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David Poland

By David Poland

Where Have You Gone, Jack Valenti?

If the endless droning about

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13 Responses to “Where Have You Gone, Jack Valenti?”

  1. Bruce says:

    Valenti was never appreciated for all the work he did. He was one premiere lobbyist.

  2. bicycle bob says:

    u answered it yourself dave. they like the slump talk. gives them an excuse when a film under performs. not their fault.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    Talk of “the slump” takes the pressure off of bomb-happy development execs and allows them to point fingers elsewhere. “It’s the slump!” they Blackberry. “It’s not my shitty film! People don’t want to see movies because they hate going to theatres!!”
    Self fulfilling prophesy, assholes. Blame the theatres and the public and the media will continue to write about it. The NY Times will print their thousanth slump story. Entertainment Weekly will publish their umpteenth “why we hate going to the movies” story. And the moviegoing public will start to believe it.
    So keep at it guys. Keep telling the world about the paradigm shift in the taste of moviegoers and how technology has impacted the business. You’ll soon be talking yourselves out of a job.

  4. BluStealer says:

    The blame, everyone knows, is focused squarely on the quality of films. That’s it.

  5. Skyblade says:

    I generally. And when movies that, at the very least, consist of a more strenous effort than to simply cash in, like “Kingdom of Heaven” dissapoint, while fare like “Fantastic Four” hits the top of the charts, well, it’s not a quality issue. Everyone always talks about a downward spiral. If quality had anything to do with anything, 2001 would be the summer of the slump, not this year.

  6. David Poland says:

    Yes, not a quality issue at all… a “do people want to see it” issue only… and that likely means more crap which sells better…

  7. sky_capitan says:

    Well what’s to prevent him from writing an op-ed piece somewhere. No one ever really retires in the movie business, do they?
    Dear Mr. Valenti,
    Would you like to write a piece for us at MCN? I’ll let you look at my Jeff Wells autographed copy of Entertainment Weekly.
    Best Wishes, David Poland

  8. Bruce says:

    You have a Wells autograph? Did you have to pay his son for the privilege?

  9. sky_capitan says:

    No I didn’t, I traded my 8 Legged Freaks dvd for it. I wonder if he’d like to contribute to my own tuition though, it’s due in less than 2 weeks…

  10. Terence D says:

    I wonder if I can put a donation thing by my posts here. Just giving a little never hurt my bank account.

  11. BluStealer says:

    The Fantastic Four was going to make its money no matter how good or bad it was. It is one of the most famous and well loved comics of our time. As long as they made it semi fun and sold it well, it was going to do good business. The problem is it could have done triple what it made.
    Kingdom of Heaven wasn’t very good. A story no one cared about. A star who isn’t a star. And it is not exactly summer fare.

  12. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oy, can we get over the fact that F4 is one of the successes of the Summer. There’s always a bad cartoony movie that makes lots of cash. Why should this year be any different.

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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