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David Poland

By David Poland

Don't Trip On The Hype

I like Anne Thompson a lot, but I found myself snickering through here latest

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30 Responses to “Don't Trip On The Hype”

  1. grrbear says:

    This is the kind of analysis that keeps me coming back to the Hot Blog/Hot Button day after day. Not to sound like a complete kiss-ass or anything (too late!), but I really appreciate the work, Dave.

  2. jeffmcm says:

    Ron Howard may be more powerful than Gilles Jacob, but I know which one I’d rather share a glass of wine with (even if I don’t speak French).

  3. SaveFarris says:

    I know one thing going to Cannes did for Truth. Gore got to burn some more jet fuel on the trip and inch the planet’s impending doom ever closer.

  4. Eric says:

    Farris, if Gore’s movie paves the way for the sort of global concern he hopes it will, then the jet fuel will be a small price paid for a big gain.
    Try to get your talking points from a little more sophisticated source than Drudge next time.

  5. PetalumaFilms says:

    I too appreciate the thought you’ve put in here, DP…thanks!
    Dude, quit trying to pump up DREAMGIRLS. Ever since it was first announced you’ve been pimping it to no end and it’s reminding me of your PHANTOM OF THE OPERA pimping. DREAMGIRLS doesn’t interest or disinterest me, especially at this early a point. But man, you’re all over this film in Aint It Cool-like proportions. Settle down big fella.

  6. David Poland says:

    Seems like you are the one who is a bit obsessed there, Pet.
    I’m writing about what AT wrote, including Dreamgirls… for two whole sentences.
    Do you have some interest in pigeon-holing me? Do you not want to know what the strategy is because that’s what I offered. And have you read anyone saying the footage didn’t kill?
    Oops… written more in response to you than I did to get your oddly myopic spin on that whole piece…
    And about Phantom, you are making shit up. I didn’t push Phantom any harder than everyone else until November… and then for two weeks. What do you have to do with a film that wants to be an Oscar movie this year, cause you sure are acting like you’re trying to position something by pushing an anti-DG agenda. Seriously.

  7. palmtree says:

    I could go either way on Dreamgirls. I’m not terribly excited about it, but I know people who are (it’ll do well with African American and gay audiences). I don’t know that Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson can act but I know that Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, Danny Glover, etc. can. I don’t know that Condon can pull off a movie this big, but then again he’s an excellent director of smaller movies and made Chicago better than it should have been.

  8. Nicol D says:

    Finally saw The Brown Bunny about 6 months ago and damned if I didn’t like it.
    I saw the post Cannes edit of course and I can totally see how the long version annoyed people.
    But, it did play to what Gallo wanted; a film in the spirit of the 70’s disillusioned young man genre. I thought it’s mood was quite affecting.
    As for Cannes itself, I think for the average film goer it is neither fish not fowl. A good run at Cannes does not guarantee respect or box office and neither does a bad run guarantee bad reviews and BO.
    More and more, Cannes seems to be its own breed entirely…of more note for the industry chatter and hype than having any bearing on the average film itself.
    As for Gore’s film, I would be very interested in reading what someone like Patrick Moore thought of it.

  9. PetalumaFilms says:

    I’ve been away from the blog for a while and missed everyone getting on your case a few entries back for what I basically said above…sorry for bringing up something that has been brought up before. However…
    I’m not obsessed about anything. The second DREAMGIRLS went into production, you were all over it and it seemed odd then. Maybe you read the script or knew alot more about the project then you let on, but still. Now, you’re the journalist who’s getting known on the web as “the guy who’s saying DREAMGIRLS is an Oscar contender.” Or, “that guy at moviecitynews who thinks Dreamgirls is the one to beat.”
    As was said previously, you have every right to be excited about a movie and I definitely like a journalist who gets excited rather than one who’s just burnt out and cynical. Plus, I really like you and although I don’t always agree with you, I appreciate the interesting conversations. I have no desire in pigeon-holing you. But I still don’t understand the excitement over DREAMGIRLS.
    Plus, your wording in this blog post about DREAMGIRLS tips your hand that you’re pushing the film for whatever reason. Granted, I don’t scour every blog to see what the buzz is on certain projects, but I do enjoy your site and have noticed how much you’re excited for DREAMGIRLS. I’m not the only one…

  10. Wrecktum says:

    Stop with the Dreamgirls! We’ll have enough pimping of it from Poland in the months to come without having to bring it up ourselves! 😉
    Back to the article…why did Paramount/Dreamworks have so much product at Cannes? That seems pretty unusual for a major.

  11. champura says:

    I’m really tired of the “Cannes means nothing in the US” crap. Of course it means something, but only to the industry. The same as Sundance, Toronto and any other festival you can name. Go out and ask any non-industry person to name one film that played Sundance this year. Or ever for that matter. Most people don’t even know the Oscar winners.
    Film festivals are by-and-large about the press/critics and raising profiles of projects for the sake of the industry, and industry sure as hell pays attention. Even if the film goes into hibernation for several months, critics and industry will remember it when it resurfaces, and it will inform how they talk about it. How much it all matters is dependently unpredictable–it’s a gamble, and one of the few gambles this industry seems to take anymore.
    As for “Inconvenient Truth”, I’m not sure but I imagine it went to Cannes to spur international sales. To say it’s been through it’s paces for 5 months, or to discount any film that appears at Cannes, blindly ignores the fact that it is first-and-foremost a market.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    All this Dreamgirls stuff would have fizzed out and died if Poland would just respond “I think it looks good” instead of getting defensive and insinuating that others on the blog are working for rival productions in a paranoid way.

  13. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Are you serious when you say you’d rather talk to Giles Jacob than Ron Howard? I think you’re talking out your ass. Have you listened to Howard on Elvis Mitchell’s radio program. The man has a thousand interesting stories. The man’s been in the business for almost 50 years! He worked with Andy Griffith, John Wayne, and Roger Corman. Besides Burton, he’s the only director to “get” Michael Keaton’s talent. He directed Henry Winkler’s only memorable screen performance.
    Think before you write Jeff.

  14. Blackcloud says:

    Cannes means nothing in the US.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    Jimmy: you’d think a guy with that much experience and knowledge would know not to make a movie as cruddy as The Da Vinci Code. The man is a hack.
    To his credit though, he did help give us Arrested Development.

  16. Lynn says:

    David, can you, maybe, post a reminder that the director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven came out this week? Because people should be reminded. Also then I’d have a thread in which to gush over it, which I really feel the need to do.
    For now I’ll just say that it’s a sad, sad thing that this wasn’t released as the theatrical version.

  17. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Does DaVinci Code erase the fact that he made Night Shift, Splash, Parenthood, Backdraft, The Paper, Apollo 13, Ransom, A Beautiful Mimd, and Cinderella Man? I mean, even Spielberg made Hook.

  18. Jimmy the Gent says:

    What do you think about the idea of Paramount moving World Trade Center out of August and try getting it into the NY Film Fest. This hasn’t been brought up, but I think it sounds like a no-brainer. United 93 had Tribecca. Why not NYFF for WTC?

  19. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Great article there Dave.
    You’re right about Marie-Antoinette though. I wonder if they’ll be able to get the teenage audience that became such a big part of Lost in Translation‘s success.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Jimmy, I only think three those nine movies are good.
    You’re right, though. If he was interested in producing something I had written/wanted to direct, I’d listen to him talk all day about how Andy Griffith is a saint (a saint!).

  21. David Poland says:

    Gent – I would hate to see it happen. I haven’t seen the whole film yet… it’s not locked… but if it works for real people, the audience, August will be the right place for it. To take it to the NY FIlm Festival would make it a politcal football, which is not in its favor… unless it wants to do U93 numbers.
    The film was described to me by someone who saw a rough cut as inredibly emotional and jarring, which the first segment they showed in Cannes only does a little it of. My take is that audiences love to feel and that was the weakess of U93. If this does it, sell it like a movie. (And shake it like a Polaroid picture.)

  22. jeffmcm says:

    This will get old by the time August comes around, but United 93 was the most emotionally affecting film I’ve seen this year. Too bad for its box-office that it was a film and not a movie.

  23. David Poland says:

    A couple of things…
    1. Don’t care how “some people on the web” perceive me. If i start worrying abou that, I am dead.
    2. I was onto Dreamgirls well before production started. I know the show and I know where Condon was taking it. That said, this entry is the seventh entry in which I have mentioned the film in the last year. Seven.
    And why is this more interesting tham me putting The History Boys in the Top Five?
    3. If you read my Oscar piece, the film is behind the Eastwood film(s) as “the one to beat” and that is, as always, subject to change.
    None of us have seen all the films. Many of us in the media have now seen more of Dreamgirls than any of the other holiday season films. Just wait for the moment when I am convinced that World Trade Center might be a serious contender!!!
    4. I have no idea how repeating pretty much what Anne Thomson said “tips my hand” toward anything. That is the kind of thinking I find so offensive. Am I disallowed from saying what everyone in Cannes said? Am I fighting the tide? Or is everyone pushing an agenda?
    This is not a game to me. I observe. I report. Yes, there has been more available on Dreamgirls than other awards season films. Yes, if I thought Babel or Marie Antoinette or anything at Cannes this year was a serious Oscar contender (Babel is a lock for a special award at the Indie Spirits), I would be writing more about them.
    What frustrates me so is this idea that I am marked with as scarlet letter (in this case “D”) and somehow, my opinion is tainted. I like the guys from Capote, but back when I was one of the only people predicting a Best Picture nomination for that film, it too had nothing to do with anything but the context of the season… Capote was strong and accessible. On the flip side, I have no vendetta against George Clooney. I just had a hard time buying GN&GL as a Best Picture nominee.
    I am not shy about my feelings about movies I love or hate. But I can’t have them before there is a movie. Every year, there are movies I believe in and am then crushed when they are clearly not good enough or the studio mishandles them. I still believe that had Fox pushed a bit more effectively, Walk The Line would have been nominated and would have stood a good chance of winning once the five were set. But we

  24. jeffmcm says:

    DP…on subjects like this, the less you say, the more convincing you are. The basic problem is that you often try to straddle the line between objective authority on all things business and industry, and yet have very strong, opinionated feelings about certain films and filmmakers. It’s not an easy balance to strike. So therefore, please don’t get so defensive when some of us think that we’re seeing an imbalance. Ultimately, a shrug will do where a rant will not.

  25. Me says:

    Yeah, a shrug would go a lot further than comparing yourself to a victim of racism or sexism. Being accused of liking a movie is a loooong way from what you act like the posters on this board are accusing you of.
    To quote my favorite tv show, “It’s because I love you that I can tell you that no rich white kid ever got anywhere with me comparing himself to Rosa Parks.”

  26. David Poland says:

    Ignorance is bliss. That the message?
    I consider that disresepctful of you. But if that’s what floats your boat…

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Who said that?
    The message is, getting all riled up is the best way to get other people all riled up.

  28. martin says:

    jeff, who gives a shit what you think? It’s Polands site, certainly his prerogative if not his imperative to defend his commentaries. Lighten up.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    It’s funny because that’s the exact same thing I’m telling Poland to do is lighten up. Drinks all around!

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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