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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

SIFF Dispatch: I Went to SIFF, and My Car Got Raptured

Well, not so much raptured as stolen during a SIFF screening in broad daylight on a Sunday morning. No joke.

This morning I took my son Jaxon to see the second of his Youth Jury films, Sound of Mumbai. I’ve wanted to see this one myself, so I was excited to go. Today also happened to be the day of my daughter Neve’s Coming of Age service at church (kind of the Unitarian equivalent of a Bat Mitzvah if you’re Jewish, or Confirmation if you’re of the Catholic peruasion. Pretty big deal). So I got up early and took Jaxon to the 9AM service, figuring I’d be out in time to get us to Renton for the screening at 11AM.

We made the screening, which was at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, adjacent to (or maybe part of?) Renton High School. Parked the car right by the sidewalk, in full view of the entrance. Made sure to lock the car, because it’s Renton. There was a church service, I heard, also going on on the same campus. In other words, lots and lots of people milling about, broad daylight. Performing arts center parking lot.

We got there at 11AM, got out of the screening at 12:30, car was gone. Raptured? Stolen? Probably teens taking it for a joy ride, or to steal the stereo, so sayeth the bored and nonchalant cop who came out to take the report. Of course he can be bored and nonchalant, it’s not his car. Their find rate on stolen vehicles is pretty high in Renton, so sayeth the clerk at the police station who filed the affidavit for us.

The car is fully insured, at any rate, so if it’s found but damaged, we can get it fixed, and if it’s not found they’ll replace it. But still, criminy. It very disconcerting to walk out of a theater after a feel-good movie, discussing it with my son, on our way back to the church to be there in time for the potluck celebration, and find my car gone.

I do have to add, the volunteers working the screening, one of whom may have been the venue manager, were nothing but helpful in trying to resolve things. One of them (I’m so sorry, I didn’t get your name, but thank you) called the police for me, then stayed with us until they go there. She was great. And it’s not SIFF’s fault that it happened. C’est la vie.

I’ll have more on Sound of Mumbai, and also on Jess + Moss, which I finally caught up with last night, soonish. Right now, I need a cup of hot tea.

By the bye, if you are in Seattle, Without screens tonight at Harvard Exit at 9:30PM and tomorrow at the Egyptian at 4:30PM. Go see it. You’ll like it.

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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.

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