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David Poland

By David Poland

BYO Bon Voyage

We’re pulling out of dock… The 10th Floating Film Festival is on its way.
I will be doing some writing as the cruise goes along. They have wi-fi this time. But mostly, it’s up to you guys for a while.
Have fun without me… Just not too much!!!

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46 Responses to “BYO Bon Voyage”

  1. T. Holly says:

    You can’t strike, you’re fired.

  2. adorian says:

    Several red carpet people blithely claimed that the Oscars were being watched by a billion people last night. Where do they get that impossible number?
    I’ll bet the number was closer to 40,000,000 worldwide.

  3. Hallick says:

    “Get off the f@#king stage, a@!hole! We gotta show 28 more clips of somebody winning an Oscar 35 years ago! We ain’t got time to have NEW moments!”
    That’s my impression of this year’s show. It’s also why I was screaming with joy when Marketa got to come back out to finish her acceptance for Best Song. Once that damn music started swelling, I wish one of the winners had just casually lobbed their trophy over the edge of the stage and killed the conductor. Or switched to sign language. Really, really obscene sign language.

  4. adorian says:

    If Sean Young had been in the audience, whom would she have most likely heckled?

  5. THX5334 says:

    After the Brad Renfro snub, I’m really done with Oscar for awhile…

  6. doug r says:

    If you were watching the Oscars, ten you missed Fox pausing their (rain delayed) coverage of some car race to run the scheduled hour of The Simpsons.
    Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind
    Treehouse of Horror XVIII

  7. lazarus says:

    I think Sean Young would have heckled Diablo Cody simply out of jealousy
    “Hey, I’m marginally talented and took my clothes off for money, where’s my fucking Oscar?!”

  8. jeffmcm says:

    They also snubbed Ulrich Muhe and Edward Yang, among others.

  9. They snubbed Manuel Padilla Jr.! Petaluma will have to honor him ourselves during the annual American Graffitti salute!

  10. IOIOIOI says:

    While I love Bill Conti. The producers of this show have got to work on giving the winners some more freakin time. The technical people may not be the best public speakers, but the rushing through of people remains hokey. Especially in a show that’s glutted with freakin montages that play longer then they really should. The producers need to make it about the winners, throw in some short films from some great directors in the middle of the telecast, and wrap this puppy up by 11 et. They also need to bring back MC KEYS because the 2000 telecast remains my favourite.

  11. Joe Straat says:

    Hallick, if I was in L.A., I could teach them all to say “fuck muffin” in sign language.

  12. tjfar67 says:

    Let me be the first one to say it.
    “I’m fucking your milkshake.”

  13. Wrecktum says:


  14. LexG says:

    YAY ME.

  15. lazarus says:

    Have to agree with you there, Lex. And you know what’s only a block away from the Vista…Cheetah’s.
    She suddenly realized she had no business being up there, lost her shit, and waddled off while trying to cover the high slit in her dress. Snarky leopard-print, devil-tattooed girl is softie. Awww.
    Could have been endearing, but came off as pretty pathetic to me.

  16. Jerry Colvin says:

    You know what I missed this year? Recaps of the Best Picture nominees. You know, where throughout the show they take 30 seconds to introduce each nominee to us… in case we aren’t familiar with them. Why do they now only barely get a 5 second clip as the last award is given? Weird.

  17. Because they cared more about joking what they would have done if the writer’s were on strike. Even though they weren’t. So while a quick “some of the suggestions were, Oscar and Binoculars! *cue laughter* Oscar and Bad dreams *cue laughter* etc” turned into a completely and utterly pointless montage of people using binoculars. Christ.
    The Ulrich Muhe snub was worse than Renfro if you ask me. At least Muhe was in an Oscar winning movie just last year.

  18. Nicol D says:

    I feel sad that these were the lowest watched Oscars in history.
    I remember as a child always watching the Oscars with my family. It was a big deal.
    I really think there is an increasing disconnect between Hollywood, and the rest of the culture. This is why things such as “inflation” do matter. Also I think films, since VHS and DVD, are no longer seen as ‘special’ to many people. They are largely forms of disposible medium. In some ways that is both good and bad.
    I also think we are finally seeing the lasting effect of almost 15 years of Oscars where politics were continually rammed down our throats.
    And ironically enough…I thought Stewart did a fine job.

  19. waterbucket says:

    Bitch is the New Black!

  20. Me says:

    I think the ratings problem is not politics, but is the problem with so few movies that people have seen (i.e. why watch when you don’t care who is involved). And instead of blaming the movies, which I think were interesting and certainly capable of getting an audience, I blame the studios for their inability (or lack of desire) to really sell these movies.
    Are you telling me that a modern studio is incapable of selling a 2-hour chase movie, with some of the best dialog I’ve heard in years to anyone other than an arthouse crowd? Are you telling me that a studio can’t sell a WWII romance/war movie to anyone other than an arthouse crowd? It’s great when they crossover to larger audiences like Juno, but it seems silly that Oscar movies are now being sold almost exclusively to a tiny audience, rather than trying to make great movies that you can sell to everyone.

  21. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “Some car race” = the NASCAR Auto Club 500 from Fontana, about 35 miles east of L.A.
    As for Oscar Night? One ABC station found a way to spice it up.

  22. Nicol D says:

    I do not think it is – all – politics. Just a part. I think many people are tired of Hollywood culture.
    I actually think that this years crop of films was better than many years. But I also think DVD has changed our perception of movies.
    TWBB is a brilliant film and might be my favourite of the year outside of Gone Baby Gone (yes, Affleck was robbed). But it skews older and I think many older people would rather watch films from the comfort of their home on disc. They can pause if they want, have the food they want etc. I mean TWBB will be out on DVD in less than 2 months.
    I think many things have changed about film culture in the past 20 years. There are many factors.
    But again, do not just blame the studios. Blame critics too. Look at the reviews of There Will Be Blood on rotten tomatoes. How many of them decribe the film as just a simplisitic attack on Bush, America and Evangelicals. Of course I think it is far more complex than that and Lewis has even said that…but that’s how many simplistic critics sold it to readers. If I didn’t do my own research, I would have avoided it too.
    As for Atonement…I have not seen it and do not know of the quality of the film, but these adult sweeping epic romances tend to do better when adults star in them. Not actors barely out of their teens. Titanic is a different breed.
    It is too easy to always blame the public or the studios. NCFOM is a very accessible film and was a moderate hit…but if we want it to break out of the art house ghetto can the films fans quit acting like art house snobs.
    Again, there are many reasons why the Oscars are faltering, but I do not blame the public for any of them.

  23. christian says:

    “Again, there are many reasons why the Oscars are faltering, but I do not blame the public for any of them.”
    Who do you blame for watching Hollywood shows like TMZ or that awful CELEBRITY REHAB? And who lines up to get Paris Hilton’s autograph? Or pump THE STAR and THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER with revenue? People love Hollywood. We’ve just been trained by our corporate masters to envy success and beauty, or revel in other’s failure. Fuck if people aren’t to blame. What kind of mind watches BIG BROTHER for more than ten seconds? Or gathers the family in front of AMERICA’S TOP MODEL?
    Of course, the media is run by marketing folk so their primary job is to get us to desire their products. A bad circle. I agree with you about the magic of watching the Oscars as a kid, and it still holds that for me, but the fragmentation of culture has a lot more to do with it.
    And 40 million people is still a huge audience.

  24. Wrecktum says:

    The clear culprit was the writer’s strike.

  25. Josh Massey says:

    “We’ve just been trained by our corporate masters to envy success…”
    All of the corporate masters are Democrats?

  26. Me says:

    Well, I think there is definitely more to it than this, but take a look at the ratings for the Titanic oscars (among the highest) and then take a look at these (among the lowest). I don’t think politics or DVDs or any of that can account for the change, as stars were just as political in the 90s and VHS just as popular.
    What gets me is how is Gone Baby Gone not a mainstream hit? It’s got some big stars, is a cops and robbers movie and is well done. What is wrong with the system when a movie like that is getting released only to arthouse crowds? That’s a movie that with the right marketing could be released wide and been a hit.
    Same for No Country. Michael Clayton was almost the exact same movie as The Firm. Why didn’t it make the same money?
    Maybe audiences won’t show up on the first weekend the way they will for Transformers, but it seems like studios are using that as an excuse to stop trying to make adult movies into hits. Instead they change the economy, so they only dump 30 million into a Gone Baby Gone, and release it to the arthouse crowd, knowing that with theatrical and DVD they’ll make their money back.
    Frankly, it doesn’t bother me that the movie economy for adults movies is set up this way, but it just seems that if the Academy is wondering why people don’t tune in, maybe they should be looking at the studios and not just the audience.

  27. christian says:

    “All of the corporate masters are Democrats?”
    Some are, Josh. Some are.
    But the sleaziest network in TV history, FOX, is run by Republicans. So go figger.

  28. Nicol D says:

    “I don’t think politics or DVDs or any of that can account for the change, as stars were just as political in the 90s and VHS just as popular. ”
    Everything happens on a long gradient curve in culture. Yes, VHS was big in the 90’s and stars still political. But we hadn’t gotten used to it yet en masse. Neither had hit the tipping point yet.
    In the 90’s most people owned a few VHS tapes but not that many had home theatres or collections with multitudes of films. Now it is common.
    Yes, stars were political, but we still just rolled our eyes and pressed on. Now it has become too common place. Too obnoxious and the public has moved on. Now that the awards aren’t as poltical, it is too late. The benefit of the doubt has been lost.

  29. Me says:

    It’s an interesting argument Nicol, and I’m sure it plays into account, but I’m not sure that I buy that as the major reason for audience erosion.
    Hell, people hated the Patriots this year, but they still watched the SuperBowl by the boatloads. My argument is that is exactly because they hate them – so they have a rooting interest. Same with politics – primary voting is way up this season, because people are interested in the result.
    I think if more people were interested in who won (because they’d seen the movies), ratings would be higher.

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, do you really think that millions of people are choosing to not watch the Oscars because they feel that the stars are too political? Is that just a hunch you have?

  31. Nicol D says:

    ME, Stella,
    I have said this in all of my posts. Politics is by no means the only factor. But I do acknowledge it is a factor.
    George Clooney a few years back said he was proud to be ‘out of touch’ with America. That is his right. Why do you find it so hard to believe that many people might agree with him?

  32. Me says:

    Nicol, I think you’re right in that it is a factor, just not a very big one. Hollywood has been out of touch politically for decades, I don’t see people turning their tvs now because they suddenly found out George Clooney is a liberal.
    Why are you so insitent that it is politics and not because the audience hasn’t seen the movies that were in contention?

  33. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, you’re taking noticeable factors and trends and extrapolating them into something out of shape, and in the wrong direction. Hollywood has always, always had a strong political streak. Do you really think Clooney is more liberal than Vanessa Redgrave or Stanley Kramer?
    Nobody is saying that there aren’t people who wouldn’t be turned off by Hollywood in general, but they aren’t likely to watch the Oscars in a high-rated year either.

  34. L.B. says:

    Be fair, jeff. Vanessa Redgrave only called all Israelis “zionist hoodlums.” Today’s stars say mean things about the Republican Party. It’s a matter of scale, dude.
    There are many reasons why the Oscars lose ratings: more competition, a proliferation of awards shows, and the shrinking fascination with films as an art form are just some of them. But we’re a long way away from several years ago when a roster like this year’s BPs would have been some of the biggest box office draws for the year, too. In general, audiences are shying away from tough and challenging, in all sorts of ways. (How many times are we hearing that the primary season is going on “too long” just because this time just about every state’s votes are going to matter?) We like things easier and safer and this year offered mostly hard movies.
    And the veneration of movies is in sharp decline. They’re really more of a product now and less of something magical (to most people). I like watching the Oscars because I like seeing people whose work I care about get honored (or snubbed), and to see pieces of film history, and to pay a little tribute to the industry I am fascinated with and work in. A lot of people don’t care about that stuff. It’s a much different landscape than it was years ago.
    But I will agree with you on this, Nicol. Our parents probably stopped watching the Oscars because of the political stars. I know mine did.

  35. grandcosmo says:

    I think the overload of award shows can’t be overlooked. From early December through the Academy Awards it is nothing but a a parade of self congratulations from the movie industry to itself (plus the Grammys, plus the People’s Choice Awards. It gets tiring after a while. How many times do we need to see Lewis, the Coens, Bardem, etc. honored? On IMDB Lewis is listed as having won 18 awards for his perfomance in TWBB, and I’m sure he has won dozens of others that aren’t listed.
    Back when the Academy Awards were getting huge television ratings in the 60s and 70s half of the acting, writing and directing noimnees wouldn’t even bother to show up. Now when people care less than ever you’d have to kidnap someone for them not to show up to the AAs. Let alone the many other televised awards shows.

  36. IOIOIOI says:

    Celebrities being political shows that they have some sense of gravitas. Tiger may be the greatest golfer on earth, but we know hardly anything about him. Political leanings of the stars at least give us some inclination that outside of their profession, they give a damn about something. Why celebrities giving a fuck bugs so many people… remains one of those mysteries one can only find the answer to in the plains.

  37. Aris P says:

    1. why is courtney cox on letterman?
    2. why is dennis quaid on leno?
    is there nothing else going on in entertainment world?

  38. Noah says:

    I’m assuming Cox was on to promote the return of her awful show Dirt. Quaid I’m assuming was there for the atrocious Vantage Point. But things are looking up, City of Men and The Other Boleyn Girl are opening up this weekend, so hopefully they’ll give us a respite from a truly terrible start to 2008.

  39. I think the problem the Academy has is that they are eighty years old. People know what to expect. On the off chance that something like Juno gets nominated – a film all my friends loved – people know that “oh, it won’t win so why bother?” Add in the other stuff people are mentioned – low grosses for the nominees and such – add to make up why the audience is dwindling.
    Although, I must wonder – so many movies are released in the last three months of the year that make it to Oscar, but a lot of them are the sort of movies most regular folk would “wait for DVD” for. So when the ceremony comes around they haven’t had the chance to catch up with them.
    The catch 22 is if you release your film too early (say, Zodiac) for a pre-ceremony DVD release then 99 times out of a 100 you’re deemed “too early” and you’ll get snubbed. And then you have to add money onto you advertising budget cause if you get nominated/win you have to change the cover art to reflect it.
    Plus, gone are the days when movies like Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones and such can get nominations in the big categories. Juno‘s nom this year was the closest they’ve come to the times when comedies like Tootsie could get best picture nominations (not comparing the two in terms of quality, just the situation).
    Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but as it’s abundantly clear, people won’t watch if they have no investment.

  40. LexG says:

    This weekend = Lex Boner Week.
    Too bad the latter is wearing a PIG NOSE, but I csn deal with it. Seriously, PENELOPE looks insane and awful as all fuck, but almost HAVE to see that shit to see how two huge female stars and one serious up-and-coming A-lister (Wackavoy) were drawn to a PIG-FACE MOVIE.
    BOLEYN BITCH. BONER TIME. Kinda like THE TUDORS with hotter squack.

  41. Boonwell says:

    “Hotter squack” = best line of the week!

  42. Aris P says:

    Noah, I wouldn’t get too excited about Bolyn Girl. I’ve seen it and it’s not very good.

  43. jeffmcm says:

    Isn’t every week ‘Lex Boner Week’?

  44. bmcintire says:

    Nicol – politics may have some minor sway over the drop in the Oscars’ viewing audience, but don’t give it too much credit. Also note, Clooney’s line about his pride in being “out of touch” was in reaction to a cabal of right-wing nuts labeling Hollywood as being out of touch. See: irony.
    I don’t even think Titanic would bring in the audiences it did in the 90’s. There are way too many outlets available for people to find out who won the Oscars in real-time without having to be bothered to watch the broadcast. And the TMZing of Hollywood culture (now with more labial folds!) has really lessened whatever thrill there used to be in seeing the stars on television. The fact that nearly a half-dozen networks were airing pre-Oscar bullshit also deflates the appearance of prestige and exclusivity for ABC’s telecast. (I for one would love to travel back in time and strangle whoever it was that first asked “Who are you wearing?” in their crib.)
    And if the “glut” of awards shows were really a culprit, the cancellation of so many of them should have made this year’s Oscar broadcast a huge one.

  45. Aris P says:

    Absolutely spot-on with that TMZing of Hollywood point. Seeing a star walk down a red carpet means absolutely nothing to anyone anymore.

  46. And so many stars this year wore black or navy. BOOORING. I want a freakin’ swan dress!

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