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David Poland

By David Poland

Bring Your Own Blog

Heading up to the Santa Barbara Film Festival for a few days… hoping for less rain than more… limited posting while on the road…

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52 Responses to “Bring Your Own Blog”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    DP is going there… JW is going there… Why do the words “Appointment in Samarra” pop into my head?

  2. lazarus says:

    Assuming DP wouldn’t just ignore him and walk away, I’m predicting an in-person congratulations on the baby boy (to complement the email JW already sent).
    I’m not saying it’s gonna be a kiss-and-make-up affair, but mild pleasantries would still be a big step. Never underestimate the bonding power of having children.

  3. Man. Dave’s never gonna shake the Wells thing, apparently.

  4. Me says:

    This is a BYOB, so let me ask, hopefully without stirring up a hornet’s nest. I watched Munich again, for the first time since it came out. I liked it a lot better than the first time I saw it.
    Then there’s the love-making scene where we cut back and forth to the violence in Munich, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the context between the cutting is supposed to mean, other than some pretentious film-school thing about making love versus making war.
    The main character is never seen really being haunted by the Olympics or anything like that. Far from it. He’s more haunted by his own actions and the possibility of people killing him or his family (including accusing the Israel embassy). Why would he possibly think about it then?
    It felt too theatrical (which makes sense since it was written by the writer of Angels in America).
    It just struck me how such a good movie can with one really bad note, ruin it from being a great movie.

  5. Foamy Squirrel says:

    The same thing happens in Watchmen – it switches between Night Owl and Silk Spectre’s heroism-as-a-substitute-for-viagra and Rorschach mutilating criminals in graphic detail.
    It’s either fairly sophomoric “juxtaposition” hackery or an astonishingly poor sense of tone.
    (As an anecdote, we had someone walk out of the theatre swearing loudly during the last few minutes of Watchmen – either a Moore purist upset at the lack of squid, or just annoyed that the movie wasn’t what it said on the tin)

  6. I need to rewatch MUNICH again but couldn’t that scene be construed as showing the emotional polarities Bana’s character has? He can be a gentle lovemaker who cares deeply for his wife but will kill mercilessly for his country? Something like that anyway. Like I said, gotta watch it again.

  7. zyg says:

    @kristopher tapley (or anybody who knows what he means)
    what do you mean ‘the wells thing’? i know you’re talking about jeff wells, but what’s new with that?
    i’ve been following his site and it’s getting more militant (on wells’ part) over there all the time.
    just wondering what wells/poland issues are cooking now…

  8. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Must… resist urge… to make… “invading Poland”… remarks…

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    Once, they were friends. But then DP rose to prominence as a charioteer, while JW was sold into slavery and worked aboard a… Oh, wait, sorry, that’s Ben-Hur. Never mind.

  10. zyg says:

    well, whatever. HE is getting weird. JW quoted some bizarre cultish stuff:
    between that and the banning of commentors who question his rudeness and his sort-of kind-of racist/misogynist remarks about mo’nique, HE is starting to creep me out.
    hoping for you guys’ take (since you can speak your mind on the subject w/o fear of being banned)
    is JW getting weirder or is it business as usual at HE?

  11. leahnz says:

    “Once, they were friends. But then DP rose to prominence as a charioteer, while JW was sold into slavery and worked aboard a… Oh, wait, sorry, that’s Ben-Hur. Never mind.”
    just gotta say, that about made me piss my pants laughing

  12. Direwolf says:

    Wanted to pass along that I attended the Sundance USA showing of Jack Goes Boating at the Music Box Theater in Chicago last Thursday. Having been to Sundance the last two years but unable to go this year, I found this to be a nice substitute. It had the same feel as Sundance and Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ruiz took questions for about 45 minutes after the film. I think the idea of taking some Sundance films on the road during the festival is great and I hope whoever was involved in that decision is getting positive feedback. I will say the experience was a bit melancholy as as much as I enjoyed it I realized that I would not be at Sundance this year. If anyone has herad feedback on the success of this venture, please pass it along.
    As to Jack Goes Boating, it was well acted and I thought well directed by PSH in his first directing gig. He did direct the play and stars in it with the much of the rest of cast so it may not be that much of a stretch. One thing was clear in Q&A, PSH loves his craft and the whole process of filmmaking. Cool use of music in the film was another highlight. Not my favorite film ever by a long shot but a worthy use of a couple of hours.

  13. leahnz says:

    speaking of phil seymour hoff, i happened to catch him in ‘twister’ the other afternoon when i was napping on the couch, what a doofus. he’s come a long way, baby

  14. I rented DADDY LONGLEGS on-demand the other night, it’s one of the films Sundance made available on-demand the same day it premiered at the fest. Great little film…shot on 16mm….very understated but also quite terrifying in that the main character may be one of the worst on-screen parents EVER. Highly recommend it if you have it available in your area.
    Plus if you turn your heater wayyy up, dress all in black (preferably in a pea coat, get a hangover, stuff some cotton up your nose to replicate the altitudes affect on your head and hire someone to text throughout the movie, it’ll be just like you’re AT Sundance!

  15. christian says:

    “Beware those who are quick to censor — they are afraid of what they do not know.”
    For Wells to post that without a shred of irony…

  16. MAGGA says:

    re: Munich, all the flashbacks to the massacre are tied to family moments (removing his wedding ring while traveling to Europe, hearing his baby’s voice on the phone, making love to his wife). The first two times the events motivate him to carry out the vengeance, which he has to leave his family for. It’s almost like solace, he justifies all his horrific actions and the abandonment of his biological family in order to protect his extended family, the Israelis. He then gets deeply suspicuious about that extended family, as he feels betrayed by them. He then seeks refuge with his nuclear family, but the events have defined his thinking to such an extend that it becomes integral to his identity. See also the milk replaced by blood during their first assasination, the revelations of his ambivalence towards cultural inheritence during his conversation with the palistinians (“do you really mis your father’s olive trees”) and his fascination with the father figure who abandons all loyalties except his large family. He may not have had a huge breakdown while seeing the events on television (in fact he makes love to his wife moments later, another association), but he keeps his true self hidden, which makes him seem perfect for this kind om mission. The development of his character is that he starts to doubt, and the flashbacks are the revelations of his obsession which is otherwise not revealed. The one thing that keeps him going over the years becomes an obstacle to keeping his sanity once normal life ensues. Things will never be normal again. And then, in the next scene, he is rejected in his offer to break bread with another Jew, as their relationship is, as all Avner’s relationships are, based on payback. The juxtaposition between love and hate is there in the sex scene, sure, but it’s banality is justified in the larger context of the film IMO. His father was also in the army, and admired for his actions, another link between family and voilent protection. This is Spielberg’s auteurist obsession in nearly all his films; family, father figures, relating to children, ordinary people under extraordinary preassure, and so it should come as little surprise that he sees the struggle of Israel as a family tragedy.

  17. Me says:

    Magga, that’s a good read of the film, but for me, it just didn’t feel like it fit within the context of the character. The flashbacks never seemed to flow into of from the rest of the film, and only work if you decide to see it as an exploration of the themes rather than of the mindset of the character. Obviously it works for others, but I wonder if the difficulties I had with it stem from the awkward way the film was editted so quickly and in pieces rather than as a whole after the filming wrapped.

  18. lazarus says:

    I didn’t buy it either, Me. That juxtaposition at the end is the mark of someone who still has some growing up to do, not surprising considering how little sex has been present in his films before.
    I will give Spielberg credit for showing us Marie-Jos

  19. Has anyone seen Empire’s list of the 50 worst movies ever made? Apparently bad movies weren’t made before the 1980s, nor made outside of America. For what should have been an entertaining segway, it was actually kinda boring.

  20. Geoff says:

    I love Munich, but those flashbacks throughout the movie even nagged at me – how can this character know or remember everything that happened in such detail? I really think Spielberg could have easily wiped away any doubt of that with just one shot of Avner asleep on the plane with an open file in front of him……says it all.

  21. The Pope says:

    MAGGA proposes a very good reading of MUNICH and thus explains the motivation for inter-cutting the violence with the love scene. But despite MAGGA’s argument, I find what Spielberg did was incredibly crude, like a “big” idea from a film student: “Let’s present it as a dialectic in the way Eisenstein would have done if sound had been at his disposal.”
    I consider MUNICH to be one of Spielberg’s greatest films; complex, mature, messy (i.e., politics are contradictory) and, moments of great nuance and subtlety, that sequence was simply crude and vulgar.

  22. scooterzz says:

    leydon – nicely done…i laughed out loud…

  23. yancyskancy says:

    So the director of DREAMGIRLS is developing a series for HBO about a showbiz blogger not unlike Nikki Finke. Sorry, Dave. 🙂

  24. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I don’t know, does Dave have the gams for stockings?

  25. That project is going to be a disaster. Nobody gives a shit.

  26. I hope Saul Rubinek plays David in the series. Mostly because we need more Saul Rubinek and, chest hair.

  27. EthanG says:

    I wonder if Box Office Mojo reads the hot blog? They offered up a well-written piece defending the use of attendance figures re: Avatar:

  28. EOTW says:

    JW banned me because I said he was “whiter than Jay Leno.”

  29. jeffmcm says:

    JW banned me for mentioning, offhandedly, that he was over 60. He offered to unban me as long as I agreed to never under any circumstances mention that fact to anyone in the universe in perpetuity. I declined.

  30. storymark says:

    I actually asked Wells to ban me from his site because I was so fed up with his nastiness. He called me an asshole for it, which felt kinda good.

  31. I got banned twice for calling him on his terrible, awful treatment of other human beings. Dudes a sociopath.

  32. LexG says:

    He’s always nice to me, seems to get a kick out of my antics. Not seeing the problem.

  33. zyg says:

    JW banned me. in one of his mo’nique threads i pointed out how he was using personal slurs by calling people ‘HE Uglies’ and ‘wienies’, calling mo’nique a ‘lard ass’, as well as others.
    he deleted my comment(s)and all his comments that i quoted. then banned me and a few others who had critiqued his approach
    at 10 pm the thread had 59 comments. next morning, there were 23 comments, all of which were sqeaky clean.
    the guy lives in his own world. i wouldn’t care but he has a public forum — you gotta say something

  34. christian says:

    “Not seeing the problem.”
    Cause you ain’t looking. It’s a battered wives club.

  35. lazarus says:

    I was only banned from HE once, and it was a misunderstanding. I responded to a post about Soderbergh’s Che with your standard kneejerk right-wing crap along the lines of “who wants to see a film about this murderous scumbag”, and it was accidentally taken seriously.
    I had to pester Wells for a few days insisting I was one of the more extreme left-wing posters on his site before I was reinstated, but he did let me back in.

  36. christian says:

    Why would you pester him to get back in? He’s such a stunning hypocrite and humorless wimp. That’s the battered wives thing at work;]

  37. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I’m rather amused that he unbanned lazarus on the promise of extreme viewpoints.

  38. The Big Perm says:

    Ha, was Lex being ironic? I hope so, but I can’t tell.

  39. The Big Perm says:

    I like that Box Office Mojo article. Especially how they used DP’s favorite word “perspective.”

  40. LYT says:

    Well, Lex managed to make a video mocking every one of Wells’ eccentricities, and yet managed to remain unbanned…thus, I’d say clearly he is liked.

  41. Geoff says:

    Check out Frozen – saw it today and really dug it! I know, the AICN boosters made me somewhat skeptical and I have never actually gone skiing – the film just worked me over. The direction was tight, the acting was solid, the situations were almost believeable, but quite tense.
    What can I say? I’m a sucker for these kinds of movies – I liked Paranormal, Blair Witch and even Open Water. This is in that sub-genre and very well done.
    Shawn Ashmore is definitely some one to watch – he played Iceman in X Men and that’s the only thing I can remember him from.
    Some of the reviews have questioned in the intelligence of the main characters, but for some reason, I found their actions quite believable. If you like a good tense man vs. the elements survival (?) story, check this one out…..

  42. Cadavra says:

    One time I compiled a list of all the things Wells hates, starting with fat people and continuing with pink shirts, guys who call themselves “Danny” and restaurants that don’t let you bring your own food in. I encouraged others to contribute and some did. I thought sure he would ban me, yet he didn’t. He’s nothing if not inconsistent.

  43. Stella's Boy says:

    I think Frozen looks great and would have seen it this weekend but we’re currently getting quite a lot of snow. Ashmore is also in The Ruins and 3 Needles, plus lots of stuff I’ve never seen.

  44. Geoff says:

    Looks like Avatar is finally going down, this weekend – according to those who will not be named, Dear John made $13 million, yesterday, while Avatar made about $6 million – still a solid hold, but I doubt it can catch it for the weekend. Dear John could easily make $30 million, this weekend – SEYFRIED POWER, right, LexG?
    In other parts of the chart, it seems that NO ONE got an Oscar bump, not Precious, Blind Side, Up in the Air, etc. The folks for Precious were probably really counting on that bump, too. It’s a fantastic movie and I don’t feel that it deserved the angry backlash that it received.

  45. Geoff says:

    Looks like Avatar is finally going down, this weekend – according to those who will not be named, Dear John made $13 million, yesterday, while Avatar made about $6 million – still a solid hold, but I doubt it can catch it for the weekend. Dear John could easily make $30 million, this weekend – SEYFRIED POWER, right, LexG?
    In other parts of the chart, it seems that NO ONE got an Oscar bump, not Precious, Blind Side, Up in the Air, etc. The folks for Precious were probably really counting on that bump, too. It’s a fantastic movie and I don’t feel that it deserved the angry backlash that it received.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    Well now I know why DP doesn’t like to be called a blogger:

  47. Joe Leydon says:

    Well now I know why DP doesn’t like to be called a blogger:

  48. Joe Leydon says:

    Sorry about the double post. Dodgy wi-fi.

  49. LYT says:

    Don’t get into a mood pocket about it…

  50. yancyskancy says:

    Yeah, FROZEN does look interesting. I wrote for a Disney Channel series that Shawn Ashmore starred in several years ago. Nice to see someone from that show getting work. When he does something like X-MEN, it makes it a lot easier to play “Six Degrees of YancySkancy.”

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    LYT: No problem. I’m wearing my special hat…

  52. LexG says:


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