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David Poland

By David Poland

Too Hard?

I have now heard from a number of people who felt last Friday’s Hot Button was “a personal attack” on Gerry Rich and too harsh about his past and future.
I need some slightly less vested opinions. Please tell me your thoughts. Don’t feel obligated to sound off if you don’t have a sense of perspective on the story.
I acknowledge that Rich has had four #1 openings in twelve openings at Paramount and that Sahara was an especially strong achievement (even if they cribbed National Treasure). I also acknowledge that some of the strongest candidates for the job he eventually took have been taken off the field as potential near-future hires, by Paramount or anyone else, so the comparative threat has lightened.
That said… what say you?

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12 Responses to “Too Hard?”

  1. Martin says:

    who gives a fuckin shit about Gerry Rich. Sounds like an asshole to me.

  2. bakednudel says:

    I’m one of those who reads you for the movie reviews, etc. When you write about the business, I have no idea what or whom you’re talking about.
    I wonder if I’m the only one.
    Your Friday column was one of the ones I skimmed because I really did have no idea what you were talking about.

  3. bicycle bob says:

    please don’t tell us ur going to be pulling ur punches dave.

  4. Martin says:

    it’s like inside baseball here, maybe 10 people recognize who DP is talking about.

  5. Terence D says:

    I didn’t know who he was talking about but since he wrote about I learned who it was. Keep it up David and do not worry about what people think.

  6. Joe Leydon says:

    Have to agree with TD on this one, and go one step further: Like it or not, it’s these behind the scenes people who decide what we get to see, and whether we’re adequately informed and/or alerted about it. Ultimately, somebody like a Gerry Rich (or his counterparts at other studios) has more long-term effect on U.S. pop culture — nah, make that GLOBAL pop culture — on a week-in, week-out basis than a dozen film critics or a university’s worth of Phds.

  7. bicycle bob says:

    dave really why would u censor what u write? ur a journalist. independent one. who writes what he feels and wants people to know and what interests u. keep it up

  8. Dan R% says:

    I didn’t see anything wrong with what was written. You’re just calling it as you see it. Like Martin said some of us are learning about people we never knew of and how it all works. It’s cool to know.

  9. Mark says:

    Why don’t you post their responses to what you wrote? We’ll be the jury.

  10. Zube says:

    Why is it that i cannot get to the linked hot button article?

  11. Filmmakers beware of Mike Broder and Small Planet Pictures. They have been in breach of contract Ie they havent paid for the film Rockets Redglare and have ignored their contractual obligations since November of 2004. Small Planet Pictures are financed in part by Palasades Pictures. Mike Broder is a THIEF.

The Hot Blog

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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