Reeler Archive for March, 2006

Eight Reasons to Never Marry Harrison Ford

While neither Harrison Ford nor the recent trend in fake movie trailers elicit much from me besides a long yawn, The Reeler has featured an appropriate dash of both in the past. Now, however, New York filmmakers Steven Santos and Marcos Levy have finally joined these twin epidemics of poor taste in a short film that is both amusing and revealing.
Needless to say, Calista Flockhart is sharpening her self-defense techniques as we speak.
(Photo: The Onion)


NY Post Brings 'Old Joy' Dog Thisclose to the A-List

Over the last 24 hours, The Times has offered not one but two glowing write-ups about Kelly Reichardt’s riveting Old Joy, which won acclaim at Sundance and Rotterdam before finding an audience at this year’s New Directors/New Films Festival. But as usual, a typically classy Manohla Dargis review and a sober, striking profile of Reichardt by Dennis Lim are no match for the one and only V.A. Musetto, who obviously has more Old Joy over at the Post than he knows how to handle:

“I didn’t really know how long Old Joy would be,” Reichardt confided. “I just sort of figured it would be whatever length it is meant to be.”

It was meant to be 76 minutes, which seems just right to tell the story of two aging hippie pals – Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (Will Oldham) – who reunite for a weekend camping trip in the Oregon mountains.

They take along a dog, Lucy, who just happens to be Reichardt’s. It was her screen debut.

“She loves being included,” her proud owner said. “She doesn’t like being left alone. She was easy and great to work with.”

Truth be told, Lucy the dog originally had a much bigger part in the film, but her species’ distance from Mark and Kurt’s more central struggles with aging, affluence, generational identity, politics and nature led Reichardt to slash her role to almost nothing. Hence Old Joy‘s 76-minute running time.
Meanwhile, rumor has it that Lucy is fuming with her publicist about her exclusion from both Times pieces. Jesus. Leave it a guy from the Post to harsh poor Reichardt’s mellow.

The NY Daily News: Your Go-To Source For Repentant Filmmakers

You know your week is shaping up to be a good one when Kevin Smith backpedals into Sunday trying to neutralize Lloyd Grove. In today’s Lowdown, Grove cites a report from the University of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper detailing Smith’s recent speaking gig there, and while Smith does not explicitly back down from his salty assessments of “cunt” Reese Witherspoon and a sexual interlude Jason Mewes supposedly had with Nicole Richie, he wants you to know his lecture was supposed to be, you know, just between friends:

In two agitated E-mails to this column, Smith confirmed the essential accuracy of the (Witherspoon) quotes. “The sentiment’s roughly the same, but the wording wasn’t nearly that concise,” he advised. …

The director cautioned: “It’s not my story; it’s Jay’s. And it’s one thing to tell that tale out of school at a college Q&A [in the context of a far larger, longer story about Mewes’ hard journey from heroin abuse to three years of total sobriety], and a completely different thing to just pull the stuff about bathroom sex and run it in a gossip column. … [It] makes it all seem like unsavory locker-room chitchat.”

In fairness to Smith, reporter Shruti Dave’s story in the Daily Pennsylvanian does take a little more wide-ranging tack than Grove’s column implies. Of course, the piece online seems to have been sanitized since its publication March 23; only a fraction of the Witherspoon comments remain, the Mewes/Richie tale has been excised entirely and nothing appears that would be offensive enough to provoke the reader comment: “The DP has hit a new low with reporters. Did he/she even stay past the first 15 minutes??”
Then there is documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who made all kinds of new friends on his own recent trip to Philadelphia:

Morgan Spurlock, who porked up eating nothing but McDonald’s for his Oscar-nominated film Super Size Me, gave a profanity-laced speech that used the F-word and poked fun at the mentally challenged at a suburban Philadelphia high school’s health fair.

Speaking at Hatboro-Horsham High School, Spurlock joked about the intelligence of McDonald’s employees, the “retarded kids in the back wearing helmets” and pot-smoking teachers in the balcony.

While most kids ate it up, teachers weren’t lovin’ it – and quietly led the special ed pupils out of the hour-long presentation.

“It just wasn’t appropriate,” said Superintendent William Lessa, who disinvited Spurlock from a second appearance Friday.

A defiant Spurlock was uncowed: “The greatest lesson those kids learned today was the importance of free speech,” he said.

Meanwhile, over on his blog at indieWIRE, Spurlock offered his own I-apologize-if-I-offended-anybody-oh-and-by-the-way-fuck-the-media explanation:

As I told both the principal and superintendent of schools after my lecture, it is never my intent to insult or demean anyone – and I understand how some of my remarks may have offended some in attendance and if you feel they did, then I am deeply sorry. …

I do, however, believe it is very important for me to address many of the points made in the media.

First and most importantly, it should be made clear that the only person I called “retarded” was myself when I was unable to hear a question from the audience. Having done work with special needs children in the past, something this hurtful would never come from my lips. I did make an aside about kids sleeping in the back wearing helmets, which was done with no malicious intent (I was playing it as a slacker reference to the Jon Heder character in the upcoming film “Benchwarmers,” a reference which was lost and, as I was later told, there were no actual students wearing helmets in the back). …

Lastly, in the article it quoted me as saying that the greatest lesson those kids learned was the importance of freedom of speech. When saying that, I did not mean that you have the right to insult anyone at will (as many people have interpreted it.) I was referring to the fact that the group that hired me to speak asked that I not mention McDonald’s in any of my talk because one of their board members owns a franchise. That would be like asking Neil Armstrong to speak but tell him he can’t bring up walking on the moon, so needless to say, I didn’t agree to their censorship.

Please know that any comment I made in my speech was done in a comical tone without an ounce of vindictive purpose. While it may be too late for apologies for many in the community, I hope this in some small way can start to make amends with the rest of you.

Fair enough, but if my math is correct, the guy now owes Jon Heder an apology, and he still owes me 100 minutes for sitting through Super Size Me. Talk about digging yourself a hole.

MSNBC Presents: Getting to Know Natalie Portman

At least that is the rumor.
RELATED: ‘V For Vendetta’: Revolution Lite Premieres in New York (March 14, 2006)

Screening Gotham: March 24-26, 2006

A few of this weekend’s worthwhile cinematic happenings around New York:
–There are a few films every year for which the critical reception resembles an especially fulsome pissing contest of hyperbole. In 2005, for example, The New World and A History of Violence sort of cornered the market on purple-prosed oneupsmanship among the “Take” poll crowd, while 2006 seems to the Year of a Thousand Blowjobs for the Dardenne brothers and their new film L’Enfant.
Although I went on the record last year with my own impressions, I really do not have anything to add for or against it. But what I do recommend is avoiding any more reviews of the film until you have seen it yourself; the story of a petty criminal whose garish irresponsibility compromises the lives and souls of everyone around him, L’Enfant has more to offer than a testing ground for the bons mots critics will eventually harvest for their year-end Top Ten lists. And make no mistake: You should see it, but without an allegiance to the burdensome analysis that the Dardennes’ simplicity both invites and repels. In other words: Do not feel bad if the final credits are not interrupted by a shattering Earth. But do expect something worth at least the 90 minutes you paid for.
New Directors/New Films is underway at MoMA and Lincoln Center this weekend, with a handful of those selected few scheduled to meet Sunday morning at the Walter Reade Theater for a discussion sponsored by HBO. You already know New Yorkers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson) and Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart) from Sundance, while Sarah Watt (Look Both Ways) and Aureaus Solito (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros) will also swing by to chat up their own flicks.
Incidentally, the brilliant Man Push Cart gets what I’m fairly certain is its New York premiere tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the WRT, while Ian Gamazon and Neill dela Llana’s riveting no-budget thriller Cavite gets a spin over there Sunday afternoon at 3. Sure, they might be getting distributed later this year, but only once can you say you knew them way back when.
–Director David Redmon and producer Ashley Sabin will be at Cinema Village this evening at 7:45 to introduce and discuss their acclaimed documentary Mardi Gras: Made in China. You might have heard about it: The filmmakers followed the path of Mardi Gras beads from their source in bleak Chinese manufacturing plants to the ribald streets of New Orleans. Revelers come face-to-face with laborers via video, you get all outraged about globalization and then remember that we are all fucked anyway so you might as well just go drinking. With this in mind, the producers have conveniently arranged an afterparty tonight at Antimart in East Williamsburg. Guilt is always more fun in a crowd, anyway.

Andrew Sarris: Plagiarist, Or Just Resourceful?

We all know from experience that the Observer’s Andrew Sarris has literally been repeating himself for a while now, but at least we could draw some comfort from knowing that his contemporary revivals were originally his at one time. Not so with this week’s latest trangression, which has the legendary critic all but calling it in with quotes lifted (verbatim in some cases) from Film Forum’s program notes for its current Don Siegel series.
I do not know whether to attribute this to plagiarism or just old-fashioned laziness. In either case, I definitely doubt this is the way the auteurs do it:
FILM FORUM: THE GUN RUNNERS (1958) Fishing boat captain Audie Murphy (most decorated U.S. soldier in WWII) gets blackmailed by Eddie Albert into running arms to Cuban revolutionaries — then Albert double-crosses the rebels. Third adaptation of Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not.
SARRIS: Sharing the bill is The Gun Runners (1958), in which fishing-boat captain Audie Murphy (in real life, the most decorated soldier in World War II) gets blackmailed by Eddie Albert into running arms to the Cuban revolutionaries—before Albert double-crosses the rebels in this third adaptation of Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not.
FILM FORUM: THE DUEL AT SILVER CREEK (1952) Duel of the outrageous character names, as Audie Murphy’s “Silver Kid” hooks up with Stephen McNally’s Sheriff “Lightning” Tyrone to go toe to toe with “Ratface,” “Johnny Sombrero,” and Lee Marvin’s “Tinhorn” Burgess; while in back to back scenes, Faith Domergue strangles and seduces with equal aplomb.
CHINA VENTURE (1953) WWII, China coast, and Captain Edmond O’Brien leads a patrol, including Japanese-speaking Barry Sullivan and nurse Jocelyn Brando (Marlon’s sister), to bring in an ailing Japanese operative and find out his big secret. Shot on an incredible studio-created jungle, nearly washed away by torrential studio downpours.
SARRIS: The Duel at Silver Creek (1952): Audie Murphy’s “The Silver Kid” teams up with Stephen McNally’s “Lightening” Tyrone for showdowns with “Rat Face,” “Johnny Sombrero,” and Lee Marvin’s “Tinhorn” Burgess, while in back to back scenes, Faith Domergue strangles and seduces with equal aplomb. China Venture (1953): China coast where Captain Edmond O’Brien leads a patrol, including Japanese speaking Barry Sullivan and nurse Jocelyn Brando (Marlon’s sister so memorable in Fritz Lang’s 1953 The Big Heat 1953 [sic]), to bring in an ailing Japanese agent and find out his big secret. Shot in an incredible studio-created jungle nearly washed away by torrential studio downpours.
Find additional degrees of derivative fun following the jump.

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Festival News Trifecta From Tribeca, Brooklyn and the Subway Cinema Gang

Thursday was partly a day of deferred maintenance around Reeler HQ, and as such, you might have missed the flurry of festival news that has hit New York over the last 24 hours. Of course, a day without a Tribeca update is like a hiccup that will not stop, so we should probably start with the titles named to this year’s Tribeca Family Festival: 19 features and four shorts programs comprising more than two dozen films. The festival includes the usual variety of New York movies, including the world premiere of Constantine Limperis’s When Fried Eggs Fly (“A great first documentary for precocious kids!” the press release says) and a mildly rare screening of Harold Lloyd’s swan song, Speedy.
Special events include the return of Downtown Youth Behind the Camera–spotlighting the work of elementary- and middle-school (!) filmmakers–and the Family Festival Street Fair that runs all day May 6. Not-so-special events include Keeping Up With the Steins–the directing debut of Garry Marshall’s son Scott (not exactly Reitman père and fils, you know?)–and Anthony Rapp dropping by to sign copies of his Rent opus Without You. Naturally, the full program follows after the jump.
Meanwhile, Asian film guru Grady Hendrix–whose rapturous praise for the Tribeca selection Hanging Garden evidently overrules his hatred for the festival itself–announced a few programming choices of his own for the 2006 New York Asian Film Festival. It seems Hendrix is especially big on Peacock, legendary cinematographer Gu Chang-wei’s directorial debut about small-town life in 1970s China. “(It is) totally unexpected, absolutely glorious,
and downright thrilling, (so) it’s no surprise that it won the Grand Jury prize at Berlin last year,” Hendrix wrote in this week’s Subway Cinema update. And an endorsement from Hendrix does not just ring–it resonates. Trust me on this one.
Finally, the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival is creeping up on us with its opening-night film My Grandmother’s House. Adan Aliaga’s documentary candidly explores the generational clash between a headstrong granddaughter and her equally headstrong grandmother; the film snagged prizes at Amsterdam’s International Documentary Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival. The event kicks off at the Brooklyn Lyceum April 19, but expect the full 2006 program online by April 1.

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Who Said It? Play the Movie Marketing Hack Match Game

Remember when we were young, and an early spring Friday at school meant some kind of fun game to start the weekend? The same ethos applies at The Reeler, where an extended Google binge last night called attention to a veritable shitstorm of amusing movie marketing gibberish.
You know the high-powered names who are responsible, but can you actually pin the quotes below to the appropriate industry topper? It is tougher than it looks, especially when we pull the sources’ respective companies from their PR-ready bromides. But you can do it, so kick Friday off with a smile on your face and that same grinding pain in your stomach as always!
Solutions are listed after the jump.

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Josh Hartnett: Slagging Off Lohan and Hilton For the Kids

The Reeler spent most of this morning hunkered down at the Regency with Lucy Liu, Sir Ben Kingsley and a few other principals from the nifty little neo-noir Lucky Number Slevin, due out April 7. And while our technical and aesthetic banter was enthralling as all hell, leading man Josh Hartnett’s avowed resistance to being a “cog in the studio machine” reminded me of some fun criticisms he recently made of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.
“I don’t think I even said that,” Hartnett replied when asked about comments attributed to him by Jane Magazine (via Page Six). “But if I said something like that, I think it was more about what kids are trying to do these days with their lives. A lot of people are relying on, you know, ‘I can be on a reality TV show and be a star tomorrow, so what does it matter?’ You know? ‘I’m just going to go to college and I’m going to party–prolonged adolescence.’ But it’s getting more and more (that) I think a lot of people are kind of betting on that.
“I probably used their names in some other context,” he continued, a little more on topic. “I don’t know. Anybody who makes a living in this business has done something right. I don’t fault anybody for their way of doing things. But I think that that whole thing was totally misconstrued.”
And yes–we did talk about Slevin itself, a fine film that I will cover here a little more conventionally closer to its release. But God only knows how much the nascent Hartnett/Lohan feud troubled you, so at least now you can get some sleep until the next misquote, decontextualization or whatever.

'Unknown' Gets Watergate Treatment From Washington Post

Just when you thought that the non-starting amnesia documentary Unknown White Male and its condemned distributor Wellspring were getting to the front of the line on death row, the Washington Post’s David Segal creeped in Wednesday with a new round of suspicion about doc subject Doug Bruce (right) just in time for Unknown‘s D.C. opening.
At the time of its New York release lat month, Bruce’s tale of severe memory loss fueled no shortage of skeptics (including yours truly) who thought the story was too jejune and contradictory to believe. Segal revisits the debate to some degree; the standard movie-profile stuff is all here, with a few delicious bursts of animosity (“I was telling his story,” [director Rupert Murray] says at one point. “Not your story, not the story of a journalist. The story of a friend, and I don’t have to [freaking] prove anything to anyone.”) and a supporting role featuring Reeler pal Chris Doyle. But plow through to the end for a succession of scoops that makes GQ’s recent cross-examination of Bruce look like a date with Liz Smith:

In a coincidence that defies Lotto-size odds, Bruce knew a man in Paris who suffered a weeklong bout of severe amnesia and used the ordeal to rethink his life.

According to a former girlfriend, who remains close to Bruce and is convinced he is telling the truth, a friend had an on-field collision during a pickup soccer game, landing him in the hospital without any identification and no memory of his life. His family thought he was dead, until they scoured area hospitals and found him.

It’s not in the movie, but Bruce mentions this episode during the videotaped interviews shot a few days after the alleged onset of amnesia. In a copy obtained by The Washington Post, Bruce says the friend set aside his hard-charging business career and moved to either Bali or Thailand, where he learned to give massages. “And now he heals people,” Bruce whispers.

And then there is Bruce remembering his first rainfall–twice–and the undefined period of Bruce’s life during which he secured his independent wealth. Segal continues:

Why this is a mystery is itself a mystery, but it is a conspicuous obstacle to sifting through Bruce’s past, and it produced this head-scratcher of an answer from Murray. “Somebody told [Bruce] the name of the film, but he forgot it. When I asked him about it recently, he said he thought it started with an ‘L.’ Lllllllle something.”

Oh, sure–you mean LLLLLLLLiar?

MoMA Taps Mangold For 'Work in Progress'

You already know MoMA’s got its hands full with this year’s New Directors/New Films festival (which starts tonight with possibly its best film, Ryan Fleck’s Half Nelson), but a note just over the transom tells me the Midtown busybodies are already looking ahead to honoring James Mangold at its annual A Work In Progress event in May.
The Work in Progress series spotlights the canons of acclaimed directors with both excellent work in front of them and the likely potential for better work ahead; previous honorees include Sofia Coppola, Alexander Payne and David Russell. The format unfolds as sort of a succession of This-Is-Your-Life vignettes, with clips from previous films and brief discussions with some of their stars.
And while Mangold and writer/moderator Anna Deveare Smith might not titllate the audience the way last year’s Will Ferrell/Mark Forster tandem did, Mangold has directed a couple of Oscar winners (Angelina Jolie and Reese Witherspoon) and a score of other A-listers since 1995’s Heavy. In other words, MoMA will not be lacking for star power May 23.

Tribeca Time Again: Festival Names Competition Shorts

Let’s see: Wednesday morning, 11:30 a.m. … It must be time to browse another batch of Tribeca releases. This time around, The Reeler has the list of this year’s short films in competition: 76 titles in all, including work featuring David Strathairn, Elvis Costello and Don Cheadle. A few films ring a bell from previous festivals (RESFest ’05 featured Jane Lloyd, while Sundance ’06 offered New Yorker Levan Koguashvili’s student short, The Debt), and no less a master than Abbas Kiarostami will crash the party with his documentary short, Roads of Kiarostami.
As usual, there are plenty more where that came from, and you can find them after the jump.

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Beasties Film Flash: Museum Hosts Videos, 'Awesome' Premiere Locks Yauch

Heads-up to all of you Beastie Boys fans: The Museum of the Moving Image sends word that it will screen the trio’s music videos for three weeks in conjunction with the March 28 premiere of their new film Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That. The videos start up this Saturday, March 25, while next Tuesday’s premiere will feature a Pinewood dialogue with director Nathanial Hörnblowér (a k a Beastie Boy MCA, a k a Adam Rauch).
I will try and bring you some insights from the event, but I have to tell you: The $24 ticket price is worth it. Just buy one and go. A glimpse at Awesome last week revealed to me perhaps the best concert film ever made, and I do not even like the Beastie Boys. It achieves the perfect balance of performance and experience, art film and science project. I will write about it in a little more depth closer to the film’s March 31 release, but seriously: In the contemporary climate of lukewarm concert chronicles like Dave Chappelle’s Block Party and Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Awesome represents more than just an auspicious show–it is a refreshing near-miracle of filmmaking.

'Lonesome Jim' Premiere Makes Itself at Home

The Reeler high-tailed it Tuesday from the warm-hearted environs of the Ziegfeld to the more homey confines of, um, Home, where IFC Films and the New York Observer had gathered to toast the premiere of Steve Buscemi’s latest directorial effort Lonesome Jim. While I had read a few things about the film, I had not an opportunity to view it; I thus avoided any further long waiting periods on line to embarrass myself with Buscemi or his stars Liv Tyler and Casey Affleck.

It’s for you: Liv Tyler and Michael Stipe at Tuesday night’s party for Lonesome Jim (Photo: STV)

Also not making their ways in front of my notebook were Lonesome co-star Seymour Cassell, cheerful party animal Michael Stipe, IFC kingpin Jonathan Sehring and a late-arriving Julian Schnabel, who indulged a pair of photographers outside with a half-dead slouch against Home’s brick façade. “Julian, look here,” they said, gesturing toward their lenses. It worked. Barely.
Lonesome Jim opens Friday in New York.

'Lucky Number Slevin': Bruce Willis, Incomparable Bad-Ass

The Reeler waited with its red-carpet colleagues no fewer than two-and-a-half hours Tuesday night to get a word with the principals behind Lucky Number Slevin, the buzz-wielding New York gangster noir premiering at the Ziegfeld Theater. Two-and-a-half hours for principals who trickled in for a screening that started at least an hour late. Two-and-a-half hours with a Josh Hartnett here or a Lucy Liu there, ostensibly sympathetic publicists retrieving soda from the upstairs lobby for reporters and with the 10 of us on line wondering if Bruce Willis would ever return from doing TV interviews out in the tent on 54th Street.
In the meantime, I caught up with director Paul McGuigan, a Scotland native who downplayed the impact of the city’s noir mythology. ” People make movies other places,” he told me. “We made ours in Montreal, then came down here for a week or so and shot on the streets. Mostly East Village, Lower East Side, a little in the West Village.”
Yeah, well, New York was still a fairly integral character that you had to direct in a way, wasn’t it?
“Oh, New York City was the character,” McGuigan said. “(Screenwriter) Jason Smilovic was walking down the road in the West Village and he saw these two big buildings with opposing facades. And that started the cool idea of one guy in one of them and one guy in a penthouse and their rival gangsters, and that’s how it starts. New York is actually the genesis of the whole script.”
I asked the filmmaker about his own vision for portraying a city moviegoers have watched onscreen for more than a century. “To me, there’s a lot of the city that I like that perhaps people take for granted,” he said. “I like going across the bridge with the big wide lenses, you know. I like showing New York as wide as you can. It’s actually quite hard to shoot unless you shoot from the air; you have to keep the plane wide to get everything in because there’s such a vastness to it. That was my approach.”
McGuigan was less expressive about his NYC noir influences. “None.”
What? None?
“I had no influences.”
You had no influences?
“Nuh-uh. No.”
This alone seemed discussion-worthy, but Willis bounded up the stairs behind McGuigan and that was pretty much the end of that interview. Willis put his arm around his director and called him the “number-one reason I wanted to work on this movie.”
OK, OK, enough of that. Bruce, you’ve been a bad-ass on a lot of bad-ass movie posters. Is this Slevin one the baddest-assed or what?
“I’ve never seen this poster,” he told me, stepping back to look behind McGuigan at the one-sheet taped to the outside of a glass poster box. “Oh, wow. Jesus. It’s awesome.”
Let’s say compared to Die Hard, Last Boy Scout, on the bad-ass scale of 1-10–
“I wouldn’t compare it to anything. It’s pretty cool. Last question?”
Such a politician. And to think he would give the quote of the century after a 150-minute wait! Silliness. Even sillier was the moment immediately after that, when one of the tabloid reporters asked Willis how he deals with all those pesky Petra Nemcova stories.
“I don’t pay any attention to them. But thanks for asking!”
And then, like my earlier dream of a swift, painless death, Willis was gone. This is the best job in the world. No worries, however–The Reeler will be catching up with most of the Lucky Number Slevin crew again later this week and will bring you a little more resonant burst of coverage the week of Slevin‘s April 7 release.

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