MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Ouch

Very, very long, but rewarding day.
Sorry I didn’t offer up space earlier.

Be Sociable, Share!

43 Responses to “BYOB – Ouch”

  1. So, NBR? What wacky things will they deal us today (tomorrow? time zones confuse me). Over at Awards Daily I listed by No Guts No Glory noms as:
    1. Knocked Up in their top ten
    2. Jennifer Garner for best supporting actress in Juno (history shows the NBR are very left of centre with supporting actress and their choices routinely fail to get nominated for Oscar)
    3. Ben Affleck for breakthrough director (they gave the award to George Clooney for Confessions of a Dangerous Mind so why not Affleck?)
    Somebody also suggested that they should share the best supporting actress prize between Ronan, Garai and Redgrave for Atonement. Now that would be a confusing hoot!

  2. David Poland says:

    NBR is utterly irrelevant… period.

  3. scooterzz says:

    well, not exactly ‘utterly’… at least not as long as they get national attention… the mentions in the press actually do influence the more dormant members of other groups…, period that!

  4. jeffmcm says:

    I seem to remember this same discussion from a year ago – people wanted to talk about the NBR and DP laid the ‘utterly irrelevant’ smack down then, too.
    THe problem is (a) people want to talk about them, (b) they launch awards season, more or less, (c) what does ‘irrelevant’ mean? For the Oscars? Maybe, but if my best friend won an NBR award, I’d be happy for them.

  5. LexG says:

    Be a GOD, not a man, and not a bitch. How can any reaonsable human being live with themselves knowing that low-rent music stars and C-list actors are FUCKING SUPERMODELS, and we’re going to DAY JOBS and POSTING ON THE INTERNET>?
    I WANT TO BE FAMOUS. So should everyone.
    Any post before or beyond this that is not a soul-scorching confession of PERSONAL FAILURE FOR NOT BEING MODEL-FUCKING FAMOUS is A LIE.
    AUDITION FOR A REALITY SHOW. POST YOUR DUMB ASS on YouTUBE. Do whatever it takes, but anyone who isn’t famous is WORTHLESS.
    You know that shit.

  6. Dave, if it were up to you the only precurser that would be relevent would be the BFCA and that’s only so they can tell us over and over again about how relevent they are.
    SEE I can be repetitive and monotonous too!

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    To paraphrase what I have posted elsewhere: The more I read snipes at Diablo Cody here and over at HE, I can’t help thinking two things:
    1. Quentin Tarantino indulged in just as much seriocomic self-mythologizing right before Reservoir Dogs was released — oddly enough, I interviewed both scriptwriters while they were still on the pre-release festival circuit, and there’s an amusing similarity to their savvy image-awareness — and yet Tarantino didn’t catch nearly as much flak as Cody has. Could it be because… oh, I dunno… because she’s a girl?
    2. Many regular posters here and at HE have made it clear that they’re aspiring directors or screenwriters, or would-be filmmakers who have, so far, enjoyed limited success (and are either despairing or bitter or both because of it). Is there just the teeniest bit of professional jealousy fueling some of the bile directed at Cody?
    Just wondering.

  8. Joe Leydon says:

    Oh, and Lex: Of course there are greater rewards than fame: Money and power. There are people in this world — hell, there are people here in Texas — we have never heard of who could buy and sell everyone on this blog before breakfast, and still have enough in the petty cash drawer to topple a government or two before dinner. As Don Henley sagely put it: These days a man makes you something, and you never see his face. But there is no hiding place.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Tarantino’s rise came before the internet, so the movie world wasn’t as saturated with his hype.
    Also, he didn’t invent a fake name for himself, even though one thought at first that he must have.

  10. hendhogan says:

    Busy with the strike, so haven’t been keeping up. did cody say something like this:
    Speaking of messages, Quentin Tarantino wants us all to know just how humble he really is.

  11. Aris P says:

    Joe – I wouldn’t exactly say your 2 theories are wrong, and I havent seen Juno yet, but every time there’s THIS much gushing over a small, indy-esque film, and especially its writer, I wonder how much the hype sells the product. When was the last time ANY writer had this much press? It IS only b/c she’s a woman with an interesting past. And let’s be honest here — it’s hard enough to get into this biz, let alone have a script produced, but when your name is DIABLO, your kind of hot-looking, you have giant tattoos and you were a STRIPPER, might not critics be slightly influenced (or pre-occupied) with that?
    Is this film THAT good? or is it the Diablo Show?

  12. Nicol D says:

    I have been very critical of QT here so no one can accuse me of being biased. The difference is this;
    1. QT created a mythology about himself, but first and foremost he -loved- film. He ate, breathed and slept it 24/7. Love his persona or hate it, he came from the right place.
    2. Cody never came from that place. She was just a spoiled brat who wanted to taste ‘the dark side’ in that most spoiled of little ways; to be a poseur rebel. She came to film not because she loved it, but because she wanted to be a celeb. She doesn’t have much more depth to her than Paris Hilton.
    3. Juno is no Pulp Fiction or Resevoir Dogs.
    Very different story of success between the two. QT genuinely loves and wants to make movies. Cody genuinely wants to be a celeb and party girl. It just so happens at this point in her career, film will allow her to do that. Betcha she tries to launch a talk show career next.
    QT is an inspiration that sometimes the geek in the back of the video store that society mocks can make it through talent and persistence.
    Cody is a cold, bitter pill of a reminder that sometimes no matter how hard you work, it really is just about how you shallowly flog yourself on the circuit.
    If it is now sexist and jealous to acknowledge the truth of the situation, then call me guilty as charged.

  13. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol D: If it really were that easy, there would be a lot more Diablos (of both sexes). Talent figures into the equation as well. Also: Juno is just her first script. I think she has tremendous promise, and she has already begun to deliver on that promise. But who knows? Maybe her next script will be terrible. Maybe, after doing a Diva, she’ll follow up with a Moon in the Gutter. We’ll see.
    Let me propose this: Let’s come back in five years and resume this conversation. We can talk about how far her career has progressed, and how far yours has.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, do you really believe that Juno is receiving all of this praise simply because critics think the writer is hot? It isn’t possible that it’s because the movie is actually very good? And what are you basing your opinion of her on? Numerous TV and print interviews? Has she been spotted at clubs every night? How do you know that all she wants is to be a celeb? Are you friends with her? You say that you speak the truth, but I have to wonder how you have come to possess the truth.

  15. Nicol D says:

    There is – nothing – easy about the schmooze game. It is a talent/skill all of itself. The problem is you can ace the schmooze game and do well even if you have mediocre talent.
    If you are a genius but suck at schmooze…you are really behind the 8 ball.

  16. Joe Leydon says:

    Arlis P: I think you raise an extremely valid point. Seriously. In fact, for nearly two decades, I’ve suspected deep in my heart that some indie movies get chosen over others by distributors because the makers of the chosen movies have better and/or more colorful backstories, or appear capable of giving better quotes in interviews, and therefore the movies appear easier to sell. Which reminds me: Anyone know what Matty Rich is up to these days?

  17. Joe Leydon says:

    Nicol D: Another valid point. Of course, you could extend that to other areas as well. If you don’t look good in a music video, do you have any prayer of launching a successful recording career these days? Could Buddy Holly ever make it past performing in bowling alleys?

  18. Noah says:

    NBR picked No Country for Old Men as Best pic, Tim Burton Best Director, Clooney and Christie Best Actor and Actress, Amy Ryan and Casey Affleck Best Supporting…I can’t really argue with any of these choices.

  19. Joe Leydon says:

    Good for Clooney — and even better for Ryan, who needs the extra push.

  20. White Label says:

    Diablo Cody is a hometown girl (also in MN here), so I’m here to defend and give my honest observations. All you have to do is watch her interview with Letterman and see him get all flustered, and it’s because this woman knows how to use the English language.
    That said, I think the problem people are finding with Juno and its script is that it’s a little too hip to itself. I’ve talked to a few film-going friends who have been at the *MANY* preview screenings (at least 3 non-press previews, in a town where there’s 1 or none) and I was the only one who enjoyed it. Everyone else felt that it was a string of one-liners, implying that she’d be a great Tina Fey/sketch writer, not so great at long-form narrative writing.

  21. Nicol D says:

    About Buddy Holly, I agree with you. Remember the talented singer Christopher Cross whose career was taking off just at the dawn of music video and because he wasn’t photogenic, he went in the crapper?
    That is the problem many of us have with Cody. If hers was a colorful, fabricated background that produced genius; fine.
    If she produced mediocrity but got a film made and the indie scene liked her but she still had to slog it out for a decade before she got real attention; fine.
    But she created a mediocre film, got the opportunity for shallow reasons, seems fairly vapid…is written about – everywhere – and is maybe going to even win an Oscar. Priceless.
    This kind of stuff pisses many of us off even more than Paris Hilton. At least Hilton knows her place and isn’t going up the red carpet any time soon. Cody is getting the Royal Treatment and does not deserve it while real talent falls by the wayside and eats Kraft Dinner while staring at cockroaches and mice as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer plays in the background:)

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, well done in not taking some of the more obnoxious bait.

  23. Stella's Boy says:

    But apparently Nicol most do not feel that the film is mediocre. You are in the minority there. Personally I don’t have much of an opinion of her. I don’t know all that much about her. That’s why I was surprised to see that some strongly dislike her already.

  24. David Poland says:

    Kami – BFCA is a good predictor… but also irrelevant as a influencer.
    NBR moves nothing, except dinner locations.
    The thing you don’t seem to hear me saying is that the die has already been cast. NOW. It’s done. There are about 9 films in serious play. In the next 10 days, groups will gather, vote and try to narrow the field further… but will inevitably stay within the lines. BFCA nominates 10 films. HFPA nominates 10 films. NBR awards 20 films. LA & NY can have an impact when they both go in one direction… say, if they both went Amy Ryan… then it does really matter and she becomes a likely Oscar player.
    But as with “awards prognostication,” it is the cumulative effect, not the individual. The only power any one group or one person can have is the power to persuade. And all the critics groups in the next 10 days will be persuading Academy voters what films tehy must watch before they vote.
    And the idea that, aside from the serious awards from critics, like LA, NY, and even many of the small towns with groups in between… any of this matters other than Oscar is just not how it plays, either for the studios or the talent.
    I have never seen anyone win at Indie Spirit and not find it creating more pressure for the next night… not less. Everyone wants to be happy just to be nominated… but when you find the person who genuinely is, call me.

  25. jeffmcm says:

    DP, are you personally insisting that everything must lead into the Oscars or are you just reporting that that’s the way things are?

  26. Stella's Boy says:

    Ignore the bait Dave.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    “Bait” or not, I think it’s a legitimate question that was never really answered in previous years. I don’t have a problem with labelling the NBR what they are, as a group of who-knows-who out to spread awards around a large number of films to ensure maximum star attendance.
    But the awards surely mean _something_ more than the tabletop movie awards I host in my kitchen where every year I’ve invited George Clooney and every year the only attendee is my cat. Seriously, though, the narrative of awards season – that everything must be seen through the filter of “What will this mean for the Oscars” – is constricting and patronizing to the groups that actually _do_ matter, like the NY and LA critics circles for example.

  28. David Poland says:

    It’s been answered and answered and answered and answered.
    Oscar can equal money. Oscar is how talent rates go up. Oscar sells DVDs. Nothing else means money.
    Everything else is very nice to get.
    Every single high profile group, including the most earnest, is emotionally involved with their relationship to Oscar… and if they – meaning as a group, not one member – tell you elsewise, they are joshing you.
    Oscar is the bar by which all this mania is measured.
    Even though it has little to do with any real Best.
    NBR is particualrly irrelevant, as it is not critics or even a large voting membership. These awards are decided by a group of fewer than 20 in a room. Anyone can argue that they are right or wrong. They “honor” more than 20 films… lots of elbow room. But do they not give awards to films that don’t send talent to Q&As? Yes. Do they demand specific access to award you as a Best? Yes. Do they spread the wealth? Yes. Do they cherry-pick talent? Yes.
    But otherwise, they are legit and matter a lot.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    That’s all you needed to say.
    We’re not mind-readers, DP.

  30. I find it amusing that at a time when writers are on strike that people like Nicol feel the need to bring Diablo Cody down because she’s – shock – popular! Heaven forbid than a writer actually becomes a noteworthy person in this industry and one that doesn’t feel the need (or, at least, not yet) to direct their work themselves. Whether you like her or not, I think it’s great that there are journalists out there writing articals about a screenwriter! That people are discussing the screenplay and not just what a great amazing job Jason Reitman (!!!) has done on the movie.

  31. Aris P says:

    Dude they’re “discussing the screenplay” b/c she has a cute smile and was a stripper. That’s about it. Whether or not the script is passable is secondary. What I find amusing is that people are giving her this much attention. I’m going to get a nice haircut and act in a porn flick… see you at the 09 Oscars!!

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    Yes, but Arlis: You also have to write a script that people will actually, you know, want to produce. If you can do that, fine, good luck to you, see you in ’09. If not, go to hell, go directly to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

  33. jeffmcm says:

    Surely we can discuss her screenplay without telling people who disagree to ‘go directly to hell’.
    (That is, those of you who have actually seen the movie).

  34. Aris P says:

    Joe — it’s Aris, not Arlis. And why would you say go to hell? I’ve always played nice here.
    Jeffmcm — I admitted that I had not seen the movie, and have made no judgments about the film per se; I’ve only questioned the overzealous hype-machine regarding DIABLO.
    If her movie was panned, would it get this much attention? I would have to say yes. And speaking of attention, for every one article on Reitman, I’ve read ten on DIABLO. Kinda skewed no?

  35. White Label says:

    Aris, the reason why the media is focused on Diablo is because a) better story than inside-man son of famous director, b) the movie is 90% about the language.

  36. Stella's Boy says:

    I have not paid much attention to Diablo. I want to see Juno because I like Bateman and Cera, and I enjoyed Thank You For Smoking. I couldn’t help but find it a little surprising that so many people seem to hate Diablo already and I wondered what they are basing that on.

  37. L.B. says:

    “And speaking of attention, for every one article on Reitman, I’ve read ten on DIABLO. Kinda skewed no?”
    Compared to the thousands of articles written about directors and the far fewer written about writers? Not really.
    I have no idea whether JUNO is any good since I haven’t seen it. I was predisposed to dislike it because of the Diablo hype, but its reviews have made me willing to give it a fair shake. In the end, if she can write, she can write. If she’s good at it, more power to her.

  38. For what it’s worth, prior to this “argument,” I had never, ever heard of Diablo Cody. And she is cute and alt-ish and all that, but the girl can write. She should sell herself however she can….not alot of female screenwriters out there these days…

  39. Cadavra says:

    Whaddya talkin’ about? There are tons of female screenwriters out there!
    Oh, wait, you meant ones whose scripts actually get sold and made…

  40. Yeah, exactly. And admit it people, you automatically like Diablo Cody more than Nora Ephron for obvious reasons….

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Obvious reasons like not having anything to do with Bewitched.

  42. It’s a shame people hate on Nora Ephron when clearly she’s hysterically funny.
    “If her movie was panned, would it get this much attention? I would have to say yes. And speaking of attention, for every one article on Reitman, I’ve read ten on DIABLO. Kinda skewed no?”
    Firstly, anybody who has an interesting story gets attention. It happened last year with Jennifer Hudson and it’s happened plenty of times before that and will continue to happen. Secondly, really? You’re complaining that there are too many articles about the writer and not enough about the director? The director who is the son of another famous director for that matter? Right. That is a bit skewed if you ask me.

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