MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

More Blood

If last week’s exit parade from Universal wasn’t enough for you, take a trip over the hill (isn’t that an ironic turn of phrase?) to Warner Bros., where Bill Gerber has now followed Chris Pula out the door. Was the two-headed President-of-Production post that Gerber shared with DiLorenzo a good idea in the first place? No. Was it responsible for the disaster year of 1997? No. But dumping Pula didn’t stop the media scrutiny, so the second goat was served up. Uneasy lies the head, baby.
LOVING ANDY KAUFMAN: It appears that Courtney Love will play the small role of Andy Kaufman‘s romantic interest in the upcoming Man on the Moon, opposite Jim Carrey. OK. But my question is, who will play groundbreaking female comic Elayne Boosler, who was one of Kaufman’s very best friends? How about Boosler, who has never been able to break through to TV or movie stardom? (Elayne has also long been rumored to be the real-life Elaine from “Seinfeld” long before Carol Leifer took credit for it and Entertainment Weekly propagated the myth, which Larry David vehemently denies.)
BACK TO PASS, AGAIN: Dennis Quaid has had a hard run of it since Hollywood pronounced him “the next big thing” over a decade ago. One of the films he made that went nowhere was Everybody’s All-American, which happens to be one of my very favorite forgotten films which he played a top college QB from his glory days to his old age. Well, he’s putting on the pads again. This time, it’s with Oliver Stone directing and with Al Pacino and Puff Daddy as his acting accomplices. He plays only one gridiron age in this film, but it’s about a decade younger than his actual one (44). It’s easy to forget that a grizzled 13-year-veteran football player is still likely to be under 35.
PUFF MOMMY: While we are on the subject of singing-sensations-
turned-actors, Mariah Carey is about to sign on the line that is dotted to appear opposite Chris Tucker in Double-O-Soul. Carey would be the bad girl stepdaughter of the super villain. Think she’ll be falling for Tucker? I’d say that’s a sure a bet, as is whether Tucker will bug his eyes out more than a dozen times in the film.
COMING SOON! MESSY DIVORCE!: Fox owner Rupert Murdoch and his wife of 32 years, Anna, are splitting up. But that’s not the news. The news is that it was announced in Liz Smith‘s column, which runs in the Murdoch-owned New York Post. Sick.
CAN’T WE ALL JUST MOVE ALONG?: O.J. Simpson continues to be shorthand for evil. The latest off-handed slap at the former non-target came from Disney chief M-i-c-h-a-e-l Eisner, who upon being asked about the ongoing investigation of animal death’s at Disney’s new attraction, Animal Kingdom, said, “I think the word investigation probably is more pejorative and probably should refer to O.J. Simpson than it would to this kind of a situation.” Freedom’s just another word for hounded-til-the-end.
BREAKING THE WIND: Lars von Trier, who was last seen in this country peddling a film called Breaking the Waves that apparently thought degrading a woman was the same as emancipating her, now offers The Idiots. As described by The Hollywood Reporter, it’s a “satire about a grieving young woman who finds a home with a group of young people who confront societal norms by posing as idiots.” To me that sounds like a woman who proves she is an idiot by joining a group of idiots who prove that they are idiots by pretending they are idiots. Guess the joke’s on them. At least he got the title right.
READER OF THE DAY: From Ryan: “About Maria’s comment (in Tuesday’s ROTD)… Ben is too good for Matt. He’s also too good for Gwyneth, but that’s another story. Although, Matt and Ben with their pants down would explain why Matt dumped someone as luscious as Minnie Driver. Because otherwise, there’s just no excuse for it.”
And Gaby, on Harmony (Wednesday’s Hot Button): “Harmony could be an idiot savant. He has this incredible capacity to make films and write novels, yet he can’t get a decent sentence to come out of his mouth. I can’t believe that someone gave him over a million dollars to play with for his last film. Why was he trusted with all that money? On ‘Letterman’ the other night he couldn’t tell his ass from his elbow.”

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon