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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Film Comment: 'The Departed' Tops Critics Poll

Another year end critics poll: Film Comment surveys film writers and critics, asking for twenty top films and the 10 best movies still unreleased in the U.S.
Martin Scorsese’s Boston-set crime drama THE DEPARTED led critics picks, followed by Romanian Academy Award submission THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU, and the old-but-new Melville noir ARMY OF SHADOWS.
Here’s a poll in which an early 2006 release (TRISTRAM SHANDY) wasn’t forgotten, and cool pop movies like CASINO ROYALE make a strong showing.
What’s up, though, with the unreleased film list? Many of the unreleased titles are scheduled for North American theatrical distribution in 2007.
Spike Lee’s searing New Orleans documentary, WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE, shown on HBO in September, was probably seen by more people than some of the top 20 movies — and it’s now on DVD. (The six-hour documentary played at Toronto Film Festival, but only after it had debuted on HBO

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One Response to “Film Comment: 'The Departed' Tops Critics Poll”

  1. Raul says:

    Hello everyone,
    I am just back from the cinema. I have felt insulted by Martin Scorcese. It is pure plagiarism what he has done. I do not really know the limits between a remake and the infringement of the intellectual property but still…
    If Mr Scorsese were a great Director as he had demonstrated until this film he could take a “classic” and play with it, doing a real remake, but please! this is too much!, he could leave recent stories live without his famous shadow.
    Thanks for your attention and please rent “Internal Affairs” instead of “The Departed”.

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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