Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

WGA Finds Decembrist Movies Revolting

The Writers Guild of America Announced its nominations for 2007 and Mark Harris of Entertainment Weekly notices something strange about the list: no December releases. What’s up with that? He thinks it’s because WGA members don’t receive DVDs –they’re supposed to see films in theaters or at guild events.
The nominees include
Original Screenplay
BABEL, Written by Guillermo Arriaga. (Paramount Vantage)
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, Written by Michael Arndt (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
THE QUEEN, Written by Peter Morgan (Miramax Films)
STRANGER THAN FICTION, Written by Zach Helm,. (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
UNITED 93, Written by Paul Greengrass (Universal Pictures)
Adapted Screenplay
BORATCultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony HineS & Todd Phillips, Based on a Character Created by Sacha Baron Cohen (Twentieth Century Fox)
Screenplay by William Monahan, Based on the Motion Picture Infernal Affairs, Written by Alan Mak and Felix Chong (Warner Bros. Pictures)
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, Based on the Novel by Lauren Weisberger. (Twentieth Century Fox)
LITTLE CHILDREN, Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, Based on the Novel by Tom Perrotta. (New Line Cinema)
THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, Screenplay by Jason Reitman, Based on the Novel by Christopher Buckley. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

ANIMATION (Any length, one airing time): No SOUTH PARK! Didn’t Kenny and Cartman submit any episodes?
The worth nominees are:
“The Italian Bob” (The Simpsons), Written by John Frink; FOX
“Who’s Your Daddy” (The Life and Times of Juniper Lee), Written by Marsha Griffin; Cartoon Network
“Church Hopping” (King of the Hill), Written by Jim Dauterive; FOX
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore” (The Simpsons), Written by Dan Castellaneta & Deb Lacusta; FOX
“Simpsons Christmas Stories” (The Simpsons), Written by Don Payne; FOX
“Girls Just Want to Have Sums” (The Simpsons), Written by Matt Selman; FOX
COMEDY/VARIETY — (Including Talk) SERIES: Where is the nomination for The Stephen Colbert Show? Did all the HBO writers feel obligated to nominate one of their shows, even though it’s crap?
The nominees are:
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” COMEDY CENTRAL
“Late Night With Conan O’Brien” NBC
“Penn & Teller: Bullshit!” Showtime
“Real Time With Bill Maher” HBO
“Saturday Night Live” NBC
Sebastiano, T. Sean Shannon, Robert Smigel, JB Smoove, Emily Spivey, Jorma Taccone, Bryan Tucker; NBC

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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