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Part Six: Return To LA & The Eddie Problem

June 13, 1982 – Back In Town L.A. Today with a lot of extras at the set of Elaine’s bar, we refer to it as The Chronicle Bar, It’s a practical location out in Pasadena. Sosna yelling to the prop guy: “Craig set you’re a card on fire.” I think this is a discussion of Craig’s responsibility…

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Part Five: Because It’s Hard

May 30, 1982 SF by Day OUR DAY OFF — SUNDAY — WALKING AROUND SAN FRANCISCO My guess is that San Francisco is the city of sexual soap opera, but this is because the power to induce sexual obligation is so diminished that everyone takes off from where they are without the slightest thought. I…

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Part Four: Subway Shooting

May 28, 1982 SHOOTING NIGHTS IN THE BART STATION I have much more time to write because this a dialogueless sequence which I am not called upon to alter even in the slightest. It will take three or four nights to shoot, so Walter knows that he has some time off before he has to…

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Part Three: Philosophical In San Francisco

May 22, 1982 SF @ Night Watching San Francisco unreel and unfold, my fourth day here, I get a pervasive sense of nobody in this city “meaning it” in the sense that Erik Erikson uses that phrase in his book about Luther.  People in LA vehemently, blissed out or dead-souled in their money lust, but peculiarly…

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Part Two: The First 120 Hrs. Of Production

May 17, 1982 FIRST DAY OF SHOOTING The first of two days on location, out doors, in Modesto, California, two hours south of San Francisco where we’re headed for ten days after this… Sonny Landham & James Remar Get Dirty Basically our job is to shoot the sequence of Ganz and his native American partner…

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Part One: Before The Movie Shoots

Walter Hill APRIL 18, 1982 Last Thursday Walter Hill phones.  A call my agent had promised me would come but didn’t know when.  I’d hung on for four long days. He was calling, I knew, already, to discuss my gong to work for him on a go picture in active pre production at Paramount called 48 Hours….

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Hollywood, Inc.: May 5, 2008

By R.J. Matson

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Oscar 2004: The Politics of the Best Picture Award

Instead of taking the usual line and criticizing the Oscars for being artistically biased, I would like to be more instructive and look at the specific socio-historical contexts and ideologies that have influenced the types of films that are nominated for and win Oscars. I am proposing that, above all, the Oscars are noble, middlebrow,…

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A Civil Year

My immediate tendency when the Oscar nominations are announced each year is to place everything into a specific context. What is this the “year of?” What is the Academy trying to say with their choices? What’s it all about? Many opinions have been offered and digested in the last week about the niche this year’s…

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Veni Vidi Vhatever

So the announcement we’ve all been waiting for this year came and went this morning. The Oscar nominations were exhaled with something of a dry whiff more than a commanding voice. Munich managed to make its way to an Oscar nomination for Best Picture in the midst of all the bad press and amidst all…

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For Your Consideration

Those three words ring loud and clear during the busy months of any given Oscar season. I decided to hold this column until the week following the closing of polls (three days ago). While this column can’t, therefore, be considered a “for your consideration” list at this juncture, at the very least these are the…

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It is truly a weird circumstance when the most interesting part of the Golden Globes ceremony is having a conversation with Carson Daly at an after party. Last night, Hollywood’s elite congregated and got good and inebriated as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out their Golden Globe awards. As you have read, Ang Lee andBrokeback Mountain…

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What a Difference a Day Made

Or two days, as it were. Last week the four major guilds from the film industry announced their nominees (the writers, the directors, the producers and the actors). What we are left with are four films that hit the grand slam, including the Screen Actors Guild’s Best Performance by an Ensemble, establishing in the minds…

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Head First

One can barely utter the words Happy New Year without that first wave of guild nominations barreling down the doorway of a bright and shiny 2006. On Wednesday, January 4, the Writers and Producers Guilds will announce their nominees. Neither group is particular good prognosticators of the Academy’s Best Picture quintet. However, on Thursday the…

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Where Have All the Cowgirls Gone?

Has anyone else noticed how thin this year’s crop of Best Actress hopefuls has turned out to be? It seems as if you could count on both hands the ladies left in the hunt and, beyond that, it’s rather difficult to find a full and healthy list of five predicted nominees. At this point, it…

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A Brave New ‘Wood?

I started paying attention to the Academy Awards in 1996. I was 15 (that makes me 23 now) and I had not one clue about the theatrics that goes into such a ceremony. . But the more I watched, the more it became clear to me that these six months can be as crazy as…

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Don’t Forget to Take the Kids

Email Jamie Stuart ,

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Age and Women in Hollywood: The Prime of Miss Joan Allen

Due to the peculiarities of movie distribution these days, March 11 is going to be a big day for Joan Allen.By sheer coincidence, two of her films, Campbell Scott’s Off the Map(which I saw in Cannes two years ago) and Mike Binder’s The Upside of Anger, are opening on the same day. The Upside of Anger, which world premiered at…

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A Good Year For The Oscars

I leave it up to the TV critics to analyze the Oscar ceremonies as an entertainment TV show. However, as far as I am concerned, Chris Rock did a good job, even if had expected him to be edgier and more provocative. One of the things that struck me about the show was the large…

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The MCN 100: The Early Poll 2003

In an awards season fraught with new issues, Movie City News introduces the “MCN 100,” a voting group of 100 film journalists from across the globe, representing print, television, radio and the internet. Members have been drawn from some of the best known and the most obscure publications in the world in hopes of finding…

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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