Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Bogdanovich Epilogue: A Word About Biskind and Cher


Because everybody loves a nice, incestuous film blog reach-around (especially on Valentine’s Day), allow me to direct you to my good friend Looker, who follows up my Peter Bogdanovich/Targets dispatch from last week with perhaps an even more rewarding batch of comments smuggled out of Film Forum’s post-screening Q&A.
And once again, Peter Biskind absorbs the brunt of a filmmaker’s hot auteur wrath:

On Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls:

That book is so full of shit. It’s not to be believed. I leafed through three pages of it—I thought I was going to be sick to my stomach, and I never opened it again. Coppola wanted to put a hit out on him. I’m not kidding. I spent seven hours with that guy over a period of days, and he got it all wrong. He believed everything my ex-wife (Polly Platt), who at that time was a drunk, said.

Cher gets a little lighter love tap in Bogdanovich’s assessment of Mask (except for that part explaining, “She liked Sonny after he died.” I mean, go ahead–shudder. Take as long as you need), which you will need to click through to browse in its entirety. Now, if you do not mind, I think it is time Looker and I had a cigarette.

One Response to “Bogdanovich Epilogue: A Word About Biskind and Cher”

  1. Looker says:

    Mmm, that felt good.

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas