MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

Voynar By Kim

It’s Raining Men: Which Men Should Get Oscar Nods… and Which Men Shouldn’t

Published under Oscar Outsider. This week, we only asked our Gurus to vote on Best Picture, but as the resident Oscar outsider, I’m still working my way up to that category. I’ve delved deeply into the various adapted screenplays I was most interested in, and have covered the women quite extensively, so this week I’m…

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Taking a Wrong Turn on Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road is not a story about suburban angst; it’s a story about the illusions people create to sustain their belief in who they are and who they wish they were. Lee Siegel, writing for The Wall Street Journal, has a piece up titled “Why Does Hollywood Hate the Suburbs? America’s Long Artistic Tradition of Claiming Spiritual Death…

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Consider the Source: Defining a Dramatic Structure for Defiance

Published under Oscar Outsider. Spoiler Warning: This column contains heavy spoilers for the film Defiance. Adapting a scholarly tome into a dramatic narrative retelling for the big screen is no easy task; how does one take a detailed, rather dry account of historical facts and translate that into a movie with character arcs, dramatic flow…

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Conflicting Messages About Sex with Teenagers: The Reader vs. Towelhead

I wrote about The Reader in my review last week, but I wanted to delve a little more into what I consider one of the more interesting aspects of this film: that it centers around a sexual relationship between a 15-year-old boy and a woman who’s more than twice his age — and that not a…

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Consider the Source: The Adaptation of Revolutionary Road

Published under Oscar Outsider. Spoiler Warning: This column contains heavy spoilers for both the book and film Revolutionary Road. In adapting Richard Yates‘ 1961 novel Revolutionary Road, screenwriter Justin Haythe faced the challenge of translating a book that’s largely interior and told from the point of view of one character, Frank Wheeler (played in the film by Leonardo…

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New Moon’s New Director: Does it Really Matter that He’s Not a Woman?

I wrote briefly on Film Essent the other day about the Twilight series getting a new (male) director, but I wanted to address it in a bit more detail here. Twilight, in case you’ve been living under a rock the past six months or so, is a wildly popular book series about a teenage girl who falls…

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And the Nominees for Best Actress Should Be…

Back in October, I wrote about three performances I feel merit Best Actress nominations this year: Kristin Scott Thomas in I’ve Loved You So Long, Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married, and Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky. Today, having finally seen the rest of the films with Best Actress-contending performances, I’d like to talk about the actresses who should fill the remaining two…

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Nudity in Film: Why Bare Chests Do Not Equal Bare Breasts

A while back, I wrote a column here on whether female nudity in film is art or exploitation. One of the things I posited in that column was that the existence of female nudity as such in a film isn’t what determines whether it’s art or exploitation — it’s the context in which the nudity is…

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Docs: Poetry Vs Prose

Published under Oscar Outsiders. I am a serious doc geek — the kind who would bore you stupid on a date dissecting some fascinating doc about Bulgarian toe fetishists. And sadly, I’ve just not been blown out of the water much by the docs this year. Maybe it’s the tightening of the economy overall making…

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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