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David Poland

By David Poland

Kingdom Of Heaven

No arab slagging here… it’s a movie about the futility of war…
The story starts with the Christians in control of Jerusalem and the arabs are ominously powerful.
Hot Button column
Does that mean anything?
Is it a problem that Jane Fonda is in it? (That’s a joke!)

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8 Responses to “Kingdom Of Heaven”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    I for one am extremely excited to see this. I’m not an Orlando Bloom fan at all (he is awful in Troy), but I think it looks fantastic. Any idea how historically accurate it is?

  2. bicycle bob says:

    i’m interested to see how bloom does in cameron crowes next movie. cause all i have seen him in his period movies

  3. Mark says:

    If you fail as an actor in a Cameron Crowe movie, you should retire and quit the business. The guy helped Cuba win an Oscar for christsakes.

  4. Dan R% says:

    Mark, very true.
    As for Kingdom of Heaven, I’ve been looking forward to it since I heard of it last year (maybe two years ago now). It’d be refreshing to see a film that portrays both Christianity and Islam with respect. The fact of the matter is that to honor what happened during the Crusades you have to show that some of what was done in the name of God was very wicked. History of course is filled with these types of happenings.
    I think where Hollywood has failed more often than not when dealing with religious types is that they are too stereotypical. Because a person claims to be religious does not automatically make that person unbalanced. Faith should be defining how a person lives and acts abd treats fellow humans. Of course some take this way out to lunch, but I can only be accountable for myself at the end of the day and how I influence others.
    It doesn’t surprise me that overall the Muslims treated the vanquished with dignity in the film, seeing as how they saw the ignorance of their so called ‘conquerers’ (and I’m glad of this). It’s obviously a subject that is still touchy today. I hope the film helps open a more freeing inter-faith dialogue.
    Watching the different trailers I’ve picked up on that it gives both faith systems a fair shake. I’m not so much worried about if Muslims are going to go overboard, I’m more worried about Joe Blow who claims to be a Christian but doesn’t know his history making a big fuss over it. I’m also curious to know how and if Judaism figures into the mix of the film…

  5. nick says:

    ridley scott is a genius. he traffics in masterpieces. kingdom of heaven will be no different. i am looking forward to this movie big-time; scott’s flicks always look amazing and are cutting edge, but there’s something that resonates–just from the trailers–a little differently than most period epics it seems. Now, I liked Troy (solid yet flawed Hollywood epic) and I seem to be the only one on the planet who felt that Alexander was a grand achievement (the battle scenes are tremendous in their scope and realism), and I love Gladiator. But Kingdom looks bold and genuinely powerful. Getting transported to new and exciting places is what going to the movies is all about, and Scott delivers that each time out, whether it be Mogadishu, Orange County, Italy, deep space, or ancient Rome. And Tony rules as well. I’m out…

  6. KamikazeCamel says:

    But, surely, everyone knows Ridley Scott’s best film is Thelma & Louise, non? And then Blade Runner.
    ….or, ya know, that’s my opinion.
    I’m looking forward to Kingdom of Heaven purely because of Scott. I really have no idea what the whole Crusades thing as all about. I hope to be educated somewhat.

  7. L&DB says:

    No. Ridley Scott’s best film; BLACK RAIN!

  8. JckNapier2 says:

    Having seen the movie last night, I was shocked, SHOCKED how anyone could find anything anti-Muslim about the movie. Heck, even as a hard-core progress liberal who hates extremist Christianity (I suppose extremist Muslims stink too, but they don’t pretend to speak as the voice of the majority of Americans at this moment, nor do they make social policy), I thought it was almost too kind of the Muslim side. I mean, surely there was more than one moderately disagreeing Muslim leader who wanted to shed blood as badly as the two evil brothers on the other side?
    Surely it was the most Pro-Muslim movie made in America, at least since The Siege… oh wait… that was the other ‘let’s stop killing each other and live in peace” movie that was so blasted by ignorant Muslims that it actually tanked at the box office. Never mind, let the stupidity commence!

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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