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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB: Happy 4th


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7 Responses to “BYOB: Happy 4th”

  1. leahnz says:

    no fate but what we make

  2. EtGuild2 says:

    God hates the 4th in the DC area..probably the 7th time in the last 10 years we’ve been subjected to severe thunderstorms/hail all day on the holiday.

    Oh well…celebrated yesterday, so time to catch up on indies. CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR, THE TREASURE and NEON BULL here I come!

  3. Movieman says:

    Curious to hear what you thought of “Neon Bull,” Et. (Is it “Ethan”? I feel silly calling you “Et.”)
    I was reminded of Reygadas’ “Japon,” but liked it a lot better. (For starters, it’s a lot less indulgent.)
    And Juliana Cazarre displays major star potential–if he can break out into mainstream (i.e., English-language) fare.
    I had a similar reaction to Matthias Schoenaerts when I first saw him in “Bullhead.”

  4. EtGuild2 says:

    Haha, yeah, my handle from circa 2006-2010 was EthanG.

    I didn’t get to it yet. What did you think of “Cemetery of Splendor?” I thought it was an interesting meditation, but Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s films are damn near impenetrable at times for me (UNCLE BOONMEE is similar). I got bits of the metaphor, but much of it eluded me I think.

    I did see “Above and Below” which reminded me of the “on the margins” NYC-doc “Dark Days,” but with more disparate settings. Very nicely done in a year that’s been a bit thin on great documentaries so far.

  5. Movieman says:

    Yep, Weerasethakul’s films are well-nigh impenetrable for western audiences, but I still enjoy watching them in an almost trance-like way. (That said, I think “Syndromes and a Century” is probably his most accessible work overall.)
    But a lot of Tarkovsky worked that way for me, too.
    Even if what they’re saying eludes me on an intellectual level, I can still get off on how they’re “saying” it.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    Agree with all that you said. Any thoughts on “Approaching the Universe,” movieman or anyone? The existential version of “The Martian,” or the “ultra-existential” version, it has some interesting ideas but ultimately I have to agree with the AV Club that it feels like a writing exercise that got out of control. Mark Strong’s musings become more and more banal, to the point of parody as the film wears on.

  7. Movieman says:

    Have not seen it, Ethan.
    Disappointed in your reaction: was kind of hoping for another “Moon.”
    Do like Strong, though.

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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