MCN Columnists
Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest

The Frenzy On The Wall…

You know that feeling you get when you’ve read the last word of the last sentence of a wonderful book and you close the book, set it down beside you and sit there silently staring into nothingness?  Better yet, you know that feeling you get when you go to the movies and you’ve been so enthralled for the last two hours that when the credits start to roll, you can’t even move?  Instead, you just sit there, your eyes focused on the screen but you’re not really reading the words on it.  Rather, you are lost in your own reflection of what you have just witnessed and then when you stand up, your legs feel like jelly beneath you as you stumble for the exit.

That feeling, that moment, is what I live for.  The frenzy on the wall.  That’s what David Thomsononce called it..

Those movies that give you that feeling don’t come around very often.  In fact, I’m lucky if I see five movies in a year that give me that wonderful sensation.  So far, in 2007, I’ve seen just one film that made me feel that way and it was David Fincher’s Zodiac.  It’s the kind of film, for me at least, that makes all the Norbits and Wild Hogs worth it.  And yes, I actually saw those films.

I see everything.  I will see any movie that comes out because regardless of what the critics might be saying, I will always take the chance that perhaps they are wrong and perhaps I will be able to get that feeling that I look for.  It’s like a drug for me and I can’t wait to get my next fix.

Of course, while Zodiac might have been the film to do that for me, I understand that it might not do that for you.  There are a lot of folks that saw Dreamgirls and came out of there on such a high that they were practically tap-dancing.  Not me, it just didn’t give me that feeling – and I so wanted it to.

I never want to hate a movie.  I might have preconceived notions, might feel that based on a certain star or a certain director that I may not like what I am about to view.  But when I sit down in that seat, everything goes away and all I want to do is be entertained.  But more than that, I secretly am hoping when I sit down to watch the next Brett Ratner film that he will somehow give me that high that I am longing for.

I saw 182 films that came out in the year 2006.  Know how many films gave me that sensation that I crave?  Five (full disclosure: those films were The Fountain, Little Children, Children of Men, The Departed, and The Good Shepherd).  I saw about forty other movies that I walked out of that put a smile on my face (among them: Wassup Rockers, A Scanner Darkly, Half Nelson, The Prestige, The Devil and Daniel Johnston).  But that means that I was willing to suffer through about 137 films that were bad to mediocre, just to be able to find satisfaction in forty-five films and absolute elation in five of them.  I see absolutely everything I can in the hopes that after those previews end, something wonderful will dance on that screen.

I hate a lot of films, don’t get me wrong.  I have a lot of pet peeves and lot of favorites that I root for, but I can honestly say that when I sit down I’m always hoping for the best.  Here are ten of my likes and dislikes.

1)  My favorite two filmmakers of all-time are Stanley Kubrick and Francois Truffaut.

2)  I believe the greatest living filmmakers are: Spike Lee, David Lynch, Woody Allen, Richard Linklater, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson, Arnaud Desplachin, David Fincher, Gus Van Sant, Steven Spielberg, Mike Nichols, Roman Polanski, Wes Anderson. Probably in that order, too.

3)  I’m not a particularly big fan of Asian cinema.  I don’t really know what it is, but I’ve never really enjoyed anything other than a few Kurosawa films.  I think it’s probably my fault, though I don’t know why.

4)  The only critics I read regularly are James Berardinelli and Roger Ebert.

5)  I enjoy films where things are left open-ended.  I prefer film to be an interactive experience, so I enjoy films like 2001 or Donnie Darko or any David Lynch film.  Basically, I like movies where the director supplies me with enough information to create my own interpretation.  I find it to be a richer, more rewarding experience.

6)  My favorite television shows are Lost and Scrubs, just thought you might like to know.

7)  I’m 24 years old, live in New York City with my girlfriend and I try to go to the movies as much as possible.  I’m also a rabid Mets and Knicks fan.

8)  I don’t think that any director is the “anti-Christ”, but I definitely don’t look forward to the films of Michael Bay, Brett Ratner, or Marcus Nispel.

9)  I’m extremely stubborn about my opinions, but when in arguments I try not to be mean-spirited.  So I try not to call anyone an asshole just because they thought 300 was awesome and I thought it sucked.

10)  300 sucked hard.

What do you think?

– Noah Forrest
July 24, 2007

Noah Forrest is a 24 year old aspiring writer/.filmmaker in New York City.

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Frenzy On Column

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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