Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Variety (Hearts) NY, Has the Hundred or So Stories Today to Prove It

With Tribeca ’06 commencing in seven hours, Variety has chosen April 25 as the day of a thousand New York film culture articles. OK, so it is really only, like, a few hundred, and some are a little more impressive than others, and if it is indeed the thought that counts, then this might be the most generous consideration the trade will throw our way this year.
While you already know all about Eamonn Bowles’ band The Martinets from The Reeler’s deafened coverage of one of their shows last January, Lily Oei reprises a few licks from the offices of Bowles’ Magnolia Pictures. In other news, we also learn that Lili Taylor considers 42nd Street and 11th Avenue “uptown” and that producer Lee Daniels likes Butter (as in the nightclub). And he has his own inspired impression of New York’s crude, cruel vitality:

The city provides you with the fundamental foundations to create from because of your interactions with people. It is a constant struggle. People here will step on you in order to get where they have to go so and it really brings something to you as a person that you are able to create from.

It must do something more for him than it does for me; after all, this guy is voluntarily producing Mariah Carey’s follow-up to Glitter. At any rate, another Oei contribution looks at P.S. 260, the post-production house whose server exploded after editor Robert Ryang’s Shining trailer parody flooded the Web last fall. This time, however, the spotlight is on co-founder J.J. Lask feature directing debut On the Road With Judas, which Lask recently wrapped and which Ryang will edit this summer.
David Hafetz offers probably the best read in the package with his sober survey of this year’s crop of 9/11 movies. Hafetz backs away from hero-hype and too-much-too-soon twaddle to look at the specific phenomenon of society via cinema–and in 9/11’s case, the acute, aestheticized perception of politics, culture and history. That sounds a little higher-brow than it probably should, but that is why Hafetz gets the big bucks and I just point you his way:

For all their controversy, both United 93 and World Trade Center occupy familiar Hollywood terrain. Against the backdrop of terror and tragedy, the movies tell stories of individuals facing dire situations and tapping unknown strength and courage to survive or fight back.

Ironically, the films provide an almost affirming message to a country caught up in unsettling times. …

It is still uncertain whether American audiences want to see stories about Flight 93 and the Twin Towers on the big screen. Whatever the answer, these films, though daring in their own right, somehow suggest a more innocent time.

Speaking of innocence, Anthony Kaufman has a list of Tribeca’s “high buzz” and “moderate buzz” films here. Watch Cindy Adams say she reported them first yesterday. Typical.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

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