Q & A    Archive
Page 118

Name: Michael Birch
E-mail: Unknown@Unknown.com

Dear Josh:

Sorry for sending you so many E-mails, but I was just curious as to what you thought of Cabin Fever?

Dear Michael:

Sorry, didn't see it.

Josh

Name: Michael Birch
E-mail: Unknown@Unknown.com

Dear Josh:

O.k, I agree. While how was making the Evil Dead films?

Dear Michael:

It was very difficult. It still ranks as the most grueling shoot I have ever been on. Have you read my "Evil Dead" Journal?

Josh

Name: Michael Birch
E-mail: Unknown@Unknown.com

Dear Josh:

I see. While I'm doing a video documentry of Sam Raimi and would like to include a written qoute of what you think of Sam Raimi as a director and of his filmmaking style.
Thanks.

Dear Michael:

I have avoided your question because I don't want to diss my friend. Sam's the perfect guy to be making comic books into movies.

Josh

Name: David
E-mail: bballguru7@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

You didn't like "Silence of the Lambs"? Can you elaborate a bit.

What happened to you regularly posting various articles, critiques, etc? The only new stuff I've seen lately is regarding Bush and presidental power. Where are all the new, interesting movie articles? And don't tell me there's no movies worth talking about, because there must be a few.

Dear David:

I've been kind of busy lately getting ready to make this movie. I'll be leaving Monday. I will still be checking in and answering questions, when I get a chance. I must say, though, that no moview lately has inspired me positively or negatively to write a review. I just saw "American Splendor" last night, and although it was trying desperately to be different and new, it's really just a dull domestic drama about the relationship between two creepy assholes. By the time it gets to the cancer it could well be a TV movie of the week. Regarding "Silence of the Lambs," it's basically just a stupid movie, where way too much time is spent on Hannibal Lector, who isn't the bad guy, and almost no time is spent on the actual bad guy. But what drove me insane was Lector in a straight-jacket glances down and sees that a pen was left in his cell, cut away for 30 seconds, then when we return he has escaped his cell, killed the guards, skinned one of them and set up a big backlight on the guy -- that's stupid storytelling.

Josh

Name: Sean
E-mail:

Josh,

Where is Bulgaria will you guys be filming?

Dear Sean:

I guess you mean where "in" Bulgaria? In Sofia.

Josh

Name: warren serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

Who do you consider to be "good" film makers, since we''ve discussed some bad ones.

Dear Warren:

Since you didn't say "that are presently working," which puts a big damper on the question, here goes: William Wyler, John Ford, John Huston, King Vidor, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, George Cukor, Joseph Von Sternberg, Don Siegel, Frank Capra, Victor Fleming, Fred Zinneman, Joseph Mankiewicz, Lewis Milestone, John Schlesinger, Franklin Schaffner, Francis Coppola (in the 1970s), Martin Scorsese (in the '70s & 80s). Well, there's a few.

Josh

Name: Michael Birch
E-mail: Unknown@unknown.com

Dear Josh:

I'm not sure if you got my last email but I was wondering if I could get your thoughts on Sam Raimi,
it's for a project I'm doing.
Thanks

Dear Michael:

I ignored you the first time because you don't have a specific question. What do you want to know, specifically?

Josh

Name:
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

what kinds of cigrattes did you smoke in the seventies
what was the most popular .

Dear _____:

I smoked Larks back in the 1970s, then when they introduced Malboro Lights I switched to them, then Benson & Hedges Light 100s. I now buy cans of American Spirit tobacco and roll my own, by hand, with a filter.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail: sspnyc66@mac.com

Hey Josh,

I am glad you took the time to watch Sea Biscuit. I agree with you on most parts of the script and of course the Cinematography which blew me away, but I did connect to Chis Cooper's character and I thought he gave a great performance even if the film wasn't that great.

Scott

Dear Scott:

Chris Cooper is a good actor, but that wasn't much of a part. And Jeff Bridges (who has more facially twitches than Renee Zellwegger) has officially become Beau Bridges. And did we honestly need to start with another actor playing Tobey McGuire's part at 16 years old? Like he can't play 16? It's a huge mistake to switch actors in a part. And why did it begin with Chris Cooper tending to a white horse, then switch to Seabiscuit? And why did it begin with a PBS-like piece of Henery Ford and the Model T, then we pick up Jeff Bridges working in a bicycle factory? And why did we need a several minute piece on the stock market crash when one headline, "Stock Mrket Crashes," would have handled it? It's just a weak, poor script. But, as my friend said, that's as good as movies get now, which is really sad.

Josh

Name: warren serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

Couldn't agree more regards your comments about modern moviemaking. The folks today seem more intent in creating lush spectacles while ignoring plots and character development. Sad trend indeed. I also find much of Tarrantino's stuff to be absolute crap. I hope that, someday, it'll all turn around and we can get back to making stories with good plots, good character development and good acting rather than the pap Gollywood is turning out now.

Dear warren:

I'm with you. Tarantino is the amalgamation of everything wrong with movies right now --the pretense of intelligence and imagination, while having nothing to say and no story to tell, and no real ability to tell it.

Josh

Name: Bruno Bruce
E-mail:

Dear Mr. Becker

Over on the IMDb we have been debating about whether there is a patron saint of cinema. We reached the conclusion that if there is not then none other than Quentin Tarantino should be the recipient of such an accolade on account of the pure cinematic majesty that is KILL BILL.
We are putting together a petitition to send to the Vatican calling upon the immediate beatification of Tarantino as Saint Quentin the Immaculate and wondered whether as a director in your own right you would be interested in adding your name to such a petition. Thank you in anticipation of a positive response.

Dear Bruno:

If you have such poor taste in films that you actually think Quentin Tarantino is talented, and you also believe that you need the backing of a horrible organization like the vatican, then you ought to put all your efforts into this. No one can ever say you've wasted your life.

Josh

Name: warren serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

I think what we have here is a couple (or one using several names) of nasty trolls who are just trying to rile things up. Ignore them and they'll go away. Non Illigitimi Carborundum

Dear Warren:

Yeah, that's been going on for years, it doesn't bother me. I give them one or two chances to something of value, then I stop posting their questions. Meanwhile, I watched "Seabiscuit" last night. It has lovely photography and nice production design (it's amazing what you can get when you have unlimited money), but has a weak, flaccid script that bumbles it's way through an hour-long act one, never gets any empathy going for the characters or the horse, and never works up a head of steam. The little, institial PBS-like documentary bits narrated by David McCullough are entirely unnecessary, and there's also an historical flaw, when William Macy says that a horse is "the greatest thing on four legs since Hope and Crosby," Hope and Crosby hadn't made a film together yet. Once again, this is the modern version of a good movie, meaning it's really a bad movie.

Josh

Name: kdn
E-mail: jericho_legends@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

<<I couldn't stand the original, and I'll be damned if I support the remake of anything. All remakes are the death of originality.>>

true that, but what about the LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS remake? not perfect (they should've kept the greek tragedy ending where everyone was eaten and they fucked up THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT) but mostly enjoyable (on second thought, the original was funnier)... :-( they needed more blood in that musical, seriously, why did they have to cut out the blooming heads WHY GOD WHY?!?! more so, wouldn't it have been funnier if one of the headflowers fell on one of the onlookers and the face ripped off with the petals? Wouldn't it have been creepier if we knew how the hell Audrey 2 could re-pot and resoil itself? does it even NEED soil? what if it wasn't soil in the pot, what if it was excrement, making Audrey speech (seen in the play) about being part of the plant and being with Seymour everyday sadistically pointless and funny? Notice how most of the jokes that were funny in the play... WEREN'T FUNNY IN THE MOVIE. This has gone on too long, but thanks and kudos for listening.

Dear kdn:

Sorry, I didn't care for the musical remake. The songs were all unmemorable and didn't move the story along. I like the remake of "Ben-Hur." This recent remake of "Insomnia" was okay. But, for the most part, remakes are just a terrible idea.

Josh

Name: Bird Jenkins
E-mail: bird@jjandbird.com

Dear Josh:

Don't know if you received this email, so I'll post it again. If you've already seen it and for some reason decided not to post it, go ahead and ignore this one as well.

Howdy, Josh.

I think that your comparison of GW Bush to Nixon is accurate, but not the way you meant it. I think both men have been terribly villainized by the left, to the point where they can do no right in the eyes of Democrats. When you say that Nixon fucked up everything he had a hand in, you're flat out wrong. He did plenty of good in China, and anyone who denies that needs to crack open a history book and read it objectively. Vietnam was not his war, as much as you lefties like to make it sound like it was. With his illegal bombings in Cambodia and Laos, he certainly didn't "do a good job" there, but lest we forget, that clusterfuck was started by Dems, i.e. Kennedy and Johnson. It's also worth noting that Johnson is the one who threw in the towel when the going got tough in Vietnam and he decided not to run for re-election. Nixon was simply trying to win, an understandable goal considering the sacrifices that had been made by that point. Nixon's later lies and coverups surrounding the watergate affair(again, ugly partisan politics rearing its head) forever marred anything positive that could be said about him, and perhaps deservedly so. The single most harmful thing we can do to this great country is divide our people with such petty partisanism. The shameful display of the 9/11 commission exemplifies the "destroy political opponents at all costs" mindset that has permeated American politics. If only they showed such zeal for fighting our true enemies...

I just finished reading Douglas Brinkley's book TOUR OF DUTY: JOHN KERRY AND THE VIETNAM WAR. I was wondering if you've read it, or are interested in reading it? I found it to be a real pageturner, and very meticulous considering it's over 500 pages, primarily covering the 4 months Kerry was in The Shit. Brinkley clearly thinks highly of Kerry, and paints a rather glowing portrait, but he's never just blowing the guy. The book details Kerry's valor in combat, and also his struggle to end the war as a leader of the VVAW when he came home. Anyway, I'm sure a bomb-throwing pinko like yourself would really enjoy it. Highly recommended.

Also, have you listened to the new Air America Liberal Talk Radio? It's pretty cool, you can listen online at airamericaradio.com 24 hours a day. Al Franken's show just sucks, though. Surprisingly, Janeane Garofalo's show is pretty decent. I figure if I watch Fox News and listen to Air America, I can form my own opinions more objectively.

Anyways, gotta go. Catch you on the flip.


Your friend,
Bird

Dear Bird:

I don't like talk radio, left or right. Nixon got elected in 1968 based his ending the Vietnam war, and by the time he resigned, five years later, he still hadn't ended it. Going to China was okay, but Kissinger could have done that without Nixon, and we now see, thity years later, that those trade agreements with China are all wrong-headed, and are playing hell with our own economy, mainly through Wal-Mart, which is the biggest distributor of Chinese goods in the world. Since China still uses slave labor it's rather difficult for any country that pays its workers to compete. The Chinese government doesn't give a shit about human rights and we won't sanction them due to those trade agreements. We Americans have to decide whether we want jobs or cheap Chinese products, but you can't have both. Meanwhile, Nixon's bombing of Cambodia, who we were not at war with, backing the genocide of East Timor, then screwing around in Chile's politics, assassinating the head of the army and bring down Allende created 25 extra years of misery for those people. And, like all Republican presidents, he talked the big talk about the economy, then completely screwed it up with military spending. Nixon was a bad president. Ronald Reagan was a bad president. George Bush, Sr. was a bad president, and Bush, Jr. is the worst of the bunch, and they're all fiscally irresponsible.

Josh

Name: alan deepthroat
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Dude, i thought we were trying to keep it pg 13 here. why do you have to swear? grow up, your like a 12 year old who just learned his first swear word. except alot gayer. seriously dude, alot.

Dear Alan:

No, dude, wo, dude, yo dude. Expletives happen to be part of the language and I like them. Whereas having to fall back on the same meaningless word all the time, like, say, "dude," simply shows ignorance. And if you think calling me gay is offensive, it's not.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

Just to clarify something for Nick, FDR did not "abuse Presidential powers", he tested their limits in the face of the worst economic disaster since the Irish Potato Famine. Nothing he did was egregiously clandestine; there were no cover-ups, denials or, most importantly, criminal charges. I think if Nick is looking for the champion of "abuse of Presidential powers", which is a defined federal offense, he might do well to examine RMN, Republican.

Your servant,
John

Dear John:

Yes, very good points. It's important to keep in mind that the previous Republican president, Herbert Hoover, had thrown in the towel and given up on the economy, just as Republicans will under severe pressure. So anything FDR did was great as far as almost everyone was concerned. There has never been a president before or since that was loved like FDR, whether he was right or wrong, and he was the only president elected to four terms. Richard Nixon is the perfect analogy to Bush jr. He was excessively secretive, had his own agenda, lied to the public and to Congress, supported genocide, and basically fucked up every part of the world he interfered with. I'd say that Nixon and Bush jr. have to stand as the two worst presidents of the last 100 years, over possibly ever.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

A movie question for you. Somebody, AMC or Turner Classics, showed the movie "Alien" the other night. It included a scene where Ripley discovers her missing crewmates who are cocooned and ready for hatching. They ask her to kill them and she burns them. That scene was deleted from the theatrical release and I was wondering if you'd seen it. I thought it was a good scene, and would have tied nicely with the similar scene in "Aliens" when the female colonist is found in similar straits. Any thoughts?

John

Dear John:

I think that's why they put that scene into "Aliens," because it was a cool scene and had been cut from the "Alien."

Josh

Name: Nick
E-mail: NickyMOuseProductions@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Why do you have to be such a hippie. Trust me if they're was a right wing conspircy I would be the center of it. Why do you have to bash Bush man and don't give me he lied? The CIA/FBI have alot of losy info. Ok...look at Clinton, he bombed the chinease, Iraq, Africa, Bosnia, Yugoslavia... yet no slack for Bush. Let see Bush actually attack terrorism, stop corporate crooks, get rid of the dumb ass death tax, increase national security and etc. oh...FYI FDR abused the presidental powers the most. Your really have your head up ass Josh when it comes to politics. Maybe some day we can remove it.

Dear Nick:

Well, being a hippie and all I can't help having my head up my ass. I guess I got it all wrong, George Bush really is doing a swell job. Come on, even Donald Rumsfeld admitted yesterday that things aren't going very well in Iraq, and if one of Bush's inner circle is admitting less than perfection then things must be completely fucked up. And had we sent 100,000 troops to Afghanistan instead of Iraq, we might actually be winning the war on terrorism, instead of losing it. Need I remind you, oh wise surveyor of the political landscape, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, nor did they have any WMDs. The war in Iraq, and every Iraqi we kill, is only making the issue of terrorism worse.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

Darryl is, of course, correct that the President alone is not entirely responsible for the state of the economy and rightly points out the politically unbiased progression of the boom-bust cycle. The ability to set interest rates, however, provides the President with an incredible amount of influence, particularly in the mid-term, over economic performance. It is also worth mentioning that the President traditionally sets the budget agenda, a power which has evolved through the ability of President's to veto (spending) legislation. In a closely split legislature, such as we have had for some time now, the veto power is decisive.

Darryl also questions the ability of the United Nations to rebuild a nation. One might as easily question the ability of the United States to do so as well. Vietnam is the classic example of a US failure, but throughout the post-WWII era we have littered the world landscape with poorly-run petty dictatorships, the legacies of which haunt as still today. Any one care to vacation in Haiti? The United Nations has had some success stories, particularly in Cyprus where a blood feud stretching back centuries seems to be nearing peaceful resolution. East Timor still exists as a stable entity after horrendous civil war and is essentially governed completely by the United Nations. While NATO handles security matters in Kosovo, it is the United Nations which manages civilian governmental affairs.

What makes the United Nations potentially the best answer in Iraq, however, is not its track record, but the legitamacy ascribed to the UN by the world, the Third World in particular. That view is not without reservations due to Western domination of the Security Council, but the United Nations is still the most palatable outside influence for change of any sort for the governments of the world. The United Nations, unlike the United States, does not have to defend its actions against accusations of imperialism. That is why the United Nations whould have a greater role in the transition to a sovereign Iraq.

Thanks, as always,

John

Dear John:

Very valid points, as always. Yes, the U.N. is who we need to go to now, no matter what their record, and that's just what's sort of happening. Of course, were I the head of the U.N. instead of a reasonable man like Kofi Annan, I'd tell George Bush to shove it up his ass for being such a prick leading up to our invasion of Iraq. But that's just me.

Josh

Name: Gil
E-mail: gillyron@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Who played the female lead opposite john barrymore in the 1938 stage production of Twentyth Century...did they both play in the movie of the same name and who was the director of both productions (same director?)

Dear Gil:

I don't know anything about a 1938 stage production, but the 1934 film starred John Barrymore and Carole Lombard and was directed by Howard Hawks.

Josh

Name: Alan Deepthroat
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

If i made a webpage about how much you sucked it would be more successful than yours.

p.s. I have your cat

Dear Alan:

If you've got something to say, then say it. Otherwise fuck off and drop dead.

Josh

Name: Debbe
E-mail:

Hi Josh:

Have you tried Mobius Home Video Forum (mhvf.net)? A lot of good film discussion there, most of it from film geeks just as enthusiastic as yourself.

Thanks for all the food for thought-

Debbe

Dear Debbe:

I don't do such things, but perhaps there are others here who do.

Josh

Name: Darryl Mesaros
E-mail: simonferrer@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

I was just reading the many posts on this board about President Bush, the situation in Iraq, etc, and I just wanted to point out a few items for the pundits:

o Those "contract workers" who died in Fallujah were mercenaries, but they had nothing to do with the U.S. government or the army. The private corporations involved in infrastructure repair and logistical support are responsible for their own security, so they hire people for this purpose. The most popular candidates for this work: former members of the Special Operations community, who can't turn down the top-end pay (an experienced special operative who agrees to leave the Armed Forces and go to work as a private contractor can make upwards of $120,000+ for a one-year contract). This has caused a particular drain on the Special Forces and Delta Force in particular.

o Based on my personal experience, there is NO such thing as an "innocent Iraqi." 'nuff said on that one.

o The President of the United States is not responsible for the state of the economy. The only constitutional power that he has that directly affects the economy is his authority to order the Treasury to adjust interest rates. Historically, our economy works on a reoccuring boom-to-bust cycle over roughly every twenty years, regardless of who is in charge.

o The UN couldn't manage Bosnia, Haiti, or Somalia, so what makes anyone think that they could handle Iraq?

o 8 years of continued weak or nonexistent stands on terrorism by the Clinton administration, along with continued budget cuts and the "political correction" of the CIA and the FBI led to the September 11th attacks; it is the current naysayers who wish to dump the entire blame on the lap of the current administration.

o Lastly, the current attacks from Muqtada al-Sadr, the other Shi'a imams, and the terrorist presence were expected in June, then in August, and periodically throughout the last year. The enemy simply showed good timing in launching attacks AFTER the majority of the troop rotations had already taken place; it's always easier to attack green troops who are new to the war zone.

Just food for thought.

Darryl

Dear Darryl:

Welcome home. Regarding Bush and the economy, had he not unilaterally attacked Iraq for no reason, right there would have been a multi-hundred million dollar savings, not to mention over a thousand U.S. soldiers, and tens of thousands of Iraqs. If there are no innocent Iraqis, then there are no innocent Americans either. We seem to think that we're above the standards we set for the rest of the world.

Josh

Name: Anton
E-mail: antontondi@37.com

Ok Josh, I've got three very different questions that I want to ask you. (Please answer all three!).

1. I don't know why, but my favorite Hitchcock film (and I have watched all of them except his silent films, (though I did get to see 'The Lodger') and The Paradine Case) has always been Family Plot. I just keep going back to it....I had never seen a film starting with two stories, ending with one, and doing it without anyone noticing. I think it is superb, and probably one of Lehman's 10 best. I didn't see it on your favorite list...how come?

2. You keep mentioning story structure in your reviews, and I would like to get > to know it a lot better...but I haven't gone to film school yet, since I'm still in High School. What's your opinnion on McKee's "Story"? If you hate it, what other book do you recommend?

3. Did you get to vote on your state's primaries? I just wanted to know if Kerry was your first choice amongst all the candidates.

Thank you....

Dear Anton:

I'm glad you like "Family Plot," however for the rest of us it's one of Hitchcock's very worst films. The tone silly and idiotic, none of his old-fashioned rear-screen projection is working at all, and he hasn't got an appealing lead actor. To me it's clearly the work of a very old man that's no longer in control of his craft. Seeing the film for the first time, when it was released in 1976, when I was at U of M, was one of the great let-downs of my life. Particularly coming after "Frenzy," which was the best film he had made in over ten years, since "Psycho." I honestly believed he had another good film in him, and "Family Plot" was not it.

As for story structure, read my essays. McKee is okay, but he has a number of "rules" that are utter nonsense, like no narration, when in fact narration can be great and has been used beautifully (like "The Magnificent Ambersons" or "To Kill a Mockingbird").

No, I wasn't a registered democrat here in MI, so i didn't vote in the primaries, although I would definitely have voted for John Kerry, and will do so in the election.

Josh

Name: Craig
E-mail: Batcountry@optonline.net

Dear Josh:

How's it going man! Like you're website especially the favorite movies section,But! You have got to get more Steve McQueen Movies on there!!!! Definitly check out The Hunter (steve's last movie), The Cincinatti Kid(great flick about card sharks), and if you can find it, A Soldier in the Rain(with McQueen& Jackie Gleason) also I didn't see Fear and Loathing in las vegas!!! WHATS UP WITH THAT MAN!!! Fear and loathing has one of the best criterion discs ever made no joke!! I didn't get all the way through you're list but I'm sure you have the Osterman Weekend on there, and blood simple, if not go get them right now, stop reading this and go to the store man!!!! (just messin' with you dude!!) But if you haven't checked out those movies check em out!! take it easy!!
-Craig

Dear Craig:

You didn't mention a single film I haven't seen, and none of them are on my fav list. "The Cincinnati Kid" was all right, but it's sluggish as hell, and a major rip-off of "The Hustler," which is why it isn't on my list (although I have fantasized about Tuesday Weld and Ann-Margaret from that film). "The Hunter" and "Soldier in the Rain" both suck (actually, the book of "Soldier in the Rain," by Wllliam Goldman, was pretty good, but the movie completely blew it), and "The Osterman Weekend" pretty much sucked, too, and makes a sad ending to Sam Peckinpah's career. Rutger Hauer as an American newscaster is one of the worst pieces of casting in history. And, I'm sorry to say, the film of "Fear and Loathing" completely, totally, and utterly sucked, and is an insult to the book, and Benicio Del Torro is not a 300-pound Samoan.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

I see that the US military in Iraq is going to start placing former members of Saddam's Intelligence Services in charge of troubled areas of Iraq. No wonder the administration didn't kill Saddam; they figure they may still need him. I guess it's too bad about Uday and Qusay.

What a missed opportunity this is for the UN. If Bush weren't so tied to corporate interests we could turn the whole affair over to the UN and regain a measure of credibility. Has anybody noticed that Afghanistan is headed South as well? I hope Kerry has a large broom because he's going to walk into a huge mess.

John

Dear John:

Yeah, if Bush hadn't made such a complete asshole out of himself (and us) to the U.N. he might be getting some much needed assistance now. As Thomas Friedman pointed out in the NY Times, without a legitimate coalition like Bush Sr. had (which included Syria and Saudi Arabia), we have no chance in Iraq. In response yesterday to a question by a reporter asking what he thinks about what's going now in Iraq, Bush said, "It's good, very good." The dumb fucking asshole must eat LSD for breakfast. April has been the most deadly month yet in Iraq, and it's not halfway over yet. 76 U.S. soldiers killed and over 700 Iraqis killed just this last weekend. At this same press conference, when Bush was asked who it was we would be turning over the government to on June 30, he had absolutely no answer, "Well, that is, I, uh, the U.N. is looking into it." Not only will no troops be leaving on June 30, but now they're calling for more troops. And this isn't like Vietnam? When the Republicans heard Ted Kennedy say that their response was, "That's irresponsible." Yeah? In what way? Let's own up to a fact here, okay? Terrorists killed 3,000 people on 9/11. We have killed somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 Iraqis so far, so who's worse?

Josh

Name: David
E-mail:

Hey Josh,

I know you have read a lot of historical books. Curious, have you read "An Army At Dawn" by Rick Atkinson? Its about the North African theatre during WW II. Know of any (good) movies that take place in this setting regarding the battles, the men involed, etc. Of course there are many movies set in North Africa during this period, "Casablance" comes to mind, but that's more about civilians than the war. "Patton" of course, but what else?

Dear David:

There's Henry Hathaway's 1951 "The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel," with James Mason as Rommel, which was pretty good, and there's the sequel from 1953, "The Desert Rats," also with Mason as Rommel, directed by Robert Wise, and also pretty good. There's Zoltan Korda's 1943 "Sahara" with Bogart that was quite good. There's also the 1967 "Tobruk," with Rock Hudson, which i recall not being so good. And other than the beginning of "Patton," I can't think of any others. No, I haven't read "An Army at Dawn," is it good?

Josh

Name: Adrian
E-mail: adrian.barrett@ron.tas.edu.au

Josh,

Im Australian for starters, so where I am there isn't a big following in film, more TV. I want to shoot a film, but with MiniDV, do you think this is a good way too start out? and would you have any advice to make the shoot more professional, e.g. do's and don't's.

Thanks,
Adrian


P.S.
I have tried to write a script, but I can never get it out of my head, would it easyer for me to tell my idea to a script writter or don't they like that?

Dear Adrian:

If you can find a writer that will listen to you and write you a script. Otherwise you're stuck writing it yourself. And if you haven't got a story to tell to write a script, why do you think you have a movie to make? If MiniDV is what you have, then it's perfect.

Josh

Name: Michael Garrett
E-mail: michaelgarrett@ns.sympatico.ca

Hi Josh,

I'm currently working on my first screenplay and was wondering,if I'm ever lucky enough to find a prospective buyer, what is a reasonable offer? Are there a lot of factors to consider, like earning potential and such or would there be a standard offer for a first time writer?
Thanks
MG

Dear Michael:

It depends on what is the purpose of the script? Is it a feature or a TV movie? And who's the buyer? Is it a big company or an independent? And generally you don't just sell a script, first it gets optioned. You need to read some books on the subject. And if this is your first script I wouldn't worry myself about sales and script fees. You've probably got at least three or four more scripts to write before you're anywhere close to optioning or selling a script.

Josh

Name: Warren Serkin
E-mail: wizardbard@comcast.net

Dear Josh:

How much equipment and crew do you have to bring with you to shoot in Bulgaria or is it all local.

Dear Warren:

The camera equipment comes in from Rome. Most of the department heads are American, like the Executive producer, the writer/director, the line producer, the production designer, the 2nd unit director, the 1st AD, and everyone else will be hired there.

Josh

Name: Alice Schultz
E-mail: schultz3123@hotmail.com

Hey Josh,

I wasn't going to ask, but something brought it back to mind again. What is it, exactly, that's great about 2001 A Space Odyssey? Thanks, see ya,

Alice

Dear Alice:

Not that it doesn't have it's faults, but I'd say "2001" still remians the most intelligent, adult sci-fi film ever made. It completely revolutionized special effects in movies, and every film with effects in it since then owes it a debt of gratitude. And without "2001" you certainly wouldn't have had subsequent all of the silly sci-fi films like "Stars Wars." Not to mention that during the late 1960s and early '70s, when the film was re-released annually in 70mm, it was a yearly ritual for everybody to take LSD, go see the film, and have a wild, joyous experience.

Josh

Name: kdn
E-mail: jericho_legends@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

What did you think of the warner herzog/klaus kinski movies (AGUIRRE: WRATH OF GOD, NOSFERATU, WOYZECK, FITZCARRALDO, COBRA VERDE, MY BEST FIEND?). also, I think Roger Corman had something to do with FITZCARRALDO. I also read Mick Jagger was going to star in FITZ... before Kinski but he bailed.

Dear kdn:

You should see "Burden of Dreams," a very good documentary about the making of "Fitzcarraldo," which has the footage of Mick Jagger and Jason Robards before they both split. I must say that I like "The Mystery of Kasper Hauser" quite a lot, but the rest of Herzog's films basically bore me. I did enjoy "My Best Fiend," which is also a documentary, and shows what a complete crazy man Kinski was, but otherwise I find Klaus Kinski to be a ham.

Josh

Name: August
E-mail: joxerfan@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

Just saw an odd blurb at Sci-Fi.com - you can read it at http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-main.html?2004-04/08/11.45.film . Basically, Robert Rodriguez has resigned from the DGA so that he can "co-direct" an adaptation of a Frank Miller comic book with the artist. (When apparently is jeopardizing his next project, which insists on using a DGA member.)

So I have lots of questions - don't people like the Farrely Brothers and those brothers who did the Matrix movies get "co-director" credits? And don't some Disney features have two directors credited - one for the animation, and one for the voice talent? And how are some studios able to use non-DGA members, while others aren't? (Since I gather everyone has to use SAG members, unless you're an ultra low low budget shoot.) And can someone like Rodriguez just join, quit, and re-join as he sees fit? And is DGA in general as omnipresent as SAG?

(And yes - I do recognize the irony here, since I think I've mentioned just about every director you don't care for except Tarantino and Michaal
Bay.)


Thanks,

August

Dear August:

It's not an issue of just co-directing for Rodriguez, it's that Frank Miller isn't a DGA member and the a DGA director can't co-direct with a non-DGA director. If your company is signatory to the DGA, meaning the signed an agreement with them, then they can only DGA members for the director, the assistant directors, the unit production manger, and the line producer. If the company is not signatory then they can't use any DGA members. I don't know if you can quite, then turn around and rejoin, but maybe you can if you're willing the pay $10,000 membership fee again.

Josh

Name: N. Kroupa
E-mail: nkroupa@juno.com

Dear Josh:

I couldn't agree with you more. There were a couple of scary earlier presidents, but they didn't have this much potential for complete destruction. I would also love to know what the motivation is...pleasing Daddy? Finishing his crusade? This is turning into another Vietnam.....

Dear N:

Are you related to Gene? And when Ted Kennedy said that this was "Bush's Vietnam" the other day the Republicans went nuts, saying "that's completely irresponsible." Really? How? And some other asshole Republican senator who said that critisizing the war and the president is aiding the enemy. Shit, they don't even know who the enemy is.

Josh

Name: Sarge
E-mail: del23dtu@excite.com

Dear Josh;

Just turned on CNN and the US just bombed a mosque in Fallujah where there were many casualties. Over 41 US soldiers killed in the past few days. The blood of all those innocent service people and Iraqis are on the blood of that murderer bush. And then when the caskets of these brave men and women come home, the scumbag doesn't have an honor guard to meet them because he doesn't want the media to cover all the deaths. I read that you believe that that asshole vile creature won't be re-elected, but Josh, the company that makes the voting machines-DIEBOLD-is one of that bastards biggest contributors and has vowed to insure his ELECTION-NOT RE-ELECTION. There will be no paper ballot trail so if we thought 2000 was bad, it is going to be worse this year. There are groups that are trying to guarantee a paper trail, but I guess the administration is fighting that. Then there's the Nader factor (who BTW, couldn't get on the ballet in Oregon, but will still try). He says that gwb should be impeached but nader is doing all he can to see that the lying coward gets in. I don't understand his stupidity in all of this. What an ego he has. That coward has done everything he can to destroy the environment and Nader stays in to take away votes from Kerry. This is a nightmare. And on top of it, the reflublicans are trying to stop groups like MoveOn, etc. from showing ads criticizing the asshole. What are we going to do?

Dear Sarge:

We've got to get together behind John Kerry. I'm not blaming Ralph Nader for anything, he didn't cause Gore to lose, running a piss-poor campaign caused him to lose. I just heard last night that Nader's 4% is equally split between Republicans and Democrats right now. I really think he's a non-factor. So let's just think positive and try to influence the people around us that it would be a true sign of both stupidity and unAmericanism to vote for Bush again.

Josh

Name: Ian Michael Drinkwater
E-mail: imdwhisper@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Well I've read your rules but I'm not quite sure whether this one is o.k. as it's xwp related:

I was told by a reliable associate the other day that the winner of the u.k. xena lookalike competition has gone to the u.s. to star in a new series which is kinda xena like, but set in modern times. Do you know anything of this and if not, err well you might as well ask renee when you get the chance or maybe even creation ent.

I'm looking forward to the completion of Alien Appocolypse, it sounds like a fun project.

Dear Ian:

I know nothing, I hear nothing, I see nothing.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

I believe that shear desperation is why the army needs mercinaries, and I have no doubt that things are much worse in Iraq than what we are currently lead to believe. My greatest fear about Bush's re-election prospects is that he would go nuts,and attempt to pass every horrible policy he could think of. It would most likely start with reinstating the draft, and end with attacking another country. I hope that people who were too apathetic to vote last time will want to vote this time. I also hope that this is the last time a Bush occupies the presidency. I saw a documentary on the Bush dynasty, where an interviewee called the Bush family the WASP mafia. BTW-Don't you think it's pathetic that Bush is attending the 9/11 commission hearings witn Cheney by his side? If he had an ounce of integrity he would appear alone.

Dear Scott:

Yeah, if he had one small testicle, which he clearly doesn't have. GW Bush's great-grandfather, Herbert Walker Bush, did business with the Nazis longer than any other American company, even after Pearl Harbor, and was finally sued and shut down by the U.S. government. The Bush's and the bin Ladens are family friends. The bin Ladens invested in GW's failed oil company, Arbusto. The only plane to leave the United States on 9/11 right after the attacks, since all commercial flights were immediately grounded, was a plane bound for Saudi Arabia containing members of the bin Laden family, who had been visiting with George Bush, Sr., and the plane was given special permission to leave by good old GW Bush. Is there any confusion as to why Bush was not interested in going after Osama bin Laden, but instead went after Saddam Hussein? Hello!

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: thisisjohnrambo@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

Awesome! Those are all cool films. I like the older alien invasion type films myself, like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". And the H.G. Wells stuff is cool. I remember reading The Time Machine a long time ago, it is interesting, I was angry at those nasty Morlocks. But of all those films you mentioned I think I was most interested in Spartacus, well generally. But can I ask how that is going to play into a space or science fiction film like Alien Apocalypse?

Also I was looking at the comments about politics and the election and everything and I see that you're pretty set in your opinion but I think in terms of foreign policy at least the Bush administration is favorable in my opinion. They may not be as keen on environmental protection which I think is pretty important but their goal is to get rid of all those nasty terrorists and they kind of do it John Wayne or Rambo style. So I think they are good in that sense although we may never see exactly the same on this. That's okay though.

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

"Alien Apocalypse" is similar to "Spartacus" in that it's about a slave revolt and the guy that leads it. To quote Walter Cronkite, "The war in Iraq is the single worst foreign policy decision ever." And now they're calling for more troops? If Bush gets re-elected you can just bet there will be a draft.

Josh

Name: John Hunt
E-mail: Chowkidar@aol.com

Josh,

I love the fact that everyone is referring to the four killed mercenaries as "Contract Workers". It makes it sound like they were hard-hats who whistled at one too many Iraqi women.

I am not as optimistic as you are about Kerry's chances. I think that Bush and company have changed the playing field. The amount of money they've been able to assemble and the number of favors they can call in from big business is going to make it very difficult for Kerry. It's possible that OPEC might step in, however. If oil prices remain high the strain that places on the economy might work heavily against Bush. $2.15 a gallon might well prove a small price to pay for a return to the rule of law.

Remember that one, the Rule of Law?

On a different subject, if "Eyes Wide Shut" wasn't Kubricks worst film, then what was? I've said here before how preposterous I found that film. That said, we all agree that Kubrick had his share of brilliant films, something that the previous writer seems to not wish to grant us.

I've also been wanting to ask for some time which genre, if any, you think has fared best in Hollywood's twenty-year malaise. I submit that romantic comedies have done the best (documentaries generally falling outside the Hollywood sphere). I think that "When Harry Met Sally" insured a niche for movies which, if not necessarily revolutionary, were at least well-crafted. Not great films, mind you, but nice ones. Science Fiction has disappeared, Drama is only about the awards shows (as opposed to story-telling, etc), there are no more Westerns and Action films are directed by and for kids. I think that leaves romantic comedies. My thoughts.

I'll read your "Liar" essay now.

John

Dear John:

I suppose you may be right, but there aren't many examples of good romantic comedies since "When Harry Met Sally . . ." that I can think of. I was just thinking today, having bailed within 30-minutes of the last five or six movies I tried to watch, that movies have truly become unwatchable. Every film looks and sounds horrible when I first hear of them, and when I finally see them they're even worse than I anticipated. I don't think movies can get any more dreadful than this, but I could be wrong.

Josh

Name: Saul Trabal
E-mail: ghost_kingdom@yahoo.com

Josh writes:

"I'm going to think positive and say no, I don't think Bush can win. I think he's alienated too much of his own base, as well as most of the middle. Bush and his people can get on TV every single day and tell us the economy is booming, but if you're in business you know that's just not true. Real estate isn't selling, houses are devalued, and people without jobs are poor consumers. "

I'm FAR more pessmisistic about this. It's probably due to the way things have been going in my life as of late, as well as seeing the profound stupidity of people through my own interactions as well as on the national and international stage.

I wouldn't be surprised if Bush was re-elected in 2004. In fact, I expect it. The only way I'll be convinced will be on January 20, when John Kerry is sworn in as President. Until then, I don't give a shit how many reports there are of Bush losing in the polls, of how many people are fed up with his antics. None of that matters to me anymore. All that will matter is seeing Kerry sworn in as President in January 2005. Of course, that doesn't mean the nightmare will necessarily be over-it just means that **maybe**, there'll be a faint glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.

Saul

Dear Saul:

Well, I'm sorry you're so down, but, surprisingly, I'm not at the moment. Being a student of history, I believe in yin and yang, the right then the left, it's been going on our whole lives. I was born under Eisenhower, then there were eight years of Democrats with Kennedy and Johnson, then seven horrible years of Nixon, then Michigan's one and only president, the unelected Gerald Ford, then Jimmy Carter, then the horrible Reagan and Bush, Sr. years, then eight happy years under Clinton, then these three utterly miserable years under Bush,jr. It's time for it to switch back.

Josh

Name: Saul Trabal
E-mail: ghost_kingdom@yahoo.com

Hi Josh,

Firstly, good luck with the new film that you, Renee and Bruce will be working on.

Secondly, I read your new essay on Bush-and I couldn't agree more. There are those who've compared the situation in Iraq to Vietnam. I think that ultimately, it will become FAR worse than Vietnam. There are those radical Islamic factions who hate Americans simply because we *exist.* The fact that we breathe is an affront to them, and because of this, we must die.

What Bush has done is open a Pandora's Box. He has exacerbated Arab hatred towards Americans a thousand-fold. Frankly, I could easily see the American-Iraqi situation becoming exactly like the situation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, where they have been at each others' throats for almost 3 decades, thousands of dead between them , with no end in sight-as well as countless laughable attempts at peace, which neither side truly wants.

It's very possible that we are going to be stuck there for at least 10-15 years, with thousands of American dead as a result of this invasion. And I'm not just talking about KIAs-I'm talking about terrorism right here in the U.S. I was horrified by 9/11, but not shocked by it. Frankly, anyone who was shocked by 9/11, in my opinion, is painfully naive and sheltered.

It's just a matter of time-and I don't doubt the U.S will be attacked again. And I certainly don't doubt New York will be attacked again.

I must tell you-when Bush won the election, I got a sickening feeling deep inside me that I couldn't quite place. Now, I know why.

Take care.

Saul

Dear Saul:

The word is that the 9/11 commission is going to conclude that the 9/11 attacks were indeed preventable, had the president, his national security advisor, and his staff been paying attention. Let's see how Bush spins his way out of this.

Josh

Name: Jason Shier
E-mail: shierfilm@yahoo.ca

Mr. Becker

How can a working director like yourself be so ignorant?

Eyes Wide Shut is Kubrick's worst film? That statement seals your fate as a hack. I don't care what films you make (i'll never see them now)- you have no cinematic authority as far as I'm concerned. I'm sorry, but anyone who doesn't understand the absolute profundity of Kubrick's last film knows nothing about cinema.

You were bored? If you are as familiar with Kubrick as you claim, you must have expected something other than "THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS" or "TORQUE"- films I'm sure you would love, Mr. Becker.

I'm disgusted at your ignorance and I send negative cinema karma hurtling your way. Kubrick is/was at the very vanguard, along with Godard, Brakhage and Fellini.

Too bad you have no comprehension of what you missed in EWS. "Bored". I'm bored ranting to you...

Dear Jason:

Funny, you're boring me, too. Anybody who thinks that "Eyes Wide Shut" is a good or profound movie clearly has their head up their ass, and obviously knows very little about writing, stories, movies, and people. And you really ought to read "Eyes Wide Open" by Fredric Raphael, who wrote the film, and says that Kubrick didn't have a clue what he was trying to say, and really didn't even know why he was making the movie other than to make another movie -- and that's the writer of the film. But I guess you know better than that, and I suppose Oscar-winning writer Fredric Raphael must be as ignorant as me.

Josh

Name: dan
E-mail: dan@visualnoiz.com

Dear Josh:

wow. my film partner sent me to your site and you are right on with your thinking... i applaud you.

what websites do you read?

the site i read most often is commondreams.org i like the global opinion nature of it.

I just got involved with truemajority.org i totally dig what they are saying, have you been there yet?

geek up the good work.
-dan

Dear dan:

I don't read websites, I read books. That's not entirely true, I do read the news at NYTimes.com everyday.

Josh

Name: Scott
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Amen on your Bush is a Liar article. Within recent weeks I have met many moderate "Reagan" republicans who dispise Bush, and plan to vote against him based on his despicable record. I am happy that they are finally seeing the light, and switching sides, but what I don't understand are the die hard partisan voters; the voters who will vote Republican or Democrat no matter how good or bad the incumbant's record is. For instance, assholes like Sean Hanity are Bush apologists, and would defend him no matter how bad is record is. You can't deny that there are no WMDS, you can't deny that there is a large net job loss, and you also can't deny that there is a rising $550 billion dollar defecit. My point is that, like your article stated, this is not the time for partisan politics, people have to vote against Bush because it's crucial to our survival. Do you think Bush will win in November, and would you move to Canada if he did?

Dear Scott:

I'm going to think positive and say no, I don't think Bush can win. I think he's alienated too much of his own base, as well as most of the middle. Bush and his people can get on TV every single day and tell us the economy is booming, but if you're in business you know that's just not true. Real estate isn't selling, houses are devalued, and people without jobs are poor consumers. I saw an interesting thing on CNN: The Capitol Gang was talking to one of the CNN reporters in Baghdad the other day after one of these endless and innumberable terrorist attacks, and the reporter was telling how awful things are there and how scared everyone is. Robert Novack, the extreme right-wing conservative on The Capitol Gang, said something like, But you have to admit that things are better than they were under Saddam Hussein, right? And this reporter looked honestly shocked, saying, no, things are MUCH worse for the average Iraqi now. Bob Novack wasn't having any and repeated, But life's better now there. The reporter, who was in the midst of the carnage and clearly not playing partisan politics, shook his head sadly and said, No, things are much worse. BTW, why do we need mercenary soldiers, like the four Blackshear "security workers" that were just killed in Fallujah, guarding our troops? 130,000 troops isn't enough, so we have to hire mercenaries to guard our army?

Josh

Name: John Rambo
E-mail: thisisjohnrambo@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

How are you doing? I wanted to wish you best of luck on your film "Alien Apocalypse" with Renee and Bruce Campbell. That is a totally cool idea and title too and I definitely look forward to it. You know I've been thinking since a lot of the space stuff is in Texas Renee would fit in well as a Texas gal who became an astronaut like you said. Was the film inspired by anything? Are you a fan of science fiction or space films in general? Like 2001 A Space Odyssey for instance? Or is this more of an alien invasion type film? Totally cool!

Best of luck with everything I know the film will be awesome.

Also if you are ever doing any Rambo films I aspire to that and would love to try out for the part. I am glad you are a Rocky fan also.

Thanks,

John

Dear John:

I like "2001" very much, as well as the original "Planet of the Apes," the first two "Alien" films, "War of the Worlds," "The Time Machine," "A Clockwork Orange," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," the original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (the Donald Sutherland remake isn't bad, either). Anyway, the films that inspired this story are: "Spartacus," "Planet of the Apes," and "Lawrence of Arabia," and pretty clearly, too.

Josh

Name: Sarge
E-mail: del23dtu@excite.com

Hello again Josh;

So gwb has the perfect way of weaseling (no offense to weasels,who are majestic compared to that crotch rot bush)out of producing testimony, papers, etc. Just claim presidential executive privilege. He is invoking that now with Clinton's papers with regards to 9/11 EVEN AFTER CLINTON HIMSELF SAID IT WAS OKAY TO RELEASE THEM!!!! You know each day that goes by, it becomes clearer and clearer that this scumbag is evil incarnate. When he doesn't like someone, he smears them but if you dare say anything bad about him, you're a traitor (according to the rabid and totally brainless ann coulter)or you have his mommy and daddy crying about the insults. He distorts John Kerry's record with lies (big surprise there)and people give him big bucks. At least when Clinton lied, no one died. How do we rid ourselves of this stench? Maybe you can direct a film about him, have Mike Moore write it, Howard Stern promote it on his radio program, the Dixie Chicks do the soundtrack and have Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins star. That would be the ideal scenario. Of course your film would be reality as oppose to the science fiction this country is witnessing today. Keep up the truth about that vile piece of shit Josh. You are the voice of reason and sanity.

Dear Sarge:

Bush is a trapped rat and he's freaking out. He clearly had his pants down around his ankles for the first eight months of his presidency regarding terrorism, and he's been called on it. And the best defense is a good offense. Former Secretary of the Treasury, O'Neill, called him on it and the guy was immediately investigated by the CIA. Richard Clarke called him on it and the Republican smear machine went into overtime. GW Bush really is the worst president of the U.S. ever, and anyone who would vote for him now has to be a completely ignorant moron, who never watches the news or reads the paper (like Bush himself), and is basically a war-monger who just wants to see humans die, both foreign and American. That's Bush's legacy -- 20,000 humans dead for absolutely no good reason other than his own agenda. We've never had a president who was this big of a lying asshole before, not even Nixon, who couldn't tell the truth from a lie under any circumstances. I say, a vote for Bush is a vote for terrorism, divisiveness, and hatred. A vote for Bush is a vote for evil.

Josh

Name: Jonathan Moody
E-mail: jondoe_555@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Hey I was just wondering what your view on Digital Video was? And how alot of aspiring filmmakers are being able to get a DV camera and shoot and edit their own shorts and features for almost absolutely no money. I'm an avid DV user myself and I enjoy editing and directing my own short films and soon (this summer, hopefully) my own feature. Any words of encouragment as well?

Dear Jonathan:

You are the spearhead of the future of filmmaking, take the responsibility seriously. A). Don't hand-hold all your shots, or even most of them; just because the camera is small and light doesn't mean you don't need a tripod and some sort of dolly, like a wheelchair; B). which relates to A., plan your shots -- beautiful montage is a big part of filmmaking, C). which really should be A., write a good script with a story that's worth telling. Otherwise, have fun and I hope your movies turns out great.

Josh

Name: Bonni Martin
E-mail: bonnimart@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Is Alien Apocolypse going to start filming soon? Are Renee O'Connor and Bruce Campbell going to star in the film? Is this project being done with Creative Light Ent.? Also, if it is, Is there a possibility that Renee and Bruce might promote it at this years Comic-Con in San Diego? I know thats alot of questions. I am a fan! Bonni

Dear Bonni:

We are supposed to begin pre-production in Bulgaria in two weeks, then start shooting three weeks later, like May 9. Bruce and Renee and Lee Majors are starring (I spoke with Renee last night and she's into it). Creative Light, who are my sales agents, set up the deal, but are not actively producing. I don't know nothin' 'bout any conventions.

Josh

Name: The Real Bob
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Here is a question that doesn't seem to be asked much yet in the political campaign. Do you think if George Bush is re-elected and the Republicans maintain their hold on the US Congress, that he will introduce military conscription legislation into Congress?

Assuming that he will not withdraw from Iraq if re-elected, the question has to be posed of whether the ground forces are sufficient both to garrison the country as well as ensure their own security to a reasonable degree. At present, there are supposed to be something like 130,000 troops in Iraq. I am not sure if that is total coalition but at any rate around 80% is US. The population of Iraq is approx. 24,000,000. I read once that to garrison a territory with a hostile population requires a ratio of 1:8 troops to population. The real problem area is the Sunni triangle, but even if the population of that area were only 5,000,000 that would take 625,000 troops. So based on rough estimates it would seem to me that 500,000 to maybe 2,000,000 troops would be needed to do the job that the US is attempting to do. Of course the government and the military say now that the current force level is adequate, but maybe that is because additional forces are unavailable anyway.

Could re-election be interpreted as a mandate for a draft?

Dear The Real Bob:

I certainly wouldn't put it past Bush. Whatever is worst for this country and its people, that's what he'll do. And over half of Iraq's population lives in the Sunni triangle, so to say they've got the rest of the country quiet means nothing. The only real answer to the Iraq situation is to get the fuck out. We should never have attacked in the first place, we had no exit strategy, and now we're caught in a quagmire where there are terrorist attacks on our soldiers daily. Listening to these knuckleheaded politcians saying shit like, we need victory with honor, is the same horseshit they were saying during Vietnam. There is no victory with honor in a situation like this. There's only staying and being picked off one at a time, or cutting and running, just like Korea and Vietnam. If GW Bush is reelected I think it may mean world anarchy, and be the first step toward the apocalypse.

Josh

Name: Leena
E-mail: leena.lehtonen@defence.gov.au

Dear Josh:

i stumble across your site buy chance as i was looking for xena collectibles. is there any chance you have any xena memorabilia (ie original scripts) you'd be willing to part with? If not, thants fine. It's always worth asking ;)

warmest regards
- Leena :)

Dear Leena:

No, I'm not willing to get rid of any of that stuff, but I do have every script that I directed, along with every draft leading up to the final, shooting draft. Undoubtedly, the most interesting would have to be "Fins, Femmes & Gems," which began it's life as the "coming out" episode, but got rewritten along the way.

Josh

Name: sarge
E-mail: del23dtu@excite.com

Thank you Josh. Not only are you a gifted director (you directed most of my favorite Xena episodes) but your comments on that lying coward in the white house are so right on the mark. Can you possibly tell me how, after all the deceit, lies, personal attacks on former people in his administration, that he is ahead in the polls by as much as 6 points? How is it that after lying about non-existent WMD's, the deaths of almost 600 soldiers in Iraq, the worst environmental record in our nation's history, the Patriot Act, his wish to desecrate the Constitution etc., people still want to vote for him? This is why your comments are so important. That is why your mention of MoveOn is important because they, along with the Center for American Progress, expose who the real bush is. And you know why gasoline prices are so high now, is so that idiot can justify opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling. Josh, your voice along with others can help defeat that dicktator and his ilk and I am grateful to you for speaking out against him. It is people like you who are the real patriots in this country. THANK YOU.

Dear Sarge:

Republicans think they have a corner on patriotism, but they constantly confuse it with xenophobia. Republicans don't feel they're real, true patriots unless they're being shit-heads to somebody else, like gays or Iraqis. And just for the record, since I perpetuated the false number myself earlier, it's not nearly 600 U.S. soldiers that have died so far, it's more like 1,200. The way the miltary counts battlefield deaths is by who is still breathing when they're loaded into the medivac chopper. If the soldier should die enroute to the hospital, or soon thereafter, they're never reclassified as deaths, they simply remain casualties. As a little note, a "casualty" to the military includes any soldier who can no longer fight, due to injury or death. So, nearly 600 U.S. soldiers were D.O.A., but over 600 more died soon thereafter. And another 2,500 anyway are so fucked up they probably wish they were dead. And, of course, we've killed minimally 10,000 Iraqis, although it could easily be double that number. So, over 11,000 human beings are dead because GW Bush had a bug up his ass to bring down Saddam Hussien where his dad failed. To say America is safer from terrorism now is the biggest lie of all. There is a terrorist attack on our soldiers in Iraq every other day. There have been far more terrorist attacks on Americans since 9/11 than before it, and it's entirely due to Bush's foolish, poltically asinine "pre-emptive" attack on Iraq, which so obsessed him that he and his crew ignored the largest spike in Al Qaeda transmissions ever in the summer of 2001, demoted the entire counter-terrorism department, did nothing to aid in the cooperation between the FBI, who knew that two of the 9/11 hijackers were in the country, and the CIA, and therefore Bush and Rice are clearly culpable for the 9/11 attacks. Nothing Bush has ever done (including his service in the national guard) has the slightest thing to do with patriotism. His brand of patriotism is called jingosim.

Josh

Name: Jeff Quest
E-mail:

Josh,

I just got done watching "The Commitments" and was suprised by just how much I enjoyed it. It really seemed much more lively than other movies because the cast was made up of unknowns. Also it had some good music and the lead singer was only 16 and had a voice like Joe Cocker! I know you dislike alan parker so I was curious if you'd seen that film. Also, they recorded all the vocals live on the set and I was curious whether you did that for "hammer", it seemed so but I was just curious.

thanks,
jeff

Dear Jeff:

Yes, I did record all the vocals for "Hammer" live. "The Commitments" is the one Alan Parker film I do like, and I've seen it several times. It just goes to show how good American R&B music from the 1960s is, that kids from Ireland can do it and it still holds up. I'll still take Otis Redding, though.

Josh

Name: bob waters
E-mail: simoon@yahoo.com

Dear Josh:

Your essay on religion made my day! It stuns me that the more "enlightened" we become through our science and technology, the more polarized we have become through blind worship. Like a comet, the crusades are coming back around!

Simply amazing

Dear Bob:

Geez, I guess my religion essay must be popping up more often on Google lately or something. It sure does feel extremely polarized out there. It utterly astounds me that anyone can possibly believe a single word that George Bush or Condie Rice are saying. Here, this is for anyone with a simple animation program that would like to make a 30-second commercial for MoveOn.org, but you have to give me co-credit. Anyway, it should be in the South Park simple cut-out style and the first shot is a commercial jet painted red, white and blue that's heading downward. A narrator would say, "During the first three years of George Bush's presidency we've lost 3 million jobs, have a 550 billion dollar deficit, have lost 600 soldiers, with over 10,000 civilians killed in an unnecessary war with no evidence of WMDs, and now we find out that before 9/11 the counter-terrorism department had been demoted and was no longer considered important, and even though the FBI knew that two of the 9/11 hijackers were in the country they didn't tell anybody else, and this was as plans were made to attack Iraq . . ." We cut around the front of the cockpit and see that the pilot is George Bush and the co-pilot is Condie Rice, and they're both totally asleep, their heads bobbling around, Bush is drooling. Cut around to the over-the-shoulder shot of Bush and Rice inside the cockpit and they're flying straight at the World Trade Centers. Boom! A big explosion, and the final tag, "George Bush, asleep at the wheel."

Josh

Name: jeremy mellins
E-mail: jeremymellins@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Josh

Let me begin by saying what a pleasure it has just been for me to read your essay on the evil of religion. It filled me with a great sense of relief to read such a perfect reflection of my own perspective, there are very few people that i have come across with the courage to express these views, and even fewer who put them in to print.
This brings me to my question. You have clearly spent quite some time thinking about the issue of the evil of religion, and i was wondering if you had any favorite books or articles on the topic? I was also wondering how you have found the reaction of others to your ideas? Personally I have met with so much naked hostility (even from professed atheists!) when I have talked about the concept of religion as evil that I often find myself saying nothing or feigning ambivalence. Once again thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Dear Jeremy:

Saying that evil would naturally charade as good, and thus you have the deceitful trickery of religion, is my own little twist, I think. The guy most worth reading, although he never says religion is evil, is Joseph Campbell. He's the only scholar I've ever read that puts religion exactly where it belongs, which is in among all the other mythologies of human beings, from Eskimo mythology to the Ainus of northern Japan. All mythologies are equally as valid as all others because none of them are true. They're illustrations of ideas, but they're never literally true. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed my essay.

Josh

Name: lee
E-mail: lee.price@musicradio.com

Hey Josh

It's been a while!

Just a quick question. I'm shooting my third 16mm short since buying the Arri BL. BUT - I have two editors who have access to Avid through their places of work. They're lovely people. But slow as fuck! I guess if I ain't paying them I can't expect anything more. But then another part of me thinks: maybe not getting paid is more of an indication of their motivation?

I've got to the stage where I've just bought an antique: an old Umatic hi-band edit suite for £100. Cos then I can always get my 16mm rushed transferred to Umatic and edit myself. Although I can't grade. Or do dissolves. And the titles would be a little shitty. But I can cut.

So here's the question - have you had this problem (slow editor/a) and what's the solution? Is it: do it yourself?

I'm just a little frustrated cos our short 16mm films have been galloping along and we're falling down at this last hurdle (editing).

On another note. I guess you're kinda busy right now, but when you get a chance check out the remake of Dawn of the Dead. It works! I know there's this whole argument about studios being scared and backing sure bets (remakes of TV shows/comic books/old movies) but Dawn of the Dead is good. The thing I loved about Romero's originals is that there was no explanation. The characters (and the viewer) were plunged into the situation. You just had to DEAL WITH IT. The remake uses this contect very well. And the director really knows how to manipulate the viewer.

Right. Thanks for your time. Good luck with Alien Apocalypse, Josh

Lee

Dear lee:

You could always cut the film yourself on film, using a splicer. That's how everybody cut everything for the first 100 years of filmmaking, and it works just fine. But the editor who cut my last three films, Kaye Davis (who also cut "Evil Dead 2"), is a very fast cutter and I have no complaints. Hell, she had the first cut of "Hammer" done about two weeks after we finished shooting. Also, I wouldn't see the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" if they were giving out fifty dollar bills at the door. I couldn't stand the original, and I'll be damned if I support the remake of anything. All remakes are the death of originality.

Josh


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