MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Landing In NY

More no-surprises.
The closest thing to interesting was the choice of Julie Christie and the choice to honor last year

Be Sociable, Share!

13 Responses to “Landing In NY”

  1. Noel Murray says:

    I feel like we went over this last year, but nevertheless…
    When you say “leaving films that are actually needing support from the group hanging,” I’m assuming you’re talking about the Academy Awards. And you know, I’m 98% sure that the the majority of the NYFCC voters couldn’t give half a shit if their choices were hurting or helping a contender’s chances at an Oscar. Yes, there are politics involved whenever any of these critics’ voting bodies gets together in a room to hash things out — as opposed to voting by absentee ballot, as my group does — and yes, I’m sure that some members of the group are trying to make a statement of a kind. But that statement has more to do with the trends and counter-trends of their fellow critics than it has to do with the Academy. And it even has something to do with — surprise, surprise — the movies and performances that they actually *like*.
    Not everything is about the Oscars, man. I understand that you’re trying to interpret what these results mean in relation to the prevailing winds at the Academy, but what you’re doing has nothing to do with what the NYFCC is doing. Trying to judge their actions by your standards is nearsighted and foolhardy.
    But I’m sure I’ll be posting this comment again next year, too.

  2. movieman says:

    Damn! PV sent you a screener of “There Will Be Blood” before the BFCA first ballot deadline last Friday?
    Fellow BFCA member here and I didn’t get one (or “Sweeney” and “Enchanted” for that matter).
    I was kind of hoping that those might show up AFTER the nominations were announced.
    Any other BFCA members on here get a “TWBB” screener yet?

  3. Monco says:

    As David has stated the Academy Awards can mean money for a movie. It also has the biggest influence on getting people to see a film that may otherwise not be widely seen. By awarding movies from last year when there are many movies of this year that deserve the attention doesn’t make sense. The Lives of Others is one of the best films of last year, not this year.

  4. David Poland says:

    Actually, Noel, I mean foreign language films that need help at the US box office, including New York City.
    Sometimes, I do feel that the precursor responsibility exists. But I would never begrudge, say, LAFCA’s awards to 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days. That is a passion vote, albeit a bit contrarian. But that’s a given. The awards also support a film that is getting released here in late January.
    But really… last year’s Oscar winner winning because it was released in NY after the new year? Pissing down a drain with passion.
    As for your 98%, you must live on Planet Bullshit. All of these groups live on their value to Oscar. That is why studios spend thousands and thousands getting them to the award dinners. I’m not saying it’s not an honor and that the awards are not valuable and appreciated in their own right.
    At core is the same old reality… why would ANY group give a year end award BEFORE the year is over?
    Answer: To coordinate delivery of talent to their event in January, while it is still in the best interest of the studios that pay to get the talent there and in the interest of the talent to make a place in their schedule for the event.
    In this regard, the only group with clean hands is National Society of Film Critics. The ONLY one.

  5. Noel Murray says:

    Fair enough. I apologize for my presumption, which was uncalled for.
    But I disagree with your comment that that NYFCC voting members — barring a few here and there — honestly care how their award does or does not affect the Academy. Do critics bodies get more access to screenings and stars because of Oscar campaigning? Undeniably. (I doubt I’d be getting a single screener in the mail if I didn’t belong to a voting body.) Do critics groups arrange their announcements accordingly? Yes and no. (My group’s announcement date was moved up mainly so it wouldn’t come so far after the other announcements … so if one of the major groups is announcing early because of the Oscar, then the other groups are mostly just falling to line.) But do the critics *vote* in order to influence the Academy? No doubt some do. But a vast majority — again, I’d say 98% — vote for what they honestly like or for what they feel will make a statement to other critics.
    Call me naive, but that’s my perception as a working critic, based far away from Oscar-ville.

  6. scooterzz says:

    movie — i just asked around and couldn’t find anyone who has gotten ‘twbb’ (or ‘enchanted’ and ‘sweeny todd’)…..

  7. David Poland says:

    My mistake, Movieman… you are correct… no TWBB either… got the score though… great stuff…

  8. David Poland says:

    Well Noel, I don’t think Academy members vote politically on the surface either… but they do sway to trends and certain odd truths repeat consistently.
    You know, it is similar to screeners. I know no one who gets DVDs who would be happy to have them put on the web. But almost everyone still lends discs to friends and shit happens. I just don’t see it as a balck & white issue.
    I don’t think anyone in NYFCC says, “I want to sit next to Julie Christie so I am going to vote for an inferior performance.” But there are all kinds of subtle, subjective reasons for defining a preference for ONE performance. And being original and pushing someone over are amongst them, however gently they color the proceedings.

  9. The Lives of Others was released on February 9 in America. February 9 2007.

  10. movieman says:

    Thanks for the follow-up Dave and Scooter.
    I was beginning to think that I had missed the “TWBB”
    screener boat.
    Didn’t get the chance to see the film here in Ohio until last Thursday, and was floored once again by PT Anderson’s genius.
    This guy sure doesn’t direct a whole lot of movies, but what he does make is awfully choice.
    I know that you weren’t a big fan of the movie, Dave, but it’s definitely worth a second look when/if you get the chance.
    And you’re right about the score: bloody brilliant!
    Can’t wait to see it again myself. And was there a more haunting and moving child performance all year than Dillon Fraesier as the young H.W.?

  11. TMJ says:

    A friend (who liked the film more than I did) tried to explain that BLOOD is PTA’s Kubrick film. He positioned it by saying BOOGIE NIGHTS is his Scorsese film, MAGNOLIA his Altman film, and PUNCH-DRUNK his Chabrol. It’s an interesting, if flawed, premise. I’d argue that all of the filmmaker’s mentioned above would have sliced off the horrific Charles Foster Kane epilogue that drags BLOOD down to the level of summer stock.
    Oh God, I get the douche chills just thinking about it.
    “Let’s say you have A. (pause) MILK. (pause)SHAKE. And I, too, have A. (pause) MILK. (pause) SHAKE. (pause). But I have A STRAW!!!!”

  12. md'a says:

    As a member of the NYFCC, I voted for The Lives of Others because it was easily my favorite of the foreign-language films that had any chance of winning. The films I liked better

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Thanks for the spoilers, TMJ.

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