Q & A    Archive
Page 95

Name: Jean
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

I hear you about the whole marriage thing. I'm 26 years old and a vast majority of my friends are preparing to take the big plunge. The notion that I would meet someone at my age who I would want to spend the rest of my life with is just utterly ridiculous. There is so much pressure for women my age to get married and it sucks. I have zero interest in getting married any time soon and when I tell my female friends this they either think I'm crazy or I'm lying. But they all seem much more interested in their weddings then they are in their marriages. The wedding is one day, the marriage is supposed to be forever! I know a lot of people who got married right after we graduated from college. Being married at the age of 22 or 23 just seems like a prison sentence to me. And now they are all having kids and they are struggling because they don't make enough money. They all seem very unhappy to me. Like their youth has been ripped out from under them. I'm very content with being able to go where ever I want and do whatever I want. I would be insane to give that up for the old ball and chain. I am way too young for that!

But on the other hand, it is nice to have someone. Like you said everyone needs love. I think that most people hope to find that one person who understands them better then anyone else. Romantic love seems to fade but an intimate friendship can last forever. But where is it etched in stone that you HAVE to get married. If you think about it marriage is pretty archaic. Marriage means nothing these days. People get married and divorced like they are changing their socks! For me, the institution of marriage has been stripped of any meaning. It's like "why the hell not get married? If it sucks we can just get divorced." That attitude is so irresponsible.

Best,
Jean

Dear Jean:

I don't think it's irresponsible so much as naive. But society eggs people on to get married as soon as possible. It calms people down and causes them to act responsibly, as opposed to being out partying all the time. It's been said that if you could take all males at the age of 16 and put them into cryogenic sleep until they were 26, you get rid of at least 80% of all crime. The one thing that causes rambunctious males to calm down is marriage, so it really is good for society at large. The fact that there are so many kids coming from broken homes, well that's just how it goes, I guess. I think I would have preferred my parents getting divorced when I was sixteen as opposed to when I was thirty-six because they were so damn miserable. The biggest problem with being single as long as I have been is that solitude becomes addictive. I do everything when I want, and anything that gets in the way of that is a distraction.

Josh

Name: Tony Mitchell
E-mail: mitch_2209@hotmail.com

Hi Josh,

I just read your treatment of "TWO GUN" CROWLEY and it reminded me a lot of "Badlands" and, coincidentally, "Breathless" ('59) that I happened to see last night.
It also had nothing to do with the story of Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson, one of the world's leading modern composers.
fond regards,
Tony

Dear Tony:

Yeah, it's the earlier, 1930s version of "Breathless," or "They Live By Night," which was an inspiration for "Breathless." The disaffected youth of the depression.

Josh

Name: Ben Essner
E-mail: dalty_smilth@hotmail.com

Josh,

I'd like to think I have a well-rounded film palate. I enjoy great films like, well, the only one I can come up with right now is Star Wars. The original, obviously, not the new ones. Indiana Jones. Jaws. The Godfather. But on the other hand, I also love movies that I know are complete trash, like Jay &Silent Bob Strike Back or Baseketball. My favorite movie of all time is Ghostbusters, but it was only when I saw Evolution that I realized how terrible a director Ivan Reitman is. If I may use the "movies-as-food" analogy, sure a home-cooked steak dinner or fresh from the oven loaf of bread at Grandma's is good, and better for you than some things. But even so, sometimes I want a twinkie or an extra value meal from McDonald's. My question, therefore, is this: Are there any movies that you know are bad, but you enjoy watching them anyway? If so, please name a few. Also, have you ever been inspired by a piece of music (perhaps a musical score from a film, or a song, or classical music) to write a script? I like listening to film scores and coming up with my own scenes to go along with them. I know Spielberg claimed he wrote Sugarland Express while listening to one of John Williams's scores, The Reivers, I think. That's all. Thanks!

Dear Ben:

The only glitch in the story is that Spielberg didn't write "Sugarland Express," Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins did. Meanwhile, I've always got music playing and it inspires me constantly. The title for "Lunatics" came from listening to Pink Floyd. And need I mention "If I Had a Hammer"? Regarding twinkie-like movies, I've seen hundreds of them, but somewhere along the way I really stopped enjoying bad movies for them being bad. It was okay to like bad movies when they still made good ones, I guess. But I think it's a lot better and more worthwhile to search out the quality films, of which there are plenty, just not recently. And has anyone noticed how utterly miserable the summer line-up of movies looks? Sequels, remakes, and remakes of sequels. Yikes! Every time I think it can't get any worse, Hollywood surprises me and goes even farther.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

That's cool that you like that film and Cary Grant. Did you know one of my friends told me one of the scenes in it gave the producers for a Bond film an idea for a helicopter? Except in North By Northwest it was a cropduster. Have you heard about that? What are your thoughts on it?

Plus if you don't mind my asking do you like the Rambo films? What's your favorite? I like them all.

About my spelling well I took English in high school (and a little French) but I think that's some kind of internet short hand. One of my friends was using it and I thought it was kind of cool. Sorry if you don't like it.

About Lucy, yeah she is a smart person, absolutely. And she's really gorgeous you know! I pretty much dispensed with most of the dogma myself. I kind of grew up Catholic. The idea of God always kind of embarrassed me. It was usually in moments of absolute fear that I ever thought about God and prayed, and I was always embarrassed because I didn't believe and I felt so hypocritical when I prayed out of fear, kind of like as if in spite of my disbelief there might be God after all. God who could be fooled by a hypocrite. When I was a kid, I believed. I certainly did believe when I was a kid. I forgot how that goes, that nightly Act of Contrition? Something like that. I forgot those words, they're unfamiliar now. Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for...for what...I forgot. I don't know.

Anyway if you don't mind my asking what did you believe when you were a kid?

Thanks,

John J.

Dear John:

I believed in movies. Other people went to the church or synagogue, I went to the movie theater. I was raised as a half-assed Jew, occasionally attending synagogue on high holidays, but not always. I started Hebrew school at the age of eight, and that caused be to begin hating Judaism. Upon my Bar Mitzvah at thirteen, I vowed to never enter another synagogue in my life. Well, I have because of weddings, funerals, and Bar Mitzvahs, but I never attended services again. Then I grew interested in religion in general and began reading about many of them -- I have the holy books from most every religion, including B'hai and the Janists. Ultimately, some of the concepts of Buddhism and Hindu have made the most impact on me, although I certainly would not join either group. Now, moving on to more important subjects, like movies, I enjoyed the first half of the first Rambo film. The moment it cut to a national guard helicopter and tilted down to hundreds of national guard, they lost me -- it's obviously a lost cause and now we'll just have to wait for it to be over because he has no chance of winning. The second and third films just sucked. I'll take "Platoon," "Bat 29," or "Go Tell the Spartans" any day of the week. It also doesn't surprise in me in the least that "North By Northwest" was an inspiration for a James Bond film. Once again, I'll take "North By Northwest" over ALL the Bond films, which have copmpletely sucked since Connery left.

Josh

Name: Jim Kenney
E-mail: not this time

Hi Josh,
the email I received below is one reason I was always loath to put my email address in my questions to you, but I did, cuz you always got mad at those who left them out...now I'm getting nonsensical spam from some troll who obviously just picked up email accounts from your site....do you think in the future you could perhaps keep email addresses private, or at least not yell at those who don't put it up? This is what I get for discussing William Wyler with ya! :(

Dear Jim:

Sorry, but spam is just part of the modern world, and I'm certainly not sending it. I don't have much of a problem with folks not including their email addresses so much as folks that won't even use their names, but then rip me a new asshole. Sorry you got spammed, but I get about thirty or more a day. And the one you got didn't seem all that egregious.

Josh

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

Josh,

That is very interesting about Tyndale, I did not know that. Thanks for enlightening me.

I am well aware of the Catholic church's role in Africa. I volunteer for the Jane Goodall institute and she personally has been able to effect more change when it comes to educating people in the region of Tanzania than any missionary could possibly accomplish.

I have been fortunate enough to meet her a couple times and she is an amazing women. The difference between her and Diane Fossey (who she is quite often mistaken for), is that Jane did not seclude herself from the local people of the area all the while she was studying the Chimpanzees, were Fossey did when she studied the Gorillas.

Fossey was a difficult women and she did not have a balanced view of protecting the Gorillas and educating the local people of important issues pertaining to agriculutre and envrionment. She was too possesive of her cause and that ultimately was the reason she was killed.

On the other hand, Jane Goodall has set up various programs for the local people around the national park in which she did her studies, and one of the most successful of these programs is one that hires local women and gives them jobs, so they build their self-worth and self-esteem.

She has also designed projects educating people about birth control and the use of condoms to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and AIDS.

Women are still treated rather poorly in certain parts of Africa and remember that monogomy is not the norm in certain tribes and areas there either.

Jane's projects are succesful because she allows people to still stay true to their culture, yet she also educates them with respect to real threats which could damage their lives and their environment.

This is a good example of why Catholic missionaries have the wrong attitude when it comes to the realities of places like Africa. Imposing Catholic beliefs is one thing, but not educating people on real issues that need to be addressed is another.

BTW, when I was young, I struggeld with the fact of whether homosexuality was innate or learned. I found an answer when I became interested in primates as a teenager and when I found out my cousin was gay.

Chimpanzees and their close cousins Bonobos exhibit homosexual behaviour which is innate and not learned. I know this is well documented by Jane and other researchers. Also, in Bonobo society, females are dominate and sexual experimentation is normal, including masterbation.

Bonobos are also different form Chimpanzees in that that are not as agressive and live fairly peaceful amongst one another very much like Gorillas. It must be all that sex!

As you may know, Chimpanzees are the closest to humanbeings in the primate family There is only a 1% percent marginal difference between human DNA and Chimpanzee DNA.

This is nature!

Scott

Dear Scott:

Yeah, and Chimpanzees are mean, and cannibals, too. They'll kill and eat baby chimps even when they're not hungry. And baby chimps are so cute. But getting back to missionaries, it's like Bruce Beresford's film "Black Robe," where a Catholic missionary goes to Quebec in the 1700s to bring the "word" to the Indians. The one tribe that takes to Christianity is pretty promptly massacred by another tribe. The point being, in many parts of the world Christianity is just a plain old bad idea. People in rough climates and difficult situations probably need to be more focused on today rather than on some unproven sci-fi story about eternity. Christianity hasn't done the people of Africa the slightest bit of good. Quite frankly, Christianity and Islam haven't done black people any good anywhere. This idea was put forth by the late great black scholar, John Henrik Clarke, who felt that since all blacks are originally Africans, it's the African religions that they need to get back to, not the religions of the whites or the Arabs.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

Hey u know I was reading some of the posts and stuff and I think Lucy Lawless grew up Catholic, so can you be nice and not say anything bad about Catholics please? Thanx.

Plus u were talking about His Girl Friday that's a cool movie u know. We were discussing Cary Grant the other day he was an awesome actor what do u think? Also what do u think of North By Northwest? That came out in 1959 I think.

Thanx,

John J.

Dear John:

Yes, it did come out in 1959, good work. I like "North By Northwest" very much. I think it's one of Hitchcock's best films. And I like Cary Grant very much, too. So, John, are you in so big of a hurry that you can't spell out Y-O-U? Typing the Y and the O is just too time consuming? You see, we use this thing called the English language to communicate with one another, that's why we all sort of stick to the same rules. And as for Lucy being Catholic, that's her problem. She's a smart person so I have no doubt that she's dispensed with most of that dogmatic Catholic nonsense.

Josh

Name: Jean
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

In response to Ben's post about a couple of the same gender adopting a child. My gay friends who are thinking about adopting a baby are extremely well-adjusted, loving and intelligent people. My friend's boyfriend speaks 3 different languages fluently, plays the piano beautifully and he is working on a masters degree in physics. My friend is finishing up a degree in architecture and he is the most well read and creative person I have ever known. They both make great money and they own a lovely house. But most importantly they are kind, generous and understanding human beings. They both come from wonderful families who except them for who they are. They both have older sisters and a legion of female friends who would play an important role in the life of their child. They are well aware that everyone needs exposure to both genders during their formative years. AND to top it all off they have a fantastic relationship and are very much in love with one another.

So why should another child be lost to the foster care system when these two men have so much to offer as parents? Because they are gay? That type of thinking makes absolutely zero sense to me. I'm convinced that they have the capabilities to raise a decent human being who would grow up to become a productive member of society. They are in a much better position to raise children then these people who pump out a kid every nine months just because they can. But because of the lack of logical thinking in our society a child who would thrive in their care will instead languish in a fucked up system which strips people of their being and turns them into another statistic.

Best,
Jean

Dear Jean:

As though kids coming from a broken home and an utterly screwed-up marriage is preferable to being raised by two people, of whatever gender, who actually love each other and get along? Both of my sisters have been married and divorced, as were my parents. And that's the ideal situation to raise kids? I see very few happy marriages out there, and even less happy first marriages. I used to consider myself sort of backward having never been married, but now I honestly feel like I just spared myself an unhappy marriage, screwed-up kids, and a divorce. It doesn't matter where love comes from as long as you get some of it.

Josh

Name: daniel
E-mail: fresh_funge@hotmail.com

Dear Josh

What can you tell me about stylistic elements, narrative, themes,motivations and morals to MInority report?

Dear Daniel:

What? Were you assigned to do a report in school and you're too lazy to think about it yourself? You tell me, because I don't want to give the crappy film one more second of thought.

Josh

Name: Ben
E-mail: bendab02@yahoo.com

Josh,

Thanks for being interested--I hope you still are.

You say the dogma of the Pope is evil. Funny that, I agree. Here's the deal. The Church set forth its doctrine with Christ, and now, since the late 60s, like the rest of the world, the Church has gone liberal. If anything, I thought most liberals would consider the acts and statements of the current Pope to be, at least a little bit, a step in the right direction. They've pretty much made the Catholic church just like every other religion in the world, which, for those of us who have firm beliefs, do not agree with. Why should the Church change over the years? Right and wrong do not change. For the fellow to say that it is ridiculous for the Church to stay "stuck in its old ways" is, to me, ridiculous. Don't take it personally, pal. I just don't understand why people think morals develop.

While I'm spewing, I'll mention that the guideline of the Church is to have children as God gives them to you, but I can see how, to outsiders, there is nothing more than an undiscernable line between that and having as many kids as you possibly can. I can see the rationale, but I am still convinced there is a difference. Many couples can't have kids, and many others could have two and no more.

Let's go back to the scandal of the Church. Again, this is something that has cropped up more in the new version of Catholicism, and not among the traditional followers. You might argue, but I have only known priests who stay miles away from even the suggestion of scandal. They won't go into a public bathroom if a child walks in before them, and it's not because of temptation.

Furthermore, I would like to present some questions for you and the readers. If a priest gets horny, why would he necessarily seek out a young boy? If it was just a plain old burning in the loins, he'd be better off finding a hooker in a busy city. I guess that doesn't really prove the point that celibacy causes pedophilia, but I just think that there are sick people in the world, and many of them are construction workers, or lawyers, or someone who could take advantage of peoples' trust, like a psychiatrist--even priests. If we consider the number of cases of abuse against children, and think of it in terms of priests and not priests, then naturally, it will sound bad.

Finally, I'll admit that I haven't done a whole lot of research on the subject, but most of the cases I heard of were teenage boys. The law gives us the hardline of 18 as being the age of consentual sex, but doesn't a 13 or 15 year old have the ability to consent or not? Do you think that with the arrogance, pride, strength, and support that a youth would get, wouldn't it be easier to resist? I shouldn't get too involved without looking (and I will), but I'm guessing that the cases where a 7 year old is molested is few and far between. No, it's not good to molest a teenager. Along with my other beliefs, I'm convinced that molesting anyone is bad (lousy joke). But when these incidents come up, the modern media can't portray them as anything but pedophilia. If they admitted that it's more frequently reported by teenagers, then it would be too close to homosexuality, which is the very thing they're trying to defend.

The real shame is that the boys, whatever age, don't have the balls of most girls these days. The two groups most frightened of accusations of sexual abuse are priests and men. And while I don't doubt the prevelance of date-rape perpetrated by morally-bankrupt individuals, I also don't doubt that many of the cases are not exactly what they seem.

And yes, there were bad people in the Church. Some wars were fought for good reasons, others bad. People died, innocent and guilty alike. But just like I haven't written off filmed entertainment as being intrinsically evil because of many of the bad people involved, I'm not going to abondon the Church.

Sorry I don't have any technical movie questions for you. I'm sure this whole discussion is getting pretty tired. I hope I haven't bored you yet.

Now that I've probably offended everyone on this board (or at least generated sympathy to the tune of "Oh, that poor, misguided, silly person"), I'll close the letter.

As always,
Thanks.

Ben

Dear Ben:

There's nothing wrong with you defending your beliefs. The fact that we don't agree doesn't mean anything, I don't agree with a lot of people on many topics. As a little historical point, the Catholic church used female choirs for many years, but the priests were consistently getting into trouble sexually fooling around them, which really pissed off their husbands. So just after the turn of the century, in the early 1900s, the Pope banned female choirs and changed it to young boys, and that's when priests began sexually fooling around with young boys. And over the years you can just bet it's been with boys of all ages. The point being, celibacy is one of the worst perversions that can be foisted on a person, and just like normal human beings priests don't handle it very well. Celibacy for priests is an ancient tradition that never functioned, but it works even worse in the modern world. It's simply one more example of how the Catholic church does not do what's best for people, priests, young boys, the population of the world, or having women bear too many children which is physically no good for them. The Catholic church is an anachronism and it really ought to wither up and blow away, just like all organized religions.

Josh

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

Josh,

I suspect that ostracism has a reat deal to do with the prominent role of homosexuals in the arts, and in creative fields (such as physics, math) in general. Jews are also over-represented in those fields and they know a little bit about being outsiders. Outsiders cannot think and relate along normal channels, by definition, and so must from the earliest age learn to to think and relate creatively.

It is also interesting to me how so many people who reject religion, or approach it with extreme caution, are so willing to embrace spiritualism. My impression is that you, yourself, would attribute spirituality to an misplaced desire for the profound. I also wonder if you accept the idea of a "True Seeker". I have found that, in all of the world's religions, there is a notion of the True Seeker; someone who may or may not hold the same set of beliefs but is to be respected for the integrity of their search for truth. "Kim" by Rudyard Kipling concerns itself extensively with this idea.

I mention all of this, in a round-about way, in the context of "Warpath". I think that if the female lead (whose name escapes me at the moment) had strict religious mores, making any relationship with the Bruce Campbell character an impossibility, it would make the story more interesting. It might also justify her desire to seek out her husband, a desire I think is poorly justified as the story stands. Religious adherents may make lousy neighbors but I think they make great stories.

Another question about your writing and directing in general; I have noticed that the conversations in your work tend to happen one at a time, always. I have always loved scenes where several characters are carrying on several conversations at once. I think about "The Thing", "His Girl Friday" and "The Searchers" just off the top of my head. Each of these movies have moments where the audience has to follow several threads at the same time. Not for an extended period, mind, but usually as a way of establishing characters, or as transitional scenes. I could see this sort of a scene in "Biological Clock", for instance.

I'd been saving up thoughts. Thanks as always.

John

Dear John:

An interesting point. That's really Robert Altman's trademark, having everyone talk at once, and I must say honestly it annoys the piss out of me. It always makes me think that the director doesn't like the script and is trying to cover it up by not letting me hear what anyone's saying. I think that's partly why Hawks had everyone talk so fast in "His Girl Friday," he was trying to cover up a slow, stodgy play, and I think it helps (that's certainly the best of the three film versions of "The Front Page"). But, for the most part, I'd much rather hear the dialog clearly, particularly if I wrote it.

Josh

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

Josh,

You have touched upon an excellent and sensitive subject. I do not agree with Ben's feelings about gays adopting children, since I too have a few gay friends and I also have a cousin who is gay and he was adopted when he was a baby.

My aunt and uncle are in their 70's and my cousin is in his 30's and it thad taken sometime before my cousin could openly express his life with my relatives.

My aunt is a pretty progressive person, however, she is also a little relgious, but it was my cousin's idea that my aunt would not except his lifestyle, when in fact, she is quite ok with it.

Last time I spoke to her, I told her that my cousin seems much more relaxed, and she said that "she just hopes he finds peace with himself, and that she was happy that he has come to terms with his sexuality".

You are also right on the mark when you state that gays can turn around a shabby area of a city and make it thrive.

A good example of this is South Beach Miami which used to be very run down for years in the 80's and early 90's up until 1993 when the gay community started to open resturants, shops, galleries etc... It is now one of the most thriving community in Florida.

I worked with a fashion photographer twice down there in 1993 and 1994. There was such a dramatic change in one year that it was like the place turned around over night. I see this happen time and time again.

As for religion, I was raised Catholic, and I always tell people that I am a recovering Catholic.

I don't believe any other institution could exist today like the Catholic church. Staying stuck in old ways which were adopted centuries ago is ridiculous.

The world is constantly changing and this goes for the natural world too, however, organized religion undermines this by having oudated modes of thinking, as we have witnessed with the sexual problems and priests. I think to still have a rule where priests are not allowed to have sex is not only outdated, it goes against all natural law.

What do we expect? They are humanbeings. Somehow, I don't believe this is God's will.

I also know many good people who are religous. I have a friend who struggled with his faith for years, and he left a very good job he had and worked at missions for nothing. he gave up a great deal of his maerial possesions (not that he had many), and he has embraced the Catholic religion with all of his heart and I repect him for that.

However, he is not blind to the problems of the church either and his biggest criticism is the role money plays in all of it which is like just about everything else.

Also, if you look at the Catholic church in history, you will find what an oppressive and dangerous entity it was at one time. This is God's will? Come on!

Martin Luther had to go into hiding for the rest of his life or be hanged by the Catholic church for his belief that prayer and religion were personal and that it was not necessary for the church to control these aspects of people's lives.

This man was one of the most spiritual humans of his time, and how was he rewarded? By being hunted by the church for the rest of his life.

Lastly, I agree with you that any extremely religious family has far too many children and that is definitely not a good thing for the planet and the future of it.

Scott

Dear Scott:

In the late 1500s a man named William Tyndale translated the bible from Latin into English (Martin Luther had already translated the bible into German). The Catholic church was outraged, declared that Tyndale was a heretic, hunted him down and burned him at the stake. A few years later the Catholic church then decided that the bible needed to be translated into English, since most people could no longer speak or read Latin, and the translators used most of Tyndale's translation, which became the 1611 King James version of the bible, and is considered one of the great, poetic translations ever done. They also have missionaries and priests all over Africa telling people that it's a sin to use condoms in an area with the worst epidemic of AIDS anywhere in the world. And in a world of over six billion people, they're still extolling the saintliness and virtue of having as many kids as humanly possible. That's the Catholic church.

Josh

Name: Danielle
E-mail: beefystar@hotmail.com

Hi Josh,

I've been trying to obtain information about the legal issues involved with making a film based upon the lives of real people, but the numerous books and articles I've consulted contain conflicting or unclear information and I am now more confused than ever.

Would you know of a good source for this kind of "story rights" information?

In order to make a movie based upon the highly publicized exploits of criminals who are currently in prison, does one need to obtain permission from those individuals? It seems the obvious answer would be "yes" (especially when the criminals have families and are expected to be released in the near future), but I keep thinking about the way in which those awful, exploitative tv shows like AMERICA'S MOST WANTED air dopey re-enactments of crime stories and get away with it under the guise of being "news programs" and it seems unlikely that they have the permission of their subjects.

If some hack "journalist" can publish a cheap, unathorized biography about a celebrity and earn money in the process, do the same "fair game" rules apply to regular citizens who have been elevated to celebrity status because of their crimes?

For the movie I'm working on, I plan to consult court transcripts, which are available to the public, but I have yet to locate written confirmation that says it's legally okay to use such material in a screenplay.

Since I'm planning to make a short film (which usually means tiny profits and even tinier public attention) I'm hopeful that all legal barriers can be either overcome or ducked.

Thanks.

Dear Danielle:

If you're making a non-documentary film about real people, you must get their permission and get signed release form. Or you can change their names. If you're making a documentary then you need their permission and a release form to film them. If you make a feature film about real people's whose permission you didn't get, you'll never get it released to the theaters or shown on TV. Good luck.

Josh

Name: Ben
E-mail: bendab02@yahoo.com

Josh,

It's good to hear that amidst all of the huge issues, you would still point out the pronunciation of "nuclear." It bothers me, too.

As far as two people of the same gender adopting a child, I firmly believe that there is an ideal structure in everything, and the more deviant a situation is from the ideal, then the more problems arise. If I worked for an adoption agency, would I do it? No. And I'd probably get fired. Men and women are not only different in body, but in mind, soul, and spirit, and it's those different things that they contribute to the family that makes it work so well. I'm trying to be civil, so I'll limit my sarcasm to one remark: If they want a kid, why don't they just have one together? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that men can't make babies without women.

I'm not just tailoring my beliefs to a religion at random. I can only speak from experience (as I'm sure you and everyone else is), and consistently, when I see a family practicing the Catholic faith properly and selflessly, all I see are well-adjusted, happy, dependable, and caring people. When I look at the rest of the world, I see a lot of sadness. I'm sticking with it.

All specifics aside, it seems that the worst sin that can be commited in the modern world is to tell someone that they are wrong. The fact is that truth exists, and once I've seen it, then I'll cling to what brought it.

I'm not an activist. I don't stand on the streetcorner and try to rouse anti-anything sentiments in my town. And I wouldn't hurt anyone because of what they did or believe, unless they did it to my family or friends, and even then, I'd be acting irrationally and unjustly. But I will speak my mind. And why am I spouting in? I'm not sure--no one asked my opinion. It's clear that no one on this board would be interested, but I had some time to kill.

Ben

Dear Ben:

Go for it. I was interested in what you had to say. My problem with Catholics is that they generally have too many kids, as do religious Jews, and that's not good for the future of the planet. Catholics can be good people just like anybody else, but the Pope's dogma is evil.

Josh

Name: Ben
E-mail: bendab02@yahoo.com

Josh,

Sorry for the lack of planning, but after I sent in a message, I re-read one of your comments. You say that gays are an important part of the arts. Do you think that most of the good work in any medium comes from gay people? I just mean that you've already stated that your opinion on movies today isn't limited to movies. With the growing mentality of liberalism, more people are breaking the rules in novels, poems, paintings, music, and sculpture, and developing a legacy of stupidity for the future generations. Every bit of art these days, it seems, is based on feeling, and not a bit of thought. Have you noticed gays, blacks, whites, or any other demographic to be more attuned to making decent art? Or was "gays are important to the arts" just a throw-away comment in defense of your beliefs?

Thanks.

Ben

Dear Ben:

I don't necessarily mean today, I mean in general. Gay people are an inordinately large part of any art form, whether it's movies, TV, writing, painting, music, or whatever. As a gay friend of mine once said about me, "You know too much about movies to not be gay."

Josh

Name: Cynthia E. Jones
E-mail: cynthiaejones@hotmail.com

Dear Josh,

As a long time gay rights advocate, and someone who has lost too many compassionate, caring friends to AIDS, I must applaud you for your essay on Political "Orientation." You have said everything that I have been saying since hearing the Senator's appalling statements. Thank you.

I had a harrowing personal experience with 'right wing conservatives' a few years back at my friend's funeral. 20 years ago, when he came out to his (very religious) family, they kicked him out of the house and said they didn't want anything to do with him. A friend of mine took him in, they became close, and she became his new family. He went on to have a prosperous life in the theater community, doing acting, singing (in church even!), and costume work, as well as having several gallery shows of his maskmaking. He was immensely talented, and one of the kindest people I have ever known.

Upon discovering that he had AIDS, he contacted his family in an attempt to reconcile. His mother and sister decided to become close to him as he was approaching death--but only if he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, and asked forgiveness for what he had done. Since he was dying, and needed to be close to his family, he said he accepted God, and actually apologized for hurting his family (!) even though they were the ones who hurt him. At his funeral, his brother-in-law, a Baptist minister, gave the eulogy. He stated that "Although he was a worthless object, like the pine needles he used for his art" he had "found God" in his final hours, "And was a beautiful angel now, despite his having gone astray and denying Him for so long." As if the only way my friend was validated was in death. As if 20 years of his life, where he discovered who he was, found a new family, and loved better and more gently than anyone I know, and loved a God that he believed was accepting of him, was a waste.

Not one friend of his talked to his family after the service. We all went to the bar for a wake (which went all night), and they drove home in their shiny cars, pious and correct.

And if I hear one more person telling the homosexual community that what they do is wrong, I'll scream.

Thanks a lot,

Cindy

Dear Cindy:

I'm glad you liked the essay. I too had a very good friend die of AIDS, and his mother, father or one of his two sisters (all of whom are born-again Christians) would not even come see him in the hospital or the hospice. I'm still convinced that the most religious people are in fact the most evil thing on our planet. They're against unity, against brotherhood, and against equality. They simply want to believe that they are superior to all others. And I don't really care what religion it is. I've absolutely known more good gay people than right-wing conservatives, that's for sure.

Josh

Name: Jean
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

That is a very, very cool idea. Something that I think people would be interested in seeing. I actually had a very lengthy discussion with my father a few months back about all of the false information that the news media spews out on a daily basis. My ex-boyfriend is in the midst of making a documentary about federal taxes and how the constitution applies to the subject. He has gotten some pretty interesting stuff so far.

I read your essay about Santorum. What a ridiculous and miss-guided man. I live in West Hollywood which is a predominantly gay neighborhood. All of my gay neighbors are lovely, kind wonderful people who would give you the shirt off their backs. They seem to value friendship much more then some other folks that I have run into. I think it's because they spend a lot of their lives getting shit on by douche bags like Santorum. I'm so sick of these fundamentalist, religious people saying that homosexuality is a choice. My best friend whom I have know since childhood is gay and he had a crush on a male teacher when he was 11 years old. So he pretty much always knew that he was gay especially when we hit high school and he had no interest in girls in a sexual manner. He has been with the same man for 5 years and they recently bought a house together. And now they are thinking about adopting a child. They are 2 of the best people I know and I'm convinced that they would make excellent parents. I wonder what Sen. Santorum would think of that!? I'm sure he would advocate denying a child 2 loving parents because of what they do in their own bedroom. Mind your own fucking business for God's sake!

Best,
Jean

Dear Jean:

As I've said, I believe that gays are an important part of any population, and probably add more to society for their size than any other group. There can be nothing better for a neighborhood, particularly a run-down neighborhood, than to have gay people move in. They fix up the houses and generally have very good taste. They are also a very important part of all the arts. I'd most definitely rather live around and be friends with gay people than conservative right-wing Republicans who are utterly intolerant, demeaning and degrading in the name of freedom. In my humble opinion, the right-wing conservatives are the least understanding, the least accepting, the most aggressive and blood-thirsty, and the least patriotic group in the country. They believe that being oppressive to other people in their same country is patriotic, whereas I think it's anti-American, against the Constitution, against the Bill of Rights, and completely against what America stands for, which is tolerance. Plus, most of them seem to mispronounce the word nuclear, which drives me insane. It's not "nuc-u-lar," and anyone who says that is a moron, particularly George Bush, Jr.

Josh

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

Dear Josh:

That last anonymous correspondent (actually, I think he signed his name as "cmonjosh") cracked me up. As I was reading what he wrote, I was thinking "You know, I bet he's thinking that he's insulting the hell out of you, when in reality you've been saying the very same thing ever since I've been coming to this site!"

I mean, sheesh - shooting slow films like John Ford makes you a loser? A good story alone is cinematic masturbation? Umm..... I'd call a good story alone ...a novel. I'd think that jazzy stuff (not that I'm opposed to jazzy stuff) is the masturbation. In fact, I caught about 15 minutes of the Charlie's Angels movie on TV last night, and found myself thinking "Gee - if it only had a good plot like the old TV series." And then laughed out loud when I realized what an idiotic thing I'd just said.

Ironically, I was watching "The Searchers" on TCM last week, and had a similar thought - Ford was making a slower, 1930's style movie with 1950's technology and color and budget.

Hey tell us more about this film you got fired from. Is this the one that morphed into that Jan Michael Vincent film? Or is there one last untold directing horror story you haven't written about? Either way, I think that would make for another good essay topic, the MTV thing included.

None of which was why I was going to write. I was actually going to ask you if you caught the most recent rerun of "The Men Who Made the Movies." It turns up on TCM frequently, and is really quite remarkable. So many of your fans discuss Ford, Hawks, Walsh, etc. with you, and I wonder if everyone is aware of this old series.

Regards,

August

Dear August:

I've only seen one episode recently, but I saw the whole thing when it was first aired in the '70s. I thought it was very good, and that Richard Schickel did a very intelligent job making it. Yeah, anyone that wants to insult me by calling me John Ford-like can go right ahead. However, I do sort of stand on a soapbox and holler a lot. My good friend and producer, Jane Goe, after reading one of my essays said that my tone was "slightly hysterical, like a crazy man screaming on the corner." Yet, on the other hand, "cmonjosh" said my writing was both "bland" and "blah." I'm a man of many facets. The MTV pilot was a different deal than the Jan Michael Vincent film, which was "Hit List." The MTV pilot was called "Shotgun Love Dolls," if you can believe that, and not only redefined the word "bad," but was written in entirely the wrong style for a TV show, was neither a half-hour nor an hour, and had no act breaks. I turned it down, but apparently one of the other Xena directors, T.J. Scott, ended up directing it. I don't think it was ever aired.

Josh

Name: cmonjosh
E-mail: cmonjosh@???.com

Geez Josh,

Get off the soapbox already. I truly respect your filmmaking abilities and opinions, but seriously, if someone offered you financing to make a shitty film, yours or someone elses, you'd do it in a heartbeat and you know it. Why else would you have directed crappy tv, Thou shalt..., and Lunatics. I think your main problem is that you try to make slow paced, low-budget John Ford films in an independent film arena which is dominated by stuff for the MTV generation. You're simply 30 years too late. Sure, a good story is a good story in any time, but you know by now that a good story without a vibrant hook to grab attention is just cinematic masturbation. Know one is going to jump on your stuff just because you may be a filmmaking genius who has memorized every celluloid fact to date. You can still tell a great story today, but just jazz it up a bit to get some buzz behind you. "Boys Don't Cry" is an excellent example of what I'm trying to recommend. You write great, well-rounded stories, but most of them are really blah. "If I Had a Hammer" is well-written, but bland. No real conflict or excitement. I hope you don't feel like I'm trying to insult or put you down because I'm not. I'd love to see more of your filmmaking prowess. I honestly think you are a hell of great director. Good luck to you!

Best,
cmonjosh

Dear Anon.:

You don't even feel that you can reveal your name? I'd certainly be more apt to take you seriously if you did. Look, if my stuff is blah, then that's what it is. I don't care about the MTV generation and I will never intentionally pander to them. I hate pointless, shaky, hand-held camerawork, meaningless jump cuts, too many cuts in general, and intercutting black and white and color for no reason. That which is presently considered hip or cutting-edge is just a series of overused cliches, which can be seen in half the TV shows and commercials. I believe that I have my own style, and as blah and bland as it may be, I don't think my films are like anyone else's. Meanwhile, the only directorially stylish thing in "Boys Don't Cry" was the time-lapse shots of the city, and I did the same thing in "Lunatics" ten years earlier. If you legitimately think "Hammer" is bland, tell me why. I'm listening.

Furthermore, you're darn right I'm up on a soapbox. I don't hear anybody else bitching about the things that I am, so I'm basically all alone (except for the folks that write in and agree with me). As Harlan Ellison said, "A good writer needs to go to bed angry and wake up angry." Regarding me taking a big budget movie were it offered to me, you're undoubtedly correct that I would take it. But I'd also try my damndest to whip the script into proper (bland?) shape, which could well get me fired before I'd ever get to shoot. This already happened to me once. But would I take anything that was offered to me no matter what it is? No. I've turned down a few projects over the course of the years just because I was certain I wouldn't be allowed to fix them. I turned down a pilot for MTV because the script was so bad it could never be fixed and I didn't want to try. If I actually do shoot like John Ford in a David Fincher world, then I'm very pleased.

Josh

Name: Horrorfanatic
E-mail:

Dear Josh,

Some of the points you made are dead-on, especially your comment about giving up your artistic vision. But that movie did make enough money (I'm not sure the exact amount), but it only reached DVD audiences and since there are a lot of gore junkies who go crazy for this stuff, I'm sure it sold a lot of copies. About the comment about big Hollywood filmmakers making their own artistic, personal movies for themselves, Gus Van Sant returned to his independent roots to make a film called "Gerry," as a homage to Bela Tarr. I'm sure there's a few more.

Dear Horrorfanatic:

That film stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's brother, it's not like it's a tiny indie. Australian directors Bruce Beresford and Fred Schepisi have both gone back to Oz to make smaller, more personal films, but for the most part it's just not done. And just because you're sure that gore film sold a lot, doesn't mean that it did, or that the filmmaker got a good enough deal to even pay back for the production costs. For a DVD release without a theatrical release, distribution companies don't pay very much, generally nowhere near what the film cost to make. But thanks for thinking about how I'll get ahead.

Josh

Name: Horrorfanatic21
E-mail:

Dear Josh Becker,

I know you said that you're not a very big horror fan, but I have some advice (you're probably not gonna go for it, but what the hell, I'm curious to what you think about this idea): make a film that you KNOW is going to make a lot of money, so you can finance a personal film in the future. That's what Eric Stanze did. If you haven't heard of him, Stanze is one of the most talented and original low-budget independent filmmakers out there, and he made this movie called "I Piss on Your Corpse, I Spit on Your Grave." It's one of the sickest, most disgusting pieces of exploitation I have ever seen, and it's an awful movie, too. But Stanze didn't make it for himself, he made it so sick and graphic because the distributors and it was bound to gross a lot of money, attracting gore junkies and horror fans in general.

Dear Horrorfanatic:

Yeah, so did it make money? I doubt it. The bottom-line is that you never KNOW what's going to sell. As a friend of mine once said, "If kung-fu movies ALWAYS made money, that's all Hollywood would ever make." And I have news for you, if you make shit, no matter what your reasons, you're a shit-maker. It's like the utterly bogus reasoning I've heard many times of just bend over backwards, kiss every ass in sight, and make some pandering piece of crap for the money, then take the money and make your own "artistic" film. The problem is, once you've become a pandering ass-kisser, you've given up your artistic vision. And once it's gone it's gone. You don't see any big-shot Hollywood filmmakers sneaking off and making little artistic films, do you? Once you've joined the establishment, you're part of it. And once you start making shit, you're nothing but a shit-maker.

Josh

Name: Jean
E-mail:

Hi Josh,

I caught a very interesting documentary called "Crank: Made in America" last night on HBO. The doc focused on 3 Iowa families that have been affected by crystal meth abuse. I found it to be a very straight forward look at addicts and how they live their day to day lives. All of the junkies that were featured had been on the stuff for at least 5 years. One guy had been using crystal meth since 1978. Only 6% of meth addicts are able to kick the habit for good. It was disturbing stuff but a pretty well-made documentary.

Speaking of documentaries, have you ever thought about making one? If so, what subject would you choose? One more question: When are you going to make another film?

Best,
Jean

Dear Jean:

Crystal Meth is a nasty drug, and it always made me feel terrible. As I mentioned yesterday, I have made a full-length documentary called "Battle the Big Tuna," about a nine-day big-game fishing trip, which I did in 1989. It's certainly not a particularly provocative subject -- unless you're against fishing -- but it was a bitch and half to make. Producing a full-length documentary is as a big a commitment as a feature film, although probably not as expensive. The one subject that's been rattling around my head recently for a doc is the mis- and dis-information we're given in the U.S. news media. To do something like that would take a lot of rights clearance for the use of the news clips you'd need to make the point. A perfect example right now would be the utterly lying, bogus speech Colin Powell made before the U.N. Security Council a few weeks before the war. He kept showing aerial photos of sandbags and saying, "This is absolutely a chemical weapons factory. It's indisputable." Yeah? So why weren't they pointed out to the U.N. weapons inspectors? Why haven't "coalition" forces found them? Because it was all crap, that's why. Or when we were shown drums of chemicals found in an agricultural area, in a shed where pesticides were kept, and we were told that these chemicals could be used for chemical weapons, or as pesticides, but it's difficult to to tell which. Then they showed three Iraqi RPGs set up on the floor, undoubtedly confiscated by "coalition" forces, so they could say, "Chemicals. Weapons. Chemicals. Weapons. See, they must have chemical weapons." Anyway, I'd take this all as far back as I could go with it, which would probably be back to the 1950s, when TV news really came into being. Every president since then, including Eisenhower, has felt no qualms about getting on TV and lying straight into the face of everyone. Over the course of time these lies become more and more apparent, and the intercutting between the lies and the truth would probably be quite illuminating.

Josh

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

Josh,

I see you are really watching a lot of documentaries. I think that is great! I have always loved the medium and I agree with you that they are the best thing going in film now!

Scott

Dear Scott:

Technology has definitely helped documentaries. You really can make a feature-length, professional-looking documentary for $20,000 or less. I made a 60-minute doc in 1989 called "Battle the Big Tuna," about a nine-day big-game fishing trip 300 miles off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and it cost about $50,000 to get it finished in a professional-looking manner. Life's improving and actually getting cheaper in the documentary field. And cameras are tiny, will hold an hour of tape, and you can shoot in almost no light whatsoever. And people are used to little DV cameras being around and will act normal in front of them. Then all you need is a subject you care about.

Josh

Name: Tim Shadler
E-mail: tjs27@drexel.edu

Josh,

I would just like to offer a few comments in regards to your most recent essay entitled "My Patriotic "Orientation".

I am a twenty-two year old white male atheist Republican who currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

While I certainly disagree with Sen. Santorum's stance on homosexuality (and I am in fact in favor of legalizing same-sex marriages) I can appreciate the larger point he was trying to make in regards to the supreme court. Namely that if the supreme court does not allow individual states to pass laws against sodomy, then the legal justification for this stance might not allow states to pass laws against incest, polygamy, bigamy etc. This could prove to be an important as the supreme court has long held that laws controlling sexual acts are left to the states to decide as no specific part of the US Constitution address the "right" to a sexual act.

Finally I have a question on the issue of tolerance. In this case it appears that many are criticizing Santorum because he is intolerant, and has spoken out against, others (namely those of other sexual orientations). If in fact his opinion on homosexuality is derived from his religious beliefs shouldn't we all be more tolerant of him? I just think there is a double standard. He is supposed to keep his religious beliefs silent but those who are criticizing his religious beliefs can speak as freely as they want without fear of being referred to as "intolerant."

Thanks for reading my email. As always I look forward to reading your site!

Take Care,

Tim Shadler

Dear Tim:

A very reasonable, intelligent response, but here's why I disagree. No one is trying to deny Rick Santorum any of his rights or marginalize him, but that's what he's suggesting for others. I'll defend his right to be wrong, but I won't defend his intention of denying someone else their rights. And my Libertarian view is that the governement should not be involved in proscribing morality in any way, shape or form. It has the right to protect the underaged, but as far as I'm concerned, morally speaking, that's it. If Mormons want to have more than one wife, God bless them. If the folks in Kentucky want to marry their sisters, go for it, dudes. It's neither of our business. That's what I think, but I could be wrong.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

Sorry if u don't remember the episode that much. That would be really nice if u could look at that outline but u don't have to do that. I don't want to give you any extra trouble or anything since I know ur busy. There was this research project some other fans recommended me to do and we were talking about it on the Xenaville board.

Anyways I was with my friends the other day and we were discussing Chariots of War again (cuz its gonna come on DVD soon I think). And that scene where Xena rips her dress and starts kicking the bad guys with those beautiful long sexy legs of hers was totally awesome, we were thinking that's gotta be one of the sexiest scenes in history u know. Plus the arrow scene and the blue dress and everything.

Anyways, sorry to keep asking u about Chariots of War. Please let me know if u can look at the outline, and if not (if ur too busy) please let me know if there's anybody else u know that might remember that I could ask.

Thanx,

John J.

Dear John:

Yes, it will be on DVD soon. I was interviewed for the DVD release, which will be on a seperate disc, I believe. Please stop asking about that episode, I honestly don't care at all. I was glad to sell the story, and that's the end of it.

Josh

Name: Tony Mitchell
E-mail: mitch_2209@hotmail.com

Hi Josh,

I saw 4 films yesterday - "Breakfast at Tiffany's", "Roman Holiday", "Mr Hulot's Holiday" and "Mon Oncle".
Your man William Wyler directed "Roman Holiday" and I noticed his brother Robert was an Executive Producer. As a bit of trivia, I thought I saw William in one scene where Hepburn, Peck and Albert are looking over the Coliseum. Were you aware of this?
I did not like "Tiffany's" nearly as much - I found myself not really caring about Holly Golightly much. I think my favourite character was "Cat".
I had heard a lot about the films of Jaques Tati and although I enjoyed both of the ones I saw, I thought they were a bit untidy and could have been made a little "tighter".

Dear Tony:

That sounds like a full day of movie-watching. I quite like "Roman Holiday," although I don't think it's one of Wyler's very best film. Audrey Hepburn is just astounding, though. If that was Wyler in the film, I didn't know it. I got a bit weary, however, of the running gag of trying to shut up Eddie Albert. As a little note, "Roman Holiday" was Frank Capra's project for several years before Wyler bought it from him. I've never cared for "Breakfast at Tiffanys," the film means nothing to me beyond Henry Mancini's score, which is a classic. I like "Mr. Hulot's Holiday" better than any other Jacques Tati film, but they're all slow. He did come up with a few terrific gags, though, like when his car was going to be towed and he went to step over the cable that suddenly tightened, hit him in the foot and sent him sailing. Or the whole routine with the kayak.

Josh

Name: Ben
E-mail: bendab02@yahoo.com

Josh,

If I'm becoming a familiar name at all on this board, you probably are noticing a pattern to my comments regarding the subjects not relevant to filmmaking or film watching. If I had even the slimmest hopes of influencing anyone in the world, I'd explain my positions, but no one cares. So I'll state a simple opinion and see what your reaction is: everyone lies.

Now, of course, it's true. Everyone, at one point or another, has deceived, misled, or obscured the thought process of another for some reason. But what I'm talking about is that everyone has their positions, but they come up with crap to lie about in defense of them.

Mr. Santorum said that he has nothing against homosexuality, but only homosexual acts. What he means is that he has nothing against homosexuals, but only homosexual acts. My tendency is to agree, since for many reasons, sodomy is wrong, but we have no right to condemn people. I'm sure you've had friends who have done something wrong. How do you feel about them? Hopefully, it wasn't bad enough to change that esteem overall, but even though you love them, you know they did something wrong. Doesn't that at all translate to "I have nothing against homosexuals, only homosexual acts?" I suppose the fact that if someone never commits a homosexual act, then they can't be considered a homosexual. Again, my tendency is to agree, but that wouldn't make sense alongside the contentions of the modern liberal world. They say that they can't change who they are. They didn't choose to be gay. And if they chose not to commit such acts, they would still be gay. Isn't that what they're trying to get across?

Back to my original point, everyone lies. I heard on the radio that male-to-female transgenders, upon autopsy, were found to have female neurons in their brains. Likewise, female-to-male transgenders were found to have male neurons. This is utterly ridiculous, although I'll read responses if anyone has heard anything more detailed. Then they had a sound clip of a senator (or some other politician) saying that transgender discrimination is the leading cause of HIV, due to the standard of living and lifestyle that transgenders are forced to succumb to. And your friend, whose opinion differed to yours, was wrong in saying that we're overpopulated, and he painted the case as badly as possible to make heterosexuals evil and malicious for having children. On a side note, even though the most traditional Catholic family could have an average of ten kids, many religious vocations come from those families. You probably don't need to comment on that, however, because I already know your opinion of religion.

I think I'll leave it at that for now. I was just wondering if you agreed that the whole discussion is tainted by everyone going to false extremes to justify their points.

Thanks.
Ben

Dear Ben:

I can't accept that sodomy is wrong or that the world is not overpopulated. What hole people want to stick their dick into is absolutely nobody's business but their own, and is no righter or wronger than sticking it anywhere else. I flatly disagree that sex is only about procreation. Sex is an activity that humans enjoy and take pleasure from, and has a lot more meaning than plain old procreation. And considering the world passed the six billion mark over a year ago, and is geometrically increasing at an alarming rate -- it took the entire history of humanity up to 1900 to get to one billion, then a mere 100 years to get to over six billion, which will double in less than fifty years -- and I believe that people that have more than two kids are completely culpable. And I have a big problem with the idea that people choose to be gay. They don't. And when I told a gay friend about the essay I'd just written, he said, "But I knew I was gay when I was twelve, but I hadn't had sex yet." I replied, "Then you just suspected that you were gay. It wasn't until you acted on it that you legitimately were gay." Well, he was never interested in having sex with women, so was he supposed to repress all of his sexual urges because thay weren't "traditional"? And another thing, gay people are a terrific part of the population (10% if I'm not mistaken, which neither goes up nor goes down, that's just what it is), they are, for the most part, intelligent and creative and really vital to society. I much prefer gay people to religious people, I can tell you that.

Josh

 

Dear Ben,

As requested, this may be the study referred to by whomever you heard discussing trangendereds' brains on the radio. http://www.symposion.com/ijt/ijtc0106.htm

Shirley

Name: dustin
E-mail: dustglas@hotmail.com

hey josh,

why dont' you just throw together another evil dead kinda film. and have bruce in a cabin with gore. a billion people would buy the hell out of it, anchor bay would release it every two months with a different cover box, and you would be set?!

Dear Dustin:

There's no such thing as throwing together an independent feature film -- they're all enormous undertakings. There's also no throwing together projects with Bruce, who is at a stage where he would prefer not making a film to making one poorly, and I respect the hell out of that. Beyond that, I'm not really a horror film fan. I did actually make an attempt at that sort of thing last year with the story "Terrified!" but no one jumped at it, so I guess it wasn't the right story.

Josh

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

Hey Josh,

I agree with you about legalizing drugs. I also know all our government's blatant mis-dealings with all the situations you have outlined. I studied the Vietnam conflict a great deal on my own and in college, and it amazes me how stupid the Cambodia bombing was and that most people totally ignored it until much later!

The documentary "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" was based on a book. Have you read the book? I enjiyed the film, but from what I have read, the book is more of a personal attack by the author who was in the film and it is more biased than the film.

I am going to be curious as to what will come out later after the attack on Iraq situation is truly revealed, if it ever really is revealed.

I am thought of as being un-patriotic if I question my government's actions and that is preciously part of what our country's checks and balances were based upon in the first place. Whatever happned to "By the people, for the people"?

I feel a leader should lead by their conscience and that sometimes they have to go against public opinion, however, when their personal interests are dubious then their conscience becomes misguided and that is precisely what happned has in Iraq.

It really makes me mad how the US is treating Hans Blix and the UN now and this position does not really help the Bush administration's stance. I have always said that you will have far different results when you send 50-100 UN inspectors to the country the size of California than you would sending thousands of troops to bomb the shit out of the country to do the same job. The numbers say it all.

Now our military has thousands of our own inspectors there looking for the "smoking gun", but they still haven't found anything and now we are told that it could take months to find evidence, but I say that is just bullshit!

Also, the letter you received from the 10 year old Indian boy is a good example of how kids will surprise you! From the way he was writing, I believe he just may be telling the truth with regards to his age.

When I was this boy's age, I too was interested in things very similar to him, however, I hated elementary - High school and I feel that some kids just can't learn well in a traditional american school. I was a good example of that and I was shy, so it was difficult for me to express myself.

It wasn't until I went to college that I was able to use my intelligence and breakout of my shell. However, I don't belive that college is for everybody either. It was good for me, but I learned about making films by making films and I feel that going to film school is only useful to gain contacts and schmooze by using the system for what it is.

I never wanted to direct, I love shooting and I love photography and cinemtography, but being an editor pays the bills for now. When people ask me what they should do to be a cinematographer and I usually tell them to learn understand photography and study paintings for lighting and composition.

I also tell them to understand that they will have to be able to manage people, since their lighting crew will be taking direction from them and they have to be able to relate what they want in terms of lighting and set up to their crew which is ultimatley the vision of the director

Also, you mentioned that you are not very good at schmoozing to get your films distributed and that is the reason that I am trying to help you out with "Hammer".

Just like getting people to read screenplays and book transcripts, it is just as difficult to get people to watch films. The attention span of most people these days is about 5 minutes and that is sad.

Take care,

Scott

Dear Scott:

I still doubt that kid was ten. I think he was pulling my leg. What can an Indian ten-year-old honestly know about Elia Kazan or David Lean? Still, I could be wrong (it's happened plenty of times before). I watched a 1998 documentary last night called "Image of an Assassination: A New Look at the Zapruder Film," that was just fascinating. First it was about Abraham Zapruder, who he was, and how he went about shooting the film. Then it showed what he went through with the CIA and Life Magazine. Then it showed the National Archives rephotographing every frame (about 481 frames) on 4X5 film (including the area around the sprocket holes, which contains more image), then digitizing it, cleaning up the picture and losing a lot of the shaking camera. Then they showed the film in various screen sizes, with and without the image around the sprocket holes, then in slo-mo, then zoomed in on Kennedy in slo-mo. I slowed it down even farther on the DVD machine and watched it several times at extreme slo-mo. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, and never has been, that the final head shot is coming from the grassy knoll ahead an to the right of the limo, not from behind at the book depository. And these much clearer images make it even more obvious. It may very well be the most disturbing 22 seconds of film in existence. Nevertheless, it is absolute proof of a conspiracy. I'm still of a mind that it was the mafia and Sam Giancana, who felt completely betrayed by the Kennedys after giving Joe Kennedy a lot of favors during the election, like the Teamster vote (and let's face it, it was a very close election, without that mob help JFK would never have won), then having the Kennedys turn on the mafia and the Teamsters as soon as he got into office. I think JFK was killed due to ingratitude.

Josh

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

Dear Josh,

Yeah I remember that ending in Chariots of War I know what u mean about that little girl talking all of a sudden and it looked like her dad already knew she could or something. Kinda weird. Anyways it would have made more sense the way u wrote it. But anyways I'm glad I still liked it too u know.

Sorry u don't remember about the arrow scene. It was the scene where that guy takes the arrow out of Xena, that was a cool scene and plus we got to see Lucy's hot and sexy abs that was totally hot and beautiful (I'm still drooling from that man). I was wondering if in the original script u wrote that somebody had to take an arrow out of Herc or if that scene just got added to show off Lucy's hot and sexy abs.

Thanx,

John J.

Dear John:

I guess I should dig out that outline and see what's in it. I barely remember that story, other than the way the ending was shot. These Xena and Hercules stories have just leaked out of my mind.

Josh

Name: Leslie
E-mail: Shadow@xena.com

hi..... i have heard a rumor that you are going to make Catherine-zeta Jones the leading actress of the Xena Movie. Is it true?Also you do know in my heart and everyone else that is a true xena fan that lucy Lawless is and will always be the true Xena warrior Princess... and Renee O Connor is the true gabrielle. i sure hope this rumor is not true because i am a #1 fan of XWP and some of my friends are... we are excited about hearing that there may be a movie coming out. and hopefully it will pick up were the FIN part 1 and part 2 left off.. thanks for your time and hope you have a great day... Leslie AKA #1 fan of XWP or Blackshadow

Dear Leslie:

I'm not doing anything with Xena. I was a hired hand on the show. I've heard no news of a Xena movie with or without Catherine Zeta-Jones, and since I'm acquainted with the former executive producer, I suppose I would have heard were there such a thing. And I agree with you, were there to be a Xena movie, Lucy has to be Xena and Renee has to be Gabrielle.

Josh

Name: Eric Rosenthal
E-mail: eric30202002@yahoo.com

Hey Josh,

Have you seen the series The Shield on FX? I think it's really cool, what Training Day should have been like. It's got a lot of grey characters, and you really care about the main guy, even when he's doing bad things. You probably wouldn't like the "hip" music and camera work but the writing is so good you should be able to forgive it.

Eric

Dear Eric:

Thanks for the suggestion, but I won't even try. I completely don't care about cop TV shows and if I never see another one it will be too soon. I think all these cop shows just reinforce our living in a police state where far too much of our population is in jail, where drugs rationalize the government and the police taking away our personal freedom. I know it's not PC, but I don't like cops, they give me the creeps.

Josh

Name: Ronald
E-mail:

Josh,

Do you think Sam Raimi has acheived his dreams? Do you think that he knows how to function in the Hollywood system better than you? You are obviously just as talented, but I think he did a couple things better than you with regards to shmoozing, producing, and having a great co-creator and partner, Rob Tapert. Do you plan to make the independent film circuit your final film resting place, or are you still interested in pursuing Hollywood films? I wish you all the best whatever you do.

Dear Ronald:

Yes, I do think that Sam has achieved his dreams. He wanted to be a big, successful, A-list Hollywood director and he is. He certainly knows how to function within the system much better than I. These were dreams of mine, too, when I was young. But I'm much more interested in attempting to do quality work, and potentially make a film no one has made before, something that might have some lasting value. That's not what Hollywood is about anymore, and it hasn't been for a long time. Perhaps it's just a rationale, but somewhere over the course of the past ten years I decided that to be a success in a business that only makes shit, still makes you a shit-maker. And whether your shit pies sell or not, they're still shit. I'm not interested in that.

Josh

Name: Fredrick R
E-mail: fr123@aol.com

Hi,

How are the book deals coming?

P.S. Have you seen or talked to Lucy Lawless or Rob Tapert lately? What are they up to?

Cheers

Dear Fred:

Well, my agent has my filmmaking book out to Simon & Schuster, but I haven't heard anything, and she's just recently received my new book, so I'm waiting to hear on that, too. Take my word for it, it's not easy getting people to read 300+ page documents. It was a bitch getting people to read screenplays and they're only 120 pages. I emailed with Rob yesterday (actually, an email from him awaits me now). He's in production on a horror film entitled "The Boogyman" in New Zealand, with some of the Xena/Herc crew.

Josh


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