Rothchild, a new film starring the ‘polarising’ star is being touted around Cannes. If you don’t get the gag, well, join the club …
Marina Hyde– The Guardian
Yes, it’s shaping up to be Mel’s market. Illustration: Nick Oliver
Let me tell you something about the god that Mel Gibson worships up there in his private $42m, 17-acre church compound in Malibu’s Agoura Hills (congregation: 70). He – and it will be a he – is the one true god, who doesn’t just forgive and forget, even if you don’t meaningfully repent. He goes the extra 1,000 miles to ensure that at the Cannes film festival in the year 2019, the Hollywood trade press will be able to type the words: “This is shaping up to be ‘Mel’s market’ with a host of Gibson projects on sale.”
As I say, all other gods are false. They simply do not enable this level of … chutzpah, would you perhaps call it?… in a client.
To the south of France’s canniest festival of cinema, then, where a buffet of Mel Gibson movies is being shopped to apparently voracious buyers. Although it’s disappointing to note that the actor Seth Rogen responded to news of a new Mel Gibson Santa Claus comedy with a simple “Ho-Ho-Holocaust denier”, I’m sure none of us has time for that kind of negativity today. In any case, arguably the most eye-catching of Mel’s upcoming works is a comedy called Rothchild. But of course! What else?
As you’ll recall from the roadside lecture a drunken Mel once delivered to two California Highway Patrol officers, “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”. Yet, you have to say, they’re doing a pretty terrible job of controlling Hollywood, given that Mel Gibson not only has a slate of talked-about projects on the go – despite his numerous racist, sexist, homophobic, violence-threatening, violence-admitting, Holocaust-questioning meltdowns over the years – but that this particular one sees him play the paterfamilias of the “Rothchild” family, an astronomically rich New York clan.
Of course, I know what you’re thinking. “Rothchild”? Doesn’t that seem a bit iffy in the circs? Yes, declared multiple adult humans on hearing the news, with one New York rabbi stating: “It’s honestly shocking to me that he would be in this movie. I truly don’t get it.”
Over to Mel’s spokesman, who delivers one of the more shameless statements I have seen, even in his line of work: “‘Rothchild’ is not about the actual Rothschild family,” this ran, “and the only similarities between the two are that they are wealthy and their names are similar.”
Right. Totally. Imagine the misfortune of the movie-makers landing on the epicentre of this particular antisemitic trope, changing one letter in a way that, arguably, makes the point even more sledgehammer, and then casting Mel Actual Gibson in it. What are the chances? You simply can’t legislate for unforeseeable sensitivities.
I guess the positive thing is that casting directors seem not to be doing so. “Whatever has happened in the past it doesn’t seem to affect his international value at all,” mused the producer of one of the star’s new projects this week, before delivering perhaps the most deathlessly understated verdict on Mel Gibson. “He might be a little polarising on some things.”
The American Song Contest: can it dream to rival Eurovision?
At last, some news that speaks to the great void in US culture, with the announcement that a Eurovision-inspired American Song Contest is in development. For so long, a US version of this cultural behemoth has been mooted – and when better than now? Advocates have clearly noted that what the US really lacks for is intra-bloc conflict, bitter interstate inequalities and naked electoral collusion.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, then, this dream could be realised as early as 2021. The American Song Contest is to be produced by a Swedish firm, whose CEO Peter Settman declares: “Outside of sports, the Eurovision song contest is the biggest TV show on Earth.” This is true. Peter goes on to say “it unites a continent”, which is arguably not.
As yet, the precise rules of the American Song Contest are unknown, although it is naturally to be hoped that the US will import the best structural quirks of its creative ancestor. However weird it may seem to our US neophytes, let us assure you: it is much more fun if Wyoming wields the same voting power as California, just as San Marino enjoys the same voting power as Russia. Go on, try it – what’s the worst that can happen?
Meet Shaman Durek (Derek to his friends)
Finally, Lost in Showbiz is very pleased to introduce the first new celebrity of its summer collection: the LA-based shaman Durek. His real name is Derek – but so what, because he’s in a multidimensional relationship with Princess Martha Louise of Denmark, and the “twin flames” want the world to know it.
Not only have they announced it in a pair of highly idiosyncratic Instagram posts, but they will this weekend embark on a whirlwind tour of Norway entitled The Princess and the Shaman. In five cities, they will take paying ticket-holders “on a journey into the mysteries of life”.
As for said mysteries, if we drill down into the detail of Shaman Durek/Derek, it soon becomes clear he is a master of what is technically known as “some real Shirley MacLaine shit”.
Past lives, activating divinity, shamanic exercise, coming back from the dead – it’s all on the résumé, along with the assertion that he graduated from “the school of being humble”. I can shock you by saying he counts Gwyneth Paltrow as an admirer of his work, and he has been featured on the latter’s turbocapitalist wellness website, Goop. Princess Martha Louise’s own business connections with the astral plane have been less successful – in 2017, lack of revenue forced her to close a school she had established where children could connect to “the angelic realm”.
This isn’t the first time they had been together, as it happens – Shaman Durek insists they were romantically involved in many previous existences. As far as this iteration of the relationship goes, however, he is at pains to stress that she is in perfect union with all the multitudes he contains. “Not just the Shaman, however, the woman in me, the strong man in me, the little boy, ET, the jaguar, the scientist and the angel and more.”
ET! Truly, it would be the greatest royal wedding ever, and we must make whatever burned offerings are necessary to bring it about.