Quick comment to Scott; Doctor's estimate, based on
statistical averages, mostly so people can work out
end-of-life issues. Doctor's can then refer the patient
to support personnel who can get them set up with Hospice
and other public services which are available for the
terminally ill. My wife has to make that call regularly
and there is nothing easy about it, but it's important
for the patients and especially their families.
doctor will tell you for a fact that you only have three
months to live because they don't know for sure, and
they know they don't know. Doctors, for the most part
I would say, do the best they can given their limited
knowledge. I know too many people, including myself,
who have been misdiagnosed because they're seeing the
wrong specialist. I went through serious problems with
my Temporo-Mandibular joint in my jaw as a young man
which caused terrible headaches. I saw a GP, a neurologist,
and an orthopedist, all of whom couldn't find any problem
given their knowledge, and all of them told me it was
psychosomatic and I should see a psychiatrist. Finally,
my dentist asked me if my jaw always crunched like it
was doing, and I said yes. He asked if I had headaches,
and I said yes. He said, "I think you've got a
problem with your TMJ," sent me to a specialist
and it got fixed (which only took another ten years).
First you say that Gene Autry has five stars on the
Walk of Fame, then you include him in a list of nine
people who only have a star in the Stage Performance
category. Which one is correct? And by the way your
list of nine people only has eight people on it. Do
I have to handle everything?
if there are only eight people in a category of nine,
but as for Gene Autry, the other four stars are for
other things, movies, radio, TV, etc.
On that guy in "LaMancha" - he was Jean Rochefort,
who presumably is an acclaimed actor in France. He certainly
looked the part of Quixote to a T. There were several
problems though, only one of which is dealt with in
the documentary. While Gilliam oooos and aaaahs as Rocheforte
films his first scene, I couldn't understand a word
the guy was saying - his mastery of English was very
very muddled. I was mystified as to why Gilliam needed
to import a French actor to play a Spanish character
in a film being shot in Spain, with the dialogue in
Next, he was, I felt, *too* close to the character's
age and physique - Rocheforte was born in 1930, and
was by no means a rugged guy like, say Sean Connery
or Gene Hackman. To wear armor and ride around on horseback
all day, they really needed to cast a talented 50 year
old who could play 70.
And third - he ended up with prostate problems, unexpectedly,
which made riding on horseback impossible. But I feel
if it hadn't been that, he would have ended up with
a heat stroke or a heart attack or something else anyway.
As I wrote to you before, it mystified me as to why
Gilliam was so ineffectual in general. Why didn't he
just cast another actor quickly? No American audience
member is going to say "Wow, it's so bad we don't
get to see Jean Rocheforte." Just fly Ben Kingsley
or someone in. Sheesh - I bet Terry Jones would have
made an awesome Quixote.
It kinda reminds me of the story behind "Solomon
and Sheba," the details of which I'm sure you'll
remember far better than I. I gather Tyrone Power was
the lead, but died halfway through filming, and much
of the movie had to be reshot w/ Yul Brynner in the
lead. Big pain, big expense, but they got a movie out
of it. Giliam supposedly is still trying to get the
rights to "his" film back from the financers,
and co-star Johnny Depp supposedly is still interested
in picking up filming if it comes to fruition. Ed Wood
would be proud!
what disturbs me about it and why I didn't rush out
to see the documentary -- it sounds like an apology
for Terry Gilliam's egocentric, idiotic behavior. It
sounds like bad casting to start with -- a Frenchman
as a Spaniard speaking English -- then Gilliam is too
much of an "artist" to recast, meaning he
doesn't give a shit about the millions of dollars that
have already been spent. A movie is a high-stakes business
venture, it's not a play being put on by friends. The
second you find out that your actor is too old to ride
a horse or wear the armor, which should have all been
discovered in pre-production, not during production,
you recast the part. It's more about a lame filmmaker
than an unlucky artist. I have no interest in lame filmmakers,
and if I did I'd watch "Project Greenlight."
Now you mention about the story petering out in Bubba...
well, I guess it kidna does, but it didn't really matter
for me, cause you really got to care for the characters...anyways,
I hope you enjoy it...
Some other recent movies that I also enjoyed are Phone
Booth and One Hour Photo... seen em? If so, what did
Another movie that I think you may like is The Night
We Called It a Day, about Frank Sinatra's disasterous
1974 tour of Australia... Dennis Hopper's plays ol'
Blue Eyes, and is quite good (Tom Burlinson, who actually
provides the singing voice of Sinatra, is bloody amazing,
you'd think it was The Chairman of the Board himself)
so if you can, check it out.
And as for Westerns, I saw The Magnificant Seven the
other day for the first time and I thought... they're
never gonna make movies like that again (probably the
last great American western too... well according to
the documentary accompanying the DVD. lol)... shame
"The Magnificent Seven" is nowhere near being
the last great American western, which clearly and obviously
goes to "Unforgiven" over 30 years later.
In between there was "The Man Who Shot Liberty
Valance," "El Dorado," "True Grit,"
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Ulzana's
Raid," "Valdez is Coming," and "The
Shootist," and I know I'm missing a few more.
As to your question regarding "LOST IN LA MANCHA"
about why Gilliam did not hire a healthy actor is that
he was healthy and it wasn't until a week into the shoot
where he started to have severe pains in his sides which
turned out to be back related.
The actor was in his seventies and when it comes to
casting the right actors for the right parts, you should
know better than most that when you choose an actor,
it is for various reasons. Gilliam really liked his
audtion and his look as well.
His health wasn't an issue at all at the time of the
casting and the beginning of production.
I commented on this Documentary before in response to
August's comment on how she felt the documentary was
boring (I disagreed), but you did not post it my comments
and respond to them.
I felt it was a good documentary too, but I like Gilliam
more than you do. I was fortunate enough to meet him
in London, since he is close family friend with an English
friend of mine.
He lives in London, but he is an American originally
from Minnesota. The only American in Monty Python.
He is really funny in person and very good humored.
I liked him personally, but I don't like all of his
As for the Doctor's diagnosis of Warren Zevon's Cancer
and how long he had to live, yeah Doctors do make estimates
with this, but in my opinion, they should never make
such clear cut estimates. I think it has more to do
with insurance issues and statistics than it does with
Zevon's son was pretty pissed off in the recent interview,
since he believed the Doctors were not giving an estimate,
he felt they were sure that Warren only had up to 3
months to live, due toi the type of cancer.
That is what I meant by what I said in my last post.
life is too unpredictable to be so sure about something
like cancer and its course.
Too bad you are not a Zevon fan, I think some of his
lyrics are some of the greatest in music.
had a lot of Zevon's songs played for me. I do think
he's a bright lyricist, but as he lamented himself in
that long Uncut interview, he's not much of singer.
I guess my point about Gilliam is, if he cast an old,
reasonably unknown actor in the lead, who then got sick
very early into production, why not immediately replace
him? You haven't shot that much.
loved your article "Jews in Film." I think
you're right on the mark about non-Jews playing Jews
in film. I've been asked to teach a class on Jews in
film, and I'm thinking of focusing on the way relationships
are shown: e.g. only our parents married other Jews,
Jews today date non-Jews (Keeping the Faith, for example).
Any thoughts on films I should show? I appreciate your
answering! Thank you!
most famous film is probably "Gentlemen's Agreement,"
which won Best Picture in 1947, and is about young Gregory
Peck as a magazine writer "passing" as a Jew
to see what it's like. Peck is a rather improbable Jew,
but then he's not really supposed to be one. There's
also from the same year "Crossfire," about
a Jew killed in a hate crime (1947 was the breakthrough
year for presenting the Jewish issue on film). It's
not really addressed all that often after that, though.
There's "Goodbye Columbus" from 1969 which
is pretty amusing, about a lower-class jewish boy marrying
a rich Jewish girl. That's probably an appropriate film
for your subject. "Kissing Jessica Stein"
sort of seriously deals with its Jewish character, although
it's about two women dating.
you seen the documentary LOST IN LA MANCHA? It's about
Terry Gilliam's attempt to make a movie about Don Quixote.
It ends up with them stopping production after six days
of filming, mostly because the actor who is playing
Don Quixote seems to have some sort of medical problem.
It's probably not the best documentary ever, but it's
interesting. I think it should be required viewing for
anyone who is interested in becoming a filmmaker.
have not seen it yet, but I don't much care for Gilliam,
and I have no doubt that if he completed the film it
would have sucked. And why did he have to cast that
actor? Why not cast a healthy actor?
Soz - didn't mean to 'Bill-Hicks' you to death!
I'd like a reading recommendation, if I may. I've read
screenwriting books by Lew Hunter, Bill Froug, Richard
Walter, Michael Hauge, Linda Seger, Goldman, Egri and
(I think this is it) McKee. Just wondered if you could
recommend any other screenwriting books I should look
I also love reading about filmmakers talking about their
craft. Just finished 'Picture' by Lillian Wish-I-Could-Remember-Her-Surname
and Sidney Lumet's Making Movies. I've been dipping
into Boorman's Money Into Light but found it a bit dry.
Again, any recommendations?
I know you bash Spielberg and I can see why his black
and white storytelling irks. I like his earlier films
the most, particularly Sugarland Express, Duel and Jaws.
Just wondered what you thought about ET. I think it's
very tender and am moved by it. (A character says, "Penis-breath"
in a Spielberg film?!?)
Oh, a quick Spielberg story. A friend's brother is an
animation in-betweener. He was working on a Spielberg
production when the man himself visits the studio. Aparently
he takes a phone call and the conversation is TOTALLY
centred around how much his latest movie grossed. I
lost a little bit more rose hue in my tinted spectacles
when I heard that story.
don't say you lost respect for Steven Spielberg, that's
too sad. Luckily, I have no respect to lose. But I do
agree with you, I like "Jaws" and "Duel,"
and sort of like "Sugarland Express." The
first half of "E.T. was okay, but the second half
was garbage. Guys in suits surrounding the house, the
whole evil government involvement, the kids flying on
their bicycles, I could give a shit less.
it sounds like you've read every book on screenwriting.
What the hell else do you need to know? The best way
to learn it is to just keep doing it. Reading about
it will only get you so far. It's like shooting pool
or riding a skateboard -- the more you do it, the better
you get. I just cranked out an entire screenplay from
beginning to end in three weeks, and that's with three
rewrites. Honestly, I think it's pretty good, too. But
it all seems very second-nature to me now, 29 scripts
in, and that comes from practise.
the book "Picture" is by Lillian Roth, and
I thought it was quite good. Have you read any of Peter
Bogdanovich's books on filmmaking? "Who the Devil
Made It?" or "Pieces of Time" or "This
Is Orson Welles"? They're all darn good. I just
read David Puttnam's "Movies & Money"
and enjoyed it. I also like any film director's autobiography,
like King Vidor's "A Tree is a Tree" or Joseph
Von Sternberg's "Fun in a Chinese Laundry"
or William Wellman's "A Short Time For Insanity."
I was just making a joke about Jospeh Cotton to see
if you were awake this morning. Yeah, he lived 15 years
after having a major stoke.
I know Hitch made 'Psycho" independently, but he
still had to get it past some censorship boards to get
the rating it did and that is what his daughter was
refering to with the extra cutting.
Bill Hicks is pretty funny, but he has been dead for
sometime now. I don't think he is that great like everyone
here who has been promoting him, I would leave that
to Lenny Bruce who was more more intelligent than Hicks.
Some of Hicks stuff is funny and he brings up some great
ideas, but some of it is just downright not funny to
me, however, he took a lot of risks and i suppose he
was a voice for the liberal left I suppose at the time.
Unfortuntately, he didn't have the chance to prove that
since he died so young.
Speaking of illness, I just purchased the new Warren
Zevon CD "The Wind" and I like it. He was
diagnosed with Terminal lung cancer last year which
I had been following since his diagnosis.
VH1 has been running a nice documentary on him which
is based around him recording the album during the fall
of last year and the spring of this year. Doctors gave
him 3 months to live after his diagnosis in September
of last year and he is still alive.
I have always enjoyed his music and it's honesty, and
he says a lot of good things in the documentary about
living knowing he is going to die soon.
He was just recently interviewed and said that he was
glad, since he was able to see his twin Grandchildren
born and he was able to see the release of his album.
What i would like to know is what give doctors the right
to pout a time limit on someones' life who is terminially
ill? That's fucked up.
already commented on Bill Hicks earlier today, so I
really haven't got anything else to say on that subject.
I'm not a Warren Zevon fan, although a good friend of
mine is and so I'm aware of his illness and new record.
I'm sure the doctors were just giving him an estimate.
There's nothing exact about medicine and doctors certainly
know it. Hell, at least the wash their hands now and
don't smoke cigars while operating, like they used to.
E-mail: upon request
Well then, I say we have you to thank for the re-issuing
of the DVD's with the participation of Lucy, Renee and
Rob's commentary. If you hadn't brought that all to
Rob's attention, we fans would be missing out on a decent
product! And I'm so glad Rob followed up too, on how
his creation is being peddled. It's a no-brainer, isn't
it? To try to get the main stars to provide insight
and make the product as inviting as possible?!
The only thing I can think of is Davis-Panzer assumed
wrongly that the big wigs wouldn't be available, or
would be too much money and skew their predicted profit
("Did you schedule any celebrity appearances?...Well,
Bruce Campbell, but he was too much money.")
Well, anyway, THANK YOU for speaking up. The squeaky
wheel gets the grease. I could probably get dozens of
fans to shoot off emails to D-P in the next 24 hours,
asking that you be invited to comment on season 2, is
that something you'd like us to do? Or maybe that would
only succeed in burning Peter Davis' butter more, regarding
I saw one installment of "A Decade Under The Influence".
One critique I have is the. I don't know if there's
a term for it. but the cut-aways to old footage or stills,
with a footer saying what the film is, and who is starring,
Well, they would do that, but it wouldn't stay on the
screen long enough for me to 1-- figure out myself what
they were showing, and/or 2-- read the text!
It was aggravating! And I'm from the MTV generation
that is supposed to be digging that kind of editing.
Jiminy Crickets! I'd rather have 15 more seconds of
film footage with a voice-over, than a longer look at
Scorsese's impossible eyebrows. LMFAO!
Did you find that at all irritating too? (the cut-aways,
not the eyebrows. Heh.)
wasn't me, it was Rob. Quite frankly, given the way
the DVD set looks, I don't think Davis/Panzer had any
intention of including any interviews with it, as they
apparently didn't include with the video tapes, and
Anchor Bay objected. So Peter Davis, who is an older
gentleman, rented a DVD of some movie and saw that they
had an interview with the director, figured that's the
way to go, so they contacted me and some other directors,
the DP, and the art director, and never even considered
contacting Lucy, Renee, Ted, or Rob. You can see from
the packaging that the disk with the interviews was
added later (it's in a little paper envelope and shoved
in a pocket, it hasn't got an official slot) and is
not even listed on the front. Then they almost edited
me out of thing completely, which is okay with me because
I look like hammered shit.
I just want to second what Lucas said about Bill Hicks:
get some of his stuff, dude. I've only recently been
introduced to his work. The guy's more than a stand
up - he's a preacher of common sense. The DVD 'Totally
Bill Hicks' includes his performance at the Dominion
Theatre and a Channel 4 documentary. There's also an
unofficial book of his life: Screaming in America. He
packed so much into 32 years. He embodies the true sense
of tragic loss. He was a huge hit at Austin's comedy
house when he was still a teenager - he was just blowing
all these older comedians off the stage. Bill didn't
care if the audience liked him. He'd turn his back to
them. You can find some real vitriolic stuff on the
internet. You can stream one gig he did where a female
audience member heckles him and he goes into this 'drunk
cunt' routine that is just... refreshing. If only comedians
today had balls like that. And his material on Gulf
War One could be transposed onto Gulf War Two the Sequel.
I was going to recommend Bill last week, but didn't.
Lucas is right - get this guy's stuff, Josh. I'm sure
you'll REALLY like it.
okay. Where have I been?
Josh... I also reccommend you buy a Bill Hicks CD or
two... what he has to say on smoking (and all drugs
for that matter) is priceless ("Non smokers die....
Everyday") Well, what he has to say about anything
is pretty priceless... http://www.billhicks.com
has some good samples of video and audio if ya want
to check it out...
The fact that he died at 33 and we have to put up with
crap such as what passes as entertainment today (Hollywood,
et. all) is a crying shame.
In fact, the only new movie that I've seen this year
that I would pay to see at least more than twice in
a cinema is Bubba Ho Tep. I managed to catch it at the
Gold Coast film festival this year, and it was just
bloody fantabulous! Everything about the movie worked
Naturally, it probably won't get a release down in the
land of Oz (yeah, all you can see in Australia these
days is Hollywood crap..) so I'm glad I caught it.
Anyways, thanks for reading the rant... and thanks for
the essays on structure too... I think I'm a better
writer because of it (not that I ever was one to begin
keep at it and you'll certainly keep improving. Can
you believe it, I haven't seen "Bubba" yet.
Bruce has already warned me that I may well not like
it because the story just sort of peters out, but I'm
still eager to see it. Thanks for the link, I'll check
I went to the website and I listened to and watched
everything there on Bill Hicks, so I certainly have
a sense of him now. I absolutely agree with his political
and sociological viewpoints, I just didn't find him
funny. I didn't get one single laugh out of nearly an
hour of his stuff. I was continually amused, and he
makes many vaild points, though. I liked his statement
about, fuck my inner child, let's get in touch with
our outer adults.
JOSH.I'AM WONDERING SOMETIMES WHEN I REMEMBER ABOUT
BRANDON LEE, HOW WAS POSIBLE TO HAPEN A MISTAKE LIKE
THIS TO BE THE GUN WITH REALY BULLETS LOADED????I HAVE
LIKE THIS ACTOR,AS SOME OTHERS???IN MARTIAL ARTS ACTORS.WE
HAVE ONE PROBLEM IN GREECE NOW,ONE 58 YEARS OLD WOMEN
SAY, IRINI PAPPAS ARE SHY´S MOTHER,BUT IRINI SAY
NO,AND I DON'T UNDARSTEND WHY SEE WAIT SO MANY YEARS
TO TELL THIS. VERY VERY STRANGE????WHAT ELSE WE GONA
HEAR TODAY,THAT MANDONA ARE THE DOUGTHER FROM JANIS
JOPLIN,ha.ha.ha CHAO GEORGE
I'm Irene Pappas's child. Apparently, John Barrymore's
dying words were, "I'm the illegitimate son of
I saw "America Splendor" last night and really
enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, it was the best new
movie I have seen in a long time. I know that you are
sick of going to the theater but you should think about
checking it out. Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis' performances
alone are worth the trip.
And I HIGHLY recommend Bill Hicks "Rant in E-Minor".
I have a collection of comedy albums and "Rant"
is one of my all time favorites.
thanks for the recommendations.
You bring up a good point with the old studio heads
and how they felt about movies. There were a few interesting
guests on Larry King the other night.
I am not a big fan of Larry King, but I watch it from
time to time.
His guests were Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia
and a few leading ladies from Hitchcock's films including
Tippi Hedren (The Birds), Janet Leigh (Psycho), and
Eva Marie Saint (North by Northwest).
One of the things I found interesting that his daughter
said was that when he shot and cut his some of his films,
he deliberately included alternate shots, scenes or
extended scenes which he felt he would have a hard time
getting by the studio heads.
He knowingly cut these alt scenes with scenes he wanted
to get through in the films.
He used these scenes knowing that if they wanted to
cut them then he would have a bargaining tool for the
stuff that he definitely wanted to leave in, however,
they never knew which were which, so I think she said
it worked almost 95% of the time which is pretty damn
She said that "Psycho" was a prime example
of a film in which he employed this idea and it worked.
I say this because what I realize is that in the history
of Hollywood, Directors have always had trouble with
the studios and the powers that be to get their films
made. However, I agree with you that the difference
between then and now is not that executives have bcome
less harsh, but they don't really give a shit about
movies, just about marketing and money.
BTW, it was cool to hear Hitch's daughter say that his
favorite of all his films was "Shadow of a Doubt"
which happens to be my favorite Hitch movie as well.
Jospeh Cotton was a great actor and he died too young.
Cotten died too young? He was 90-years old. I hope I
die that young. I must admit that "Shadow of a
Doubt" isn't one of my favorite Hitchcock films,
although it's certainly well-made and I really like
Theresa Wright. Above that I'll take: "Notorious,"
"Psycho," "North By Northwest,"
"Frenzy," "The Birds," "The
39 Steps." Meanwhile, I used a very similar system
when working on TV shows. I would mark all of the scenes
I felt ought to be cut, which they would never cut before
we started shooting, but the second I got into any trouble
keeping up with the schedule, they were always more
than happy to cut those scenes to get back on schedule.
Also, keep in mind with Hitchcock, he made "Psycho"
independently so he didn't have to deal with the execs
telling him what to cut, and also so that he made most
of the money, which is when he finally got rich at 61-years
It's been a while. I was wondering what work you are
most proud of doing. I think all your work on Xena and
Hercules was awesome.
Also what do you think of Dragon the Bruce Lee Story,
it was released in 1993.
John J. Rambo
P.S. I hope you had a happy birthday.
kind of liked "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,"
and I thought Jason Scott Lee did a very good job. It's
not a great biopic, but I liked its spirit.
think my most original and mature work is in "If
I Had a Hammer," even if it never got released.
E-mail: already given
You wrote: "All we can hope for is a major earthquake
along the San Andreas Fault and perhaps all of the studios
will crumble, then the debris will float off into the
You, sir, desperately need to go and buy a Bill Hicks
album or two. "Arizona Bay" or "Rant
in E-Minor" will do fine. The man appears to have
shared a few opinions with you - "Arizona Bay"
revolves around the idea that the world would be a much
better place if California was destroyed by an earthquake,
leaving a body of water called Arizona Bay.
I'd get into the specifics and unique qualities of Hicks
as a stand-up, social critic and philosopher all in
one, but it's pointless if you haven't heard any of
his stuff. You dig the way Bill Maher just tells it
like it is, well Hicks was the undisputed king of that.
And he can make me laugh until I physically hurt. I
strongly suggest you go pick some of his work up.
The preceding endorsement was brought to you by no-one
a terrific recommendation. I keep forgetting his name
because it's too similar to Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks,
and Danny Hicks who was in ED2. Look, it's not that
I want to see any harm come to my friends in LA, but
I think the Hollywood film industry is so internally
fucked up that it may very well be unfixable. As big
of assholes as Harry Cohen, Darryl Zanuck, Louis Mayer,
or Sam Goldwyn may have been, they really and truly
loved movies. The people running the studios now don't,
and are therefore entirely unqualified, unsuited, and
ill-equipped to decide what films should be made or
"A movie executive was brought on and said, "Well,
what this means, is that we're going to have to get
a better product if people want better word of mouth."
HAH!!! Yeah right.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: NEVER,
EVER underestimate the stupidity of people.
To be frank, most people by and large are just not very
bright. And I'll even go so far as saying that it's
silly to expect thought-provoking entertainment to come
out of Hollywood.
Hollywood movies are fast food for the brain. And to
expect thought-provoking entertainment to come out of
Hollywood would be like going to Burger King and expecting
a salmon steak. That's how ridiculous such expectations
are, to be brutally honest.
Films like MIDNIGHT COWBOY and THE LAST DETAIL would
be laughed out of pitch meetings today, and the people
who thought them up would be looked at as mentally unbalanced.
Nooooooo-I don't sound TOO cynical.
you're still not as cynical as me. I don't believe that
Hollywood can be turned around anymore because no one
working for any of the studios has the slightest clue
was a decent movie is. They've never seen one and they
don't care. When you're the seventh division down of
a giant conglomerate, the only thing that matters is
the bottom-line. If the bean-counters tell you that
you'll absolutely make some minor profit from making
"Jeepers Creepers 2," than some film no one
has ever heard of before, you're making "Jeepers
Creepers 2" every single time. All we can hope
for is a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault
and perhaps all of the studios will crumble, then the
debris will float off into the ocean.
I was just curious as to your opinion of the career
of Roger Corman. I recall a story you told in an earlier
post, but haven't been able to find any real mention
of what you thought of his movies at AIP.
Also, I Just read Joe Bob Briggs' latest book, "Profoundly
Disturbing: Shocking Movies That Changed History",
and he mentions your Film
Threat interview with Quentin Tarantino in his section
on "Reservoir Dogs" quite a bit, stating how
he feels it's the most honest interview we have of QT
talking about his influences for "Reservoir Dogs".
for telling me about Briggs' book, I'll have to read
it now. I thought it was a good interview, but Quentin
hated it and never spoke to me again. I ran into him
at the opening of "The Thin Red Line," and
said hello to him and he ignored me like I wasn't there.
As for Roger Corman, I just wish he had better taste
and actually knew what a decent movie was. As a kid
I enjoyed his E.A. Poe/Vincent Price films, although
none of them hold up very well, nor have the got the
slightest bit of style or visual interest, but Price
is good. All in all, though, I'd say Corman is just
a crappy filmmaker with no taste.
Cynthia E. Jones
I saw an interesting piece on the news the other day
about how major corporate films cannot rely on opening
weekend gross any more. Generally, as you well know,
even crappy movies had a chance because of the opening
weekend advertising blitz, and they would have to wait
until Monday to know if a movie sucked. Well, now since
to cell phones and two-way text messaging and all that,
people who see a movie at noon on opening day are telling
their friends in line on the other side of town to "Skip
it," if it sucks. This means that word of mouth
gets out too fast for shitty movies to get enough money
to justify making them.
A movie executive was brought on and said, "Well,
what this means, is that we're going to have to get
a better product if people want better word of mouth."
Hallelujah! Someone realized this?! And he works in
the accounting department of the production company?!
Now we just need everyone else to figure it out. Maybe
technology will save film, after all, and not destroy
Meanwhile, I watched "Britannia Hospital"
on DVD last night and had a lovely time. I rented it
at "Video Vault," which is a rent-by-mail
service just like Netflix, except Video Vault has Russ
Meyer movies, Japanese Animation, Blaxploitation, the
"Theremin" documentary, you know...the stuff
Netflix won't carry. They're not super-cheap, though.
Check out https://www.videovault.com
if there's stuff you can't find in your hometown. Just
thought you might like to know.
well, one guy making a realization isn't anything to
bank on. This has been going on for a long time now.
Thanks for the info on Video Vault. I feel like I'm
getting close to having used up Netflix.
do you think of Alex Proyas' films? If the name isn't
exactly familiar, I don't blame you, since the only
movies of his anyone's really heard of are The Crow
and Dark City.
really thought "The Crow" was awful. Pure
M-TV drek. I didn't see the other one.
you shed a light on why they sell short ends and if
they are any good or not for us? do you take a chance
they are exposed by the previous person ? d
folks that sell short-ends guarantee them. Most of the
stock is in fact not even short-ends, it's simply brand-new
stock that's being resold. Kodak will not take film
back. Therefore, when you buy a huge amount of stock
for your film, then don't use some of it the only place
to get rid of it is at Steadi-Systems or Hollywood Film
and Tape. Also, frequently when you're shooting a film,
you'll end up with half a roll or more unexposed that
you must take out of the camera because it's not long
enough to cover your scene. These are the short ends,
which all generally run from 600-800 feet (of 35mm),
and they say that they test them. I've never heard about
any problems with them. I've never used short-ends,
but I have bought their re-canned stock, and it was
Have you seen "A Decade Under The Influence"
currently running on IFC? I was wondering what you thought
of it. Many of the directors and actors echo sentiments
expressed (better) here as regards the decline in Hollywood
I must say that I thought a lot of them were being disingenuous,
though. Scorcese and Bogdonovich are there complaining
that no one makes five to ten million doolar films anymore.
Can't they afford to make those films? At one point
Scorcese is complaining about the rise of comic book
movies, which he says he deplores. He mentions "Spiderman"
as a specific example of what's wrong with Hollywood
today but can't even get off with a clean opinion there.
He had to throw in that he loves Sam Raimi's films even
though, from what I gather, "Spiderman" is
as true a Sam Raimi film as one can find. Like I said,
at least as far as the directors are concerned, "Decade"
struck me as posing.
did see it, and I was a bit surprised hearing Scorsese
discussing Sam. I must disagree however that "Spider
Man" is as "true a Sam Raimi film as one can
find." Sam didn't write "Spider Man,"
he was just a director for hire on it. A true Sam Raimi
film would be any of the films he's written, like any
of the "Evil Dead" films. Of course, I completely
agree with Mr. Scorsese and his disregard and disdain
for comic books movies--I absolutely hate all of them.
As Bill Maher said this week on his show in the section
called "The New Rules," where he said, (and
I paraphrase), New Rule, stop making shitty movies.
When I was a kid Hollywood didn't give a shit about
me, they made movies for adults that challenged me and
made me a better person. The movies they make now, as
Maher said, are for dropping your kids off at while
you go shopping. They're all pandering. As Scorsese
said, Hollywood only wants to make Spielberg and Lucas
films now, but sadly there's only one Spielberg and
one Lucas and nobody else can make those films (and
neither can they, as far as I'm concerned). I enjoyed
watching "A Decade Under the Influence" because
I whole-heartedly agree that films were a million times
better back then, more diverse, far more interesting,
and had something to say. The death of creativity in
Hollywood was "Star Wars," and it has never
recovered. All of these comic book films are just half-assed
follow-ups, and I agree that they are all soulless corporate
OK, I know it's not very interesting question but everyone
has asked you all I wanted to know. That's why I ask
you something nobody would ask.
You said: "He's (Crispin Glover) a nice guy, too.
Bruce and I hung out with Crispin and his girlfriend
at the last Anchor Bay party in Las Vegas, and we all
ended up in the same limo. He's a little weird, but
Why is he weird? The way he talks or how he looks or
about what he talks. I like him as an actor, he is great
actor, I just don't really get in what way he is weird.
I would like to know your opinion.
mean it in only the most pleasant, nicest way. He's
perhaps a bit spacey, and his girlfriend is a mortician.
They're not your average couple, but they're both very
Uh-oh - I almost missed this one - you observed that
you had "something of an imbroglio with the production
company" - is this Anchor Bay? I thought they had
been really reallty decent to you in the past. That
sucks. What was the deal?
it wasn't Anchor Bay (who have always been very nice
to me), it was Davis-Panzer that produced the DVD sets.
These are the folks that brought you "Highlander"
and it's multiple sequels. Anyway, I was the first of
five directors to be interviewed, so I was there when
they were setting up and there was a lighting-camerman,
a sound man, a co-producer, and the producer, but no
director on the crew. As I sat there and watched while
they were lighting me, I couldn't help but notice that
they were making some big mistakes, like they had one
camera aiming at me, while the other camera was set
up shooting over my shoulder to an empty spot on the
couch (the producer/interviewer was sitting in a chair
beside the camera out of frame). I asked, "What's
the second camera shooting?" The producer said,
"We need something to cut away to." I asked,
"An empty spot on the couch? Am I being interviewed
by the invisible man?" The producer asked what
I would do? I said I'd take the second camera and put
beside the first one, get one into a close-up and the
other in a medium shot, that way you could cut between
the two shots. They quickly reset the camera, then from
there I just kept saying, "Well, if I were directing
this, I'd relight now," which they did, then "If
I were directing I'd get rid of these samurai swords
on the table behind my head because they look like they're
sticking out my ear," etc. Anyway, the interview
was okay, but the producer had never watched my episode
and had no specific questions about it, which I thought
was lame. When I got back to Detroit I spoke with Rob
Tapert on the phone and told him I'd just done this
interview, which he knew nothing about. Rob got angry
and said, "Why didn't they contact Lucy? Or Renee?
Or Ted? Or me?" I said I didn't know, but if I
were doing the DVD release of Xena I certainly would
have contacted them. I then went on to tell Rob about
the shoot and the lack of director. A few days later
I got a call from Peter Davis (of Davis-Panzer) who
ripped me a new asshole for bad-mouthing the shoot to
Rob. That's the story.
Back again.You know what? I'm not gonna let the bastards
grind me down. I'm a screenwriter here in the UK. I've
got an agent and have written a few things for children's
TV (Sooty/Bob the Builder amongst other things). I also
write spec' film scripts. I'm not a genre writer; my
work concentrates on real people. Social drama... I
don't how one would categorise them. One story I'm proud
of is called TROLLEY BOY. The quick pitch is: OF Mice
and Men in a supermarket. It's based on my experiences
of working with a learning disabled man at a supermarket
and teaching special needs classes. Writing based on
your own experiences is always the richest writing.
And we've been trying to sell TROLLEY BOY for three
years, now. We got close with a BBC single film slot,
but no cigar. There seems to be no commercial market
for small, personal stories with heart. I've been so
depressed I haven't written a screenplay for almost
2 years, now. (I also had a bad experience on the last
Sooty project. I was completely rewritten and they didn't
involve me. I only found out when the VHS arrived through
my letterbox. Out of the six writers on Sooty, four
of us demanded that our names be taken off the credits).
So I've been down for a while.
Now something has happenened in my private life that
I feel compelled to write about it. And I've decided,
fuck em'. I'm gonna write it. I've been saving for the
last year and have bought my own Arriflex BL 16, some
wide lenses... the whole kit. Now I own the means of
production, I don't have to wait for anyone's permission.
I can make short films based on my personal writing,
limited only by my pay packet.
Maybe, JUST maybe, there might be a renaissance and
small, personal pictures with heart will make a come-back.
The kind of stuff Alan Clarke did.
Nah, I don't believe that. But what else can I do? I've
got to write what I care about and hope there's ONE
producer out there who actually wants to make a picture
that speaks to people. And if that never happens, I've
got my BL.
Christ I'm rambling. What's my point? Write what you
care about, I guess. TRY and find a producer with a
soul. And if you can't, make your own stuff, get it
on the net and cut out the middle man.
Tim Roth and Gary Oldman are keeping Alan Clarke's spirit
alive. Nil By Mouth is a superb film. But what if you're
not Tim Roth and Gary Oldman?
I've got it. Build a time machine, go back 30 years
and everything will be fine.
Gotta go. American Pie 13 is showing at my local, independent
cinema. Oh, wait a minute, they closed that cinema down.
Guess I'll watch Kes on DVD.
I think I'm more depressed than when I started this
think you've got the right idea. Fuck them, write what
you want and make the pictures you believe in. This
isn't a dress rehearsal, you've got to go for all the
gusto you can. Before you know it you'll be dead. You've
got an Arri-BL, which is a great camera, you can shoot
your film one roll at a time on weekends. Look at "Pi,"
which was ridiculously cheap, and it's an interesting,
visual film with an actual story. And finally getting
a budget didn't help Darren Aronofsky any. Having no
money can be very stimulating to the imagination. Go
with it. I take great heart from other super-low-budget
films that pulled off being good films, like "Stranger
Than Paradise" or the films of Joseph H. Lewis
or Edgar G. Ulmer. Good luck.
read most of the posts here and it sounds to me that
you are a jealous, bitter, old man, who hates everyone
and everything to do with movies...i cant remember when
you said 'i liked that movie and i liked the director'...you
think everything in the past 10 years was shit
shit, now 'thou shalt not kill...except' that was shit
a guy gets someone close to him killed and then takes
revenge...wow i never saw a movie like that before
I do think most all films of the past ten (or twenty)
years are shit. As for the revenge plot of TSNKE, I
admit it's a rather simple-minded, but then again, it
was a super-low-budget movie. When I see that same plot
in expensive films like "The Gangs of New York"
and "Open Range," that's when I get mad. As
for thinking my film is shit, go ahead, what do I care,
you won't be the first one. But don't for a second believe
I don't love a great many movies, apparently just not
the same ones as you.
You said you like Goodfellas, and I think it's a good
film, too. But have you considered this? Scorsese and
Pileggi seem to be protecting the protagonist, Ray Liotta's
Henry Hill. He never commits murder; he's always on
the periphery of the action. He isn't involved in the
murder of Batts. He helps to cover it up, but that's
it. In this way the story is quite moral. But then maybe
that's the point - Henry avoids incarceration (albeit
as a 'Shnook' under the Witness Protection Program)
because he's essentially a good guy.
We don't need our protagonists to be angels, we just
need to understand why they do what they do. Maybe Goodfellas
would have been a better, braver film if Henry had got
blood on his hands?
I have a copy of the Goodfellas screenplay here at work
and dip into it when I've got some down time. I've been
thinking about this a lot and wondered what your thoughts
Happy belated birthday, BTW dude.
does go across the street and beat that guy in the face
repeatedly with his pistol, which was pretty bloody.
I do think he's a somewhat weak main character, but
that is part of what leads to his downfall. He's also
something of a cypher for us to get a bird's eye view
into the mob. I've always felt that Pesci and DeNiro
were more important characters than Liotta. It's a second-person
point of view, the real lead character is our lead character's
I just watched "Bowling for Columbine." It
was very well done. I thought the general idea was to
come to a conclusion, but it didn't seem as though Michael
Moore ever did. From the film's point of view, there
is no answer as to why America has the highest gun death
rate. On a side note, I'd be interested to know how
suicides fit into those numbers, in various countries.
I wasn't impressed with the "The Rainmaker"
moment towards the end where Moore follows Heston with
a picture of the victim. It was rather silly.
Otherwise, it was a terrific film--propaganda at its
The only thing that I would have like to have heard
more on is the brief moment where Heston suggests ethnic
diversity to explain the high gun death rate, but backs
off it completely. I know that Moore said that there
is lots of diversity in Canada, too, but I would wonder
if the whole melting pot factor also leads to the high
gun death rate. It may be a simple fact that people
don't get along with anyone better than their own race,
as a whole. Naturally, there are millions of people
like you and I who could work, live, play, and exist
with any person of any race and never have a problem,
but perhaps the bigger picture of humanity isn't the
same. Heston apparently realized that he might be entering
into politically incorrect zones and didn't feel the
controversy was worth it.
And the animation in the middle--very entertaining.
Again, propaganda factor aside, it was cute.
But I can't blame anyone for distributing propaganda.
If a person believes in something, even despite its
faults, then they have no obligation to "show both
sides." Do you agree?
It's his movie and he can show what he wants. There's
no rule that says you have to show a balanced picture
of things. My problem with "Bowling for Columbine"
is that it leads you in the wrong direction, then doesn't
own up to the facts. We don't really have a big problem
in the country with white kids shooting white kids,
which is what occurred at Columbine. The big issue is
blacks shooting blacks and Latinos shooting Latinos.
And in many of those instances it's within families.
I think that's where Heston was going and stopped. Still,
I appreciated Michael Moore confronting him.
have been trying to get a copy of lunitics a love story...but
they are always 50 dollers on ebay and other places,
i finally bought a 'bootleged' copy. but it was very
why dont you sell bootleged copys of it
it's against the law, dude, that's why. They show the
film on cable all the time, tape it.
i have noticed that most of todays movies are remakes...there
are a few movies in the past few years that were good
i enjoyed spider man...except that scene where spider
man is hanging on to the girl and a trolly full of kids
and the green goblin is about to hit spidy but a bunch
of new yorkers throw garbage at him...what the hell...have
you talked to sam raimi about this scene, the only reason
i can figure he put it in the movie was because of 9/11
which may of been good at the time but 10 years from
now that scene will just look stupid
i just saw freddy vs jason, i know this movie is a sequil
to alot of sequils and is not original at all...but
seeing freddy and jason fight was just good dumb slasher
old are you? Nine? Any super hero doing anything is
stupid -- it's a guy jumping around in a leotard --
why pick on individual scenes? And really, who gives
the slightest shit about Freddy or Jason anymore? Come
Robert M. Hensel
I was wondering if you would be kind enough to send
me an autograph? Also, if it wouldn't be much of a bother,
could you please address it to Robert as well? Above,
you will find my home address. I find your work to be
truly inspiring and enjoyable. To tell you a bit about
myself. I am a 34 year old man born with a birth defect
known as Spina Bifida. I am an advocate for the disabled
& an International published poet. I am also in
the Guinness book of world records for the longest non
stop wheelie in a wheel chair, for which I covered a
total distance of 6.178 miles. The reason for my attempt,
was to help raise money for wheelie chair ramps in my
community. See I feel, just because I am disabled, in
no way means unable. There is ability in each and every
form of disability. It is my life long ambition to one
day prove to the world that time has come for us to
begin to look beyond ones crippled shell, for it is
only within, that our most greatest treasures can then
be truly discovered. Well, my friend I most go. Keep
up the good work:)
P.S. Please take a moment to read some of my poems online.
Just type Robert M. Hensel under the google search or
whatever one you may choose!
Robert M. Hensel
for the nice comments. The signed photo is on it's way.
E-mail: upon request
piped in very late to your birthday thread August set
up for you at sci-fi fandom.com--I was traveling.
After hearing your voice on the radio interview, and
seeing how down right chipper you are here lately, there's
no way you're old Josh! Did you have an Alaska-esque
encounter during that black out waltz around your neighborhood,
or something? LMAO
I got such a thrill out of hearing you, I didn't envision
you sounding so... upbeat... and enthusiastic... and
it was through a telephone to boot, so hearing you on
the season 1 DVD of Xena will be a real treat. Will
I see you too? I forget. I still have to buy a player,
I've learned that they will re-release season 1 with
added commentary from Rob, Lucy and Renee, who will
also do commentary for the season 2 DVD's.
Since Rob and Lucy are still in NZ I gather, dealing
with Boogeyman, I guess it hasn't happened yet.
Have you been asked to come back to LA to contribute
for season 2? It seems you should- you directed 3 eps!
Where was I? Oh yea, I wondered if you remembered what
you were going to say, regarding the subject of "The
Method" as an acting tool.
During the interview, George the poet was explaining
that Stanislovski wrote 3 books, and that The Actor's
Studio only drew from part of the 1st one, and Stella
Adler and Lee Strausburg based their tutelage on just
that one part, but that Stanislovski ended up *rejecting*
method acting in his later books.
I could hear you try to interject, but George barreled
on with his point. I wondered what you wanted to comment
See, I half-recall reading that Adler went back and
studied with Stanislovski and so came to be at total
odds with what Stausburg was doing, that she negated
Anyway, do you recall what you wanted to say there?
Oh, and I guess I'm fairly attractive too and I used
to be a geek, I don't know how to determine if I still
am. I'm a Xena avid fan, does that make me by default
a geek? Or are we talking Movie Salon Geek-a-tudeT?
all geeks think they're attractive, that's part of what
makes them geeks. I'm not sure that people remember
anymore what a geek actually is: he was the guy who
bit the heads off live chickens at the freak show. Anyway,
what I was going to say about the Method is that it's
only so helpful, I think. Unless you're doing a play
or a high-budget movie with a long schedule, it's difficult
to put to use. In low-budget films or TV, you really
must have your shit together immediately, there's no
time to go wandering around mumbling to yourself trying
and find your character, and nobody is going to wait
for you. Also, when you're trying to shoot quickly and
an actor blows a line, frequently you won't even cut
the camera, you'll just say "pick it up two lines
back," and the actors simply back up and keep going.
And if they can't do that, in my opinion, they're not
really good actors.
for the Xena DVDs, I saw the director interviews on
the extra disc and I'm barely in it. I also couldn't
get to sleep the night before, so I have big bags under
my eyes and basically look like hell. And since I had
something of an imbroglio with the production company,
they may well not have me back for the season two DVDs.
chainsaw massacre is being remade...whats wrong with
people, why fix whats not broken
what do you think about the original and the remake...i
just saw the trailler for the remake and it looks stupid
a big fan of the original, and I hate remakes. So there
you have it. But everything's a remake or a sequel now,
or didn't you notice?
I am interesting in making a 99 cent store in my area,
I live in NC USA, but don't know where from I get the
stuff for my store. plz help me if you can.
I seem to the the worldwide expert on .99-cent stores,
I say go to China and get slave labor to make your products
for free, then you can retail at .50-cents and still
make a profit.
Although, I think I am a few days late with the B-day
wishes. That's a bummer that you had to bake in the
heat during the blackout. My cousin Jeff lives in Brooklyn
and works in Manhattan. He had to walk home on Thursday
and was so disgusting and sweaty when he got home that
his girlfriend would not let him sit on the couch. He
had to walk home on September 11th as well but that
was a completely different situation. They actually
had fun during the blackout. He said that everyone was
sitting outside into the wee hours of the morning because
it was too damn hot to stay indoors. So they had a block
party! Everyone cleared out their refrigerators, lit
some candles, broke out the guitars, downed a lot of
beers and had a great time! He told me that as the night
went on and the warm beer began to soak into peoples
bodies couples were disappearing into their apartments
to have blackout sex (his phrase, not mine). Then they
would wonder back to the party to a lot of hooting and
hollering. I was a bit jealous that I missed it.
Hey! I'm straight, I've been told that I am attractive
and I'm a movie geek! And you think you saw some trolls
at the L.A. County Museum. I got that beat by a mile.
I went to E3 this year with a friend who works in video
games. E3 is the big, dumb video game convention that
is held in LA once a year. Now, I have never liked video
games and I have always thought that playing video games
was stupid and boring. But she begged me to go with
her and promised some excellent people watching. My
God was she right! I saw people who looked like they
had not seen the sun in decades. Not to mention the
people who were so fat that they had to ride around
on those electric scooters. There were a bunch of dudes
dressed as characters from "The Matrix" and
they kept staging these little kung fu battles. There
was also a basic lack of personal hygiene. I'm not trying
to say that I'm the coolest kid on the block but these
people were so nerdy it was scary and a little sad.
I was just glad that I had smoked a huge bowl before
I went down there.
Keep it real Josh! Wit yo bad 45 year old self!
defending themselves now that they're both attractive
and geeks. Comedian Rip Taylor used to like to pick
on ugly people because they'd never come up to him after
the show and complain. Meanwhile, I bet everywhere was
more freindly and community oriented before there was
electricity, TV and AC. As I walked around my neighborhood
during the blackout it was the same thing, people sitting
outside drinking warm beer and talking. My friend said
that her kids, unable to watch TV or play video games,
played chess instead. I mainly just read, so all in
all, it wasn't so bad.
not quite as old as you but I was called an "old
fart" last night by a female friend of mine because
I dared to describe a film we saw together as a "piece
of shit". The film was called "Sex and Lucia"
(A Spanish film I doubt you will hear about it) and
I won't bother to describe it. If it wasn't for the
uncomfortableness of the seats in the theatre I would
have gladly fallen asleep. The day before I saw "It
Happened One Night" and I was delighted by it.
Sure, it was predictable but it had a solid storyline
and it was actually funny and I liked and cared about
both characters. One review of the "Lucia"
film described it as a masterpiece - it seems that reviewers
these days are dazzled more by photography, plot twists
and smouldering acting than a decent story and wouldn't
know a genuinely likeable character if they fell over
I'm happy to be an old fart. I like being an old fart.
Until they start making decent films again I will continue
to be an old fart.
Campbell took his fifteen-year-old son to the last "Star
Wars" film, and when they came out Bruce asked,
"What did you think?" His son said, "It
was great." Bruce replied that he didn't like it,
so his son said, "Okay, I guess it wasn't very
good." Bruce asked, "Well, is it great or
is it not very good?" His son shrugged, "How
am I supposed to know, I guess I've never seen a great
movie." Of course, once you have seen a great film
or two, then you have this horrible thing called perspective.
That's the attribute I won't give up on. I'll never
grade on a curve. "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron"
may well have been one of the better films of 2002,
but that doesn't make it anything other than a crappy
kid's film with a bad script. "Open Range"
may be one of the better films of 2003, but it's still
a piece of shit.
You had said "A college guy? Jeez, I thought it
was the pretty girl pictured there. Bummer." The
girl in the picture is actually Rose McGowan, from "Scream,"
the tv series "Charmed," and an ex of Marilyn
Manson. Raise your hand if Ewwwww.
Funny story about the pretty girl at the museum film
showing. Sad but true. You might want to check out the
Stardust Ballroom, however - I hear it's loaded with
that's rich. Okay, I'll put on my blue suit and I'll
go to the Stardust Ballroom, and you know what I'll
get? Heartache. I'm a fat, ugly little man." I
always felt like they should have dropped the "little"
adjective as it does not describe Ernest Borgnine at
all. Still, he was much better than Rod Stieger in the
TV version, who also wasn't little.
Our society has become a throw away society and computers
are on top of the list. The problem is the plastic they
are made with along with many other plastics can't be
recycled and it will never biodegrade.
Most people don't give a thought to where these things
go when they get thrown out because it doesn't affect
them immediatley, however, in the long run it most definitely
What we have done as humans is created a new situation
where nature has to adapt around our garbage and amazingly
it does, but not without consequences.
You have mentioned that humanity is the Religion of
all humanbeings, yet if we continue at this rate of
a society with throw away material, it will surely out
live us all and it also has a negative impact as well
which doesn't say much for humanity.
I watched a great series on PBS about Australia, since
I have been there before, it was quite an interesting
series for me to see.
One segment was about the quality of life there and
it also centered on a couple who became billionares
by starting a company which recycles a great deal of
the trash from NYC (Which is a shitload,let me tell
Many things are made into other items and much of what
their company recycles is rejected by many other recycling
businesses in America.
Their business is of course in America, but they are
Australian and live in Australia.
This is forward thinking instead of backwards thinking
which is the problem with the throw away society mentality.
The trash just doesn't disappear, it gets dumped somewhere.
George Carlin said, maybe Mother Nature really wanted
plastic and created humans so that we could make the
plastic. Then we'll be gone and all that will remain
will be plastic. So maybe the point of life is plastic.
I just watched Pearl Harbor, and was I offended! When
are people going to stop blaming the Japanese for the
events of Pearl Harbor? As soon as these hateful, moronic
directors like Michael Bay and Mel Gibson stop promoting
racism under the guise of artistic expression, then
we might have a chance to be able to see a good film
Thanks for your support,
agree that "Pearl Harbor" sucked, but who
should we blame for the attack? The Hungarians? The
Japanese attacked us and destroyed half of our navy,
which seems worthy of collectively pissing us off enough
to go to war. Of course, the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor was rather similar to our recent attack of Iraq--except
that we were blockading Japan, so they had a lot more
reason to attack us than we had to attack Iraq, which
was all based on false accusations of having WMDs and
a fleet of unmanned planes that could drop nuclear bombs
on America. After this Iraq assault, I think we've forever
given up the moral high ground.
Cynthia E. Jones
Happy birthday! Here's to another 45. At least you got
to enjoy Sunday in air-conditioned splendor.
If it's any consolation, I thought Akasha was a cute
chick, too, but it turns out it was just a picture of
Rose McGowan. Damn the internet!
By the way, as a cute chick who loves to go and see
old movies in old movie theaters, I was offended by
Rick's comment at the LA County Museum. Of course, I
must admit that most of my movie-geek friends are, in
fact, male. And I know I'm a freak, as evidenced by
my run-in with a male movie geek the other night:
I met a guy who is in a band called "The Bicycle
Thieves." I said, "Oh, so you're a big Vittorio
de Sica fan?" and he stared at me for a moment
before saying, "uh..yeah." He then went on
to rant about good old movies, foreign films, weird
independent films, IFC, documentaries, how there are
no good new movies, how pan-and-scan sucks, and I swear
to God he was channeling you. He seemed so stunned the
whole time that a girl would want to be listening to
this, and told me how his girlfriend doesn't really
care about these things.
Of course, I'm the freak who wouldn't dream of dating
someone if he wasn't a movie geek. Whatever. We're out
there. We exist.
Have an excellent Monday.
think I'm a decent-looking guy, too. And Rick wasn't
bad-looking, either. However, for the most part, movie
geeks are an unsightly, ungainly group. In that same
constant group of movie geeks seated up near the screen
at the LA County Museum for many years, most of them
looked like homeless people with bags full of odd items
and newspapers, pocket-protectors jammed full of pens
and pencils, very fat people, and lot of folks with
really bad hair. Rick enjoyed pointing them out and
declaring them to be our peer group. I don't think Rick
truly accepted it, though, because I think he believed
his true peer group were the attractive gay men. I don't
know that I've ever met an attractive, straight female
who was a true movie geek.
Here's what I found on Amazon:
TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS (1996)
Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet (1998)
FYI, Steve Jobs got the idea for the GUI (Graphical
User Interface) in the mid-1970s from Xerox. Xerox never
bothered to do anything with the GUI, so Jobs took off
with it. The first NERDS documentary goes into it very
Both of these are really good documentaries. I have
yet to read ACCIDENTAL
EMPIRES, but I want to.
One thing that annoys me about computers is how quickly
they become obsolete. If you buy a new one today, for
let's say, $1500, its value will drop by 60% in a year.
The technology is improving at such a dizzying rate
that I sometimes wonder if it's really worth it to buy
a new computer. It depends on the individual, I guess.
I have a friend who is a MAJOR computer geek. He's got
50 computers at home(!!). He got an email from someone
in Southern New Jersey-a person who was getting rid
of a bunch of computers: Sun boxes, PCs, and Macs. So,
we hopped into my friend's VW Van and rode down to meet
We met on this small stretch of road. I swear, it almost
felt like I was part of some sort of drug deal! LOL!!
Anyway, this fellow had a Subaru station wagon LOADED
with over a dozen computers and monitors. The car was
so loaded that it was nearly touching the ground.
My friend planned to hold on to some of the computers
and later sell a few at the Trenton Computer Fair, which
sells new and used computers. We go every year.
Anyway, we load up the van. The thing was packed with
computer stuff-it was amazing *we* could fit in it!!
Quite a few of the Macs were once owned by NASA.
I turned to my friend and asked him, "If all of
this computer equipment were brand new, how much would
all this be worth?"
My friend thought for a few moments. Then he said, "Probably
close to $10 million."
Sheesh!! And now, all this stuff was basically worthless.
I used to think cars lost their value more than any
other product. Na-uh. Not like computers.
my theory about all electronic goods -- they're all
disposable. My rich buddy bought a laptop for $9,000
at the same time I bought mine for $999. Guess what?
They were both outdated and worthless at the same time,
and did he get $8,000 more use out of his? I doubt it.
My VCR jammed the day before yesterday -- wham! In the
trash. I bought a new, four-head model for $59.95, and
when that stops working -- whammo! In the shitter. This
Dell computer was one of their TV specials for $799,
and when it breaks or becomes outdated, we'll see which
occurs first, out with the rubbish. It's like toasters
or coffee-grinders. They break, trash 'em. It's not
worth fixing almost anything anymore.
"Did you see the cable film "Pirates of Silicon
Valley"? I thought it was pretty good, with Anthony
Michael Hall as Bill Gates and Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs.
It shows them both stealing their operating systems
from Zenith, who had put a lot of money into developing
the home PC, then didn't follow up on it. Then Jobs
adapts this into the Mac system which he won't license
to anyone, so Gates just flatly rips him off, turns
it into Windows and licenses it to every Japanese company.
At the end, when Jobs realizes that Gates has ripped
off his system, they have a terrific confrontation.
Jobs accuses Gates of stealing his system and says,
"My system is better!" Bill Gates just laughs
and says, "It doesn't matter." The final titles
say that Steve Jobs lost his job a few months later,
while Bill Gates is now the richest man in the world."
Yeah, I saw it. Eh! I was indifferent about it, to be
honest. A MUCH better take on this, which you should
see, is TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS and NERDS 2.0, HISTORY
OF THE INTERNET, based on Bob Cringely's book ACCIDENTAL
Find out more about Bob Cringely here:
I do agree that it doesn't matter if Jobs' OS was better.
Who gives a shit? In the long run, Bill Gates gained
control of most of the world computers. I'm not crying
for Jobs, though. He's made his big money. Pixar has
made him some megabucks.
I will say that Steve Balmer cracks me up though. I
swear, that guy must take expresso through an IV. He's
one of the most hyper pitchmen I've ever seen.
keep my eyes peeled for it (like bananas). I checked
and they don't have it at Netflix. I think they need
to try a bit harder at Netflix, personally.
To answer your question, Akasha the Moderator of the
Xena section of SF-Fandom.com is a college guy from
Oklahoma, I believe. The "handle" is after
an Anne Rice character.
All are welcomed to surf around - sections on Cleopatra,
Jack of All Trades, Hercules, even Trek, Tolkein, general
movies, and other stuff to make a Film Geeks' Salon
geek proud. (This was the site that a lot of fans gravitated
towards after the Studios USA one ended.)
college guy? Jeez, I thought it was the pretty girl
pictured there. Bummer. I remember about twenty years
ago at the LA County Museum with my late friend Rick
seeing some old movie, just as we had there hundreds
of times before. I kept looking back over my shoulder
as we went to our usual seat down front, and Rick asked
what I was looking at? I said that there was a pretty
girl in the back. Rick guffawed and waved his hand,
"Oh, come on, attractive people don't come here
and watch old movies, stop kidding yourself."
Re: the history of operating systems & Apple vs.
Microsoft - if you or anyone else is interested, I stumbled
onto an epic-length essay here:
which deals with that topic among a couple of other
things. I've never read any of this guy's fiction (he
makes his living as a novelist), but it's clear that
he knows his shit inside and out. It's a good way to
kill 45 minutes or so, and a fun read. He manages to
make some of the most dry stuff imaginable readable,
which is pretty impressive.
Also, happy belated birthday. Does it feel like 18 was
just yesterday, or a thousand years ago? Or both? Just
was eighteen in 1976, the Bicentennial year. It seems
like a hundred years ago. I had just moved to Hollywood
for the first time, I was living across from Paramount
Pictures in a one-room apartment that cost $65 a month,
including utilities. My favorite films that year were:
"Taxi Driver," "Carrie," "Network,"
"The Tenant," "All the President's Men,"
"The Shootist," and "Rocky," and
I went back to see each of them over and over again.
Movies were great and seemed like they always would
be. That's what I miss is great movies. I just saw "Open
Range" yesterday and it was crap, with a really
shitty script. They can't even make a run-of-the-mill
western now, even if they have a lot of money. As my
friend said upon leaving the theater, "If you were
going to make a multi-million dollar western, you might
try reading a book," meaning Louis L'Amour, Luke
Short, Max Brand, or any other western writer. But no,
that's obviously too much to ask. So, I've made it to
45, but now I'm stuck in this world of dull, thoughtless
and inept movies, and I no longer see the clear point
that I did when I was a young man. I'd still like to
make the best movies I possibly can, but how and for
whom I no longer know.
was raised Greek Orthodox, but in my freshman year in
high school came to believe in the Catholic Church,
which is very similar. So, I am pretty familiar with
both faiths and many others, as well as atheist and
Christian philosophers. I can assure you many Catholics
and Christians came to their faith through a period
of discernment and study. It certainly hasn't been all
easy for me, either. I have not decided to "turn
off a portion of my brain" and merely went along
with what I was told, as did many other Christians,
a notable one who was a former atheist called C.S. Lewis.
I would like to know just how do you justify your statements
that religion is just an "opiate for the masses?"
That religion is the pretext for all evil? You realize,
of course, that atheist nations have had horrible human
rights violations, and that the USSR, which had atheism
as the rule of law, killed 40 million of its own people?
That Christians were at the forefront of movements to
make women and children acceptable in society, Christians
made the first hospitals and were at the forefront of
the anti-slavery movment?
As for your statements that in "Religion, at its
very heart, means I'm right and you're wrong, or you're
right and I'm wrong, but someone's always got to be
wrong," Mother Teresa said that it's your job to
help the Catholic become the best Catholic, the Muslim
become the best Muslim, the Jew become the best Jew,
etc. I myself have many Buddhist friends who I admire,
and Catholics have found much in common with Buddhist
monasticism. The statement that "you're wrong,
I'm right" hardly has any relevance when you study
what Catholicism is really about (I know, you were talking
about all religion, but I'll just cover this one now).
When you get very basic, no one is truly outside the
Church by virtue of the fact that they are human, have
a soul, and therefore have the ability to receive grace
and become better people, whatever their faith. The
Catholic Church (and many other Churches, including
my former Orthodox faith) say that they have the FULLNESS
of the means to salvation, which meas that they have
all the sacraments in which God's grace is given. But,
of course, God's grace comes to all those who ask it.
When I was loyal to the Orthodox Church, I never experienced
Catholics being in any way rude towards me or condescending,
whether it was nuns at my school or teachers. Catholics
almost always said how they admire the Orthodox Church.
And, do you have any idea of what the Catholic Church's
objective for social justice in the world is? One of
its tenets is to use their impartiality to unite people.
"If you actually believe that Jehovah is an old
(white) man with a long beard who is watching each and
every one of us over six billion humans and judging
us, you're an imbecile." You may no be an imbecile,
but not too far off if you believe this. However, this
shows how poorly you really understand Christianity.
Catholicism teaches nothing of a man in the sky or with
a beard. They teach of a God (along the lines of Aristotle
and Plato, who then influenced Augustine and Aquinas),
in fact, the only type of God, or with the only type
of nature a God can have, that can create the world.
A God that was around before time, therefore outside
of time. C.S. Lewis compares this to like being the
author of a book; all the characters and events are
before you at once. It is also a God composed of pure
spirit, since all physical things need a cause, and
God needs no cause because he is eternal. He does not
travel constantly forth and back in time at the same
time to be eternal, but merely transcends time.
I am very aware of the abuses of the Church. However,
the Church has always came away stronger from crises
and scandal. And, you often confuse human judgement
with a divinely instituted Church in your essay. Please
study this stuff more closely before you give off a
big, emotional, and superificial argument. Obviously,
your argument isn't hard to come by with all the anti-Catholic
sentiment in history books, but if the only counterpoint
to your arguments is the kind of mindless following
of religion you think it is, don't you think people
would come to your conclusion by the masses?
Oh, and atheists can often be pretty hateful, if you
appreciate your thoughtful response. What gets me down
with your argument, and all religious people, is the
false knowingness of what or who God is.
you get very basic, no one is truly outside the Church
by virtue of the fact that they are human, have a soul,
and therefore have the ability to receive grace and
become better people, whatever their faith. The Catholic
Church (and many other Churches, including my former
Orthodox faith) say that they have the FULLNESS of the
means to salvation, which meas that they have all the
sacraments in which God's grace is given. But, of course,
God's grace comes to all those who ask it."
this, I am outside your church, as well as all others.
I do not believe in salvation, nor "the sacraments
in which God's grace is given," which to me is
utter nonsense. I do not believe that the bibles, old
or new, have anything to do with God -- they were written
by humans about other humans. There is no Jehovah, Jesus
was a human man that was conceived by Mary and Joseph
fucking, and his sperm making contact with her eggs.
The virgin birth is total mythological crap that predates
Christianity by thousands of years. All of this silly
dogma is absolutely meant as an antidote to actual deep
thought. To accept these hoary old myths as the "truth"
is to shrug off your responsibility as thinking intelligent
adult person. To believe that God is outside of you
is to be a failure in the human family.
Some of your fans have posted some birthday wishes at
a fan site - you can view them here: http://www.sf-fandom.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5471
PS - no pop-up ads, membership requirements, or offers
to enlarge your bust size, I promise.
August & Co.:
so much for the birthday wishes. It was very sweet of
all of you. Who's Akasha the Moderator?
B-day Josh. I'm an August baby myself-just turned 38.
I live in Northern New Jersey-and the blackout was freaky.
I took my mom to the hospital to stay overnight because
she had major heart surgery in 2002 (part of the aorta
was replaced), is blind in one eye and had a minor stroke.
She's 74. The heat was beginning to affect her, so I
admitted her to the hospital. Fortunately, she was okay,
but it was scary. She's all I got. I got power at 2
a.m., and Mom came home later that day.
About the worm-yeah, I got that stupid POS. I have 6
computers at home-4 Macs and 2 PCs. I'm a Mac person
by default (I started using them at the School of Visual
Arts in 1988), but I keep Windows machines around because
they're important to know-since that's what most people
use. It took me about 4 hours to get my Windows 2000
machine up and running properly.
Frankly, I don't know who angers me more-Bill Gates
or Steve Jobs. Microsoft has IMO a sub-standard product
when it comes to Windows, and Apple basically dropped
the ball in the 1980s when they had the chance to take
over as the lead supplier of computers/OSes for the
world. Now, they occupy only a small section of the
market. But since I like the Mac, that's what I primarily
Although, the truth is that I really don't give a damn
*what* type of computer/OS I'm using-as long as it's
Have a good one.
you see the cable film "Pirates of Silicon Valley"?
I thought it was pretty good, with Anthony Michael Hall
as Bill Gates and Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs. It shows
them both stealing their operating systems from Zenith,
who had put a lot of money into developing the home
PC, then didn't follow up on it. Then Jobs adapts this
into the Mac system which he won't license to anyone,
so Gates just flatly rips him off, turns it into Windows
and licenses it to every Japanese company. At the end,
when Jobs realizes that Gates has ripped off his system,
they have a terrific confrontation. Jobs accuses Gates
of stealing his system and says, "My system is
better!" Bill Gates just laughs and says, "It
doesn't matter." The final titles say that Steve
Jobs lost his job a few months later, while Bill Gates
is now the richest man in the world.
josh welkome to 45 AND (HRONIA POLLA )next month on
21 am going to be 46.GEORGE
46? Jeez, that's old. I hope I die before I get old.
Hey, wait a minute, I'm already old. Nelson pops up,
Quit whinning about living through the Blackout in the
saftey of the cushy suburbs. I survived the blackout
and 9/11 in the Big Apple here, so that must make me
Yeah, We had 90 Degree heat and 90% humidity too, but
90 degree heat in this city is like 110!
What and adventure, going to Times Square at night without
any lights. It was like the apocalypse. People were
very calm here. People I talked to in Detroit were more
freaked out than anyone here. Funny
Happy Birthday old man.
I wasn't whining, I just mentioned it. I got over a
hundred pages read, I'm fine with the whole thing. However,
I am happier with my AC running, as well as this computer,
sans Blaster Worm. Okay, maybe I was whining, what of
it? I'm a wimp, so there.
know with 16mm, 24 frames equals a foot, at least I
believe that's what it is, but how about super 8?
screwed up from the get-go. It's 24-frames-per-second
in both 16mm and 35mm. In super-8 it's either 18 frames-per-second
or 24 frames-per-second. In any case, there are 40 frames
in a foot of 16mm, and 16 frames in a foot of 35mm,
but I'll be damned if I can remember how many in a foot
In the words of Porky Pig to Marvin the Martian:
Happy B-b-b-b-b-b-irthday, you b-b-b-b-thing from another
Any of the old high school gang in town to celebrate
a one. Sam and Scott are in LA, Bruce is in Oregon,
and Rob is in New Zealand. But I'm so fucking happy
to have power again I could care less. Twenty-seven
hours without the use of an air conditioner or a fan
when it was 90 degrees and 90% humidity was a true test
of my will. But I got over a hundred pages of "Theodore
Rex" read, which was good. And that's after battling
the Blaster Worm virus for two days before that.. I
Conan. Thanks for remembering my birthday. I'm 45-years
old, for Christ
scripts in 21 years! That's amazing!! I'm also a writer
and was surfacing to find production companies in search
of scripts when I saw your website. I just finished
reading Bruce Campbell's "Chin..." book, then
to see your name was just sort of kismet. Do you have
any advice for a writer with a low budget horror trying
to produce it? Any advice would be great.
Congratulations on your scripts.
just about done with the 29th script, and I haven't
written a script in four years. I'm very pleased to
have broken that trend. My suggestion is more of thought
for you to consider -- I don't think anyone is buying
low-budget horror films at this point. You might do
better, in a serious messed up market, making something
more dramatic and realistic. Good luck to you and come
back if you have any other questions, which I'd be happy
to try and answer.