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By Ray Pride


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43 Responses to “BYO Post-JOKER”

  1. Pete B. says:

    Pretty impressed that WAR cracked the weekend’s Top Ten with being in only 305 theaters. Hrithik Roshan is one good looking guy. I’m surprised Hollywood hasn’t tried to snag him yet.

  2. movieman says:

    I’ve said the same thing about Tahar Rahim, Pete.
    He proved in “Mary Magdalene” that he’s capable of speaking perfect, unaccented English.
    I’m surprised Marvel/Disney hasn’t called yet.
    Rahim IS in Damien Chazelle’s upcoming Netflix miniseries. Not sure whether it’s a French or English speaking role, though.

    P.S.= Any idea why I have to type in “name” and “mail” every time I post? Previously that info was in the website’s memory bank.

  3. Geoff says:

    I was blown away by Joker and I didn’t expect to be – I didn’t think Todd Phillips had it in him to direct something like this. Of course he DID it in have him to come off like an entitled crybaby in the vein of Dave Chappelle this past week…commiserating about how this film was his response to “woke” culture and “cancel culture.” It simply isn’t, it’s a much more humane film than a lot of critics are giving it credit for.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    Watched some Netflix movies. In the Shadow of the Moon is alright. Cast is solid. Mickle is a pretty talented director. Some cool set pieces. And I like that medium-budget genre movies like this get made from time to time. Story grows increasingly kooky and it’s a little too long (and sappy). Not bad.

    In the Tall Grass. Wow. I hear the short story is excellent. I cannot believe anyone likes the movie and I see so many horror nerds giving it good-to-great notices. It’s painfully dull. Literally 90 minutes of annoying doofuses walking in grass. That’s it. I’m a big fan of Natali and it does look nice. But holy shit it’s boring and terrible.

    Hoping I see something good soon. And I’ll be checking out Joker this week.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Last week at this time my friend said how funny would it be if after all the praise and criticism, all the lamenting of the discourse about it, Joker turned out to just be mediocre and forgettable. He was partially right. Holy fucking shit is Joker a bad movie. (Mild Spoilers). Just painfully, irredeemably bad. But not for the reasons I expected. It’s the most bored I’ve been in a theater this year. I wish it had provoked or offended me. At least then I wouldn’t have been so bored. Alas, no. Just mind-numbingly dull from start to finish. And in the end it has absolutely nothing to say. It bums me out that after so many years of exceptional performances, this is what the world is seeing from Phoenix. It’s one of his worst performances. So strained. Not very interesting. Phillips and his co-writer don’t help matters. I like the scene with Brian Tyree Henry and the encounter with the former co-workers in his apartment. And that’s about it. The score is grating and awful. The song choices are pretty uninspired. A Joker origin story always struck me as unnecessary and it sure was. At least with this filmmaker. “I have a great idea. A rated-R, dark and gritty Joker origin story.” But that’s as far as he got. Terrible writing and weak directing (gee thanks I didn’t get that his interactions with her didn’t actually happen). Wastes a good cast. It’s just a huge nothing burger.

  6. Bulldog68 says:

    I’ve been watching Raising Dion with my 14 year old daughter. Thus far, an enjoyable watch.

  7. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Stella, I wish I’d seen your review of In The Tall Grass before I watched it. There’s 100 minutes I’ll never get back. It might be the single worst King adaptation I have ever seen. At least Dreamcatcher was funny.

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    Ha well I tried! Yeah at least Dreamcatcher is bonkers and funny, and has a cast of people who can, you know, act. In the Tall Grass is definitely one of the worst King adaptations. So bad.

  9. leahnz says:

    “one of the worst King adaptations”

    this is becoming a very low bar (dreamcatcher is verging on ‘so bad it’s good’ territory, not sure what it would need to push it over the edge)

    sort of relieved to see others think ‘joker’ is as useless and inane a bore as i did. a cowardly mess by a truly middling film-maker. roy batty questions: was the version seen at the festival a different cut or something? seeing some of the dramatic reactions i didn’t think at the time they were satire but now i’m not so sure…what is even happening

    forgot to say: i watched ‘you were never really here’ again after joker to get the bad taste out of my mouth, an artist in full command of her craft with a stellar perf by the same actor.

    (ETA this having to put the name and email in the reply fields every time is quite tedious, as MM mentioned)

  10. Stella's Boy says:

    Useless and inane bore describes it perfectly. I am totally and completely stunned and perplexed by the euphoric responses I’ve come across. And I love You Were Never Really Here. Yet so few have seen it and so many have and will see Joker. Very sad.

  11. amblinman says:

    @SB: You know what struck me overall about Joker? This character doesn’t work in a vacuum, at least not on film.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    You are absolutely right about that amblinman.

  13. Triple Option says:

    @amblinman – what do you mean by that?

  14. BO Sock Puppet says:

    Amblinman isn’t wrong. The antagonist by his very nature offers the antipode to a hero who in this case is absent, taking the archetype out of its context.

  15. palmtree says:

    I think Joker’s main issue is that it’s not honest. It wraps itself in serious themes and a serious style of filmmaking but ultimately doesn’t allow for any truth, emotional truth or even just story logic, but just blusters with vague notions of seriousness. I can see why critics would like it, but it indeed left a bad taste.

  16. Hcat says:

    That makes perfect sense Amblinman, just like when they kept pitching that Magneto movie, without Charles he really wouldn’t make sense. Though to be honest I could see them making a decent Dr Doom movie sans heroes.

    Just wondering to the detractors, would Joker had worked any better if it wasn’t set in Gotham and if a comic Joker existed as an inspiration? Or is the film more than a couple ideas off.

    On a different note my kids insisted we watch Five Feet Apart and I was pleasantly surprised. Dying teens are sort of shooting fish in a barrel for melodrama, and the big tense sequence is Just nonsense, but the kids were quite good and I can see why they would continue to pump these out.

  17. palmtree says:

    Hcat, I actually think making Joker set in the real world disconnected from its comic book universe would actually work much better. Then you could do away with the mindless fan service and the predestined story points that defy logic, but you could just follow the character as he honestly exists. But no one in Hollywood would ever greenlight a big budget character study unless it’s tied to a franchise…so that’s where we are.

  18. leahnz says:

    ‘joker’ is like the dunning-kruger of moviemaking

  19. Geoff says:

    Seriously folks…..if Joker wasn’t directed by Todd Phillips (who admittedly was not a good director until this point) or released through the DC brand, it would be getting universal praise as a mid-budget, relevant character study featuring Joachin Phoenix in one of his “best performances ever.” I get the need to pile on against this movie and to be predisposed towards dismissing it especially after Phillips’ had to make matters worse by mischaracterizing it as some kind of “anti-SJW, anti-woke” manifesto to defend it (which it definitely is not – the ideologies expressed in this film are WAY closer to Bernie Bros than Alt-right)……but it’s a very well-crafted character study that comes from a long-running tradition of tense character studies – mood-pieces based on around disturbed loners who are driven to sociopathic behavior from Taxi Driver to Falling Down to Fight Club to One Hour Photo…and this film hold its own among that group. (Even though the structure is definitely similar to Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy) Here’s my review below which I posted on Letterbxd:

    This is a strong film pure and simple – it is laser-focused on one character’s story and it does help that he’s played by Joachim Phoenix who has always excelled at playing odd ducks whether they are benevolent (Her), sinister (Gladiator), or somewhat ambivalent (The Master). I found his story haunting and sad – this is NOT someone who is held up as a hero or even an anti-hero; he’s way too damaged a person to even experience his own narrative on a consistent basis.

    And that’s part of what makes this film stand out: Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) doesn’t believe in anything nor have any kind of end-goal for what he really wants from life…..he thinks he just wants people to be nicer to him but he’s so disconnected from reality that he can’t really even register how that would manifest itself or how to react to people being nice. Literally every moment of triumph this character exhibits whether earned or not is extremely fleeting – he’s constantly undercutting himself whether it be from a laughing tic that he has lost control over or from a distorted view of reality where he can’t distinguish real-life instances from his daydreams. Whether this all sounds entertaining is highly subjective but I just found myself completely absorbed by it.

    It takes a strong director with a sure hand to manage this material and Todd Phillips delivers on that front – the film is paced almost perfectly and while it’s structured in a very similar matter to Scorcese films like The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver (Phillips has made no bones about the fact that he was inspired but those films), it finds its own unique voice… feels like a film from the same universe as those Scorcese films but told in a more deliberate fashion.

    The film also looks and sounds fantastic: the cinematography by Lawrence Shur does a great job of portraying an early ’80’s Gotham (really NYC of course) that is both dingy on the ground with garbage everywhere and still strangely beautiful whenever the sun is shining down from a certain angle. The score from Hildur Gudnadottir is also one of the best of the year.

    The rest of the cast do well but most of them are not given much to do – Robert DeNiro makes the most of just a couple of select scenes featuring him as Murray Franklin, the Jerry Langford-like (from ‘King of Comedy) talk show host who Fleck idolizes….to a point. And Brett Cullen does a nice job of portraying a less idealized version of Thomas Wayne….even as a Batman-fan, you can appreciate how this type of all-powerful master of industry could come off to those less fortunate who feel much more threatened than inspired by his efforts to galvanize them in an effort to become their Mayor.

    My biggest criticism of the film would be Zazie Beets’ Sophie character who is portrayed as a potential romantic interest for Arthur….she’s fine in the role but is very under-utilized and as the plot develops, we see her more as a plot device than a compelling character. That and the the music cues which Phillips chooses to dot the soundtrack (Rock and Roll by Gary Glitter, That’s Life by Frank Sinatra) would have felt hackneyed and overused in a Scorcese film from even 20 years ago…..New York in the ’70’s and ’80’s had SUCH a rich culture, would it kill a filmmaker just ONCE to insert a catchy hit from say….the Talking Heads or Patti Smith to give you a distinct feeling of time and place? 🙂

    These are small criticisms for a film that is a near-masterpiece overall – I empathized with Arthur but never found him to be portrayed as someone to inspire “action” like a Travis Bickle or Tyler Durden….and I enjoyed living in his world for two hours while still really wanting things to turn out better in the end.

    This film deserves to be seen by adults who just enjoy good storytelling – does the film have its share of violence and nastiness? Yes but those are necessities for the type of story it’s trying to tell and they are never taken to the exploitative levels of a Death Wish or Rambo sequel.

    If you’re looking to dislike this film based on its pedigree, source material, or even the obnoxious hype surrounding it then have at it Hoss! 🙂 But you’ll be missing out…

  20. Bulldog68 says:

    Leahnz I’d love your thoughts on reviewing this movie on two levels, as a Joker in the DC universe film, or as an unassociated stand-alone character piece.

    I agree with most everything you said, but I thought it failed on living up to its characters title. It’s like they took the darker half of Heath Ledger and said let’s just do that. It made for powerful cinema no doubt, but missing was the intelligence that Joker normally brings to the table. This Joker felt un-diabolical, and maybe that’s the point, but I felt that element of Joker being puppet master and knowing how to manipulate people is a core characteristic.

    By not giving Joker a foil, be it Batman, or a Commissioner Gordon, or someone else, you basically had a story of an angry white male, which I’ve seen before, particularly in the other movies you referenced. But was was this movie a character study of? An angry white male, or what makes Joker, Joker?

    I’m still processing how I feel about this Joker movie so I’m sure my opinion will evolve over time, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Joker as the character aspect of this film.

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    Ah yeah I didn’t hate Joker because Phillips directed it. I hated it because I was bored senseless. I was hoping to be provoked or offended just to cure my boredom. And I’d feel the same way even if say Scorsese had directed it.

  22. palmtree says:


    Geoff, you can like the film, and it’s certainly not the worst film ever. I admit it has some skill and style. But under the hood it’s empty.

    “the ideologies expressed in this film are WAY closer to Bernie Bros than Alt-right”

    Geoff, to me that was the main problem with this. While the film does express some sympathy for an Occupy-style movement, it characterizes that movement as being blood-thirsty and wanting to “kill the rich.” I mean, it can’t be both siding with Bernie bros while also making them into lawless hoodlums, can it? Just think, would the murder of random rich people inspire a movement? Would the grisly murder of a beloved TV host turn that murderer into a hero? In what world? These things merely happen because, well, he has to become the Joker…it’s a story point that hasn’t been earned.

    Overall the movie is an empty shell, designed to give us the surface of these issues and the Scorsese look and feel without actually saying anything of substance about those issues. It’s well done but in service of nothing.

    And even the music choices, which you criticize, are a symptom of this emptiness. The choice of Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns is completely ridiculous, but hey, it has the word “clowns” in it. There’s a lack of thoughtfulness that permeates even those details.

  23. Stella's Boy says:

    Grouch > Joker.

  24. Bulldog68 says:

    As far as Joker’s numbers go however, we could be looking at the most financially successful movie of the year. This thing could actually flirt with the billion dollar mark.

  25. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh no doubt. Very impressive. Warner Bros must have just hated that social media and news media obsessed over it for a month before it even opened.

  26. SideshowBill says:

    I’m all over the map with Joker. There’s a lot I like. A lot I hate. Decisions I dig and some I don’t understand. I thought it was well filmed but didn’t fit the subject matter. The score was good but the songs didn’t thrill. I knew exactly where it was headed but still enjoyed the climax. I just don’t know how to judge it. It’s misconceived but manages to do some good things.

    I will say I liked Phoenix, and I think they did a pretty good job putting the Alan Moore/Grant Morrison Joker on screen. I just wish the movie fully served him.

  27. Geoff says:


    Palmtree, I believe the film provides a lot more context to what’s going on that you and other folks are giving it it credit for…

    “Geoff, to me that was the main problem with this. While the film does express some sympathy for an Occupy-style movement, it characterizes that movement as being blood-thirsty and wanting to “kill the rich.” I mean, it can’t be both siding with Bernie bros while also making them into lawless hoodlums, can it? Just think, would the murder of random rich people inspire a movement? Would the grisly murder of a beloved TV host turn that murderer into a hero? In what world? These things merely happen because, well, he has to become the Joker…it’s a story point that hasn’t been earned.”

    The movie sets up a world pretty well that dirty, violent, and getting increasingly tense – it’s all laid out there in the first five minutes. There’s newscasts about the garbage strike, you SEE the garbage laying out there, and you see what happens to Arthur on the first street during that first scene….you can call it “on-the-nose” but it’s all there and having watched Taxi Driver recently (which is a superior movie), it’s really no less subtle than DeNiro’s narration early on in that film. And the movie establishes within the first half the kind of arrogance that Thomas Wayne expresses on behalf of the wealthy and powerful, calling those unlike him “clowns” – you can even scoff at that but given that three and a half years later, I’m STILL seeing Trumpcult folks online calling themselves “Deplorables” based on just one off-hand comment by Hillary Clinton, that shit can sometimes stick and have an effect. 😉 Gotham is presented pretty much off-the-bat as a city that’s in the midst of a lot of turmoil so yes anything that happens in that third act pretty aligns with the logic of the story set early on.

    And like I said in my review, it’s a film that strongly follows the tradition of similar ones in its “man on the edge” genre:

    – In Taxi Driver, does any one really believe the Travis Bickle survived those last gun shots or became a local celebrity after shooting up that brothel?
    – In Falling Down, does any one really believe that Bill Foster could just wander around “gangland” starting shit without even a scratch on him?
    – In One Hour Photo, does any one believe that Sy would be allowed to stay at his job several days after his boss tells him he’s fired due to suspected thousands of dollars in theft?

    That’s the genre, that’s the type of story Todd Phillips is trying to tell – there are some logical leaps and everything DOES seems heightened but’s kind of the point.

    I get that it’s not going to work for every one but I also have seen too many folks – especially those on the left – whose views of the movie were tainted by shit that Todd Phillips said and the hype surrounding the movie. And I say that being a proud liberal SJW myself.

    It’s not a nihilistic film that advocates for violence of any kind and like I said above, the film never really allows the Arthur/Joker character to linger too much on any triumphs….and I think that’s by design because he’s NOT a hero nor an anti-hero.

    I’ve seen it twice now and right now, the reaction to this movie feels a lot like Fight Club when that came out 20 years ago….though with better box office obviously. But I remember Roger Ebert ranting about that film…and he wasn’t the only one – SO many folks took the wrong messages from that film. I remember even opening night leaving with a few friends and some of them were gung-ho to start their own fight clubs!

    Now to be fair, Fight Club has not completely aged well but I still think a lot of it appeared more thoughtful as time went on….I think the same could happen for Joker with some time removed from all of the hype.

  28. Geoff says:

    And Bulldog, the film is a smash no doubt but it’s doubtful that it will even get close to a billion worldwide – nowadays, you need to be released in China AND you need to play well in China to get to that level. Apparently Joker isn’t going to be released in China so would rule that out.

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    I don’t know. I don’t think Joker is going to have that much of a lasting impact. As palmtree said, it’s empty. No message, so legions of people won’t be taking the wrong message. Remove the hype and you’ve got nothing. But give it a few years and if every dude in freshman dorms across the nation has a Joker poster on his wall, I’ll admit to being wrong. I also have not come across a single instance of someone paying to see the movie and then hating it just because of who the director is. This is something people do when others don’t like a movie they like. Make up excuses. “You didn’t get it.” “You just hate Todd Phillips.” I’m guessing that down the line if it’s remembered at all it’s for being a financially successful R-rated DC movie.

  30. palmtree says:

    Geoff, I appreciate your defense, but still don’t agree. I can see how shooting up pimps and gangs might get you some positive attention from those who don’t like crime. I still don’t see how you’d get any love for the heinous cold-blooded murder of a beloved TV host. Maybe you’d get love from a small group of devoted Manson-like cult followers, but not a mass riot in the streets by people who just want social services. Unless of course you wanted to demonize those people…

    Fight Club as a film is actually a solid critique of toxic masculinity, really ahead of its time in dealing with these issues. Of course, that didn’t prevent idiots from misinterpreting it, but just on its own, Fight Club is a movie I think that has aged well.

  31. leahnz says:

    bulldog, no snark intended but i don’t give a shit about this this movie, my dunning-kruger comment re the film-making about sums it up (on every level) – an embarrassing attempt at socio-political/mental health/arty profundity — like a 13 yr old boy’s idea of being conceptually *smart* and complex and edgy (sorry 13yr old boys, rock on and be excellent): stunted, messy, inane and dull, though well-filmed and generally well-performed, a few nice moments here and there.
    (what IS terrifying about this movie is people claiming phillip’s try-hard imitation boring misshapen drivel is an example of good story-telling for adults. good god the end is indeed extremely fucking nigh)

    also if todd had made a good movie i have no problem saying so, i was genuinely curious about it. he’s always been a dick – watch 5 mins of any video of him, it’s not exactly some revelation. the deal is, this movie IS just so him, a puerile bro mind thinking he’s being clever and relevant – and then so many of a certain ilk that appear to relate – it’s all just so 2019

  32. Geoff says:

    Stella, I’m not putting Todd Phillips out there as a straw-man for harsh criticism of this movie – he is already is and yes, he’s partially to blame for that.

    I have read and/or watched at least a dozen reviews that have cited him among their reasons for disliking the movie – plenty of snarky comments along the lines of “So the director of Hangover III is now saying….” or “Phillips can’t escape his predilection for frat-boy hi-jinks from his previous films….”

    Are we really living in an alternative reality now where film critics’ views of a given film are NOT affected by who is directing the film?? 😉 We haven’t seen this already with big name directors from Nolan to Bay to Tarantino to Spike Lee…and so on, it’s not exactly a new trend.

    And I say that as a general Tarantino fan even…..if this same EXACT film was directed by Quentin Tarantino, it would be getting near-universal raves and few folks would be batting an eye at the violence….which is actually relatively tame compared to a Fight Club or Taxi Driver in comparison….and even to the third act of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    I am saying I don’t think there are people who like the film but decide to hate it because Phillips directed it. And I don’t think people decided to hate it and stuck with that. That’s always struck me as sour grapes from people mad that not everyone likes something as much as they do. He isn’t a very good filmmaker so it isn’t surprising that they dislike a film he directed. Also, it’s not good, so it makes sense. QT is a critical darling so yeah it probably would get raves if he directed the same movie. Not the best example.

  34. palmtree says:

    I love that we’re talking so much about Fight Club. Today is actually Fight Club’s 20th anniversary!

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    Saw it at a preview screening a few nights before it opened. Got a bar of soap upon entry. Kept it for a while but it’s long gone now. One of the coolest things I ever got at a preview screening. Best was beef jerky at Ravenous, which to this day is the most sparely attended free preview I ever attended.

  36. moviemsan says:

    I still have the “I saw ET” button I got at a sneak of Spielberg’s greatest film at a 1982 Memorial Day weekend sneak.

    Water-colored memories.

    Re: “Fight Club.”
    (Spoilers Alert!)
    I remember being disheartened at the end of “FC” when we discovered that “Brad Pitt” didn’t exist.
    He was so much hotter than Ed Norton.
    Always meant to give it a “I’ve already been disappointed; show me” second look. But even though I bought the “Director’s Cut” DVD eons ago, I never got around to it.
    Mea culpa.

    P.P.S.= The beef jerky thing is cool, SB.
    Mind-blowing that a major studio released “Ravenous.” You would’ve sworn it was 1971.

  37. Amblinman says:

    ”Seriously folks…..if Joker wasn’t directed by Todd Phillips..”

    …and had a better script, wasn’t a muddled mess, wasn’t boring…you guyz would have liked it better!

  38. Amblinman says:

    On that note:

    Fuck is up with the comic book genre? Every sexless dorkface loses their shit because people don’t respect their childrens movies with Tourette’s.

  39. Pete B. says:

    If I could have any movie memorabilia, I always wanted Tyler Durden’s fur coat from Fight Club. Pair that up with Jack Burton’s tank top from Big Trouble in Little China. And hopefully it has a pocket big enough for a copy of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows from (duh) The Ninth Gate.

    20 years ago? I just watched Fight Club recently on HBO or Cinemax, and it aged fairly well.

  40. palmtree says:

    I have a full-size Y Tu Mama Tambien towel that is still in regular rotation in my bathroom. Wish I could use it after showering with the Fight Club soap though.

  41. Geoff says:

    “Fuck is up with the comic book genre? Every sexless dorkface loses their shit because people don’t respect their childrens movies with Tourette’s.”

    Except that Joker is not a children’s movie but I agree with you with regards to how Marvel fans can’t seem to tolerate any one not loving their favorite workplace sitcom.

  42. palmtree says:

    Joker isn’t a children’s movie, but it’s an adult movie for people who like children’s movies.

    Parasite is an adult movie.

  43. Geoffrey says:

    I LOVED Parasite and think it’s the best film of the year so far….but that doesn’t make Joker a lesser film.

    And actually Parasite is probably around 70% upstairs/downstairs farce, just elevated by the third act….not diminishing it at all because it’s pulled off perfectly but it’s not the typical film for “adults” either.

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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