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David Poland

By David Poland


New York, NY (August 31, 2006) – The Toronto International Film Festival released new details today regarding a film in their line-up. Previously referred to as D.O.A.P., the film’s actual title is DEATH OF A PRESIDENT. This fictional drama, which mixes archival footage with narrative elements, focuses on the assassination of President George W. Bush in the style of a retrospective documentary. DEATH OF A PRESIDENT makes its world premiere in the festival’s Visions section on September 10th at 8:30 p.m. at the Paramount 3 Theatre in Toronto.

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81 Responses to “DOAP”

  1. T.H.Ung says:

    Holy shit. W.M.I., who is that? Cary Elwes?

  2. T.H.Ung says:

    Close, but no cigar, it’s brother Cassian’s unit.

  3. Nicol D says:

    A quick internet research session about Range tells us a few things…
    1) He has done this type of ‘retrospective documentary’ on cataclysmic events that bring a nation to its knees before
    2)He has also done another film on terrorism in Britain which brings the UK’s economy to its knees. A Muslim man is accused and ends up committing suicide. The true culprit of course was “evil, right-wing, white Western corporate greed”.
    3)His work seems to have had little to no impact on virtually anyone as his comments section of IMDB is empty and it was difficult to find out much info on him on the internet. More info is known on the San Gabriel Range then the filmmaker.
    4)If one were to assume this would be another facile-minded, simplistic slam at GW and America one would most likely be correct.
    5)Guaranteed the Syrian did not commit the ‘assasination’. It will be a member of the “evil, right-wing, white Western corporate blah blah blah.”
    6) If Matt Drudge would quit falling hook, line and sinker for this shit most of it would just go away. He just gave a TV movie that was on nobodies radar by a nobody filmmaker 45 minutes ago more free publicity than they will get through the entire festival.

  4. Nicol D says:

    I also love how Drudge has to have as his headline ‘SHOCK’.
    Is he or anyone else actually ‘Shocked’, by anti-American, anti-Bush agit-prop cinema anymore?
    It’s become its own genre.

  5. Blackcloud says:

    Drudge made a big deal out of that Katie Couric photo, so can anyone be surprised he’s making a big deal of this? It’ll probably be grist for the blogosphere for a few hours, then fade into obscurity.
    Also not surprising is that filmmakers still think that this stuff will have any impact at all. Just like that Dixie Chicks doc will be in voters’ heads as they head to the polls–all eight of them who will see it. Seriously, these folks could be academics the way they all seem to be speaking to each other and no one else.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, do us a favor and keep “Bush” and “America” separate in your remarks. He’s not the king and you can criticize one without harming the other.

  7. Wrecktum says:

    I’d like a link to the filmmaker’s comment about “evil, right-wing, white Western corporate greed.” Thanks!

  8. PetalumaFilms says:

    Anybody watch Real Time with Bill Maher last week? Nicol…I know you’re Christopher Hitchens, co-editor of Vanity Fair. Your ruse is up pal.

  9. Nicol D says:

    He’s not the king?
    Jeff, where have you been living for 6 years? Bush IS the king. He is the despotic ruler of a fascist kingdom. He inherited his land from his father and a corrupt totalitarian political system. He oppresses all who disagree and seeks to impose a theocracy on the land.
    Sheesh…if only you saw more political films like DOAP you would know this.

  10. Nicol D says:

    Hitchens? Never!
    Now I’m off to grease my hair and have my fifth whiskey before a liquid lunch.

  11. Stella's Boy says:

    Well, there is some truth in there Nicol, whether you see it or not. There certainly has been an effort to suppress those who disagree with the Bush administration, and I’m sure he would love a theocracy.

  12. Nicol D says:

    Yes, Stella I know, I know. His supression is pure evil.
    Even the thought of disagreeing with the King means a destroyed family, years in a torture chamber and death to your friends.
    Anyhoo, now I’m off to try to buy tickets to (DOAP, Syrianna, Sicko, F-911, insert Bush- bashing film here) at one of the most plush theates in town. Sure hope I can get my advance receipts for a tub of buttery popcorn with a litre o’ cola.
    Who knew being oppressed could be so much fun?
    Damn, it’s good to be a gangsta!

  13. PetalumaFilms says:

    Oh Jesus man, I defy ANY of you to watch last weeks Maher and tell me Nicol isn’t Hitchens…or some kind of Hitchens troglodyte.
    Nciol-I’m with you 1000% on the stupid Bush bashing…but there’s zillions of American’s who still don’t get what’s going on…you also don’t seem tog et it, but at least you’ve formulated some thoughts on the matter. My point is, these films you mention are raising important issues and questions that our journalists don’t raise. It DOES suck that it has to come down to dipshits like Michael moore being the whistle-blower, but it’s better than nothing.
    If you don’t think this regime is twisted , wicked and uncaring, you’re insane my friend.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, is your loyalty that unwavering? Do you think Bush is perfect? Is any criticism of him off base, no matter who it is coming from and what they are saying? Who does have the authority to criticize him and how did they get it? I’m not sure why you mentioned death and torture chambers. This administration has attempted to quiet their critics. I think anyone who has been paying attention realizes this.

  15. Spacesheik says:

    What’s with Canadians and dead president flicks?!?
    Do William Shatner and Hal Holbrooke also make an appearance in this new flick?

  16. frankbooth says:

    Keep on feeding that troll, guys. He’s getting fat on the peanuts and marshmallows you toss under his bridge.
    There are some bright, witty people who post here, but sometimes y’all are suckers.

  17. Nicol D says:

    Guys and gals…can’t you see how the whole process has become so predictable (on both sides).
    1)Hard-left filmmaker hates Bush. Decides to make film on subject.
    2)Film gets released. Drudge has headline that says ‘Shock!’. Gives film free publicity. Conservatives say they are outraged and can’t believe such a thing!
    3)Filmmaker issues statement that film is complex and nuanced. While walking up red carpet to gala premiere, as the entire entertainment community cheers him on, he says he is oppressed and is striking a blow for free speech every where.
    4)Conservatives get pissed. Still refuse to make own films. Secretly hope Clooney will convert. Hate his politics, love his style.
    5)When public sees film, it is a facile and simplistic piece of trash that will remain in public memory until the next one comes out; which will be the following week.
    6)Movie flops but filmmaker claims he is an auteur. Gets cover of EW, (or a leftwing periodical) and says he is being censored and silenced. Interview takes place at his home in Pacific Palisades as he eats Jumbo Tiger Shrimp specially imported from the coast of Thailand for lunch.
    7)Conservatives claim victory that film flopped and that Hollywood is out of touch. Still refuse to make own films. Glad Spielberg is backing Arnold.
    8)Filmmaker says he is speaking for the world oppressed by America as he receives Award for film nobody (even most liberals ) saw.
    9)Film goes to DVD where it is forgotten amid awash of other titles such as Jenny McCarthy’s screenwriting debut.
    10)Rinse, repeat. Cycle begins again.

  18. Josh Massey says:

    “This administration has attempted to quiet their critics.”
    They seem to be doing a horrible job of it… Seriously, though, the more you say stuff like this, it might even become true.

  19. Blackcloud says:

    “He’s not the king and you can criticize one without harming the other.”
    Of course he’s not the king. Didn’t you read that judge’s decision? There are no kings in America. I’m glad she reminded me. I’d forgetten, and had started to think I was living in Belgium. Or was it England? Or the Netherlands?

  20. palmtree says:

    The majority disapprove of Bush at the moment. It’s been that way for over half a year. Bashing Bush is not just knee jerk liberalism, it’s a national pastime.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol sounds especially feisty today. He must be on a higher dose of meds, or perhaps a sugar rush.
    I agree that the film sounds pointless and trite and hardly “thought-provoking” but as an American, I certainly don’t feel ‘attacked’ by it.
    I am, however, intrigued as always by the assumptions and biases that Nicol lets slip out, for example, showing his class resentment by assuming the filmmakers live in Pacific Palisades and sit by pools all day long, his knee-jerk inability to contemplate alternative lines in addition to the usual defects.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    whoops, “of thought” goes in between “lines” and “in addition” up there.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Oh yeah, I’m also struck by the fact that Poland’s editorial commentary is strikingly absent here. Holding back or just trying to stir up some dust?

  24. Stella's Boy says:

    Thank you for your insightful contribution Josh. Fascinating stuff. You continue to enlighten and inform.

  25. Nicol D says:

    Of course I realize liberal political filmmakers do not all hang out in the Pacific Palisades.
    They usually spend the bulk of their day partying with Lindsay Lohan at the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip.
    Do I envy that? Damn straight!

  26. Nicol D says:

    “He must be on a higher dose of meds…”
    Do you have biases against medical patients, Jeff?

  27. Josh Massey says:

    You can’t turn around in this country without seeing some kind of Bush/Republican bashing. And though some of it is very well deserved, how can you be inundated with this and continue to live in the fantasy world where all Bush critics are being quieted by the man?

  28. jeffmcm says:

    I think Nicol is going to need meds more than ever if he hands out with Lindsay Lohan too much.

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    See, I never said all Bush critics are being quieted by him. You said that. I didn’t elaborate on what I meant by critics, and you didn’t ask. I don’t mean newspapers or pundits or columnists.

  30. Nicol D says:

    Who then is being silenced by Bush?
    Hey I’m a libertarian when it comes to free speech. Make all the Bush bashing films you want.
    But when in every other part of the world ‘oppression’ means torture and having your house burnt down and for leftists in America ‘oppression’ means a four picture deal, being on the cover of EW, tenure as a professor or a job at the NYT’s, you have to think the word has lost its meaning.
    Oh, ‘oppression’ in America also means partying with La Lohan. Had to keep that train of thought going.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    Who is being oppressed by partying with Lindsay Lohan? Is there some filmmaker who’s been doing this? A link or something? (I ask because I think you are, shall we say, indulging in hyperbole).
    The fact is, every time someone disagrees with the administration, Cheney or Rumsfeld or whoever tries to connect with with ‘weakening the War on Terror’ which is a way to silence by intimidation, and is immoral and disreputable.

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    So sorry Nicol. Excuse my word choice. In the future I will make sure to consider how you personally will feel about every word I type.
    I will have to go and make a movie. Then I will be on the cover of EW, get a four picture deal and a job at the NY Times. Awesome. Happens to every leftist.

  33. Wonder17 says:

    Nicol D seems to be quite comfortable with defending himself — but it tells me that there is such a huge divide with conservatives and liberals. Just because you support President Bush, that doesn’t mean you can’t debate his politics.
    I feel like both sides are brainwashed into completely separating themselves from other ideas. Nicol D believes that the idea of making a movie that slams Bush is wrong — which is his right to do. But my point is: this is fiction, not a documentary. Film schools still study “Birth of a Nation,” even though it has KKK written all over it. Sometimes you just have to look at it as art. This isn’t piece of business like “Pirates” or “Cars” or “X-men.” This is a movie that’s going to be shown at festivals.
    We should have responses from the right — they should make films that attack ideas they don’t agree with. That’s debate, that’s what we need.
    If liberals and conservatives really hate each other, let’s get it over with and deal with it.

  34. Nicol D says:

    For cryin’ out loud Jeff, the Lindsay Lohan stuff is a joke. Don’t be so uptight.
    As far as your ‘slence by intimidation’…uhhh, well apparently it either:
    a)is a figment of your immagination
    b)isn’t working too well because wherever you turn all you see is the most diabolical depictions of Bush/Cheney/Rice etc.
    Can you name me one other country in the world where you can make ‘docs’ that repeatedly lie and misinform people, where you can call your president a ‘Nazi’ and become wealthy or a millionaire in the process?
    And ‘silence by intimdation’ only works if the intimidation comes with the threat of violence attached to it.
    Last time I checked, all those being ‘silenced’ and ‘intimidated’ were getting photo spreads in Vanity Fair and guest starring on The View.
    If that’s oppression, then where do I sign up?
    Somewhere at the Chateau Marmont I’d guess…

  35. Nicol D says:

    Wonder 17,
    I never said making a film against Bush was wrong.
    Several posts up I said this;
    “Hey I’m a libertarian when it comes to free speech. Make all the Bush bashing films you want.”
    We just get tired of hearing the same people being fetted and getting rich off of bashing Bush saying how ‘oppressed’ and ‘intimidated’ they are.
    It would be comical if it weren’t so sad.

  36. Nicol D says:

    Incidentally, most film schools would never be study Birth of a Nation today. It would be deemed offensive and racist. The sure didn’t show it to me.
    Most students at modern universities are taught there is no ‘truth’ and all texts ‘fiction or not’ are valid so the whole ‘its only fiction’ argument doesn’t really jive in the way you want it to.
    Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands today.

  37. Sam says:

    Nicol D, you’re consistently the most entertaining person to read here. Uh, that sounds like I’m saying I just laugh at your opinions. On the contrary, it’s nice to see someone with well thought out conservative views running against the grain.
    Guys, I don’t think anybody’s saying “if you love America, you must love Bush.” Or that if you like Bush, you like everything he does.
    Like Nicol, I lean conservative, sometimes pretty hard, but I’m a staunch defender of free speech and the right to protest. And I’m not always much of a Bush fan, although I have been at various times during his administration.
    Regardless of any of that, it is SO tiresome to see just one voice after another come out and say, “Bush sucks!” and think he’s so special for speaking out and creating controversy. As palmtree said, bashing Bush is a national pastime. There’s nothing interesting about it. It’s just another voice saying the same old things and expecting to be put on a pedestal for it. Big deal. Yawn. Bah.
    Filmmakers have the right to keep making the same documentary over and over and over and over and over again, but Nicol and I and anybody else sure has the right to be damn sick of the monotonousness of it all.

  38. Blackcloud says:

    Let me check my calendar . . .
    Yep, just as I thought: August 31.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, your Lohan ‘joke’ doesn’t make sense. It would make sense if Michael Moore was reputed to hang out with Lohan, or Robert Greenwald or some other lefty filmmaker. Is the idea that all of leftist Hollywood partakes in her same party-hopping lifestyle? Do you need to be reminded of the high-profile celebrity who was recently arrested for a DUI and who was not Haley Joel Osment?
    Clearly the ‘silence by intimidation’ thing is a matter of perspective. Everywhere I look I see comments like Cheney’s linking Ned Lamont to Al Qaeda ( and everywhere Nicol looks he sees attacks on his Dear Leader. I’m sorry that he thinks that one actually needs to be thrown into a secret prison to qualify for being a victim of an abuse of power, but I’m more sorry that he never, ever attempts to bridge any gap in this divide and just continues with the rhetoric.
    Who’s getting the Vanity Fair spread and appearing on the View? Moore? Maggie Gyllenhaal? Or was this another ‘joke’?

  40. Nicol D says:

    Thanks man. I agree with everything you said.
    Again, I have no problem with people making films that hate Bush. It’s the whole ‘aren’t we rebels’ attitude that gets boring.
    And Toronto will be full of it.
    Then you call them on it and you get called a fascist.
    That’s why I wrote it’s all become such a routine. Sadly, too many conservatives play into it and still act ‘shocked’ when it happens.
    If I read my daily entertainment websites and there are no Bush bashing comments from a celeb I get shocked.
    When I read today that 50 Cent loved Bush I was shocked.
    Maybe I’ll go rent Get Rich Or Die Tryin’.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, who’s getting rich off ‘bashing Bush’? Every movie made in tis sub-genre is really, really cheaply produced. I suppose Michael Moore made a profit from Fahrenheit but he’s the exception, not the rule. I’m glad that you’ve successfully internalized your oppression and converted it into bitterness and paranoia, but come on.
    I’m also amazed that you’re more bothered by one form of supposed exploitation and not by many others rampant right now.
    PS: I studied Birth of a Nation in my film school, and it is offensive and racist, but also laughable. Where’d you go to film school again?
    Oh, you are right that all documentary texts do not have the claim to ‘truth’ that many might think, considering that they are still manipulated, mediated forms of reality.

  42. Stella's Boy says:

    “It would be comical if it weren’t so sad.”
    I can’t count how many times I have thought this after reading one of your posts Nicol.
    I think there are plenty of people who are doing more than simply screaming “Bush sucks” in an attempt to get attention. And Sam, it is a mistake to think that everyone left of center loves and embraces and champions these documentaries you speak of.

  43. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, who calls people fascists?

  44. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, do you have a link for the ’50 Cent Loves Bush’ story you mentioned or are you referring to the stories from 9 months+ ago where 50 Cent publicly disagreed with Kanye West, which is not at all the same thing?

  45. Josh Massey says:

    This thread is very reflective of the country as I see it. Conservatives – true conservatives, not religious fundamentalists – will discuss the issues, hedge a bit, but call it as they see it, usually granting the opposing points of view a modicum of respect. Vocal leftists, though, are increasingly angry people, bitter to the point of being blinded by their own vitriol, and they generally aren’t that fun to be around. Granted, I’m dealing in mass generalizations here, but there’s a truth to it.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    So now you’re a leftist, Josh?

  47. jeffmcm says:

    I just keeedeeeng!

  48. Nicol D says:

    Man, if I’m on meds today I think in your case your sphincter muscle just contracted 3 extra sizes.
    Quit being such an uptight literalist, man. Take out that broom handle and get all loosey goosey; like La Lohan.
    Are you actually going to make the argument that people like Maggie G and Michael Moore are ‘oppressed’ and ‘intimidated’? Ned Lamont?
    Jeez Jeff, they’re all millionaires!
    Statistically speaking, these are three of the most powerful people in history who can have the media at their beck and call.
    The problem is this; you on the left confuse criticism with censorship and intimidation.
    Cheney as VP can say what he wants about Lamont. That’s politics kiddo! If you can’t take the pressure, don’t run.
    This is not a game for the faint of heart.
    Please, tell me how Moore and Lamont are ‘oppressed’? Is Cheney supposed to just shut up and not fire back?
    When Lamont, Moore and Maggie G. get thrown in jail call me; until then you come off like a spoiled brat.
    Pardon me if I don’t weep for the ‘oppressed’, ‘intimidated’, multi-millionaire left.

  49. Stella's Boy says:

    Who are some of these true conservatives Josh? Who comes to mind when you type that? I don’t know anyone like that. My conservative family members are exactly like the vocal leftists you describe. 100%. So you can easily flip that my friend.

  50. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol. you are the only person in this discussion who is using the word ‘oppressed’. I don’t know where you got that in the first place.
    I said the administration was trying to intimidate its critics inappropriately. Am I not also entitled to criticize that?
    I really would like it if you could see past your resentment of those more successful than you to actually consider any of these opposing viewpoints, but you’re too wrapped up in the fun of being a partisan to actually consider anything outside of your own experience. I would love it if we could ever actually have a dialogue instead of these competing monologues.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    Nicol, I don’t feel sorry for Ned Lamont or Michael Moore. So when people bash Bush, it is out of line and atrocious and unfair, but when Cheney says idiotic things about the left siding with terrorists, it is just politics as usual? Criticizing the right you get all up in arms about, but criticizing the left is just tough politics. I get it.

  52. PetalumaFilms says:

    Nicol- Many, many, many people have been silenced by the Bush administration. Any press who asks a “tough” question is never called on again and then they lose their job.
    Have you seen BUSH’S BRAIN or is that also just too facile for you? Karl Rove still gets away with what he does best….whisper and smear campaigns. Look at what’s starting to happen to John Murtha. He spoke out against the Iraq policy and now their trying to swift boat him. What about Cheney always saying things like, “If you elect him (Kerry/LaMont) we’re going to get hit.” I agree it’s politics and you can say what you want because that’s part of the game…but dude, you can also yell fire in a crowded movie theater. Doesn’t make it right to lie, scare people and create havoc with your statements.
    I’m done with this convo because you’re just being a contrarian no matter what. You don’t really have a side and don’t want to hear anything that makes sense. That’s why this isn’t really a conversation because you aren’t having a discourse. You’re just throwing out lame sentiments fused with frustrated filmmaker syndrome.

  53. T.H.Ung says:

    How is a “retrospective documentary” different from a fictional/false doc or mockumentary? The term retrospective is usually applied to “a making of doc,” as in a doc about the making of a movie. The press release says, “This fictional drama, which mixes archival footage with narrative elements, focuses on the assassination of President George W. Bush in the style of a retrospective documentary.” So I guess it assumes a fictional film has already been made, and this is documentary about the making of that film. Probably safe to say, this film will not be anything like Forrest Gump or Zelig.

  54. jeffmcm says:

    I’ve never heard ‘retrospective’ being used to mean ‘making-of’, I’m sure they just mean it’s a fictional doc looking back at its’ pseudo-historical events, like the excellent C.S.A. from earlier this year.

  55. palmtree says:

    ^^^I think what it means is that the film is looking back at Bush’s assassination years after it happened. I guess that makes it a mockumentary, but instead of documenting events that are happening, it is like a History channel doc that does an overview.

  56. jeffmcm says:

    I do notice one commonality: everyone seems to agree that this film sounds dopey, to get back to the topic at hand. It sounds smug and one-note.

  57. Nicol D says:

    “I would love it if we could ever actually have a dialogue instead of these competing monologues.”
    It’s because of comments like this that we can’t, Jeff. The only dialogue you seem to accept is me saying I am wrong and you are right. Anything else on my part to you, is rhetoric. That assumption from the left is what’s wrong. Everyone who disagrees with them either accepts that they are fascists or they are being partisan.
    “Criticizing the right you get all up in arms about, but criticizing the left is just tough politics. I get it.”
    No one is getting all up in arms about the left saying they can’t make their films. We are just saying if everyne is doing it, don’t call yourself daring or a rebel. If you are making millions at it, do not say you are being silenced.
    That’s what we are tired of. If you hate Bush, fine. But when ever awards show and every magazine features some dopey ‘filmmaker’ saying they are speaking up for the silenced, it gets tiring.
    “What about Cheney always saying things like, “If you elect him (Kerry/LaMont) we’re going to get hit.” I agree it’s politics and you can say what you want because that’s part of the game…Doesn’t make it right to lie, scare people and create havoc with your statements.”
    Kinda like saying if Bush gets re-elected we will become a theorcratic state and every one’s rights and freedoms will be taken away?
    The only people I see who are being lied to and are terrified are those who believe and make films like F911 and DOAP.
    “That’s why this isn’t really a conversation because you aren’t having a discourse.”
    We are having a discourse. This is the number one flaw of modern left wing thinking…unless we agree that we are all evil fascists we are not having discourse.
    Do you actually think films like Michael Moore or DOAP encourage discourse? If I were trying to get someone to agree with me I would NEVER refer to partisans like Coulter or Newsmax.
    And yet, you really accept the Michael Moore’s and Lamont’s as moderate sane voices. They are not. Moore is an hysterical partisan as are the vast majority of filmmakers who make films like Bush’s Brain, which just by virtue of its title says it is partisan.
    And you cannot see that.

  58. PetalumaFilms says:

    Are you high? There’s a total difference between a hypothetical thought like “if Bush gets re-elected we will become a theorcratic state and every one’s rights and freedoms will be taken away?”
    a bonafide SOUNDBYTE of Cheney saying “If we elect Kerry, we’re gonna get hit “and the (election of) LaMont sends a message to the terrorists that we’re not trying to win the war on terror.”
    damn it, your moronism sucked me in again, my bad. But yes, there is a difference. And also, I’m not left wing, I’m a registered Republican who never voted for Bush and is sick to his stomach about what’s going on “in my name.”

  59. palmtree says:

    “If you are making millions at it, do not say you are being silenced.”
    “But when ever awards show and every magazine features some dopey ‘filmmaker’ saying they are speaking up for the silenced, it gets tiring.”
    Those are two separate things. Keep ’em separated.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, you are mistaken. You assume, every time, that I am just waiting for you to admit that you’re wrong. The truth is that I want you to try and reach out and make a personal connection, as a human being instead of a walking soundbite factory, for pretty much the entire length of our discourse on this blog, although I eventually got tired of asking you to speak in any way other than in rhetoric and gave up. Let me be absolutely clear: You do not speak like a person who is interested in learning something new from others, or communicating something new to others, you display no intellectual curiosity or willingness to share wisdom. I would like to challenge you to actually attempt a proper dialogue like two people sitting down for coffee, but you have consistently refused, though angry rhetoric, grandstanding, diversionary tactics, and dodging. I lament that this is the level of modern American political discourse and sincerely hope that you can find your way clear to do the same.

  61. PetalumaFilms says:

    What jeff said.

  62. Pat H. says:

    Keep up the good work Nicol. People always get scared when they encounter independent thinking and they want their echo chamber returned to the way it was. Also after reading some of your posts on other topics I am impressed by your knowledge of cinema.

  63. jeffmcm says:


  64. Blackcloud says:

    “Many, many, many people have been silenced by the Bush administration. Any press who asks a ‘tough’ question is never called on again and then they lose their job.”

  65. Blackcloud says:

    How many of you remember Nicholson Baker’s book on the same subject from a few years ago?
    I thought so.

  66. jeffmcm says:

    Here’s a couple:
    “Reporter fired for publicly criticizing plans to air anti-Kerry documentary”
    “LA Times dumps liberal columnist”

  67. PetalumaFilms says:

    Thanks, jeff. BC and Mr. Hitche…err…”Nicol,” please apologize now and/or see the point being made and recognize it. Oh wait, that’s impossible in this oh-so-“true” discourse.

  68. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t want Nicol to apologize for anything. I just want him to act like a human being instead of a rhetoric machine.

  69. Stella's Boy says:

    “This is the number one flaw of modern left wing thinking…unless we agree that we are all evil fascists we are not having discourse.”
    So clearly the number one flaw of modern right thinking is that unless we agree that you are with us in the global war on terror we are not having discourse?
    I really have no idea what you are talking about Nicol. I don’t know where you come up with this stuff. When I have political discussions with people, evil fascists is not something that enters the conversation. When you state “modern left wing,” you are essentially claiming that the entire modern left wing thinks this way, but that is ludicrous. Just as it would be ludicrous if I said the entire modern right wing believed every word Ann Coulter ever wrote. If I did say that, you would be livid. Yet you continue to lazily label the entire modern left wing as if millions of people are exactly the same in their thinking.
    Has anyone been hailing the genius and brilliance of Moore and Lamont? I don’t recall reading that here.

  70. Wrecktum says:

    Lazy rhetoric to equate Michael Moore and Ned Lamont. Typical partisan argument: mention a polarizing figure like Moore and lump with him a political enemy.
    Moore is a left wing polemicist who’s primary job is demagoguery and entertainment. Lamont is a progressive politician whose positions are barely left of center.
    These political arguments are exhausting because they’re so repetitive with the same spouted talking points and the same incensed indignation.

  71. Blackcloud says:

    I still don’t see how Scheer and that other guy were “silenced by the Bush administration”.

  72. jeffmcm says:

    What, they have to literally put people in cement overshoes for you to disapprove of their actions?

  73. PetalumaFilms says:

    I already mentioned it BUT…
    No “tough questions” are ever asked of the current administration because if you ask anything off the list of approved questions, you don’t get called on again. If you don’t get called on in press meetings, you can’t get information your boss wants and you get fired.
    Also…have people already forgotten what happened to the NY Time reporter Joe Wilson called out the administration for the lack of “yellow cake uranium” in Iraq? His wife who was undercover was suddenly outed. C’mon people…wake up.

  74. jeffmcm says:

    Joe Wilson was not a reporter, he was a diplomat who served in Iraq and Africa. Your point holds, though.

  75. David Poland says:

    I didn’t comment at all because, really, I had no time to get into it yesterday. But I wanted to give you all some fresh meat.
    I am looking forward to seeing the film and will be thrilled if it isn’t just a polemic… dissapointed if it is.
    A film I quite like, Day Night Day Night, is also built to split people because, by design, it has no built in politics… which seems to drive people insane… lest anyone think for themself.
    And The Queen is not far from this topic, though I suspect that the execution will be of a different level.
    The truth is, I have no opinion of this film until I see it. Could be great. Could be crap. Could be smart and challenging. Could be one-note and worthless.
    We’ll all know in a week or two.

  76. Blackcloud says:

    “What, they have to literally put people in cement overshoes for you to disapprove of their actions?”
    Nope, I just like proof instead of conjecture, unlike a lot of people on both sides of the political divide.
    As for Joe Wilson, he has no one but himself to blame, as the Washington Post makes clear in its editorial today.

  77. jeffmcm says:

    I disagree with that Wash Post Joe Wilson story, I think the facts speak for themselves.
    Regardless of ‘conjecture’ I don’t understand (and am therefore interested in hearing otherwise) why anyone wouldn’t think that the current administration, with its emphasis on ultra-secrecy and closed doors, has not been acting unethically and immorally, if not necessarily illegally. It seems obvious to me, but clearly not to everyone.

  78. jeffmcm says:

    I disagree with that Wash Post Joe Wilson story, I think the facts speak for themselves.
    Regardless of ‘conjecture’ I don’t understand (and am therefore interested in hearing otherwise) why anyone wouldn’t think that the current administration, with its emphasis on ultra-secrecy and closed doors, has not been acting unethically and immorally, if not necessarily illegally. It seems obvious to me, but clearly not to everyone.

  79. Nicol D says:

    Of the two examples you give:
    1)the guy was fired for publicly critizing the company he worked for and revealing what went on in an internal meeting. He said he knew this was against company policy but did it anyway. The fact that he was liberal was incidental. Did you actually read the article Jeff?
    2)The fellow here seems to have been fired for his ideology. Of course the argument could be either a)he was being silenced or b) the LA Times wanted to provide more diversity of opinion on their op/ed pages. Given that the LA Times has left-lib op/ed types out the wazoo, I’m guessing b) is the correct answer.
    Funny how you do not mind when conservatives/religious folk are froze out from teaching or writing positions in the name of ‘diversity’ but now that it is a liberal…do you have any issue with the countless conservatives who have fired from university campuses over the years? Do you care when a paper drops Ann Coulter from their syndicated list?
    Similarly, both of these are not the Bush administration. They are different contexts. You do get that?
    “I just want him to act like a human being instead of a rhetoric machine.”
    Jeff, you really make me laugh. You tell me you don’t like rhetoric then say I am not even human because of my conservative views…which is the most horrific of left-wing rhetoric.
    The word ‘irony’ is lost on you. You really think calling me names is ‘nuanced’ and that ‘enlightenment’ just comes by virtue of the fact you are a hard leftist.
    Jeff, more then anyone on this board, you are a true cliche.

  80. jeffmcm says:

    Nicol, you didn’t listen to me. I don’t think you’re ‘not human’ because you’re conservative. I think you’re not human because you don’t want to communicate like a mensch, you only want to spout rhetoric regardless of type.
    Let me ask you a question: why are you here? If it’s to annoy and agitate, ou are doing a good job. If you have any interest, any whatsoever, in actually convincing others of agreeing with your opinions; in opening your mind to understand why your opponents believe what they do; of expanding the wealth of the world’s knowledge; then you are not succeeding, in my humble opinion. I have been asking for a genuine connection from you for over a year and you have, every time, refused it. What do I need to do to get you to actually communicate in your own words instead of in talking points?

  81. You’ll need to essentially seem into the brand upgrades offered for BE blogs. I believe yours could actually benefit from it.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon