Awards Archive for November, 2009

Screen It 2k+9

I don’t want to start reporting every DVD that hits the porch as though it is news, but with WB, Focus, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Sony Classics, and Magnolia landing with Academy members so far, it is interesting, I think, that WB decided not to ship The Hangover, though there will be Globes push. And even with the big DVD release party, no Star Trek for Oscar so far either.
I’m not sure why Searchlight hasn’t pulled the trigger on Crazy Heart, a movie that will play better on TV… not coincidentally made for TV.
There will be plenty more DVDs on the way…


Twittered By An Academy Member This Morning

where the hell are the screeners???!!!
This is one of the major events of this year’s awards season. Magnolia and Sony Classics have shipped. Everyone else… not yet.
And the same is pretty much true of the ad campaigns. Expect a big, fresh wave of ads this week and next. But studios large and small have been playing it very close to the fiscal vest this season so far.
The same is true with the last four big awards films to be seen. Nine junketed this last weekend because they had it planned months ago and they have a big cast of very busy actors. But everyone who saw the film – the soundtrack of which is still two weeks away from being done – including the HFPA, signed agreements not to review or every mention the film on social networking sites.
Avatar, no. Invictus, no. The Lovely Bones, no.
As usual, the one high-profile movie that is being long-lead screened, Sherlock Holmes, is suddenly getting odd awards buzz from the long-lead monkeys. There is even some new buzz around It’s Complicated.
Why hasn’t every member of The Academy had The Hurt Locker and District 9 and A Serious Man and Inglourious Basterds in their DVD players for weeks now? Not to mention long shots like Star Trek and The Hangover and The Informant!?
The reason is money, it seems… not so much as in no one spending as in studios hedging on their awards spending through a very scary corporate summer and preparing to lock-n-load just before Thanksgiving… some just before Christmas.
All of this is… well… interesting… if hard to analyze. Of the big new movies, you can be sure that Academy members will be drawn to Invictus and Avatar and Nine in a big way. The Lovely Bones may find it more challenging to get older viewers to the theaters (screening rooms and public) and could be very SAG-reliant to get it rolling.
But it may be that the long shots get longer as, literally, dozens of DVDs suddenly pile up on the doorstep next week.


Cinema Eye Doc Award Nominations



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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