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David Poland

By David Poland

BYO Box Office

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54 Responses to “BYO Box Office”

  1. movieman says:

    No surprises really.
    Two ehhhh films open to ehhhh numbers.
    “The Losers” has one of the most visually appealing, man-for-man (and one one foxy babe) casts in recent memory, but the
    script is so rote and drearily mechanical that you wonder how everyone managed to deliver their boilerplate dialogue without yawning into the camera. And while technically adroit like most every major studio release–i.e., the explosions go off on cue–it felt robotic, utterly devoid of any personality or style.
    Having just watched “Tales from the Script” which details the grueling process of getting a studio film greenlit,
    I couldn’t understand why/how WB suits signed off on this mishmash of cliches and incoherent plotting and kept their jobs.
    (Side note: Why isn’t Jeffrey Dean Morgan getting all of Gerard Butler’s roles?)
    “The Back-Up Plan” proves that it’s time for J-Lo to go back to meaty ensemble pieces like “Out of Sight” since she’s clearly incapable of “opening” a mediocre rom-com to respectable numbers any longer. And I’d make a case that “Back-Up” really isn’t appreciably worse than either “Maid in Manhattan” or “The Wedding Planner.” Lopez just isn’t the b.o. draw she used to be.
    Nice legs on the lightly likable “City Island,” though. It’s turning out to be one of the legitimate indie sleepers of the season, and will probably wind up outgrossing the sublime “Greenburg” (not to mention plenty of other/better indies that never managed to find a commercial foothold).

  2. EthanG says:

    My favorite stat of all time….Ca$h sold one ticket in 3 theatres Friday for a 2 buck per theatre average!

  3. torpid bunny says:

    Who say’s Eisensteinian montage is dead?
    And good lord it’s as long as “Intolerance”.

  4. Joe Straat says:

    torpid, I was with the guy on that series of videos until he started putting the JFK and Platoon music in (9/11 footage is okay because it gives a sense of time, at least). Yes, because your basketball game is on the same level as the JFK assassination and Vietnam.

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    Tried to show All the President

  6. a_loco says:

    Joe, one of the most popular films in my Film History class last year was I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang from way back in 1932.
    Just thought I’d let you know.

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    Interesting, A_Loco. And good to hear, if not entirely surprising. The funny thing is, I think the pacing of many (if not most) movies of the ’30s and ’40s is faster than many (if not most) movies of the ’50s through ’70s. I know that, every semester I teach Film History, one of the most popular films I show is His Girl Friday.

  8. The Pope says:

    Joe, you’re asbolutely right about pacing. Imagine a line by line remake of His Girl Friday today. I think it would work on TV where comedy is allowed to be fast and furious. But on the big screen for some reason it has to be loud and lugubrious. I imagine a remake of Casablanca would run to well over 2 hours. In fact it did already when Pollack directed Havana. Warners were double quick in the 30s and 40s, but the 50s did see things slow down. Do you think TV had anything to do with it? Cinemascope certainly changed the cutting rate.
    But with regard President’s Men, Rosemary et al, I sincerely think it is a case of filmmakers dealing intelligently with the subject matter. Almost everything about all those films says INTELLIGENT storytelling. I think the same goes for why The Wizard of Oz still entrances young kids whom we would be forgiven for thinking would not care a whit for Dorothy and Toto. For the children I think it is case of emotional clarity, for adults it is thematic consistency – considered dialogue, positioning of the camera, actors reigning it in… in a phrase: not seeking the sensational.
    ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN is a film I love showing to students. I notice a pair of scenes in particularto which the respond : Woodward/Dahlberg phone scene (one shot, seven minutes… diopter lens for us to compare and contrast background TV and foreground telephone) and then of course when Woodward and Bernstein push all the cards onto the table and the Willis gradually pulls us up into the dome of the Library of Congress. I always ask them “why did they do it that way? What other way could they have done it? What was the content of the scene and how did they control it?”
    I use the word control also because the filmmakers really, really thought things through. And those are not my words. Students say that and they express a indefinable sense that what they are being show in important. And so they pay attention. It’s like teaching, no? You come into class and act like a goofball the students aren’t going to pay you any heed.

  9. The Big Perm says:

    Slower paced movies are still made and can do extremely well…Sixth Sense, Crouching Tiger (also in subtitles!), The Others, Da Vinci Code, Inglorious Basterds, etc.
    So anyway, I saw Kick-Ass last night and it was awesome.

  10. a_loco says:

    True Joe, but I also feel like film students coming out of high school are trained by the internet to believe that anything from the New Hollywood time period is somehow inherently awesome.

  11. SJRubinstein says:

    If anyone was on the fence about seeing the Conan O’Brien “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” Tour, consider this an endorsement. Fucking hysterical.

  12. Dr Wally says:

    Absolutely nothing going on here box-office wise. In retrospect the decision to bump Wall Street back to September from this weekend looks dumb (that’s AFTER Douglas and Shia were on the front of Vanity Fair and GQ, and after the original was reissued on DVD with Moviecash vouchers towards the sequel). It could have had a solid few weeks play before blockbusters moved in.

  13. LexG says:

    How did THE LOSERS end up making that little? 9 mil opening weekend? The signs have been on the wall the last couple weeks, but how did it turn into such a throwaway release with so little fanfare?
    Maybe it was entirely my misperception, but that trailer’s been running for months, and I thought it was some big-ticket WB summer flick. I had AICN dudes on Twitter talking it up as some surefire slam-dunk based on an awesome comic.
    Yes, the cast seems low-wattage, but that didn’t hurt Watchman, plus it’s enough of an ensemble and enough action that that shouldn’t have been fatal.
    Not saying I ever thought it’d open to 40 mil or anything, but could there have been a single person at WB or anywhere who had pegged this as a movie that opened at under 10 mil? Wasn’t it supposed to be a summer release and the kind of thing that opens in the high 20s?
    Did they move it to avoid A-TEAM (which can’t NOT BE the EXACT SAME MOVIE, especially since Losers is in 100000% Joe Carnahan Smoking Aces-vision)? Just give up wholeheartedly at the last minute?
    I’m not launching a huge defense because it was great or anything, but it’s certainly servicable (if choppy) and stylish, the cast is likeable, the action is well done, Jason Patric is a riot and Zoe Saldana is hot.
    Was it ultimately the cast, or the campaign? Didn’t Smokin’ Aces (aka The Same Movie Except Rated R) open to 16 mil? This is one of those Shoot ‘Em Up style openings where the movie’s perfectly mainstream and marketable, so how did it take on such a last-minute also-ran feel?

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    “True Joe, but I also feel like film students coming out of high school are trained by the internet to believe that anything from the New Hollywood time period is somehow inherently awesome.”
    Perhaps. But I can’t say I’ve found many of my students devote much time to film websites. Hell, judging from how often I’m asked for info that was posted on the syllabus weeks earlier, some of them don’t devote much time going to the website for the class itself.

  15. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    THE LOSERS was lucky to do $9m. I’m sure everyone who saw the sell for the film thought the same thing. Direct to video. Catch it later. There was no ‘must see’ value attached to this pic. There was negative wattage in terms of star power and the utterly generic storyline offered no surprises. SMOKING ACES whether you like or not offered more to audiences in terms of star power and had the bonus of being the first next gen hyper action comedy with actual stars aka SWORDFISH.
    The only thing surprising about THE LOSERS is that they released it wide. It was born with a DOA stamp on its slick forehead.

  16. Geoff says:

    Do not underestimate the damage that a really lousy title can do – it’s called “The Losers” for god sakes! That has to be the most unappealing title for a big studio action film since Zathura.

  17. LexG says:


  18. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Geoff well I think THE LOSERS is one of the greatest titles of all time but that’s mainly because I had my balls blasted through the back of my seat as a young un watching Jack Starrett’s incredible bikers in nam number in the 70s. They should have remade that. Well Stallone should have.

  19. SJRubinstein says:

    I’m a huge, huge fan of the “Losers” comic book, particularly where it ended up going in the end. The funny thing is, the movie really has so very little to do with the comic, but it’s kind of a perfect adaptation because it didn’t try to be slavishly faithful, but instead kind of cherry-picked what they thought might work and created its own thing. I think the comic is better, but I’d totally go see a “Losers” sequel.

  20. Nicol D says:

    “But I can’t say I’ve found many of my students devote much time to film websites.”
    Oddly enough, I agree. With the students I have taught it seems that I am surprised at how little the average one spends on film sites. Most come in with no more film knowledge than the average person…they just know they want to learn more. That is the difference I find.
    With my students I always get a bit of a motley crew…a couple really know film history and love old movies, a couple are like Harry Knowles comic geek types, a couple are tech types…but most just love films and want to know more about how they work.
    I too find the right older films lay a great hook. Dirty Harry played well for me as did The Godfather. So did Bonnie and Clyde and In the Heat of the Night. The Goldrush and Singin’ in the Rain also played well when I gave them historical context. On the other hand The Passion of Joan of Arc fell flat. I do find for films to go over well they must be more visceral.
    The Road Warrior always plays well. Blade Runner not so much even though it is a personal fave.
    “but I also feel like film students coming out of high school are trained by the internet to believe that anything from the New Hollywood time period is somehow inherently awesome”
    I do not think this is a function of the internet so much as it is a function of being the cultural children of the baby boomers who shat and continue to shit on anything pre-1968. This is not true of all baby boomers obviously (ie. Joe Leydon) but is true of the general cultural swath they cut. I talk to friends of mine regulary (gen X) and to like anything pre-1969 (music, movies, literature) is akin to admission of being a racisthomophobicnazifacistetc.yougetthepicture.
    Previous cultures values knowledge of history. Ours thinks history makes you square.

  21. Foamy Squirrel says:

    It may also be because many of them remind us of cultural values that we now find slightly ridiculous – Song of the South and Birth of a Nation possibly being the most egregious examples, but others more subtle with their credulous characters, assumptions about invitations/social station etc.

  22. Joe Leydon says:

    I have to disagree a bit with you, Nicol. At the risk of sounding like Mr. Old Fogey, I often think that my generation (i.e., Baby Boomer) is the last generation to care much about history — and, more important, to actually WANT to grow up.
    BTW: Watched Treme tonight, and was ridiculously happy to see Vernel Bagneris — with whom I appeared in a New Orleans production of Child’s Play many years ago, and who later appeared off-Broadway and toured throughout the world in his show One Mo’ Time — in a supporting role.

  23. Nicol D says:

    “It may also be because many of them remind us of cultural values that we now find slightly ridiculous…”
    On a long enough timeline…every film will have values in it that someone or some segment of a population will find ridiculous.
    Do you really think in 30 years people will look back at Sex in the City or The Human Centipede as the pinnacle of cinematic art? The examples you use (Song of the South, Birth of a Nation) are the extreme outliers that are used to generalize. People will always show the clip of James Cagney shoving the grapefruit into Mae Clark’s face to show how sexist films were back then when female leads in the golden age of cinema were far more strong and independant than what we see now.
    Do you actually think J-Lo, Susuan Sarandon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kiera Knightly and Reese Witherspoon are stronger than Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis and Lauen Bacall?
    Those women would dance with the toughest of guys and hold their own. Modern actresses are given no where near as good roles. Bacall alone could eat the modern crew up with room to spare.
    Your generation cared about history but had a misreading of it. The boomers believed all evil came from sub-urban 1950’s middle American and if only those values could be squashed…the world would be set right.
    The world was/is not that simple. Not saying you personally, but when I see the images of the penultimate baby boomer experience like Woodstock…I do not see a culture that wants to grow up. Instead, one that wants to stay in a perpetual state of adolescence.

  24. Joe Leydon says:

    Not for the first time, Nicol, I have to say: You’re not giving us first-hand testimony, you’re parroting what you have been told by right-wing revisionists. And, again, when I read your parroting, I worry that I sound that ridiculous when I talk about WWII or the Depression Era to people with first-hand experience of those times.

  25. Foamy Squirrel says:

    I think there’s a mid-ground where the values are familiar enough yet alien enough to cause a bit of discomfort – without being as blatant as the examples you use. As Joe says, just think of anyone over 70 talking about how they feel society’s values have changed since they were young.
    Most of us can look back on the events in the last 30 years and point and giggle because, for many people, those events either happened in their lifetime or their parents stood as representatives of those values. Pre-1930s (especially the silent era) are almost a caricature, so it goes past that discomfort zone. Some films age well – many examples have already been given – because they focus on the fundamental human interactions (love stories, physical comedy, betrayal/revenge), but others require a bit more cultural context and become more “lost in translation”, as it were.

  26. Blackcloud says:

    C’mon, Joe, how do we know you experienced the ’60s first-hand? After all, anyone who remembers them wasn’t there!
    Anyway, leaving aside the question of whether or not Nicol is “parroting” received wisdom of one kind or another, from an epistemological perspective your criticism of him for not offering first-hand testimony is invalid. Saying “you weren’t there” is about as lazy as repeating what one has heard on authority (which as we all know comes in varying degrees of credibility). In most cases, that’s a truism, so it’s meaningless. And in a case like this, of course Nicol isn’t going to provide first-hand evidence of the ’60s if he didn’t exist until the ’70s. He could still be wrong, but it’s not because he wasn’t there. That has nothing to do with it.
    (All of this leaves to one side a couple of basic issues. One, that most knowledge, if you get right down to it, comes second hand. Two, that first-hand accounts enjoy no a priori privilege; their validity like that of any other must be established after the fact. We’ll worry about those some other BYOB.)

  27. berg says:

    my biggest let down of the weekend may have been that The Losers doesn’t actually have the line, seen in the trailer, “Mama didn’t raise no foo”

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    True enough, Blackcloud: When it comes to discussing matters before we were born, we’re all “parroting” to a large degree what we’ve read or heard about the past. Again: When I tell my students how Depression Era audiences responded to Gone With the Wind, I am relying on the testimony of others. And it’s entirely possible that, someday, some student will raise his or her hand and tell me that his or her grandparents always told them how much they and all their friends absolutely hated the movie when they saw it in 1939.
    And, yes, as anyone in the legal or law enforcement professions can tell you, eyewitness testimony can be a good deal less than reliable. I’ll go one step further: Something can happen during your lifetime, but at a point when you’re too young or too preoccupied with other things to be fully aware of it. I was shocked, and a little embarrassed, by what I didn’t know about the 1961 Freedom Riders when I saw Stanley Nelson’s recent documentary on the subject. But, then again, I was only 8 or 9 when the events occurred. And, ironically enough, I saw it last week at the Nashville Film Festival, where the audience included people who had been referenced in the film, and took issue with Nelson’s interpretation of the events.
    On the other hand: Nicol’s seemingly endless line of screeds against what baby-boomers have wrought are so obviously shaped by right-wing talking points, he strikes me as just a few steps away from Glenn Beckian wing-nuttiness. Either that, or he has some major daddy issues.

  29. DeafEars says:

    Love the conversation about ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. I just watched it the other day and was once again struck by how gripping it is even though we know the outcome. And picking up on new details, like how Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee is always putting his feet up on the table to assert his dominance in his early scenes.
    Steven Soderberg had a great quasi-interview in the NYT about ATPM, sort of a mini-commentary on paper…
    “I have to disagree a bit with you, Nicol. At the risk of sounding like Mr. Old Fogey, I often think that my generation (i.e., Baby Boomer) is the last generation to care much about history — and, more important, to actually WANT to grow up.”
    While I suspect that every generation thinks it’s the last generation to keep up the old values – mine’s generation is X, BTW – I’m not sure on what basis you can say that, Joe. George Bush the second is a baby boomer, and so are a lot of the criminals behind the current economic crisis are Baby Boomers. What evidence do you have to support your fairly ugly generalization?

  30. Chucky in Jersey says:

    This weekend was the slowest in a long while, slower than Super Bowl weekend — and the higher ticket prices can’t mask that fact. At least there was a decent turnout when I saw “Date Night” yesterday thanks to on-and-off rain.
    The indie distributors handling arty fare have become too passive. “The Joneses” has stiffed; “City Island” looks to be stiffing; “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is hurt by being unrated. Had the indie distribs been more aggressive they could have gotten more than a token of megaplex bookings.

  31. Stella's Boy says:

    “The boomers believed all evil came from sub-urban 1950’s middle American and if only those values could be squashed…the world would be set right.”
    To piggyback on what Joe has already said to Nicol, this is just a whole lot of bullshit. My parents are boomers, and this could not be further from the truth. They grew up in suburbia, lived in suburbia to raise their children, and live in suburbia now. In no way whatsoever is the above how they think. That is also true of other boomers I know (mainly relatives) who also still live in suburbia. Not a single one believes “suburbia is evil” and all that’s wrong with the world. These broad generalizations are idiotic, just like claiming places like rural Virginia are the “real America.”

  32. Joe Leydon says:

    “What evidence do you have to support your fairly ugly generalization?”
    Observations culled from more than a decade of teaching at the university level. And, frankly, impressions gleaned from pop culture of the past 20 years. I’ve heard it said that the ’70s were the last time that adults set the agenda for pop culture. I think that’s a bit harsh, and arguably imprecise. (Of course, I have also heard it said that, actually, the ’60s were the last time.) But it’s my impression — an impression repeatedly reinforced, I must say, by conversations with students as well as academic colleagues — that there simply isn’t as much peer and/or societal pressure to grow up these days as there was in the ’60s and ’70s. And I think most pop culture to a large degree encourages infantilism. Again, just my opinion. Chalk it up to an old fogey’s discontentment, if you will. I could do the usual ranting about declining standards and such, but that’s really boring. Besides, I have already posted this before:

  33. christian says:

    “The boomers believed all evil came from sub-urban 1950’s middle American and if only those values could be squashed…the world would be set right.”
    Good Morning, Dennis Prager!

  34. Blackcloud says:

    “Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation. He recounts the decency and regularity of former times, and celebrates the discipline and sobriety of the age in which his youth was passed; a happy age which is now no more to be expected, since confusion has broken in upon the world, and thrown down all the boundaries of civility and reverence.”
    -Samuel Johnson: Rambler #50 (September 8, 1750)

  35. Joe Leydon says:

    Yeah, and I think Socrates used to complain about the way those crazy kids were driving their chariots through the city at all hours of the night.

  36. Stella's Boy says:

    True enough Blackcloud. I remember a story in The Atlantic a few months back noting that at least as early as Colonial times people were complaining about the good old days and wishing for a return to the glories of the past.

  37. Blackcloud says:

    Oh, way beyond that, SB. It’s something that goes back to the ancient Greeks, as Joe points out. That longing for the good old days is a hardy perennial. It’s only in the last three centuries or so that people actually started to welcome change and believe the future could be better than the past. It’s no coincidence that the term “nostalgia” wasn’t coined until the late seventeenth century, even though the symptoms of the disease (nostalgia was first identified as a medical condition) have been around for ages.
    NB: “homesickness” is the calque of the Greek-derived “nostalgia,” and was introduced into English to translate the latter.

  38. jeffmcm says:


  39. Stella's Boy says:

    I was just saying as much to my father-in-law, who I know I’ve mentioned before (Beck and Limbaugh worshipper; O’Reilly is too moderate for him now). Since the presidential election he has been a huge doomsday prophesier. Our way of life is coming to an end, the U.S. is all but over, etc. He was of the opinion that he was sharing useful information which couldn’t be found anywhere else and had never been shared before. I don’t even need to mention where he’s getting it from.

  40. Joe Leydon says:

    Please don’t misunderstand: I don’t view yesterday as some idyllic golden age. I vividly recall what it was like to grow up in the segregated South. I remember hearing seemingly intelligent people say that women couldn’t, or shouldn’t, do this or that. (And some of those people WERE women.) Hell, I also can remember getting the crap kicked out of me by high school jocks who thought preferring movies to football was somehow effeminate. My mother died at age 36 from a medical condition that, today, would have been spotted early enough for treatment through a simple MRI. Even if I had access to a time machine, I would not want to go back to just ten years ago to live. But I still think that, by and large, standards in many areas have changed, and not for the better.

  41. a_loco says:

    Honestly, more young people are being educated than ever (leading them to be older before they have children). On top of that, many of us have seen how our parents gave up their ambitions to have a family in the suburbs. The standard of living is decreasing, making it harder to keep a financially stable family. Many of us are entering competitive job markets upon leaving University/College…
    Why the hell would we want to “grow up”?

  42. DeafEars says:

    Thanks for the link Joe, that was hilarious. But I still feel every generation is a mixed bag – the only thing that distinguishes the Baby Boomers is that there are a hell of a lot more of them. And most people in each generation can’t write for shit. Even some smart, articulate people.

  43. christian says:

    Suburban teens in the 50’s didn’t have TWO GIRLS, ONE CUP.

  44. Joe Leydon says:

    Well, of course, you could argue that every generation picks up standards from the generation before it, and if Gen Xers and Yers picked up the notion that staying a kid forever is a good idea…

  45. Blackcloud says:

    Of course, the notion of “growing up” is itself a product of history, as attitudes towards age, adulthood, youth, childhood, adolescence have changed over time.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    I was wrong: According to the smartest friend I have, it actually was Julius Caesar who bitched about the kids in their chariots. Seriously: He was angry about the noise they made rattling down
    his residential street late at night. He tried to get a law passed banning them from driving after dark.

  47. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Wow. Your friend is REALLY old.

  48. Joe Leydon says:

    I wouldn’t tell her that if I were you. You ever see Monument Avenue? Well, that’s the part of Boston she’s from.

  49. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Oh, I thought she was the one trying to get the law passed about chariot drivers. Never mind then.

  50. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @Berg: That reminds me of “EDtv” where the best line was also left in the trailer.

  51. CaptainZahn says:

    Anyone seen M.I.A.’s new video? Stunning stuff.
    M.I.A. – Born Free (warning: graphic violence and nudity)

  52. LexG says:

    CZ, I just watched the MIA video.
    Talk about something that is AWESOME FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS.
    SHOCKER that the director is the son of firebrand lefty Costa-Gavras. Gee, how DEEP! THE MAN is repressive and violent and racist. What insight. And wow, substituting redheaded kids for ethnic minorities!
    Yes, we all know THE COPS are nothing but an evil, violent, fascist war machine. Until your car stereo gets stolen, then who do you go running to? When people say “fuck the police” they forget to add the “until someone fucks with my shit.”
    All that said– ANNOYING MESSAGE, SIMPLISTIC BULLSHIT– like I said, this video is STILL AWESOME for all the reasons its creator didn’t intend. It fucking RULES when that kid gets blown away or when the troops issue a beatdown on that FAT COUPLE. And the EXPLOSION AT THE END is COOL.
    They should hire this guy for the next GAMER or CRANK type movie, even if a lot of the shots are too obviously cheap video, the pacing is slack, and the imagery repetitive. But the good parts are pretty kinetic, or at least he shoots things in the way that passes for “cinematic” today. I’m sure it’ll get the guy some big gigs by which HE CAN MAKE LOTS OF MONEY VIA THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM HE CRITICIZES.
    Apparently it’s BULLSHIT O’CLOCK ALL AROUND.
    GOOD POST. Please read it. Where is NICOL to back me up on this?

  53. The Big Perm says:

    Also, in Baltimore it’s a fact that the shootings are mostly done by red headed white people.

  54. hcat says:

    L.A. as well, but thats just because Ron Howard’s kids are out of control Bastards.

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