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MCN Columnists
David Poland

Pride By David Polandpoland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend, 30 August 1997

What’s Labor Day all about? Theme-itis hits The Hot Button! GOING INTO LABOR Oliver Stone’s novel, A Child’s Night Dream, will hit bookshelves soon. Stone says that the story, about someone named Oliver Stone, is not autobiographical. Let’s hope not. He writes about he and mom being “entwined like snakes of desire…” And of dad?…

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Friday, 29 August 1997

Dunkin’ Donuts has hooked up with 20th Century Fox to cross-promote Home Alone 3’s Thanksgiving release, finally explaining why the police never showed up in the first two films. Bill Duke, director of Hoodlum, reports that he was forced to remove many uses of the word “nigger” from his film due to strong objections by…

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Thursday, 28 August 1997

Geena Davis filed for divorce Tuesday from Finnish director Renny Harlin. Her next relationship, uh, I mean, role, is not yet set. Kim Basinger appeared in Albuquerque, NM, railing against flawed animal welfare laws. “These animals are kept in horrific conditions. They’re dragged around cities, suffering in the name of entertainment,” she said. The 50…

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Wednesday, 27 August 1997

Steven Seagal, musician, (are you laughing yet?) is doing a Fire Down Below blues music tour, inspired by his latest film. Unfortunately for stud boy Seagal, he hasn’t seen anything “down below” since his “pregnancy” — apparently, he’s having triplets. Now if only Warner Bros. can get Brando’s Apocalypse Now cinematographer to light him for…

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August 26, 1997

From the Sometimes A Cigar Is Just A Cigar Dept. — Jim Belushi, Peter Weller and David Caruso have committed to James Orr’s Blowing Smoke, a cigar club Swingers for the over-40 set. If cigars are a symbol of career virility, maybe these three should be sucking on Virginia Slims. Quentin Tarantino’s heading for Broadway….

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This is what's under our skin today in Hollywood.

Would 11.1 million dollars thrill or appall you? Depends whether you spent $100 million on G.I. Jane or $30 million on Money Talks. Audiences will be pleased to know that Masterminds’ $1 million start will cause almost as many moans at Sony HQ as the retro-1983 trailer did in theaters. Air Force One’s Gary Oldman…

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That's Entertainment

Robert Redford and GCC are starting a chain of theaters for independent film only called Sundance Cinemas. But what’s going to happen to the real indie experience? It’s 2 A.M. You arrive at the abandoned hot tub factory. You and your date get out of the car, keeping an eye out for muggers and murderers….

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Quote Unquotesee all »

Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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