Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Remembering Adrienne Shelly

Adriennne Shelly, the indpendent film actress, director and writer best known for her leading roles in the Hal Hartley films TRUST and the THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH, was found dead in her New York City office on Wednesday evening, her agent said. She was forty years old. Shelly is survived by her husband, Andy Ostroy and their three year old daughter Sophie.
Anthony Kaufman of Indiewire, who’d interviewed Shelly at several festivals, has a tribute to her on his blog. Several people have posted their remembrances of working with her–reading that, you get a sense of how well loved she was in the New York indie film scene

According to the New York Post, Shelly had recently learned that her feature film WAITRESS, which she’d written and directed, had been accepted by Sundance Film Festival. Earlier this year, she’d acted in FACTOTUM, directed by Matt Dillon.
She wrote, directed and starred in the movie SUDDEN MANHATTAN (1997). Her second feature film, I’LL TAKE YOU THERE, won her best director award at the 2000 U.S. Comedy Festival.

UPDATED Nov. 7th, morning
Police arrested a 19 year old construction worker in connection with Shelly’s death, which her husband Andy Ostroy, had never believed was a suicide. According to police sources, Diego Pillco of Brooklyn, who was working in the West Village building where Shelly kept an office, gave statements implicating himself. saying that he killed her and then attempted to make her death look like a suicide. Despite earlier reports and speculation, the medical examiner’s office had not, as of Nov. 6th, issued a report on the cause of death.
Updated Nov. 7th, Tuesday evening
A link to the New York Times evening edition which has a more detailed report on the arrest.

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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