Hot Button Archive for 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? “I hate you, I’ve hated you from the day I was born!… I’d like to kill you.” Come on, Ollie, light that fire!

LABOR PROBLEMS

WGA West presidential candidate Lynn Roth on unfairness to screenwriters: “They wind up writing a first draft, second draft, studio draft, network draft, director draft, actor draft,” she said. “Same pay, too many drafts.” As usual, the most important draft is forgotten. The good one.
WORKING STIFFS
Vivid Video had its first-ever critics screening recently, promoting it’s latest opus, the XXX rated, Bad Wives. Vivid deleted all the sex scenes in order to emphasize the storylines, plots and dialogue. They also went mainstream with their lavish Hollywood after-party, featuring whore d’oeuvres, music by Axel Hose and 25 cent actress rides.
THAT JERRY LEWIS WEEKEND
The spirit of Jerry lives in Hollywood. Someone is actually going to produce a movie called Flying Tigers vs. Flying Saucers, about the WWII Flying Tigers’ attempts to shoot down a Nazi-recovered alien spacecraft carrying Adolf Hitler. No word on whether Jerry will make this a sequel to his infamous The Day The Clown Cried, about a clown in a concentration camp. Hey Naaaaazzziiiii!

Geena Davis Filed for Divorce

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 reporters flown in for the event were fed miniature
Snickers and coffee as they waited without bathroom access for two hours
in a 10 foot square press pen, whose boundaries were enforced by four
armed security guards, anticipating Ms. Basinger’s two minute appearance
(“No questions, please.”). No injuries were reported.

Kathie Lee Gifford‘s son Cody appeared this week on her morning
TV show, adorably engaging viewers with his distaste for Sabrina,
unhappy that Harrison Ford portrayed “a kissy man.” His dimples
deepened coyly as he also stated a distaste for publications in which
his father, Frank Gifford, portrayed “an unfaithful, over-the-hill
oral-sexy man.”
Christian Slater is set for Very Bad Things, a film about
a bachelor party that gets out of hand when a guest kills a hooker.
The film offers Slater a chance to share one of the important life lessons he’s picked up in rehab: It just ain’t a party `til someone kills a hooker.

For more of David Poland’s work, check out Whole
Picture
.

Future Projects

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 the press junket.
“I Dream Of Jeannie” is coming to the big screen with either Lisa Kudrow or Cameron Diaz. Whose navel would you pay to watch for 2 hours? Hello. Hello! Get that sick grin off your face, you lowlife!
Jeff Katzenberg has used his $250 million unemployment claim (a.k.a. lawsuit) against Disney to get an early look at the first draft of Michael Eisner‘s as yet unpublished autobiography. Lucky guy. Page 782: “…after all that, I still graduated elementary school with honors, but more on that later.”
Fargo star Steve Buscemi recently directed a series of commercial spots for Nike and the WNBA. Production was delayed when producers underestimated how much basketball player a wood chipper could chip if a wood chipper could chip basketball players. (Answer: seven minutes a foot)

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. I’m sure he’ll kill them. literally. Maybe he’ll end up doing the Pulp Fiction musical, Royale With Cheese. I can hear the first song now…
“Hitmen, heroin, sodomy/ Scenes not in order like they’re s’posed to be/ Career resurrections everywhere you see/ Royale With Cheese. Royale With Cheese…”
Warren Beatty is being sued for $425,000 by screenwriter Aaron “A Few Good Men” Sorkin. Beatty kicked him off “Bulworth” because, Sorkin’s suit claims, Beatty has “irrational, incomprehensible, and unwarranted personal animus and hostile feelings toward Sorkin.” If you think he hates you now, try being a camera without any soft focus Vaseline on your lens, Aaron!
Buzz is that the location for the upcoming Superman‘s Metropolis will be none other than Pittsburgh, PA. I guess Tim Burton’s vision has Supes as the Man Of Bankrupt Steel.

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

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 and his wife had a baby boy last week. After being slapped, the infant wrapped the cord around the OB/GYN’s throat and demanded three wetnurses and a change of diapers.
Twister 2: Cash Control is on the way. Maybe this time the script won’t blow.
The “Headless Mickey” lawsuit against Disney by former Mouseketeer Billie Jean Matay was thrown out of court. Her lawsuit against her parents for shattering the illusion of Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy and J. Edgar Hoover’s heterosexuality is pending.
For more of David Poland, read The Whole Picture.
E-ME.

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. The smell of urine wafts through the air. A trail of blood and popcorn leads you to a massive sheet metal door. You knock. A skinny guy in a T-shirt opens the door and welcomes you to “Bob’s Place” and asks for your credit card. You sign a blank slip. You’ve just rented a camera crane. There is no candy counter, just a craft service table full of M&Ms and two day old bagels. You go into “Theater One,” but find a 13″ TV and two folding chairs. “Uh, we don’t have a print yet, just half inch video,” says your host. You watch it. When your date stops crying, you leave.
E-Me.

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“By the time the draft was completed, and passed on to my frequent collaborator, director Kathryn Bigelow, I’d written something quite unlike the singular focus and sole protagonists of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. The effort to make Detroit a mirror of the chaotic times led to an ensemble piece, quickly shifting between characters in a nesting doll of movies within movies, a riot film that gives way to racial horror-crime that switches to a courtroom drama, with several detours along the way into a band’s journey, the miseducation of rookie cops and the adventures of a pair of young women experimenting with sexual freedom. It was, in short, a lot of ground to cover in a single picture. But Kathryn was encouraging, and over the proceeding draft we collaborated closely to hone the themes and scope, while attempting to keep alive the spirit of a tough and untamed narrative.”
~ Mark Boal on researching and writing Detroit

What are we doing wrong?
“Well, first of all, by “we” I assume you mean the public, the public approach or the public discourse, which means the discourse that takes place in the media. And for the purposes of this discussion, let us imagine that the media is white and thus approaches the topic of race as if they (the white people) were the answer and them (the black people) were the question. And so, in the interest of fairness, they take their turn (having first, of course, given it to themselves) and then invite comment by some different white people and some similar black people. They give what purports to be simply their point of view and then everyone else gives their beside-the-point of view.

“The customary way for white people to think about the topic of race—and it is only a topic to white people—is to ask, How would it be if I were black? But you can’t separate the “I” from being white. The “I” is so informed by the experience of being white that it is its very creation—it is this “I” in this context that is, in fact, the white man’s burden. People who think of themselves as well intentioned—which is, let’s face it, how people think of themselves—believe that the best, most compassionate, most American way to understand another person is to walk a mile in their shoes. And I think that’s conventionally the way this thing is approached. And that’s why the conversation never gets anywhere and that’s why the answers always come back wrong and the situation stays static—and worse than static.”
~ Fran Lebowitz, 1997