MCN Columnists
David Poland

Pride By David

Weekend, 08 November 1997

IN: New Line is putting all its eggs in one movie, teaming Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and The Full Monty co-star Tom Wilkinson (who played Gerald) in Rush Hour, to be directed by Money Talks director Brett Ratner. The storyline? The Chinese ambassador’s daughter is kidnapped in Los Angeles. Wilkinson plays the ambassador’s right-hand man….

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The big noise starts this weekend with Starship Troopers. Twenty-five million is my estimate. A big number, but doable. Even surpassable. With all the people going to genre movies (see slots three, five and seven), the stage is set for this one, by far the biggest, brashest entry in the category since Men In Black…

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Thursday, 06 November 1997

The notoriously widescreen Marlon Brando has seduced notoriously picky novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez into allowing The Grandfather Godfather to adapt his novel, Autumn of the Patriarch, as a movie. In turn, Brando says that this film, which is centered around an aging Latin American dictator, will be his last. If the film does get made,…

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Wednesday, 05 November 1997

Titanic finally set sail in Japan with a triumph for Jim Cameron and an even bigger one for Paramount and 20th Century Fox publicity. For Cameron, it was the wildly enthusiastic reaction of the crowd to the film. For the studios, it was their success in getting a handle on the estimates of overwhelming production…

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Tuesday, 04 November 1997

Grease is the word at Paramount these days. Producer Alan Carr, the most popular caftan wearer ever, aside from our own Andy Jones, is back on the lot, prepping the Grease 20th Anniversary Star Wars-like re-launch, in which more than 1,500 screens will play the remastered version on the smash hit. Unlike Star Wars, there’s…

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Ouch! I know you can’t see it in my photos, but I am bleeding profusely from the nose after getting tagged hard by Boogie Nights’ number four opening with just $5.1 million! I guess Middle America wasn’t ready for a film about porn that didn’t include porn. And I wish I could blame it on…

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Weekend, 01 November 1997

Here’s a plotline: A movie producer learns a lesson about life after his child’s wish that he can’t litigate for two years comes true. Nah! Never’ll happen! Aaron Russo, who produced a half a dozen hits in the ’80s, is suing Imagine Entertainment for $25 million, claiming that producer Brian Grazer stole his idea for…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho