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David Poland

By David Poland

Forgot To Mention How Much I Love This Cover

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23 Responses to “Forgot To Mention How Much I Love This Cover”

  1. The Pope says:

    Made me laugh. And then I wondered what Rush, Sean and Ann would say. And that made me laugh even harder.

  2. storymark says:

    I can’t wait to piss of my right-wing friends with this.

  3. Proman says:

    I really dig this cover a lot too but I’ve got a serious question for ya, Poland.

    Why are you running Melancholia ads on this site? I guess in today’s climate of “tolerance” it’s become politically correct to not be PC and so it’s acceptable to run ads for movies by self-proclaimed Nazis. Meaning it’s acceptible once again.

    My question is, why does it have to be on this site? I mean clearly, the guy wanted a reaction so why not give it to him?

    Does the ad have to be on this site too?

  4. hcat says:

    Now I haven’t read everything about Von Tier’s statements but I thought it was obvious that it was tongue in cheek. A ridiculous answer to a ridiculous question.

    And given how everyone seems to have a different definition of PC why don’t we retire the term.

  5. yancyskancy says:

    At this late date, I don’t see how anyone who followed the Von Trier story beyond the initial headline could have concluded that he’s genuinely a “self-proclaimed Nazi.” Unless of course you’re just looking for your daily reason to beat up on David.

  6. storymark says:

    I think you nailed it, Yancy.

  7. Triple Option says:

    @Proman: I get what you’re saying, and definitely not saying this to rationalize anything, frankly, I don’t know what I’d do in this situation, but there are a lot of unsuspecting people who would be hurt by a boycott or embargo if such a thing were to happen across the board. It doesn’t seem like that would be too fair for people who put a lot into the film who had no control, nor share the opinion, of what the guy said.

    I don’t know his history, just vaguely some controversy in the past, maybe??? FX is doing a show w/Charlie Sheen and if some company chose to produce and/or distribute a Polanski film and got some huge backlash or either of those guys said something to cause a real firestorm, I’d feel zero sympathy per caveat emptor. Which is not to say that I don’t think whatshisname should not have to consider what he says as it could lay waste to other people’s livelihoods.

    I have not seen the ad in question. The one thing about a paid ad is it’s a paid ad, not some blatant attempt to capitalize on the malfeasance of someone in the public eye. Again, I haven’t seen the ad, if it’s something along the lines of “from the unapologetic controversial director…” or “come see the movie behind all the commotion,” then yeah, I’d say that’s rather crass. But even if you were to list “from the same director as Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark,” would that many people know it’s the same guy who said all those things at Cannes? Does anyone really remember his name or what movie he was promoting when the statements were made?

    I guess that could be its own hidden camera segment. Sorta like when they switch high end restaurant coffee w/Foldgers or put Pizza Hut items on the menu. Get people as they’re coming out of the theater, “Did you know you just saw a film by a Nazi sympathizer?” How crappy would that feel??? Boing! Look at that reaction shot! Maybe that’s something you were alluding to. A little full disclosure for the movie going public.

    It’s a good question, and good I think to question the people who’ve made such a decision, I could see both arguments to it.

  8. leahnz says:

    thought i’d weigh in once again on the von trier controversy…


    (but i will say re: hellcat’s “A ridiculous answer to a ridiculous question” comment, given that von t had previously commented openly, at length and in all seriousness about his admiration of ‘the nazi aesthetic’ in at least one piece i’d read prior to the ‘incident’, i’d say the question was quite apt and hardly ridiculous under the circumstances. like they say on ‘law & order’, he opened the door. also, this: i got flayed alive for suggesting at the time his apology was forced and not sincere, but horse’s mouth and all that )

    forgot to say, the new yorker cover is very clever

  9. hcat says:

    leahz, as I said I didn’t follow it too closely, and I can’t find the question that was asked, but from what I recall it was about revelations of his heritage, growing up thinking he was jewish and then finding out he was german (now I know there are german jews and have no idea what the change in his historical distinction means), but it seems to me that his reply was simply, ‘well I liked the jews when i was jewish, but now I guess I have to root for the other team.” And then he joked about Sussanne Beir.

    I see most of his movies but never follow his press so I am ignorant of earlier admiration of the ‘nazi aesthetic’, whether that means discipline, fashion, or whatnot, but given the loopy answer he gave I doubt that he took the questioner seriously. Not that any of it matters since its all tempest in a teapot type stuff.

    And my h stands for honkey. I am a big classic Elton fan.

  10. leahnz says:

    weird, i always imagined you as ‘hellcat’, reaow (that was a pissed-off cat sound). i’ll have to amend my mental picture of you to a big white elton john-looking feline…

  11. hcat says:

    Please don’t, thats not good for anyone.

    Just picture your average goofy Huey Lewis looking white guy in his late thirties. I think that might be a suitable avatar for about 3/4 of the regulars.

  12. leahnz says:

    aww. ok then

  13. David Poland says:

    Proman – Others have had good things to say about this issue.

    I will add that if you make any effort to look at what actually was said and not just inflammatory reports of it, you will understand that Von Trier is not pro-Hitler or pro-Nazi. I know some very intelligent people who have allowed themselves to believe this lie.

    Your comfort with the idea that I would play the role of a censor while you don’t seem to really know what the man said… scary. I don’t know you. And we have certainly disagreed before. But censorship is not a joke and you don’t seem to take it seriously.

    And by the way, the movie is brilliant. The performances are brilliant. And Von Trier, whose early work I often felt – and wrote about it – was trying to get a rise out of audiences and could be quite shallow. Really, starting with Dogville, has been working at a higher level. (Some feel passionately that the early work is not pure manipulation.)

    I am proud to run paid ads for the film. And if I had open, unused ad space available, I would be running ads for Magnolia on this film at a deep discount to support the film, the company, and indie film.

    And btw, we will run ads for Carnage, if Sony Classics adds them to our ad mix for them, out of respect to SPC and their freedom of expression.

    I would , however, find it deeply uncomfortable, if not impossible, to take money to run Human Centipede 2 ads.

  14. Don R. Lewis says:

    I was going to chime in but what’s the point? Proman’s just poking a stick into a hornets nest. Von Trier’s work speaks for itself and while his work is often inflammatory, it’s not anti-semetic. He made a COMMENT that was meant to provoke. He didn’t order the rise of the 3rd Reich.

  15. David Poland says:

    I don’t even think he meant to provoke on this one. He said, “I am a Nazi” like I would say, “I am a sand monkey.” It was glib, dismissive, and self-deprecating.

  16. prettok says:

    Nazi or not, one should never retract an apology. How can anyone ever accept your ‘sorry’ if they know you might take it back the next day? If your apology is insincere, keep it to yourself, or don’t make it in the first place; otherwise your apologies won’t be worth squat forever more.

  17. Mike says:

    There are quite a few apologies I’d like to retract, I’ve just rarely been given the outlet to make my retractions official.

  18. cadavra says:

    No one in his right mind says, “I’m a Nazi”–especially someone who actually is a Nazi–and means it. He was likely high and said some stupid shit. We all do that. I find his movies dreary as hell, but I’ll give him a pass on this–to steal a line from THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, all he’s guilty of here is bad taste.

  19. Triple Option says:

    When I first heard the statement I just thought he was being a jackass and it got away from him. Though I did use that example specifically, my argument was meant to be more hypothetical to any such situation and the considerations one would/(should?) make when trying to decide whether or not to run ads. No one’s ripped me, so I’m guessing that was at last somewhat clear but as someone who only passingly followed the incident; I don’t want to seem as if I’m putting out ill-informed declaration of opinion directly related to the matter.

  20. Mariamu says:

    I found myself strangely moved by “Melancholia”. Von Trier found a way to really get under my skin. The music from the film keeps drifting in and out of my mind. Somehow the “Nazi” comment doesn’t lessen the impact this film has for me. I just expect Von Trier to always say dumb stuff like that.

  21. LYT says:

    I don’t get why Human Centipede 2 is so much worse than Carnage. Granted, as far as film content goes, the latter is more objectionable. But both are works of FICTION.

    I understand the theory behind not wanting to run ads for a film by someone who actually committed a crime, but telling a disgusting story is not illegal, nor should it be.

    Frankly, though – I figure once you accept movie ads, you might as well just take any and all. Hell, daily Kos runs ads for right-wing stuff sometimes. Most people at this point understand it’s not an implicit endorsement.

  22. David Poland says:

    Bottom line for me, Luke, is that I have the right to refuse ads if they cross a line that means something to me. I don’t refuse ads for movies I don’t like or for issues like Polanski’s history. But while I believe there is an absolute right to make and show a film like Human Centipede 2 – or Hostel 2, for that matter – I would be uncomfortable because part of spreading the word.

    IFC used to premiere trailers and clips here often. I believe in almost everything they do. But had I been asked to run a HC2 clip… I don;’t think I would have.

    I know these are good and honorable people at IFC. But while there is not an implicit support of a film advertised on the site, if I believe that the film is not worthy, putting that ad in front of the readers to whom I have some responsibility would feel irresponsible.

    And truth be told, if it were seriously considered by someone to be an awards film, I would then reconsider. Because then, denying them access to run ads would be a suppression of access to space they might value highly. But the MCN audience is not the prime audience for this film and we’re not a major mainstream site (like a TV network would be), so aside from that, I don’t think I’d feel we were infringing on the freedom of expression by no accepting their ads.

  23. LYT says:

    “I don’t think I’d feel we were infringing on the freedom of expression by no accepting their ads.”

    I think that statement holds true regardless of anything else. Paid speech surely isn’t “free” speech.

    It does strike me that most blogs don’t have many worries about running ads they disagree with. That may be a function of needing the money more than anything, but it’s also somewhat liberating for other bloggers who worry about the principle.

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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