MCN Columnists
Noah Forrest

Frenzy On Column By Noah

James Gray Director of Two Lovers

Noah has a far-ranging conversation with Two Lovers director James Gray about Francis Ford Coppola, Italian neo-realism vs French New Wave, The 400 Blows, and his potential next film: The Lost City of Z starring Brad Pitt. Listen to Noah Forrest Podcast with James Gray

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The Top Ten of 2009

As I look back on the cinematic year and the one hundred and fifty new releases that I saw, I feel absolutely certain that this is one of the worst years for films in recent history. No doubt 2009 is the worst year of the past decade with only a handful of great films, one…

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The 2nd Annual Frenzies

Since every minor and major critics group in the country has come up with their own award, I decided last year that I would start my own, The Frenzies. Last year was a rousing success and as with everything in Hollywood that is successful in its first go-round, it’s time for the sequel! I still have…

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The Best of All Decades

A few weeks ago, I wrote a long column about why 25th Hour is the best film of the aughts. That got me thinking about what the rest of my list would look like. I’ve narrowed down the list of potential candidates – I’m ultimately going to pick ten – and in the interest of full…

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For Your Consideration 2009

Every year I try to single out the performances and films that I think aren’t getting enough attention during the awards season.  It seems that certain storylines become more “interesting” or certain actors or films become the “underdog” that everyone roots for and a lot of quality gets lost in the shuffle. And this year,…

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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