Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Coming Soon: The Reeler Wanders Off On Its Own

Dear readers,
When I started The Reeler in June 2005, my primary goal was to establish a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about New York City cinema. If you are even a casual reader of this site, you will know that I have a ways to go before achieving that not-quite-modest aim. That said, such ambitions require a healthy curiosity, a bit of insanity and more than few dice rolls, all of which I am set to engage as I prepare to relaunch The Reeler this week as an independent Web site.
Launching Friday, Sept. 29, TheReeler.com will still feature all the bloggy fabulousness you have come to know and love (or at least put up with). Additionally, you will find news features, profiles, reviews, festival information, party coverage and event listings–all settled into their own separate, easy-to-find sections. The focus remains the same: to bring you the latest news and trends from New York film culture, from the DIY world to the city’s biggest premieres. As with everything good in life, it will begin as a work-in-progress, but a challenging, necessary one with only the best of intentions.
As such, it is important that I take a moment to thank David Poland, whose magnanimity and support have provided the basis for much of my professional growth over the last year. Contributing to the discussion at Movie City News has been a profound learning experience for me as a writer and film fan in general, and I continue to be grateful for that opportunity. Thanks also to my MCN colleagues Laura Rooney for her patient technical prowess and to the brilliant Ray Pride for his unceasing encouragement and influence; it has long yielded a tremendous impact on this site.
Of course, I owe my biggest debt of gratitude to you, my faithful readers, who I hope will join me Sept. 29 at TheReeler.com. Thanks a million for keeping me in mind (and in your bookmarks), and I look forward to seeing you again soon. For now, however, I must sign off. This fledgling-media-empire business is exhausting.

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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