Josh has been answering thousands of film and TV fans questions since 1998.

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Collected Q&A Since 1998

Josh,
What did you think about the firing of James Gunn? What did you think about the firing of Roseanne?
Don


Dear Don: I've worked with Roseanne and she is a total cunt. Regarding James Gunn, it sounds like he has a creepy sense of humor, but so what? Was he not doing his job? I'm so fucking glad I don't live in Hollywood anymore I can't tell you. Nobody here in Detroit gives a shit what you say. I just told one of my black friends to get his black ass moving, and I can call the Chaldeans who run the store up the street towel-heads if I want to, and I'm constantly using the term "Let's Jew them down." That's why I'm here and not there. Josh




Gee Josh, I was watching Mamma Mia 2 last night, and all I think was "why?" "why does this movie exist?". It's like a terrible godfather part 2 ripoff of the first movie, but with a second rate cast told in flashback, and Meryl Streep's character is dead. Bump bump bump... Kevin Neece


Dear Kevin: I only turn on my TV to watch old movies; movies I know I like. I'm just about to cancel HBO. I haven't watched anything new in almost a year. Josh




Dear Josh,
Any news on the documentary. I remember u saying it would be out in July or something. Anyway looking forward to it. PS: have u seen Paul Schaders new film first reform yet. It was the most boring film I have seen in 3 1/2 years.
Ben


Dear Ben: The documentary is being cut. No, I haven't seen Schrader's new movie, nor any other new movie since I started shooting my new movie, "Morning, Noon & Night," which will be opening soon at Laemmle's Music Hall Theater in L.A. very soon. Josh




Dear Josh:
I am the CEO of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation and have carefully read your article "Hollywood Movie Studios." We are presently finishing up a book entitled "Hollywood's Trains & Trolleys." We are stuck on Chapter 5, "Hollywood's Streets – from the River to the Ocean." It tells about the studios from Boyle Heights to Santa Monica and cites the trolley and train movies that were produced on or nearby. I was thoroughly impressed with your writing and would like to know if we may quote from your article? Check out our website: larhf.org Thank you.
Joe Lesser


Dear Joe: I would be honored to be quoted. Please, go ahead, with my blessing. Josh




Dear Josh,
I read you story of Hitler's dog Fuchshl. I thought it captured what young Hitler might have been like and it was a pretty good read. I have two questions. Why did Hitler say his parents were Lutheran, they were Catholics, and why was 'your' Hitler i.e. in your story, neutral anti-Semitic. Hitler was anti-semitic by the time he wrote Mein Kampf.


Dear Bob: No, his parents were Lutheran, take my word for it. And Adolf Hitler didn't have an anti-Semitic bone in his body until November of 1919 when the Socialist Democrats, who had taken over after Kaiser Wilhelm fled to Holland, signed the Treaty of Versailles officially surrendering. Since there was a predominance of Jews among the Social Democrats, Hitler and many others blamed the Jews for the capitulation of Germany. Of course Germany had already lost the war in November of 1918 and someone had to sign the treaty, but it happened to be Jews. Josh




Dear Josh,
Any news from the festival circuit with, “morning noon and night”?
Jimmy


Dear Jimmy: Yeah, I'm not doing it, I'm going straight into distribution. Josh




Josh,
Well no one has brought it up yet, so I thought I would. Harlan Ellison has died. He seems a lot like you. And he definitely didn't like Hollywood executives and the way they treated people. Although from what his it isn't much different from the 'real' world. Were you an Ellison fan and do think you had anything in common with him?


Dear : Yes, I'm a big Harlan Ellison fan and have been since I was a kid. The last doc about him, "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," is great. And yes I've always felt the same way about Hollywood that Ellison did. It has the most assholes per square inch than anywhere else on the planet. I was very pleased to move back to Michigan 16 years ago. Also, Ellison's book, "Harlan Ellison Watching," is a terrific book of 25 years of his movie reviews.
Josh




Dear Josh,
So Harlan Ellison died. I know he wrote an article about Kitty Genovese, with the title to the effect of 38 assholes who did nothing. But I cannot find the article on the internet or even the title. Although I know he wrote it. The truth of the 38 assholes has been more revealed through time, no one really knew everything that was going on, and most really didn't hear much. I think the article existed online recently but is gone now.
Bob


Dear Bob: I never read it. What's it about? Josh




Josh,
Have you started submitting, “morning, noon, and night,” to film festivals?
Gerry


Dear Rich: I don't give a shit about film festivals, they never did a thing for me. I'm bypassing them and going straight to distribution. Josh




Josh,

So how did the Hammer run go ?

Paul


Dear Paul: The film grossed $209 and it cost me $3,000 for the theater rental, however "If I Had a Hammer" now has Academy Award consideration. I'll next opening my new movie, "Morning, Noon & Night," at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater for one week and that too will get Academy consideration. Josh




Hey Josh,
what do you think of Rob Zombie as a director, and have you ever met him?
Michael Sullivan


Dear Michael:
I've never met Rob Zombie nor have I seen any of his movies? Josh




Hey Josh,
just a quick traveling question From a guy that used to love travel before he got hurt.Ever been to the roadside diner where Jimmy Hoffa disappeared?
Mike Sullivan


Dear Mike:
The "roadside diner" where Jimmy Hoffa was kidnapped is now called Andiamo's and is four miles from here. Back then it was called Machus Red Fox and was one of the best restaurants in town. Jimmy Hoffa didn't eat at roadside diners. My friend was the floor manager there at that time -- he served the wine and the baked potatoes and you could easily get a thousand dollar bottle of wine -- and he said the next day the FBI came in with ratchet wrenches and took out the entire booth where Hoffa was seated it.
Josh




Josh,

If i'm remembering correctly at the end of Taxi Driver Travis Bickel picks up a fare (played my Martin Scorsese) and asks him to drive to an address that turns out to be Scorsese's girlfriend) and, seeing a light on upstairs, Scorsese's character say's something like, "She's up there with a nigger" to which Bickel just stares blankly. I've never understood the importance of specifying that his girlfriend is cheating with a "nigger" nor do I understand Bickel's non-response. Trust me I'm not a PC revisionist or anything like that, couldn't care less. Just always wondered about that scene. Is it possible for you to give me your thoughts on that scene without making me feel cinematically uneducated or similarly stupid. Thanks!

Linden L.


Dear Linden: The guy's a psycho, plain and simple. Scorsese didn't intend to play the part, he just did. I was a cab driver for three years and you get fares that are completely nuts. How do you deal with it? Josh




Josh, When did you work with Roseanne, and how bad was she on set? --Russ


Dear Russ: I was a PA on an Amnesty International show at the Wiltern Theater in L.A. in 1988 and Roseanne had recently married Tom Arnold. The announcer mistakenly introduced her as Roseanne Barr and she completely blew her mind the very first thing, screaming and yelling, totally out of control. Luckily for me, I spent most of that evening working in the parking lot with the crew. Josh




Josh,

What did you think of the Kavanaugh/Ford testimonies and the politics surrounding them?

Joseph


Dear Joseph: I hope that Kavenaugh is screwed and won't end up on the Supreme Court, then the Republicans will lose the House and the Senate, as well as all of the mid-term elections, we'll impeach Trump, Mueller will indict him, then things will get back on track for a lovely future. Josh




Hey Josh,
So I just bought a box set of 7 Criterion films: “Head”, “Easy Rider”, “Five Easy Pieces”, “Drive, he said”, “A safe place”, “The last picture show”, and “The king of Marvin Gardens”... I see that three of those are on your top films but what are your thoughts on the other 4. Do you like them at all? And hope you been well. --Jonathan Moody


Dear Jonathan: That's odd, there should be four of those films on my favorite list: "Easy Rider," "Five Easy Pieces," "Drive, He Said" and "The Last Picture Show." Which one is missing? "Head" was far more amusing fifty years ago and doesn't hold up at all. As for "A Safe Place" and "The King of Marvin Gardens," they're just exceptionally dull misfires. I met the director of "A Safe Place," Henry Jaglom, many years ago and he seemed like a snotty putz. Josh




Hi Josh,
Hope you're doing well. Congrats on wrapping Warpath. I'm pleased to see you cast Thom Mathews in the film. I've always liked his work. What made you cast him in Warpath? Did he audition, or did you pursue him for the role? Thank you! Scott


Dear Scott: We put out a casting call in L.A., Thom auditioned, did very well, has a great, Marlboro Man-look, so we cast him. I think he comes off great in the part and is wonderful with the female lead, Sasha Higgins. And now we'll see how it all cuts together. Josh




Josh, Happy new year we will be in Detroit in february would love to meet up and chat about book and where it could be improved on as will be writing sequel. Geoffrey PR Jones


Dear Geoffrey: What book are you referring to? Josh




Dear Josh, I Wanted to thank you for the amazing opportunity of working on Warpath!!!! Would love to work with you again in the future .Thank you , sincerely, Didrik Davis


Dear Didrik: It was a pleasure working with you, too. I've seen the whole movie and it turned out pretty well. Josh




Hi Josh! I'm a fan of your work and I wonder where could I buy/stream/watch your movie "If I had a hammer"? Tried with Google, Amazon, etc. but no luck. Thanks, Adria Granger


Dear Adria: Thank you for liking my stuff. "If I Had a Hammer" was never released. I used to sell it on my website, but stopped. It will be coming out at some point in the near future through Synapse Films, but I don't know when that will be. Josh




Josh,
I hope your 2018 was fantastic Becker Films. I hope you can take a look at these websites. Have you see American Assassin? Sicario? Do you have the capabilities to make a substantial geopolitical thriller or know the right people who can? https://cubanstory.com/ - The best story involving Cuba in history. A geopolitical epic. The website is only 5 pages; only a few minutes of your time to check out. https://northkoreansolution-unity.com/ - Unity which is a geopolitical blockbuster on North Korea and that offers a viable and unique solution to this problem (two different formats for Unity are attached – it is the same script though). The Cuban script is being formatted – done in 2 weeks but the original format is attached. Unity rivals Sicario in substance and What Could Have Been: A Cuban Story is a cutting edge epic for our times. Both scripts are substantial – one is geopolitical, the other is a powerful epic. Both scripts are recorded by the WGA. --Benjamin Roussey


Dear Benjamin: Yeah, that's all great, but I only make my scripts, about the shit I care about. Josh




Hi Josh, A quick background on me for a second, I was an NYPD officer in Brooklyn. One night just over 12 years ago, on a night off, i was out at a bar.I went for a walk.Why? Who knows? Anyway, I ended up getting hit by a car. Broke both legs. Burst my right kidney, had a TBI (Traumatic Brain injury). Anyway, I made it through all of that just fine. Four joint replacement surgeries later (2 hips,2 knees), I'm finally learning to walk again. Anyway, this has given me plenty of time to lie around on my ass. I also contracted heterotypic ossification in my hips and knees, which is just extra bone growing in places it should not. Basically freezes your joints, and I was unable to walk. Anyway, I've asked you a few questions in the past, and I'm trying to find the answer, and I cannot. Is there a simpler way to do so? I had asked you about the filming locations of "Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except," and I told you about this guy Sean Clark who does those sort of things. An opinion question: What did you think of "The Revenent"? I know you don't watch that many new movies, but I heartily suggest you watch this one. I totally disagreed with your opinion of Kevin Smith, and I am a huge fan of "The Blair Witch Project." Just saying. Okay, I've gone on for long enough. Thanks, my man.
Mike


Dear Mike:
Getting hit by a car sure sounds like a drag, I'll do my best to avoid it. The way you've phrased your first question I'm not sure what you're asking. Is there a simpler way to do what? Find locations. And I have no idea who Sean Clark is.Regarding "The Revenant," yes I did see it, and no I didn't like it. It's only redeeming scene, in my opinion, is the bear attack. But for me it's nothing more than a half-assed remake of a much better film, "Man in the Wilderness" with Richard Harris and John Huston, and the best aspects of the original, John Huston's part and sub-plot, were dropped, and that's just stupid.
Josh




Josh, Will "Morning, Noon, and Night" be receiving a Video On Demand release anytime this year? How is Joe LoDuca's score for "Warpath" coming along? Can we expect a new essay any time soon? Thanks! DS


Dear DS: I just signed the distribution deal for MNN, so it will be on many platforms, like Prime Movies and Mubi, in a couple of months. As fate would have it, Joe LoDuca isn't doing the score for "Warpath," he's too busy. So I found a composer named John Massari, and his music is terrific. He's busily scoring now. As it turns out, he's related to Mark Massari, the executive producer of "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol," on which I directed reenactment segments in the first season. Josh




Emotion vs. Story: Josh, What's more important? A story that has a strong thematic element based in reality, even if it doesn't cause the viewer to change their mind one way or another... Or a story that plays on emotion, over fact, based in subjective fiction, but actually elicits a specific emotion from the viewer that may cause them to change their mind in whatever given situation? --Justin Hayward


Dear Justin:

I don't know about this "change your mind" business, but it's more important to hook the audience emotionally through the characters that hopefully convey your theme. The theme itself isn't the hook.

Josh




Dear Mr Becker: A few questions about your film Alien Apocalypse. My name is Joel and I am a current medical student at a D.O. school. I am also a big fan of Bruce Campbell, and I just recently stumbled onto Alien Apocalypse for the first time. I loved the Sci-Fi channel touch it had, and was surprised and ecstatic to see Bruce Campbell playing a character who is a D.O. There is not much representation in Hollywood for osteopathic physicians, so seeing one of my favorite actors portraying one and preforming manipulative therapy was amazing. I was curious what inspired you to create a D.O. character like him, and what research or experience with osteopathy you have had. I just figured since Dr. Ivan's chosen field has such a prominent place in the film, there is likely a specific reason why you wrote it to be that way. Any input into this would be amazing, and after seeing Alien Apocalypse, I now aspire to be a great D.O. like the character you created (just in case someone needs to reclaim the earth from insect aliens of course). Thank you for your time and I would love to see a response! - Joel Madison


Dear Joel:

The character of Dr. Ivan Hood is very mildly based on my good friend, Ivan Raimi, who is a D.O. I don't know where you're going to school, but I visited Ivan when he was in Osteopathic school in Iowa City, and that was a wild and crazy group of people. And I've listened to Ivan's incredible stories of working in the emergency room -- he's an emergency room physician and has been for about 35 years -- and they're amazing and ridiculous. But I've also heard him talk about the fact that some people don't take D.O.s as seriously as M.D.s, so that's what I used as a motivation for my character. Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Josh




Josh, How are ya doing man? I'm the cop who got hit by a car that wrote you a while back. Just a quick statement, then a question. My statement is that I am a huge fan of "Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except," and just got my 2nd Blu-Ray copy. I just love how gritty and down and dirty it is. Now for my question, we all know how hot and miserable the shoot of "Evil Dead 2" was. Have you encountered a reason to ever go back there? Thanks and keep it up. Mike Sullivan


Dear Mike: I wasn't on "Evil Dead 2" for very long, like 4-5 days playing a warrior in armor. No, I have never gone back down to North Carolina, nor have I gone back down to Tennessee where we shot "Evil Dead." Josh




Dear Josh, regarding Morning, Noon & Night, like you, I keep a running list of films I've seen. The other night, I was to watch my 5,000th film. I decided that it should be Morning, Noon & Night. I've seen all of your feature films, many times (except Harpies, which I've not watched out of respect), and I count If I Had a Hammer and Running Time among my all-time favorites. By coincidence, my 4,999th film was Kurosawa's Ikiru, and it was interesting for me to compare the two (I imagine this will be the only time MN&N and Ikiru get compared...). The tones of both films have a fatalism and cynicism that ultimately get undercut by a sense of community - Mr. Watanabe finds out he has six months to live, and after indulging in sensual and social pleasures finds that his satisfaction in living lies in doing, the old cliche of what you do, you are. In this case, cutting through the byzantine bureaucracy of postwar Japan to create a park for kids. In MN&N, Aaron, Cliff, Nikki, and Kelly all stumble through the day, feeding and explaining (I don't see it as justifying) their addictions (or crutches, or coping devices). They stress and rail about their travails - unmotivated students, obstacles at work, youthful boredom, but ultimately find community in each other. And when Nikki and her friends finally answer one of Aaron's history questions correctly, even he feels like he can get through another day. So, I just wanted to say thanks. It was great seeing the new film. I look forward to Warpath and more. I've been a fan since I saw Thou Shalt Not Kill on video around 1997. Best of luck on the forthcoming films. —Will


Dear Will: I'm honored that my film was your 5,000th film viewed, particularly coming after "Ikiru." I'm also honored that you could see a thematic connection between the two very dissimilar films, but in fact that is a real connection. And I'm sure you're correct that nobody else will ever compare the two films. My 5,000th film was "The Purple Heart" (1944) with Dana Andrews. Having severely slowed down my movie watching, I'm now only up to 5,194, as of the night before last with "I Called Him Morgan," a perfectly OK documentary about the jazz trumpeter, Lee Morgan. Unfortunately for me, I find most recent films unbearable and bail out long before the end. And since I've seen damn near all of the old films I want to see, I'm basically left with reading. In any case, I'm sure you'll pass me by very soon. Josh




Dear Josh; I am a huge fan of war films. Though many of my favorites are more modern fare, I love classic war films, too. I am really curious, what would make your top 10 list of favorite war films of all time? Thanks! —Chris Duncan




Dear Christopher:
Off the top of my head and in no particular order:
1. The Bridge on the River Kwai
2. Lawrence of Arabia
3. The Longest Day
4. Battleground
5. Wake Island
6. Pride of the Marines
7. Sergeant York
8. The Purple Plain
9. The 49th Parallel
10. Patton

That's ten.

Josh




Hey Josh. As a director, are you ever surprised by the performances you may get from your less experienced actors? I was at the Warpath premiere (enjoyed the film, thank you!) and was most impressed by the actress playing the mother taking in the kids before Alice left and the old man on the porch of the trading post. Always good to see Ted and Tim in your movies as well. Jerry Teleha


Dear Jerry: I'm constantly surprised with character actor's performance. With many of them you don't know what they're going to do, and if it's too weird or just night right it has to be worked out right there. All in all, though, I'm pleased with the performances in "Warpath." Josh




Hey Josh, Hope you been doing well. I am going to be watching and talking about "Morning, Noon, and Night" on a new segment called, "IFC TV" for my Indie Film Cafe You Tube Channel. Also I am making the big move... December 26th I leave for Los Angeles. I'm re reading your book "Going Hollywood". I know it's a different place than it was in the 80s but I am so excited to start this journey. Its gonna be expensive but we'll see how things go! I figured if I don't do it now I'll be way too old to even want to do it. Hope you been doing well. Look forward to everything you got going on!
Jonathan A. Moody


Dear Jonathan: Break a leg, then you'll be in the cast. Josh





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