By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Francis Coppola

“The golden times were when Hollywood was run by the owners. You know what the Chinese say? The best fertilizer is the footsteps of the owner. In those days, and even when I first worked, because I had the pleasure of working with Darryl Zanuck, Sam Goldwyn, Jack Warner, the owners ran the studios and competed with each other. They were all versions of Harvey Weinstein. Imagine six Harvey Weinsteins with his intelligence and talent — and his obnoxious vulgarity! — all vying to make the best movies and most commercial movies of the year. It was a magical element you can’t discount. “Who are the owners now? The owners are not there making the films. Instead highly paid executives are there whose names we don’t even know. It’s not the same movie business.”
~ Francis Coppola

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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

“If one could examine his DNA, it would read ACTOR. He embraced every role with fire and fierce dedication. Playing Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood was his loving tribute to all actors and garnered him a well-deserved Academy Award. His work was his joy and his legacy.”
~ Barbara Bain On Martin Landau