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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Babel babble burst

Babel producers Jon Kilik and Steve Golin are lucky enough to be able to afford an ad to respond to the Right Coast Paper of Record: In the October 25 New York Times, the pair purchase a fair number of square inches to address a double-barreled blast of hearsay from the LA Times and NY Times regarding the writer and director of that film (and of Amores Perros and 21 Grams): “To The Editor: As the producers of Babel, we feel it is a shame that The New York Times chose to base an October 22 article upon a gossip piece that the Los Angeles Times Arts section printed on October 4… 7_478b7h.jpg We have worked side by side with Alejandro González Iñárritu for the past two years and have witnessed a great example of the collaborative processes of moviemaking… [E]xamples of the loyalty, trust, inclusion and teamwork that define his way of working [include the] continuity of Gael Garcia Bernal… Adriana Barraza (Amores Perros, Babel), Director of Photography Rodrigo Prieto (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel), composer Gustavo Santaolalla (21 Grams, Babel), production designer Bridgette Broch (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel)… editor Stephen Mirrone (21 Grams, Babel) and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). We have never heard [González Iñárritu] use the word “auteur” to describe his filmmaking style but often the word “we.” … While the debate of authorship is as old as cinema, philosophical differences that had nothing to do with the creative process of making Babel… [have] resulted in Alejandro and Guillermo choosing not to work together on their next features. Those same philosophical differences [led to] the decision to not appear together in Cannes… We know that both of these men are saddened that their long and successful relationship has been reduced to salacious gossip.” Kilik and Golin quote a letter sent to the LA Times by the collaborators but which was not published: “We were both saddened to see your article. It is disappointing when the focus of a 10-year relationship is at its conclusion… Alejandro does not have a manager and therefore could not have confirmed anything. The fact of the matter is our professional relationship has run its course. We have worked together… on three very successful projects and are incredibly proud of those films. We intend to move forward independently.” [A partial LA Times correction is here. Pictured: Rinko Kikuchi.]

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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