MORE COHN CACHE— (via Deadline) – Here’s the first trailer for Ivy Meeropol’s documentary Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, which will debut on HBO later this month.
The feature film, which had its world premiere at the 2019 New York Film Festival, is another insight into the infamous attorney who prosecuted the Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and later argued persuasively for their execution.
The documentary draws on unearthed archival material and audiotapes to paint a portrait of Cohn’s life from the late 1950’s as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy, through to the 1980’s when he embedded himself in the Reagan White House as a “rabid anti-homosexuality activist and political mentor” to current U.S. president Donald Trump before dying of AIDS in 1986.
Interviewees include John Waters, Cindy Adams, Alan Dershowitz, Nathan Lane and Tony Kushner, whose 2018 Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning revival of Angels In America featured Lane as Cohn.
“Roy Cohn made his name prosecuting and pushing for the execution of my grandparents Ethel and Julius Rosenberg,” said Meeropol. “Many years later he became Donald Trump’s lawyer, mentor and close friend. If there was ever a time to reflect on how we got here it is now. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share the film with HBO audiences.”
“One thing I didn’t know until 1988 was that Cohn was gay and had succumbed to AIDS. Learning this about him made me want to know more about this man and the secret life he led. This clash of feelings, hating a man and believing he was evil while simultaneously feeling empathy for that same man who no doubt suffered in the closet, drove my approach in making this film.”
The HBO Documentary film will premiere on June 19 on HBO before hitting HBO Max and other platforms.
The feature comes hot on the heels of 2019 Sundance doc Where’s My Roy Cohn?
Cohn, years after his death, still remains a figure of amazing curiosity. From the Rosenberg-trial; to Joseph McCarthy; Donald Trump; and, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager … he’s positively fascinating. A fixer of the highest order for sure. A bastard for sure … but, undeniably compelling.
I haven’t seen either, but may watch them back-to-back. More to come.
MORE KATE KANE — (Via TV Line) Kate Kane will be gone, but alive and kicking, when The CW’s Batwoman opens Season 2 in early 2021.
Aiming to “clarify any misinformation out there,” showrunner Caroline Dries said last week, made clear that in the name of dealing with Ruby Rose’s abrupt parting of ways with the Arrowverse series, the character she played will not be killed off.
“As a lesbian who’s been working as a writer for the past 15 years, I’m well aware of the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope and I have no interest in participating in it,” Dries wrote.
“Like you, I Love Kate Kane…. We’ll never erase her,” the EP reiterated. “In fact, her disappearance will be one of the mysteries of Season 2.”
Shortly after Rose’s exit after just one season was announced, it was reported that Kate Kane would not be recast; instead, a new character — (possibly code-)named “Ryan Wilder,” and who is described as “likeable,” “goofy,” and “highly skilled [but] wildly undisciplined” fighter — will eventually take on the Bat-mantle.
Dries explained the decision to introduce a new character versus recast, saying at the ATX At Home Festival, “To be honest with you, I did consider the ‘soap opera version’ [of recasting] for a hot minute, because selfishly we already had a couple episodes written, and transition-wise it would be seamless. But upon further reflection — and I think [Arrowverse EP] Greg [Berlanti] helped me make this call — he’s like, ‘I think we should just reboot Batwoman as a different character.’”
In addition to paying “respect to everything that Ruby [Rose] put into the Kate Kane character” during Season 1, Dries said, “it also helps the audience, because we’re not asking them to address ‘the elephant in the room’” by accepting a new face as the same person.
Dries went on to affirm that “Ryan Wilder” is “a whole new character who in her past was inspired by Batwoman, so she is going to take on the mantle,” adding that the scrappy twentysomething who lives in a van, with her plant, “is maybe not the right person at the time to be doing it, so that’s what makes it fun.”
That said, Dries is climbing a very, very difficult mountain. If that is indeed a plot-line of the second season … wouldn’t they have to bring her back sooner or later … with, I guess, a replacement? I think she’s just treading water till they find a new Batwoman.
I’ll continue to be a viewer … if only to observe it her plan really works. I can’t believe it will … audiences will demand more!
SHORT TAKES — We watched the Netflix presentation of Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods over the weekend and marveled at how timely Spike’s latest movie is. From references to Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and archival-scenes with Martin Luther King, this movie almost hits a little too-close to home. 5 Vietnam veterans go back to memorialize a fellow soldier who did not make it home and to possibly retrieve a treasure left behind. Things of course, go awry and they try to salvage what they can. Delroy Lindo, Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, and Jonathan Majors, all deliver just exceptional performances; conveying just the right amount of horror and angst. Lindo’s performance, his character suffering from PTST, is just amazing. This is not Black Klansman, and some scenes really deliver an emotional knockout. Lee’s work is consistently fascinating and his latest work is being delivered at a crucial time in history. A must-see for sure …
Veteran pirate-rocker Dave Mason is re-releasing (in a sense) his classic 1970 album Alone Together; but, he’s re-recorded each song with his current band. This is a classic album that had some Mason-classics as “World In Changes,” Look At You, Look At Me” and “Only You Know and I Know.” He recorded that album with the likes of Eric Clapton; Delaney & Bonnie; and, Leon Russell. Will be interesting to see if the new versions hold up. Very interesting chapter in the new book (by Ben Sidran) on the late-producer Tommy LiPuma and Dave Mason. Check it out here: https://bestclassicbands.com/dave-mason-tommy-lipuma-3-9-20/ …
We just received a copy of the new memoir by Randy Travis, Forever and Ever, Amen. Looking forward to this one … Industry reports say radio consumption in May was up 44% … and, why not, with the likes of Jim Kerr; Carol Miller; Ken Dashow; Race Taylor, Maria Milito and Scott Shannon out there. Terrific work all … Post-grunge rockers Daeodon did the Zach Martin-podcast Big Fat American yesterday. We’ll have link here shortly … And, today, finally, the Alec Baldwin/Micky Dolenz podcast on Alec’s Here’s the Thing podcast. Terrifically well done. Check it out: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/heresthething/episodes/micky-dolenz-monkees-tv-band-real-life-band
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Andrew Gans; Adam Teicholz; Alec Baldwin; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Coati Mundi; Brigid McNally; Jason Elzy; Craig Newman; Jane Blunkell; Len Berman; Spike Lee; Vic Kastel; and, CHIP!