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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Men behaving gladly: prankish Lady in the Water, puckish Kevin Smith

Over at Movie City News, you’ll find my take on Lady in the Water; I’ll post some thoughts about Chris Doyle‘s cinematography later. Plus: over 6,500 words with Kevin Smith on the release of Clerks II, clerks2c.jpgconducted a few weeks before the recent kerfuffle begun by that noted, timeless lover of film and its possibilities, JoelTime to go!Siegel. Our garrulous conversation contains profanity, natch; explicit sexual language and third act spoilers, as well as Smith’s insights into the Weinstein Company’s alliance with MGM. “Harvey calls up and goes, “I’ve got good news, man. We can do this MGM deal and we’ll see a massive pay cable sale that we were never going to see on this movie.” I was like, “Does that make you happy?” ‘Cos me, I don’t give a fuck. I don’t watch movies on HBO or any of those things anymore. I buy DVDs. I was like, “Does it make you happy?” He’s like, “Yeah, it means more backend.” I was like, “Fine, good for you.” And we hung up and then I thought about it. I was like, wait a second, MGM might be signatories to the MPAA. So I called him back. I was like, “Harvey, is MGM a signatory to the MPAA?” And he’s like, “I dunno. We’ll have to look into that.” I was like, “Aw fuck, it’s coming.” And what was coming —and he never flat out said, “You must get an R”—but he said, ds_359001.jpg“I’m telling you Kevin, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table for an unrated film. This pay cable deal yields a lot…. So me and Mosier started really biting our fingernails, ‘cos it was like, fuck, sooner or later, this is going to go from a friendly persuasion to him going like, “I looked at your contract and you have to deliver an R.” … The MPAA is never that helpful in terms of the things they find problematic. They don’t tell you, “If you cut four seconds of this, we’ll give you an R.” They would say something like, “You might want to look at the donkey show.” Well, what part of the donkey show? Y’know? It’s like nine minutes! … clerks2b.jpgFinally we could delay it no longer, we’re going to have to have this MPAA screening. So we submitted it to the MPAA, and I had my arguments ready to go, like all the movies I could cite, which they don’t want you to cite in the appeals process, but I would fuckin’ blurt ’em out anyway. All the movies that have gotten an R. Bachelor Party had a donkey show, they got an R. In Brokeback Mountain, fuckin’ Heath Ledger spits in his hand, that got an R. Why can’t we have the donkey dude spit in his hand in our movie? I was ready for the holy war of all time. The massive fuckin’ jihad against the MPAA.” [So much more at the link.]

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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield