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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – No Sex, Please

Have I mentioned… I Love New York.
No crane fell on me this morning, but I have been having a lovely day seeing some of my favorite people and places… making up for the painfully unambitious revival of A Chorus Line that we saw last night. (It did make me think that a thoughtful revival of that show and/or Hair could really be great right now. And bring on the John Osborne plays… angry young man is “in.”)
More to come, including a radio spot, another studio meal, and Passing Strange.
The sun is out, the city is alive, and any conversation not involving four women trying to live an era that happily concluded years ago is exciting.
How about you?

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39 Responses to “BYOB – No Sex, Please”

  1. LexG says:


  2. Cadavra says:

    We saw CHORUS LINE–with Charlotte D’Amboise as Cassie–last year and loved it. Mebbe the current cast isn’t up to snuff.

  3. tyler666 says:

    Have you seen the Burn After Reading trailer?
    Ok, now its official , this is the year of the Pitt.
    Fincher, Malick and the Coens. I doubt anyone can top that. And judging from the trailers he has a Classic on the making (Buttons) and an hilarious part in Burn. Best actor and suporting nods?

  4. I was gonna go see THE STRANGERS today but my sisters dog got out of the house, ran down the street and got killed on the nearby freeway. My bro in law was chasing the dog and saw the whole thing. Ugh. Suddenly I wasn’t in the mood for torture porn.
    Normally I don’t share personal stuff but it got me thinking about how I was o.k. with seeing innocents get tormented onscreen for my entertainment and then how NOT entertaining it suddenly became after I got the bad news. Weird.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    That’s a sign that all those horror movies actually _haven’t_ corrupted your soul.

  6. Hopscotch says:

    I’d hold your horses on that tyler666. Trailers are deceiving. And Malick’s movies are not usually about performances, or at least the performances don’t get that much attention from critics / award givers.
    But yeah, that BAR trailer looks rad.

  7. Dellamorte says:

    I like New York in June.
    Beats London in May.

  8. leahnz says:

    that’s awful, don, just thought i’d offer my sympathies. losing a beloved pet like that is heart wrenching.

  9. eugenen says:

    Don — sorry about the dog. Just thought I’d note that “The Strangers” is hardly “torture porn.” The violence is light enough that I suspect the R rating was for the couple of F-bombs.

  10. sky_capitan says:

    Curve The Bullet! looking forward to seeing Wanted
    I’m liking the Hollywood, Ink
    I”m never buying anything but blu-ray or hd’s (while they still exist) ever again! I’m addicted. Watching National Treasure 2 with Diane Kruger in High Def in sweet 1080p 120hz is pretty awesome.

  11. movieman says:

    You didn’t miss anything special, Don.
    “The Strangers” is tautly directed and compelling enough for 85 speedy minutes. But, when it was over I thought, “What was the point of all that unpleasantness?”
    At least “Funny Games” (both versions) had a point to make about the audience’s (unacknowledged?) complicity in watching people get brutalized on screen.
    For what it’s worth, I thought the largely unheralded “Vacancy” and the French cult curio “Them” were both better.
    According to Variety, “S&TC” grossed “at least” $20-million on Friday alone. Pretty remarkable numbers for a movie a lot of naysayers (male chauvinist piglets?) were anxious to write off.
    And yep, the “Burn After Reading” trailer is mighty sweet indeed.
    It looks like the Coens having a little “Lebowski”/”Raising Arizona”-style fun again. Heaven only knows what “Ocean’s” fans lured in by the Clooney-Pitt reunion will make of it, though.
    Gee, Tyler: do you really think Malick is gonna have his new film ready for release by year’s end? Considering his track record, I wouldn’t hold my breath…although it would definitely be an unexpected, and most appreciated, Xmas treat.

  12. Don, very sad to hear. I’ve owned a few pets over my (limited, admittedly) years and I cried more over my beloved cat Sam dying than I have over much more “serious” stuff. Hope your sister and B-I-L are okay.
    Eugenen, I imagine the R rating for The Strangers is more for “terror”.
    In regards to the Burn After Reading trailer, it looks very good. Pitt actually looks impressive for a change. “Dickwad” and “He didn’t give it to me” especially made me laugh. And Tilda Swinton is just the bees knees so it’s always good to have her around.

  13. Bennett says:

    going to New York in August to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium….Ahhh..NYC in August where the air is hot, humid, and stagnant….Anyway…David…How is passing strange?? I was considering see it..Thanks

  14. crazycris says:

    the small screen is much more tempting than the big one this weekend… what with a lack of interesting films where I am, the rain, and the current tennis tournament with some amazing matches that get the adrenaline pumping more than anything on the silverscreen right now! it helps that I’m in the right time zone to watch it too! ;o)

  15. Breedlove says:

    DP – not sure if you’re aware but the Public is in fact mounting Hair this summer as the second Shakespeare in the Park show. Hamlet, the first, is in previews I believe. Looking forward to catching both.

  16. Thanks all, I feel better about it now. But the whole thing has made me question if and why I want to see such movies. Damned life…always ruins things.

  17. leahnz says:

    don, your real-life horror also got me to thinking about much the same thing…(i hope i’m not being insensitive in raising the subject here so soon, i certainly mean no disrespect)
    as a hard-core scary movie lover i have often asked myself, ‘why do i like this scary shit? is there something wrong with me?’. for those of us who love good horror (and to me that means ‘scary’ not ‘slashy’; i don’t find that hostel/saw crap scary in the slightest, though i would classify the original ‘halloween’ as both scary and slashy), there must be a reason, a component of the psyche, that non-horror lovers just don’t share.
    over the years i’ve read all sorts of stuff in which someone has tried to explain the appeal of scary movies (the adrenaline rush, harmless dark fantasies, fear without danger, fight or flight stimulus, blah blah blah) but no-one’s ever nailed it for me…when i comes to real life i can’t stand the thought of people or animals getting hurt, it makes me feel physically ill (to this day i can’t watch anything about the holocaust or concentration camps; in high school we had to watch an old film of the dead bodies being bulldozed into mass graves at a concentration camp in history class and i FAINTED, v. embarrassing) but give me the ‘dawn of the dead’ remake or ‘the ring’ or ‘jacob’s ladder’ or ‘blair witch’ or ‘the changeling’ or ‘insert great scary movie here’ and i’m giddy as a kid in a candy store! what is up with that? any insight from fellow fear-o-philes? is there something just a tad wrong with us? i wonder

  18. Noah says:

    Leahnz, I would assume that part of the thrill comes from the subconscious knowledge that what you’re watching is not real. It provides some distance and allows you to get your jollies from the sheer viscera on display. It’s probably a good reason why perfectly stable people play videogames like Grand Theft Auto; if you take out the element of actual human harm, then all that’s left is the excitement of the taboo.
    Anyway, that’s my best guess, but it’s a great question.

  19. LexG says:

    It rules to see motherfuckers get OWNED.

  20. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, like how I’d like to imagine Lex get brutally beaten and murdered, but I don’t really want it to happen.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Wow, did that just come out of little old me?

  22. The Big Perm says:

    leahnz, I think it’s like in Fight Club…we have it so easy, we need some thrills. Why would anyone go on a rollercoaster or jump out of an airplane? It’s safe scares (maybe less so with that airplane jumping).
    And there’ such a huge difference in movies and real life, so when people make comparisons in a way it’s odd. I’ve seen thousands of people die in the movies, and a person die in real life in a violent way, and when you see that real violence, you understand just how fake the Hollywood shit is. And after that violent encounter, I didn’t really want to watch that kind of material for a bit, but then eventually you fall back in the old ways and life goes on, and you kick back and watch Nightmare on Elm Street 5 again.
    And of course there’s Lex with more interesting, funny and unique insights. He told me I had none of those qualities, and after seeing his post, I can see I should listen to his wonderful advise since he’s so so so right. And also, ugly and fat.

  23. I’ve always thought of horror movies as ways to experience the darker side of life without all the depressing bits like knowing people are actually dying. Does that make sense?
    It’s sort of why I don’t like stuff like Saw or Hostel or why I didn’t like Funny Games, either. They may not be real in any way shape or form, but they are depressing, and if I wanted to be depressed about life then I could watch any number of well-made films that do the trick, but do so with talent and potent filmmaking. Why should I be depressed and watch a bad movie at the same time. Sitting watching those sorts of movies I feel uncomfortable. Like, I have no reason whatsoever to be watching them. They’re not scary, they’re not good, they’re not entertaining in any way, there’s not much, if anything, redeeming about them. That feeling is perhaps the worst feeling I can have while watching a movie.
    Watching something like Prom Night was painful (my gut hurt from laughing so much, ZING!), but it’s not harmful and once it was over I forgot all about it. Something like Saw II, however, was painful and depressing and contemptable and I don’t like feeling that way.
    er… did any of that make sense?
    Although, I must say, I like a good scary movie, but anything involving medical procedures is going too far. When I was something like six years old, Dr Giggles scared me much like The Swarm did at the same age. If anybody ever decides to make a movie about scalpal-weilding killer wasps then you’re never seeing a single cent from me.
    I’m gonna go cry now at the mere thought of it.

  24. leahnz says:

    interesting thoughts. i pretty much agree with everything said and it all made perfect sense… i guess i’m easy. (to convince, that is! it’s been a long day and i’m a bit loopy)
    you know what scares the bejesus out of me? that calliope carnival music…something wicked this way comes…
    oh, while were on the scary movie subject, i have a question for any and all fans of ‘the blair
    witch project’: exactly what bloody little body part was in that bundle? that bug’s been up my ass for so long now, i’ve never been able to figure it out. please tell me someone has the answer

  25. Isn’t it Josh’s finger? Or a part thereof. (and I’m a very big fan of that movie)
    BTW, has anyone listened to ScarJo’s album, Anywhere I Lay My Head. I may be in the minority, but I am absolutely entranced. It sounds exactly like some longlost Nico/Grace Jones record from the ’80s.

  26. The Big Perm says:

    It’s been awhile, but I remember on the commentary they said it was teeth that they got from a dentist.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, it was teeth.

  28. leahnz says:

    eew. teeth is far worse than a finger, which is what i thought it might, or an ear, or a cut piece of intestine…(my ‘blair witch’ dvd doesn’t have a commentary option, i guess that’s what you get when you buy the single disk no frills editions out of the $6 bargain bin)

  29. leahnz says:

    kam, i haven’t heard scarjo yet but a friend of mine was raving about it yesterday, so you’re not alone feelin’ the love

  30. ployp says:

    RE: Terminator 4
    Bryce Dallas Howard may play Kate instead of Charlotte Gainsbourg. I still want Claire Danes…

  31. leahnz says:

    thanks for that, ployp! we are on the same page, i want claire back, too.
    (i’m having a really hard time picturing bryce as kate next to christian b…can’t do it. maybe my imagination is broken)

  32. Oh well, Terminator 4 is officially doomed. Has Howard ever been a movie that turned out to be good? The Village? Manderlay? Spider-Man 3?

  33. leahnz says:

    lol (can i add ‘lady in the water’ to that rather unfortunate list)

  34. jeffmcm says:

    Manderlay is half good – she’s better cast than Nicole Kidman was in the same part.

  35. That’s so… frightening. Kidman was amazing. Howard was most definitely not.

  36. ployp says:

    R.I.P. Terminator 4… This all begs the question: what in the world was Christian Bale thinking?

  37. jeffmcm says:

    I said ‘casting’, KCamel. Bryce Howard is better casting for the role of an innocent, naive young woman than Nicole Kidman, who was obviously in her 30s. You can argue that in Von Trier’s world where a town can exist without walls that age-consistent casting is irrelevant, but her presence as ‘Nicole Kidman, movie star’ distracted me through the whole movie.

  38. When someone says “[so-and-so] was better cast than [so-and-so]” I take that as meaning they think the latter is better than the former. So, nevermind, I guess.

  39. leahnz says:

    what about the new rumour floating around the interweb regarding john connor’s fate in t4? does anyone think there’s any validity to it?
    (i wasn’t sure if i should even post it here because if it’s true it’s so…spoilerific, and gross and weird to boot. i hope it’s just white noise shite)

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