MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Digital Nation By Gary

The Oscars of Journalism

As far as I know, Pulitzer Prize-winners and presenters aren’t awarded gift baskets for showing up at the annual banquet saluting the best in the business of journalism … not yet, anyway. A handful of bloggers pay attention, but the ceremony isn’t televised … except, maybe, on C-SPAN … and no one in Las Vegas…

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If the seat fits …

After ShoWest, Digital Dretzka managed to get lost in the Digital Ozone, and, for a while, the business of Hollywood took a back seat to monitoring March Madness and propping up the teetering pile of DVDs awaiting scrutiny elsewhere in Movie City News. Upon venturing into the blogosphere Tuesday morning, a random search turned up…

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Keep On Flossing …

And, speaking of Floss ‘n Toss … being of the Boomer generation, DD naturally wondered if the good folks at StaiNo LLC had attempted to get the seal of approval of the American Dental Association, which had done wonders for sales of Crest and Colgate. David Antler, the company’s president, allowed that an ADA endorsement…

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Sitcoms losses no laughing matter

A report that found its way into the Los Angeles Times’ Quick Takes column last Saturday has revealed that Americans are investing more time watching sitcoms than a dozen years ago, but fewer are getting their yucks from shows selected for them by network programmers. Magna Group’s research has discovered that 4.84 hours/week currently are…

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ShoWest Wraps Up

ShoWest 2006 threw itself a wrap party Thursday night, but not before Warner Bros. availed itself of the opportunity to brag on its upcoming slate of “event” movies. The company, which once was known for sponsoring the most star-studded of all ShoWest banquets, has been a no-show for the last few years. Instead, the “new”…

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Skip the butter, add the floss

Much of the fun for civilians attending ShoWest comes in strolling through the aisles of the exhibition hall, where the latest trends in concessions, furniture, cleaning supplies and technology are put on display. This year, there were few products that caused any kind of a stir, but one or two managed to stand out in…

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Exhibs preview Altman’s Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor may lack the charisma of a George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but 4 million radio listeners can’t be wrong … or, so hopes Picturehouse president Bob Berney. Exhibitors attending ShoWest didn’t pack screenings of “A Prairie Home Companion” in the same numbers as greeted “Cars,” but those who made the effort were rewarded…

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Disney takes Pixar’s Cars out for a spin at ShoWest

LAS VEGAS — Few potential summer blockbusters will arrive with as much baggage in its trunk as “Cars,” which will be the first animated feature released under the newly conjoined banner of Disney and Pixar. Wall Street analysts will put the picture under the same intense scrutiny as that employed by film critics approaching any…

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ShoWest & the Ghost of Cinema Future

Judging from all the projections of doom and gloom that accompanied each new weekend’s box-office reports last summer and fall, you’d think organizers of ShoWest would have staged the annual gathering of theater owners in a funeral parlor, and not within the faux-sunny confines of Paris Las Vegas. Apparently, with business up in the first-quarter…

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Digital Nation

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