Q & A    Archive
Page 52

Name: Noelle
E-mail: Me again

To JOSH

If I get the gist of the conversation we're talking about "unsettling films?" I would add:

"Sweet Smell of Success"
"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"
"Crumb"

Can't think of any others off the top of my head.

Was that John "Only this and nothing more" Campbell?
If so Hi John.

FromNoelle

Dear Noelle:

Those are good choices, particularly "Crumb," and everything with his older brother. Another one that comes to mind is "The Hustler," and all the stuff with Piper Laurie, who is a truly weird, unsettling character. Oh! And the most disturbing, unsettling film from Hollywood in the 1940s has to be "King's Row," and Ronald Reagan's fate in it (which I won't mention for those who have not seen the film). And has anyone mentioned "Freaks"? Oh, and Edgar G. Ulmer's wonderfully creepy "Detour."

Josh

Name: Noelle
E-mail: terrabelle98@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Sorry that was me who sent the "anonymous" note about Member of the Wedding. I had a computer snafu and it got sent before I had a chance to write in my name.

--noelle

Dear Noelle:

Noelle's craaazy! You're the only other person to see and apparently like "Member of the Wedding." My friend Rick and I once went to the theater to see the film and sat through it twice. John Henry asks Bernice if she sees better out of her glass eye? She says, "Oh, this ol' glass eye don't do me no seein' good at all." John Henry thinks about it, then asks, "Which eye is your mind's eye?"

Josh

Name: Kevin Mills
E-mail: thespythatshagsu@home.com

Dear Josh:

Thanx for the explanation about Tim Quill's bone (I couldn't resist wording it that way). Now I can appreciate the joke on it's intended level as well as seeing it as one more absurd sight gag in a film full of absurd sight gags.

Have you ever thought of releasing "official bootlegs" of your earier short films? I own Cleveland Smith, Torro Torro Torro, Blind Waiter and Stryker's War but of course their in bootleg form and aren't as clear as they should be. I actually own two copies of Blind Waiter from different bootlegs and one of them is missing the scene where John Cameron orders pork (I assume a ludicrous homage to Five Easy Pieces).

The reason I'm asking about stuff that you did 20 years ago is because I like to see where film makers came from and not where they are currently (personally I think Sam Raimi's last good movie was Evil Dead and I love it only for the fact that it was so low budget and did so well*).

--Kevin Mills

*=And because I think that Ellen Sandweiss is hot.

Dear Kevin:

I can't release "official bootlegs" because I'm too easily found. These films are literally coated with stolen music and no one is interested in paying for it.

Josh

Name: Ellen Sandweiss-Hodges
E-mail: Ellenxxxx@xxx.xxx

Hello again,

Thanks for the quick response. Anchor Bay is talking about an Evil Dead reunion showing here in Michigan at the Redford Theatre - I've heard either February or April of 2002. I'll let you know if they decide on anything definite. I'd love to see you and Bruce. Take care,
Ellen

Dear Ellen:

If possible, I'll be there. The Reford Theater, BTW, is where the film originally premiered (there's a photo of Sam and I in front of the Reford Theater in the scrapbook section). Thanks for writing in. I hope to talk to you in the not too distant future.

Josh

Name: David
E-mail: david@dustdevil.com

Josh,

I just finished reading "Dark of the Moon" and I have a question. Why did Mrs. Stevens keep Jessica and Marcy from talking to each other? I'm assuming that it was due to some affiliation with the cult, but I don't remember ever seeing it explained. Did I miss somthing, or did you just decide to leave it to the imagination?

Thanks,
David

Dear David:

They weren't going to send Jessica to a place where she was unsupervised. You do see Mrs. Stevens there at the end, if I'm not mistaken. But you got the idea.

Josh

Name: Will Armstrong
E-mail: andykaufman@home.com

Hey Josh,

I just watched "Running Time" for the 6 billionth time and I was wondering if you could could suggest another good heist movie. I know RT isn't purely a heist film but the subject got me interested. The only one I can think of that I liked was "Dog Day Afternoon".

Oh yeah, and what the hell is wrong with movie critics? Have you seen Leonard Maltin's "review" of Taxi Driver? He should get his head out of his ass. The only thing he liked was Bernard Herrmann's score."...the film is ugly and unredeeming." Sorry, i just had to vent my rage.

Congrats on getting the hell out of LA!

Dear Will:

It's funny you bring up that example because so did I. I wrote to Maltin and asked him how on earth he could give "Taxi Driver" and "Blue Velvet" both two stars, but a piece of crap like "Pulp Fiction" got three and a half stars, the same as "The Godfather"? His response was that he simply didn't like "Taxi Driver" or "Blue Velvet," and that I just didn't understand that he "wasn't comparing one film to another" when he gives both "Pulp Fiction" and "The Godfather" the same rating. I wrote back saying that the definition of "Rating" was the comparison of one thing to another, and he was the one putting out a book of ratings. He didn't write back. Now, regarding heist films, there are a number of them, like: "The Asphalt Jungle," "The Killing," "Rififi," "Topkapi," "Seven Thieves," and "Grand Slam," to name a few.

Josh

Name: Lou Silvestri
E-mail: louissilvestri@hotmail.com

Josh,

I noticed you responded to a question that Blue Velvet was a very disturbing film. A friend and I were arguing whether Lost Highway or Lynch's latest film, Mulholland Drive was more disturbing. My friend argued that the underlying themes in Mulholland Drive were far more unnerving and chaotic. I believe that the film was more of a parody of Lynch's earlier films and that Lost Highway had a stronger effect on the viewer's state of mind. Have you had a chance to see Mulholland Drive and if so what would be your take on this arguement? Did you think either of these movies compared to Blue Velvet? Personally, I feel Blue Velvet was the best of Lynch's work and many of his later films copied to much from it.

Dear Lou:

I have seen the most recent one, but "Lost Highway" was a disaster. Quite frankly, I think Lynch's career was over after "Blue Velvet." He did that dumb-ass TV show, then it was over, his edge was gone, and he has been imitating himself ever since. I like "Elephant Man" a lot, too. At least he wasn't a one-trick pony, like say Jim Jarmusch.

Josh

Name:
E-mail:

Dear Josh:

Regarding your response to Derek...I hadn't really thought of Member of the Wedding as disturbing but now that you mention it it does have alot of unsettling moments like when she's digging into her foot with that huge knife, and when she's threatening Bernice with it. I thought the little kid had a great line.."Frankie's craaazy."

Dear _____:

Brandon DeWilde is the little boy, John Henry, and that is a good line. But during the wedding service when Frankie packs her bag and waits in the car, then has to be pulled kicking and screaming out of the car, I found disturbing. The next film DeWilde made, by the way, was "Shane." He's also the lead in "Hud," then he died very young. Bette Davis showing up at the ball in a red dress in "Jezebel" was kind of disturbing. In "The Best Years of Our Lives," when Harold Russell is out in the garage and sees all the little watching him through the window, can't open the door, so he shoves his hooks through the window, I found disturbing, too. Now that I have twice invoked Wyler, here's a third, his film "Carrie," based on Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie,' I found to be almost entirely disturbing, with a particularly unnerving ending. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Josh

Name: Kevin Mills
E-mail: thespythatshagsu@home.com

I gotta know Josh...

Why the hell does Tim Quill spit out a rubber bone in The Blind Waiter?

Dear Kevin:

Good God, I'm explaining my gags from over 20 years ago. Basically, Scott Spiegel and I thought it was funny. He's eating fish in a restaurant, a door hits him in the back and forces a bone out of his throat, see? The fact that it's a six-inch long rubber dog bone instead of a fish bone made us laugh.

Josh

Name: stace
E-mail: u all ready have it

Dear Josh:

i just wanted to say, your last episode of xena is shown in the uk next week for the first time. i've heard its great. anyway, just wanted to say thanx for all the great and memorable episodes u've made through out the years. bye

Dear Stace:

Well, I hope you like it. I personally don't consider it to be one of my best eps, it's filling in too many plot holes from earlier on. Nevertheless, Lucy, Renee, Ted, and Kevin Smith are all very good, as usual.

Josh

Name: Ellen Sandweiss-Hodges
E-mail:

Hi Josh!

I figured if Theresa can write you, so can I! I heard you've moved out Oregon way. I'm still in Michigan, believe it or not. I've been speaking with Betsy and Theresa for the first time since Evil Dead premiered, and we're planning a reunion, either sanctioned or not. Glad to see your career is moving forward - cool website too. Basically just wanted to say hi, since I haven't talked to you since that drunken high school reunion - by the way, did I say anything bad? (if so, don't mention the details in this public forum please) Hope all is well with you.

Ellen

Dear Ellen:

It's very nice to hear from you, Ellen. If you did say something bad, although I can't imagine why, I sure don't remember it. I was as drunk as you. For the readers, that was our 20th high school reunion, which was already five years ago. I'm sorry I couldn't make the "Evil Dead" reunion and screening in Hollywood, but I was in the middle of moving. You should hold your unsanctioned reunion in Michigan, that way Bruce and I will both have alternate reasons for attending, like seeing our families. It's very good to hear from you and please give my best to Beth (her cousin, with whom we all went to high school).

Josh

Name: Derek
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

What would you say is the most disturbing film you have ever seen? I finally saw A Clockwork Orange the other day and it was pretty disturbing, but very good. What do you think?

Dear Derek:

I've always liked "A Clockwork Orange," although, over the course of time, I've come to believe that it's really two-thirds of a great film, with an overlong, obvious, draggy third act. Still, those first two acts are brilliant. I found "Blue Velvet" to be quite disturbing. In a completely different way, I thought "The Member of the Wedding," one of my very favorite films, was disturbing.

Josh

Name: Will
E-mail: wdodson52@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Your latest essay is truthful and, though somewhat depressing, a bit of an inspiration as well in the sense that, at least for me, difficult odds are more motivating. It's sad to be in an era where it's just impossible to get a good film made, but at the same time, I think it's being done. One of the things that first attracted me to horror/exploitation pictures was that, in the rare case that you're dealing with an actual artist at the helm, s/he can make a film that is untouched by Hollywood producers and still recoup the investment. If you have this element, be it horror/gore or tits or whatever, and manage to say what you want to say, tell the story you want to tell, while incorporating those "sellable" elements, the picture gets made. A recent example I like was Andrew Parkinson's "I, Zombie." It's a real cheapie examining a single subject who is bitten by a zombie and slowly degenerates into a monster himself. Unlike all the other Romero clones, this one doesn't portray the monsters as a mass plague, but follows one guy and his trauma as his very being disintegrates. I really liked it.

I also think some good genre films are still coming from Italy. Although it might not fit your structure essays, I thought Michele Soavi's "Cemetery Man" or "D'ellamorte Dellmore" was very good, and got some distribution without having to compromise the original script (at least according to what I've read).

My own filmmaking ambitions don't include Hollywood for reasons you're obviously aware of, but I am now working in the documentary medium at Appalshop, a national film studio producing documentaries on Appalachian culture, and there is some fun in telling true stories, though I'd rather be telling my own at some point soon.

I dunno man, what do you think of those surreal Italian genre flicks? Anything with Asia Argento is at least fun to look at.....

Dear Will:

But it's not like those cheapie horror films you mentioned are getting any kind of release here in the U.S. But hey, if you can make what you want and get them out, God bless you. I honestly don't think the folks in Hollywood think gore or tits are "sellable," they are strictly looking for big names. Anyway, I've never been a big fan of horror films to begin with and I never got into the Italian horror films.

Josh

Name: Chopped Nuts
E-mail: danjfox@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

I think it was you who said that Johnny Depp was a shallow actor (sorry, I couldn't find the exact quote). Say you're part way into shooting and find you've miscast and ended up with a surface actor. How would you work with them to improve their performance?

Dear Dan:

That's a good question. First of all, you cast them so it's your responsibility. This has happened to me -- in a lead role, no less -- and I chose to sort of coddle him, tell him he was fine, he could do it, he'd be great, etc. I don't know that I improved his performance all that much, but I kept him from walking out on me. I just watched a documentary about my man, William Wyler, called "Directed by William Wyler," which contains an interview with Wyler conducted three days before he died and he seems fine. Anyway, he had this situation with Charlton Heston on "Ben-Hur." After a few days of shooting (Heston tells this story) Wyler pulled him aside and said, "Chuck, I'm sorry, you're just not good enough in the part." Heston asked what he could do? Wyler sadly shrugged and said, "I don't know." Well, Heston ended up winning Best Actor that year, so that method apparently worked.

Josh

Name: Blake Eckard
E-mail: bseckard@hotmail.com

Josh,

Good work on "Bailing out on L.A.". Makes perfect sense. I have been there twice this year doing the film fest thing with my indi feature...I've never felt as depressed and defeated as I did after coming home from there...Both times!

Good luck with "Warpath". Hey, are you gonna let us fans know when you're shooting? I'm moving to Oregon with a friend (and my own lead actor) and I know he'd love to just be able and audition for ANY role in ANY movie. I'd also (actually I think a lot of people would) be willing to grip or do something for free. Gonna post out and let us know what's going on? It'd be worth a trip from Mt. Hood to Medford to work on a Becker film.

Real interested, and excited for your upcoming picture.
You've got one copy sold. And "Hammer" too, if it ever comes out.

Have a good one.

Blake

Dear Blake:

When I get to the point of actually making the film, I'll let everyone know. Right now I don't even have the script written. Since it would star Bruce, it would then have to be a SAG film, so I'd probably do most of the casting out of LA. When you move to Oregon, get in touch.

Josh

Name: Fabio
E-mail: longtom@oeste.com.ar

Dear Josh:

From years ago, a favorite film of me was Otto Preminger's Laura. I catch the other day on tv but this time I see with a more critical eye or for better say suspecting about the structure. What you say about? I love that concept of flashbacks into flashbacks like in Postman Rings Always Twice (?) or Mildred Pierce... But you think about Laura... sorry the chaotic of the question...
FABIO

Dear Fabio:

I've never been a big fan of "Laura," nor Otto Preminger, for that matter. "Laura" has always seemed totally obvious to me. Preminger seems like the sloppiest big-time director of them all. Watching "The Cardinal" in widescreen at the theater -- a truly miserable picture -- the boom mike probably dropped into frame eight times. I think it's his trademark. Dramatically, the problem with flashbacks is that your story has stopped moving forward. With a flashback within a flashback, your story is now moving backward. I think it's far more crucial to keep the viewer's full attention than to show off with film technique.

Josh

Name: John
E-mail: basebalzac@hotmail.com

Dear Josh:

Congratulations on your escape from L.A.

Do you have a DVD player? I was walking down 7th Avenue here in New York City and came across a guy selling DVDs of “Men in War” for five bucks. I got one for myself and thought of picking up one for you (only five bucks!) but I couldn’t remember if you have a DVD player.

Have you heard the new Bob Dylan record “Love and Theft”? At first listen it may sound like his voice is shot (because it is), but there’s so much more to being a great singer than having a good voice. I like to think that he’s earned the right to sing with that voice, that croak, bark and croon; imagine what the voices of the old testament prophets sounded like. And the songs, each one a cryptic and playful jeremiad, are tailor made for these dark times. Check it out. I’ll bet money that you’ll like “Mississippi” and “Sugar Baby”.

I just saw the Bob Fosse film “Lenny” for the first time in over ten years, and just as I remembered, it was a drag. Dustin H. is not funny, and for the story to work, I think he’s gotta be funny. But it did have great sound design (like the way you could hear the exaggerated breathing in all the phone calls) and it used documentary story-telling techniques in a way that point the way to some interesting possibilities. The “language” of documentary films (the cinematic grammar) is less cliché ridden, more free, more vital, more capable of surprise than the current conventions of narrative film. This is not a new observation (Orson Welles knew this before he shot a single frame of “Citizen Kane”) but my question for the director is this – what do you think of the possibilities presented by the cross-breeding of fictional subjects with non-fiction story-telling techniques?

I'd better get back to work now. Be well.

Dear John:

For you good folks out there, John is a good buddy of mine from Detroit that was an assistant editor on "Evil Dead 2." I, too, found "Lenny" to be a drag, and think that Hoffman just isn't funny, nor is he really catching a sense of the real Lenny Bruce, who was a whacky individual. Bruce did some pretty darn accurate imitations that he would lapse in and out of constantly, like George Macready, which I thought was really funny. Hoffman isn't a going-in-and-out-of-imitations type actor, like say, Kevin Spacey. Hoffman is NOT whacky. Anyway, regarding documentary technique in fiction films, it's been used a lot more recently with the spate of mockumentaries, and it seems like a drag in all instances but "This is Spinal Tap." I believe that documentary technique -- in documentaries -- tells us what we're watching is true and this was the only way the filmmakers could capture it. Seeing it used falsely just annoys me and doesn't sell what I'm watching anymore than if it weren't used.

Josh

Name: Rob
E-mail: kerosenekid@webtv.net

Dear Josh:

I find it odd that you feel compelled to bash the works of other writers and filmakers, seeing that your brilliant body of work consists of a bunch of mediocre screenplays that never get made, and a couple of "Jack of All Trades" episodes. But, hey, whatever gets you through the night, pal.....

Dear Rob:

Although my new policy is to ignore insulting emails, I think there's an honest question in yours. First of all, if you really think my scripts are mediocre, then explain why you think so. I'm legitimately interested. As for bashing fellow filmmakers, please note that I am truly a fan of other filmmakers -- I don't bash them all, just the ones I don't like. This is because, I believe, that I have standards and, God forbid in the movie business, taste. If you haven't got some criteria for what you think is good or bad, you'll never make anything good because you won't be able to recognize it. Unlike most other filmmakers, I have seen a lot of movies (3556 as of this moment), and I have spent most of my life figuring out why I like or don't like these various films. I love good movies, but I dislike bad movies. I don't think it's rational or necessary to love them all. Does that answer your question?

Josh

Name: Noelle
E-mail: terrabelle98@aol.com

Dear Josh,

So glad you are transplanted in lovely Oregon now.

I also wanted to comment on your new essay. I totally agree that there are no new films worth seeing--especially not ones that are playing at the multiplex. But I am an avid video renter--I watched Repulsion and Shadrach this weekend (from the "favorite film" list of course) and loved both of them. The closing image in Repulsion is great, (the close up on the family portrait) and Shadrach was very enjoyable.

Is Roman Polanski still unable to make films in the US? Or is he better off wherever he is?

Take Care,
Noelle

Dear Noelle:

If Roman Polanski sets foot on U.S. soil he will be arrested and sent to jail. He deals with the whole situation pretty straightforwardly in his autobiography "Roman" by Polanski. Whatever his legal deal is, he hasn't made a good movie since "Chinatown" in 1975, and I sincerely doubt he'll make any more. I'm glad you enjoyed my recommendations. I think Harvey Keitel does a hell of a good job in "Shadrach" (he plays southern far better than his bud DeNiro ever has).

Josh

Name: Lucas
E-mail: snoogans@softhome.net

Dear Josh,

After reading your newest essay, I got curious.

You've decided that you need $150,000 to make "Warpath", although I assume that's not a fixed figure. How did you get to that amount?

Also, how do you go about raising the money? Large bank loans? Rich businessmen with nothing better to do with their money?

Cheers,
Lucas

Dear Lucas:

That's just a ballpark figure. Let's just say that I won't spend more than that on an independent feature now. For about that amount I shot for two weeks on "Running Time" with a SAG cast. For my last two films, most of the money was mine. I also hit my friends for some. My first two films were both financed through local Detroit business folk, doctors, dentists, lawyers, realtors.

Josh

Name: Keith Shingler
E-mail: keith@continentalagency.com

Dear Josh:

A few years ago I was kicking back watching tv with my as of now ex-wife centerfold model and caught Lunatics: A Love Story, but never got a chance to see what it was called. I absolutely loved it and want to commend you on a hell of a movie. I just found your site tonight and realize that was the movie I saw. I book all the top porn stars and centerfold models into stripclubs worldwide so if you fall short or need a certain look, look through our girls and I'll help out however I can. Great movie!

Dear Keith:

Thanks. Fall short of what?

Josh

Name: Theresa Tilly
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

Had a tiny reunion at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with Evil Dead gang. It was fun. Didn't realize there was such a groundswell of interest in ed, glad you're doing so well, me too. Betsy, Ellen and I are planning a reunion.
Best
tt

Dear Theresa:

I'm sorry I couldn't make that reunion and screening, but I was right in the middle of moving. I haven't seen you or the other cast members of "Evil Dead" since the premiere I suppose in 1981 -- 20 years ago, wow! I wish you all the best and thanks for dropping by my website. If you have another reunion I'll try to make it.

Josh

Name: GAZZ
E-mail: GAZZ@aol.com

Hiya,

Thanks for your reply on Band of Brothers. I can totally see why you didn't like Saving Private Ryan, but my opinion of Band of Brothers was that it was trying to tell the true story of a Company in WW2, and that it was not completely character based. There are simply too many characters to feel for them, and they are always coming and going (as soldiers did for various reasons). I did manage to warm to a few of them though, Guarnere, Winters, Luz, Buck Compton, Toye, Blythe (one episode) and a few others. Most of the smaller characters though i didn't, they were just soldiers in Easy Company.

I was under the impression it was supposed to be as realistic as possible, and not about the people but about the story.

Do you think all films should be character based, and how would you have tried to make Band of Brothers better, for example by making the characters easier to care about. (You can't cheat and say i would make it better by not making it :) )
Thank you

Gareth

Dear Gareth:

You really only have two kinds of stories: plot-based or character-based, or some combination of the two, which is what most stories are. "Band of Brothers" isn't a plot-based story since the plots are so simple -- "Go knock out those guns" -- therefore, it has to be character-based. And the characters are dull and undifferentiated. It makes no difference whether it's true or not, you have to care about the characters because the characters are the story. Everybody in "BOB" was so damn grim it was depressing. Yes it's war, but that doesn't mean everybody's in a bad mood all the time. Soldiers, being young men, have a tendency to joke around, say dumb things, or just be plain old stupid due to their youth and inexperience. But, to Spielberg and Hanks, war is hell so everybody has to be grim all the time. Blah! And that angelic chorus music -- telling us THIS IS SERIOUS -- really got me down. I'll take "The Longest Day" any day of the week.

Josh

Name: Justin
E-mail: jsalibri@radford.edu

Hey Josh,

How are you going to shoot your western film? B&W, 35mm? Do you think Warpath will be the final name? Will it be much harder to assemble a film crew in your new location?

I was wondering if you (or anyone else) knew how to get a hold of "Demon Lover Diary", the L.A. Film Critics' 1980 Documentary of the Year. You're the only person I have any contact with whose actually seen it. I've been looking and calling everywhere I know of, and the only place I may of found it is a questionable bootleg website. I'm trying to write an essay on documentaries that follow the production of other movies, and it's not as big of a sub-genre as I'd originally thought. I read about this other "rare" documentary, "American Dreamer", about Dennis Hopper making "The Last Movie" in the early seventies, and I thought that might be cool since he's supposed to be so crazy according to Biskind's book.

Justin

Dear Justin:

No idea where you can get that film. I saw it at UCLA and enjoyed it quite a bit. You might try contacting the UCLA film archives and see if they know anything about it. You also might want to read the book "Picture" by Lillian Roth, about the making of John Huston's "The Red Badge of Courage," which I thought was very interesting and insightful.

Josh

Name: Frank
E-mail: fs4269@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Is there anyway I can order "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol" on video?

Dear Frank:

I don't think so. You're probably the only person on the planet who wants them. It was a rather dull show, I thought.

Josh

Name: Evan
E-mail: evdoggand@aol.com

Dear Josh,

Looking over your list of favorite films I was suprised to see "Slacker", it seems like exactly like the kind of film you would hate, since it lacks structure, it is an interesting concept, though. What do you think of his other films like "Dazed And Confused" and "SubUrbia"? What do you think of his style of people just hanging out and talking for most of the film? Have you heard about or seen "Waking Life"?

Dear Evan:

I couldn't watch "Slacker" the second time, but I was honestly interested and amused the first time. It probably shouldn't be on my list. I absolutely hated "Dazed and Confused" and walked out on it. It was a mean, lying little picture about a bunch of truly uninteresting characters, with one lousy song after another. I haven't seen the others.

Josh

Name: Jason Bell
E-mail: mister37@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

Do you have any desires to see the new Johnny Depp movie, "Blow" directed by Ted Demme. I just saw it on DVD today and it was better than I thought. Throughout the movie, I was looking for the act breaks. I just saw the new David Mamet movie, "Heist" and I was looking for the act breaks throughout that, too. I do that now ever since I read those essays of yours. :-)

Dear Jason:

No, I'm not particularly interested in "Blow." Cocaine isn't much of a subject anymore; drug use in general isn't a very good subject anymore. There isn't much new to tell us about snorting or selling coke, we've seen it and seen it. Also, I'm not a Johnny Depp fan -- he's a perfectly utilitarian actor that never goes deep inside any of his characters, he just plays the surface of everything. Meanwhile, David Mamet just annoys me now. The last several things I've attempted to read or watch of his were just awful (his book on film direction is a joke).

Josh

Name: Paul Sullivan
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

I just started to work a biker screenplay and it already appears to be coming along okay.It also seems like I would enjoy writing it.Is this plagiarizing in anyway off of you. I wouldn't want to do that. Anyway, I do owe the motivation to you.Ever since I came to this site, visited it on a daily basis and read those fantastic articles, I felt inspired. Thanks for the inspiration.

Thanks,
Paul

Dear Paul:

As long as you're not telling the exact same story as me, I'm pleased to have inspired you. Inspiration is a good thing. Everytime I see a movie I like I get inspired to make my own.

Josh

Name: Mike
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

Dear is a western you are working on? If you dont mind if I ask, what is this film about?

Dear Mike:

I don't want to give the story yet, I'm still working on it. But Bruce will be in the lead and we're thinking the 2nd lead might be perfect for Kevin Smith, if he's interested. We're also thinking about Anita Barone for the female lead, although I haven't spoken with her yet. It would be a two week shoot, like "Running Time." Possibly early next summer.

Josh

Name: Liza
E-mail: alwayzxeher@juno.com

Dear Josh:

You're a great director and since you've been Bruce's friend for such a long time you must be a great guy as well. I've only seen Bruce in person three times and think he's wonderful, sweet, funny, witty, talented and one heck of a good looking guy. Didn't mean to get too carried away with "my thing" for Bruce.=)
Here are my only two questions for ya. What's it like working with "The Man" Bruce Campbell?
How would you describe Bruce as the actor and Bruce as the human being? I'm working on a site for Bruce and as soon as I'm finished I'll let you know so you can check it out and tell me what you think.
Thanks!

Dear Liza:

That's Liza with a Z, not Lisa with an S? Bruce is terrific to work with. He's prepared, energetic, and takes direction beautifully (meaning he listens and does something with it). He has a no-nonsense attitude that I particularly appreciate. As a person, he just cracks me up. We have the ability to keep each other laughing for hours on end -- as we did last night -- and there is very little else in this world that I'd rather do. Good luck on your website.

Josh

Name: Jason Bell
E-mail: mister37@yahoo.com

Dear Josh,

I have been reading over your favorite films of all time and I was highly surprised by you taking a liking to "Boyz N The Hood". It is one of my favorites. Do you like any more Singleton's work i.e "Higher Learing"? I liked that but not as much as Boyz N The Hood. And the rest of his work is not as good as Boyz N The Hood, his debut. I am getting a little bit off subject. Anyway, what I was meaning to ask you was, what did you like most about it? And have you seen Higher Learning? Have you seen "Menace II Society" which was made by the Hughes Bros.? That and Boyz are a bit alike but different nonetheless. I do want to add that their other film: "Dead Presidents" was pretty damn good as well. What are your thoughts on this?

Dear Jason:

I haven't seen those other films. I liked "Boyz" mainly because it had a very believable atmosphere and situation and I thought Cuba Gooding, Jr. was very good. It's not really a film I ever care to see again, though.

Josh

Name: Diana Hawkes
E-mail: upon request

Dear Josh:

I second the motion for you to write up "Why I got the hell out of L.A." !
What would be **Becker's #1 method for quitting a lame directing gig** ?

I'm envisioning a scenerio much like Charlie Brown at rehearsals for the Christmas play, where, upon the Peanuts Gang breaking out into song and dance yet again,
he throws down his mellophone -bonk!- with an exasperated- "RATS!"

...except you'd spike one of those new fangled battery operated loud speakers and you'd say something stronger than RATS.

Is that how it went down on the set of "Worst Case Scenerio" ?

Dear Diana:

Not exactly. I spent two days skulking around the production office watching segment after segment and being introduced as "the new story editor," when I had specifically told the exec. producer (my friend Craig Peligian) that I didn't want to be the story editor and that he couldn't hire outside the Director's Guild, which has no story editor category. Finally, having gotten stuck watching endless hours of unedited footage until after 8:00 PM, I snuck out of the office, called Craig on his cell phone, which I knew he wouldn't answer because he was in a meeting, and quit. Not a very spectacular ending, really. BTW, I have three pages written about why I split LA, but I'm still working on it.

Josh

Name:
E-mail: guy@lightspeedsoftware.com

Dear Josh:

Keep your focus on the make believe world of movie making and perception rather than truth because obviously have no grasp on reality and history.

You are just another anti-gun finatic. You need a firm boot in the pants out of this country.

Dear Guy:

I was wondering when some dimwit would comment on my anti-handgun essay. Being against handguns is not the same thing as being against guns. It doesn't say in the Bill of Rights that you're allowed to have handguns -- it says, "The right to bear arms." Concealed weapons are illegal and the only advantage a pistol has over a rifle is that it's small and can be concealed. By the way, good Americans accept other points of view before wanting people booted out of the country. Clearly, you're just a stupid bad American. Instead of writing nasty messages, try being a good citizen.

Josh

Name: Blake Eckard
E-mail: bseckard@hotmail.com

Josh,

How serious are you about starting up another movie? (the B.C. western)

Anything you can tell us about it that wouldn't make you feel uncomfortable?

Have a good one.

Blake

Dear Blake:

I'm pretty serious, although I don't have much money at the moment. That's not the issue right now anyway. Now I have to write a good script that Bruce would want to be in and help out with. I've got the treatment written and about 15 pages of the script, which I was noodling with yesterday. It's certainly a perfect location up here.

Josh

Name: Matt Greene
E-mail: Do Not Have One Yet

Dear Josh,

Considering I am not yet an established screenwriter, can you help me out on a premise I am trying to write? I am trying to make it as original as possible. Can you give me an idea or two on how to make it work better? I would really appreiciate it. Anyway, so far, I have a brief synopsis of my story. It's about a sick and dilluted man who aids a woman after she gets in a car accident. He takes her back to his cabin and he helps her get better. What she does not know is that he grows an obsession over her. Meanwhile, the woman's wife tries to her...

That is all I have down so far. Can you help me out here?

Dear Matt:

The woman's wife? What are you talking about? It sounds a little bit like the 1972 Robert Duvall film "Tomorrow." Anyway, I don't hear a story there. Remember, a story is: something causes something else, which generally causes something else. Try writing it first as a short story to see if you can make it function.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

I'm sure you're still busy with moving and all, but whenever you really get settled in, I think your fans would love to read an essay on "Why I Got the Hell Out of LA" or something similar, as well as maybe one on your adventures (assuming you had some) in Amsterdam.

I've just recently (and finally!) read "The Evil Dead Companion," and I noticed a quote from you that mentioned influences that film had on Coppola's
"Dracula," Scorsese's "Cape Fear," and the "Mummy" re-make. Any scenes or shots in particular?

Also, I was amused to discover that the negligee-clad model in those ED publicity stills was Bridget Hoffman, later to turn up as the tentacled, reptilian "Mother of All Monsters" on the Hercules series, but she turns up as "Ruby Marlowe" as well, in "Running Time" etc. I'm guessing she is a Detroit buddy of yours?

Thanks,

August

Dear August:

Luckily for me, I've nearly entirely downloaded the remakes of "Dracula," "Cape Fear" and "The Mummy" from my head. One shot from "Dracula" quickly comes to mind, which is the monster POV that works MUCH better in ED. As to the essay on why I split LA, it's a good idea and I'll think about it. And yes, Bridget Hoffman is an old buddy from Detroit. She's also one of the natives (in blackface) in "Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter."

Josh

Name: Jason Roth
E-mail: rothj@student.gvsu.edu

Hey Josh,

Recently caught Shock Corridor on a whim, and it has become one of my new faves. I seem to remember you being a fan of Sam Fuller, and was wondering which of his other films you'd recommend seeking out, if any.
Shock Corridor was pretty daring in some aspects, even more so considering it was made in the early 60s!
Thanks for any help!

Dear Jason:

"Shock Corridor" is a weird, whacky film, although not as good as I'd heard. Other Sam Fuller films I also like are: "The Steel Helmet," "Fixed Bayonets," "The Baron of Arizona" and "Pickup on South Street," although none of them are great. Other interesting Fuller films are: "China Gate" (the first Vietnam war film, with young Angie Dickinson and Nat King Cole), "White Dog," "The Big Red One" (which is about the Normandy invasion and is better than "Saving Private Ryan"). I saw Fuller speak when I first got out to Hollywood in 1976 and he was very funny. Someone asked why Rod Steiger never mentioned "Run of the Arrow" (a Fuller film) when he discussed his early career, and Fuller replied, "Because he's an asshole, that's why."

Josh

Name: GAZZ
E-mail: GAZZ@aol.com

Dear Josh:

Ok i know you didn't think a lot of Spielbergs Saving private Ryan, what do you think to Band of Brothers if you have seen it? It's supposed to be a true account of Easy Company in WW2 and all the characters are real people and the actual times these people were injured etc. I could see many differences from Saving Private Ryan and think it is better, do you? If not, why not?

Also what about Moulin Rouge? I think everyone is going over the top with it, though some of the songs are quite good. Half of the film is other people songs either spoken or mixed together, does this qualify as your own work?
Thanks

Gareth

Dear Gareth:

I didn't see this "Moulin Rouge" (I have seen the 1952 John Huston/Jose Ferrer version several times), but the trailer looked empty and over-cut. Maybe I'm wrong. I watched the first three episodes of "Band of Brothers" and episode 5 or 6, and I found it vapid and dull without a single decent character, which is crucial for all drama, but particularly a war story where everyone is dressed the same with dirt all over their faces, and I'm supposed to care when they die. Main characters would get killed and I wouldn't know who they were. When they attacked the artillery emplacements in ep #2, it was so badly directed I never knew what was happening. As I mentioned a a while back, check out "Tigerland" if you want to see an army thing with well-drawn characters.

Josh

Name: Fabio
E-mail: longtom@oeste.com.ar

dear Josh:

today I have two easy questions for you.

1. Why the original Thing from Another World?
2. Why not the John Carpenter's The Thing

best regards...
FABIO

Dear Fabio:

Because I didn't like Carpenter's version. He replaced suspense with gore, which I found to be a bad boring choice. Also, Kurt Russell is weak and Ennio Morricone's score is over the top. As I recall, Dimitri Tiomkin's score for the original was quite eerie and effective. When you get right down to it, I don't like any of John Carpenter's films -- they're all knuckleheaded.

Josh


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