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David Poland

By David Poland



19 Responses to “BYOBerlinale”

  1. Triple Option says:

    Not that they can’t do what they want or that I’m crying for not being able to get something for nothing but it seems like collusion or price fixing that a lot of online newspapers are now requiring paid subscriptions to view articles online. It’s not like there’s been a gradual roll out based on some papers subscription but the gig’s been up across the board in the past couple of weeks. It can’t be a coincidence that the price rates are very similar also. I can’t stand the gossipy nature Yahoo uses in writing headlines and article teases, I don’t know where I’m going to go for news. The pay concept wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t often have to go to two-three publications/(sites) to get a full story.

  2. doug r says:

    Have you tried setting your browser to delete cookies when you close it? Sometimes if a site doesn’t know if you’ve been there before it’ll let you sample more.

  3. leahnz says:

    speaking of wes Anderson – and this being tangentially movie-related i hope it doesn’t sound too insensitive or flip or offend anyone – but trying to read up on the Dylan farrow situation in the media, which i kind of missed not being online much, does anybody else hear Royal Tenenbaum’s cluelessly condescending voice describing Margot Tenenbaum with the phrase ‘adopted daughter’ used over and over and over again to describe Dylan Farrow? — i mean yikes what’s up with that, when someone legally adopts a child that’s their kid man, you don’t describe someone’s child as ‘adopted’ like that, an unnecessary and in this case a seemingly insidious qualifier, i started to hear royal T and couldn’t shake it out of my head, i felt bad. if it’s just me then maybe it’s a sign i internalise movies far too much.

    also, since i know DP is always going on about journalistic standards here perhaps this observation is not out of place: i was a little shocked that i couldn’t find something of an objective summary of the facts including the related court cases anywhere (maybe there is one and i didn’t see it in my search), the ‘big’ third party opinion pieces provide obviously biased commentary toward one party or another with cherry-picked information, i realise that’s probably par for the course these days and perhaps i’m naïve to think there would be just one article that gathers ALL the information together and clearly lays out the ins and outs of the investigation and court cases, but i had to search for and read the interviews and documents and court rulings and decisions handed down myself, which is probably prudent anyway in a case like this but you’d think that at least one ‘news source’ would integrate all this into their ‘coverage’ or at least make it much easier to find the relevant info, what a pain in the ass.

  4. YancySkancy says:

    leah: It would definitely be useful if someone would put together an objective list of the details of the case, including each side’s assertions and denials of each supposed fact. Instead, as you say, most articles pick a side, then pay lip service to the other side with a few cherry-picked refutations and an “allegedly” or two.

    If such an article is ever done, I hope they forgo a comments section. People who’ve chosen sides are remarkably entrenched. Those who express ambivalence or discomfort with making a judgment based on conflicting reports are lumped in with Allen supporters (or “pedo-defenders”). Others come to make lame, distasteful jokes. Some share their own abuse stories, which, heartbreaking though they may be, only serve to make it seem that their opinion is based solely on identification with Dylan rather than a thorough reading of the details. Some take the opportunity to exonerate Allen simply because Mia Farrow seems unstable, while others seem to think Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi is sufficient proof of an immorality that could include child molestation. The scary ones, to me, are those that basically say the presumption of innocence shouldn’t be a factor in cases of child abuse, because “children don’t lie” and “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The sad truth of these cases is that guilty people can walk if there’s not enough evidence to overcome reasonable doubt. But no one ever suggests a truly fair alternative, because there isn’t one.

    EDIT: Oh, and of course each comment section averages a couple dozen instances of someone referring to Soon-Yi as Allen’s “stepdaughter,” with an equal number correcting the error.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    One thing we can all agree on: poor Cate Blanchett. I don’t buy the idea that she won’t win; I think Oscar voters are smart enough to realize Amy Adams (the presumed beneficiary) wouldn’t be winning if they were to alter their ballots. The influence of Woody Allen’s penis would be the real winner, not Adams, and it would diminish the awards process, Farrow and Adams more than it did The Woodman by creating the perception that Adams’ Oscar wasn’t earned, and Blanchett was robbed. But I don’t envy Blanchett trying to come up with a speech here.

  6. leahnz says:

    yeah (ETA re: yancysk’s comment), i’ve only had a brief look through one comments thread (Christ for the life of me i can’t remember which one it was now, clicking through links from one thing to the next, it’s kind of a blur) and that was enough, it looked vicious and kind of nuts really, i guess i don’t see the point of it but that’s the internet for you. in addition to what you’ve listed above, the other thing i’ve heard was the belief that who’s coming down on what ‘side’ is gendered, but from what i could see at least as far as the comments i read, there appeared to be both female and male voices on each ‘side’ (again my sample example was very limited though and i don’t think i’m keen to read more comments sections, so i don’t know if it ‘means’ anything), though in the thread i looked at there was a current of blatant misogyny from a certain faction of loud people.

    would a more objective, comprehensive, fact-based and detailed account of the entire case published somewhere early on have circumvented some of the vitriol and tit for tat? probably not.

    are there any positives to come out of such a heated public discussion of alleged historical abuse? i’ve kind of been wondering about that — the subject of child sexual abuse is so sensitive and emotional, something we just don’t want to talk about openly because it’s so horrible and abhorrent, i think in a way most of us simply don’t want to believe that anyone is capable of such harmful, unacceptable, sickening behaviour, but sadly this just isn’t the case and it’s a serious problem with long-range repercussions in pretty much all societies and cultures. i guess if Dylan’s case – whether she was sexually assaulted or not – in any way helps to bring the subject out into the light and empowers survivors of abuse to speak up, if it serves in some small way toward bringing an end to sexual abuse being swept under the carpet then it will have had a face beyond the ugliness of what’s being seen now.

  7. movieman says:

    Considering the stench surrounding Woody right now, I wonder if he’ll still be able to attract the usual A-list talent for his next movie (which is apparently shooting this summer).
    Or will he be forced to cast scrubs?

  8. Hcat says:

    I hope the latter, I think Donald Fasion would shine in a woody movie.

  9. YancySkancy says:

    I’ll bet he could get Andrew Dice Clay again.

  10. christian says:

    Who refused to work with Roman Polanski?

  11. movieman says:

    Polanski isn’t a fair comparison since he works exclusively in Europe.
    Despite his recent forays overseas, Woody remains an American filmmaker more dependent upon American talent.
    If this latest stink bomb had exploded in 1997, would Leo have passed on “Celebrity” and James Van Der Beek been cast instead?

  12. christian says:

    He had no problems getting actors when he was first accused of this in 92 and with the Farrow fiasco firmly in the public eye.

  13. movieman says:

    I don’t seem to recall the media emblazoning the charges from sea to shining sea 22 years ago, Christian.
    Or a nationally syndicated op-ed piece penned by the alleged victim that every TV news pundit seems to love quoting from.
    The Soon-Yi affair was the major Woody news item to receive beaucoup traction–coinciding w/ the September 1992 release of “Husbands and Wives.”

  14. movieman says:

    Not sure how I missed the obit last week, but I was genuinely saddened to learn that Christopher Jones had died.
    Incredible to think that he made only one movie after “Ryan’s Daughter.”

  15. SamLowry says:

    While reading Nobody Said That Then!, which documents so much anachronistic dialogue in “Masters of Sex”, I thought “That’s typical Dumb Hollywood for you!” but then I wondered why anyone would spend so much on hair and wardrobe and cars and props to convince you that you’re watching something shot in the early 1950s, only to have their actors burst that bubble by sounding more like Tommy Chong and Moon-Unit Zappa than either Ozzie or Harriet.

    The creative minds behind the show can’t be that skull-fuckingly stupid, right? So I thought that maybe there’s an unwritten law stating that audiences can take only so much period realism before they mentally check out and see if there’s anything else on that doesn’t look like cultural vegetables. After all, once characters start saying things like “Believe me” and “conformist” then they might as well be saying “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man,” and then your show gets cancelled before the Complete Series is long enough to fill a single DVD.

    Or am I making up excuses for folks who really are skull-fuckingly stupid?

  16. YancySkancy says:

    I saw 12 YEARS A SLAVE tonight, and I couldn’t help but wonder, especially in scenes with Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam, if some in the audience were expecting an SNL period sketch to break out any minute.

  17. cadavra says:

    Sam: Don’t forget that show biz is now targeting an audience that, on those rare occasions they watch something made before STAR WARS, will invariably ask, “Why don’t they have cell phones?”

  18. doug r says:

    Although I gotta say one of the charms of Hercules and Xena was the use of contemporary language to catch a more realistic rhythm of actual people interacting with each other.

  19. YancySkancy says:

    doug r: Of course, as I’m sure you know, the difference is that shows such as Masters of Sex are actually going for period realism, where Herc and Xena were not. Therefore the latter could afford to make the dialogue more “relatable” or whatever, because “Nobody talked like that back then” would’ve been a ridiculous argument in light of all the other anachronisms.

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You worked as second AD on Jerry Lewis’ The Day the Clown Cried,  about a clown entertaining Jewish children in a WW II concentration camp. 
Yes, and I never saw the film. I was just the second assistant and it was an incredible fairytale for me, to work with Jerry Lewis. Jerry Lewis, along with Louis de Funes—who, by the way, had a very similar career to Jerry Lewis. He was a huge comic in France, but never, ever until now, 20 years after his death, recognized as a great actor. But they both made me laugh as a child. Jerry Lewis did everything: he did stand-up. He could act. He could sing and dance. He’s a photographer. He’s a director. And his films, when you look at them, are extremely daring and inventive. So he was someone that I wanted to emulate, in a way. The cinematographer of the film, Edmond Richard, who had shot a film I worked on directed by Rene Clement, called Hope to Die, with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Aldo Ray and Robert Ryan. It was like I had been invited to the court of Queen Elizabeth. It felt like a real achievement. I tried to work as hard as possible, and be very speedy. Like the weather, you don’t wait for somebody to ask. The moment the director says “I would like to have a…” you know what needs and get it for him. The greatest moment on that set for me was, one day Jerry Lewis got really upset with his crew, and went off on them, saying “You’re all too lazy. You don’t work hard enough. There’s only one guy who understands!” And he pointed to me. I only worked on the film for 15 days, at the circus in Paris. I never heard a thing about it after. I knew it was bogged down in lawsuits after it was finished, but it was an important moment in my professional life. I worked with a lot of amazing people before I directed my first film. I was an assistant director for twelve years. It was a great training ground, watching those masters work. I have many great memories. I started making films very late, you know.”
~ Jean-Jacques Beineix

“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh