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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Giving quote: Lee Daniels on a real person

As astringent quotes go this week, producer-turned-director Lee Daniels (Monster’s Ball, The Woodsman tops anything out of the mouth of M. Night Shyamalan or Kevin Smith. shadowpoxer2355_56.jpgReports Lola Ogunnaike in the New York Times, with his directorial debut, Shadowboxer, Daniels’ “decision to cast Mo’Nique, the proudly plus-size comedian, was met with raised eyebrows all around. Her character, a crack addict, was originally written for an anorexic white woman in her early 20’s who dates a handsome young doctor. Casting Mo’Nique, he said, prompted the film’s writer to remove his name from the credits. Mr. Daniels remained unrepentant. “My sister was an obese crack addict… She had a chicken wing in one hand and crack pipe in the other, and she had the finest white men lined up waiting for her. This is a real person to me.”

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles