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David Poland

By David Poland

From "Pop" To "Smart" To "Smug"

Armond White’s feature piece for The New York Press this week is so intense, so thought-provoking, and so incredibly abusive to anyone else’s opinions, it is hard to know where to start. In trying to pull a quotation for this entry, there was not more than a couple of graphs that didn’t include specific attacks, so choosing one would suggest that I was agreeing with that particular rage. Not the case. The fact is, I spent the entire piece agreeing excitedly and disagreeing angrily. Intellectual Whiplash!
But here is a link and here is a pullquote:
Film journalists and filmmakers have lost the instinct to question the presumptions of their own privileged class. Third-raters with more temerity than talent rule. Every word of praise for Clooney, Baumbach and their mendacious colleagues demonstrates the preening self-satisfaction of a media canton incapable of self-scrutiny, heedlessly celebrating its own kind. Now that the privileged children of ’60s dissent have risen to power, they discourage the moviegoing public from coming together in assent.

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97 Responses to “From "Pop" To "Smart" To "Smug"”

  1. BluStealer says:

    I actually agree with him. Why can no one say a bad word about some people? You can’t even criticize their movie before 10 people come out of the woodwork looking to bash YOU.

  2. Bruce says:

    Children of the 60’s Either you agree with them 110% or you better get out of the way before they run you over in their SUV’s as they preach environmentally conscious lifestyles.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    White’s bilious pontificating is much of the same old same old: the Left Coast media is growing increasingly elitist and out-of-touch. Great. We get it. Roger that.
    What I would have liked were examples of recent films he thinks the “smug” media got wrong: films that explored the intellectual and emotional landscapes he claims are overlooked.
    Also, I would have liked a better explanation of his revulsion to Good Night and Good Luck. His rant against the film seemed to be a defense of McCarthy. If that’s where he was going, I wish it were better laid out.

  4. Terence D says:

    DId you see Good Night and Good Luck? It makes Murrow out to be the lone crusader against all evil. Which if you know anything about history is very far from the truth. But if you call out Clooney for it and for his treatment of McCarthy? All hell breaks loose.

  5. Josh says:

    The media always celebrates its own. Everyone knows it. It’s what they do. They’re heroes! Forgive me as I roll my eyes.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    I did not think that Good Night, And Good Luck implied that Murrow was a lone crusader, nor do I think that celebrating the downfall of McCarthy is the movie’s main point.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    Bruce, your comments have some validity. However, I hope you also understand that Armond White is a gay African-American who often holds radical left-wing views. Not a hippie, but not a neocon either.

  8. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    I love it when celebs start believing their importance in the world, images of overcrowded media on a rickety boat with Captain Penn at the helm, or a frosted permed Sting speaking about emissions with obviously zero knowledge, or Clooney making a stand against paparazzi as if he’s raising a flag at Iowa Jima in a fight for freedom – when in reality its more about opening casinos, fucking teeny boppers and raking the bling in. Kill them all.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    By the way, the column DP is quoting from is a week old. This week’s new one covers Transamerican and Breakfast on Pluto (he likes them both).

  10. prideray says:

    Is the column less interesting or relevant because it’s from last week or does that make it past its sell-by date or somesuch?

  11. lindenen says:

    This Washington Post review of “Good Night, and Good Luck” really nails Clooney’s film to the wall. It’s the only one I’ve seen do so.
    Also, if you want to read an actually honest book about the film’s topic, check out “Red Star Over Hollywood”. It just came out this year.

  12. lazarus says:

    Actually, the trailer for GNAGL says “Six Extraordinary Americans Dared To Tell The Truth”. While the film certainly portrays the media as the heroes, Murrow is not seen as acting alone.
    Also, the scene with William S. Paley calls into question Murrow’s own hypocrisy or self-righteousness, so they don’t exactly make him out to be a flawless saint.
    White’s point is buried beneath so much hate and wild potshots that it’s hard to take seriously. Is Clooney smug? Maybe, but he’s still making films that many people with that kind of money don’t bother to. If it starts a discussion, it can’t be all bad.

  13. Mark Ziegler says:

    Clooney is one of the biggest self serving guys out there. Are you surprised by it?

  14. Joe Straat says:

    “Clooney making a stand against paparazzi as if he’s raising a flag at Iowa Jima in a fight for freedom”
    When was Des Moines considered a major focal point in the Pacific battlefront? Sorry, I don’t mean to be mean, but as a former Iowa resident, I found that rather funny.

  15. PandaBear says:

    What does the date of the column have to do with anything? If DP didn’t put it up here I would never have even heard about it.

  16. James Leer says:

    Armond White is a crazy motherfucker. Go back and read his contributions to the year-end critics pool at Slate if you’re looking for kicks. His praise of the Owen Wilson programmer “Behind Enemy Lines” as one of the best films of the decade is mind-boggling.
    Terence, since I’m assuming by your tone that you saw “Good Night and Good Luck,” perhaps you’d like to tell me how the film “makes Murrow out to be the lone crusader against all evil”? Because the movie I saw was about a team of people taking on one person, not all Evil, and I didn’t think it inflated their importance any more than necessary. Hell, the film even admits that prior to McCarthy’s appearance on “See It Now,” he was about to be investigated by Congress. It doesn’t give Murrow credit for bringing the man down — but it does give him credit for refusing to be cowed by him.

  17. mutinyco says:

    Um. The famous Iwo Jima image was a media fake. So. Um. What’s the point exactly?

  18. Terence D says:

    If you saw the movie then you know what I’m talking about. It makes it seem like Murrow is the only person willing to tackle the big bad McCarthy. Him and his team and CBS news are the only people going after it. Which is patently false and totally untrue. There were many more journalists, reporters and newsmen taking on and calling out McCarthy before Murrow. The movie is spreading a fantasy which the lazy and uninformed will now preach as gospel. For a movie that preaches realism and uses stock footage of McCarthy that is disingenuous.

  19. Angelus21 says:

    I can’t wait for the Clooney movie on how great Dan Rather is. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long.

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw the movie, and apparently we saw different versions.

  21. James Leer says:

    “It makes it seem like Murrow is the only person willing to tackle the big bad McCarthy. Him and his team and CBS news are the only people going after it.”
    Well, is it only Murrow or is it Murrow and his team and CBS news?
    The movie only follows these characters. It rarely leaves the newsroom, even. It’s not “Traffic” or “Syriana,” a big, sprwaling meditation on an issue…it’s a small, intimate examination of how these characters dealt with this situation. So while it may only show these characters, I think it assumes the viewer is smart enough to know there is a real world outside them also responding to these issues. If it wanted to give Murrow all the credit, why would it undercut that by crediting Congress with investigating McCarthy before the climax of the movie?

  22. Angelus21 says:

    Stella’s Boy would defend a Liberal movie to the death. He still hasn’t given up hope that Fahrenheit 9-11 will be proven all true.

  23. Bruce says:

    I don’t see what a writers race, ethnicity, politics, marital situation have to do with whether I enjoy the column or not. I don’t care if its Liberal and he’s black, alien, gay, or speaks swahili. If I’m entertained and into it that is fine by me. I’m sorry Jeff if the only thing you can enjoy is what you are. No wonder you are sometimes so closed minded. Open that mind up. Enjoy new things.

  24. jeffmcm says:

    Boy, Bruce, you don’t have much of a sense of humor. I’m glad you enjoy Armond White, that’s great because he’s one of the best writers out there. In fact, you might learn something from him.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    Angelus, spare me. The personal insults add nothing to the conversation and are entirely unnecessary. Please stop.

  26. ManWithNoName says:

    Terence, there may have been many journalists already against McCarthy, but none carried the weight of Murrow with the general American public. This doesn’t mean I think he’s portrayed as the lone hero, but why I think Clooney stuck to the newsroom and his particular story at CBS.
    If dumb, uninformed people start preaching the movie as gospel, is that Clooney’s fault? There is more than enough there to understand that Murrow wasn’t the only one fighting back.

  27. ManWithNoName says:

    Oh, and Terence, just for clarification, did you watch the bookends with Murrow at the awards ceremony, or slip in and sneak out during those moments?

  28. joefitz84 says:

    Syriana I am looking forward to seeing. Good Night Good Luck? Not at all.

  29. ManWithNoName says:

    Too bad, joefitz, it was a very good movie.

  30. joefitz84 says:

    Not interested. Syriana, I will see. That looks good and is getting decent word of mouth.

  31. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m amazed at how many reviews say that Syriana is too complex and/or dense. Why is that a bad thing? Just as there’s nothing wrong with wanting something light and fluffy at times, doesn’t the same apply to something weighty and ambitious? Variety is the spice of life.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    I haven’t seen Syriana, but I think the negative comments use words like ‘preachy’ and ‘murky’ in place of dense and complex.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    In some cases maybe, but I’ve read reviews that say it’s too complex and/or too dense.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    So Stella, did you think that Armond is making a useful point?
    All the usual suspects on the blog seem to have used his negative review as an excuse for the same old same old.

  35. Richard Nash says:

    Too complex and too dense is code for unintelligible film and too much plot going on. Just a nicer way of saying it.

  36. Richard Nash says:

    White’s article was really on point. He was spot on about how the media treats other media members and how they deal with “stars” of the Left.
    They protect them at all costs. No matter what it means to their reputations and credibility.
    And “Good Night, Good Luck” was as heavy handed as any film I’ve seen in the last few years. I hope George Clooney stays far away from doing anything in regards to “Network”.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    Richard, what other examples of ‘stars of the left’ are you thinking of? Dan Rather? Just a question.

  38. Blackcloud says:

    If Stephen Hunter nailed Good Night to the wall, Jack Shafer of Slate eviscerated it, then eviscerated the entrails.

  39. Sanchez says:

    Black and white movies? For some reason I can’t stand them. I could barely stand Citizen Kane and that’s a classic.

  40. Mistress Malevolent says:

    Entirely fabulous rabble-rousing rant by a first-class mind.

  41. mysteryperfecta says:

    That article reminds me of Jerry Maguire’s “mission statement”. I’m imagining Desmond getting kudos from his peers, and then unceremoniously getting dumped by them.

  42. Lota says:

    Mr WHite’s writing style, like Nikki FInke’s, just plain tires me out.
    But the celeb talk above by yonder users made me laugh–George Clooney is actually pretty consistent compared with some of the out-of-touch-“don’t you know who i am?!”- loonies. I remember a renewable resources charity event I was helping to organize where 2 “dedicated and supportive” Celebs were expected and their Pubs told me they were “flying”. FLYING in separate private planes to an event that was only 2 hrs away by car and they weren’t currently busy or filming a movie. When I suggested they share a plane-trip together at least or ride motorcycles for environmental reasons I got a sputtering & cold response.
    The politicians who came, one democrat and one republican, took a car together and managed not to kill each other.
    it is nice when people practice what they preach, celeb or not, including journos.

  43. James Leer says:

    Nice Nikki Finke comparison. Her and White are certainly entitled to their opinions (which can be entertaining in small doses), but when White rails against an elitist mentality and then uses his own faux populist viewpoint to posit an enlightened-us-versus-them scenario, it strikes me as not terribly dissimilar.

  44. PandaBear says:

    Finke is a terrible read. I don’t know what happend to her. She used to be semi enjoyable. Now she is just a complainer.

  45. David Poland says:

    Just so you know, J-Mc. The article was a feature and the paper was having server problems when I first wanted to put it up. His reviews last week were… I don’t remember. But this was separate from them.

  46. David Poland says:

    P.S. Ray Pride was the first to point this out to me and if you guys want more great stories to chew on, you should be taking at look at his on a regular basis.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    I didn’t mean to cast aspersions on you DP, just point out that there was also a new set of reviews up. His reviews last week were basically a shorter companion piece to the feature.
    I agree that White’s writing style is often impenetrable – words seem to pour out of him regardless of whether they actually make sense or not, and I think that too often his style is a smokescreen for when he gets a movie totally wrong, as he sometimes does.

  48. cullen says:

    armond white is a tool shed. he hates all the movies I love this year. he’s one angry dude. and it just sounds from reading his ranting, that he doesn’t even like movies anymore. so stop writing about them. oh, i forgot, you don’t actually MAKE them…you sit around and criticize them for being “bad” or not what you wanted to see. i for one am getting sick of some of these critics and the sometimes personal-sounding attacks they level at filmmakers.

  49. jeffmcm says:

    Come on…the ‘critics don’t make movies so they have no business criticizing them’ argument is pretty lame. Agree with him or disagree with him, just make sure you have a good reason and are honest.

  50. Angelus21 says:

    Every audience member is a critic. Some just write reviews with their checkbooks. Like me.

  51. lazarus says:

    “Black and white movies? For some reason I can’t stand them. I could barely stand Citizen Kane and that’s a classic.”
    Thanks, Sanchez, for posting the dumbest comment I’ve seen to date on this blog.
    Sucks to be you.
    Feel free to disengage from any future discussions; I suggest you spend your time LEARNING more about cinema before trying to talk about the subject.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Lazarus, I want to buy you a beer.

  53. grandcosmo says:

    Hear, hear!! (or is it Here, here!?). Fantastic article by one of the best film critics left.
    Clooney is a mediocre mind but is directing movies because he is a charismatic star, a pretty good if limited actor and most importantly a great deal maker.

  54. Harley says:

    White’s a fun read, and is almost completely insane. And being abusive of other people’s opinions has been his stock-in-trade for a very very long time.

  55. Nicol D says:

    This was one of the best written culture critiques of the media and film industry I have read in quite sometime.
    White is obviously someone who criticizes not because he hates films, but because he obviously loves them with a passion. The main thesis of this essay, that many culture critics confuse thier ideology with good filmmaking is a trend I have noticed for quite sometime and was explicitly exposed to in film school.
    What makes this essay work is exactly that it is so intense and angry. White has an opinion, phrases it eloquently and forces you to think because he gives so many examples. Now I like some of the films he critiqued but I agree with his overall thesis.
    He does pick on Clooney a lot. What makes this relevant is that in Clooney’s case, he used to be considered a ham actor at best with what many critics referred to as a ‘hang dog’ look and only one emotion, smug. Now that he has gotten so overtly political, he is considered something of a genius. He is the same artist however, just being reinterpreted because he has the right ideological world view.
    Thanks for the article post Dave P. This is why I come to your sites and recommend them to others. Even if I disagree with you sometimes, you always take the craft of film seriously and put time into thinking about it.

  56. jeffmcm says:

    I generally agree with you, Nicol. I just want to point out that for all his talents, White is often guilty of the same crime he’s exposing here. He has his ideological friends and foes as well. They’re just more sophisticated than most critics’.

  57. bicycle bob says:

    i don’t have people like armond white on my daily to read list. thats why i come here. to be pointed in a direction.

  58. Bruce says:

    Clooney is as overrated a director as they come. Yet is practically canonized as a giant. He could make Howard the Duck 2 and I don’t think the press would say a bad word about him or even question him. They’ll just do fluff pieces that talk about his villa in Italy, his bachelorhood and how the Liberals are misunderstood. Movies? His direction? Forget it.

  59. Sanchez says:

    I must have missed the memo where I was required to absolutely love black and white films and if I don’t I am intellectually inferior and shouldn’t like cinema. I missed that memo. Can you possibly get more elitist, lazurus? I expect it from a feeble mind and rabble rouser like jeffmcm.

  60. LesterFreed says:

    Clooney is better as a producing partner with Soderberg than actor/director. I’m interested to see him actually act in Syriana instead of playing “Clooney”. The sly smile. The stare at the face. The long looks. Low voice. Eyebrows raised. His usual acting style.

  61. Scooba Steve says:

    It’s a well written article. But it’s got nothing to do with proper criticism. In fact, this White fellow approaching these films as political statements rather than works of art cancels out any good points he might make. He doesn’t bother to address any aspect of the storytelling, opting rather to cover the works and their makings in broad strokes, making assumptions about Hollywood as if it were one bald white guy in an office somewhere chomping on a cigar. I mean disagree with Clooney all you want, but here is a man, who unlike almost all of his celebrity counterparts uses his juice to ACTUALLY SAY SOMETHING. (And White’s making Mel Gibson out to be some kind of red state saint is way off.)
    Like most film writers today, White (who obviously borrows his hyper-confident prose from Pauline Kael) is very intelligent…
    …just not particularly wise.

  62. Me says:

    Maybe Syriana will change this, but I tend to think that Clooney is a lousy actor (though a good movie star – a la Cary Grant). Not much range.
    But while I haven’t seen Good Night, I really liked his first directorial effort: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He kept the tone light and quirky until slamming down the existential angst. And even then he kept the tone on the fine line between the two as the viewer couldn’t be sure of the authenticity of the hero. It certainly didn’t hurt that he was working from a Charlie Kaufman script.
    So, if possible, could we manage to keep some perspective on Clooney’s different traits as an actor and as a director, and even as a producer.

  63. Terence D says:

    I wish that Brian Singer or David Fincher would have made Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. With a script and a story that good it would have been a home run. Clooney and Rockwell made the B movie version of it. Fincher and Depp or Singer and Myers would have nailed it.

  64. jesse says:

    Clooney isn’t the most range-y actor around, but he makes and supports interesting choices; slamming him just because he gets good reviews is silly. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a terrific movie (I like Good Night, and Good Luck well enough, but not as much as Confessions). He’s terrific in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, he’s fine and subtle in Syriana, he does the movie star thing beautifully in Out of Sight and Ocean’s 11… and he’s upfront about his limitations as an actor, so I don’t know what else people want out of the guy!
    What bothers me about the White article — and I believe someone else touched upon this — he dismisses a movie like The Squid and the Whale as being terribly made, but doesn’t elaborate on why he thinks it’s “terribly made,” but rather on the exact same kind of personal stuff he’s deriding critics for liking. Rather than saying “personal snobbery leads critics to praise a movie that has this, this, and this problem,” he says “personal snobbery leads critics to praise a movie that I hereby CONDEMN for my anti-snobbery!” Maybe he elaborates more in his original review, but — and I don’t know this for sure — but my sense from this article was that he didn’t get to review all of the movies he mentioned, and wanted to make sure everyone knew how much he hated them. It smacks of score-settling (like how a bunch of critics who didn’t get to review Crash made sure to make casual reference to it being “racist” in future reviews of other movies).
    What bothers me about White in general is how reviewing movies seems secondary to some kind of overall personal crusade against what he perceives as phoniness, bullshit, etc. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a review of his that didn’t make reference to how most critics were completely wrong about some movie or another (sometimes not even the movie he’s supposed to be reviewing). Hey, I disagree with the critical consensus pretty often, but I don’t feel the need to use every review I write as a foot soldier in some kind of battle against “them.”

  65. Terence D says:

    You think Clooney could do a better directing job than Fincher or Singer? They would have each made a kick ass version of Confessions.

  66. BluStealer says:

    If you read the article he is pretty up front on why he dislikes movies like “Squid and the Whale”. That is kinda the whole point of the article.

  67. Me says:

    Yeah, Singer or Fincher may have done Confessions better (though Myers is way too much of a ham for the role), but they didn’t, so it’s difficult to compare the movie that was made to something that never existed. And the one that exists is pretty good (certainly one of the better Kaufman movies).
    As for the Squid and the Whale, I also didn’t get the sense White knew why he didn’t like it. He hated it because it referenced some intellectual works and had a general tone of smugness. Well, yeah, but you were supposed to be able to see through that in Act three when you realized that these smug intellectual people are perhaps the worst parents ever (at least in the older kid’s eyes), and the kids are no better off as they try to emulate their parents.
    Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to dislike the film, but at least understand it before you get all angry about it.

  68. Scooba Steve says:

    “Confessions” struck me as what happens when you have a talented director misinterpret a script by an equally talented writer. The results are dramatically muddled but still intruiging.
    See also “Alien Resurrection.”

  69. Stella's Boy says:

    I think Clooney is a good actor and director, and it has nothing to do with his politics. I loved his work in Out of Sight, and I had no clue which political party he affiliated himself with at the time. I’m not going to start bashing all of Mel Gibson’s work in front of and behind the camera simply because I disagree with his politics. I think it’s extremely silly to say that Clooney gets praised merely because he has the right ideological world view. Just like it’s silly to bash his work because you think he’s too liberal. The two can be separated right? Or does all of his work automatically suck because he’s a leftie?

  70. BluStealer says:

    The critics definately ease off on George because of who he is, what his politics are and the kind of star he is. No denying that.

  71. Josh says:

    I get the feeling that Clooney is more of an activist than an actor. Who has he ever played besides George Clooney? Maybe he gets better and evolves but I won’t hold my breath.
    Fincher doing any movie now makes it more interesting especially compared against a guy like Clooney. Apples and oranges.

  72. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think Bryan Singer would have made a better Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. What in his past work would suggest that he would? Clooney had an affinity for the time and place and the right sense of humor for it, neither of which I think would apply to Singer, who’s still finding his style as a filmmaker.

  73. Stella's Boy says:

    Speaking of Fincher, having just read Robert Graysmith’s two books about the Zodiac killer, Fincher’s movie about him is at the top of my can’t-wait-to-see-it list.

  74. Mark Ziegler says:

    Clooney better than Singer? Hmmm. You are giving a bad tv actor a little too much credit.

  75. Angelus21 says:

    If you think that David Fincher wouldn’t have done a better job on Confessions than you are out of your mind. We’re talking one of the best in the business. Clooney, while a new guy at it, doesn’t have the chops that a Fincher does.
    Can’t wait to see how Fincher tackles the Zodiac project. One of the must see’s for 2006.

  76. Stella's Boy says:

    My main concern about the Zodiac movie is the screenwriter. James Vanderbilt has written some really shitty movies in the past few years. I’m really curious to see how he adapted those two books, and a little frightened.

  77. PandaBear says:

    If Fincher signed onto it, it can’t be that bad a script. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

  78. Stella's Boy says:

    That is very true PandaBear.

  79. Crow T Robot says:

    Am I the only one who thinks he was fucking sensational in “From Dusk Till Dawn?”

  80. PandaBear says:

    Sensational? Now we’re talking hyperbole here, Crow. Calm down for a minute.
    With Clooney, all the good will he earned was quickly thrown away by his Bruce Wayne. Such utter crap.

  81. Crow T Robot says:

    I dunno. Any flick that features would-be vampire killers arguing about “what Peter Cushing would do right now” is okay in my book.
    Even Soderbergh said it was his best performance.

  82. Mickey says:

    Didn’t agree much, but enjoyed the mental exercise. Love the awesome fact-checking… the events surrounding In Cold Blood, and thus Capote, take place in Kansas, not Iowa. I’m sure all red states look the same to the Great Uniter there at NY Press. And I recall reading at least two mainstream reviews of Good Night and Good Luck that specifically took it to task for its “shooting fish in a barrel” approach. Reminds me of an old film professor of mine who stood before 400 students and screamed at the top of his lungs “Fuck Babe!” after it was nominated for Best Picture… and then, when questioned, had to admit he hadn’t seen it.

  83. joefitz84 says:

    If Clooney was at his best in “From Dusk Til Dawn”, I hope he can direct.

  84. Sanchez says:

    Tarantino certainly was but he’s no actor.

  85. jeffmcm says:

    Tarantino’s performance was one of the worst things about Dusk Till Dawn.
    I never said Fincher couldn’t have made a better Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, but I stick to the idea that Singer wouldn’t have. Singer has directed one indie drama that nobody has seen, two thrillers, and two superhero movies. Nothing in that filmography says he has the right temperament for a Charlie Kaufman script.

  86. Sanchez says:

    I guess Jeff never saw The Usual Suspects or the X Men movies. Singer definately can’t handle a movie with one main character who is having identity problems. Yeah, he couldn’t do that successfully with the full mutant roster in X Men or the ensemble in The Usual Suspects. (laying the sarcasm on pretty thick here)

  87. jeffmcm says:

    Sanchez, you’re not doing a good job of convincing, Just because Singer had movies with large casts means nothing. It’s all about tone, balance, feeling for the time period, sense of humor. I never said Singer is a bad director. Just that his movies have been action movies or thrillers, not satiric romps. Would you want James Cameron to make such a movie? Or George Lucas?

  88. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Oh come on PandaBear. One bad movie isn’t enough to measure him on.
    But it’s obvious you just don’t like him period so I spose there’s no way of changing your opinion.

  89. AgentArc says:

    Clooney is one of the last targets I’m interested in.
    Sam Raimi’s latest blockbuster outings, and their prolific & senselessly positive reviews is a story I’m yearning to read.

  90. Bruce says:

    Bryan Singer is one hell of a director. He also might be gayer than Liberace but that is a whole different story. Really. It is funny. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I for one think Superman is going to be a Huge hit. With a capital H.

  91. Chucky in Jersey says:

    The NY Press is a right-wing weekly with the occasional token liberal for flavor.
    Armond White would have been better off taking his Medved-style rant to the Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. Since White writes for a right-wing newspaper he dares not point out Hollywood’s latest batch of pro-war pictures, in particular “Jarhead” and [coming soon] “Annapolis”.

  92. jeffmcm says:

    How is it right-wing aside from the fact that they hate the Village Voice?
    I’ve always thought of White as being a virtual Marxist, and he says what he thinks. I find it hard to believe he would stifle himself for mere purposes of employment.
    How is Jarhead pro-war?

  93. PandaBear says:

    Chucky really hates the right wing. Is everything a conspiracy?
    If you doubt White’s Liberal credentials, you are way too Left wing for anyones tastes.

  94. jeffmcm says:

    It seems that Armond and Chucky would get along, since they both like to make inflammatory statements without much backing.

  95. joefitz84 says:

    Wow. I actually agree with jeffmcm. Checking to see if hell has frozen…..

  96. jeffmcm says:

    I’m disappointed that Mr. Chucky never returned to discuss his posts. Just a hit and run guy.

  97. joefitz84 says:

    Which is classless.

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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