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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB – Tues679

Been on the run all day taping interviews… excellent and exhausting. And on the way out shortly for a screening. Will try to catch up soon. Meanwhile, SAG’s yea or nay is on it’s way…
I am ongoingly embarrassed to watch so many alleged journalists try to start picking the bones of Harvey & Bob Weinstein, anticipating the end, when the story is so very old and has not changed one bit. They started the company with too little capital. They have run the company with too little capital. When you have too little capital and don’t have a mega-hit to bail you out, you eventually go out of business. There is nothing more definitive about the next six months than about the last 26 months. They are just running out of chances… again. Tarantino has failed them commercially… again. (HW’s fault for indulging a niche filmmaker with 4 quadrant budgets and final cut.) And they are relying on an Oscar movie to bail them out… again.
They should have signed with Disney at $400 million a year when they could and more of the movies they have made or bought would have been distributed properly. Instead they went into the MGM distribution shit hole, their few big gambles failed to pay off, then went off on their own when MGM turned broke and pay-tv-less, and there is no loose, movie-crazy money out there to bail them out this time. (Ryan Kavanaugh has been bent over more times than Miss May, Miss November, Miss Dee Fied combined… but too many people in there already for him to save HW.)
Shut down TWC, open H&B Pictures, fund anything over $15 million individually with foreign money… and let’s move on.
Harvey Weinstein may be a lot of bad things, but he deserves the status of a legend and watching him twist in the breeze may amuse some jackals, but it does nothing for me. He did more for this business and for art house films than 97% of the people who are looking to dance on his grave. Fuck them and the failed ambitions they rode in on.
I am so done with trying to figure out how many sleeping pills were in the bottle every day in this town lately. Bullets, bankruptcy or bifurcation. Grow some balls and make a choice already.
Here’s some space for you all to chat while Lex sleeps it off.

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36 Responses to “BYOB – Tues679”

  1. Triple Option says:

    If they had gone to Disney, would they have still been able to make the films that they wanted to make? How bad would it have been if they had failed by someone else’s hand? Capital doesn’t exactly grow on trees. What other options did they have? Or, if they did, what would the advantage be of a low-cap prod co business model?
    So is Harvey Weinstein the Bobby Knight of the film industry?

  2. EthanG says:

    This week seems to have the most powerhouse limited releases in a looong time with “Moon,” “Tetro,” and “Food Inc.” Anyone seen any of the 3??
    And after the succession of an Oscar-nominated musical, a terrible African-American targeted (but succesful comedy), and a crappy-unless-you’re-stoned sci-fi big budget vehicle that tanked….Eddie Murphy goes back to children’s fantasy-fun-fare.
    Unlike Murphy’s last two movies, this one is getting some kind-of-positive reviews. But it seems like his 2nd straight bomb at the box office. Where the hell does his career go from here? The fact that he looks like he has barely aged in 20 years makes things more interesting…

  3. LYT says:

    I’ve seen Food Inc. It’s good. You expect it to be a knee-jerk Peta/veganism screed but it totally isn’t…though some will stereotype it without seeing it, it’s hard to peg as having either a fully left or right agenda.

  4. LexG says:

    One of the Food Inc. guys (the director maybe?) was on Real Time With Bill Maher last week, and it’s definitely an interesting/scary topic…
    But what exactly is the alternative? The guy and Bill were running down the list of foods that are “bad for you,” and I know Maher is hugely opposed to the food industry’s practices and is a bit of a health nut…
    But is it really realistic to expect Americans to, what, get down on their knees and eat grass from their yard? Pick berries? Asking an awfully lot of citizens to expect we all have the means or even interest to start eating SOY, wheatgrass and fucking tree bark just because it hasn’t been “preserved” with chemicals. I’m not opposed to hearing the argument, but what’s the solution? Sorry, folks, but junk food is cheap, tasty and easy, and no matter how much “education” you provide, that’s NEVER going to be something that’ll win over the masses.
    Try telling an underpriviledged family of six to wean their kids off McDonald’s and feed him a steady diet of soy and front lawn. It’ll never happen, and if you do manage to get that kid eating “healthy,” he’ll be a colossal pussy.

  5. EthanG says:

    Lol…I don’t know about being a pussy. Are kids of farmers considered pussies?? Perhaps in suburbia….another solution could be what the people who scavenge for food from the garbage advocate…Freegans I think…but that’s pretty disgusting.
    The only thing I won’t eat is KFC. After finding what looked like a partly cooked chicken brain with dangling nerve endings in my food…plus seeing videos of deranged KFC employees pummel live chickens with their hands, feet, mouths, etc…never again.

  6. lawnorder says:

    Dave, you have obviously never known Harvey W. in a one on one way or had drinks with some of the filmmakers he’s fucked over and had them open up to you. Why should I or anyone else have compassion for one of the most heartless, arrogant, duplicitous human beings to ever walk the planet? The man has shattered the dreams and hopes of SO many people that you can’t even begin to comprehend the amount of emotional corpses he’s left in his wake. Until you’ve personally directed a film – a good film – and see what he’s backroom cutting has done to your passion project, you cannot speak to his “greatness.” If it were just filmmakers that he’s fucked over pissing on his grave, then it would be a LOT of piss. Again, this is a human being who lacks the gene for any kind of compassion when it comes to the fate and wellbeing of another human being. What he’s put actors, directors, writers and his own staff through cannot truly be written about – because Harvey would sue and break these ordinary people financially and no publisher would take on a real Harvey takedown book. I know a filmmaker who was literally suicidal after Harvey butchered his film. The same guy’s wife almost left him because how emotionally fucked up he became after Weinstein just chopped his film up to the point that it made no sense and against all better advice. The same film then bombed and was critically reviled. I do not see Harvey as a legend or a great man. I see him as someone who steals others dreams, who can maybe recognize brilliance in others but will not let them act on their brilliance or originality when working for his company. This is a guy who hates to lose and will stack the deck anyway he can to triumph, no matter the body count. And then he will gloat about it. And blow a wad in satisfaction. There are things I won’t even write about because he will likely claim defamation, but if you think a dickwad like Harvey deserves legendary status, then you have real low standards for humanity. He’s lucked out with a couple of really good films that he had the good sense not to demolish in post and in many cases, the filmmaker was probably protected by his stars to some degree. True story: David Geffen once had lunch with an upcoming director whose latest film had just opened to scathing reviews – but Geffen was an admirer of the film and invited the guy to lunch. Geffen asks him, so what are you doing next? The filmmaker says: I’m making a passion project of mine for Harvey Weinstein. Let me tell you what it’s about. Geffen immediately stops him and says, tell me what you’re going to do after THAT film, because you’ll never get to make it the way you want and you’ll hate the end result. My friend thought, that was a little presumptious of Geffen and they proceeded to talk about other things. Two years later, after going through the hell of Harvey’s post production ass fucking, he realized that Geffen called it right. Bottom line: the man has no soul. He has shitty taste. And he no longer has any balls. If he had ANY common sense, he wouldn’t have fucked over the filmmakers he did (Scorsese, Boyle, Del Toro, Shyamalan, Taymor, etc., etc.) and still think he would have a viable future as a patron of film in this town. He’s a bottom feeder now, either working with first timers who need the break (even though many of them later regret it) and hasbeens who tolerate the Scissorhands treatment. I guess he’ll always have Tarantino, until Quentin wises up and starts to pre-sell his own product. I cry me no tears for this piece of shit. Amen.

  7. mutinyco says:

    I didn’t realize Kerouac posted here…

  8. Wrecktum says:

    The schadenfreude is obvious, Poland. Harvey Weinstein is a very bad man and has alienated half the town and made the other half jealous. Sure he’s a legend, but it took a lot of terror to get there.

  9. The InSneider says:

    Lawnorder, for every filmmaker Harvey has fucked over, think about how many he’s helped and inspired. I was all of 13 when I chose my first AOL screenname, MiraJeff, after Miramax, for two reasons. One my mother’s name is also Miriam. And second, my favorite movies were Pulp Fiction, Scream and The Crow. I remember taking Harvey’s Golden Globe reaction the year of Bobby. It was a dream come true. I was some intern on the phone with Harvey fucking Weinstein. I don’t get why so many journos are aching to see him go out of business. The man may have his enemies but he’s responsible for some incredible films and careers. DP is right. HW is a legend, and frankly, so is Bob, because its his genre movies that have kept the brothers in business. Last reason I love the Weinsteins… a Buffalo-set play, written my sophomore year at NYU. HOW BOB WEINSTEIN’S AFIKOMEN SAVED MY VIDEO STORE. Best thing I ever wrote.

  10. I wouldn’t defend Harvey, but the number of great/classic/amazing films he has distributed – successfully or not – is damned impressive.

  11. Oh, I just found out that Bruno has scored an R18+ rating here in Aus. That’s the equivelant to your NC17 (but less prudish). Further proof that it will be amazing.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    “I’m not opposed to hearing the argument, but what’s the solution?”
    Lex, you’re a reactionary, by which I mean, someone who can’t stand to listen to arguments that unsettle his lifestyle choices. The situation isn’t a binary choice between “all-McDonald’s, all-the-time” and “soy, wheatgrass, and air”. Simple things, like just cutting soft drinks out of one’s diet, can have a big difference.

  13. LexG says:

    HOLY SHIT, Yancyskancy was NOT KIDDING.
    I hope Poland doesn’t delete-o-fun this one because it’s going to be FUNNY AND FUN.
    Today I was in Burbank and trying desperately to find STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE on DVD. Unfortunately it’s OOP unless you can get it used, so I went to some used/trade-in chain called FYE on Olive?
    Anyway, THEY TOTALLY HAVE BELLA SWAN STANDEES for sale in there. Like actual LIFE SIZE CARDBOARD K-STEW, 5’5″, dressed like Bella and TOTALLY AWESOME. I started SHAKING at the sight of this like a 14-year-old trying to shoplift a Penthouse… I HAVE TO HAVE IT, NOW… but I didn’t dare bring it to the counter.
    They appeared to have one display model in the middle of the DVD aisle, and I sat there enraptured, imagining it AS THE CENTERPIECE of my LIVING ROOM… I was MESMERIZED. IT MUST BE MINE. And they even had pristine cardboard copies folded neatly in the poster section. I think it was 30 bucks, but the two employees were one dude and one chick… and the place was crowded.
    I totally pussied out and left without buying it, but I can’t stop thinking of its AWESOME MAGIC. They should remake LARS AND THE REAL GIRL as LEX AND THE K-STEW STANDEE. GOOD IDEA.
    So, anyone willing to buy this for me, and we’ll meet in a darkened park late at night for the handover? I’ll throw in 10 extra bucks for the effort and humiliation… I get BELLA and you get a tenner.
    You know where to find me.
    It can also be purchased online from various comic and novelty stores. Will it be wrapped discreetly or will I come home to a GIANT KRISTEN STEWART STANDEE on my doormat? That might trouble the neighbors.
    Same company, if you’re reading this, get on making a JESSICA BIEL, an ANNE HATHAWAY and a CHRISTINA RICCI. I want the full STEVE MARTIN LONELY GUY setup in my pad.

  14. IOIOIOI says:

    You lack the balls to buy a fucking K-Stew standee? Really? Good lord. You really are not that fucking funny.

  15. IOIOIOI says:

    Oh yeah… MIRAFUCKINGJEFF? Freakin geek chat does not die. It only takes on a new name, and a new shape.

  16. LexG says:

    Sorry, IO. That I cannot be. Funny enough for you. And if you. DO NOT APPRECIATE that story. Then it’s ON YOU, McWEENY STYLE.

  17. IOIOIOI says:

    Dude. You turned down K-Stew in your living room due to a lack of being self-referential. Come on, man! HEAT RASH EXPECTS MORE OF YOU! DO NOT FAIL HIM! DO… NOT… FAIL… HIM… YO!
    Nice attack on That Guy Whose an Asshole. He has that name for a reason, and you stuck it to him good. Damn good.

  18. The InSneider says:

    IOIOIOI, this is the point where I tell you any place, anytime.
    Anonymous sack of shit.

  19. yancyskancy says:

    Lex: It’s simple. Just go back to FYE, grab a standee and go to the counter. Then use your acting skills:
    LEX: Hey, is this the main girl in that Twilight movie?
    CLERK: Yeah.
    LEX: Okay, cool. My niece wants this for her birthday, and I wanted to make sure I was getting the right thing.
    I know you can pull this off. Soon, you’ll be taking the K-Stew Standee back home to meet the folks, and the whole town will rally around you, because they’ll think it’s CHARMING. Good luck!

  20. Krazy Eyes says:

    Lex would probably give himself paper cuts on that thing.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    Isn’t Jon Voight the quintessential example of why so many people wish movie stars and the like would keep their mouths shut? It’s also amusing how Beck and O’Reilly and their ilk go apeshit every time Sean Penn opens his mouth because famous types don’t know politics but then can’t wait to give a forum to Voight or Chuck Norris or Ted Nugent or Larry the Cable Guy or country singers or Miss California, etc.

  22. The Big Perm says:

    Yancy, you forget…Lex has no acting skills, he’s a failed actor. He’s going to bring up that standee, and stammer and not make eye contact and stroke his beard, and then leave. And the conversation afterward will be this:
    COUNTERGUY- What was your day like?
    COUNTERGIRL- Weird. Some serial killer just bought a Kristen Stewart standee. He’s probably cutting a hole in the crotch of it already.

  23. The Big Perm says:

    Also, Mirajeff you sound like someone who’s never had to work with the Weinsteins. That’s why a lot of people want to see them fail…they actually had to deal with the Weinsteins.

  24. SJRubinstein says:

    Whatever happened to all those Broadway editions of Miramax titles the Weinsteins were behind? They’ve really shown they can do the stage stuff without much controversy and turned out some truly great productions. I’d think this would be a potentially profitable avenue. And having seen “All About My Mother” at the Old Vic, I can honestly say, there are probably other recent, extraordinarily well-written movies that a stage presentation would only add a new side to.

  25. hcat says:

    “Oh yeah… MIRAFUCKINGJEFF? Freakin geek chat does not die”
    Must hurt being called a geek from a guy who was whining that he was less excited about the GI Joe movie since they were basing it on the wrong cartoon series.

  26. movieman says:

    Am I the only regular contributer on this blog old enough to be getting “Wholly Moses” vibes from “Year One”?
    They’re not “screening” it here in NE Ohio until Wednesday the 17th–and that can’t be a sign of confidence on Sony’s part.
    Hell, they actually did honest-to-God daytime press screenings for “Angels & Demons,” “Pelham” and even “The International” this year so far.
    Hmmm. “Moses” was a Sony June release, too, back in the summer of 1980.
    Finally saw “Imagine That” last nite. Ehhhh. The script felt like a Jim Carrey hand-me-down from the late ’90s, except that it would have probably been funnier than it is now with the pitifully denatured Eddie Murphy. It’s at least 20 minutes too long (the kids at my promo seemed awfully bored: lots of traipsing up and down the aisles throughout), and the nicest thing I can say about it is that it was mostly inoffensive.
    I did like the casual post-Obama multiculturalism, Denver made an attractive enough setting (hey, it could’ve been Vancouver) and the lack of a “happily ever after” (Eddie doesn’t reconcile with his estranged wife at the end for the sake of the kid) was refreshing.
    Two scenes kind of creeped me out, though. The part where Thomas Haden Church awakens his tyke in the middle of the nite and forces Red Bull down his throat to help generate a “visionquest” felt uncomfortably close to child abuse.
    And the bit where Eddie sneaks into the house where his daughter is at a slumber party with her classmates reminded me of the kidnapping/murder of that little girl from Petaluma, California several years. “Ick” on both counts.
    Apropos of nothing, I just finished reading “On the Set of ‘Fellini Satyricon:’ A Behind-the-Scenes Diary,” and was stunned to learn that, although the movie didn’t finish principal photography until July 26, 1969, it had its world premiere on September 4th that same year at the Venice Film Festival.
    Not sure how many of you are familiar with “Satyricon,” but it was an extraordinarily complicated physical production (shooting began on November 9, 1968) for its day with beaucoup extras, set/costume/makeup designers, etc.
    Can you imagine a world-class auteur director today (particularly a Hollywood auteur) getting their movie–any movie; the size is irrelevant–onto the screen so quickly?
    The fact that “Satyricon” is, in my estimation anyway, one of the greatest films ever made, only makes Fellini’s backbreaking achievement all the more remarkable.

  27. Triple Option says:

    Movieman – *Spoilers Tag* s’il vous pla

  28. LexG says:

    Whoa, movieman just broke with a “WHOLLY MOSES” reference! Awesome. I don’t remember much about it, since I was eight when it was on HBO every afternoon right after “Xanadu,” and I always get it mixed up with “In God We Tru$t,” the Marty Feldman masterwork that also has a Richard Pryor cameo.
    Anyone see Eddie Murphy on Conan last night? When he came out it seemed like he paused in front of the curtain, and for a split-second I thought he might be there to do some standup. Of course he didn’t, though was still pretty funny with (a seemingly very nervous) Conan. He even name-checked FRANKLIN AJAYE. GOOD COMIC (and speaking of someone who ruled 1981 HBO…)
    But back to “Year One”… I know everyone likes him for his very patented laid-back shtick, but DOES Michael Cera have another shade? Dude’s packing about as much testosterone as Moby on a lazy afternoon eating lunch at GOOD EARTH. Does this dude ever get manic or excitable or worked up? I’m trying to think of who his predecessors would be in terms of absolutely passive comedic energy, and if they ever mixed it up. I’m saying, I like the guy, but damn… he might wanna consider growing a handlebar stache and playing an amped-up gun-wielding tweaker in some L.A. underworld crime flick next time out. Mix it up.

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    Totally agree with you about Cera, Lex. As a huge Arrested Development fan I was happy to see him make it in the movies, but his shtick is wearing a little thin. Year One doesn’t look remotely funny and both Cera and Black appear to be doing the same old, same old.

  30. hcat says:

    ‘I’m trying to think of who his predecessors would be in terms of absolutely passive comedic energy’
    I can only think of Bob Newhart, and maybe Jack Benny.

  31. hcat says:

    Though if they ever remade “Oh God” Cena would be great for the Bob Denver role. The more I think about it it seems Superbad will be the pinnacle of most of the castmates careers. Cera, Hill, Mclovin (don’t even know that guys real name), Hader and to a certain extent Rogan (I haven’t seen Serve and Protect yet so I can’t comment on any range he shows in that film)all played the same guys they always play and it worked great but when they keep playing these same guys five years down the line I can’t imagine we won’t get sick of it.

  32. movieman says:

    Sorry, Option. I didn’t think anyone who blogged on here gave two shits about some lameass Eddie Murphy kidflick. (And yes, “Meet Dave” was better. Imagine that.)
    You cracked me up with your Cera riff, Lex.
    I’ve loved the dude since “Arrested Development,” but his schtick is growing a tad old.
    Grow some balls, kid, or prepare to become the new Andrew McCarthy.

  33. LYT says:

    for what it’s worth, “Food Inc.” is made by people who admit to still loving and eating hamburgers. As I said, it’s harder to peg than you think.

  34. Martin S says:

    Any Youtube clips floating around from when Dave used to be the lead-in for WCW? Was it called the Hot Button?
    Lex. if you’ve got the bag, that would be your perfect angle. Find those pieces and reboot Poland. For old times sake, the segment should jump to IO cutting a promo in the back of an arena.

  35. Triple Option says:

    Thanks movieman. I’d be lying if I said I “want” to see the movie, but it could be something I’d end up seeing.
    Anyone else noticing the incremental increase in gas prices. I know it sounds like I live in the south and am complaining about the heat but twice a week for the past 6 weeks, 4-6 cents a pop. More than the actual ding to the wallet, it just makes me feel so disempowered. Like I can exercise and control my weight. I can change my diet and lower my cholesterol. I can put on a sweater and keep my heat costs down. Install water conserving shower heads. Not petro.
    When I was paying for my health insurance, I’d get pissed about those random letters announcing the raise in premiums/decrease in coverage. I also switched to calling cards because I got so sick of AT&T changing long distance rates and packages. But in these cases, I still felt like I had options. And it’s not that I expect the price of a loaf of bread to remain a nickel.
    I guess what gets me is that most of the fuel charge changes are predictive and not reactionary. Sure they have the right to run their business how they see fit, I just don’t like how it feels they’re saying “we’re gonna F.U. now so we won’t feel a pinch later on, kthx.”
    I really hope I don’t get any e-mails this summer blaming the rates on the Chinese, terrorists or any only buy American gas, (even though their prices were 2-3 cents less). And it’s not that I am not thankful for all that I do have, I just sometimes wish I could get like one giant fuel bill, like a student loan or medical bill, mortgage or credit card statement. Show what they want from every man, woman and child on the planet (I’m pretty sure someone’s already got it calculated) and let me just make payments each month until I pay it down to zero. At least then I could feel like I’m making a dent or accomplishing something instead of being shaken down for my last bit of change outside of Spudnuts Donuts.

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