MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Good Sheet/Bad Sheet?

AND NOW – The Trailer
A great poster or a terrible poster? I’m really not sure myself…

Be Sociable, Share!

36 Responses to “Good Sheet/Bad Sheet?”

  1. Nicol D says:

    My first reaction is that it seems like a poster that is trying to solely sell itself based on the controversy and nothing else. Even other contoversial film of late tried to sell more.
    Passion had a classical, reverential image of Christ that was not in and of itself controversial and made the film seem epic. F/911 sold an impish Michael Moore looking out from classified documents that at least said the film also had a comedic element beyond controversy. It also promised to entertain.
    This however, seems too slapdash. Like they know they have to strike when the iron is hot and only sell the controversy. It looks kind of cheap to me.

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Also: Don’t you think some theaters will run the risk of poster displays being smashed and vandalized by.. well, shall we say, folks who are miffed by the very fact of the movie’s existence?

  3. Argen says:

    I don’t have a beef with the actual movie, but this poster doesn’t do it for me. It looks like a poster for a community theater production, and not a very good one at that. I like the focus on sideline individuals. But the gentleman on the right hand side throws the focus to the left, keeping it from being a unified image. And the empty space doesn’t do them any favors.
    There’s a good idea at the heart of the poster, but the execution doesn’t do it justice. That may be why you’re on the teetering line about whether it’s good or bad.

  4. Cadavra says:

    And it’s also interesting that they’ve cropped off Bush’s face, no doubt to forestall vandalism.

  5. Nicol D says:

    No, the cutting off of ‘Bush’s’ face has nothing to do with vandalism. The makers of this film probably hope vandalism will happen in order to get more publicity.
    It’s to try and give the film an ‘aura’ of intrigue or class.
    If you saw the face it would be too obvious that it was an actor and not Bush and make the thing look even more cheap.

  6. Brendan says:

    When I first heard about this film, I felt it was just another elitist Canadian prick trying to cash in on the unpopularity of the Bush administration. Thankfully, the movie is looking to be very respectful of the controversial subject matter. Granted, this movie is far from being pro-Bush, but at least it fosters debate rather than merely preaching to the converted.

  7. Jeremy Smith says:

    I agree with Nicol. When you’ve made a film about the assassination of a sitting president (and are distributing said film), subtlety ain’t exactly a paramount concern.
    I haven’t seen the film, but I know a few people who have, and, while they’re firmly anti-W, they all despise it. I’ll watch it to have an informed opinion, but I already hate the film on a conceptual level.

  8. The poster is so-so…I’m with DP…on the fence. I like the idea for the film and would’ve liked it if it were Clinton. It just seems unique and intriguing.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    ^^^If it were Clinton, it wouldn’t be an assassination, it would be a heart attack while in flagrante delecto.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Wait, are they really racing to put this out right before the election?

  11. jim emerson says:

    It sure misrepresents the actual movie, which I saw in Toronto. It’s not about the assassination itself (which, of course, happens in a few seconds, unclearly seen), but about the combination of circumstances that created the conditions for it, and then the investigation to find out who did it and why. As you watch the movie, you soon realize the “assassination” is just another public event — like 9/11 or the invasion of Iraq — and that the actions (or inaction), interpretations and responses before and after are at least as important as the factual thing itself.

  12. adorian says:

    bad poster for a bad movie based on a bad idea

  13. Martin S says:

    For vandalism to occur, DOAP would have to play wide outside city arthouses theaters. Like on 2,000 screens wide. Otherwise, it’s going to be tucked safely in blue quadrants. To put it another way – if an anti-whatever film plays only in a pro-whatever area, does the offended audience even know it exists?
    Re-the poster. It looks like a sequel to The Man Who Wasn’t There.

  14. Aladdin Sane says:

    Clearly I’m in the minority when I say I like the poster. Now I don’t know about the movie, cos I haven’t seen it yet, but I think it would run the risk of being poorly executed (so to speak) because of its premise. It seems like something that would work well on paper, and probably even in a novel form…but for this? Hmmmmm…we’ll see.

  15. jeffmcm says:

    What does this have in common with The Man Who Wasn’t There beside B&W?

  16. Monco says:

    I think this poster sucks.

  17. Joe Leydon says:

    “To put it another way – if an anti-whatever film plays only in a pro-whatever area, does the offended audience even know it exists?”
    No offense, but have you ever heard of the Internet? Talk radio? Trust me: When this movie hits theaters, wherever it hits theaters, there will be trouble. It’s just a mater of how much trouble, and how serious the trouble will be.

  18. Nicol D says:

    Do you really think so, Joe?
    I will actually be stunned if there is an incident. I think most likely the film has already got all of the attention it is going to get and will die a quick death. That’s why they are rushing it out…to ride the wave.
    Some people will go out of curiosity of course, and I suspect it will be big amongst the college crowd; but I really will be surprised if this film is a blip on anyone’s radar, red or blue.
    Again, the fact that they are selling it based solely on the ‘controversial’ image that most everyone who reads Drudge has already seen, tells me there is not much else to sell.
    I also think that people are kinda numbed to the whole ‘anti-Bush movie’ thing by now. Most of these films do not even attract the blue state crowd and are seen more as fads.
    I also think if the film as any effect on the mid-term elections…it will not be the effect that the filmmakers wanted.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol: This isn’t just another anti-Bush movie. It’s a movie that pivots on the fictional murder of Bush. Wait until you start hearing stories about audiences applauding when the guy is shot. The right-wing websites and radio talk shows will stir up more than enough ruckus to ensure trouble. Hell, as you say, Drudge already has started the ball rolling.

  20. James Leer says:

    If anyone is going to be giving this movie press, it’s right-wing radio.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t see this being big among ‘the college crowd’. It looks a little too square with its black-and-white retro-60s Oliver Stone-esque imagery.
    And it will have zero effect on the elections. We’ve heard about it thanks to DP but I really don’t see it have much mainstream penetration, and any right-wing radio listeners who get riled up by it were going to vote Republican anyway.

  22. EDouglas says:

    Here’s the trailer (not sure if it’s new):

  23. Blackcloud says:

    “In Theatres” because two theaters is plural.

  24. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Blackcloud i might get you to write a couple of zingers for me at the Spirit awards.

  25. RDP says:

    You know, they sometimes put art house theaters in conservative enclaves, as well, sometimes. I’m not sure they let Democrats live in my county (we sure haven’t elected one to anything in as long as I can remember), but we have a really nice art house theater.
    I actually think the film might do well here. And then something like 80% of us will go vote for the Republican.

  26. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    On a serious note, on one hand it’s good that they kept it simple, but on the other hand it looks really amateurish. I could do a mockup just like it right now in a minute. I think even something as simple as a poster similar to The Contender would’ve been good.
    On a completely unserious (and don’t take it the wrong way) note, the guys in the bottom left corner sure do look like they’re having a good time. 😉

  27. EDouglas says:

    Hey, David, am I the only who finds it odd how fast the movies picked up at Toronto are being given theatrical releases this year? Both this and “So Goes the Nation” obviously have political slants and they’re trying to get them out before the election…but this isn’t a presidential election year, so I’m not sure I understand the point of the rush.

  28. ployp says:

    EDouglas, I am simply amazed someone made it in the first place. I mean, the man is still alive and I find it very mean to depict his fictional death. That someone picked it up, well, that is beyond my understanding.

  29. Devin Faraci says:

    It’s mean to present his fictional death… so what word would you use to describe his setting into motion events that have killed over 2000 real Americans and maybe ten times that many real Iraqis?

  30. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sure Bush has been crying himself to sleep every night since he heard about it.

  31. Martin S says:

    Jeff – The Man Who Wasn’t There. Take it literally.
    DOAP will get disdain, it will get scorn, It will get a day or two of talk show heat, but it will not get a physical reaction. Fahrenheit, for all the noise, didn’t lead to book-burnings or riots. The reason is simple – center-left politics has a deep base of artists who believe art can generate a mass response, shape opinion or propagate a belief. Center-right has a deep base of business/consumers who have a knee-jerk reaction of either interest or uninterest. Put DOAP on pay cable, and you’d have a bigger audience because of convienience. But a theater is only going to attract cineastes and the rabid ABB crowd. Syriana, Assasination of Nixon, etc…it’s insular and/or masturbatory because they preach to the choir.
    The dichotomy can be seen in reactions to F9/11 and Path To 9/11. Bush never responded to F9/11 so tons of people took agit-prop as hard fact. He assumed only the fringe would have interest, was dead wrong, and has paid for it since. Clinton responded to a glorified MOTW and drew tons of people who at first had no interest, but were left to wonder why his associates were trying to get a movie pulled off the air. Because they only looked to their base for answers, Bush was told no one will care, Clinton, that it will destroy his name. Both were wrong.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    The Assassination of Richard Nixon was not really a political propaganda movie in this same class, despite its title.
    How has Bush ‘paid for it since’? His poll ratings are not low because people think he has ties to the Saudi royal family as per the movie, they’re low for completely other reasons.

  33. J says:

    Why is the guy on the top right walking like an Egyptian? Really, the poster looks like it’s missing moshgirl.

  34. Nicol D says:

    “…Bush was told no one will care, Clinton, that it will destroy his name. Both were wrong.”
    I’ll give a slightly different take. I think yours is far too simple and inaccurate.
    Bush did not respond to F/911 because:
    1) He is used to these sorts of smears, as are most conservatives or people on the right. It doesn’t hit home in the same way. The right has been smeared in film for 4 decades.
    2) Bush knew the film preached to the converted. It did not alter the election as it was supposed to. In that sense, it failed and Moore will never hit that height again. His cred is now destroyed. Remember Hollywood and the arts helped Bush win in the long run.
    3) To hit back would give every artist who claims Bush is ‘Hitler’ a ‘fascist’ or a ‘Nazi’ credibility. By staying silent he took the high road and libertarians saw him as far more pro- free speech then the Dems. They even issued a statement before the 2004 election to encourage their members to vote Repub.
    Clinton hit back against The Path to 9/11 because:
    1) He was stunned that Hollywood, which is the one place the Dems can rely on to get their message out uncritically would produce a film critical of him. Even in my life-time I am still stunned (and glad) it got made. It signals change is in the air.
    2) Clinton has a tenuous, weak legacy at best. Aside from the economy, he is a man of great aspiration but little accomplishment. 911 took years to set up, not months. Bush is responsible for the 8 months leading to 9/11. Clinton is responsible for the 8 years before that. For a party that prides itself on saying that Republicans fearmonger about a terrorist threat, that 8 years does not look very good in retrospect
    3) As I have said all along, the New Left is not the left of old and they do not collectively respect dissent or free speech. Of course that is not true of every Democratic or progressive, but it is largely true of the nucleus of which Clinton is apart. That Clinton hit back so hard is a testament to how well made the film was. Bush didn’t have need to worry about American Dreamz…
    Anyway, I am sure many of you will disagree with me, but I thought I would offer my take.
    Incidentally I saw the Clinton outburst again this weekend. It was not a shining moment. He looked like a bully and one who could not handle a tough question. Bush has faced far tougher (and Wallace comes from a liberal back ground!) and never lost it. Clinton looked childish in his outburst.

  35. Argen says:

    No one expects you to say anything different. From now on you could just post your name and we could fill in the rest of the blanks.

The Hot Blog

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