Awards Archive for September, 2006

The Truth About Toronto & Oscar

The stark reality of Toronto





Eastwood's Double Feature

Seeing that Variety went buck wild over the idea – which is still just an idea, according to their one reported story – of Eastwood releasing both Iwo Jima films this year, I wonder what starting gun went off in whose ear.
They have a news story from Pamela McClintock
There is no rule book to follow for the marketing and publicity execs at Warner Bros. and Paramount who are charged with opening his two Iwo Jima films. Even the rollout campaign is still being worked out.
Execs believe it’s critical that the two movies be released within a short time of each other in the U.S. and Japan. However, they don’t want the films to crowd each other out.
“Each movie needs its own space. It can’t be seen as a stunt,” one marketing vet says.
There are also a lot of generals in the mix. DreamWorks and Warner Bros. were the original partners on the films, but once DreamWorks was sold to Paramount, Par became involved.
Par bows “Flags of Our Fathers” (the battle from the American viewpoint) next month in the U.S., while Warners begins opening “Letters From Iwo Jima” (told from the Japanese side and shot entirely in Japanese) in December. Warners is releasing “Flags” overseas, and “Letters” everywhere.

The Japanese-language pic bows Dec. 9 in Japan. Warners hasn’t set a U.S. release date, but buzz is that the studio could mount a qualifying awards run in December before going wide domestically early in the year.
Then there is the Peter Bart piece
Clint has two movies coming out before year’s end. That is, two separate movies with the same story. Actually, not the same story; not even the same language. Just the same setting.
“Flags of Our Fathers,” a movie about the battle for Iwo Jima 60-plus years ago, will open Oct. 20. “Letters From Iwo Jima,” Clint’s Japanese-language movie on the same subject, but from the Japanese point of view, will open two months later.
Thus, the possibility exists that Clint will be the first filmmaker in history to have two films in awards contention in the same year, in two different languages.

Finally, there is a William Goldman appreciation of Clint
Not ever a career like it.
Not in all movie history.

This all suggests to me that something funky is afoot.
I had heard that the first screenings for any Paramount execs of Flags were to be in the week to come. Perhaps they happened last week. But keep in mind, we’re 7 weeks out from a release. Extremely unusual.
But even more unusual is having two movies like this released by two different studios with two different agendas. Paramount/DreamWorks has – if anyone can have this – too many Oscar contenders. Warner Bros hopes they have one in Blood Diamond and think The Departed could surprise. WHo knows what they think about what they have seen of The Good German? But the first two are considered by some to be more thrillers than Oscar bait and the Soderbergh is in black and white and might also be “just” a thriller… which means that after a disastrous summer, the urge to find a possible Oscar solution could be mighty mighty. And Eastwood’s allegiance is to WB first, Paramount/DreamWorks… somewhere.
The bottom line on Eastwood is that he tells the studios what’s happening. So how this is coming down is hard to read.
There is a range of scenarios.
1) Eastwood could have decided that DreamWorks/Paramount has too many movies and his is going to be de-prioritized by the studio while WB will give it full attention.
2) Eastwood could have simply decided that two people chasing Oscar for him is better than one.
3) Eastwood could have finally been convinced that the show of releasing both films in the same year is a winner for him and the films.
4) Warner Bros could have campaigned with Eastwood for all or any of the above


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