Questions & Answers

 

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Name:             Will
E-mail:            wdodson52@hotmail.com
Date:               7/1/15

I'll be very interested to read your take on "Into the Abyss." Herzog was criticized by some for leaving out one of the key witnesses (probably purposefully since he never mentions her). But since guilt was never in doubt, I don't think that mattered for what he was going for. You asked me what I thought the best movie of 2014 was, and I can't say. I saw only five movies in the theater, all of them chosen by my wife or kids. So I saw "Grand Budapest Hotel." I don't like Wes Anderson, whose films are beautifully shot but whose stories are incredibly adolescent. I saw "The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies," which was awful, and "Big Hero 6" with the kids. "Big Hero 6" was interesting until the end, when it gets trite. I saw "Guardians of the Galaxy," which was stupid. "The Babadook" was all right but kind of fell apart at the end. It's a pretty depressing list. I'll check out "Whiplash" since you recommend it. I think the best movie I saw in 2014 was one I wrote you about, Don Siegel's "The Gun Runners," the third adaptation of "To Have and Have Not," which had a terrific performance by Eddie Albert.

Dear Will:

Clearly, you need to see more adult films. Have you ever considered having your kids see adult films, as opposed to you having to watch kid's films? Or is this idea just verboten? If kids can't have exactly what they want then all hell will break loose? My family went to the movies every week or two when I was young and there was absolutely no question that whatever film we saw was going to be suitable for my parents as well (from early on, I generally got to choose). Of course, I had no interest in kid's films by the time I was eight or nine. I distinctly recall being perhaps eight and sitting all day through "The Longest Day" (yes, it was) and "The Blue Max." This is undoubtedly why films aimed at adults don't make much money any more, and therefore aren't given very good budgets. If adults see them at all it's on cable or video after the kids have gone to bed, or are off playing video games.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               6/30/15

It was kind of you to personally tell Eric Roberts about what was going down, and it was cool that he seemed cool. Do you think he was sabotaged by the producer when he pretty much turned bad on you? Or do you think he was being "fake cordial" when you explained to him the situation and planned to sabotage you regardless? Thanks again for responding to this line of questioning, it's very interesting to me.

Dear Justin:

I believe that he was being "fake cordial" and was in bed with the producer from the beginning. It was a doomed production and I knew it from very early on. The only reason i stuck with it as long as I did is that I wanted another feature credit, but I didn't even get that. On a purely perverse level I would like to see what they ended up with. The DP, Dan, said that they followed my shot list all the way through, and I'd just love to see what was made of it, considering there are many times when I have to read my shot list several times to figure out what I meant.

Josh

Name:             William Grabowski
E-mail:            nightrun7@yahoo.com
Date:               6/30/15

Dear Josh :

Thank you for this incredible website, which I'm very late in discovering. I've made up for that by devouring its contents. I grew up in Cleveland, OH, with The Ghoul, and have made it to 57 years of age. Full-time freelance writer/editor. I've learned more about structure, and screenwriting (I've written 2 movie tie-ins, Castro's Cadillac the one I can mention because not under NDA), by visiting here than I can say. I "get" your take on matters, life and especially the brutal realities of making a so-called living from nothing but writing. Thanks so much.

Dear William:

It's my pleasure. I'm glad you got something out of my ramblings, which, from the outset, nearly 17 years ago (the site began in August, 1998), was my point. Sadly, I don't think the state of motion pictures has improved all that much in the interim. I switched cable companies and I now get all of the premium channels. I've bailed out on more movies in the last month than I have in my whole life. If one has a sense of story structure it's completely evident within 15 minutes if the filmmakers have a story to tell or not. I just watched "Whiplash" for the third time, and though it's not great, it's certainly a good, well-made film, and undoubtedly the best film of 2014. You absolutely know in the very first scene what the film is about--that's how it's done. Telling a story is not a mysterious craft.

Regarding your second question, what do I think of John Carpenter? Not much. He's never made a film I really like, although, for the most part, his films are watchable.

Josh

Name:             Will Dodson
E-mail:            wdodson52@hotmail.com
Date:               6/30/15

Dear Josh :

I saw my 4,593rd movie yesterday, Werner Herzog's "Into the Abyss." By coincidence, the Supreme Court ruled that executions could use a drug that potentially causes excruciating pain. Have you seen it? Herzog clearly states he's against the death penalty, but in detailing the murders committed by Jason Burkett and Michael Perry, and interviewing family of the victims, you almost want to kill these guys yourself. At the same time, he interviews Burkett's father (also in jail), a prison chaplain, a retired death row guard who now protests the death penalty--all of whom break down at some point--and it's hard to imagine supporting the death penalty. Personally, I have always been against the death penalty for ethical and economic reasons (e.g. life in prison is cheaper for the taxpayers). Still, I wasn't expecting to be as moved as I was by the film. So a double question: if you've seen the film, what did you think? And what's your position on capital punishment?

Dear Will:

I'm against it, as pretty much all civilized countries are. "Beyond a shadow of a doubt" is murky realm that has proven incorrect on too many occasions. I have not seen Herzog's film, but I will immediately put it on my Netflix list. I think he's one of the last truly exception filmmakers working. If I could actually make it through an entire new movie I ought to break the 5,000 mark very soon. What would you say was the best film of 2014?

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               6/29/15

Dear Josh :

Regarding this movie "Intent," Any way you saw the final piece? As unreasonable as that is... If you did, (and I'm asking two questions in one) what did you think? Thanks

Dear Justin:

It was never completed, as far as I know. My buddy Dan was the DP, who made it through the whole shoot, and he's never seen it, either, or any part of it. I'm certain that they didn't have anywhere close to what they needed to cut it together, and I have no doubt that what was shot after I left was useless anyway. It was a prime example of what occurs when arrogance meets ignorance. The producers, who had never made a movie, thought they knew better than we--the director, DP, 1st AD, Steadicam operator, etc.--and shut us all down. So fuck them. That was about a million bucks flushed down the crapper.

Josh

Name:             Paul
E-mail:           
Date:               6/28/15

Dear Josh :

Regarding the comment about Molassia (which I have never heard of by the way). Perhaps you have heard of Emperor Norton (Joshua Abraham Norton (c. 1817–1818[2] – January 8, 1880) he was a fascinating fellow who declared himself Emperor of America in the 1850s. He walked around in a royal outfit and was embraced by the people of San Francisco.

Dear Paul:

I'd never heard of him until you brought him up. He's just one more crazy person. Anyway, since I wrote that little essay it seems that most everyone has finally embraced the idea of getting rid of the Confederate flag, which is a good thing. And now marriage equality and Obamacare are the laws of the land. Life is improving, and Obama is leaving a fine legacy. And the Republicans have no candidate, so life may well continue to improve.

Josh

Name:             Remo
E-mail:           
Date:               6/26/15

Dear Josh :

Regarding your Confederacy essay, there is, within the state of Nevada, a micro-nation called Molossia, which is its own country. Is that micro-nation illegal in the way the Confederacy was?

Dear Remo:

Kevin Braugh, "President" of Molossia, never seceded from the Union, nor has he and his "republic" ever been recognized by this country, the U.N., or any other country. This has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

Josh

Name:             Keith
E-mail:            alwayslikethis882@gmail.com
Date:               6/19/15

Hi Josh :

Have you heard about the US Treasury's plan to remove Alexander Hamilton from the ten dollar bill? I think it is a damn shame and a sign that most Americans are poorly educated about their national history. Hamilton was a great founding father. I am in favor of having a woman like Harriet Tubman added to our paper currency, but I'd rather see Andrew Jackson removed from the $20, as was originally proposed. Here is an article on the subject by Ron Chernow, who wrote a fascinating biography of Hamilton in 2006. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/save-alexander-hamilton-119176.html#.VYMx0_mbzDd

Dear Keith:

I am a big fan of Alexander Hamilton. He and George Washington were the originators of the Democratic party, called Federalists at the time. Thomas Jefferson and his gang were traitors, pushing for states' right over a solid federal government, and, as history has proven, they were wrong. As Mr. Chernow wrote, I'm all for emblazoning the image of an important woman somewhere--although there is certainly a dearth of important women in this country. I had the discussion last night about who that woman should be, and we couldn't decide on anyone. Harriet Taubman, Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt certainly have their points, but none of them came anywhere close to achieving what Alexander Hamilton did. That's partially why I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton--I'm extremely interested to see what a woman will do with this country, and I think it's about time. Not to mention that she's far and away the best candidate. Let's wait to see what she does, then let's put her on some currency, but not the $20 bill. Regarding Andrew Jackson, he was more of a war hero than a president. I think he's misrepresented in his relation to the Native Americans, many of whom he considered friends and respected. But the move westward across the Mississippi by the white man was inevitable as we continued to build up on the eastern seaboard, which Jackson tried to explain to the Indians, but to no avail. Nor can you blame the Indians for fighting for the land they lived on. That's simply how history shakes down.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               6/11/15

Dear Josh :

I never heard about this, "Intent" movie. Just looked it up on IMDB. What do you mean the producers sabotaged the movie? And what was so bad about Eric Roberts? You have a thick skin. No matter what happened I would blame myself and sulk for months. But I tend to be pretty hard on myself.

Dear Justin:

I guess you didn't read "The Making of 'Intent'." while it was up, before the producers of the film had their lawyers threaten me to take it down. Early into Michigan's 40% incentive program in 2009 I was hired by these first-time producers to direct a film one of the producers wrote. It was sort of a lame CSI thing, but I was happy to get the job. Anyway, without going into a million details, it went to hell in a handcar and I walked off the film a week into shooting. First the producer and Eric Roberts took over the direction, then, when Eric left, it was just the producer, who didn't have the slightest clue what he was doing and never got off the phone. I brought in the DP and he stuck it out--many people quit or were fired--and he said it was a shit-storm. One example is that they didn't shoot any of their inserts, then picked them all up at the end in front of a green screen, and I don't think they had plates. Anyway, six years later it has not been released. As my old sales agent used to say, "Film does not age like wine, it ages like fish." I daresay that "Intent" will never come out. C'est la vie.

Josh

Name:             Alien Termite
E-mail:           
Date:               6/08/15

Dear Humanoid Josh :

A random question for you, one that's been put to many film buffs over the years; who do you prefer, Keaton or Chaplin? After viewing several films from each over the past couple of weeks, I must say I'm more in the Chaplin camp myself. I'm particularly a fan of "Modern Times", "City Lights", and "The Great Dictator". I actually found the final speech from "The Great Dictator" quite moving, and pretty ballsy for its day.

Dear Alien:

I prefer Buster Keaton, who has made me laugh harder more times than Chaplin. Keaton's films "The General," "Our Hospitality," and "Steamboat Bill, Jr.," I think, are funnier than anything Chaplin ever made. But I have a great and abiding love for Chaplin, too, and I think he set the stage for the other silent comedians. Sadly, Buster Keaton couldn't cut in sound films, and everything you named of Chaplin's is from the sound era ("City Lights," which is brilliant, is still silent, but has a music score). "The Great Dictator," in my opinion, is way too long. I watched "Limelight" (1952) again not too long ago and enjoyed it in its highly sentimental way, but the best scene by far is the routine between Chaplin and Keaton, who steals the show.

Josh

Name:             Russ
E-mail:           
Date:               6/06/15

Hello Josh :

Interesting comment on Intent and Harpies. I'm not surprised by Roberts since I've seen him in interviews and he does seem to be full of himself for someone who is overshadowed by his sister in the business. Baldwin is another one who is overshadowed by family members. I guess they think by being divas that they can make themselves feel important. Can directors ever get the actors they want or just the producers? Can directors fire an actor and replace him with a more professional one? I thought the director was the boss on set. Or does that have to be specifically written in a director's contract?

Dear Russ:

If it's an independent production I can do whatever I want, but on TV I couldn't fire anyone, nor can any other director. I have a big say in casting and if I've chosen badly (and the producers have OKed them), that's my problem. Not to mention, once you've shot with an actor, if you replace them you'd have to reshoot their footage, which is certainly not happening on a TV show or most independent productions. The bottom line is that most actors are wonderful and are giving you all they've got, which isn't mentioned too often. The problem actors get all the press. Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Kevin Sorbo, Renee O'Connor, and most of the rest show up, are in a good mood, know their lines, are completely cooperative and are total pros, but there's no story there.

Josh

Name:             Justin Hayward
E-mail:            justinhayw@gmail.com
Date:               6/02/15

Dear Josh :

So I've had many professional director jobs that I considered failures. Honestly, I feel 1 out of 4 jobs aren't failures, but that's just me. It's a tough thing to realize every time. And, I know the old cliche, you never learn if you don't fail. Are there any moments as a professional filmmaker that you feel a failure made you a better director?

Dear Justin:

Not really. Early on I made screen direction errors, but I cleaned those up and never did them again. The failure of "Harpies" was not my fault--I had a script with FX on every page and no FX budget, and I had that stupid shit-head Stephen Baldwin, who wouldn't learn his lines or get into costume, and there was nothing I could do about that, either. On that unreleased piece of shit, "Intent," I had the worst amateur producers on earth who sabotaged the entire production right from the beginning, and I had that asshole, Eric Roberts, who was nothing more than obnoxious prick. When left to my own wiles, like on my films, or Hercules or Xena, I always delivered a competent job that cut together nicely and pleased the producers. I feel good about what I've done.

Josh

Name:             Trey
E-mail:            goonersmithy@gmail.com
Date:               5/28/15

Dear Josh :

I just re-watched "Running Time" on DVD and it's easily my favorite of your films. The black and white photography is gorgeous and I love the one shot technique. It's really impressive that, unlike Hitchcock's "Rope", you actually move all around LA instead of being confined to just one apartment. Anyway, my question is who owns the rights for release? Are they still with Anchor Bay? Do you think we'll ever get a blu-ray release? Hope all is well.

Dear Trey:

I'm really glad you like it. I do, too. And I honestly think it was an influence on "Birdman," which nobody has commented on. I own the film and was all set to make a deal with Synapse Films, but there are unpaid bills on the film that they didn't want to deal with and I presently can't. So, alas, it sits. But it's still available on my website, even if it's not Blu-Ray.

Josh

Name:             Alien Termite
E-mail:           
Date:               5/22/15

Dear Humanoid Josh :

Did Chris Dinnan's film make it into Cannes?

Dear Alien:

No, it did not. Not many films do.

Josh

Name:             Keith
E-mail:           
Date:               5/15/15

Hi Josh :

Do you think there has ever been a time in Hollywood's history that it was easier to break into the filmmaking business than it is now?

Dear Keith:

Certainly. Back during the silent era I think you could just show up at a studio and ask for a job. They'd start you off sweeping up--as John Wayne did--then you could work your way up. It was always better to know somebody, or be related to somebody in the business. Now, i don't know what the criteria is.

Josh

Name:             TJ
E-mail:            TDriscoll@kw.com
Date:               5/1/15

Hey Josh :

long time no talkie (It your Dean from 'Hammer')...Hope things are well with you? Have some questions about 'Running Time'? How much choreography of the shots did you do prior to the shooting? and what were the major problems you ran into during production?

Dear TJ:

Long time no hear. All of the choreography was worked out in advance. There's no way to get the actors and the camera in the places you want them at the right moments unless you work it out in advance. Unlike my other films which I either storyboarded or made shot lists, for RT I drew overhead diagrams of the floor-plans, where the actors would be as where the camera would be. This was imperative to get the cuts between reels to come out in the right places. It's very similar in "Birdman" except they had the ability to do digital transitions, which I thought they used well. Also, I stayed in real time, whereas they are doing time transitions because their story takes place over a couple of days. I'd love to hear a comparison between RT and "Birdman." Are you still in Alaska?

Josh

Name:             David R.
E-mail:           
Date:               5/1/15

Dear Josh :

Who do you like to win the big boxing match this weekend? I'll take Mayweather.

Dear David:

I predict Mayweather on points. I think he'll dance around and stay away and pop Pacquio now and then, then take it to a decision. This fight should have happened 5-6 years ago.

Josh

Name:             Andrew Harris
E-mail:           
Date:               4/26/15

Dear Josh :

I see you have several historical novels that you have recently published and that you also have experience in movies. Which novel do you believe would make the best motion picture? I am getting started as a film producer and would like to try to get one made. Thank you, Andrew Harris

Dear Andrew:

Write to me personally at josh@beckerfilms and we can discuss it.

Josh

Name:             JF
E-mail:           
Date:               4/25/15

Dear Josh :

Your answer about Birdman's got me curious - what are your favourite movies about making movies? Is it a subgenre you like or don't particularly care for given you've lived in Hollywood and been through the trenches yourself? Obviously there are stone cold classics like Singin' In The Rain or Sunset Boulevard, but what of more recent takes like The Player or David Cronenberg's latest, Map To The Stars? (My own dubious top 5 of the last 25-ish years since no-one asked: Matinee, Ed Wood, The Wizard Of Speed & Time, The Player, Mulholland Drive) Bonus question: should we still hold out hope for a Synapse edition of Running Time, or has that ship sailed? Best wishes, JFSpine Chillers update please?

Dear JF:

What I dislike most about movies-about-movies is that they rarely if ever show the process correctly. Since movies are very much a hurry-up-and-wait process, false drama is constantly used to create tension, like the leading lady won't come out of her dressing room, or the director is pitching a fit. Ultimately, most of filmmaking is in either pre- or post-production, which often takes years. Anyway, a good one in my opinion is "The Bad and the Beautiful."

Josh

Name:             lou
E-mail:           
Date:               4/25/15

Dear Josh :

Spine Chillers update please?

Dear lou:

The first nine episodes are completed and the idea is to stick them all together and see if someone will release them. The final two episodes, "Spoon Dog" and "The Wraith," will remain unseen until then. What happens after that, only God knows. Chris wants to make a feature, Paul and his good buddy Robbie, who starred in "Road Kill," have another script they want to do, and I'm just watching it all shake down.

Josh

Name:             Jeff C.
E-mail:           
Date:               4/22/15

Dear Josh :

You're liked that piece of shit, "Birdman"? I found the characters totally unlikeable, the plot was ridiculous, the constant camera movements was jarring and nauseating.

Dear Jeff:

Then I guess you wouldn't like my film "Running Time" which is it's direct precursor. "Birdman" is about the relevance of art--does it means anything? You can paint a buffalo on a wall, or you can paint the Sistine Chapel. Does one have more meaning than the other? Does being Birdman or Batman have more meaning than doing a four character drama based on Raymond Carver stories? Can he actually fly, or does he just hit the pavement below? These are questions that I think about. What matters? If Ed Norton tries to fuck Naomi Watts right before the scene, is he an asshole or is he a real actor trying to find the moment? I wouldn't argue that "Birdman" got Best Picture because it brought up the most questions. Did Alan Turing invent the Turing Device and have a decisive a profound impact on WWII? Yes. Did the kid in "Whiplash" learn to play the drums? Yes. Did Birdman fly away at the end? I kinda fuckin doubt it.

Josh

Name:             l
E-mail:           
Date:               4/22/15

Dear Josh :

What's your advice about working for free in the hopes of getting exposure down the road or do you think freebies just result in more freebie requests?

Dear I:

You're worth what you charge. If you haven't got much production experience, then it's a good thing to get on a set and see how they run. Regarding writing, I not only wouldn't write a script for free, I wouldn't even read a script for free. As John Gregory Dunne wrote in his book, "Monster," every asshole studio executive thinks that they're a writing, they just don't have time. Anybody who has time to actually be writer must be an asshole. I'll write a three-page treatment if I honestly and truly feel like they will pay me for a 12-page treatment, but that's as far as I will go. Now we need a contract.

Josh

Name:             Bob
E-mail:           
Date:               4/19/15

Dear Josh :

I don't know if this question makes a lot of sense, but which film do you think holds up over time better, The Shawshank Redemption or LA Confidential? I like LA Confidential more but I am thinking both about the same.

Dear Bob:

I like them both very much. If I have a gripe it's with "L.A. Confidential" because it became needlessly violent at the end. Both films look great and have a terrific sense of their time period.

Josh

Name:             Tim
E-mail:            NativeBlood66
Date:               4/17/15

Good Evening Josh :

It's been a while since I've written. Have you ever noticed at times that the more you attempt to apply rational thought to some situations that occur in life or questions that come up the less sense these situations or questions seem to make? It's like that damn "brain cloud" is working over time or something. In any event I just read your story "The Gospel According to Judas" which you wrote in 1997 and which also somehow has floated beneath my radar all these years. I read that right after I read "The Oppressor Is Always Wrong - Jews vs. Everybody". Both of those writings are awesome Josh. While "Oppressor" is total truth "Judas" smacks of the truth. I've picked apart so many of your writings concerning this that it wouldn't make sense to the average Joe I guess. In "Oppressor" you mentioned "imaginary God" but I've read your responses on other questions where you seem to admit the validity of the existence of a man called Jesus in ancient Israel. Therein came my mind screw which I did entirely to myself. How? Because even though I have gone to great lengths to rid myself of religious indoctrination and dogma seeing the name "Jesus" still rang some supernatural ding-a-ling in my head. That's how powerful it is. You allow for Jesus and his existence but you never said or wrote that his existence was a supernatural one. "Judas" clarifies with a between the lines cup check if you know what I mean. For me personally your writings have been liberating. How did we get here and is there any purpose behind it all? Who the hell knows? Thanks again for the time you devote to your website and your writings. Have a great weekend. Tim

Dear Tim:

Why wouldn't there be a fellow named Jesus of Bethlehem? The Romans were exceptionally adept at keeping records. But I put forth that he was just a man with a theory, and a good one at that. God isn't anything more than the love we display to one another. Pre-Jesus God was a vindictive prick who would make you burn in hell for all of eternity for eating shellfish. Post-Jesus God was love and how kind can we be to one another. Of course, the Romans didn't buy this theory, nor did many Jews, but it's a pretty good theory. Is it true? Well, I personally think it's a better theory, but it's not more than that. If you've read my essay, "Entropy," I think that God is just a closed system and we can either be kind or assholes, it's up to us. Nothing is going anywhere. Let's take on the Muslims, shall we? What's the difference between the Sunni and the Shi'ites? Who is more directely related to Mohmmad? All of us. One group is descended from Mohammed's cousin, the other is directly related to Mohammed--if we care to buy the literature from 1,500 years ago. I think it's all a bunch of nonsense. I think the Inuit eskimoes have a every bit as much right to believe that God is a walrus. I think the Hindus have every bit as much right to believe that God has ten million names. It's all mythology. If you think that killing a cartoonist for depicting Mohammed ought to be killed then you're an infidel that's unworthy of the belt you use to keep your pants up.

Josh

Name:             Paul
E-mail:           
Date:               4/16/15

Dear Josh :

This is for your webmaster. What happened to the search button on the site ? Can it be brought back ? It was useful to look up topics.

Dear Paul:

I may have overlooked/forgotten about it and accidentally left it out when I redesigned the front page. The script should still be there and I may be able to find the search button on an older version of the main page. I'll look into it.

Kevin

UPDATE: Search Engine re-added to the front page.

Name:             Brian
E-mail:           
Date:               4/11/15

Dear Josh :

What were some of the last truly great films to come out of Hollywood that you can remember? I last saw Unforgiven (1992) and i think its a little overrated though by no means a bad film; the moral ambiguoity was well written i thought

Dear Brian:

What's ambiguous about it? Little Bill killed his Bill Munny's friend. Now he's going to die because he took on someone tougher than him. "Who owns this shit-hole? "I bought it from Greely." "Good. Now anyone who wants to live better step away from that guy. Anyone who decorates his place with my friend better be willing to die." And he shoots him. "You must be William Munny out of Kansas City. Assassian of women and children." "I've killed women and children. I've killed everything that walks and crawls. And now I'm about to kill you, Little Bill." Does Little Bill not deserve to die? He killed Ned.

Josh

Name:             The Archivist
E-mail:            Echo Chamber
Date:               4/9/15

Dear Josh :

I suspect others will also remind you but here is the complete exchange you made last year:

******************** ******************** Name: Nicholas E-mail: therealnickelass@yahoo.com Date: 11/11/14 Dear Josh : Now that Starz has given the go ahead for a new Evil Dead tv show what are the odds that we will ever see a Josh Becker directed episode... or would you even want to travel down that road again?!? I only ask because you were pretty involved with Hercules and Xena throughout the years they were running. As well as Jack of All Trades. Dear Nicholas: You will NEVER see a an episode of "Evil Dead" directed by me; that is an utterly impossibility. And, quite frankly, I would rather shoot my toe off with a shotgun than get anywhere near anything Evil Dead-like under any circumstances. I'm being interviewed by the BBC in less than an hour (to be broadcast on Nov. 15) and I will certainly tell them so. Josh ******************** ********************

The "I would rather shoot my toe off with a shotgun" implies you would turn down an offer to be involved.

Dear Echo:

You're right. I guess since I knew that I would never be hired I took the offensive. But of course, were they to hire me I would take it, strictly for the money. But that will not occur. I certainly don't sit here and mope about it; nor is it something I particularly desire. C'est la vie. And I don't know if the BBC ever ran that interview, either. I got a sense that they couldn't get anybody else to discuss the film but me, and apparently they didn't much care what I had to say. To me, this ongoing in interest in ED is part of the omnipresent interest in crap, which seems to fuel many people, with Quentin Tarantino at the forefront. I believe that it has dulled everybody's interest and ability in discerning what's good. I've now seen most of the big, Oscar-nominated pictures of 2014 and there isn't a great film in the bunch. I enjoyed: "Whiplash," "The Imitation Game" and "Birdman," but none of them are anywhere near terrific, and none of them made me feel like I needed to see them again. I don't think that I've ever made a really good film, but I certainly have tried. And I believe the aforementioned movies tried, too. Maybe it's just not in in the zeitgeist of the times. I must say, though, that this never-ending discussion of ED is wearisome.

Josh


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