“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland email@example.com
The Arrogance Of A Critic… Me.
It’s an odd thing.
I spend a couple of hours yesterday with the sound team that worked with Quentin Tarantino to put together Django Unchained. And I can’t say that it change my opinion of the film.
But as I listened to these men, all of whom are seasoned veterans, most of whom have worked with QT on multiple films, I saw Quentin in a way I had never seen him. I saw him through the eyes of pros who are incredibly loyal to him and incredibly motivated by the man… pushed to the limits of their creativity in a way that seemed to thrill each and every one of them.
It’s a connection that I have seen with Steven Spielberg’s crew and PT Anderson’s and a few others. But I had never really seen Quentin through eyes like that. I always see The Quentin Show. It always seems to be The Quentin Show. And indeed, the conversation was about a director who knows almost exactly what he is looking for in the work. But through their eyes, he is in service to that vision, much as they are, not to his ego.
So while I may appreciate the pieces of the Django puzzle and enjoy the film, but not be as thrilled by this ride as some of his others, I liked Quentin Tarantino after talking to these 5 guys more than I ever have. No matter how much I love some of his films, I never saw the man without the iconography. And so I am sorry that I have ever suggested, for instance, that he wasn’t giving it is all… or that he was working off of ego. Of course, we all have ego and we all miss the mark of our very best sometimes. But I quite respect the man I met, without him anywhere nearby, yesterday.
My work is to look behind the screen… behind the curtain… and I am pretty good at my work. But sometimes you need a reminder about the simple humanity of it all.