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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

"Dream Job," "Arts Reporting" Unironically Paired At Hunter College Panel

OK, so maybe this has something to do with the Reeler Karma I was talking about last week, or maybe, again, it is just the the rich getting richer: Lewis Beale, whose essay last month on cinema’s Jewish babe renaissance is the most popular post ever published on this site, is slated to take part in the paradoxically titled “Dream Jobs: Covering the Arts” panel tonight at 6:30 at Hunter College. Admission is free, and I certainly encourage any young ‘uns out there to drop in.
As an illustrious film journalist and adjunct lecturer in Hunter’s film and media department, Mr. Beale represents the rational grain of salt to his fellow panelists’ benign critical insularity; while Jeremy McCarter (NY Magazine), Pia Catton (NY Sun), Elisabeth Vincentelli (TONY) and Jim Farber (NY Daily News) will all bring warm, encouraging winks for the underclassmen, here is hoping The Professor will keep it real about publicists, editors, journalism school and the enduring power of writing about Semitic starlets. And maybe throw in a note or two about a little New York film blog that would possibly symbolize a dream job if its editor ever slept.
Follow your own dream to the jump, where you will find all the event details.

Dream Jobs: Covering the Arts
Writing about the Arts is an art-form in itself. To do it well you have to know an awful lot about the discipline you are covering and an awful lot about everything else. Our panel of successful writers and editors reveals how their passions for theater, music and visual arts, along with a flair for journalism, have put them in the vanguard. Presented by the Center for Communication.
Jeremy McCarter, theater critic, New York Magazine
Pia Catton, arts editor, New York Sun
Elisabeth Vincentelli, arts & entertainment editor, Time Out New York
Lewis Beale, freelance writer/reporter, general features and entertainment industry coverage, The NY Times, The LA Times, Newsday, Time Out NY and other publications; adjunct lecturer, Dept. Of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College
WHEN: Monday, September 25th, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
WHERE: Hunter College, Lang Recital Hall, 4th Floor (enter on 69th St. between Park and Lexington)
FEE: Free for all

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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