of the American Political Science Association a few years ago. On the Claremont panel John gave a version of his paper on the creation »

More Hollywood Racism, and Other Tales of the Absurd

Featured image I’m having to pinch myself today to make sure I’m not living in my own special Groundhog Day hell where every day is April 1. How else to take the story that Lego is discontinuing a Jabba the Hutt palace set because the Turkish Cultural Association of Austria (!!) complained that the Lego set is raaaccciist.  The Turkish Cultural Association of Austria??  Okay, I know the Turks rolled briefly through »

The company Hollywood keeps

Featured image Last year the New York Times Magazine featured a cover story by Tom Robbins (not that Tom Robbins) on one of the fanatic leftists who participated in the infamous Brink’s robbery in New York. As George Russell recounts in “The other Rosenberg case,” the October 1981 robbery, which ended in a careening series of car chases and a bloody shootout, left two policemen and an unarmed Brink’s employee dead and »

Dumb and Dumber Indeed: Jim Carrey, Vaccination Denialist

Featured image The aging and fading comedian Jim Carrey apparently wants to act out in real life his role in “Dumb and Dumber,” with recent tweets attacking gun ownership.  Says a person who has armed bodyguards.  You’d think these Hollywood-Washington liberals wouldn’t be completely tone-deaf to hypocrisy. But this only compounds Carrey’s perfidy.  His public opposition to childhood vaccination, along with other worthless celebrities like Robert F. Kennedy Jr (would anyone care »

Glenn Frankel: In search of “The Searchers”

Featured image John Ford is America’s greatest director and “The Searchers” is one of his greatest films. If you’ve ever seen it, you may have asked yourself in wonderment as the credits rolled: “Where did that come from?” Now Glenn Frankel, G.B. Dealey Regents Professor in Journalism and director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, has answered that question and more in The Searchers: The Making »

Fishing for Oscar, the Lincoln edition

Featured image In Hollywood, I imagine, the two sincerest forms of flattery are imitation and left-liberalism. As I suggested yesterday, Argo clinched its Oscar for best picture through the flattery of a left-liberal introduction and conclusion to its story about revolutionary Iran. But let’s not overlook the opening scene from Lincoln which, in my opinion, strikes the only false notes in this brilliant film. That scene features an African-American soldier, in the »

Celebrity Government: Show Business for Ugly People

Featured image Politics, it has been said for a while now, is “show business for ugly people.”  (The line is said to have originated with either Paul Begala, or Texas political consultant Bill Miller, in a 1991 Dallas Morning News article.)  Actually, the ugly part is less and less true; it is slowly becoming a requirement in politics as in Hollywood that you be good looking to succeed. With the appearance at »

How Argo won

Featured image I hear that Argo has won the Academy Award for best picture. I saw the movie on Scott’s recommendation and thought it was quite good, but inferior to Lincoln which I also saw on Scott’s recommendation. How Argo compares to other highly-regarded movies of 2012, I cannot say. Absent a strong recommendation by someone I know and trust, I don’t attend Hollywood films. But I suspect that Argo clinched its »

Senators who torture the truth

Featured image Daniel Henninger devotes his weekly Wall Street Journal column to the mind-boggling letter sent by Democratic Senators Feinstein and Levin along with their friend John McCain (Republican, I probably don’t need to remind you) to Sony Pictures protesting the film Zero Dark Thirty. “Zero Dark Thirty is factually inacurrate,” these solons write, “and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt »

Torturing the truth

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Interview feature this past Saturday sent Journal editorial board member Matthew Kaminkski in the direction of the author of the screenplay of Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal. While he has teamed up with director Katheryn Bigelow, Boal is also a reporter who has written for such reliably left-wing outlets as The Village Voice, Rolling Stone and Mother Jones. With his screenplay for the Zero Dark »

Clearing my spindle: I’m Not OK edition

Featured image I think the following items will be of interest to Power Line readers. I’d like to bring them to your attention without much comment. While our attention was turned elsewhere this past October, the space shuttle Endeavour made its final journey: it traveled 12-miles from Los Angeles International Airport, through Inglewood, to the California Science Center in Exposition Park. Reader Zack Russ writes that he came across this wonderful time-lapse »

Green Weenie of the Week: Matt Daaaymon, and His Flatulent Movie “Promised Land”

Featured image If Matt Daaaymon was hoping his new Arab-funded film “Promised Land” would do for natural gas “fracking” what “The China Syndrome” did for nuclear power, he’d better hope for a sequel to “Team America” to rescue him from being an embarrassment to the professional Left.  John already took official Power Line notice of the movie a few weeks ago, and I already gave Damon a Green Weenie back in September »

Sean Penn: Bard for Our Time

Featured image There are a handful of writers, Shakespeare being the best example, whose works best come to life heard aloud rather that read silently on the two-dimensional page.  Sean Penn, the actor and, as the Puffington Host reminds us, “Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti,” is another such bard for our time.  He has a piece up right now at the PuffHo, enticingly titled “Breached Pinatas,” that will surely take its place in the »

Learning from “Zero Dark Thirty”

Featured image New York Post film critic Kyle Smith has seen two previews of Zero Dark Thirty, the Osama bin Laden manhunt thriller that is opening in New York and Los Angeles just in time for Oscar consideration. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, the team responsible for The Hurt Locker, the film promised to be something more than an advertisement for Barack Obama, although the filmmakers famously had »

Cold war history for left-wing dummies, Poliwood edition

Featured image I think that just about everything President Obama “knows” about American history comes from left-wing academics like American University professor Peter Kuznick, the co-author with Oliver Stone of The Untold History of the United States. The book is a companion to Stone’s Showtime series. At American University, incidentally, Kuznick teaches the “path-breaking course Oliver Stone’s America.” On Showtime, Stone presents Peter Kuznick’s America. They have got a circle of love »

Argo see it

Featured image We went to see the film Argo last night. The film takes us back to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 for a sidebar (“the Canadian caper”) regarding the rescue of six State Department employees who had escaped from the American embassy at the time of the embassy’s takeover. The true story of their return from Tehran to the United States courtesy of the CIA was declassified by President Clinton »