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David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks To Nothing?

So here we are

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49 Responses to “20 Weeks To Nothing?”

  1. palmtree says:

    The only difference is that Sideways peaked too early (it came out in Oct.) whereas the Brokeback release strategy resembles that of Million Dollar Baby (open in Dec., expand in Jan.). But the underdog status now of Munich could end up being more of an asset than a liability, a bit like M$B also.

  2. Mark Ziegler says:

    Sideways was more of a comedy and the Academy never embraces a comedy.

  3. Eric says:

    Dave, your analogy about the morning after pill is inaccurate. The pill, which is nothing more than a higher dose of the standard contraceptive pill, supplies hormones to the body that simulate a pregnant state and thus prevent the egg from being released from the ovary.
    Like the standard pill, there is a small possibility that an egg which has already been fertilized will be unable to implant in the uterine wall. But the incidence of that is no higher than that of it happening without the pill.
    The medical community understands that the “Plan B” pill is not an abortifacient. But there’s a common misconception that it is, and you really shouldn’t be propagating that.

  4. ArchiveGuy says:

    I think it’s a mistake leaving David Cronenberg off the Director list of possibilities. Like his fellow countryman Atom Egoyan (who scored a Director nod for “The Sweet Hereafter”), Cronenberg has directed one of the most well-received, critically-admired films of the year–plus, his reputation as an artist has only grown over the years (witness Criterion DVDs, which have tapped into his body of work several times). And now, he’s broken out of the genre “ghetto” with a film doing decent arthouse business and with actors that have pricked up AMPAS voters ears in the past. It may be the only nod it gets (like “Mulholland Dr.” or “Short Cuts”), but–especially in light of the recent Globe attention–“History” remains a real threat in that category.

  5. oldman says:

    I saw Kong today. I don’t see how Peter Jackson could be cosidered, much less nominated for best director.

  6. Blackcloud says:

    ^ I agree there. He has some great visuals, but he needs to learn restraint. Get an editor, and for God’s sake lose the melodrama; by which I mean the slow-mo and reaction shots.

  7. EDouglas says:

    As a rule, the Academy shouldn’t nominate any film over two hours in the editing category…but maybe that’s just me 🙂

  8. James Leer says:

    What’s that old maxim about the winner of Best Editing being the least edited movie (i.e. the longest)?

  9. jeffmcm says:

    I like the maxim about the director who fired his editor after the poor guy won an Oscar because it meant people were paying attention to the cuts, not the story.

  10. Cadavra says:

    Well, then that should bode well for GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK: a crisp 93 minutes.

  11. Josh says:

    Hey DannyBoy,
    If you dislike David Poland and all that he writes why do you waste your precious time coming here, reading his stuff, and then posting about it? Don’t you have better things to do? If I hated his stuff as much as you I know I wouldn’t be wasting my time with it. I’d find something I liked. Do you like torturing yourself?

  12. Eric says:

    DannyBoy, there’s a lot to think about in what you say, but let me complain about one thing.
    There’s a rhetorical device that’s really popular in politics, and it usually sounds like this: “Now, I’m not saying that…” or “Some people might say…”
    This is a tool of the weasel. You’re trying to call David a homophobe and yet claiming you’re above calling David a homophobe. If you really feel that way, just say it.
    Other than that– carry on. I’m interested in reading David’s response.

  13. Mark Ziegler says:

    I find it funny that someone can have this much beef with a journalist like Dave over what he writes. It’s movies! It’s funny that someone gets this upset over it. We need more posts from you DannyBoy. You add comedy.

  14. PandaBear says:

    Calling Dave a homophobe because he doesn’t think Brokeback Mountain is good is a pretty weak argument. I think he’s going out of his way to make sure he doesn’t rip on the movie. If it didn’t have the gay thing going for it I think Dave would just rip it and move on but he’s being very, very precise because of it. I do think that’s the only reason it is garnering this many awards this early. Don’t be naive and say the homosexual thing isn’t helping it right now.

  15. David Poland says:

    I don’t mind DannyBoy or anyone else questioning my motives. I do think he, like others, may be taking what I write about a movie they feel strongly about out of its context a bit. But so it goes. Nice that the work has something worth remembering, even if it is in a negative light.
    Focus has used a cautious strategy for rolling out the film. There is no debate possible on that fact. And there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone else is strategizing on every other movie. But the “everyone thinks it’s great” stuff comes from a still small group of people who have embraced the film. And the arrogance shown in the face of anyone disagreeing is pretty abusive.
    Beyond my critical issues with the film, the issue of its importance as a cultural event doesn’t wash with me either. In fact, I think it is really quite regressive. Two straight actors playing gay, too scared to express their love for 20 years, ending up with a harsh confirmation of their worst fears? What is the important message here? It

  16. joefitz84 says:

    He used Roper and Travers to back himself up???
    I almost threw up in my mouth.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    I think it’s interesting how, whenever someone really gets mad at Poland, there are several posters who ask why he/she even bothered to post, suggesting they should just go away. They really seem to feel threatened by any shift in the verbal status quo. People, it’s a blog. It exists for discussion. Why are you bashing a poster? If you don’t like what he says, apply your own logic and ignore him/her.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Jeez, I go away all day and then go on four or five little rants. Sorry, folks.

  19. Wayman_Wong says:

    I’ve read ”20 Weeks to Nothing” and I’m baffled.
    You write: ”All the nominations that are coming in for a while are in … and we know … almost nothing more than we knew last week.”
    Gee, I’d said we now know ”Brokeback Mountain” won Best Picture and Best Director from both the L.A. and N.Y. film critics (plus the Boston and San Francisco film critics). We now know the NBR honored it with Best Director and Best Supporting Actor. We now know ”Brokeback” leads the pack in nominations from both the Broadcast Film Critics Ass’n and the Golden Globes.
    We also now know that all these groups, voting independently, agree that ”Brokeback” is the best film of the year, and chose it over many other high-profile Oscar contenders. It’s clear where the many critics stand, yet you write: ”No help from the geniuses of the critics groups, big, small or even stupid.”
    The most you’ll allow is that: ”We do know that ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is going to be taken seriously.” But given its rave reviews and Ang Lee’s reputation, it’s safe to say that ”Brokeback” was going to be taken seriously BEFORE any of these awards came out.
    If any movie won the awards and received the nominations that ”Brokeback” has gotten, it would be considered the Oscar front-runner. If ”Munich,” which is the movie you’re backing, achieved the same thing, you’d be writing that the Oscar ceremony is but a mere formality. I can’t help but think that your ”critical issues” with ”Brokeback” – and your belief in ”Munich” – are coloring your analysis.
    You manage to even spin ”Brokeback’s” multiple wins into a negative: ”Spreading out the [awards] helps make each [award] more special. Did LA, BFCA, NY, NBR and HFPA in four days do anything except make them all irrelevant?” In 1993, the LA, NY, NBR, HFPA and later the Oscars picked the same Best Picture: ”Schindler’s List.” Were those awards ”irrelevant” too? I can’t imagine any movie this season that wouldn’t love to have received the prizes and nominations that have been showered on ”Brokeback” so far.

  20. LesterFreed says:

    Brokeback Mountain. I’d rather see Kenny G play in concert for six hours than see it.

  21. Bruce says:

    Jeff, I always hate your logic yet I tolerate your postings. What’s the problem?
    People can’t defend someone when they get blindsided by lies? Who died and made you God???
    We’ll see how Brokeback Mountain does when all is said and done. These critic groups and pre awards and Golden Globes mean nothing when it comes time for the Academy. Ask Sideways about that and how it turned out.

  22. Crow T Robot says:

    Come on, Poland. Buttfuck Mountian (hey, who are we kidding, right?) is clearly the favorite as of this week. The critics have spoken and now the only thing stopping the momentum is a complete (and probable) mainstream rejection of the film. To keep Munich on the top takes a whole lot of faith on your part.
    But I see your point, the industry has a way of throwing palms at a fresh movie one day, only to crucify it on the next. (In fact, it’s their preferred modus operandi.) But there’s no denying Ang Lee’s film is the darling of the year and a must see.
    I will also confess, there IS a good case for a good race this year; giving us a legitimate reason to watch the Oscars. America will have to see if the gay cowboys do indeed come up from behind and wrap their hands around the little bald guy.

  23. Bruce says:

    It has has clearly taken the lead out of the gates. Will it hold up?

  24. PandaBear says:

    The race is as crowded as I have ever seen it. I think one of 8 films can win it and any of the five who are lucky enough to be nominated? They all have a great shot at it.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks for the tolerance, Bruce.

  26. Bruce says:

    It’s the least I can do for a tortured soul like yourself.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, the lack of fingernails really makes the typing tough.
    Anyway, I wanted to point out that several people bashed the post above from Danny, without actually responding to a single thing he wrote.

  28. Sanchez says:

    You agree with what he wrote? How about you explain yourself for once son?

  29. jeffmcm says:

    What he wrote is completely beside the point. I haven’t seen the movie so I have no opinion on it. But Josh and Mark Z. responded, essentially by saying ‘sit down and shut up’ rather than address a single thing he said. I’m guessing because they probably haven’t seen it either.

  30. joefitz84 says:

    Dave is completely right on “Brokeback Mountain”. It is becoming a cause and a movement. How good the movie is or isn’t is being tossed out the window and out of the discussion. Now if you’re against the movie you are called a “homophobe”. I bet most of the gays supporting it haven’t even seen it yet. But they’ll fight to the death over it.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    There are a certain number of gay critics who don’t like it either.

  32. Rufus Masters says:

    The homosexual lobby is behind this film with everything it has. They won’t be denied a nomination.
    But at what cost?
    I don’t think it will win. I think the backlash against it is coming fast.

  33. joefitz84 says:

    I may have a short memory but I remember a little film last year being talked about like Brokeback Mountain is being talked about. Sweeping the critics groups. And then when push came to shove?
    Won a screenplay award which is like kissing your sister. Even Ben Affleck has one of those.
    Granted I think Haden Church and Madsen got robbed. And Giammati too. But Dec 16 is a long way away from Feb 16.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Like Poland says, Rufus, the movie is probably not mainstream enough to win, but it will almost certainly get a nomination. I’m not sure what you mean when you say ‘at what cost’.

  35. Wayman_Wong says:

    The comparison between ”Brokeback Mountain” and ”Sideways” keeps getting brought up, because they were both critics’ darlings, but to me, they’re not comparable. As Mark Ziegler has already pointed it out, ”Sideways” was a comedy, and the Academy seldom chooses comedies for Best Picture. Martin Grove in the Hollywood Reporter in his Dec. 16 Oscar analysis (”’Brokeback’ breaks out as Oscar front runner”) writes: ”I don’t think the problem with ‘Sideways’ was that it peaked too early, but that Academy members decided it really wasn’t about anything they considered to be important. It was a nice little film about finding love and enjoying good wine, but it wasn’t something Oscar voters felt comfortable endorsing as the year’s very best film. … ‘Brokeback,’ of course, has nothing to worry about when it comes to whether it’s about something important. Its gay cowboy romance relates directly to some of today’s most meaningful contemporary social issues. The one film that could seriously challenge ‘Brokeback’ with regard to ‘importance’ is Steven Spielberg’s ‘Munich.”’
    As for ”Brokeback” being some ”movement” where ”the homosexual lobby is behind this film with everything it has,” as jeffmcm says, ”There are a certain number of gay critics who don’t like it either.” But then why should all gay people love the same movie any more than all straight people love any ”straight” movie? For what it’s worth, I doubt Focus Features spent $13 million to simply win an award from GLAAD. I believe that Ang Lee, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana wanted to make this movie because they thought it was a great love story; it just happens to be about two guys.
    Is ”Brokeback” ”mainstream” enough to win over general audiences and Oscar voters? As Joefitz84 points out, ”Dec. 16 is a long way from Feb. 16,” and so it is. But I’m not sure what Feb. 16 refers to: The Oscar nominations come out on Jan. 31 and the Oscars are on March 5. At any rate, only time will tell.

  36. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Brokeback Mountain. I’d rather see Kenny G play in concert for six hours than see it.”
    So can we cancel you out from all future threads about movies, the oscars and about the movie in general? Or can we pencil you in for some more witty one-liners that dont add anything to the conversation? I’m sure it’sthe latter.
    I really don’t see Kong or Jackson being nominated. Having now seen it, I think the whole remake of a giant ape movie con that people have suggested is a big thing. At least in the LOTR the length felt necessary – in Kong it didn’t. Instead it felt like a director being way too fanboyish for his own good.
    Speaking of Peter Travers though (er, up there he was mentioned) have you seen his Top 10? Ugh. Quite possibly the blandest list I’ve ever seen. it’s times like when I read that that I love Rober Ebert. His Top 10 had movies that were unique and not just flavour-of-the-week movies. Ebert’s had passion. It always does.

  37. LesterFreed says:

    I don’t want to spend my money and see a three hour movie about gay cowboys. Don’t want to offend you but that’s just how it is. How does that take me out of future convos about movies? I’m sure they’re plenty of guys like me around who have no interest in seeing this movie no matter how many awards it wins in December and even if it wins an Oscar. I’ll catch it on video/tv.

  38. Rufus Masters says:

    The homosexual lobby is pretty big in Hollywood. Can we agree on that? They’re getting behind this movie with all they got. Nothing wrong with it because it is a solid movie. But it is the pre fav right now because of it. The overall box office is going to be real soft.
    Even if the homosexual critics don’t like it (and I’d like to see some that say they don’t like it) they’re going to support it. I don’t doubt they made this movie to go to wide audiences and not just win GLAAD awards. But it doesn’t hurt either right? We’re talking about it.

  39. Dave Cullen says:

    Rufus, I think we can all agree that there’s a big gay lobby in Hollywood. But I don’t understand this leap: “it is the pre fav right now because of it.” All the awards/noms are coming from way outside Hollywood. It’s critics and it’s mostly straight men, and most of the groups based way outside LA.
    As for “real soft” box office, we’ll see, but boxofficemojo has the Friday numbers up and it broke into the top ten (#8) last night in 69 venues, all across the country, a fair number of them in the suburbs, many in the red states. (The capitals of very red TX, GA and CO, for example.)

  40. DannyBoy says:

    A few comments about responses to my post from yesterday, quickly.
    First, Rufus says he

  41. Dave Cullen says:

    I cringe when anybody gets being accused of being a homophobe for not liking this film. Mainly because I am a homo, and I hate how alienating that term has become in general; and because I’m a film lover and hate the idea of anybody not being free to honestly dislike a picture.
    Dave, I’m sure you’re not a homophobe, but I think I know why some people are turning in that direction in bafflement. When a gayguy comes out of the film with his psyche torn to shreads and then reads your comments on not the just the film, but its STORY is basically irrelevant and unhealthy — well, I think a lot of us are astounded and perplexed by the disconnect, and some people jump to conclusions.
    I think you are missing the impact this film would have / is having on gays, and you really seem to be missing WHY. You are seeing it through one lens and it’s pretty apparent that the effects it’s having on gayguys or the reasons for that are outside your frame of reference. Or something. They are eluding you.
    I think we can all disagree on the merits of this film, but can we really disagree on the relevance of the story to gays? If gays are staggering out shellshocked about its relevance to them, then how can a straightguy legitimately say it’s not. Shouldn’t you be asking us: What the hell am I missing here? What’s so freaking relevant to you today about this regressive story from the ugly past?

  42. Bruce says:

    I just don’t like someone taking shots at Dave Poland for no reason. If you don’t agree with him? Then say you don’t. Don’t let it fester for weeks and come all out against him. He’s a big boy. He can take it. But I can’t! Ha. Just kidding. It’s cool. Just say it all in time and not all after months of built of frustration. Cool?

  43. The fanboy says:

    I haven’t seen BBM yet, but I don’t see why the fact that it is a gay cowboy movie is considered so revolutionary. Didn’t Schlesinger already address these themes (less explicitly) in the ’60s?

  44. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “I don’t want to spend my money and see a three hour movie about gay cowboys.” – dude, the movie is 2 hours and 15 minutes. King Kong on the other hand IS three hours and is about a romance between a gorilla and a woman.
    It seems so strange that more people are averse to Brokeback Mountain’s romance than to King Kong’s.
    And I think Dave Cullen hit the nail on the head. It’s not that Poland didn’t like the movie that has annoyed so many people, it’s that (from all appearances) he doesn’t even think it is worth the time. As if homosexuals have no right to have a big epic romance made about them. So many people have said that if it weren’t for the gay theme then nobody would care. And exactly, it IS about gay men and what they think, feel, do, etc. That’s not up for discussion.
    And so I think it is just irritating to many readers (gay men in particular) to hear (mostly) men disregard Brokeback as nothing important. As if it’s just another soppy romance of no value.
    But of course, we also have King Kong – apparently one of the greatest romances of our time. And that’s between a freakin 800 pound gorilla and a human. But, aww, you can see the emotion in Naomi Watts’ eyes!!!!!!
    (this isn’t a dig at Poland, btw – i’m just trying to express why I think so many are annoyed at Poland’s views and the ones like it)
    er, except that last bit. I still don’t really get how people can believe Naomi Watts loved the gorilla as anything other than… well, a big giant ape. Surely she has SOME standards.

  45. jeffmcm says:

    Having now seen the movie, I think DP’s reaction can be attributed to his raging heterosexuality…simple lack of a identification with the characters, as opposed to any agenda or ignorance or anything such as that.

  46. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I find it sort of saddening that some people can identify with a giant ape falling for a human female (and vice versa!!) than they can a man falling in love with another man.
    Really. If “lack of a identification with the character” was the only problem then… well… yeah.

  47. jeffmcm says:

    The emotions that Brokeback induces are certainly more complicated than those of Kong. In DP’s defense I don’t think BBM is a perfect movie and I can see some of his points, but in the end it all comes down to the question of, can a person lose themself in the movie, and he couldn’t.

  48. Terence D says:

    I think it’s fairly obvious that King Kong has more universal appeal than BBM.

Quote Unquotesee all »

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