The Hot Blog Archive for November, 2008

BYOB – Traveling



Media Silenced

There were Gay Marriage protests all over the globe this weekend… undercovered by media


DP/30 – Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy

The director and the screenwriter of Slumdog Millionaire

30 More Minutes wth Danny… with the Slumdog Millionaire stars…


One Last (I Hope) Thought On Prop 8

The greatest irony is that so many feel so bad for a nice young man with a family because he might, at some point, lose his job because he helped fund the Prop 8 effort..
But he will not lose his right to work.
If people in the film festival business choose not to hire him under the circumstance, it will be because of a specific action he took, not because of what religion he is or how he has sex.
We can argue all day long about the meaning of his choice and whether his action should be subject to a response. But what we can’t argue is this…
All that gay America is asking is that they be held to that same standard that he is… to be judged and perhaps limited by their actions, not who they are.


The Biggest Change Since The Election

The discussion of post partum blogging came up before the election, so I thought I would speak to it…
Really, I’m just not watching a minimum of 5 hours a day of political shows, reading 15 websites, clicking on Sullivan hourly, checking HuffPo and Politico, and jonzeing for NYT editorials at 8:58p PST.
The TV in this house is off, in general, a lot more often than it has been for months. I don’t feel the need to fill the time void with different entertainment. My Blackberry is working less hard. And I am trying to push myself to watch some of the fine films that have been piling up in recent weeks, while my focus has been elsewhere.
Prop 8 has not actually been very time consuming, except when the Raddon thing became a full day activity or I have been caught in protest traffic.
And Obama’s “I’m not President yet, folks” thing has helped us all back to sanity. I would not want to be scheduled to screen for the first time at Sundance on inauguration day.


Weekend Estimates by Klady

Sony is reporting that Quantum of Solace opened to $70.4 million.
* All-time best opening ever for the Bond franchise
* $23 million stronger than Die Another Day.
* Worldwide to date, Quantum of Solace has earned more than $322 million
* #1 in each of the 73 territories where it has opened
* Japan, Australia and Spain not open yet
* Exits run 54% male and 46% female. 58% over 25. 42% under 25.
Top per-screen of the weekend… Slumdog Millionaire (no “s”)
Is it a good number?
Juno opened to $413,869 on 7 screens last year… result, $143 million total.
This is not quite as good. But…
The month of November is looking very,very muscular. Bond is easily the biggest non-family opening in the history of the month. Madagascar 2‘s strong opening made the 1-2 only the second Novemeber with two $60m-plus openings in history. The #3 opening in the first circumstance – 2001 – was Shallow Hal with $22.5m. Expect both Twilight and Bolt to crush that next weekend. (Heck… Role Models almost matched it.)
The only time there were four November openings of as much as $30 million was 1999. That should be matched next weekend and could be beat with the opening of Four Christmases the week after.


Has Lindsay Lohan Become Paris Hilton?

I was looking at the top headline in Yahoo! Entertainment News… Lindsay Lohan hit by flour because she was wearing a fur in Paris… and it struck me…
Is Lindsay Lohan famous for anything but being famous anymore?
For a moment, it seemed she was a real movie star. She could open and support movies.
But it’s now just short of 3.5 years since she’s been in a film that grossed as much as $21 million or opened to as much as $7 million.
She is no longer a movie star. Period.
If she ever becomes one again, it will be because she earns the status back with a movie or two that actually have some popular heft. Her next two films do not have studio distribution. And she has not had a job at a studio in two years now… and the one network job she got, she lost.
I guess this is not fresh news… but it just really hit me. Waste.


Friday Estimates by Klady

What is there to say? Bond is following Batman in the “we loved the reboot, so we are showing up in record numbers for the next one.” Unfortunately, I don’t suspect that the crowds who loved Casino Royale will be quite as thrilled this time out. But the opening will have the effect Sony is seeking, not just for this film, but more importantly for the next film or two or three, which they do not have distribution rights to… yet. This kind of show of muscle says to Broccoli and Wilson, “We are the place for you… how can you put yourself in MGM’s hands when you don’t know what they can do and you know that we can kick ass for you.”
Changeling continues to run in near-lockstep with Flags of our Fathers (the distribution pattern varies them slightly).
Perhaps the biggest story amongst the holdovers is The Secret Life of Bees cracking $30 million. The film has passed Quarantine and Nick & Norah to be the biggest grossing under $12 million movie of the fall season and could be on its way to passing the Tyler Perry entry, The Family That Preys. It looks like it will also outgross Changeling. Like President-elect Obama, it seems that this film, once ghettoed as a


FIND On Raddon

It took all day to get to this…
The Film Independent Board of Directors has issued the following statement:
“As a champion of diversity, Film Independent is dedicated to supporting the civil rights of all individuals. At the same time, our organization does not police the personal, religious, or political choices of any employee, member, or filmmaker.”
issued at 7:48p on a Friday night.
With due respect to all involved… it feels like a cop out.
I didn’t need Rich Raddon to go. I didn’t need him to stay. There is a lot of complexity in this situation and I don’t really know how I would feel in time, either way. But faced with a very real issue and a chance to make a statement of some weight, the FIND board issued nothing but a textbook platitude. And that is unfortunate.
I’m going to reserve further comment, as I am sure that the intentions of the board members who pushed for this were good. To presume otherwise would be unkind. And I think we’ve all had enough of that for one day.


Blog… BYO Blog


Who's Watching The Watchmen?


The Raddon Debate Moves Into The Boardroom

LAFF’s Rich Raddon tendered his resignation last night…
And FIND did not accept it.
So this morning – right now, actually – the LAFF board is meeting about how to move forward.
In many ways, I am encouraged by this becoming a decision to be made by a group and not by one person, whether the person under fire or the top of FIND, Dawn Hudson. It is an opportunity to debate these issues in some detail and, surely, with great passion.
This is, no doubt, a tricky slope. Can a person who works in a community with a strong history of supporting gay (and other minority) rights survive while differing from the group politically? Isn’t that at the core of freedom of ideas?
On the other hand, isn’t one reasonable price to pay for the expression of one’s freedom to get a response from the other side?
Did Mr. Raddon show cowardice in trying to exit FIND rather than fighting for what he believes?
One group will debate that this morning… and an answer may or may not be forthcoming. But in choosing not to accept Raddon’s resignation, Dawn and those she consulted took a leadership role. Rich Raddon will not be simply swept under the rug.
If the FIND board believes in transparency that they should make their positions known… not in single-voiced unity, but in some way that suggests the range of opinions on this issue. I know it would be an onerous burden on many of the board members who don’t want the exposure of expressing their politics in public. But that is where the win is, in my opinion. Until we can have these debates in public, without the lies of a political campaign, and then come together as groups united for other purposes as well… well, until then, it’s National Guardsmen walking little black kids to school. And whatever your minority, it would be nice to think we are past that.
it will be discussed and
Moving on…
In last night’s post about Raddon’s contribution to “Yes On 8,” the comments seemed to line up on either side of a few issues…
1. Prop 8 was either “the protection of marriage” and not intended to remove any constitutional rights OR a statewide referendum to remove civil rights from a targetted group.
2..Guys like Raddon are either being abused for expressing their political rights or they are reaping the fruits of backstabbing key constituencies in their workplaces.
3. Either you hang onto the “people’s will” idea of the vote and other votes like it nationally or you see it as a fundamental constitutional issue that isn’t really up for debate.
I wonder… Has 40 years of black civil rights made America color blind? (And before you shout,


Prop 8 Battle Hits Hollywood's Indie Community At Home

The buzz story of the day is not going to go anywhere pretty…
The Festival Director of FIND’s LA Film Festival, Rich Raddon, came up on a


DP/30 – Mickey Rourke… The Wrestler


And Now, Prop 8's Direct Challenge To Sundance

John Aravosis’s AmericaBlog has chased down another significant “Yes on Prop 8” financial supporter… the CEO of the Cinemark theater chain, in for $9,999.
And with that, Sundance (and the media, in particular) will face its first real and direct challenge… as Cinemark owns the Holiday Village Cinemas, where many of the press screenings are during Sundance. In fact, it is the only real theater – the rest are built in ballrooms for the purpose – used for press screenings during the festival.
So now we have something real on the table. Are those of us in the media who are supportive of the constitutional rights of gays in Americsa obliged to pass on any screening in the Holiday Village Cinemas (where, ironically, I once saw liberals enraged because the great neo-Nazi doc, Blood in the Face, was not clear enough about being anti-Nazi). What about the indie publicists, most of the male species of which are gay? Do they work that cinema? Do their cliients just say “no?”
And Sundance will actually have to answer what is now a real question… will they financially support a theater in their group of theaters that is led by a Prop 8 financer?
I have to answer the question myself as well. Right now, I would lean to making the statement by joining any boycott of the Holiday Village. There are other options during the festival. Nothing plays the HV exclusively.
Can Sundance move forward without those 3 or 4 screens? It is easy to imagine a shift away from the HV costing the fest at least half a million dollars in the cost of building yet another new temporary cinema (or cinemas) in a town that is already pushed to the edge of available space. But it might be worth it. It would be a mighty statement. And Bob Redford can probably afford it… even if it comes at the worst possible time for any festival in a period of vanishing cash sponsorship.
(And btw… the Sugarhouse Theater in SLC… used for some screenings… also Cinemark.)


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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