They made a doll just for Camille Paglia


Thanks to regular Shadowplayer Levi Stahl for alerting me to this one. It is just barely possible that I wouldn’t have happened to check the latest developments in the Barbie line in time to discover this fabulous Christmas gift idea.

Green may be a difficult colour to wear, but you can accessorise with savage ravens.

I’m trying to work out if this is some kind of honour for Tippi Hedren, or a day that will live  in infamy? I think it’s just another thing that’s too dumb to think about. Although a companion piece of Melanie Griffith being mauled by a lion might be good.


Wait, ROAR was photographed by Jan de Bont? To think, one good CHOMP could have spared us TWISTER. SPEED II. THE HAUNTING. I have to stop thinking about Jan de Bont’s career now because it’s making me ANGRY AT LIONS.

32 Responses to “They made a doll just for Camille Paglia”

  1. I think you’re pretty close to violent, bloody fact: I remember reading something about Jan de Bont being scalped by a lion. If you’re going to blame anyone for his subsequent career, blame modern medical science.

  2. Saw Tippi on TV just last night. One of those CSI shows. She looks FABULOUS!

  3. Somehow, Tippi has a better plastic surgeon than her daughter.
    Melanie definitely got clawed.

    If they made a lion-mauled doll, they could call it “Claws Barbie”.

  4. Edward Bolman Says:

    Yes, Melanie was mauled, the director was mauled, AND De Bont was mauled. ROAR was an all out mauling party.

  5. And then they all got mauled by the critics.

  6. For what it’s worth, Melanie was in a movie I do like. Night Moves, Gene Hackman, James Woods, although I don’t care much for her other work overall. No surprise there, I’m sure. A great neo-noir, directed by Arthur Penn, holds up well after repeated viewing. Her first film, I believe.

  7. Her first “credited” film, I stand corrected (thanks IMDB).

  8. I really like Night Moves. Great work from Hackman and Jennifer Warren, who I’m always quoting: “Stick with me, kid, it’s not much fun but it’s educational.”

    Written by a Scot, the always-interesting Alan Sharp.

  9. Who also wrote the underrated Rob Roy – any film that starts with Eric Stoltz eating shit has got to be worth examination.

  10. And according to IMDB his latest script is a Lord Dunsany adaptation… sounds highly intriguing!

  11. Rob Roy was pretty good. Sharp created a nice, expressive but clear version of Scots dialect for it, with much use of the wonderful word “Wheesht!” meaning “Be quiet!”

    God, I hope the Lord Dunsany thing happens, that sounds mad.

  12. It has happened. According to a commenter on IMDB the film Dean Spanley was shown in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

  13. Intriguing, I’m going to go look it up now.

  14. Great cast! O’Toole, Sam Neill and the great Jeremy Northam. And my former collaborator (!) Dudley Sutton. Brilliant.
    Trailer doesn’t look very visually exciting, but O’Toole’s line reading at the end is ace!

  15. Edward Bolman Says:

    Wait… a dog is reincarnated as Sam Neill? Or what? In anticipation, let us all track down the only previous motion picture adaptation of a work by Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany (rhymes with “One Rainy”), which would be IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944), directed by Rene Clair, and featuring Dick Powell, Jack Oakie, Linda Darnell, Edgar Kennedy, Sig Ruman, Bud Jamison, Snub Pollard, et alia… Have you SEEN this?

  16. Yes, and it’s great. On the whole, I think that and I Married a Witch and And Then There Were None are stronger than Clair’s French output. Really inventive and sharp and funny and with some surprising tonal shifts into darkness. Clair was so committed to “lightness” most of the time, there’s a slight danger of sterility. But the American films feel RISKY.

    You can get the film from Kino.

  17. I watched I Married A Witch for the first time some years back in that fist-in-mouth state of intense happiness – the sheer pleasure of discovering something that wonderful, at this advanced stage of my movie-watching life, is almost as clear in my memory as the film itself. I’ve not watched any other Clair since – partly from the fear that it won’t live up to that, partly to save something other than Mizoguchi and Ozu for my old age…

    But I think I’ll be seeking out It Happened Tomorrow, today.

  18. I think you should. And Then There Were None features an awesome cast that begins with Louis “Wayward” Hayward, Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald, before continuing on to Judith Anderson and Mischa Auer and more besides. I think it’s the most enjoyable Agatha Christie adaptation bar none.

    Preston Sturges did uncredited script-work on I Married a Witch, which I didn’t learn until years after I’d enjoyed it and all Sturges’s work as director.

    The Japanese talk about saving Mizoguchi and Ozu for their old age, which I think is just a convenient way to revere the old masters without actually watching them. I’m making slow inroads into both and recommend not waiting too long.

  19. I just got an email from my friend Colleen, who’s TOTALLY smitten with the Tippi Hedren Birds doll. She broke down and bought one, thinks it’s the “best Barbie doll ever!!!!!!” So thanks David, for brightening her day with this entry.

  20. Great! I’ll call Mattel for my commission.

  21. Colleen Martinico Says:

    Yes David and Guy, thnaks for brightening my day and many days to come. How can you not love this Barbie doll? She has crows attached to her body and head and in traditional Barbie fashion she is still smiling. I feel like a little kid this Christmas waiting for her to arrive in the mail.

  22. God Knows you’ve earned it.

  23. Thanks also to Levi for bringing Tippi-Barbie to our attention.

  24. Absolutely, yes. Thank you Levi.

  25. Colleen Martinico Says:

    Pardon me, that would be thanks not thnaks. And you too Levi!

  26. I love thnaks, ethpecially yummy when I’m hungry.

  27. Colleen Martinico Says:

    Oh you’re a witty one Mr. Budziak. Jeff has to work this weekend so can you make it Thaturday?

  28. Going back to Dean Shanley, at the time of my post (three days ago) I had heard nothing about this in my entire life. Now posters for it have sprouted, mushroomlike, all around my house, and when I went to the bookshop this afternoon there’s a beautiful edition of the book, the script and some pieces by Alan Sharp on the Newly Published shelf. This is the kind of thing that makes a man a solipsist (or makes you think you’re living in Philip K Dick’s brain).

  29. Yes, it’s just suddenly THERE. Are we all going to go and see it? I sort of feel I should as Sharp is a really notable film writer (and a Scot!) but I somehow doubt I’m going to. It’s the lack of pure visuals in the trailer that worries me: combine that with an English-language period movie and I’m automatically wary.

  30. […] Stahl, of excellent bookblog I’ve Been Reading Lately, who recently tipped me off about the Tippi Barbie, contacted me again, playing Sidney Falco to my JJ Hunsecker — he furnishes me with items […]

  31. […] to contact anyone who can furnish him with a Nova Pilbeam action figure. No questions asked. The Tippi Hedren one just isn’t doing […]

  32. OK, so I finally got to see Dean Spanley and it’s kind of wonderful. Alan Sharp’s dialogue and characterisation have the effortless precision you get from a lifetime of screenwriting and a lack of producer/director interference. The story is beautifully bonkers – as O’Toole puts it in the Extras, “I never thought it would get financed, it’s just – too clever, too original, too funny, too… GOOD!” The visuals aren’t the film’s strong point but a story based, as this one is, largely on people in dining-rooms talking, was never going to be a cameraman’s tour-de-force (unless shot by the young Nic Roeg maybe). Anyhow, I’d urge anybody who reads this blog to seek out the film as proof that there are, very occasionally, still films getting made that don’t feel as if they’ve been focus-grouped to death, or alternatively, aimed at a niche market so small that there’s barely a niche for the audience to stand on.

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