MCN Columnists
David Poland

Pride By David

Weekend, 08 November 1997

IN: New Line is putting all its eggs in one movie, teaming Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and The Full Monty co-star Tom Wilkinson (who played Gerald) in Rush Hour, to be directed by Money Talks director Brett Ratner. The storyline? The Chinese ambassador’s daughter is kidnapped in Los Angeles. Wilkinson plays the ambassador’s right-hand man….

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The big noise starts this weekend with Starship Troopers. Twenty-five million is my estimate. A big number, but doable. Even surpassable. With all the people going to genre movies (see slots three, five and seven), the stage is set for this one, by far the biggest, brashest entry in the category since Men In Black…

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Thursday, 06 November 1997

The notoriously widescreen Marlon Brando has seduced notoriously picky novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez into allowing The Grandfather Godfather to adapt his novel, Autumn of the Patriarch, as a movie. In turn, Brando says that this film, which is centered around an aging Latin American dictator, will be his last. If the film does get made,…

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Wednesday, 05 November 1997

Titanic finally set sail in Japan with a triumph for Jim Cameron and an even bigger one for Paramount and 20th Century Fox publicity. For Cameron, it was the wildly enthusiastic reaction of the crowd to the film. For the studios, it was their success in getting a handle on the estimates of overwhelming production…

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Tuesday, 04 November 1997

Grease is the word at Paramount these days. Producer Alan Carr, the most popular caftan wearer ever, aside from our own Andy Jones, is back on the lot, prepping the Grease 20th Anniversary Star Wars-like re-launch, in which more than 1,500 screens will play the remastered version on the smash hit. Unlike Star Wars, there’s…

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Ouch! I know you can’t see it in my photos, but I am bleeding profusely from the nose after getting tagged hard by Boogie Nights’ number four opening with just $5.1 million! I guess Middle America wasn’t ready for a film about porn that didn’t include porn. And I wish I could blame it on…

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Weekend, 01 November 1997

Here’s a plotline: A movie producer learns a lesson about life after his child’s wish that he can’t litigate for two years comes true. Nah! Never’ll happen! Aaron Russo, who produced a half a dozen hits in the ’80s, is suing Imagine Entertainment for $25 million, claiming that producer Brian Grazer stole his idea for…

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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