Vatican II changed 90% of the religion, right off the
bat. Those of us who remain faithful to tradition do
so because we believe that the faith was fundamentally
changed, and is now a new faith. We reject the changes
of Vatican II. Also, they exonerated Jews for the death
of Christ, but to those of us faithful to tradition
don't repudiate that fact. It's basically a non-fact.
Another Vatican council could declare that Oreos aren't
healthy, but it doesn't affect our faith. Since you
seem to have confidence in statements based on majorities,
I'll throw a few at you: The majority of Traditional
Catholics don't, and never have, blamed Jews for the
death of Christ. The majority of Traditional Catholics
will not be predisposed to anti-Semitism after seeing
the movie. The majority of Catholic priests who have
molested children are not Traditional Catholics. And
finally, the majority of anti-Semitism in the country
is unavoidable (as is all forms of discrimination) and
the release of a movie about the Passion of Christ is
As another pointed out in a post, anyone can interperet
anything any way they want. Mel Gibson made the movie
he wanted to make and the movie that millions thank
him for making because it helps strengthen their faith.
Gibson is not responsible for people taking it upon
themselves to hear "the Jews killed Christ, so
go kill Jews" in the script. I'm not going to deny
the possibility of someone taking the movie wrong. And
at some point, even if the intention is good, if the
bad outweighs the good, then a person has a responsibility
to not act. But when we're talking about a tiny percent
of people, then it isn't Mr. Gibson's concern.
By the way, didn't you say once that filmmakers should
just make what they want and shouldn't be held responsible
for the actions of their viewers?
I think I saw that "Lost in Translation" is
on your Netflix list. Might as well take it off--it
will kill you to watch. In addition, I don't think people
need more encouragement to cheat on their spouses. Is
Sofia Coppola responsible for people who cheat on their
loved ones after seeing the movie? No, but the movie
doesn't offer anything good.
don't know where you get off speaking for the majority
of Traditional Catholics, did they elect you as their
representative? And I've certainly said to make the
movie you want to make, but I never said that you're
not responsible for the emotions you incite. That's
why working on horror movies got so old to me so fast,
I didn't like the response they were going for. If you
make a gruesome horror movie, then someone goes right
out and kills somebody using that technique, you are
responsible on some level.
Barb (Weisman) Hoffman
just read "Blast From the Past." I started
laughing immediately when I noted the character's names:
Dean (gee, I wonder who that was?), Carter Agree, and
"Tom" Francis (I guess you figured nobody
would believe the name "Tam." I don't know
who "Susie" and "Leigh" represent,
but I enjoyed reading that synopsis. It was really very
clever! It's always fun keeping up from time to time
with the Groves' gang's careers.
If they ever have another reunion, I hope to see you
there. All my best, Barb
glad you liked it, and recognized some of the names,
too. Yeah, our 30-year high school reunion is in two
years, for goodness sake. I'll see you there.
This Mel Gibson flick is sure getting a lot of attention.
I haven't seen the film, so I can't remark on whether
or not it's anti-Semitic. I do know what the Traditionalist
Catholics believe, and I think to say that they are
"inherently anti-Semitic" is kind of like
saying that the Jews are "inherently anti-Christian".
Of course it seems true on the most basic level, but
it also implies that they wish the other group harm
or have a hatred for them or something. That couldn't
be further from the truth. It's just a difference in
their core set of beliefs. The Traditionalists acknowledge
that Jesus himself was ethnically a Jew, as were most
of his earliest followers, so it isn't as if they have
any beef with the Jewish people, only as a religion.
This is no different than if they made a film adaptation
of the life of Martin Luther that showed the fucked
up things the Catholics did during the time of the Protestant
Reformation. That is, after all, what they believe.
To try to change that is to try to change their religion,
and then you're guilty of the same thing the worst examples
of evangelical Christians are guilty of. There may be
a few idiots who spray paint swastikas on a synagogue
after seeing THE PASSION. There are always morons who
misinterpret what they see. My dad thought Thelma and
Louise made the jump across the Grand Canyon after it
freeze framed and went to montage at the end of the
movie. He said to me, "So this is them years later,
I don't believe the average Christian will walk out
of POTK and want to hurt Jews. In fact, I think the
average Christian probably wouldn't give it a second
thought, until he was inundated with all the fearful
rhetoric from guys like Abe Foxman. Then the Christians
get defensive because they feel like their religion
is getting taken away from them.
I do have to agree with you that Jesus would be disappointed
by most of his followers if he came back today. I also
think God would be pretty disappointed by most Jews,
as well. Same goes for Muslims. Truth be told, we're
all one big goddamn disappointment.
you say the Traditional Catholics have a beef with the
Jewish religion. Isn't that the same thing as having
a beef with the Jewish people, since they're the ones
practicing the religion? And this beef, I suppose, is
that the Jews put Jesus to death. Of course, Jesus had
to be put to death so you Christians could have a religion,
and had they failed to kill Jesus where would you be
now? The Christians should send the Jews a thank you
note every year for allowing them to have a religion,
which was entirely founded by Jews. So, you think it
would then be reasonable for the Jews to hold grudges
over all the times Christians started progroms and went
out killing Jews for fun? How about the Crusades? Christian
armies slaughtering Jews and Muslims in the name of
God. How about the Vatican being in bed with Hitler?
Or that seemingly most Catholic priests are perverts.
The bottom-line is that religion is bullshit; it's evil,
and it's the basis of many of our human miseries. Religion
is entirely about our supposed differences, not our
similarities. And that's why a polemic like Mel Gibson's
"Passion" is complete, unadulterated shit.
In the name of religion it's causing discord and bad
feelings. "The Passion" may well make Christians
cry for the suffering of Jesus, it also plants a seed
of hatred for those that supposedly killed him, and
therefore it is the work of the devil.
You are right about the defacing of a Synagogue here
in Brooklyn. I can only speak for NYC, since I have
lived here now for five years and through 9/11, but
I see far more Anti-Semitism than I do Anti-Christian
I don't have the answer, I only know what I see here.
Maybe it is because there is a large Jewish population
All I have to say is that with regards to Gibson's film,
even if there are no physical acts towards the jewish
population, the sentiments are definitely felt here
in NYC. No doubt about it.
I don't believe it has to be a physical act, just the
intention can be as damaging and in fact it is.
I just wanted to add that I was raised Catholic and
I believe it to be the nastiest of all the Christian
sects. As a boy, I always had this uncomfortable feeling
around the Priests and I did not know quite why at the
I refused to be an Alter boy, and luckily for me, my
parents never forced me. Needless to say, I now know
why I had the feelings I did at the time towards particularly
two Priests at our Church.
This was a a middle class Church back in Michigan not
somewhere in the hood.
To this day, I am happy that I went with my intuition
as a kid or who knows what would have happened? It still
scares the shit out of me sometimes.
over 11,000 allegations now against over 6,000 Catholic
priests, with obviously many, many more undiscovered
and unmentioned, your uncomfortable feeling was clearly
well-founded. What amuses me is that the Catholics are
against gay marriage, and say that homosexuality is
an abomination that has to be fought against all the
time, but even the priests seem to always lose the fight
as hard as you drill the religion into them. As Bill
Maher said, the entire Catholic religion is just gay,
with guys in pointy hats and silly outfits, and rows
of boys on their knees with their mouths open.
was wondering if you could maybe tell me what movie
this is? I tried around on the Net but I don't remember
who was in it or have any keywords. A man and a woman
meet during WWII and instantly get engaged. He has wealth
rank and station. She's poor but honest, a classical
dancer. They mean to get married immediately but circumstances
prevent this, and he has to leave on schedule for his
overseas posting. By and by she learns he's KIA. She
slowly goes broke and eventually desperate. Suddenly
he turns up alive -- there's been a mistake. They're
still in love and he still wants to marry her. But by
now she's accumulated this past he doesn't know about.
I don't seem to be bringing out much about this except
the melodrama, an it probably was that but in the good
way, once you grasped the ending. It had the look of
a '40's classic. ?
sounds vaguely like a movie I really like called "Random
Harvest" (1942) with Ronald Coleman and Greer Garson,
but maybe not.
No, the new show Sylvester Stallone and Mark Burnett
are producing hasn't started yet. It will be about real
boxers and end with a Title fight each season.
know the new one hasn't started yet. I'm saying there
basically is a boxing show just like that that's already
on, called ShoBox on Showtime, which is about giving
contenders a shot. They find fighters with really good
records that basically no one has ever heard of, or
only real boxing afficianados, and let them fight each
other. What's the difference with this new show?
It's unfortunate that you write so much that you don't
know about. I'm fed up with your retarded assertions,
one of which is that "'love thy neighbor' means
nothing to Christians." I can only speak for Traditionalist
Catholics, nothing else, but I assure you, that not
one will come out of The Passion with anti-Semetic feelings.
Our next step is not revenge or to kill Jews. In fact,
the only anti-Semetic sentiments that have come from
this (nothing physical, just emails, the severity of
which aren't even truly known) was a result of rabbis
protesting the movie. If they had kept quiet, then nothing
would have happened.
No one should argue about any of this, because it will
be apparent how many riots and hate-crimes result from
this--like I said before, none. No one will kill Jews,
and after everyone is done bitching about all the potential
hate, it will all die away quietly until the liberals
find something else to bitch about with no basis.
Talk about persecution. Talk about minority. I'm a minority
and I'm being persecuted continually for my beliefs.
But I don't bitch about it too often. I'm not a black
or a Jew or a woman.
the Traditional Catholics rejected the Vatican II Accord,
which officially took the blame for the death of Jesus
off the Jews, it seems like the Traditional Catholics
are inherently anti-Semitic, that it's a foundation
of the sect. A synagogue was defaced with swastikas
in Brooklyn last week, does that count, or is just a
I agree absolutely. If Gibson had chosen to film a movie
rather than a protracted scene he might have supplied
a context to support his public statements that, "We
all killed Jesus." As it stands, he chooses to
ignore the contemporary context of his movie, justifying
himself by saying that he's only following the Gospels,
to say nothing of his claim of Truth. Regardless of
the (likely limited) merits of the movie per se, this
decision is irresponsible in the extreme.
You mentioned the "Cossacks" line in "Annie
Hall". I think the Cossacks offer a wealth of material
for filmmakers. Apologies to "Taras Bulba",
but the Cossacks were never an ethnic group. I don't
know if you've read much of them but they were essentially
run-away slaves whose raiding was tolerated by the Tsars
because they provided a buffer against the Turks. A
wilder version of the Wild West, one might say. When
you decide to write that screenplay I'll go on a fundraising
tour for you. Thanks,
loved "Taras Bulba" as a kid; when I was eight
that was my idea of a good movie. Luckily, I was so
young at the time I wasn't bothered that Tony Curtis
played Yul Bryner's son.
Great night for the Kiwi's, huh?! Do you happen to know
how many castmates of Xena and Herc actually worked
on Lord of the Rings? I recognized Ngila Dickson (sp?)
Did you know any of the oscar winners personally?
know Ngila, and Grant Major the production designer,
and Richard Whatshisname, the FX supervisor, who did
the Minotaur head for the Herc movie I directed, and
I've met Peter Jackson, too. They're all very talented
people. It was the only real highlight of an otherwise
very dull, predictable, and unfunny Oscar telecast.
keep a list of all the movies you've seen; do you keep
a list of all the books you've read? Just curious.
I sure do.
I caught "Whale Rider" on Oxygen last night
(it airs again Saturday night) and was really touched
and impressed. Curious if you've seen it, and if so,
what you thought of it. Cliff Curtis, with whom you
worked on one of those Hercules movies, has a nice supporting
role as the little girl's dad.
was good, and so was the little girl, but I was unmoved.
The grandfather just seemed like a creep and I didn't
care what he believed in or if he would ever be nice
to the girl. The idea that the little girl was nominated
for an Oscar is, of course, insane. She spends 7/8s
of the film playing dead-pan, then cries like hell in
one scene. Admittedly, she has a interesting face, but
still. The fake whales were impressive. I also knew
half the crew, who had worked on Xena. The other half
of the Xena and Herc crews all just won Oscars for LOTR.
What is old Rob Tapert up to these days? Is he still
in New Zealand making a horror film? On a side note,
didn't you grow up with Mark Burnett, the producer of
Survivor, Apprentice, and the upcoming reality boxing
show with Sylvester Stallone?
I don't know Mark Burnett. I did grow up with Craig
Peligian, who was the co-executive producer of "Survivor."
He also produced "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol"
which I worked on for the first season. I'm highly suspect
of this boxing show, I must say. Are we expected to
watch non-boxers fight each other? If it's actually
up and coming contenders, that show is already on, it's
called ShoBox of Showtime.
I think you hit on the fundamental problem with the
context of the film "The Passion" itself.
First, it tries desperately to portray the violent way
in which Jesus died, however, it does not balance that
with what he was trying to teach.
I also disagree with what Mike said about justifying
the nature of this film with "Jesus himself said
that no one was killing him...that he was laying down
his life "of his own accord."
The message of the film is mixed and as mixed up as
Gibson's own vision of the last hours of Christ. I still
hold to the fact that absolutely nobody can say for
sure who played what role in his death.
Shit, our own government can't even find "Weapons
of Mass Destruction" in Iraq, how can we know for
certain the details of something which was written so
The Bible is a book written by humans, and all books,
even the Bible are not infallible by the mere nature
of them being written by humans and in turn interpreted
by us in every way possible.
Gibson's film has been credited for being true to the
Bible's interpretation, but it he is also using it to
foster his own belief system and in turn hurt rather
than help the cause.
I also share your comment that "Jesus's words about
love thy neighbor don't mean squat to many Christians."
I feel if Jesus were alive today, he would be appalled
at how Christian's use his teachings in such a destructive
On a lighter note! Here are two new links to checkout
form Andy Rooney's last two segments on 60 minutes.
The latest has a link to the video, but not the one
about Mel Gibson. They are both really funny:
Bible being written by humans, which it was, both editions,
is at the core of this argument. The true believers
think that the Bible is the "Word of God,"
although those that think the old testament is the actual
word of God don't think the new testament is, and vice
versa. Of course, the Muslims think the Koran is the
word of God; the Hindus think the Baghavad-Gita is;
the Mormons think it's the Book of Mormon, etc. And
indeed it's all nonsense, there is no word of God, and
all human religions are mythology. There's no more "truth"
in the Bibles than there is in the Eskimo mytholgy of
creation, and anyone that believes there is is being
intentionally obtuse. The religious call it "faith,"
but as Mark Twain said, and I love to quote, "Faith
is believing in what you know ain't so." Religion
is a big cop-out; your sins are your own problem, and
either you come to terms with them or you don't, but
no one died for your sins. You're stuck with them, and
if you're an asshole, that's because you're an asshole.
about a review of "Lost In Translation"?
I haven't seen it yet. It's on order from Netflix, so
it ought to be soon. Several of my close friends really
hated it, though. And everyone I know seems convinced
that the worst aspect is the Oscar-winning script.
There have been any number of Anti-Christianity efforts
since the acceptance of Christianity by Rome. Islam,
particularly in the Mongol and Turkish expansions, was
anti-Christian. The very real and immediate threat from
the Ottomans didn't really recede until the eighteenth
century. Communism as practiced in the Twentieth century
was also anti-Christian, though not nearly to the extent
that it was anti-Semitic. Christians (and
Jews) are currently persecuted in most Muslim nations.
The biggest difference between the two experiences is
that, while Christianity survives, Christendom died
a natural death in period between the mid-eighteenth
and early twentieth centuries. Only the Vatican, I believe,
is officially a Christian country. In Judaism, faith
and nation are indestinguishable Another significant
difference is that Christians have, since Rome, been
the majority population in their own countries for the
most part. That is only recently true for Jews, and
even now not by much.
In the end, the threat to anti-Semites today is neither
the Christians nor Jews but, rather, Secular Humanism.
The Western legal structure prohibits persecutions of
special groups irrespective of their particular identifier.
Unfortunately, all anti-Semites are Idiots and their
survival is guaranteed by the bell curve.
is an historically interesting response, but it doesn't
really relate. In known memory no one has gone out and
killed Christians just for the fun of it. For at least
the past 1,000 years Europeans and western Asians have
regularly killed Jews for sheer amusement. It's like
that wonderful exchange in "Annie Hall" where
Annie says that her tie was given to her by Grammy Hall,
and didn't his Grammy give him things? Woody Allen says,
"No, she was too busy being raped by cossacks."
Jews weren't allowed to own land or businesses in Europe
until about 100 years ago, which is why they went into
professions like medicine and law and money-lending,
that way when the pogrom came, as it undoubtedly would
eventually, you could just flee and not leave your business
behind. My point is that anti-Semitism is a very, very
real, contemporary issue to Jews, not some piece of
ancient history like the crucifixion. And historically,
when Christians get all bothered and upset about the
crucifixion of Jesus, frequently their next move is
to kill Jews. In Europe anyway, that's called being
a good Christian. Clearly, Jesus's words about love
thy neighbor don't mean squat to many Christians.
know that you can be hot-headed about film (especially
current ones), but since you are not a practicing Christian
or anything...why do you care so much about whether
or not anti-semitism exists in The Passion of the Christ?
I saw the film and found it to be extraordinarily powerful
and moving, and saw no traces of anti-semitism. Everyone
had a hand in what happened to Jesus, not just the Jews.
Besides that, Jesus himself said that no one was killing
him...that he was laying down his life "of his
own accord." So that really renders the point moot
If you don't care either way, why are you so quick to
jump on the "It's emotionally anti-semitic"
bandwagon? ESPECIALLY, when you haven't even seen it?
easy for Christians to be nonchalant about anti-Semitism,
there hasn't been any active anti-Christianity since
the Romans 1500 years ago. Considering that there is
active anti-Semitism going on in many parts of the world
right this minute, and within the last 60 years six
million Jews were killed strictly because of their religion,
the idea of inciting anti-Semitism seems like a bad
idea. And, as I mentioned, it's historically proven
that showing this story, the passion play, Jesus's last
hours, to Christians incites anti-Semitism. It all comes
down to the old adage: Are you part of the problem or
are you part of the solution? I'd say Mel Gibson's movie
has ultimately added to the bad vibes of the world and
is part of the problem, not the solution.
It's fine that everyone is concerned with the anti-Semitism
that will result from the film. I totally understand
their concerns. But where is it? The movie has been
out for five days now. It's made, what, $70 million?
How many Christian-Jewish riots have broken out? How
many people came out of the theatre cursing Jews rather
than crying, having been faced with what they consider
the ultimate sacrifice?
Maybe ten years from now, when not a single spark of
anti-Semitism results from this movie, then people will
close their lips.
but maybe not. William Safire's point about "The
Passion," is that it's emotionally anti-semitic,
which was why these passion plays were so popular in
Germany, and why they were ultimately banned by the
Vatican. The point of only telling this tiny bit of
Jesus' life, meaning his suffering at the very end,
has historically been proven to lead to pogroms against
the Jews. The point is to emotionally whip them up in
their empathy for the suffering Jesus, which can only
logically be vented on his Jewish persecutors, or their
descendents. So, if historical precedent tells you that
presenting a certain story frequently gets a certain
response, that's what you must want.
was wondering if you'd had the chance to see Mark Hamill's
directorial debut- Comic Book: The Movie yet. It came
out directly to DVD, but don't let that deter you. And
it features a cameo by your pal and everyone's favorite
movie actor: Mr. Bruce Campbell. As well as Hugh Hefner,
Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, and others. If you have seen
it, what did you think of it, if you haven't seen it,
and/or why won't you see it?
haven't even heard of it. But it certainly doesn't sound
like my cup of tea. I did watch "Phone Booth,"
though, which was seriously preposterous. It's like
Larry Cohen wrote the script 20 years ago when there
were phone booths everywhere, but now there aren't any
anywhere, so he had to have a opening piece of exposition
about how this was the very last phone booth in NYC
and would be torn down tomorrow. And without the lengthy
credits, that film is barely 70 minutes long.
saw "Throw Momma from the Train" with Danny
DeVito and Billy Crystal.
Wondering if you have seen it and if so what did you
think of it? I looked it up on www.imdb.com and it had
a pretty pants score, but i thought it was a really
What did you think to DeVito's direction?
was okay, and it had a few laughs, as I recall, but
it was certainly nothing special. The first half of
"War of the Roses" was pretty good, but that's
about it for all of Mr. DeVito's directing career.
I thought I'd add that Mary and Mary Magdeline had head
coverings, until Mary Magdaline took hers off to wipe
not Jesus and his merry men. That's bullshit!
I agree with your sentiment that "anything good
for you isn't supposed to taste good," although
I found the phrase "roll around in his blood"
to be irreverent.
Gibson didn't make this movie to be a technically dramatic
story. The focus has always been the suffering of Jesus,
and that's what he filmed. I agree, that for someone
who doesn't know the story (or someone who needs characterization
to care about the protagonist), it would be incredibly
confusing. For those people, the crucifixion would almost
be a relief, after seeing so much torture, but then
he gets up and walks away?
In original stories, you need the goal to be set up
in the beginning so you know when the movie will end.
In this story, everyone knows when it's going to end.
I agree that the movie goes against classic story structure
(no real act breaks and a passive main character), but
like you said, if you really think this guy died for
their sins, then it has meaning.
Of course, Gibson's goal wasn't anything other than
to make the movie. He went outside the Hollywood paths
and the movie, with help of expectant Christians, just
promoted itself. (Abe Foxman helped, too.) He wasn't
trying to make a blockbuster.
Out of curiosity, does it make you happy at all to see
a movie that is based on beliefs do well over "X-men"
and "Spider-Man"? Or do you not care?
I don't care. Crappy films are crappy films, and the
subject matter isn't the issue. Mel Gibson is a piss-poor
filmmaker, and I have no doubt that "Passion"
is exceptionally bad film. And, as
William Safire said today in the NY Times, it really
is very anti-semitic because Jesus is beaten so cruelly
that you really want revenge, and Pilate and Herod are
both portrayed sympathetically, so your hatred focuses
on the Jewish leaders, thus the film inspires Chistians
to blame the Jews for Jesus' death, and ultimately fans
the flames of hatred. Well, that sounds like a terrific
message to be spreading.
wait a minute...
You don't like any Mel Gibson movies? Then why are the
first two "Mad Max" films on your favorites
list? I have the feeling you don't like Gibson because
Maybe that's not true, but I've noticed some lamblasting
on your part with other very talented people and all
I can figure is that they are outspoken about political
views that differ from yours.
This only dawned on me after remembering some of the
negative things you've brought up about such biggies
as Charelton Heston, Clint Eastwood, and even the Duke...All
well-known right wingers. Gibson is in the same boat.
At least he's out there doing something that nobody
else wanted to do. He's got guts.
Not meant as an attack, just a observation.
The best, as always. Have a good one.
right, I like "Mad Max," "The Road Warrior,"
and "Gallipoli, and I'll even throw in "The
Year of Living Dangerously," which takes us up
to 1983. Everything Mel Gibson has done since then I
don't like. Basically, when he just made Australian
films he was okay. Once he became a star, he's made
nothing but crap for the past 20 years. Meanwhile, although
I don't agree with Charlton Heston's or John Wayne's
politics, I've never dissed the work of either of them.
I think that Heston is a legitimate movie star, much
more so than Gibson. John Wayne had a great career and
really had good taste in the scripts he chose to make.
I just don't think Mel Gibson is particularly talented
as an actor, and he's far less talented as a director.
I actually walked out of "Braveheart" about
two and half hours into it, which is very odd for me.
If I've made it that long, I'll generally sit through
the remainder of anything. Hell, I'm one of the very
few people that liked Ronald Reagan as an actor, and
have said so many times, and I sure don't agree with
his politics. But I do think I'm pretty good at not
mixing someone's art with their politics.
On the subject of torture in the movies (not the torture
of modern movies) I've never seen you comment on "The
Killing Fields" with Sam Waterston and John Malkovich.
I saw that one when it came out. I had to walk two miles
to and back from the theater and the walk back was a
lot quieter than the walk there. It's a difficult movie
to sit through, as I recall, the more so since it reflected
the actual experiences of the lead character (whose
name escapes me). I wondered if you had seen it and
what your opinion of it is. For myself, I've only seen
it one time but I remember being taken up completely
be the experiences played out on the screen.
was okay. Sam Waterston was kind of a weak lead, and
though it looked good, I never personally got into it.
Nice photography by Chris Menges. And you see where
director Roland Joffe's career has gone -- nowhere.
hope that you are kidding about "health care for
everyone." So where would you get the money to
handle this gigantic task? Noble cause, but completely
unrealistic. Also, with these "tax incentives for
the US companies that stay in the US," where in
the world are you going to get the money to offset the
loss of taxes from these companies? And where are you
going to fund these "kickbacks?" And with
these new hybrid cars, are you prepared to help the
car manufacturers fund this because there is no way
an industry that already has enough trouble will completely
switch gears to a different make of car...So all in
all, I really hope to GOD that you are joking because
your politics wouldn't support any sort of free enterprise,
high voltage economy, anywhere....
Like we have now? As Dennis Kucinich has said over and
over, we pay more than enough each for everyone to have
health care, but most of the money is wasted because
it's all through private companies. You pull out the
giant profit magins, CEOs making tens of millions each,
and all the advertising and we could all have health
care. I'm not telling the car companies to stop making
strictly gas-powered cars, I'm saying we should promote
hybrids, which are a very good idea, and get American
car companies to make them, too. Then make it economically
advantageous to drive them, so you'd save money on your
registration, save money on insurance, save money on
gas, and help clean up the air. And is it better to
lose American jobs or make it attractive for companies
to stay here? Let's face it, if we rescind Bush's tax
cuts to the rich we could easily get on with paying
off the deficit and doing things that will legitimately
help this economy grow.
Quick question-since you mentioned Robert Crumb, did
you see the documentary on him and his brothers? I thought
it was *incredible.* I've only seen it once-and I need
to see it again. (Damn-that's something *else* I should
get on DVD.) The irony is that Robert was the sanest
of the three (?) brothers. Crumb's comics were truly
fucked up. I enjoyed them. Last I heard, he was living
in Southern France.
I still remember the part in the Crumb documentary where
one of his brothers said (I might be paraphrasing here),
"I was on anti-depressants for 20 years. I went
off them a while, didn't like it-so I went back on them
again." Sadly, my understanding is that this brother
later commited suicide.
Speaking of which-have you ever read John Kennedy Toole's
A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES? I thought this book was HILARIOUS.
He only wrote one other book-THE NEON BIBLE. That book
was written when he was in his teens, I believe. It
is a CHILLING book.
Sadly, Toole commited suicide in his early 30s, I believe-I
think he jumped off a building.
Have a good one.
seen the documentary "Crumb" three or four
times and I have it on tape. I think he's great. He's
one of the few people on the planet that values his
integrity more than money. He turned down a Rolling
Stones album cover, among many others things, because
he didn't want his art appearing there. And yes, I've
read "A Confederacy of Dunces," and I enjoyed
it, although I found somewhat one-note. I actually have
a hardcover first edition (since it is a Pulitzer Prize-winner
and I collect them), which was very difficult to find.
throwing lawn darts at Mel Gibson seems to be in vogue
now, I heard something (unintentionally) funny about
Passion the other day. There was a discussion on the
Lefty Talk Radio, with these Christians and Pro-Passion
talkers. One actually challenged the notion that a movie
should be entertaining. They claimed that the movie
isn't supposed to be entertaining, but redeeming. How's
that for double-speak?! How can one learn anything from
a movie if they aren't being entertained? (ie engaged)
I have seen very disturbing movies and was affected
by them because they were enthralling and challenged
So, even the Pro-Gibson/Passion crowd is admitting that
the movie sucks.
that are supposedly good for you aren't supposed to
taste good. If you honestly think Jesus died for your
sins, then why not roll around in his blood.
The Real Bob
Catch Me If You Can, I thought the movie was entertaining
enough, but I too found Tom Hanks Eastern New England/Bostonish
accent to be distracting. For example, the way he pronounced
words like 'forty-four' was way off, something like
'fahty- fah'. It must be a difficult accent to nail.
I thought that his effort might be forgiveable if it
was essential that his character be identified with
Boston, but I don't recall it ever being mentioned in
the movie that he was supposed to be from Boston. Nor
did any of the movie take place in Boston. It didn't
make a whole lot of sense to me.
Otherwise, though, I think Tom Hanks is one of the best
actors around today, and I like most of the movies he
The Real Bob:
must be difficult because nobody seems to pull it off,
like Rob Morrow in "Quiz Show." Whoever does
the voice of Mayor Quimby in "The Simpsons"
does pretty well, but then they're just imitating the
Kennedys. Anyway, Tom Hanks is all right, he just hasn't
been in very many good movies.
What's your opinion of the 1944 film THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS,
formerly just THE SULLIVANS? It's one of my favorites
and stars Thomas Mitchell as the father of five boys
who all end up serving on the same ship during WW2,
and all five brothers die when the ship is sunk. It's
a true story and it always fascinated me that they made
this film before the war was even over. It's a great
piece of American propaganda.
It also features classic child star Bobby Driscoll when
he was extremely young, before he went on to work for
Disney in such films as TREASURE ISLAND and PETER PAN.
He plays the youngest brother as a child. He's an actor
I've always wanted to learn more about because apparently
he died penniless of hepatitis when he was a young adult,
and for a year he was a John Doe, unidentified, so he
was buried in a pauper's grave. I think he used intraveinous
Do you know anything else about this wonderful film?
saw "The Fighting Sullivans" (AKA "The
Sullivans") a couple of times as a kid, but I literally
haven't seen it in about 30 years. I remember Bobby
Driscoll (1937-68) best from "The Window"
(1949), directed by the great DP Ted Tetzlaff, for which
Driscoll got a special kid's Oscar. I saw Disney's 1950
"Treasure Island" with Bobby Driscoll and
Robert Newton at the theater as a young kid, like seven,
and it scared the shit out of me. I love the fact that
Robert Crumb and his brothers obsessed over that film.
As per the Ephraim Katz Film Dictionary, "His career
faltered, however, when he reached his teens, and he
was unable to obtain work in films or on TV except on
scattered occasions. Unable to adjust to the new conditions,
he became a drug addict and was arrested several times
for various offenses. In 1965 he moved to NYC, where
three years later his body was found in the rubble of
an abandoned tenement, the victim of a heart attack.
He was buried in a pauper's grave. It was not until
1969, a full year after the burial, that, through fingerprints,
the body was identified as that of Driscoll."
Yeah, we had a woman die here in Wichita during "Passion"
as well. I've been trying to tell anyone who will listen
that "Passion" is the natural successor to
Saint Spielberg's movies; it's entirely visual without
any substance. You paraphrased Spielberg's thinking
on "Private Ryan" not too long ago; "Meat?
I can do meat." Gibson's thinking seems to be along
the same lines. My only interest in actually seeing
the film is in doing a cc count of the blood. There
are real limitations to how much any one person can
bleed and, from what I understand, Gibson may have exceeded
that amount significantly.
It seems that Spielberg, Hanks, Gibson and Robin Williams
have all joined the same cabal. They each want,in their
old age, to be thought of as the puritans not one of
them was when younger.
the very first showing of "Taxi Driver" here
in Detroit, which I attended, a woman died. If you believe
that Jesus died for your sins, then I suppose watching
Jesus get his skin flayed off of him has meaning. To
many of the rest of us, however, watching any human
being get tortured to death is simply in bad taste.
I didn't enjoy it in "Reservoir Dogs" or "I
Spit On Your Grave," and I have no doubt that I
wouldn't enjoy it in this case, either. But, like most
other modern movies, this film apparently skips Act
I, where we would get to know and like the guy, so that
when he's tortured to death it matters, and therefore
it's just bad drama.
Cynthia E. Jones
If you run in 2012 with that platform, I'll not only
vote for you, I'll organize your grassroots campaign
here in DC, and everywhere I go! All I care about now
is getting Bush out of the White House. He pisses me
off more with each passing day, and I have to live in
the same town as him. Grrr....
In other news, I tried to watch "Catch Me If You
Can," after five of my friends recommended it,
and couldn't finish it. I just didn't care about Leonardo
DiCaprio's character. At all. So sad.
Still waiting for a good new-ish movie,
actually sat through the entire film, but it wouldn't
have been a problem to bail at any moment. Leonardo
just isn't very interesting, and there should be a law
that actors like Tom Hanks are not allowed to do a Boston
Mel Gibson didn't direct "The Patriot." That
was done by the same lame brain that made "Godzilla,"
and "Independence Day."
right, I'm not thinking. Basically, I just don't like
Mel Gibson's movies, whether he directed them or not.
Believe it or not, some lady here in Austin went to
see the PASSION OF THE CHRIST and had a heart attack.
Its more violent than any evil dead or peter jackson
film, the whole thing feels like a horror film. And
near the end when Jesus is on the cross, it feels like
they just tossed in the thing with the bird ripping
one of the guys eye out (not jesus, the guy on the cross
that laughs at him). I like this version.
the Jesus story for the "Evil Dead" crowd,
well that's great. My biggest problem is that Mel Gibson
is such a God-awful director that I can't possibly support
him anymore, not after the dual blasphemies of "Braveheart"
and "The Patriot" (I thankfully haven't seen
"The Man Without a Face"). I also hear that
Jesus and his crew don't have their heads covered, yet
all the other Jews do. Is Mel saying that Jesus and
his posse weren't good Jews? Of course, in reality,
I'll bet you that Pontius Pilate never heard of Jesus,
they never met, there were no big gatherings in the
streets of Jerusalem, it was absolutely no big deal.
The Romans had criminals crucified every day of the
week, and there was nothing special about Jesus to them,
he was just one more uppity native.
I just wanted to tell you how much I loved the screen
treatment you just posted, "Blast from the Past"
(though if it was made into a movie someday, you'd have
to change the title, since a pretty bad film with that
name came out a few years ago). A wonderful, solid story
and characters. Like most of your unfilmed work, it
also predates many films made about the same topic,
in this case being a fatal attraction, and as in every
case, this is far superior than any other film since
the time you wrote it on that subject. Anyway, keep
the treatments coming, it's some of the finest story
work I've read in ages! My favorite so far has been
"Grave Error," which I found to be oddly moving,
and one of the better horror stories I've read (simply
because it wasn't all about the horror, and that it
was very character-driven, like everything you've done).
All of these would make wonderful movies (and a shame
you haven't had the chance yet). How many of these treatments
have you actually tried to get off the ground over the
don't even know anymore. A lot. And they all seemed
good to me at the time I was writing them. But if I
didn't proceed forward to writing the script, then I
probably received a flat, uninterested response from
the treatment. Anyway, I'm glad you've enjoyed some
of them. It's nice having a place to post them, as opposed
to just collecting dust in my files.
Way to go! I knew you would be honest. I sure wish you
were a politian. You would definitely have my vote.
Best of luck to you on your upcoming film.
I hold you to that when I run in 2012. My platform includes:
the legalization of marijuana, the banning of the use
of the word God in all government speeches and functions,
full equality for gays and lesbians, term limits on
Supreme Court justices, health care for everyone, not
only tax incentives but legitimate kick-backs and freebies
for companies that stay in the USA and hire American
workers, promote hybrid cars and base car registration
prices on gas milage, impose clear-cutting, replanting,
and run-off laws on logging on private land, and a flat
15% income tax on everyone.
I love your no-bullshit attitude, and would be very
interested in knowing what you honestly think about
Bush's actions on the subject of same-sex marriage?
Also, just your opinion in general on the subject would
be great to hear. :-)
find them deeply offensive. As Ted Kennedy said, Bush
is the first president to try and put bigotry into the
constitution. America is the land of equality, not just
for heterosexuals and not just for Christians or other
religious people, it's also the land of equality for
homosexuals, Athiests, and Agnostics. Without the religious
argument to back them up, Bush and all the other homophobic
bigots have nowhere to stand. And since one of the basic
foundations of our country is the seperation of church
and state, all religious arguments in this case are
moot. What these religious fundamentalists will not
accept, which does make them bigots and does make them
stupid, is that 10% of the world's population is homosexual
and always has been. Just like there are X% of redheads
and X% of left-handed people. But here in America nobody
should be descriminated against. This is just one more
example of how religion is the basis of evil. Hiding
behind their false Gods, religious people want to descriminate
against anyone who is not like them, because they are
under the evil delusion that God is on their side, that
they're book of mythology is "the word of God,"
and that everybody else's beliefs are profane and blasphemous.
I think that GW Bush is an evil man, and I also believe
that all religious people are imps of Satan.
am a fan of your writing. And was hoping you would have
a moment to answer a general question about treatments
(I am currently finishing one). Do you believe they
are necessary to sell a script? I have read several
times that they are a waste of time & don't bother
writing them. Since I live in Pittsburgh, I'm not around
many who know this answer. Thank you for time.
write a treatment for every single one of my stories,
and then decide whether or not I'll develop it into
a screenplay. A treatment is a step along the way. Let's
face it, if you can't get 12-14 pages out of the idea,
how do you expect to get 120 pages? I think they're
absolutely necessary, like a blueprint before building
Josh. I watched the Spencer Tracy version of CAPTAINS
COURAGEOUS on TCM this morning, and boy, what a great
movie. I can't remember if I read it on your site or
if someone else was telling me, but I remember hearing
about some kind of homosexual subtext in the film, specifically
in the relationship between Spencer Tracy and Freddie
Bartholomew, the boy. Spencer Tracy's Manuel calls him
"Leetle Fish," and they're sailors and all,
but was there more? Perhaps the book was more gay? Do
you have any idea what I'm talking about?
Also, I happened to watch that bastard Clooney's piece
of crap THE PERFECT STORM about a week ago, and I noticed
that the fishermen in CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS were from
the same town as the fishermen in the Clooney film:
Gloucester, Massachusetts. I say this only because the
actors in CC seemed so much more believable as rough
and rugged sailors than Clooney, Wahlberg, and the gang
from PERFECT STORM, and they're supposed to be men of
the same ilk. Got me thinking... I know you hate remakes
with every fiber of your being, but just for kicks and
giggles, humor a fool here and tell the Birdman who
YOU would cast if remaking CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS was your
charge. Assume it's a giant budget and you could get
anyone. Seriously, just a couple names of who you think
would be good modern day counterparts for Tracy, Bartholomew,
Barrymore, Rooney, etc.
Something tells me Frankie Muniz won't be on your short
heard about the film here, it was me saying how much
I liked it. I don't think there is a homosexual subtext,
but one can read that into almost anything if one cares
to see it that way. I absolutely won't think about the
casting of a remake.
E-mail: crashpix at yahoo _ com
First, yet more congratulations on your upcoming Sci-Fi
project. I'm glad to hear that they seem to treating
you and your work with some respect. Looking forward
to seeing the end product!
I just wanted to follow up on Bob's question about SAG
actors. I know people who shot indie projects which
qualified as "experimental" (which means the
budget is less than $75,000, or something). My limited
understanding is that this allows you to hire both SAG
and non-SAG actors for a production, but he SAG cast
must be paid a certain percentage of the net, and some
sort of payment up front. If one were to do this, would
you be limited to shooting the SAG actors only X hours
per day, and all the other labor rules, while working
your non-SAG actors longer hours? I guess I'm just asking
if you can clarify what sorts of limitations are placed
on working with SAG actors, and the whole "experimental"
class of film.
A while ago you were talking about doing a DV or HD
horror feature - would you have used the experimental
clasification, or just shot non-union?
Again, congratulations, and have a great week,
never used the experimental classification, it's got
weird limitations. But when you use SAG actors you must
follow SAG rules, which means you have to break on time
for meals or you get meal penalties, and if you go into
overtime, then you pay time and a half for two hours,
then double-time then next two, etc. And you have to
keep proper records so SAG can see that you followed
the rules, which means having someone like a 2nd AD
keeping track of everything. And whenever I've worked
with SAG actors I've had to put their entire fees up
in front. It's complicated.
just so curious about your standpoint on this movie....Didn't
you see the good in it at all?? Or were you so caught
up on little mindless details that you just decided
right then and there not to like it? I mean, this movie
was a major turning point. I would really like to see
somebody like you try and write a better script, direct
it, and act in it - YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DO SHIT.
of that may well be true, but what movie are you talking
Yeah I totally agree that Lucy was great as Lysia! I
thought maybe she also tried out for the role of Hippolyta,
I think I read that somewhere, but I think it said that
the studio or people in charge got cold feet because
she was a New Zealand actress. So I was just thinking,
even though she was great as Lysia, she would have made
a great Hippolyta as well. I was also kind of thinking
to myself maybe the try-out material included the scene
where Hercules is supposed to wash Hippolyta's feet,
and you know if Lucy tried out for that that would have
been hot feet you know!
So anyway, do you think that due to the success of Xena
with Lucy, your work on it, and everybody else involved,
that studios are less reluctant these days to cast New
Zealand actors in major roles? I think that would be
a terrific accomplishment as well.
don't know if Lucy ever read for the lead Amazon part,
but she never had a chance at it. But whether or not
the actress playing the part was American meant nothing
to anyone. It went to Roma Downey and she's Irish. And
let's face it, foreign actors seem to get quite a few
American parts these days, like Nicole Kidman and Jude
Law in "Cold Mountain," or Anthony Hopkins
and Nicole Kidman in "The Human Stain," or
Russell Crowe or Naomi Watts or Colin Farrell, etc.
I don't think anyone in Hollywood gives a shit where
actors are from, but they should. I am constantly thinking
when I see any of these foreign actors playing Americans,
"Is there a shortage of American actors these days?"
Will Lucy be starring in your new SciFi venture? Did
you think of offering a part to Renee O'Connor? Are
you producing the film as well as directing? Will you
Love your work,
offered it to her (Lucy), but she turned it down. I
think she may have some bigger irons in the fire. I
don't have a part for Renee, but I'd love to work with
her again at some point in the future. I am not producing
the film, and I'll get to do a director's cut, but the
producer's cut is, as always in TV, the final one.
What do you think was the most beneficial experience
you gained working on "Xena"? And, with all
of your years of experience, is it better to have a
sales rep or an agent?
most beneficial aspect of working in TV was the ability
it instilled in me to not panic under any circumstances,
to never get angry on the set, and to handle whatever
was thrown at me. Also, and this comes back frequently
as a life-lesson, as a TV director you are never allowed
to make excuses about anything. As the director you
are given a schedule to shoot between 5 1/2 and 7 pages
of script a day, and you simply get them under all circumstances:
rain, sleet, hail, unprepared actors, asshole crew members,
broken equipment, last- minute rewrites, not being able
to get to your location, whatever it is you deal with
it, and you can't make excuses afterward. As the director
it is 100% your responsibility, end of story. Meanwhile,
there are different sorts of agents out there. A sales
agent (or rep) is completely different than a talent
agent. Sales agents are ostensibly trying to sell your
film to distributors and broadcasters; a talent agent
is ostensibly trying to get you a job. But basically
agents of any sort are very difficult to deal with.
Is it true that if you want to hire SAG actors you must
become a SAG signatory and must abide by the union rules?
Do you think an independent director should go through
that's true. Is it worth it? Only if you want to work
with experienced, possibly name actors. I went SAG on
two of my four films, and those are the two that sold
the best. Coincidence? I don't think so.
I am not sure that the fact that the US does not nationally
have civil union legislation, in itself makes America
a backwards country because it creates inequality. The
civil union concept is a relatively new one, and it
shouldn't be surprising that is it still going through
a debate phase. Many countries that are much more socially
progressive than the US do not, as far as I know, do
not have civil union legislation. This would include
most of Europe, with the exception of the Netherlands,
Belgium, and Denmark and maybe a couple of others. On
the other hand most of the developed countries are able
to provide guaranteed health coverage, which, despite
the beliefs of many in the US, I think given the population
and demographic differences between the US and other
developed countries, may have become an impossibility
now in the US. It may have been possible in 1960, but
I suspect that America's decline may have made such
a benefit an economic impossibility.
So what does America stand for? I think part of the
problem is that the politicians and political parties,
especially currently George Bush, still profess this
American myth, that the US is the freest, richest, and
most prosperous country on Earth. None of these things
are true and politicians should just tell us that none
of these things ever will be true. America is not the
freest country on Earth. On the right most people are
under the control of their employers and corporations.
Not much freedom to think there. On the left we have
political correctness ready to pounce on every thought
and opinion. Add to that Homeland Security, which is
here to stay, and where is the freedom or dignity. As
far as being the richest and most prosperous, maybe
in an aggregate sense, but on a per capita basis, even
Canada is ahead of the US, and most of Europe as well.
Opportunity does not really exist to any great extent,
as compared to some of these other countries where education
and training do make a difference.
So what do I think America is? It's a place for the
lowest of the world to try to get to and make a new
start. For the people who are born here, it's better
off than places like Rwanda, but there is no point in
people deluding themselves into believing you hit the
jackpot by being born here and that your part of the
freest, richest place going. That's all America ever
was. It was never about providing the most equality,
or the most opportunity, or any of that. It is what
it is, and it's about time that the politicians level
with the people about it.
However, replacing George Bush in Nov. would be an improvement
regardless of the circumstances.
replacing Bush will be an excellent start. This idea
that the economy is in good shape is complete nonsense.
The truth is that it seems to have hit bottom and is
coming back up for a moment. The USA is an example of
capitalism and free trade gone crazy. We demand products
as cheap as humanly possible, but we are aghast that
jobs are leaving. You can't have Wal-Mart and Costco
selling rock-bottom, cheap-shit products from China
and Malaysia and also wonder why there are no manufacturing
jobs. The only other choice is to impose cultural and
political restrictions on trade, like we don't do business
with fascist dictatorships that use slave labor, like,
say, China. But all this crap about retraining for higher-tech
jobs isn't going to mean anything for ten or twenty
years, which means we here right now are going keep
losing jobs steadily, unless we reexamine just what
the bottom-line actually is. Is it our way of life,
or is strictly cheap products?
Josh, I have a question about structure.
According to your first essay on structure, unless I'm
misinterpreting it, you're saying that all of the main
characters in the film have to be introduced in Act
1. Fair enough, but what constitutes an introduction?
Does that mean that the character actually has to appear
on screen and deliver lines within the first act? Or
does one of the other characters mentioning the character
count as an introduction? In other words, does it count
as an introduction if a character says something like:
"Hey, stay away from Elias Pinchley because he's
evil." or does the character have to show up and
say something like: "Hi! I'm Elias Pinchley and
I'm evil!"? Thanks for your time.
think making reference to a character counts as an introduction,
along the lines of say, "The Man Who Shot Liberty
Valance," where we don't actually meet Liberty
Valance until the end of Act I, but we've certainly
heard about him before that. In the last script I wrote,
"Head Shot," about the JFK assassination,
you don't meet Lee Harvey Oswald until Act II, which
could be a mistake. Ultimately, I think it's a better
idea to actually meet all of the lead characters in
person in Act I.
Thanks for your response. I'm sorry you had a hard time
working on the Hercules films, I didn't know about that.
On the bright side, they all turned out great in my
I'm glad to hear you and Lucy hit it off on "Amazon
Women" and that she helped you to work on Xena,
that's very nice and she is totally fantastic and awesome.
I read that part on your site where you mention that
you did a Ricky Ricardo impression for her from Lucille
Ball's show, that was funny. I'm also glad that you
advocated her for the Xena part, she's so stunningly
beautiful and gorgeous and talented, I can't imagine
that anyone else would have been so successful in the
part. I would ask though that I heard that she was originally
supposed to play Hippolyta in "Amazon Women",
what happened to that? Do you remember about that and
if she had filmed any scenes as Hippolyta?
I thought she was totally great as Lysia anyway!
might have considered Lucy for another part, but she
was never cast in it. She was great as Lysia, though.
I suspect that history will eventually show that the
Bush' evaluation of pre-war intelligence was fairly
accurate but did not fit the administration's objectives.
I think that goes beyond "sexing up" and into
"ignoring the obvious".
I, too, admire TR but I personally doubt that he or
his methods would work well today. He operated a bit
too much from the noblesse oblige for the internet age.
LBJ had much in common with TR, I've always thought,
but lacked TR's ability to adapt to changing situations,
and TR's dynamic personality. Still, both worked behind
the scenes better than in front, and both had strong
Going back to an old subject, the development of digital
films, I just read that Renee O'Connor either is now
or has just finished filming a digital film down in
Texas. My gut reaction was, "Great, but no one'll
ever see it." Still, I was happy to hear that she's
It is a laugh about SciFi and the term "Alien".
I think about how they would rename clsasic science
fiction films; "Invasion of the Alien Body Snatchers"
(No Alien is Safe!) or "The Alien Thing".
It makes you want to go up and, good-naturedly of course,
slap some junior executives silly.
You should post both script versions of "Humans
In Chains" after the film gets completed; maybe
with a link to your "Monsterization" essay
Thanks as always,
on wood, I'm not getting monsterized on this one. Sci-Fi
just wanted some more aliens and more FX, which does
make sense because there's a 30-page stretch without
them, and on a basic, narrative level, you can't lose
the other side of your drama for for a half hour. Bruce
wants a few changes on a character set-up level, which
I completely agree with, too. I'll end up cutting a
few scenes due to time and budget restrictions, but
really, I'm not fighting the monsterization battle this
time. And you can't blame Sci-Fi for the title change,
even if it's a title they like, because it was my sales
agent that changed it, and quite frankly, I think it
helped the deal.
regarding TR, I'm not sure I understand what you mean
about "He operated a bit too much from the noblesse
oblige for the internet age." He was certainly
of the upper-class, and he absolutely felt that he had
responsibilities to the common folk. But he was very
forceful and effective both behind and in front of the
scenes. TR was very much the JFK of his day (except
younger), and really galvanized the country into believing
they were moving into a new, modern age. He was the
very first president to make any move regarding civil
rights, and had Booker T. Washington to the White House
for dinner, the first black man to ever dine there,
a few weeks after he became president. He did a highly
amusing thing, regarding civil rights, to a little town
I believe was in Indiana. They had a black woman as
their postmaster, who had been doing the job for 20
years, then the white populace got a bug up their asses
and ran her out of town. TR heard about it, and said,
fine, you don't have to have a black woman as your postmaster,
you just won't have a post office, and shut it down.
They then had to go about 25 miles to the next town
to mail a letter. TR was the first president to bring
up and enact enviornmental and conservation laws, and
were it not for him the entire national park system
would be about 75% smaller. But more than anything else,
he attacked the trusts, the giant conglomerates, and
effectively broke them up. And that lasted more than
80 years, until now. TR got into office the same way
as LBJ, as Vice-president when the president was killed,
but TR had his own agenda, which LBJ didn't. Everything
TR did was of his own device, he wasn't just pushing
McKinnley's programs through, as LBJ was was with JFK's
programs. TR didn't get us into a war, negotiated a
important peace treaty between two major powers, forced
the Panama Canal Treaty through, which greatly improved
shipping for the entire world, as well as causing Panama
to becaome a country. TR basically took on his own party,
the Republicans, and almost everything he did they were
against. He was loaded with anomolies, like he was a
great conservationist, but loved killing animals. He
was very pro-war, but avoided getting the U.S. into
a war. He was the most active president ever, constantly
going on hunting, fishing, and camping trips, but was
also the most prolific president ever, having written
28 books. He was also the youngest president ever. He
deserves to be on Mt. Rushmore.
mom told me hwen I was a boy that my grandfather, who
was a New York City Police Captain was part of the team
that captured two gun crowley. I never heard of him
an dismissed it as being A Fairy tail.
remember my mom telling me my grand father Flannery
was chasing two guy crowley and he began to shoot at
my grandfather's police car. the bulletes smashed the
windshield and narrowly missed killing him and his other
police officers. my grandfather was a lieutenant on
the vice squad. I glade to see two gun was a real man
and the story my mom told me was true.
terrible to doubt one's own mother, so I'm glad I could
help bring trust back into your relationship.
Yeah, I must say I really like "Lifeforce."
I always found it to be a really fun scifi invasion
saga in the vein of all those wacky "mars attacks"
sort of films from the 50's.
On the "Poltergeist," directorial conspiracy
(one of my favorite Hollywood dark stories)...It's well
known that Spielberg was dead set from the beginning
in securing a PG rating. Acording to some, Hooper's
handling of the material was far darker and and more
graphic than Spielberg wanted. Ultimately, Spielberg
took his powers as Producer into the situation and restrained
Hooper. Perhaps not being able to do things the way
he wanted was reason certain crew members began speaking,
in not so hushed voices, that Spielberg was running
the show. But, the biggest factor was when visitors
from the press came to visit the shoot early in production...Spielberg
shot 2nd unit and was in front with a small dolly and
several technicians filming the remote controll cars
that open the film. Hooper was in back with the main
crew shooting the scene with the mom and two kids burying
"tweedy" the bird. The press, who never interviewed
anyone but Spielberg, saw him with the camera, with
nobody else around and boom, the story had started...
As months went by, the story swelled and then the week
of the premiere, Variety ran a front page story which
read "Tobe or not Tobe." The allegations of
Spielberg overriding Hooper grew to such a degree that
ultimately an investigation was ushered in by the DGA.
So it does seem that there certainly was some sort of
conflict, although Hooper later directed episodes of
both "Amazing Stories," and "Taken,"
for creator and executive producor Spielberg.
It's interesting to note that during this time the entire
cast stood behind Hooper and not Spielberg and Marshall
who at this point had taken center stage with the media
and really brough the matter much more publicity than
Hooper needed. Interestingly enough, Frank Marshall
has since said that "Poltergeist was Tobe Hooper's
film all the way." He also sighted that Spielberg
wasn't even on set the entire time, he had left to go
shoot "E.T." durring the end of "Poltergeist's"
At any rate, it's definately an interesting story...And
of course you're right. Tobe Hooper hasn't made a good
film since 1985, but I really admire most of his films
up to that point.
Have a good one.
why I asked Matt Leonetti when I worked with him on
a commercial here in Detroit, not too terribly long
after "Poltergeist" came out. Meanwhile, Bruce
Campbell and I saw "Poltergeist" and "E.T."
within one day of each other, and we both predicted
very professionally that "Poltergeist," the
far superior film, would do way more business than "E.T.,"
which was just okay.
It's really great to hear you'll be shooting "Alien
Apocalypse," in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. That's just
terrific. My two most favorite widescreen scifi/horror
films of all time...Ridley Scott's "Alien,"
and Tobe Hooper's "Lifeforce." Just terrific
scifi in both pictures, and great photography...Even
though Scott and Hooper haven't made any good films
of late, I really admire their early works...Scott as
a strange visualist and Hooper as an intense sort of
Anyway, should you have any updates on your film, please
let us all know.
Have a good one.
eh? That still stands as one of the most miserable movie-going
experiences of my life. It really seemed totally and
utterly awful. And we see where Mr. Hooper's career
went after it. I think he shot his wad completely with
"Texas Chainsaw Massacre." I worked with the
DP Matthew Leonetti, who shot "Poltergeist,"
and I asked him who actually directed the film, since
it certainly doesn't look or feel like a Tobe Hooper
movie. He replied, "Spielberg did." Apparently,
Hooper freaked-out and wouldn't make any decisions,
so Spielberg came in and did it himself, which is what
it looks like to me.
Ignorant about history, eh? Everything I've ever read
says that TR was more proactive than just about anyone
in getting support to go to war with Spain. I assume
you think he's free and clear because he didn't become
president until a few short years later, but to say
he "had nothing to do with it" is ridiculous.
He was a top dog in the Navy, and it was the sinking
of the Maine that started the war! He was from a hugely
wealthy and influential family (like Bush) and he was
a war monger if ever there was one. According to TR,
McKinley had "a backbone like an eclair" for
not wanting war, and it wasn't until outside pressures
forced him that the president supported war with Spain.
An excerpt from militaryhistoryonline:
"News of the sinking of the Maine rapidly spread
throughout the United States. An official Navy inquiry
came to the controversial conclusion that a submarine
mine must have caused the explosion that doomed the
now-famous ship, ignoring or discounting other evidence
that suggested less sinister reasons for the loss of
the battleship. The American press soon pinpointed the
blame for the mine directly on Spain. Public outrage
began to increase as the phrase, 'Remember the Maine!,'
became a popular rallying cry for all those demanding
At the time of the sinking of the Maine, Theodore Roosevelt
was the assistant Secretary of the Navy in Washington.
Already an advocate of war with Spain, Roosevelt began
a public campaign to promote war efforts, and to rally
the American people to his political views. While personally
promoting these war efforts, Roosevelt began to prepare
the Navy for an upcoming war with Spain. Influenced
by the growing public outrage and by other pro-war politicians,
U. S. President William McKinley on April 24, 1898 declared
war on Spain. Believing so strongly in the intervention
cause, Roosevelt resigned from his political post and
joined the military to advance his personal views."
End of excerpt.
As for Al Sharpton for president, I think the inherent
problem with democracy is that most people are stupid,
so in a true democracy, dumb decisions are constantly
being made. A candidate isn't elected for any number
of lame and arbitrary reasons: too short, too bald,
seems crazy when he makes concession speeches, and yes,
because of race. There's only been one non-protestant
president for pete's sake. Black make up, what, 12%
of the population? Why is it so hard to understand why
we haven't had one as president yet? Out of that 12%,
half of those don't vote. There's never been a hispanic
president, and they're a bigger minority. There's never
been an Asian president, and they are by far the wealthiest
and most educated of any other minority group in America.
Hell, a Greek couldn't even get elected. The simple
fact is, I can't think of too many Blacks who are positioned
for the job, with the exception of Colin Powell, who
I'm sure you think is an asshole (I think Powell would
be elected if he were to run, but apparently he never
will because his wife has mental problems). No matter
how you slice it, Al Sharpton is not the man for the
job. I don't think being "forward thinking"
has much to do with it. Of course there are people who
would or would not vote for someone solely because of
his race. But most people simply don't feel Al Sharpton
represents them or their interests, and that is why
they won't vote for him. In the final analysis, Bush's
National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, is a Black
woman. The Secretary of the State is Black. The race
card is lame and it doesn't have a place in this country
if we're ever to move on from such pettiness.
Sorry for the length. Although we disagree, I remain
absolutely correct that TR was totally for war, but
he didn't cause it, and at that point in his career,
no one really knew who he was. TR didn't really become
known until after the Spanish-American War. Even though
he was very eager to get into a war with Spain in 1898,
he didn't get America into any wars during his two terms
as president. As a matter of fact, he negotiated the
peace between Japan and Russia and won the Nobel Peace
Prize. The great irony of his life, I think, was that
he wasn't president during WWI, but was so pro-war that
his sons went off to fight, one of them was killed,
and he never got over it. Nevertheless, he wa still
one of our greatest presidents.
for Al Sharpton, I think you're correct in saying he
doesn't represent most American's mindset, nor does
Dennis Kucinich, but I like both of them the best because
they're both looking for the most changes, and I think
change is good. I think we're stuck in a cultural and
sociological rut and we need to be shaken out of it.
Always happy to hear your opinions and comments.
It's been a while. That's great that you're doing "Alien
Apocalypse" (what a piss awful title, compared
to "Humans In Chains").
Anyway, I was wondering what the difference is between
regular movie lights and HMI's.
incandescent movie lights are 3200 Kelvin, meaning they're
very orange. HMIs give off daylight, or 5600 Kelvin,
which is much more blue. HMIs are also much more powerful.
When you see those beams of light coming through windows,
those are HMIs, with a little fog in the air.
How's it going? It's great to drop by again, it's been
a while. Anyway, I was wondering, what was it like to
direct Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur? And what
are your thoughts or reflections on the Hercules telefilms
in general? I personally thought they were awesome.
on those Hercules films was one of the worst experiences
of my life. Directing "Minotaur" was probably
the single worst experience of my life. I worked on
three of the five films, two as 2nd unit director, "Amazon
Women" and "Underworld," and then I directed
"Minotaur." The director of "Amazon Women"
and "Underworld" had absolutely no idea how
to use a 2nd unit, and since "Amazon Women"
was the very first film shot, I got boned by the idiot
and had to wait until he fucked up and didn't get things
before I was allowed to work. Also, they foolishly had
hired the 2nd unit DP as the main unit Steadi-Cam operator,
so anytime he had to run the Steadi-Cam on main unit,
which was often, the 2nd unit had to stop working. I
literally spent months sitting around with nothing to
do, but was still expected to be on the main unit set
all of the time. I began reading very long books, but
I got called on the carpet for that and had to stop
reading, too. So I just sat there smoking. When I finally
did get some sequences to shoot, the director would
then pull me aside and ream me out saying he hated every
single shot I'd gotten. Finally, on "Underworld,"
the director completely wigged-out and left the country
before the film was completed, so I got to finish it,
which was great. But worst of all, I knew that I was
slated to direct the fifth of the five films, but no
one had informed the crew that there were five films,
so they all thought there were only four. There was
a big blackboard on the wall of the office that had
the first four films listed, but no fifth film. Anytime
I mentioned that I was the main unit director on the
fifth film, everyone thought I was insane -- literally.
Halfway through the fourth film everyone was finally
informed that there actually was a fifth film, which
would then cause them all to have to work an extra month,
thus ruining their vacation plans, and who was the scapegoat?
Me, of course. The crew on "Minotaur" was
the crabbiest most prickily crew I've ever worked with.
Everybody was snotty to everybody else, and the very
sweet script supervisor ended up bursting into tears
and running off the set a few times. The only folks
that had their shit together on that shoot were the
cast, particularly Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst, who
were professional, upbeat, and a joy to work with. Were
it up to me I would have taken a crowbar to the knees
of the shit-head DP, camera operator (still ranking
as the biggest prick I've ever worked with), the 1st
AC (the 2nd biggest prick I've ever worked with), and
the boom operator. If that shoot had been in the USA
and I was the producer, I would have fired those assholes
so fast their heads would've spun. And since all of
this rancor and bitterness was all blamed on me, I never
got to work on the Hercules TV series. Luckily for me,
Lucy Lawless and I hit it off on "Amazon Women,"
and since I was one of the biggest advocates for giving
Lucy the part of Xena, she requested that I work on
Xena, and I found a home for six seasons. Thank you
response to the "goose", you can join triggerstreet.com
and submit a feature length script to be reviewed for
free after reviewing 2 other peoples. there is alot
of crap and petty reviews but i posted a few of my short
films on there and so far 200 people have seen them
in total and thats 200 that would have never seen them
josh, hope all is going well with "humans in chains"
or whatever they are calling it over at sci fi. keep
now called "Alien Apocalypse," since Sci-Fi
loves having the word alien in their titles (last week
two of their original films were: "Alien Fury"
and "Alien Lockout"). Thanks for answering
The Goose seriously since I was just being a creep.
Been awhile. I know we're in an election year and you
have strong political views, but your statements about
Bush just expose you as the left wing ideologue that
Yeah, we know that we were misled about WMD's in Iraq.
Did the president himself know that the intelligence
was faulty? Who knows. Some will give him the benefit
of the doubt, while some will assume the worst, that
he lied "for oil" or to exonerate his father's
presidency. The bottom line is that it comes down to
who you trust. Clearly, you do not trust our president.
This is within your rights to have such an opinion,
and I encourage the dissention, but I do find it a little
suspect that you chose Teddy Roosevelt of all people
to juxtapose with GW Bush. It is a known fact that he
misled the American people, with the help of William
Randolph Hearst, to pressure America into a war with
Spain. A war that was neither neccessary nor noble.
An opportunistic war that was sought for publicity and
because it could be won easily, with only a few American
casualties. How curious that your favorite American
president is guilty of the same charges you make against
GW Bush, in your words "the worst president"
in recent memory. The only good republican is a dead
one, I reckon.
Your side of the argument is also weakened when you
start quoting the likes of Al Sharpton. That guy is
perhaps the biggest son of a bitch under the sun, and
his lousy, muckraking, divisive nature does nothing
to help the conditions for Black folks. He doesn't give
a shit either, because if racism disappeared tomorrow,
that bastard wouldn't have a job or even a personality.
To say someone lied "because he's a liar"
is like saying someone killed "because he's a killer,"
it doesn't hold up. It sounds great to the people who
have already made up their mind about the situation
and fans some flames, but it does nothing to further
our understanding of the situation. That guy just panders
to the pissed and then basks in their applause.
The first time I wrote to you, I mentioned that I would
be "lensing" a remake of the YOUNG GUNS story,
and you replied that I should not use words like "lensing"
because it makes me sound silly. This was honest, invaluable
advice. I appreciate it. Now allow me to give you a
piece of advice. When talking about politics, stop using
these hot sound byte phrases like "sexing up"
because it makes you sound like a parrot.
of all, you need to read more history before getting
on a public forum and displaying your ignorance. Teddy
Roosevelt had nothing to do with the U.S. going to war
with Spain. He was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy
at the time, and immediately quit and formed the Rough
Riders, of which he was second-in-command. TR was the
most-decorated soldier in the Spanish-American War,
but he had nothing to do with starting the war, he was
just a soldier. That can be attributed a lot more accurately
to William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism,
and blaming the Spanish for the sinking of the battleship
Maine, which they may have sunk, we still don't know.
I'm not sure what the bug up your ass is about Al Sharpton,
but I like the guy. He's very opinionated, passionate,
well-spoken, and I agree with almost everyone of his
stances. I think he's the most well-spoken of all the
Democratic presidential candidates (which puts him miles
ahead of the Republicans), and he's certainly the funniest.
I just wish we lived in a country that was forward thinking
enough to have a black man or woman as president. As
it is, the U.S.A. still fumbling around like it's 1804
trying to decide who should have equality and who shouldn't,
as though there's any rationality to that concept. Equality
is for everyone: straight, gay, married, single, black,
white, brown, or yellow. As long as we have politically
powerful groups like the asshole Christian right, who
think that "God's way" is deny part of our
population its rights, we're still stuck in the dark
ages. And me using the term "sexing up," is
just quoting the British press, and so far it's the
most accurate term for what Bush and co. did with the
intelligence, which was not flawed, it was their assessment
of it that was flawed.