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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

You Know…

I didn’t think I was actually going to get angrier after watching Entertainment Tonight promote their ongoing rape of Heath Ledger’s dead body.
But I did.
Because they were doing something even worse that I saw coming.
They are trying to position this shite as not only a healthy choice on their part, but one that can help others.
First, they blame the video being shown on Australia

7 Responses to “You Know…”

  1. LexG says:

    Maybe Dr. Drew IS a sincere guy, but in general I have a hard time giving him the benefit of the doubt about his intentions.
    Ever aince he turned up on season one of the US version of BIG BROTHER as some sort of behavioral expert but really de facto co-host of sorts, not to mention his role in NEW YORK MINUTE, I can’t see this guy as much more than a bullshit TV “personality” looking for more camera time.
    His intentions may be noble, who knows. But his choices of venue are SERIOUSLY suspect? BIG BROTHER? Doling out predictable, cookie-cutter advice alongside Adam Carolla? Fronting a VH1 rehab show that professes sincerity about addiction but still makes time for THE LEAD SINGER OF CRAZY TOWN indulging in Surreal Life antics?
    Just seems like thorough hack.

  2. Tofu says:

    Providing medical diagnosis through videotape has been, and will continue to be, utterly asinine. Anyone remember Bill Frist & Terri Schiavo? When he denied she was in a vegetative state by watching videos and thinking she was responding?
    Back to square one again.

  3. Eric says:

    I’m going to stick up here for Dr. Drew as a guy who sincerely wants to help. He was doing Loveline for free as a public service for a decade before Adam Carolla arrived and turned it into a profitable show.
    It seems like he enjoys showing up on television, but mostly because he’s a normal guy who’s just tickled that he has the opportunity. He’s a decent human being, not somebody who’s in it for the celebrity.

  4. anghus says:

    Dr. Drew is actually a very good guy with very noble intentions. I agree with Eric, he doesn’t mind the spotlight, but there’s always an urge on his part to not sell a lie of easy fixes or quick judgment.
    As for the tabloidization of the media, you are where i was a year ago. The only thing you can do is turn it off. It will never get better. It continues to seep into the so called ‘legitimate news’.
    Bill Hicks was right. In 20 years it will be pictures of women spread eagle with a line that reads “Buy Coke”. And people will buy it.
    At some point, you have to either accept that you’re the kind of person that
    a) accepts things for the way they are and try to learn and live with it
    or
    b) accept that things desperately need changing and do everything in your power to do so.
    Entertainment Journalism has never been anything award worthy, but nowadays it’s just videocameras, vaginas, and voueyerism. That’s never going to change.

  5. LYT says:

    Dr. Drew is a huge hypocrite in many ways. His entire claim to fame is coming on a radio show created by his friend Jim “The Poorman” Trenton (who also introduced Pinsky to the woman who’d become his wife), claiming he’d stand by him, then throwing him to the wolves when Trenton pissed off management.
    Loveline was a top-rated show long before Carolla.
    I don’t put anything past the Doc. He loves that media spotlight.

  6. leahnz says:

    i don’t know who dr. drew is, but in regards to the buzzards feeding on poor heath’s corpse, i think whatever integrity the ‘entertainment media’ had is rapidly evaporating; i was thinking back to when my beloved river died in 1993(?, wow 15 years ago if i’m right about the year), it was big news but handled fairly respectfully; it’s a completely different world now, imagine the feeding frenzy if river had died the way he did today, someone would have likely filmed him convulsing to death on the footpath with their mobile phone and it would all over the internet and ‘entertainment’ shows in an hour. maybe it’s just me, but the world is going to hell in a handbasket

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin