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David Poland

By David Poland

A Little Inside Basseball

Please excuse me while I implore fellow film writers to get themselves to How To Fold A Flag, which is screening selectively, pre-Toronto, in LA on Monday.
The film is the final part of an Iraq trilogy by Michael Tucker and Petra Eperlein… and I consider all three films to be amongst the very best made on and around the subject. Gunner Palace took us into the lives of the soldiers in the cities of Iraq for the first time, as they lived in one of Uday Hussein’s former summer palaces and tried to survive IEDs when they went on patrol. The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair told the story of an Iraqi journalist, swept up by a US patrol (as seen in passing in Gunner Palace), who gets abused by both the US and the Iraqi government for no reason but the madness of war. And now, How to Fold A Flag brings it all home to the US, literally. Characters we’ve met in the other films and some new faces try to adjust to coming home… some for better, some for worse… mostly in between.
This team has been ahead of the curve in these docs every time. They are hard and funny and only ever as sentimental as survivors get.
If David Magdael hasn’t already sent you an invite – and you are press and you know who he is, which you should if you are legit – drop him a line. This is exactly the kind of film one can miss on opening weekend… and it won’t play again until the second Friday. So do yourself a favor and get on it now.

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4 Responses to “A Little Inside Basseball”

  1. Ray_Pride says:

    They have another doc in there: Bulletproof Salesman, which I recommend in either the longer or shorter versions. A man who sells armored cars over there… hoping to keep ahead of the latest variations on IEDs. Dark, funny, v. well-made.

  2. Kim Voynar says:

    Didn’t that play SXSW a while back?

  3. David Poland says:

    It was last year’s film, including at TIFF… but the filmmakers don’t count it as part of the trilogy.

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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.

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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.

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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